I suppose the fellow who addressed me as "my man" yesterday was the determinant in my decision to stop dealing with you all at least for a while.  I will think it over.  pl 

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69 Responses to Adios.

  1. lina says:

    He/she could have at least said “my good man.”
    In the immortal words of Jean Seberg: “Never take anything personally, even if it’s meant personally.”
    Hasta luego.

  2. John Minnerath says:

    I missed that one.
    I’ve always felt “my man” an insulting salutation. Akin to someone saying :hey dude!”, yech.
    Kick back and forget about the fools who occasionally tread here.
    Then come back and continue on. We need someplace to read things that put our gray matter in gear and make it churn a little.

  3. R Whitman says:

    Go to the beach, hold hands with your wife, drink some good wine and let your mind go into neutral.

  4. charlottemom says:

    I missed the offending post so do not know of the tone, content and spirit of the comment(s). I enjoy reading your blog, so I selfishly hope you will reconsider and resume posting your and guests’ POVs.

  5. BillWade says:

    Years ago I answered the phone at home when my youngest daughter was about 15, the caller said, “Hey Dude, is Mary home?”. I was flabbergasted. I told him if he really wanted to speak to my daughter, he’d have to say “Mr Dude”.
    I’m already going through withdrawal.

  6. Cieran says:

    I would take exception to anyone referring to you as “my man”.
    Since this is a committee of correspondence, you are not only “our man”, but you are “our good man”, in the middle east, in the armed forces, and in nearly all things worth discussing.
    I’d recommend taking some time off, perhaps to head up to New York to see Alfred Molina portray Mark Rothko in John Logan’s play “Red”. Or maybe write a few more chapters of your next book.
    If and when you find yourself writing here again, rest assured that your readers will enjoy and appreciate every word.

  7. reader says:

    Well col, I’ve enjoyed reading the blog, so it would be my loss, and others, if you stopped. I can understand the frustration however.

  8. Charles I says:

    Gee, the comments are open, that’s a good sign.
    I missed the post too tho I looked. Lina’s right, and apparently in Psych 101 our spouting is all about us and not about you, oh gracious host.
    As I inserted in Dr. Silverman’s last post, thanks for your patience and generosity from someone who has learned a lot about a lot of different things form a man who has and continues to do great and honourable things.
    You wrote me back the first time I ever posted here and that satisfying soupcon of web familiarity has grown to a sometimes chastened respect and affection. Sometimes expressed in jocular tones that closes whole borders. My man would be a bridge too far for me to venture, but please don’t burn it down before the rest of us on account of some no account.
    Presuming upon the fact you cared enough to inform and argue with us, I’ll just note that you’ve been an order of magnitude crankier the last 12-18 months of this wonderful conversation. Woof woof.

  9. Cloned Poster says:

    Blog fatigue, take Mr Whitman’s advice.
    Go to a beach with nubile young women wearing g-strings, and drink a crisp pinot grigio.

  10. Bob Bernard says:

    Never wrestle with a pig. You just get muddy and the pig enjoys it.

  11. walrus says:

    With the greatest of respect Col. Lang, I was noticing a rising stress level in some of your comments.
    You need a break from the likes of us.

  12. confusedponderer says:

    I’d hate to see you discontinuing the blog. Not only do I greatly appreciate your views and insights, but also the usually excellent crowd that your blog draws. I have yet to find a better one (blog & reader community).
    Cheers for you, Mr. Lang.

  13. Lysander says:

    I too, hope you will reconsider. But if not then it was fun while it lasted and thanks for putting up with us for as long as you did.
    Best of luck in all endeavors,

  14. frank durkee says:

    Since yours is one the most informative sets of observations I know, if you do close down I willl miss your thoughts very much. As well will I misss some of your commentators. hope you decide to return. Either way: Thanks.

  15. optimax says:

    As one of your willing dependents, I like that you are a man not satisfied with standard deductions. You and the commitee make me think.
    Back to taxes.

  16. Thomas says:

    An historical pertinent topic for discussion when/if you return:
    Was Pontius Pilate an effective counter-insurgent?

  17. Vanasek says:

    Col. Lang,
    Would like to add my thoughts to those posted here in saying that your comments always provoke thought and challenge teh conventinal wisdom. They will be missed for as long as you take your break. If you’re ever in New York, the beers or dinner would be on me.

  18. Ali says:

    I have been following your blog since 2006 and it has made me look at our world in ways that would never have been possible for me otherwise.
    It is the sincere hope of this faithful reader that you do not leave us.
    You have my enduring respect.

  19. Fred says:

    Col, I missed that comment as well. I would say no to the beach, it’s April in Virgina after all. I suggest a jaunt down to Appomattox, a good meal, a nice scotch and a cigar. I haven’t been able to visit in many a year, though I did make Gettysburg in June and Westmoreland County in December. (Not the best of weather for the latter.)

  20. Medicine Man says:

    Have a good break, Col. Lang.

  21. Mike Rush says:

    Col. Lang,
    I seem to recall a similar snit a few months ago that appeared to have quickly blown over. I read you daily–yours is one of the first sites I hit. I never liked it when Jack Paar used to do this kind of thing on TV.
    Come back, Shane!

  22. WP says:

    I do hope I am not one of the correspondents with whom you are fed up.
    Your blog is the first, middle, and last blog I read every day. It is an important place. A quick glance at the list of those who log on shows its world-wide significante.
    The issues deal with are hard, but your comments are highly thoughful and informed and you have some very good correspondents.
    In all, thank you for hosting this excellent blog.
    Also, I look forward to your third book!
    Good job Colonel!

  23. SubKommander Dred says:

    Some idiot insults you and you take it out on us? For someone who has been through as much as you have (Army special forces, instructor at West Point, training and experience in matters regarding the national security of the United States, among other things), it would seem to be something you would get over rather quickly. The world is full of disrespectful pricks (try working with a bunch of surgeons on a daily basis) and it seems the odd ‘my man’ is bound to come up from time to time.
    For what it’s worth, I think this blog is an island, an oasis in anocean filled with jabbering newswhores, wanking pundits and the worst sort of syncophantic… nabobs… masquerading as thoughtful news analysts. I come to this place to find out things no one I know thinks much, or cares, much about. Given the ignorance of many of our fellow Americans, coming to this blog is a refreshing respite from a cohort that could tell you the latest regarding “American Idol,” but couldn’t find Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran on a globe of the planet to save their life. If that makes me sound like a snob, that’s their tough luck. I like to think of myself as an informed citizen (not a consumer), and part of my worldview is influenced by this forum. Thank you for the good work that you do here.
    Pete Deer

  24. Jackie says:

    I’ve been following your commentary since you used to post at No Quarter. I’ve since left that “mad house” and follow you here faithfully, I think I may be a charter member of this site. I would, of course, be terribly disappointed if this was the end of the road.
    Thanks for all your work here and I hope the taxes come out OK.

  25. The Twisted Genius says:

    Mr. Lang,
    Like all members of this Committee of Correspondence, I will miss the wisdom and wit of your comments. The quality of discussion on SST stands head and shoulders above other blogs. I’m sure your moderation of comments has shielded us from the raging histrionics of many morons over the years. I thank you for creating and defending this island of digital sanity for myself and the rest of your humble readers.
    I wish you health and happiness in whatever you decide to do. I also hope that someday I run into you so that I could thank you in person for my continuing education. De oppresso liber!

  26. marcus says:

    Medical cannabis may help.

  27. John Waring says:

    I work in a manufacturing plant in eastern North Carolina. An older gentleman also works there whose grandfather (yes, grandfather) was a member of the Pee Dee wildcat brigade of the 8th North Carolina regiment and who lost a leg at Gettysburg. This older gentleman still has the ball the surgeons dug out of his grandfather’s head and the large caliber bullet that destroyed his leg. When the wagon dropped him off at his home place, minus one third his body weight, two black adult female members of the household beat his mother and sister to reach him first, wrapped him in a blanket, helped him into the house, bathed him and fed him broth. These two black women are buried in the family cemetary. I have lived in the South for thirty years, the Deep South for twenty, never had a clue, until this man began to explain it to me. He introduced to a South beyond the ken of my Pennsylvania upbringing. There are layers upon layers to the great story down here which you and I have barely begun to discuss.

  28. Sherry Long says:

    Col. Lang:
    Thank you for your blog. We have learned so much from your posts and those of your commentators, many of whose expertise obviously compliments yours.
    We are sorry that you encounter such unpleasantness from some – is there not some way that posts can be screened for you?
    We also hope that, after a break, you reconsider your decision. If not, thank you for all the time you have shared with us. Your blog is a true public service and we are much in your debt.
    Sherry and Rob

  29. Patrick Lang says:

    Mike Rush
    The snit is wearing off. I’ll take some time off and be back. pl

  30. magurakurin says:

    Dear Colonel Lang,
    Of course I will understand if you feel the need to stop maintaining this blog. But I would like to echo the feelings above and say thank you so much for all the years of analysis, perspective and comment you have provided. Your blog provided a unique and valuable take on the events of the day. Still, I understand your frustration. Internent strong men can really be an annoyance.
    Whatever you decide to do, good luck and good health.
    thanks again
    Dan McLaughlin

  31. meffie says:

    As one of your silent readers who doesn’t dare comment, but has learned a great deal from you blog and comments, I will miss my first click of the morning….So, I trust it is only au revoir.

  32. Colonel Lang,
    Your reply to Mike Rush leads me to think or hope that blog fatigue may be part of the problem. If you decide not to come back, we will all be grateful for what you have made possible here. If you do decide to come back after whatever length of rest seems indicated, we will all be very happy.
    If the high-quality corresponders remain high-quality; then perhaps the “Myman Guys” can be shrugged off after the irritation flashes and recedes.

  33. Dave5 says:

    It would a true shame to lose your insight… something that i look forward to on a daily basis.
    Still I understand your position.
    Many thanks for years of providing me with a new perspective on important issues.
    Very best regards
    David ten Have

  34. dws says:

    Col. Lang,
    I’ve been reading here since 2005. It’s been an education, so many thanks.
    Douglass Schumacher

  35. shepherd says:

    For what it’s worth (and it’s admittedly not much), this is the only blog I read.

  36. Ken Roberts says:

    “You don’t have to do something forever for it to have been worth doing.” – advice received from a friend long ago.
    “Non illigitimati carborundum” – only bit of Latin learnt until finding your site.
    Many thanks, and best wishes.

  37. 505thPIR says:

    Follow your Bliss Sir and look not backwards.
    Following mine led me to your blog and I am better for it!
    God Bless,
    Robert E. Stevenson Jr.

  38. The beaver says:

    Colonel, hope you will reconsider after a good break 🙂
    FWIW: I realise that it is frustrating to tackle the trolls who just want to create havoc on your blog but ignoring them and not publishing their comments may be a winning solution sometimes.

  39. David Habakkuk says:

    Like Jackie, I first came across your commentary on the ‘No Quarter’ site, and think I am a ‘charter member’ of this ‘Committee of Correspondence’. Like her, I would be terribly disappointed if you decided you had had enough — but then you have other concerns than to keep us old camp-followers happy!

    I think what The Twisted Genius writes is very much to the point:

    ‘I thank you for creating and defending this island of digital sanity for myself and the rest of your humble readers.’

    Since the attack on the World Trade Center — and to an extent even before then — it has frequently seemed to me as though the lunatics had taken over the asylum: both in your country and in mine.

    There was a style of politics, very familiar in inter-war Europe, in which a certain kind of intellectual or semi-intellectual, believing they had some kind of privileged understanding of the world, played a central role.

    Such figures might be termed crowdmasters, in that they were commonly extremely realistic, when it came to identifying, and manipulating, the emotions of their fellow countrymen — commonly, the darker sides of those emotions. But at the same time, the privileged understandings they claimed were almost invariably based upon ideological claptrap of one kind or another.

    The result of this paradoxical combination of sense and nonsense was that such ‘crowdmasters’ were commonly remarkably successful in achieving power — but used it to lead their fellow countrymen like lemmings over a cliff.

    In general, a better route to accurate understanding and sound policy has proved to lie in discussion between people of intelligence and at least some measure of goodwill, in which there is proper respect for knowledge and experience, but no one is entitled to have their views regarded as beyond question.

    What has made this blog so extraordinary is not simply the quality of your own commentary on the bizarre events of the past few years, but your ability to act as ‘ringmaster’ to the discussions your analyses have provoked.

    These really have been ‘multicultural’ discussions in the best sense, in that they have brought together people from different countries, cultures, and walks of life, holding very different views. If we are to make our way into a more hopeful future, precisely these kinds of exchange are indispensable.

    To see the ‘crowdmasters’ return over the past few years — and to see ideological claptrap, much of it indeed verging on the insane, repeatedly ‘crowding out’ the results of serious and sober discussion — has been alarming, to put it mildly. By virtue of your extraordinary wealth of experience and knowledge, you are particularly well-equipped to put rational arguments and make them heard.

    Whether, in so doing, maintaining this ‘island of digital sanity’ is worth the investment of time and energy on your part only you can judge. And obviously, the role of ‘ringmaster’ takes its toll, particularly as it necessarily involves dealing with ‘the raging histrionics of morons’, to use TTG’s fine phrase. What I would say however is that someone inane enough to address you as ‘my man’ really is not worth worrying about. Condescension of that kind really is the mark of a moron.

  40. hope4usa says:

    Col. Lang,
    Enjoy your time off. I hope to check back and see you here. Let me say, I love this site. I feel that so much of what is covered, is never discussed elsewhere. It makes me feel better informed without mainstream/propaganda information.
    Best of luck,
    Lois Hefferle

  41. johnf says:

    Don’t feel you always have to be posting a new thread. If you can’t think of a subject, just wait until you can.
    Your blog is highly valued.

  42. Jan Fladeboe says:

    Col Lang,
    I, and obviously others, look forward to your coming back. I read your blog daily and have sent many entries to my son, who is serving on active duty, and to colleagues. Your knowledge and experience of Middle East affairs is unexcelled and a valuable asset. Enjoy your break, read a couple of good books, and drink some good wine. We look forward to your return. (And your next book.)

  43. lacp says:

    Colonel, look on the sunny side. Your commenter could have started out,”Yo yo yo, dog.” And it would have all gone downhill from there…..

  44. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Habakkuk says it so well that I may have to reconsider Walter Bagehot’s work on the English Constitution.

  45. James Nawrocki says:

    Noli Nothis Permittere Te Terere
    (Don’t Let the Bastards wear you down).
    Best Wishes

  46. DaveGood says:

    Mr Lang.
    I’m English and hold political beliefs that (in England) would be described here slightly left of center.
    Since America’s political “Center” is way over to the right as far as the rest of the human race perceive it, you and I have clashed frequently and often.
    I’ve been banned from posting here more then once, I’ve had quite a few of my posts here removed.
    I’ve greatly pissed you off.
    Even so you have always eventually allowed me back in.
    I have never referred to you as “My Man” though.
    In my view, though I disagree with you on much, you provide a service, and a view-point your country needs.

  47. par4 says:

    Col. Please reconsider. Too many people respect your insights and opinions to close up shop because of a few stupid comments.

  48. Leanderthal says:

    Your military experience in the Middle East, with emphasis apparently in the Intelligence sector, make you, for me, perhaps the most credible source for straight up news in that part of the world; and it’s apparently the current favorite military playground for the Neocon bastards.
    Tom Engelhardt of is another of my favorite sources for non air brushed reporting.
    Without you two we’d be at the mercy of the fawning distortionists and Pentagon stenographers which are today’s main stream media.
    Glad to read your comment about the snit passing and just needing some time off.
    Thanks for who you are and what you do.

  49. Saf says:

    There’s too much to discuss, and the new great game is shaping up. You love it too much to quit just when things are getting really interesting. Not now! 5 more years, you know you can. Have a peaceful holiday. I hope you come back soon.
    Besides, you haven’t given us time to organise a proper send-off. You can’t go without a retirement party!

  50. Bobo says:

    Take your time on this sojourn as it is needed by all. Your superb efforts in managing this site providing us with stimulating thoughts and discussions has to be mentally exhausting never mind physically tiring. Yes, I know you can do it all but a little time will allow you to make this site more stimulating to all our minds so we can learn more.
    I think you need to take on an assistant in this endeavour to relieve your burdens allowing for more thought on your next topics. Your out of pockets costs have to be getting up there and should be shared by all. Granted the money aspect is a big step but maybe some money plugging topics like PBS may be an interim step. I find searchng past topics helpful especially after the news comes out, possibly an enhancement on that part of the site would help.
    Sorry for my ramblings as it is the best blog I know. Enjoy your time and hope to see you online soon.
    All the Best

  51. Patrick Lang says:

    I would like to find a formula that would allow me to hire an assistant and/or stop doing other things(literature excepted).
    I don’t know what that would be.
    I will start up again 1 May. There are obvious subjects crying out for comment. Comment on my pause has all been in favor of a resumption. I interpret that to mean that there is contentment in some quarters with my silence.
    The vote in the Congress on letters excoriating Obama for his lack of a kowtow to Natanyahu is incredible. Likewise CNN’s prostration tonight on “The Situation Room” in adoration of Israel was most impressive. pl

  52. confusedponderer says:

    Mr. Habbakuk,

    What has made this blog so extraordinary is not simply the quality of your own commentary on the bizarre events of the past few years, but your ability to act as ‘ringmaster’ to the discussions your analyses have provoked.

    Mr. Lang’s as this blog’s ‘alpha and omega’ aside – a part of what has made this blog so extraordinary to me are your own comments, and off the top of my head those of Clifford Kiracofe, Adam L Silverman, walrus, Neil Richardson and others. As I said, Mr. Lang draws a formidable crowd. This blog is a place where one can learn a lot.

  53. Jackie says:

    Your comment to Bobo is why I hope you will be back soon. Especially your last paragraph.
    I thought of this place earlier today when I heard “settlers” had ripped out 300 olive trees, sets cars on fire and sprayed graffiti in Hebrew.
    Meanwhile, it is time for us U.S. readers and commenters to contact our reps and sens to stop supporting a foreign government over our own.

  54. Mary says:

    Curses to whoever said “my man”!!!
    Here’s an under-the-radar case of a dual US/Israeli citizen, a contract lawyer/linguist for the FBI, convicted in federal court in Maryland of a felony for disclosing US national security secrets. He ‘s getting 20 months in prison. He argued successfully against being disbarred in New York because it wasn’t the right kind of felony to disbar him for. Uh huh.

  55. Jane says:

    Silence does not imply approval of your absence. I’ve wanted to note how much our opinions differ and at the same time to indicate how much I value watching you articulate your principles and test them against the facts.

  56. isl says:

    As a dedicated follower of SST, I hope you will return and provide your special guidance. Always grateful, I have often wondered why you put the effort into this Committee of Correspondence. Reading SST including your responses has provided for me the opportunity to be in a “class” that challenges, a rigorous discussion group where ideas are considered and tested, and a community. Upon your hoped for return, curiosity means I would love to hear your motivation (passion) for the SST community you have created.
    PS My wife who is a teacher loves teaching except when there is a problem student, when she tries and remember than the vast majority of her students are extremely grateful for her input. Bad apples and all that.

  57. Got A Watch says:

    Col., you say the things that need saying out loud. It is thankless work for the most part, more likely to bring you grief than accolades.
    Whatever you decide, thank you for all your effort. Your Blog is one of the few islands of sanity in an insane world.
    I would suggest picking a couple moderators from among the regular readers who can review the comments for you. Objectionable comments could be held for your review when you have time (no rush there). There are several level headed enough to do the job well I am sure. It might not be a perfect system, (what is?) but it would be less burdensome on you.
    This would free you up to write novels or whatever pursuit suits your fancy. You have several good guest posters who could be encouraged to post more often, so you would not have to post yourself as often.
    God bless.

  58. At The Virginia Capes says:

    Colonel –
    Take some time to yourself. With the work you’ve done to enlighten us, you deserve a break.
    There’s always a spot on the beach near the mouth of the Chesapeake for you, and a walk through First Landing State Park always helps clear and refresh the mind.

  59. Annie says:

    Perhaps you could invite an intern/graduate student to help you with moderating the blog?
    We would truly miss your insights should you decide to pack it in. SST is my first click of the day, invariably! Thanks for all you have done to raise the level of discussion…

  60. DaveGood says:

    Just a thought,
    I follow a number of blogs, ( on a variety of subjects, (Military, foreign Policy, Economics, etc) who post once a week and never respond to those who pile in afterwards.
    Mr Pat Lang might consider doing something similar, supplemented with other contributors ( such as Habbukak) on specific days.
    It would allow Pat Lang a full week to digest, then comment, on a weeks information.
    We would all benefit from that and Mr Lang would have a full week to assemble his thoughts rather then continually respond on the fly.
    If Mr Lang then builds up a team of six other knowledgeable people whose opinions and mindset he trusts, willing to contribute one article a week…..Mr Lang will have website that will cost as much to maintain as does now, but requires far less input from him personally.
    And who knows, it might be more interesting then we find it now, and I check in here several times a day.
    PS… I refer to Mr Lang as such because he once said that was his preference. My instinct is still to refer to him as Colonel.

  61. DaveGood says:

    This is a PS…..
    Dear Pat, pick, say, ten to twelve potential contributors to provide the “leading article” for your daily post, , ensure some of them are people you are going to disagree with…. so that you can come in and explain why. we’d all enjoy that. It would give you an advantage, but those involved would know that and do what they can to negate it.
    You’d have to allow such people a garunteed slot to post though.
    If it ever became clear that you were blocking people because, after reviewing what they had to say, you did not have a convincing riposte…..
    You are stuffed.

  62. Nightsticker says:

    Colonel Lang,
    Glad you reconsidered.
    A little R&R is always good.
    See you in May.
    USMC 65-72
    FBI 72-96

  63. Lee Gardner says:

    Dear Mr. Lang, I have followed your website for a few years and would sorely miss it’s loss. It would be presumptuous to say I have affection for you as I don’t really know you but I would rather you do what brings you peace and I will continue my education seeking other people who have first person knowledge about the topics you’ve raised. Be well.-LeeG

  64. Malik says:

    You ran off the rails a long time ago.

  65. David Habakkuk says:


    Thanks for those kind words.

    I have long thought your choice of internet pseudonym a peculiarly apposite description of a sane person should feel in these strange times.

    One consequence of discussions on this blog involving yourself and Clifford Kiracofe — as well as a suggestion by another contact made through it — is that I have sitting on my desk a copy of Carl Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political.

    So far I have only read the Foreword, by Tracy B. Strong. But I was struck by its conclusion:

    “The eloquent two closing paragraphs of Schmitt’s Barcelona article are in effect a call for the West to be equal to the need for this renewed conflict and to oppose the forces of Communism. One can only imagine what he might say in the present age as the United States calls, in more or less explicitly theological terms, for a conflict between the West and ‘radical Islam.'”

    I could not help thinking back to the long rearguard action fought by the diplomats of the German Moscow Embassy — in particular its head, the veteran diplomat Friedrich Werner, Count von der Schulenberg — to persuade Hitler that a resort to all-out war was not a very bright way of handling Stalin’s Russia.

    A vivid account of Schulenberg’s diplomacy comes in the memoir by the long-serving embassy counselor, Gustav Hilger, published in English in 1953 under the title ‘The Incompatible Allies’.

    Interestingly, the collaborator whom Hilger selected for the version, the Sovietologist Alfred G. Meyer, had escaped from Germany shortly before the war. Both his parents had died in the Holocaust, and his brother survived ten months in Auschwitz.

    One can certainly only imagine what Schulenberg might say, confronted by the ‘war on Terror’. But particularly as his vast diplomatic and military experience included extensive service in the Islamic world, I do not think that he would have been greatly impressed by people who lumped Hamas, Hizballah, al Qaeda and Ahmadinejad together as ‘radical Islam’ — any more than he was by those who could not tell the difference between Stalin and Trotsky.

  66. Patrick Lang says:

    Which rails are you thinking of? pl

  67. sd nadh says:

    If you’re not on the internets any more than I won’t use them.

  68. Jackie says:

    sd nadh,
    Is that some kind of dramatic internets suicide threat? Interesting.

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