Saturday, January 13, 2007

Breaking News: Michael Ledeen Is Dead

Exclusive: Must credit Jon Swift
According to a confidential source, Michael Ledeen, Pajamas Media's supreme pundit, is dead. Apparently he was not well for some time. I have not been able to get any independent confirmation of what my source is telling me, but I have decided to go ahead with this story anyway because, after all, that is what Ledeen would have wanted me to do.

Sadly, Ledeen did not live to see his greatest scoop vindicated: his report that the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was dead. Or if he hadn't actually died, was dying. If not right at the moment, then eventually. Iran denied the report, dismissing it as "Internet rumors," and even Michelle Malkin, who is a bit of a stickler for verifying rumors before she prints them, said, "This is either going to be a two-ton feather in Pajamas's cap or a major embarrassment." Even after pictures surfaced of Khamenei (which may have been of an imposter! Or Photoshopped!) making an appearance in public, Ledeen stuck to his guns. His last post on January 10 reported the death of Carlo Ponti, who is, in fact, dead.

Despite his untimely death, Michael Ledeen will continue to live on through the influence his ideas will have on American foreign policy for years to come. Ledeen often advised and Karl Rove on foreign policy and Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were among his admirers. If it is true that we have declared double-secret war on Iran, you can thank Ledeen, who was a tireless advocate for regime change Iran. Ledeen is a longtime expert on Iran whose expertise on the country goes back to his stint as an advisor to Robert MacFarlane in the Reagan Administration when he helped negotiate the deal that would later be known as Iran-Contra, just one the many successful foreign policy initiatives Ledeen was involved in. In fact, Ledeen was more than a pundit, which elicited grudging admiration even from critics like Matthew Yglesias, who wrote after his name surfaced in relation to the forged documents about yellowcake from Niger (which he denied any involvement with), "I used to find Ledeen's habit of popping up in these contexts to be a bit shady. Nowadays, I think it's sort of admirable. My life as a trained professional political pundit is pretty dull. Lots of time looking at computer screens and the occassional conversation. My other friends in this game are all the same way. But Ledeen does wet work! It's just so cool and makes me look pretty lame by comparison."

But our upcoming (or ongoing) war with Iran is not the only legacy Ledeen leaves behind. Ledeen warned in 2003 that France and Germany may have made an alliance with Islamic terrorists to bring down the United States. "They dreaded the establishment of an American empire, and they sought for a way to bring it down," he wrote. "So the French and the Germans struck a deal with radical Islam and with radical Arabs: You go after the United States, and we'll do everything we can to protect you, and we will do everything we can to weaken the Americans." Eventually, it looks like we may have to go after our "allies," Ledeen said: "If this is correct, we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe." When we invade France and Germany, we'll have Ledeen to thank. I think we can all sleep better at night knowing that he was giving this kind of advice to the Bush Administration.

There is no question Ledeen's foreign policy advice will be greatly missed. Ledeen supplied the principal rationale for going to war with Iraq, which his friend Jonah Goldberg called the "Ledeen Doctrine." According to Goldberg, Ledeen once said, "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." Although he modestly claimed later to have nothing to do with the decision to invade Iraq, and, in fact, told Vanity Fair, "I opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place," it was typical of the man not to seek out credit for his ideas. Some critics would go so far as to accuse Ledeen of lying about his support for the war, but they just didn't understand the subtle, sophisticated way he had of expressing himself. For example, when he told an interviewer that we should invade Iraq "yesterday," what he was actually saying was that we shouldn't invade Iraq because everyone knows it would be impossible to do something yesterday unless you had a time machine. And just because he criticized those who opposed the war, it doesn't mean he supported the war. He was highly critical, for example, of Brent Scowcroft who said that, "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a caldron and destroy the War on Terror." To Ledeen, that was a good thing. "One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today," Ledeen wrote.

Ledeen claimed that he actually wanted to go after Iran before we went after Iraq. But even if he did believe that Iraq was the wrong crappy country to throw against the wall at the wrong time, as he now claims, he predicted that the American people would welcome the War in Iraq with flowers, no matter how many people were killed. "I think the level of casualties is secondary," he said. "I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war.... What we hate is not casualties but losing." If it is true that the American people love war, then Ledeen may have been the most American person of all.

Ledeen's unique perspective grew out of his interest in Italian fascism, which he studied while earning a PhD. at the University of Wisconsin and then in Rome, where he went after being rejected for tenure at the Washington University in St. Louis. (Faculty members said he was rejected for plagiarism and the "quality of his scholarship" but it was no doubt in reality because of his iconoclastic conservative views.) Ledeen believed that despite the bad name Mussolini gave to fascism, there were plenty of good fascist ideas that were worth salvaging. His theory of "Creative Destruction," which holds that sweeping away the old order through violence is the only way for society to progress, was one of the black-shirted babies Ledeen saved from Mussolini's bathwater. "Change -- above all violent change -- is the essence of human history," he wrote in his book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership. Ledeen's many protégés in the Bush Administration who subscribed to his ideas about "creative destruction" would no doubt be surprised to learn that American foreign policy of the last few years owes a tip of the hat to ol' Benito Mussolini.

To know Ledeen was to love him. He leaves behind a beautiful family who will continue his important work: his wife Barbara, a former aide to Sen. Rick Santorum; his daughter Simone who nabbed a job working for the Civilian Provisional Authority in Iraq and did such a bang-up job getting the Iraq economy on its feet by driving around bags of cash in the trunk of her car; and his sons Gabriel, a Marine, who spent a lot of time drinking designer coffee in Iraq, and Daniel, a student at Rice University, who once asked Michael Moore how he felt about Hezbollah distributing his film Fahrenheit 9/11, but was unfairly cut off before he could ask his follow-up question, "When did you stop beating your wife?" Let us remember them all in our prayers.

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BenMerc said...

He was such a lovable neo-con, after all, he was enamored with Italian Fascism...the kinder, gentler type... amore'!! (p.s.: don't forget to tell wikipedia)

Henry Nixon said...

You fail to address the real issue: Who murdered Michael Ledeen? It is not an accident or coincidence that such a great man should die at such a crucial time. Ledeen perished during the same week when President Bush informed the electorate that he was invading Iraq again. Surely the truth must come out.

outofcontext said...

It is so unfair. You have just introduced me to the fruitful and fascinating mind of Mr. Ledeen and he is snatched away. Why is it the good must reportedly die so young? I'm with nixon on this one, something is rotten here. Has anyone checked for marks on the walls of the room in which he died?

Jeff Fecke said...

This is either going to be a two-ton feather in Jon Swift's cap or a major embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

This is either going to be a two-ton feather in Jon Swift's cap or a major embarrassment.

It's true. Confirmation here.

Jim said...

Ding dong, the twit is dead.

"Every ten years or so, the Lord needs to pick up some small crappy little pundit and throw him against the wall, just to show the world I mean business."


thingwarbler said...

No, really, it *must* be true -- others are writing about it, too: see e.g. tbogg. If a link that links to itself is good enough as proof for the PJ boys who are we to disregard it? It's how the Mighty Wurlitzer works.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Blessings and may he rest in Peace. Thanks Jon.

Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."!

Anonymous said...

Where do I buy your book? Damn this blogosphere! What good is it anyway if it hasn't produced another Mike Royko or at least collections of the best blogs posts over the years?

David Ehrenstein said...


Anonymous said...

sybyzvcReports are saying that he was crushed when a two ton feather fell on the cap he was wearing.

Petey said...

Kudos. Spot on perfect.

Davis X. Machina said...

I am able to announce that Jon Swift's source on the Ledeen story is Isaac Bickerstaff.

N-tell said...

Fear not, for we can expect Michael to live on through the good works of his progeny, including young Daniel, the environmentalist.

benjoya said...

i thuoght ledeen died while saving his buddies durisng the tet offensive.

Anonymous said...

Until proven otherwise, we must presume he died of unnatural casus.

Kitt said...

Michael who?

How quickly the most heroic ones are forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear!

How I now fear for Simone Ledeen. To go from cooking school to Iraq, courtesy of Daddy.

How, prey tell, will dearest Simone ever find employment?

John P. Normanson requires Daddy, Norm, and Mum, Midgy. Jonah Goldberg works (and married) only because of mother Lucianne.

How will Simone ever survive at her usual Paris Hilton-like levels of comfort?

This calls for immediate action by the White House.

pseudonymous in NC said...

Let's note that anyone claiming to be Michael Ledeen is a fraud and an imposter, making a sickening impersonation of a dead man. As Davis X. notes, the Hon. Isaac Bickerstaff is the only reliable source of information on Ledeen's death and the funerary ceremonials.

KH said...

Thanks for this topical bit from Goldberg 2002:

[I]f Osama bin Laden's own words are to be believed — Muslim ideologues were incapable of believing that the United States' motives were altruistic: as if we were keen on making Somalia, which measures per capita income in fractions of a goat, the 51st state of America, or maybe a U.S. territory like the Virgin Islands. Stop laughing. I'm serious.

N-tell said...

Who killed Michael Ledeen? Top suspects:
* James Jesus Angleton, tired of Michael calling him on that D#@!m ouija board and wanting to speak face-to-face.
* The world-wide Soviet terror conspiracy, still sore about Michael for ratting them out.
* Former CIA Head Soviet Analyst Melvin Goodman, jealous of Michael's keen intellect and knack for always getting it right.
* Michael wasn't murdered at all, but accidently crushed to death by a crowd of exburant Iranian exiles trying to show their appreciation to Michael for trying to save us from the Mullahs.

Anonymous said...

National Review Online remained dormant for more than 17 hours from Saturday, Jan. 13 until after noon Sunday, Jan. 14. The inactivity on the part of NRO clearly indicated Mr. Ledeen's unfortunate passing.

Sources inside NRO World Headquarters, who declined to be named, said the absence of any and all commentary during this period of time indicated that Bill Buckley's Neoconservatives had:

1. Chosen to honor Mr. Ledeen's long and storied career of fiction in an appropriate manner;

2. Set aside time to allow Mr. Ledeen's family to contact the P2 masonic lodge in Italy to arrange appropriate funeral services for Mr. Ledeen and adequate financial compensation for his wife and children;

3. Escalated into internal physical violence within the NRO offices as John P. Normanson and Jonah Goldberg traded blows over who would assume Mr. Ledeen's place on the NRO mantle. Finally, Kathryn Jean Lopez grabbed her purse and bag of twinkies and beat both Mr. Normanson and Mr. Goldberg into unconsciousness.

Sources tell me that Ramesh Ponnuru, the personal attack puppy of Kate O'Beirne, is working to compose Mr. Ledeen's obituary and that the White House will order all flags lowered nationwide in honor of Mr. Ledeen.

Anonymous said...

I bet you dirty smelly hippie lefties, in your sad little fantasy world, really wish a great man like Michael Leeden WAS dead!!!

I can say this with confidence because, as a dirty smelly hippie lefty myself, my heart jumped with glee at the thought of a dead Michael Leeden, before realizing this was merely satire :(

Anonymous said...

God, this is pretty funny!

Amazing that Ledeen's death took place on the same day that Shiites and Sunnis signed a peace accord, Iranian youth overthrew the clerics, Al Qaedists in Somalia handed themselves in to American special forces, Syria called for democratic elections, Hezbollah handed in all their weapons to Lebanon's army or the Israelis and promised nonviolent confrontation, and Pakistan rousted Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri out of their cave. Wow--one death, so many consequences. I guess we can just thank George Bush and be done with it!

Anonymous said...

Davis X Machina,

I decry your scurrilous accusations of plagiarism against Jon Swift. You leap upon the utter coincidence of the similarity of names to Johnathan Swift, and a broad similarity to that author's campaign against the unfortunate Mr. Partridge in the Bickerstaff Papers. But you take up arms against Abraham Cowley, who wrote of Swift, that:

"To steal a line was never known,
But all he wrote was all his own."

There's no arguing with Cowley, who actually is dead.

Dick Durata said...

Cutting edge journalism!

Anonymous said...

See ya', wouldn't want to be ya.
Better you than me.
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
etc :)

walter said...

if my memory serves me correct Reagan's emmisaries to Iran during Iran-Contra presented the Iranians a cake in the shape of a huge penis. It was an exact copy of Mike Ledeen

Newport 9 said...

Further confirmation: this

diary at Daily Kos also reports on Ledeen's death.

Anonymous said...

Who's up for snappin' his head off? C'mon! It'll be fun! Afterward we'll put his carcass on a slab to be broadcast on Al Jazeera (does he have a brother we can kill and desecrate along side of him?) It may ease tensions in the Middle East. Who knows? Just alot of known unknowns, and unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns, and .. We're all going to hell aren't we?

Anonymous said...

neocon warmonger won't be missed

Mark said...

While details are still emerging, it appears that mention of Michelle Malkin in this item was prescient indeed - as she is also dead. While we are still awaiting confirmation, it appears that Mr. Ledeen and Ms. Malkin were crossing the street from the kosher restaurant where they had had dinner, and Mary Cheney struck them with her Hummer as she was on the way to a friend's lesbian wedding. Initial reports speculate Ms. Cheney was drunk. This tragedy continues to widen. What a sad day for neoconservatism.

Dr. Strangelove said...

John, my sources deep within the bowels of the Iraqi government tell me that Michael Ledeen was in fact present at Saddam Hussein's execution. He was one of the masked hangmen who wrapped the noose around Saddam's neck.

My sources further tell me that after Saddam was hanged everyone broke out in a fit of breakdancing. In an unfortunate and tragic accident, Mr. Ledeen, while dancing with joy, accidentally fell through the hole in the gallows platform and plummeted to his death. The whole incident was captured on cell phone video by Iraq's national security advisor Dr. al-Rubaie.

Later, while still shocked from losing such a hero of the Iraqi people, the freedom-loving Iraqis showed their gratitude to Mr. Ledeen by showering his body with flowers and candy.

Mark said...

I guess I should have been more suspicious of the lying media, and been able to anticipate that they would cover up the true nature of Mr. Ledeen's death with that pedestrian ho-hum story about Mary Cheney running him over. Mary Cheney really is a lesbian, though. That's what threw me. Seeding bogus stories with sprinkles of truth is de rigueur for those lying liberal media whores.

Mark Williams said...

You watch Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to get an objective look at the news? I bet you call yourself a conservative too.

Anonymous said...

It's all true!

I played The Young Conservatives Blackberry Posts Forever backwards, and towards the end of it, Meyrav Wurmser can be heard clearly repeating the words "I buried Mike", along with "I buried Saddam" and, arguably, "...go f**k yourself.."

I listen to most of my LPs backwards. Got a problem with that?

Richard said...

There is so much to cry about in this world. I do so love it when a blogger can make me laugh. Not just a titter or a chuckle...but a good old-fashioned belly laugh. Thanks for making my day.

And Michael, to quote an old Jewish curse usually reserved for the Hitlers, Hamans & Amaleks of the world: "May your memory be erased."

Xanthippas said...

Later, while still shocked from losing such a hero of the Iraqi people, the freedom-loving Iraqis showed their gratitude to Mr. Ledeen by showering his body with flowers and candy.

I rep you Strangelove.

nikto said...

Ledeen can't be dead.

Satan hasn't called him home yet.

First Time Reader said...

Reading the article linked to Simone Ledeen, I'd say that 2004 piece just about sums up the situation in Iraqi even today. Nice!

Anonymous said...

anyone have a ouija board ??

Anonymous said...

Here Thurber!! Good boy!!

You know that dog was darn disloyal
it never alerted Mikey when the demons came to have cosy fireside chats with its master.
Ledeen thought he was having a cosy fireside chat with G-d ..Really!
and no one could tell him otherwise.. we tried but he just strode off in a huff.

Anonymous said...

Not to speak poorly of the dead, but there are few people more deserving of death than this choad-faced ass hat.

If only he would contract incurable TB and spread it around his neo-con buddies.

Now THAT would be justice.

Nick said...

We owe the later Mr M.L. a debt of gratitude for (probably) inventing the term "reality-based community".

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PH said...

It is sad when anyone passes, my condolences to his family

Phentermine said...

I do not think it was a conspiracy