Tuesday, April 22, 2008

# Posted 7:52 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OXBLOG MEGA-SUPER-UPDATE SPECTACULAR: It's hard to live up to a headline like that, but I think I've got a pretty decent story to tell. I've mentioned in passing that I've been travelling abroad for the past few months. Well, that was a euphemism. I was in Iraq, working as an analyst for the Coalition's counter-IED task force.

That wasn't a secret per se, but I was instructed not to blog about my job until I got home from Iraq. When people ask what exactly I was doing in Iraq, I like to say that if I told them I'd have to kill them. Sadly, that just isn't true. I won't go into it right now, but the broad contours of my work had to do with some pretty general questions about the insurgency that lots of people are asking.

I got home from Iraq three weeks ago. Forty-eight hours later, I started working as a full-time volunteer on the foreign policy and national security staff for McCain 2008. I've taken a leave of absence from day job so that I can work a lot more hours for a lot less pay. (Just more proof that I'm an irrational, impractical, delusional ideologue.)

Now let me toss out my third hand grenade: I'm getting married. I proposed to Susanna six days after coming home from Iraq. We hope to get married some time in the spring of 2009. I don't recall off-hand if I ever mentioned Susanna by name on OxBlog. I've generally tried to separate my personal life from my blogging. But this is just too big and too exciting (at least for me).

So, lots of big changes in my life, none of them conducive to frequent blogging. (Some of you may be quite thankful for that.) In Iraq, I could blog, but I was almost always too tired after work. Now I'm too tired and I can't go around expressing political opinions because being part of a campaign means having some discipline. I hope I can work something out where I can blog as part of the campaign, but that's up in the air for the moment.

Now to close on another random note. I'm writing this post sitting next to a window with a panoramic view of downtown Seoul. I made a commitment almost six months ago to do several days of research in South Korea. From the little I've seen, Seoul is an amazing city and I hope to come back when I have time to enjoy it.

To say the least, my life isn't boring these days.
(17) opinions -- Add your opinion

1. Counter IED task force: Good for you! Thanks!
2. McCain:Do a good job. Get things right. Thanks!
3. Accepted proposal: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Welcome back (okay, sorta' back).


Thanks (as a McCain supporter when he was in 5% support);


Life is very good, no?
Welcome home. You and I must have come back about the same time. It's good to be back, no?
Thank you for your service & for helping to protect our guys & gals - they deserve nothing less.

Congrats on your engagement.
Welcome...well not home, but at least outside the sandbox.

What I'll be interested to hear when you get a chance to write (in your copious spare time) is what sorts of strategies work against IEDs and what doesn't.

At least as much as you can tell us without having to kill us.
Welcome home, sir. Thank you, good luck, and congratulations!
Well this is a surprise. My respect for this blog just went up considerably. What next? Is Josh coming back?
Thank you for your service.
Welcome Home.
It would be fascinating to learn what sort of analysis was applied to the IED problem, what was learned, and what was achieved. It would also be extremely valuable to the terrorists. Write about it in ten years or so.

(If then. Gordon Welchman was one of the wizards who broke Enigma in WW II. When he wrote his memoir of that work in 1978, the NSA and GCHQ tried to suppress the book, because some of the lessons were still very relevant.)

In any case, thanks for your work. I'm sure you got paid well. (I bet that's why you can afford to be an unpaid volunteer full-time.)

Also: Go McCain! (Not my 1st choice, but he will do.)

And congratulations on the engagement.
Just adding my thanks and congrats to those above.
Welcome home, David. Thanks forthegood work you did in Iraq. Congratulations also on your engagement!!!!
BTW, did you get the opportunity to try your shotokan Karate to kick some Jihadi's a**? :)
Best of luck,abd GO McCain!!!!

-the guy you know from Ann Arbor.
You're going to be married in 2009. Best wishes to you both.

However, I often run through the following exchange from Li'l Abner (the movie)

"How long does this engagement last?"

"Sometimes, as long as a month."

"A whole month?! What are they? Insecure?"
Secured Loans UK are available online and perhaps it is the best platform to go for any loan even.
Congratulations, David and best wishes. I hadn't been reading for a while as I stopped reading with this post.
Congrats and Congrats

We've had Oxblog on our blogroll for a few years now at Iraqi Bloggers Central. I read with interest your previous blog entries on Nir Rosen, and I was wondering if your paths crossed at all while you were in Iraq. I have written three pieces on Nir Rosen, one of which uses your blog entries on Nir as source material.

The Education of Nir Rosen.

Iraqis outside both the Red and Green Zones.

Nir Rosen's "Fistful of Dollars."

This last blog entry is a review of Nir's Rolling Stone article, the reporting for which he conducted about the same time that you were in Iraq. It would be interesting to hear any comments you may have on the veracity of both his reporting and interpretation on events on the ground there.

Forty-eight hours later, I started working as a full-time volunteer on the foreign policy and national security staff for McCain 2008.

Gee I hope that you weren't the one who encouraged the campaign to choose the likes of Charles Black, the Mobutu, Marcos and other dictators flack.
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