March 21, 2011
The Identity of 'Cynic' Unveiled

Longtime commenter and former guest blogger for The Atlantic’s Ta-Nahesi Coates, known only as “Cynic” up until now, has revealed his identity and begins his new position as an Atlantic correspondent with “The Third Barbary War”:

Pundits have, in recent days, sought to explain our latest war by analogy, debating whether Libya most closely resembles Iraq and Afghanistan, Darfur, Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, the Ivory Coast, or none of the above. Others have reached back to earlier fights on the shores of Tripoli. In the First and Second Barbary Wars, waged intermittently from 1801 until 1815, we defended our commerce, our citizens, and our national pride. But in the run up to this, our Third Barbary War, the case for intervention was mounted most enthusiastically by Britain and France, and couched in terms of universal human rights. So if we must have a historical analogy, the most appropriate precedent may be the Anglo-Dutch expedition of 1816, when a European armada employed overwhelming firepower to achieve humanitarian aims.

Read the rest of the post (and learn Cynic’s true identity) here. Ta-Nahesi comments here.

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