|Michael J. Totten|
|Subjects||Middle Eastern Politics|
Michael J. Totten is an American journalist who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. His work appears in various publications, Web sites, and on his blog. His first book, The Road to Fatima Gate, was published in 2011 and was awarded the Washington Institute Silver Book Prize. In his blog, he also describes himself as an "independent journalist", while regularly exposing his thoughts in articles which often focus on Middle East conflicts. He supported the Iraq War, and generally expresses pro-Israeli views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Totten's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, City Journal, the New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, the Daily Star of Lebanon, Reason magazine, Commentary, LA Weekly, Front Page, Tech Central Station, and the Australian edition of Newsweek.
In July 2007, Totten traveled to Baghdad to embed with several U.S. Army units before transitioning to Anbar province and embedding with Marines. In late 2007 he embedded with Marines in Fallujah, and he embedded again with the Army in Baghdad in late 2008.
Totten won the 2007 Weblog Award for Best Middle East or Africa Blog, he won it again in 2008, and was named Blogger of the Year in 2006 by The Week magazine for his dispatches from the Middle East.
Totten has described himself as a "weird combination of liberal, libertarian, and neocon." He has supported the Iraq War, stating during the run-up, "If you don’t join us now, when Saddam’s regime falls and Iraqis cheer the US Marines, you are really going to feel like a jackass. And your jackassery will be exposed beneath klieg lights for all to see." However, he believed that the critics of the war who noted the lack of progress from 2004 to 2006 were correct while the Bush administration was wrong. He supported the 2007 'surge' strategy.
On June 23, 2010, Totten applauded Barack Obama's decision to accept General Stanley McChrystal's resignation, and Totten labeled it "one of the best decisions the president has made since he took office."
Totten describes himself as an "independent journalist." Most of his trips—to Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Georgia, and several other places—are paid for out of his own pocket, although he has also accepted funding from the Government of Azerbaijan, the American Jewish Committee and the Lebanese pro-western March 14 alliance for trips to Azerbaijan, Israel and Lebanon, respectively.
Totten's first book, The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel (Encounter Books, April 2011, ISBN 978-1-59403-521-0), reports his experiences in the Middle East, primarily Lebanon.
- Book review by Michael Totten of Mirror of the Arab World: Lebanon in Conflict by Sandra Mackey, The New York Times, March 30, 2008
- "Frontline Lessons from the Iraq Surge", Michael Totten, New York Daily News, August 29, 2007
- "The Worst since 9/11", Michael J. Totten, Commentary, August 22, 2007
- "Iraq Trip Confirmed", Michael J. Totten.com, July 5, 2007
- "The 2007 Weblog Award Winners", Kevin Aylward, November 9, 2007
- "Quick Poll", Michael J. Totten, January 2008; see comment timestamped "January 7, 2008 1:25 AM"
- "A Liberal's Case for Bush's War" Frontpagemag.com
- The Real Iraq, Michael J. Totten, City Journal, May 16, 2008
- Good Call, Mr. President, Michael J Totten, June 2010
- "On my way to Israel", Michael J. Totten, January 2009
- The Explosive Caucasus, Michael J. Totten, August 2008
- Hope for Iraq's Meanest City City Journal, Spring 2008
- Interview at National Review Online, February 2006
- Review of The Road to Fatima Gate by Sol Stern, City Journal, Spring 2011
- Uncommon Knowledge: Michael Totten—The Road to Fatima Gate Peter Robinson interviews Totten, May 2011