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Michael J. Totten
Occupation Journalist, Blogger
Nationality American
Subjects Middle Eastern Politics
Official website

Michael J. Totten is a 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.



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 made trips to Azerbaijan, Israel and Lebanon, paid for by the Government of Azerbaijan, the American Jewish Committee and a Lebanese pro-government (March 14) lobby, respectively.[1][2]

Totten's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,[3], City Journal, the New York Daily News[4], The Jerusalem Post, the Daily Star of Lebanon, Reason magazine, Commentary[5], LA Weekly, Front Page, Tech Central Station, and the Australian edition of Newsweek.

Totten won the 2007 Weblog Award for Best Middle East or Africa Blog,[6] 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."[7]. He has supported the Iraq War, stating during the run-up that "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."[8]. 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.[9]

Totten is currently working on a book about his reporting.[10]


Media embed with U.S. military

In late July 2007, Totten traveled to Baghdad to embed with several U.S. Army units before transitioning to Anbar province and embedding with Marines.[11] In late 2007 he embedded with Marines in Fallujah, and he embedded again with the Army in Baghdad in late 2008.


  1. ^ "On my way to Israel"
  2. ^ The Explosive Caucasus
  3. ^ Book review by Michael Totten of Mirror of the Arab World: Lebanon in Conflict by Sandra Mackey, The New York Times, [[March 30]2008
  4. ^ "Frontline Lessons from the Iraq Surge", Michael Totten, New York Daily News, August 29, 2007
  5. ^ "The Worst since 9/11", Michael J. Totten, Commentary, August 22, 2007
  6. ^ "The 2007 Weblog Award Winners", Kevin Aylward, November 9, 2007
  7. ^ "Quick Poll",; see comment timestamped "January 7, 2008 1:25 AM"
  8. ^ "A Liberal's Case for Bush's War"
  9. ^ The Real Iraq. By Michael Totten. City Journal. Published May 16, 2008. Accessed August 3, 2009.
  10. ^ "How to Get Your Name in My Book"
  11. ^ "Iraq Trip Confirmed",, July 5, 2007

External links


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