THIS IS HOW IT’S DONE, FOLKS: James Lileks politely Fisks John LeCarre to within an inch of his life. Excerpt:

I’m pretty sure Stephen King is skeptical about the war, for example. I know his politics. But he hasn’t made the leap so common to others in the scribbling, warbling and gesturing arts – he doesn’t think we’re all dying to hear his prescriptions for Middle East foreign policy. Oh, interview him on the matter and he might pop off, but I can’t imagine him sitting down, firing up a Winston Light, and telling himself that this 1200 word essay will change the world, because people will think: hey, it’s Steven KING talking! He wrote “The Stand,” and his fictional account of the repercussions of biological weapons programs gives him a unique perspective. Let’s lend an ear!

But he’s just warming up at that point. Read the whole thing, especially the “ecology” discussion. And the statistics on Afghanistan. And — oh hell, just read the whole thing. It’s Lileks. You won’t mind.