Monday, March 31, 2003
Charles Johnson, with his recent coverage of a Columbia assistant professor's idiocy and The New York Daily News' "special investigation of the textbooks used in New York’s Islamic schools," has shown himself to be a devoted follower of events in that fair city, as well as a consumer of its media. A longstanding chronicler of the presumed nexus of violence and Islam, I'm sure he will give direct attention to the arrest of a man, traumatized by September 11 in a manner much like Johnson himself, turned "patriotic assassin."
Sunday, March 30, 2003
More Patriotic War Posters!
And furthering the warblogger-mullet connection:
Ah-hah! So two can play at that "So Let's-Take-The-Silliest-Looking-Person-Of-Your-Entire-Point-Of-View-To-Embarass-The-Rest-Of-You" game!
(pic by way of gordon coale by way of dratfink)
US Soldiers in Iraq Asked to Pray For Bush
Dear God, please help George Bush in his holy quest to get more oil. I know that I am doing everything I can, including leaving my family behind possibly forever, facing death, hunger, sand storms and more, killing enemy soldiers and occasionally the civilian, too (I don't intend to! Honest to God, but combat is confusing, Lord, and can rouse the inner demon that is hard to control!) . . . I don't know how much more I can sacrifice for Bush, Lord, but if you give me a hint, I will certainly try. And just because the Republican-led House last week voted to cut veterans health care and benefits programs by nearly 25 billion over the next ten years, I know that doesn't mean that Bush doesn't love me, really I don't. He does--he just wants me to work harder for my health care, that's all. Maybe I can take a second a job at Kwiki-Mart when I get back in order to get me back some of them benefits and health care! Thank you Bush for making me be such a hard workin' honest man! Now, I'm gonna get back to the front lines now to help you secure your oil fields, sir, because I know you deserve them! And I know if you had another chance to be in the military and not go AWOL again, you'd do it, mister Commander-In-Chief! Ok, back to God: thank you God for another day. Thank you for having the Supreme Court install brave Bush into the White House and send us out here on this mission from you--I know the Pope is full of it, haw haw--You're talking to Bush, not the man with the funny hat, aintcha?? God Bless America, and God Bless George W. Bush!!!
It could happen?
The Onion has given us their own Point-Counterpoint on the War On Iraq. The Bob Sheffer argument reminds us eerily of some we've heard before . . . rack up another point of influence for the warbloggers!
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Bush Administration Readying For 2004 Invasion Of Iran
Who's gonna stop this empire?
All of us. The world will stop this handful of evil men.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Proving the essential worthlessness of an Ivy League education, Reed Johnson allows readers of the Los Angeles Times a glimpse of an improbably under-developed brain in a piece on Asparagirl, a "scrappy" blogger who "says a U.S. victory may help liberate Iraqi women from a tyrannically sexist society."
The hive mind appendage of the Bush war machine seems absolutely baffled to encounter manifestations of Iraqi national consciousness and hostility to an invading army. Who'd have thought it?! Certainly not Tim Blair, currently sending "freedom beanies" to hippies who didn't recognize last Friday's photographs of "dancing Iraqis" as unimpeachable evidence that the Iraqi people enjoy being bombed and are eager to take receipt of American-administered liberties of the sort omnipresent in postwar Afghanistan.
Blair shouldn't waste his stock of freedom beanies on the filthy hippies of the loony left. Guys like this fellow tapped by reporters in today's Wall Street Journal will need them too:
"At least Saddam Hussein gave us food," said Ali Ibrahim, a local government employee. "We had no food from the Americans. I'm worried that the Americans won't go away, just like in Afghanistan. We want water, electricity, and a guarantee from the United Nations that the Americans will leave."Those beanies can be administered via World Vision Canada, presently soliciting donations "including summer and winter clothing (dark-coloured, for cultural reasons)." They'll need it, so donate often and early, Timmy!
Monday, March 24, 2003
SURE TO UPSET PROF POWERGLUTES: AL JAZEERA LAUNCHES ENGLISH LANGUAGE SERVICE
Glenn Harlan Reynolds and his Coalition of the Shilling convey more information through omission than through what passes for substantive content on their sites. Ordinarily credulous before anything congruous with their preconceptions (or what their unelected leaders have told them), certain warbloggers seem to have been left in a state of pronounced sexual arousal by the news that Iraqis were "celebrating liberation." I say now as I said then, good on the Iraqis. We all pine for a day when we're free from the murderous operations of absolutist rulers lacking democratic mandates.
I also say that one should follow a story for more than an eighth of a news cycle. I wonder why the Instapundits and others demanding detail on what ground-level liberation looks like overlook so obvious and accessible an outlet as Nate Thayer's diary at Slate. From the first installment:
The mood on the streets remains somber and sullen. Stores are mostly closed, and those that are open have run out of duct tape, gasoline, and aluminum foil (which is wrapped around computers to shield them from e-bombs). People seem sad, resigned, sometimes resistant, mostly fearful. There is universal opposition to the war: George W. Bush's name is spit with venom. Yesterday, a soldier saw me on the street and shouted, "George Bush, I fucked your mother. We will win this war because you are here. You are a human shield. We are all human shields and the world is with us." Still, Iraq's celebrated hospitality remains, even in wartime. I have been greeted with kisses and hugs as often as I have with people pointing fingers at me and yelling pow-pow.True, it's still a pre-liberation Baghdad he's writing about. With more bombs, those Iraqis will no doubt come around. His latest entry is likely just a depiction of the storm before the calm:
Today is also the first time that I am truly frightened. It is not the American bombs I am primarily afraid of. What frightens me and Mary—the name I'll give a photographer with whom I've become inseparable—is the mood of the people. The city is thick with anger and defiance, and we are Americans.
Ingrates! It's nearly as bad where the liberation has already begun working its magic. From this morning's Wall Street Journal:
Every day since Mary and I arrived by road from Jordan, we have been threatened with expulsion. This morning, once again, we were ordered out. "You have two choices—you can be a human shield or you can leave the country," said my government minder. He offered this without his usual smarmy smile.
"But what about my visa?" I asked.
"Your visa is now to heaven," he said, forcing a laugh.
At 4 p.m. Baghdad time, an American fighter jet dropped its payload so close that the concussion sucked the air out of our lungs. Mary and I got in our car and drove toward the site of the explosion.
As we crossed one of the four Tigris bridges, there was an enormous traffic jam. Hundreds of armed men and civilians were looking down to the river below. Scores of cars had stopped in the middle of the bridge. We grabbed our gear and got out.
"Where are you from?" demanded an armed Iraqi, looking at me.
"Germany," interjected my government guide, abruptly grabbing me by the arm and yanking me away.
"Do not tell them you are American," he whispered as he rushed me to the car. "We must leave. It is very dangerous here."
Then we were on the western side of the Tigris, where the coalition bombardment has struck hardest. The sounds of imams on speakers reverberated through the streets—calls for the people to kill all the Americans.
Far from being hailed immediately as liberators, invading U.S. and British forces in southern Iraq are facing deep hostility and gunfire from some residents who are often desperate for food and water and sometimes furious about the continuing military assault against their country.
Those certain of an outcome favorable to G.W. Bush and his cronies should hope that Curtiss Leung's reading of the Times is faulty. I'm not at all certain it is:
The coalition is now rushing to get relief supplies into the region through the seized port of Umm Qasr, hoping that food will ease the bitterness.
Even after supplies enter the country, however, distributing them in large cities such as Basra could be difficult if many residents remain hostile to the invasion and fighting persists, which isn't clear will happen. The military, facing not only Iraqi troops but also defiant civilian guerrillas, also may have to run separate supply routes into the south as most coalition forces follow the latest military planning and move further north toward Baghdad, bypassing other cities along the way.
In the dusty town of Az Zubayr, just south of Basra, some Iraqis in civilian clothes fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at British and American troops. "The Americans are destroying our country. There will be a fight," said Ismail Hantush, an engineer at the state-run Iraqi oil company. Nearby, a local tailor cradled his baby boy and said with a smile: "We hate you. You are all criminals."
The early indications of hostility to the coalition invasion in southern Iraq, the heartland of the Shiite community that rose up against Mr. Hussein's rule in 1991, sharply contrasts with expectations among some U.S. military commanders of being greeted there as liberators. Just a few weeks ago, coalition officers in Kuwait were making plans to fly TV crews to film cheering crowds in southern Iraq.
Coincidentally, Glenn is still hootin' and hollerin' about the left's (Marc Herold=Global Exchange=The Left) alleged tolerance for mass death, invoking Saddam and Pol Pot as examples. I thought Saddam was Rumsfeld's man. I'm certain that Pol Pot was Reagan's.
"We are not cowards, but what is the point?" said Ahmed Ghobashi, an Iraqi colonel from Baghdad. "I've got a rifle from World War II. What can I do against American airplanes?"
A surrendering Iraqi army colonel identifies Saddam Hussein, whom he hates, with the Americans to whom he has just surrendered. Think on that and the implications it has for whatever efforts the Bush administration will make to gain the trust of the Iraqi people and rebuild the country. To this man--and who can say how many others?--we are brutes on a par with their current dictator, a man who fancies himself an heir to Stalin. We just have better weaponry.
Colonel Ghobashi talked on for a while, detailing his participation in the disastrous wars begun by Mr. Hussein in Iran and Kuwait. He was a professional soldier, he said, and he did not sign up to engage in fanciful adventures. As he talked on, his tone grew bitter, until he concluded that Mr. Hussein must have a secret agenda.
"He doesn't give us enough to eat, and he doesn't pay us," the colonel said. "And then he starts this thing with the Americans and then tells us to defend the country against the invasion."
Colonel Ghobashi pursed his lips in contemplation and rendered his final opinion on Mr. Hussein. "I believe he is an American agent," he said. [more: NYT]
But it's ultimately not about the vigor with which The Professor's heroes cuddle dictators, it's more about The Professor's willingness to accept unlikely scenarios while discounting available evidence showing the naivete of same.
UPDATE: GHR's not the only one proposing a bombs-for-gratitude swap. Big Dick Perle is saying, "I expect the Iraqis to be at least as thankful as French President Jacques Chirac [sic] was for France’s liberation."
Sunday, March 23, 2003
This is what "Shock and Awe" looks like
One of the truly sickening aspects of this war has been the Bush regime's promise of "shock and awe". According to one report, a media figure, anxious for the much touted "shock and awe" that will descend on the Iraqi people, quizzed the Bush administration as to whether the bombings of the initial day had been 'it'. The answer was that if you have to ask, then it wasn't "shock and awe". Ha. Ha.
For those of us who don't know, the following are photos of what the US government's "shock and awe" looks like. They are photos taken by the Qatari TV station, al-Jazeera and broadcast throughout the Arab world and beyond. Viewing the war through the sanitized filter of CNN or FOX, one is completely insulated from the effects of this war. It's easy to forget whilst we are caught up in technical wizardry of MOABs and so forth, that ultimately their effect is to produce the kind of result that is so vividly shown in these photos.
And now another great episode of: Unintentionally Political Scenes From Comics
Or: "And so throughout the world, countries must Die... THAT THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY MAY LIVE!"
Should be "Beware of the Warbloggers! Their next victim may be you!" Also this is a crew that is described thus: "They Believe! They Judge! They Kill!"...Sounds vaguely familiar...Micah: Sounds like a job for...Or compare "Live by my rules or DIE" to our latest ultimatums to Iraq.
What? You have a life and yet you yearn to be seduced by the Glenn Reynolds Dark Side? Well fear no more for here is the shortened version of the March 22 Instapundit (Where we use the very popular Reynolds Rules(!).)
FIRST, AN OVERVIEW OF THE MARCH 22ND DISTORTIONS: I guess the primary theme that gets repeated over and over today is how well the war is going. Of course, the war has just started and praising its wonderful progress is probably not unlike declaring "Our marriage works" after the first hour of the first date. It's a little early. You should take Virginia Postrel's tack and just watch for awhile. My Ministry of Truth award for his most vile and deceptive post would have to be this one, or: Dynamic Duo: 12. I'm Proud To Be An American Where At Least I Know I'm Free (New!) and probably: 16. Pish Posh! Only My Version of Reality Can Be True!. This is where he takes Salam Pax's very wise quote about the preponderant use of American force to get its way and twists accordingly. The quote is this:
"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
Glenn then comments and says:
"But having officers who don't abscond with their troops' pay is, in fact, one example of the superiority of Western ideas, and it's one that translates rather directly into superiority where organized violence is concerned. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Dictatorships like Saddam's -- which based on history and prevalence might be regarded as the "natural" form of human governance -- turn out to be lousy at war. Democracies embodying Western ideas turn out to be a lot better. That's not a coincidence, however much non-Westerners might wish to believe that it is."
I mean, does Glenn know how silly this statement is? Remember, the United States upends democracies in countries all the time. Some of us remember Chile, and Iran, or even to make it more recent, Venezuela. In point of fact, we installed Saddam probably at the expense of some struggling democratic process that we didn't like much. He makes it sound like the dictatorships sprung out of thin air, magically. I mean, it's like Glenn shoots you with one of his many guns and faults you for bleeding so much. "That's not how I'd do it," Glenn would say as he struts over your blood deprived bod. "It's your non Western values or something, affects how you bleed..." Bizarre.
Clearly, the US doesn't like democracies. That whole Turkey vote is the kind of thing that just gnaws at the oil-drenched Western establishment. I would go further to say that we don't like democracy here. And now, because of the war on the terror and the horrific Federalist society nature of the new courts the Power Elite may see their dreams for America fully realized. A place where, finally, you have a decent pretext for killing your enemies. That is, afterall, how things are handled in our client states. That's what Coke does. They would love to kill union organizers here. You just have to tar the left as being Anti-American and pro terrorist. I guess we can thank Glenn and his ilk for setting the mood. Anyway, there's more innuendo and subterfuge but they'll be other days. Here's the short list.
1.) 7. The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post
2. ) 11. Oddball Humor (New!)
3.) 7. The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post
4.) 12. I'm Proud To Be An American Where At Least I Know I'm Free (etc...)(New!)
5.) 13. Why Do You Hate America or: Here's Who We Should Hate (New!) and/or Overlook When They're Sent Away to the Internment Camps (New!)
6.)7. The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post
7.)14. Why I Hate France (And The EU Too!) ("Only General Zod May Rule ...Kneel Before Zod!) (New!)
8.) 14. Why I Hate France (And The EU Too!) ("Only General Zod May Rule Rule!...Kneel Before Zod!) (New!) Not a typo, two French bashing posts in a row...
9.)15. International Media Doesn't Love America! (New!)
10.) We Have 10. Trifecta! This link manages:
12. I'm Proud To Be An American (New!)
13. Why Do You Hate America or: Here's Who We Should Hate (New!) and/or Overlook When They're Sent Away to the Internment Camps (New!) and
15. International Media Doesn't Love America!
11.) 16. Pish Posh! Only My Version of Reality Can Be True!
12.)13. Why Do You Hate America or: Here's Who We Should Hate (New!) and/or Overlook When They're Sent Away to the Internment Camps (New!)
13.) More Than Trifecta or: 2. Straight Anti-Dem Party Propaganda or I've Got Some Helpful Advice For You Traitorous Left Wing Troublemakers
4. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid or My Personal False Counter Propaganda or "The Glennuendo".
5. The Glenn Reynolds Anti-Celebrity Hate Machine
7. The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post
14.) 17. "Ya know, and I say this offhandedly, but people who hate Israel probably hate the US, it's like we're the same country with the same interests...offhandedly I say this.." (New!)
15.) 8. Rare Times That I Agree With Glenn or more probably: 6. The Glenn Reynolds School of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
16.) Trifecta!: 3. Pro Israel at any cost and Damn Arafat Propaganda
16. Pish Posh! Only My Version of Reality Can Be True!
17. "Ya know, and I say this offhandedly, but people who hate Israel probably hate the US, it's like we're the same country with the same interests...offhandedly I say this.."
17.) 18. They Dare To Defy Us
18.) 19. War's Not So Bad! It's not like it's my kid who got shot jeeez...You know, a real person...
19.) 4. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid or My Personal False Counter Propaganda or "The Glennuendo".
20.) 20. Gawd I Hate the Liberal Media, which I sorta work for here at MSNBC and reflect by not ever writing critically about my employers Who Rule the World
21.) 7. The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post22.) Dynamic Duo: 12. I'm Proud To Be An American Where At Least I Know I'm Free (New!) and probably: 16. Pish Posh! Only My Version of Reality Can Be True!
Friday, March 21, 2003
I've received much e-mail of late regarding my frequent mention of Christopher Hitchens' apparent self-administration of heroic volumes of alcohol. Let me note simply that Hitchens claims not to be an alcoholic. If he expects to have his statements about the necessity or even desirability of war taken at face value, I don't think it unreasonable to extend that expectation to his reports on his relation to alcohol.
That said, Hitchens has been known to drink on the job, and the increasing similarity of his output to the sputterings of a barstool-bound jingo lead me to believe that the fellow's been upping the dose. Why he shouldn't suffer the same sanction for showing up unfit for work is beyond me. Personally, I wouldn't trust an inebriate to counsel my teenage son on which community college to apply to. Why I should privilege Hitchens and let him offer counsel urging a murderous and criminal campaign is beyond me.
I don't know how many he had before filing today's Mirror piece. It proclaims of Saddam Hussein that "He's Hitler, he is Stalin" and asks "why did we tolerate him for so long?" Ignoring for the time being that at the time of Gulf War I Hitchens sneered at the suggestion that Saddam was "suddenly 'worse than Hitler.'" What's key is Hitchens' massive feat of patriotic endeavor, taking up the slack occasioned by a contemporary - but certainly only temporary - absence of Creel Commissions and Hill & Knowltons. Saddam is poised to spring on Iraqi contrarians. In fact, he would "rip off their eyelids, tear out their nails, dip them in acid and then kick them to death." At least the non-theocratic-fascistic Alan Dershowitz would make the concession to decency of using sterilized needles.
The sad irony never occurs to Hitchens that - in a best case, that is, unrealistic scenario - the present War Against Terror would accrue to the Iraqis liberties which are each day being stripped of Americans. But hey, as long as Chomsky's still disseminating his heresies, we're all free. And hey, looking at how rosily things are going in Afghanistan, with its robust public finances and innumerable freedoms, the napalm-enabled "liberation" will be an unqualified boon to the Iraqis.
At a time when some are saying risks are more amorphous and less containable than ever, certain disgraceful ideologues are celebrating the progressive marginalization of the few mechanisms we have for dealing with them in any realistic fashion. Happy to clear the thickets of international law imperfectly impeding unelected President Bush's marrauding, disgusting advisor defense policy board chairman Richard Perle today "Thank[s] God for the death of the UN":
Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The "good works" part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat.Uhm, except it's on the East River. Had their been oil deposits beneath Turtle Bay, you'd have known that though.
The rest of the piece is unremarkable, aside from its bearing next to no relation to empirical and historical reality. The subtitle - "Its abject failure gave us only anarchy. The world needs order" - though merits mention. It reminds me of Stanley Hoffman, who wrote that Herman Kahn's lunatic prescriptions condemned the world "to 'the burrow' Kafka describes in his nightmarish story, a burrow dug by an animal in quest of peace and security. Constant noises of mysterious origin keep the poor beast rushing in perpetual anguish in whatever direction the knocking seems to come from."
The Bush doctrine will keep us squarely in the burrow, emerging on occasion when, having fortified ourselves on the subhuman speculations of far-right think tanks and propaganda dehumanizing communists/Arabs/etc., we lash out in barbarism.
Not a warblogger, Lloyd Grove is nearly as imperceptive as one. He runs an item today in his "Reliable Sources" column opening thus:
The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed in the Oval Office as he squirmed in his chair and practiced on the teleprompter minutes before Wednesday night's speech announcing the launch of military operations against Saddam Hussein.Per Grove, the White House is upset about an unauthorized look into Bush's powder room.
Is it obtuseness or worse that prevents Grove from putting two and two together? The day prior the episode made the news wires - not because of of the thrill of a surreptitious peek at a presidential coiff in progress, but because of this:
Minutes before the speech, an internal TV monitor showed the President pumping his fist. "Feels good," he said.I don't know if it's individual initiative, or the press dutifully falling into line, but this Herald News write-up, which came up on Google News as making mention of Bush's fist-pumping, has been duly redacted.
Here is the Mirror's report on the Feel Good briefing that prefaced Bush's Feel Good War:
Yet what of George Bush Jnr? What of the man who carries the fate of the world on his shoulders?
Well had American TV viewers been able to watch him yesterday, as he prepared to tell them that all hell was breaking loose in their name in Iraq, they would surely have reached this conclusion.
That there is less cynicism in Krusty The Clown. More gravity on the moon. More brains on a Texan plain full of buffalo droppings.
Bush is not a serious statesman but a puerile punk.
BEFORE the broadcast began, at what should have been the most serious moment in his life, the former alcoholic was on an adrenaline-rushing high.
Like a kid at a party waiting to blow out his candles. He joked with the make-up assistant, patted the gel in his hair, waved his his hands around, and furiously scanned the room to make eye contact with a pal.
Then, less than a minute before going on TV to take responsibility for war, he spotted an aide. He picked up the speech that was about to bring down the starting flag on a possible World War III, made a triumphal fist of his other hand, and with a grin that almost split his face yelled out: "I feel good!"
Then turned to the camera, tightened his eyes, sombrely addressed his "fellow Americans" and impassively read the words written by his team of propagandists heralding the first-ever pre-emptive strike in his country's history.
They were, in such an insincere context, largely irrelevant.
Stephen "Vodkapundit" Green bidding his readers good night:
Turn off the news. Have a beer. Tomorrow is gonna be another fun one.Ah, nothing's quite so fun as a weapons wank over the warnography on Fox News, is it?
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Art by Micah Wright
The Reynolds Rap: It's not just enough to dislike Glenn Reynolds personal blog style, one also has to take the time to deplore and condemn his corporate media work for Microsoft. For the record, when Glenn wasn't employed by Microsoft, he wrote more critical things about them. Who knew that Glenn would be such a living witness to the Chomsky propaganda model, the first and fourth filters. Who knew.
He wrote something quietly disturbing today over at Glenn Reynolds com about what he thinks winning and losing would be. It's interesting that he considers any casualties above 5000 to be somewhat on the losing side of things. (We're going to hold you to that Glenn.) Of course, going by his dubious past as a self appointed propagandist for the corporate theocratic state, he will only consider those 5000 who die quickly. Sanctions and occupation murders will barely appear on the man's radar. Or if they do they will be bracketed by the Reynolds Rules, most likely 1 More Nuanced Pro RNC Propaganda, 4 The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post and 7 Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid or My Personal False Counter Propaganda or "The Glennuendo".
I guess the most astonishing thing about this particular piece is how he talks about a democratic Iraq. Here's a guy who loses no sleep over our puppet government in Afghanistan, where we pay off our "allies" with record opium profits. He's also rooted openly for an insurrection against a democratically elected president in Venezuela, where if American protesters had used the same tactics Glenn would be calling for Ashcroft martial law, buttressed by an articulate supporting post by Volokh no doubt about how subsection 4 of article 2 makes summary execution look, you know, "legal"...
Glenn also thinks we should do our best to undermine France and the European Union. (Rule 6 for those of you playing at home.) You remember the European Union, right? They're the only hope not only for a more compassionate human capitalism, but the only thing that stands in the way of a Hegemonic Bullying U S of A. No wonder the EU and France gets so much of his FUD.
I have a more frightening proposition for Glenn, however. No way you can maintain a war for oil with a one term president. Perhaps the Bush crowd wants to stick around a bit longer without all the bother of these annoying elections that we have to steal anyway. I've read optimistic reports of at least a 10 year occupation. And of course, you can't create a real democracy or you get these Venezuelan and Turkish tragedies where the will of the people is actually expressed. We wouldn't want that to happen. There is a more optimistic view: President Edwards or Dean is allowed to win the election, who knows, and we build a real democracy in Iraq (based on proportional representation like in Lani Guinier's influenced South Africa) and we move toward alt fuels. I'll take my fictional wet dreams over Glenn's any day of the week..
And let's try Quicktopic again, where I can edit my many many typos....
Art by Micah Wright
REYNOLDS RAP: THE RULES.
Now the Reynolds Rules are very similar to the Pejman Rules, except there are 10 instead of 12.
1. More Nuanced Pro RNC Propaganda. (With a definitive line: You're always an alleged lawyer American Likudnik kind of GOP guy no matter even if Ashcroft has a burning red swastika tatooed upon his forehead and oh yeah that Bush is a genius he didn't drool or anything...)
2. Straight Anti-Dem Party Propaganda or I've Got Some Helpful Advice For You Traitorous Left Wing Troublemakers
3. Pro Israel at any cost and Damn Arafat Propaganda
4. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid or My Personal False Counter Propaganda or "The Glennuendo". This is where Glenn clearly says something false or easily rebutted (If ever a guy needed a message board...now there's an idea...). The worst examples of this are his posts about those thriving Clear Channel sponsored "Pro Liberation" rallies. And yes, after that, he'll still will write something kinda weak about Eric Alterman's book. Sad, really.
5. The Glenn Reynolds Anti-Celebrity Hate Machine. Usually, Mike Moore, nationally known documentarian, (unlike Glenn's wife) is in for it. Today it's the Dixie Chicks. Whatever.
6. The Glenn Reynolds School of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Now that he's a fully owned subsidiary of Microsoft, and his critiques of the company have slowed down accordingly (Go ahead: Compare searches for France and Microsoft. Self-censorship friend, look into it...Perhaps Le Monde should hire Glenn to get him to shut up...), he tries to say negative things about stuff he don't like. It could be the anti-war protest held in that hotbed of liberalism Knoxville, Tenn., or the Dixie Chicks. It's also related to this...
7. The Patented Glenn Reynolds "My Forces of Dark Evil Are Winning...Indeed!" Post:
This is where Glenn cheerily pronounces how we beat back the violent forces of peace or something. And or: "Yep, this war thing is a swell idea indeed." They'll be a lot of that now over the next several weeks.
8: Rare Times That I Agree With Glenn : Usually it has to do with filesharing or Business of Hollywood (not the artists, which he confuses...), or when his posts are apolitical, a rarity unfortunately.
9. Glenn "I'm Just a Common Man" Reynolds: Where we see the special glimpses into the Glenn Reynolds private life. Look, I'm a unionised (uh, tenured) professor who won't get fired by posting all damn day. Just like you. And here's my beautiful wife and my gorgeous daughter, both of whom I love...but not enough to vote Democrat and thereby ensure their reproductive rights but, hey, indirectly tarring murdered protesters and defending my Idiot Prince of a Prez is much more important to me.
10. Trifecta: Where Glenn manages to combine three or more of his noxious memes in just one post. This happens a lot actually.
And as always we're going with Quicktopic comments, because I get to write under my Superhero name of...Steelydan! No static at all...
Coming soon Now Playing: Strangelove II - Iraqi Bugaboo
Hostilities commenced and frontline fighter James Lileks running a huge reproduction of the Strangelove screenshot on this page's upper-left corner (captioned "Well, this is what half the world thinks; might as well throw it back in their faces. Ride that dogie. All the way down."), now seems as good a time as any to congratulate the bloggers of mass destruction on the war they've been hollering for since hollering for war became socially permissible.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Where were you when the mass murder in Baghad began?
Let's not mince words. Let's not parrot their carefully crafted and mendacious wording; language is the unseen front. The US has begun the massacre of Iraqi civilians in order to overthrow their leader and steal their oil. Regime change, my ass--I'll take mine with merlot and truffles. Meanwhile, here in the States, our civilian safety has just gone down the storm pipes with a jet pack on. Now we need to worry about terrorist attacks and martial law. The US has crumpled the UN Charter and tossed it in the shredder. Now as I write this President-Select Shrub is on the radio lying his ass off--can he say anything at all that's true? He wouldn't know how to begin to tell the truth. He would attempt to describe the color of a fire truck and end up with spit on his chin. Fucking motherfucker--how dare you steal the US election, snub all forms of international law, declare war on affirmative action, cheap AIDS drugs, the US economy, safe sex, clean air and water, commit the US military to civilian massacre and still get up in front of the American people and lie your despicable ass off. Andy Rooney said last Sunday on 60 Minutes that Americans shouldn't hate their presidents. Andy Rooney is a senile fool. I hate mass murderers. I hate George W. Bush.
If Armageddon isn't reached soon I predict America will recover from the sociopathic rule of Boy King Bush. The world will recover. Hold on. Lick your wounds. Mourn the dead. Spread the word. But most of all plan to build a true world coalition which will never again let a lone dictator like George W. Bush slip through their collective fingers and threaten the world with unbelievable and murderous fundamentalist madness. I'm buying a world flag this weekend to hang on my wall to help with my hope, to help with my vision of an alernative global mythos. I will continue with my meagre web activity. I will continue to tell anyone who cares to listen in my own life (and to some who won't). We lost the battle to stop this mass murder but--Eris help us--we won't lose the war. Peace. Nonviolence. Love. These are the most powerful memes of all. Embrace them and fuck them. Shave your bush.
Keep fighting. I love you all.
Some truly vile and ignorant material at NRO today.
It was bad enough when Rod Dreher wondered aloud why there was insufficient public enthusiasm for "nuking" Baghdad, Tehran and Riyadh, "and maybe even Damascus." He drew the line at Mecca, but it was a line Rich Lowry was willing to notionally cross. Never mind that, as per G.W. Bush, our never-ending war is one against "terror" and not Islam, Lowry was certain "few people would die and it would send a signal."
Today the NRO gang can't even bother themselves to take seriously a war which will kill unknown numbers of Iraqis and Americans. Instead of pondering the possibility of mass death, further destabilization, and the moral implications of just what the fuck an unelected president has committed his hapless subjects to, Jonah Goldberg uses the occasion of the commencement of hostilities to find glee:
THIS MUST DRIVE THE LEFT NUTS [Jonah Goldberg]
As if "the left's" opposition to Bush's war were merely a ploy to grab face time on O'Reilly.
Now that the decision's been made to use force, the Left-Right/should we-shouldn't we stuff is over. Now it's just one articulate former Army, Navy, Airforce or Marine officer explaining how the war will be fought and -- God willing -- won. We don't see an anti-war activist come on to declare "Wolf, that's simply not the best way to navigate through a mine field."
Posted at 01:19 PM
Just as pathetic is David Frum's safari to watch the paleocons. It is, alas, a derivative performance, with Frum sputtering at length about hostility to both Israel and America. After ANSWER, the left, the Catholic Church, ad infin, were all conclusively shown to be irredeemably flawed, Frum stalks a novel quarry: conservatives of deficient fealty to state power. The sins of these conservatives are ponderous: "They have made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements in this country and in Europe. They deny and excuse terror."
While the imbecility of the former charge is patent, the latter requires examination. Frum:
Terror denial: In his column of December 26, 2002, Robert Novak attacked Condoleezza Rice for citing Hezbollah, instead of al-Qaeda, as the world's most dangerous terrorist organization: "In truth, Hezbollah is the world's most dangerous terrorist organization from Israel's standpoint. While viciously anti-American in rhetoric, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah is focused on the destruction of Israel. 'Outside this fight [against Israel], we have done nothing,' Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the organization's secretary-general, said in a recent New York Times interview." The sheik did not say, and Novak did not bother to add, that Hezbollah twice bombed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, murdering more than 60 people, and drove a suicide bomb into a Marine barracks in October 1983, killing 241 servicemen.Ignoring the salient fact (which Frum did not bother to add) that Hezbollah piloted precisely zero of the planes on September 11, this excursus on two-decade-old history says what about contemporary Hezbollah? Is this a Lusitania moment? A Gulf of Tonkin moment?
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
From Bill Quick's totally excellent website:
THE FULL WEASEL
Frogs? Weasels? What insight! I see why this guy's so popular.
Report: France Could Aid Coalition Against Iraq
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite its opposition to a war in Iraq (news - web sites), France could assist any U.S.-led military coalition if Iraq uses biological and chemical weapons, the French ambassador to the United States told CNN on
I thought Saddam didn't have any of that stuff
"If Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) were to use chemical and biological weapons, this would change the situation completely and immediately for the French government," Jean-David Levitte told CNN.
except for what you Frogs sold him.
And no, your pathetic attempt to weasel your way into a piece of the Iraqi action now is not going to go anywhere. You've made your bed. Enjoy your extremely long nap.
Guess he was taking an extremely long nap as this broke.
The wages of gin: Hitchens can no longer even bother himself to descend the bar stool and take up the encyclopedia. As Alterperson rightly objects, Hitchens, historian, writes the following wholly without substantiation or reference to a third-party offering same:
As an experiment, let's take a Carter policy. As president, he encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in 1979 and assured him that the Khomeini regime would crumble swiftly.I'd be more tolerant of his freewheeling sans footnotes if he at least got the date right.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds adds a new member to the Coalition of the Willing and the Bribed: the Intoxicated. The Professor alerts his readers to an "interesting" "pro-liberation [sic] rally, of sorts", quoting from an ESPN hockey report:
Between the second and third periods, a portion of President Bush's address to the nation was played for the crowd at the Continental Airlines Arena. Cheers erupted five times, the loudest when Bush announced that Saddam Hussein had 48 hours to leave Iraq and when the president finished. Seconds later a chant of ''U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A'' echoed through the building.Still insisting with the imbecilic likes of Andrew Sullivan that "Germany and France are now isolated on the continent," and satisfied by the might of the Europeans going along with our curious enterprise, Reynolds hails the addition to an already formidable and respectable crew.
Ah, the wonderful Steven Green (a/k/a Vodkapundit) spent last night "live-blogging Bush's speech." Green and like-minded warbloggers have insisted that the threatened war against the people of Iraq is all about disarming a Hitler-like tyrant of his weapons of mass destruction, and have sneered at even the suggestion that Iraq's formidable petro reserves at all figure in the unelected president's calculus. Despite identifying no less than three money quotes, Green lets this pass without comment
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people.So after giving Hussein orders to vacate the country within 48 hours - an option not allowed Hitler - Bush gets around to instructing the Iraqis. Is it unreasonable to posit that his first instruction speaks to his first concern?
Monday, March 17, 2003
I'm cold, scared, and
very, very lonely
If there's anybody I feel sorry for these days, it's poor Rod Dreher. Cruising the comments section at the delightful "Little Green Footballs" website, Dreher asks just why the hell a right-thinking fella such as himself is "supposed to feel sorry for" Rachel Corrie, an "America-hating, terrorist-loving idiot." Dreher, like Ricky Perle, seems to have no qualms about cheapening the terrorist coin through promiscuous, even reckless expenditure. He does however have large-scale qualms about allowing the expression of unpopular opinion.
Earlier Dreher said the best way to avoid what may prove to be murder at the hands of the IDF is not to come between its bulldozer-bound emisaries "and the house of a terrorism backer." Dreher then gives formal warning that "Civilization will defend itself," though he seems singularly unequipped to grasp that massive disenfranchisement, summary executions, and extrajudicial destruction of property may not be the highest expression of civilization. But then Dreher pals around with the eminently refined likes of John Fund.
It's not just that Dreher cannot make sense of plain fact - nearly all his colleagues at National Review suffer similarly. But Dreher is so far gone he can no longer muster a human connection with even his own friends, as he laments this afternoon. He seems genuinely baffled by friends' reluctance to send birthday cards to someone consuming and agreeing with stuff like this.
I'm gowing confused here. According to various warbloggers, depleted uranium, when dropped on the resident towelheads of Iraq, is a not-so-bad thing. The risks of exposure are overblown by "propagandists" who, really, are "beneath contempt."
That same depleted uranium, when used against the U.S. in an imagined scenario, is transmogrified into a weapon of mass destruction. Those suffering from fortitude deficit disorder prove themselves to be worryingly credulous of the anti-DU propaganda.
Providing a synthesis of the above is Army Colonel James Naughton. A recent VOA piece reported the Administration line that DU ammunition "does not pose a health hazard." Naughton was quoted saying that among the critics urging the Pentagon to discontinue the use of DU ammunitions are - shock and awe - Iraqis ! Resorting to the language of the schoolyard, Naughton poses and then answers the rhetorical question, "Why do they want it [DU] to go away? They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them."
A powerful analysis of a problem of considerable moral complexity. Mark Steyn and Lileks couldn't have put it so crisply.
To be fair, I think Doug Rokke's physician would agree that Rokke, too, had the crap kicked out of him.
Friday, March 14, 2003
Continuing Adventures in ContrarianismNo longer joining The Nation for its annual booze cruise, and finally realizing that the minibar in the MSNBC green room is woefully under-equipped, Hitchens heads off today for the Beverly Hills Hotel for lunch with David Horowitz and his troglodytic admirers.
Thursday, March 13, 2003
US Announces New Ally: Harvey
March 13, 2003 - THE WHITE HOUSE - Today Colin Powell announced a powerful new US ally in the war on Iraq: Harvey. "He's big, he's mean, and he's invisible." Colin Powell told reporters. "This kind of ally can do significant damage over there."
Colin Powell then told the reporters that they could ask Harvey questions, but since Powell was the only one who could hear Harvey, he would have to translate Harvey's responses.
Helen Thomas raised her hand and was immediately escorted to the hallway ("for her own protection"). Colin Powell, after consulting his list, called on Jerry Braun from the AP. Jerry asked, "Harvey, which do you prefer, french fries or freedom fries?"
The room laughs. Colin laughs, too, then nods as he listens to Harvey's response before saying, "Freedom fries, of course. With lots of ketchup."
The White House press corp laughs harder. Some wipe tears from their eyes.
Colin looks at the list again and then calls on Mary Watanabe from the Duluth Herald. "Harvey, as we all know, Saddam Hussein is hoarding enough weapons of mass destruction to turn our beautiful big earth into nothing but a radioactive desert for millenia to come. So, even though you are aided by the heroic beyond-all-ability-to-describe US military, aren't you at all concerned for your safety?"
Colin bows his head slightly while he listens, this time his brow furrowing. "Yes, great question. Well, I love this country, enough to die for it. And I love the innocent civilians of Iraq, as well. That's why I'm willing to die to liberate them as well from the murderous dictator known as Saddam Hussein. So, there you go."
Colin raises his head and calls on another reporter from his list.
Joe Coleman from CNN asks: "Harvey, since you're invisible, will you be sent on a mission which can best utilize this ability? Namely, the assassination of Saddam Hussein? And I have a followup question."
Colin listens for a minute and then responds, "I can't talk at all about my missions right now, Joe. Let's just say that whatever I do, I do it for freedom, I do it for America, and I do it for God." Colin pauses and then asks for the followup question.
Joe: "If you're back by Easter could you come over to my house for my little daughter's Easter party? Perhaps we could paint your fur so that you could be seen--you'd make so many kids very happy."
Colin listens then, "I'd love to, Joe. Right after the Hero's Welcome Parade. The only thing I look forward to more than seeing newly liberated Iraqis jumping up and down in the street for joy because now they are free to develop their own democracy--after envying ours for so many years--is coming home to a Hero's Welcome here in America. Especially the parade in New York city to welcome us back with love, cheers and thousands of patriotic streamers!"
Colin then calls on Mimi Applegate from USA TODAY. Mimi: "Harvey, I don't have a question but a comment: WE LOVE YOU HARVEY!!!" The room cheers. [Coincidentally, this became the headline on the next day's issue of USA TODAY.] Russell Mokhiber raises his hand to ask a question and is immediately escorted out into the hallway ("for his own protection").
Colin thanks everyone for coming and relays to them Harvey's last words: "God Bless you, and God Bless America!" before closing the press conference by leading the White House press corp in a rousing recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Many wipe tears from their eyes. The end.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Allow me to presage what Matt Welch, tireless and breathless proponent of the Czech Republic and its democratic and independent neighbors, will make of the Zdenek Adamec case: "Just as Enron was a company-specific failure in no way demonstrative of market inefficiency and instability, Zdenek Adamec's sad act was merely another manifestation of his mania and not a suggestion that the Czechs are disillusioned with the fantastic liberties we know so well."
Such a narrative, while facile and wholly predictable, allows one to dismiss what was going through the young man's head before setting light to himself. One needn't contemplate why Adamec considered himself "another victim of the democratic system, where it is not people who decide, but power and money." Obviously the words of a madman. And while a know-nothing Czech teen can scribble on - "We didn't get any better even after the Velvet Revolution. The so-called Democracy we gained is not a Democracy. It is about the rule of officials, money and treading on people." - only a one-time expat can really appraise matters reliably. Also trust Welch to accurately reckon the infant body count of the Iraqi sanctions without ever having been there.
For us sane folks who enjoy the freedom to choose between, say, the DLC and the RNC, we can take a smug, self-satisfied peek at a patently deranged mind here.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
I have been variously referring to Christopher Hitchens as a "warblogger heartthrob" and a "go-to guy for the warbloggers" recently. With yesterday's Slate offering, "Pious Nonsense," he joins the ranks of his admirers. He is now a warblogger - by which I mean his arguments have become vapid, under-informed, and irrelevant to his supposed object of inquiry.
His latest aims to demolish just war theory by leveling insults at its two most famed proponents: yes, Jimmy Carter and Tariq Aziz. His choice of targets, as well as his scrupulous avoidance of substantive engagement of either man, much less just war theory itself, is enough to earn him a cherry spot on Andrew Sullivan's blogroll. He furthers his candidacy for that distinction by misspecifying the date of Iraq's invasion of Iran, and by writing the following:
One wonders what it would take for the Vatican to condemn Saddam's regime. Baathism consecrates an entire country to the worship of a single human being. Its dictator has mosques named after himself. I'm not the expert on piety, but isn't there something blasphemous about this from an Islamic as well as a Christian viewpoint?Ah, so Saddam's presumption in naming Mosques after himself justifies his slaughter - and that of anyone standing within miles of him. Amazing, but he at least notes his nonexistent expertise re: piety. I'd have thought his increasingly frequent recourse to the implements of Christian piety would have clued him in to the relative blasphemy of naming religious sites after oneself. In his drunken haze I guess he never noticed the names of wealthy parishioners on portal stones and chapels in churches, and I suppose the possibility of having his access to booze compromised urged him against seeing, perhaps, the Sultanahmet and Sulemanyye Mosques.
Doofus on the Hollywood Right
I have to confess that I’m a little out of place as a member of the Warbloggerwatch. It’s not so much that I am in favor of war with Saddam (my personal views on the matter; Saddam is an evil madman who should be stopped, but I just don’t know the right way to do this; there are reasonable people on both sides). I tend to focus on media issues, not foreign policy matters (e.g., check out my latest on the journalistic dishonesty of two Fox News analysts).
However, one thing I noticed in the media coverage of the anti-war movement is how the hard right is targeting the Hollywood left as a bunch of narcissistic simpletons. As I’m writing this, Bob Dole is blasting the “Hollywood anti-war crowd” on Bill O'Reilly's radio show. Make no mistake, there are plenty of Hollywood people who fit that generalization; I know this firsthand—I have crashed enough Hollywood parties.
However, what gets me is that it isn’t as if there are very many rocket scientists on the Hollywood right. In addition, there are some downright noxious characters in the Hollywood right. I was particularly glad that Charlton Heston got his comeuppance in the film Bowling For Columbine.
Then there’s the case of Fred Thompson. A former US Senator and mediocre actor (though he did well in campaign commercials playing a cornball—wearing flannel shirts and driving a pickup truck), Thompson is countering the Hollywood left with an outfit called Citizens United--described in USA Today as dedicated to “traditional American values.” I didn’t know that a dirty tricks operation represents traditional American values.
David Bossie and Floyd Brown head Citizens United. In 1992, Bossie and Brown attempted to manufacture a rumor that Bill Clinton had impregnated a law student, Susan Coleman, who later committed suicide. Brown and Bossie mercilessly hounded the family of the deceased woman; Bossie was so obsessed that he barged into a hospital room where the deceased woman's mother was visiting her sick husband. CBS’s Eric Engberg did a report on this noxious episode; this caused Brown and Bossie to be such a liability to the Bush campaign that it finally repudiated the duo—calling them “the lowest forms of life.” (read more about this in The Hunting of the President). After Clinton became president, Bossie jumped aboard the Vince-Foster-was-murdered conspiracy train. Representative Dan Burton hired Bossie; on the government payroll, Bossie doctored Web Hubbell’s prison phone tapes to make exculpatory statements sound as if Hubbell implicated Hillary Clinton in wrongdoing. Now, the Hollywood right is giving these men credibility. Yuck.
Further adventures in idiotarianism: Herr Professor Doktor Reynolds excerpts from a UPI wire report that the Portuguese are siding with the U.S. The report quotes Foreign Minister Antonio Martins da Cruz thus
"I think it would be NATO who would come to our rescue, in other words, it would be the U.S., no one else would defend us. For instance, during the 1996 mission in Bosnia, operations took place with the support of 20 satellites, of which only one was European," and the remainder belonged to the U.S.
The good doctor follows the quote with his customary smarm, saying simply that, "Reality asserts itself." Or at least his, ahem, privileged version of reality.
"If we were attacked, is that what they would offer to defend us? How curious is this: in Bosnia, when we were called to send soldiers urgently to that region, the U.S. had C-17 and C-130 planes, and France leased ferry boats, which during the summer are employed in tourist services to Corsica.
Let us go back not to the realities of post-Paris peace 1996, but to 1994, when aggressions in Bosnia were at their most egregious. What would GHR - a huge fan of U.S. unilateralism and a huge detractor of France for the French refusal to applaud U.S. unilateralism - have said at the time if he had read this January 28, 1994, Washington Post article detailing a then current U.S.-French rift:
Behind the statement and counter-statement, charge and countercharge that have filled the air for the past week, the two nations are by all accounts locked into their positions: France wants unequivocal U.S. action to break the Bosnia stalemate, and the United States is unwilling to take any new initiatives, either military or diplomatic.Just three days earlier, the New York Times indicated the Americans had earlier supported air strikes to complement a scheme to arm Bosnian Muslims, but that after Bosnian gains on the battlefield, Washington had become "content to let the 21-month war drag on" and was refusing to deploy its own troops "until there is a workable peace settlement in place." (i.e., it was refusing to implement the necessary prerequisites for a peace settlement until a peace settlement was in place.)
By November 27, 1994, matters had deteriorated to such a degree that the Washington Post was writing of has "the most serious breach of trust between the United States and the European allies in almost four decades," with "allied governments...openly questioning the reliability of American security commitments in Europe." An Axis of One?
U.S. Marines were reported by CNN as departing for the Adriatic as a "precaution" in late May 1995. Their number was given as 2,000. The French had 3,800 troops on the ground in Bosnia at the time. In June the formation of a rapid deployment force was announced. Defense Secretary William Perry offered air support for the force but not troops to supplement its ranks. Under pressure from Republican House members Robert Livingston, Ben Gilman, and Harold Rogers, Slick Willie Clinton, honoring obligations in what the warbloggers call the Franco-German mode, "backed away from his secret agreement to help fund a $700 million rapid-reaction force to protect U.N. forces in Bosnia" (Washington Times: June 15, 1995).
This is an obviously incomplete and one-sided telling of the story. It's not the most remote of histories, so I'm sure even Reynolds' blog-addled brain can recall what I omit. I add the above only to note that back then France was deriding Anglo-American "spinelessness," and that that fraction of an analysis was at the time woefully unhelpful. Likewise are the sputterings of Glenn Harlan Reynolds and his illiterate ilk.
Monday, March 10, 2003
Christopher Hitchens, recently reborn as a darling of the warbloggers and an enthusiastic admirer of Imperial Might, surely reads the Sunday Post. I wonder what the self-proclaimed opponent of "theocratic fascism" made of this:
Bush has come to view his leadership of post-9/11 America as a matter of fate, or of God's will. He has said the country is "called to defend our nation and to lead the world to peace," and he often says the mission is to extend liberty, "God's gift to every human being in the world."
The unelected president as a vessel of Providence? The Daisy Cutter as a manifestation of His will? Seems so...
With that assumption, it is almost impossible to imagine Bush confining the war on terrorism to al Qaeda. Instead, he quickly embraced the most sweeping foreign policy proposal his most hawkish advisers had developed -- a vision of American supremacy and preemption of emerging threats -- and that policy leads inexorably to Iraq, and beyond.
Bush's religious devotion encourages such distinctions. Bush implies but does not directly assert that he is doing God's work. Still, those who share his religious beliefs say it is natural to assume that Bush believes he is divinely inspired.
Indeed, as they say.
"It seems as if he is on an agenda from God," said Jim Cody, a Tennessee Christian broadcaster who was at a convention of religious broadcasters Bush addressed last month. "The Scriptures say God is the one who appoints leaders. If he truly knows God, that would give him a special anointing."
Over at Madison Indymedia, there's a post with a publisher's note for a book that, while as of yet unpublished, is likely just days away:
In this brash follow-up to "Letters To A Young Contrarian," Hitchens takes his acolytes from going against the status quo to embracing it with both arms.
"One cannot truly appreciate conformity," Hitchens writes in his introduction, "without first playing the part of the contrarian. It is like the dichotomy between pleasure and pain, only more profitable."
In a series of brief but explosive letters, the one-time iconoclast shows you how to take state power at its word, how to find humanity in the most corrupt and deceitful places, how to adopt a mainstream stance while pretending to be skeptical, and how to, as a sideline, compose extended captions for glossy photos of Hollywood mediocrities.
Thursday, March 06, 2003
(The great Micah Wright has a radio interview online. He's also collected his cartoons into book form. He even got an intro from Kurt Vonnegut. Now, that makes me jealous. By the way, Kurt opposes the war too like most artists with a scrap of talent...)
It has been at least 15 minutes since I last said something justifiably nasty about Pejman "I've Gotten Way Too Prolixy" Yousefzadeh. Lately, he's been on a "What Liberal Media" rant. First, he does a terrible job of debunking Eric Alterman's new book, both at his blog and at Tech Central Station. Then he's been arguing that the media is liberal because it's not pushing Estrada's nomination enough. You would think that he would be happy that the right has the Supreme Court, most of the appeals courts, and a Republican Senate. I suppose those aforementioned facts are more evidence of the liberal media and their unholy Green Party-like transformative effects upon the body politic. As if CBS news had the same spin as Democracy Now, a show run by real left of center people. Please. Come on. It's the ownership, stupid. Trust me: I've worked for Republican newspaper owners. I know.
I don't see what he's so upset about frankly. The almost completely bought off Dems will cancel the Bork and give us the Scalia everytime, as this great Kurt Nimmo post will attest to. (Kurt has a great blog by the way...)Their tactic should be to filibuster tic for tac. Bring back the Clinton nominees and force the White House to accept one of yours for one of theirs. It's their limpwristed capitulation on the courts--which their rich sponsors love--which probably cost the Dems the White House in the first place. They only needed one vote. I won't hold my breath for a real backbone.
Meanwhile, I'm sure I'll get plenty of progressive left encouragement from Limbaugh talk radio, General Electric owned NBC (have they ever done an anti-nuke piece, ever...?) Bill Maher-free ABC, that wild anarchist group CBS, the Mike Savage MSNBC and our good friends at Fox News, not to mention my content free local news that reminds me of the manufactured dream world so articulately drawn in the Truman Show. Dog Fancy, indeed, as the Great Rationalizer of Republican Evil might say...
Update: I've added a quicktopic link here as well.
SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM . . . LawMeme has some ideas on how to stop spam e-mail. I suppose that their answer is unsurprising when you remember the fact that it is coming from the legal community, but it still strikes me as a good idea.
:: Pejman Yousefzadeh 11:28 AM [+]::
Let The Muse Inspire You
(Right Wingers just don't get art. The Pythons are notorious left of center types. In fact, the one Python who has come out against the War is Terry Jones, who I believe wrote the Spam sketch with his writing partner Mike Palin.)
10. Pejman "I don't really understand modern humor or modern Art." Yousefzadeh
--From the classic annotated Pejman. The Pejman Rules still hold up unfortunately...
It's been way too long a time since I've said something justifiably nasty about Pejman "Still A RNC Whore and Proud of It" Yousefzadeh. He seems to have thought lately that they should replace Terry Jones, of Python fame, because he's not a member of the silly party and actually opposes war in Iraq, which, even to amateur futurists like myself, could very easily devolve into both nuclear and chemical exchanges--
--Here's an interesting aside: I've always thought that the purpose of the 9-11 attacks was to get us to come to them. The problem with nuclear weapons is transport. Only a few nations have the capacity to make nuclear weapons and also to deliver them, to like, say, Alaska. (I'm really glad that we're ignoring North Korea by the way, said the Warblogger Watch writer in just the most sarcastic, eye-rolling way...) For example, there may be nuclear weapons held by hostile powers in the mideast. But they probably never had a way of getting those weapons to our shores. How nice of us to put 300000 of our troops in harm's way. North Korea could adopt our wondrously new brain dead policy of pre-emption after all...no wonder science fiction writers are against this war; It reminds them too much of "Damnation Alley", "On The Beach", "A Boy and his Dog", "The Day After",etc.--
--and on the optimistic side: a friendly imperialistic 10 year occupation of Iraq which at the least will turn us into the Worst Side of the Israelis. I guess I should practice showing my shock when somebody starts blowing up our school busses for God Knows Why. Here's a few Pro Idiotarian future stock expressions of amazement we'll probably see: The Savages. Where did that come from. Why do they hate us afterall we had to steal their oil...? Etc. Turns out that the Pythons that Pejman likes has narrowed even further according to the latest episode of Real Time, hosted by Bill Maher (Now that Phil is gone, he's it for us crazy wacky leftists in this the overwhelmingly librul American media...) For Eric Idle sang a very angry and funny anti-war tune on the show. I don't remember all the funny lyrics but it went something like "Our God is better than your God" and "We're bigger than you are...". Eric seemed to imply that the war was arrogant, our means of prosecuting it smacked of bribery, and that those aforementioned sentiments were just a little bit too obvious for comfort. By the way, the timing was vintage Python.
So, the correct answer to the question posed by the warbloggers of which Python you would be is: probably nobody. I understand that Drew Carey and Benny Hill are available for cultural conscription, however. And considering the talent level of your average warblogger, quite appropriate for your artistic gifts.
PS: I mentioned the liberal media earlier, but I'm pleased to say that left wing online media is growing. Afterall, it's the left that needs a mass media of its own. I check out Democracy Now everyday (it doesn't play in Pittsburgh so thank god for the Internet for the 1000th time...). And now, like CSPAN, it's televised with Real Media. Check out the March 6th story about the student protests. I'm guessing that's the only place I'll be able to catch it. My only complaint about Democracy Now is that it's a little dry and academic. The left has to be as entertaining as Bill Maher and Mike Moore to go mainstream. I think the best online left television that I've seen comes from the Guerilla News Network. It's left politics done like music videos. It's very impressive. I'll never understand how Glenn Reynolds thinks the net means a revolution for people who watch Fox News. Ours are the views that are never disseminated or aired...
Update: Why don't we use Quicktopic for comments? I just think the words look better. You could do more HTML stuff...just throwin' the suggestion out there...
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Anti-war war movies?
Can you name a war movie that is anti-war? ''Vietnam War films are all pro-war, no matter what the supposed message, what Kubrick or Coppola or Stone intended," former US Marine sniper Anthony Swofford writes in his book Jarhead - A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles. "The magic brutality of the films celebrates the terrible and despicable beauty of their fighting skills. Fight, rape, war, pillage, burn. Filmic images of death and carnage are pornography for the military man.''
Mark Bowden reviews 'Jarhead' for the New York Times:
Violence, sex and male camaraderie are the big draw for many adolescent men who enlist. As a 14-year-old, Swofford was moved by pictures of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1984: ''The marines were all sizes and all colors, all dirty and exhausted and hurt, and they were men, and I was a boy falling in love with manhood. I understood that manhood had to do with war, and war with manhood, and to no longer just be a son, I needed someday to fight.''
So, which war movies do not "celebrate" the "terrible and despicable beauty" of "manly" fighting skills? I can only think of "war movies" about civilians that really seem to be "anti-war". A Petal, and Address Unknown for example, both from South Korea. Can you think of a movie in which the main characters are soldiers that leaves you with a genuine feeling of horror about war?