Saturday, April 05, 2003  

A Belated Welcome

If you're a regular reader, you'll have noticed that Tucker is now a regular contributor to Warmongering Illustrated.

We're glad he's with us. We could use the influx of good humor.

posted by Josh | 10:59 PM
 

More Unintentional Hilarity

In a move that is sure to immediately end hostilities in Iraq, 1,900 librarians world-wide have voiced their opposition to the war.

Ahahahahahaha (pause to catch breath) ahahahaha. Is this for real? This has got to be some of the funniest stuff I have read in quite some time. Go to their page and sign up for their petition ('Hugh Jass', 'Mike Hunt', etc.) Two notable excerpts from their page:

"...the environment [in Iraq] will be made toxic with chemicals and radiation."

Oh, so you admit that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? Because last time I checked, Abrams tanks just put out carbon monoxide.

"We join our colleagues to march together as librarians wherever possible, march 'For the Book, Not The Bomb!'"

March together as librarians. "Oh no, save us! The librarians are marching!" While hilarious, this excerpt also uses the familiar "We can't have schools and an army at the same time" argument that has been popular with the Left since the Sixties. Hey librarians, I wonder how many books Saddam would let you have if he was your boss. I'm thinking you'd have about 5,000 copies of "Saddam: History's Greatest Leader" and not much else.

The reason that all of us, including librarians, have the freedom to read (and say) what we want is because that our freedom is enforced/protected by brave men with M-16s. War sucks, but it is the only reason any of us are free. You can't have books without first having bombs. Oh, and that goes for Iraqis too, librarians. More people than just Americans have the right to be free.

posted by Josh | 8:27 PM
 

Iraqi Propagadon't, pt. 2

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf insisted that the elite Republican Guard was "in full control of Saddam International Airport."

"We have defeated them, in fact we have crushed them," he said of coalition troops. "We have pushed them outside the whole area of the airport."

And as these NY Times photos demonstrate, (sarcasm) coalition troops are clearly in big trouble (/sarcasm) at the newly renamed Baghdad Int'l Airport.

air port

Ha ha. What are we going to do for laughs once everyone in Saddam's crew is worm food? Read about Dennis Kucinich's White House run, I guess. His site is called "The Spirit of Freedom." But not freedom for Iraqis, right Dennis?

posted by Josh | 6:56 PM
 

Anti-War Crowd Misses the Point, Example No. #567,349

Have you seen this fake apology from Natalie Maines? It's not really by her, but it's what people that support her think she should have said in response to the controversy surrounding her comments about the president. The main thrust of the sarcastic 'apology' is that Maines thought it was OK to criticize the president, since so many conservatives challenged Clinton, and that now she knows that it's not OK to be a country singer with liberal views.

Our response (we've said this once before but it bears repeating now):

First, if you can't distinguish criticism of Bush over a war that's meant to protect all of us and criticism of Clinton over his repeated lies to the American public and his desecration of our highest office, you need to have your moral barometer checked. But even that's not really the point, since the First Amendment gives us the right to criticize whatever and whoever we want.

The point is that while you have a constitutional right to free speech, you do not have a constitutional right to have people buy your albums, listen to you on the radio, or (and this is the big one) listen to you misdirected hate-America rantings during what was supposed to be a music concert, not a political rally.

Also, everyone has to remember that there are consequences to free speech, namely that people may get mad at you for what you say. I seriously doubt that Rush Limbaugh has very many listeners in San Francisco. That's a choice he has made. If he wanted to moderate his views, maybe he would have a wider audience. But he doesn't, so he has chosen not to make money in San Francisco.

Similarly, Natalie Maines made a choice when she made a statement that conflicted with the views of a large section of her audience. Her audience happens to be conservative, but that's her bad luck. The fact that scumbag hippie Eddie Vedder can rant and rave and not lose his audience and Natalie Maines can't do the same doesn't constitute an equal protection violation. She chose say what she wanted even though she knew (or should have known) that she risked losing the support of her fans. Fine, that's her choice. But now don't come back whining, saying that she should be able to say whatever she wants with no consequences. Everything has consequences - it's called being an adult.

posted by Josh | 2:28 PM


Friday, April 04, 2003  

Michael Kelly, May He Rest in Peace: Atlantic Monthly Editor Killed in Iraq

I was heartbroken to hear the news of Michael Kelly's death in Iraq. I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Kelly, only the privilege of reading his work. He was not as famous as some of his conservative brethren, but he was unequaled in his talent and dedication to the profession of journalism.

I would like to pay tribute to Mr. Kelly by quoting one of his recent, and finest, columns:

Tyranny truly is a horror: an immense, endlessly bloody, endlessly painful, endlessly varied, endless crime against not humanity in the abstract but a lot of humans in the flesh. It is, as Orwell wrote, a jackboot forever stomping on a human face.

I understand why some dislike the idea, and fear the ramifications of, America as a liberator. But I do not understand why they do not see that anything is better than life with your face under the boot. And that any rescue of a people under the boot (be they Afghan, Kuwaiti or Iraqi) is something to be desired. Even if the rescue is less than perfectly realized. Even if the rescuer is a great, overmuscled, bossy, selfish oaf. Or would you, for yourself, choose the boot?


I haven't cried in years, but my eyes welled up at the thought of Michael Kelly's death. Writers and thinkers of Mr. Kelly's class are rare; he will be sorely missed.

We at Warmongering Illustrated would like to express our condolences to his wife and young children.

For remembrances of those who knew Mr. Kelly better than I, see:

The Weekly Standard

and

Andrew Sullivan for Salon.com (subscription req'd)



posted by Geraldine | 6:57 PM
 

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is talking..."Yeah, I'll have a #6, super-sized with a chocolate shake."

Well it appears the 3rd in command of Al Queda is naming names in his terrorist group. Whether this cooperation is voluntary or coerced remains to be seen. He says one of his primary contacts in America is Majid Khan of Pakistan (with his other primary contacts being the drive through lady at Checkers who he usually sees twice a day when he's in America, and the actor who played Chewbacca in Star Wars, who gets calls from Mohammed wondering if he can fill in for him at any promotional events).

If the cooperation is voluntary, it doesn't surprise me that he'll sell out to save his own life. After all he won't even practice what he preaches, and he gets other people to die for him. But I do wonder if he's been tortured into talking. If so, then I think this kind of interrogation is wrong and unjustified...I'm just kidding. Red is Positive, Black is Negative. And make sure you shave his testicles so you can get direct contact with the skin. Have a nice, excruciatingly painful life Mohammed...what's left of it anyway.

posted by Tucker | 6:46 AM


Thursday, April 03, 2003  

Schadenfreude: John Kerry, Democratic Presidential "Frontrunner," Calls for "Regime Change" in both Baghdad and DC

Although this blog isn't really about domestic politics--except to the extent that it relates to and shapes foreign policy--I couldn't help but post about how much fun I'm having watching the Democratic presidential candidates, and the Party itself, implode. Check out some highlights from John Kerry's speech yesterday in New Hampshire:

What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States.

Kerry told the crowd that Bush had committed a ''breach of trust'' among U.N. members that could not be healed as long as he is in office.

I don't think they're going to trust this president, no matter what. I believe it deeply, that it will take a new president of the United States, declaring a new day for our relationship with the world, to clear the air and turn a new page on American history.

I believe we can have a golden age of American diplomacy, but it will take a new president who is prepared to lead, and who has, frankly, a little more experience than visiting the sum total of two countries.


So here's John Kerry's platform in a nutshell:

--The Bush Administration is comparable (even if only in a rhetorical sense) to Saddam Hussein's dictatorship.

--George Bush is less trustworthy than the members of the U.N. Security Council, including France, Germany, and the Chinese Communists.

--He, John Kerry, will do what it takes to suck up to those rat bastards at the U.N.

--We can have a "golden age of diplomacy" (read: ass kissing dictators and Euro-weenies), but only if we elect someone who's well-traveled, e.g., John Kerry.

(sarcasm) Wow, he's got my vote. (/sarcasm)

posted by Geraldine | 7:51 PM
 

Things the French Do Best

I'm sure some of you have seen this, but just in case anyone needs anymore assurance that our side is the moral and just one, take a look at the actions of those that oppose us, i.e. the French. And 1/3 of France wants Saddam to win the war. These things justify the boycott even more, although there's talk that France may be organizing a boycott against the USA. Personally, I'm a little worried. They seem to be exceptionally proficient at boycotting things like soap (not to mention courage, defense, and work). Our baguette industry could be crippled for weeks.

posted by Tucker | 2:47 PM
 

What the Hell Is Wrong with San Francisco?

The latest travesty in the ongoing travesty known as San Franciso is that its police officers have been forbidden to wear American flag pins. Acting Police Chief Alex Fagan tried to justify his ridiculous policy by saying:

"Here we are at war -- I just don't like it. The point is, we have a uniform. Even more troubling to me was that it is the flag. It offended not only the protesters, it offended the pro-war group."

Nice. The American flag, worldwide symbol of freedom and liberty, troubles him. Also nice that he turns himself into a liar by saying that the flag offended the pro-war group, which (although I have no proof) sounds ridiculous at best. Also ridiculous is that for some reason he thinks wartime is a bad time to be displaying the flag. If war time is a bad time, then when would a good time be? Answer: there is never a more important time to support what the flag stands for than when American soldiers are dying on the battlefields in defense of democratic principles.

Look, like the war, don't like the war, whatever. But it is disgusting when people deride the symbol of the country that has done so much for each and every one of us. If anyone should be allowed to revere the flag, it should be people like police officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the freedom that the flag stands for. The flag is never 'offensive' and the feelings of anyone who is offended by it should be ignored.

I couldn't find Chief Fagan's personal email, but here is the general email for the SFPD: sfpdpbaf@pacbell.net

posted by Josh | 1:38 PM
 

Propagandon't

While there are countless reasons that it'll be nice to see Saddam regime go, there's one thing I'll miss: Iraqi propaganda. There's just something about listening to a guy who has never won a war say that he's going to make us drown in rivers of our own blood that puts a smile on my face. Most of these are especially amusing to read on the day that coalition forces are entering Baghdad. So in memorium, here's a sampling - get it while it lasts:

- "They will not let them reach Baghdad," Saddam said in a letter to his niece, read on state television on Wednesday. "They will cripple them until they return to their countries defeated, leaving our country for its people."

- Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf contended that American warplanes were flying close to some of the holiest Muslim sites, causing vibrations which could damage the structures. He described as "illusions" the U.S. reports of advances near Baghdad.

- "Fight them so that Iraq, the bastion of religion and principles, will be secured and our (Islamic) nation will come out of this crisis glorious," [Saddam's] statement read. "Fight them. Victory is at hand, God willing, although we have only utilized a third or less of our army while the criminals have used everything they brought in."

- Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz said in an interview that the war was based on bluff, deception and miscalculation by the US and Britain and that Iraqis would carry on fighting fiercely.

- "People say to me you are not the Vietnamese, you have no jungles and swamps to hide in," said Tarik Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister, "I reply, 'Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings be our jungles.' "

On a related point, in one of Saddam's last statements, he invoked the name of God eighteen times. I realize why he did this (a call to jihad), but is it really good strategy to say God is on your side even when you're getting trounced? Since you're losing, it either means that your God isn't as tough as you think he is or your God really isn't on your side. Either way, that's bad news.

posted by Josh | 11:12 AM


Wednesday, April 02, 2003  

Modern-Day Kerouac

Slate shows Rummy's softer side: The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld.

Someone spent a lot of time reading a lot of boring briefings.

posted by Josh | 9:04 PM
 

From the "If You Can't Take the Heat" File: Traitorous Columbia Prof Now "In Hiding"

Due to the backlash generated by his remarks that he hopes the U.S. suffers "a million Mogadishus" (for the mathematically inclined, that would be 1,000,000 x 18 American casualties in Mogadishu = 18,000,000 American deaths) Columbia University Professor Nicholas De Genova is now "in hiding" and cancelling his classes out of fear for his life.

While we here at WMI certainly do not condone death threats (although we are foursquare in favor of telling him to go to hell, which, we would point out, is not threatening him with death but rather urging for a particular disposition of his soul should he be so unfortunate), we don't exactly feel sorry for poor Nicholas De Genova. While he rests safely in his Ivy League hideaway, American soldiers are battling the army of a brutal fascist. These brave Americans face not just threatening e-mails and phone calls, but bullets and nerve gas, and all in the name of a Constitution that defends De Genova's right to lead the cheers for their deaths.

So, to paraphrase Chris Rock, we're not saying it's right to make death threats against Professor De Genova .... but we understand.

posted by Geraldine | 6:59 PM
 

The Right to Not Listen to Chicks
by Tucker

The argument that boycotting the Dixie Chicks and throwing away their CDs is "Un-American" is the dumbest argument I have heard since I convinced myself to buy 'Heartbreakers' on DVD ("...c'mon, it's only 10 bucks and it was a decent movie").

People in this country have a right to express their viewpoints. However, with rights and entitlements come responsibility and accountability. We all have freedom of speech, but we are not exonerated from our statements if people think we’re retarded for saying something stupid. David Duke was a Klansman. He has every right to his opinion, bigoted as it may be. That doesn’t mean we’re Un-American for not going to his political rallies. Suppose he turns out to be a good singer…are we obligated to go to the David Duke’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” Holiday Tour?

Natalie Maines has a right to her political views. She can express them privately or in front of an audience, but she will be held accountable for what she says. Perhaps people in support of the war and our President don’t want to line her pockets with their hard earned money anymore (her pockets are probably already stuffed with Big Macs anyway)…what’s Un-American about that? Since Al Gore says boycotting the Dixie Chicks is Un-American, is he in favor of using government powers to force people to go to their concerts and buy their CDs? These are individuals exercising personal judgment about what they will spend their money on. The government did not organize this boycott. Natalie was not thrown in jail, although perhaps for public safety she should be thrown on a treadmill. She is simply being held accountable for her actions.

posted by Josh | 11:04 AM
 

Anything for a Buck

"Europeans are antiwar, but they are pro-commerce."

- Lt. Col. Duke Deluca, near Najaf, Iraq, after noticing that the mines Iraqi units had laid in the road to slow coalition forces had been manufactured in Europe

posted by Josh | 9:15 AM
 

Dixie Chicks Update

If you're a country singer, you'd better stay true to the red, white, and blue, because if you don't, your public is going to burn you.

First there was the boycott, and now a radio station in South Carolina is staging an anti-Dixie Chicks concert starring the Marshall Tucker Band. They're holding it the night of the Dixie Chicks opening show on their new tour, in a town about a half hour away from where the Chicks are playing. And here's the kicker: people with Dixie Chicks tickets get in free.

All I can say is good for them - it's about time someone in South Carolina did something that made a lick of sense. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for a certain Tennesseean, who just came out in support of the Dixie Chicks. Al Gore in a recent speech made this comment about the Chicks:

"They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit. Our best protection is free and open debate."

So is he saying that when you make someone "feel un-American" that you're violating their free speech rights? But the most laughable part of his comment is the "free and open debate" part. The debate is perfectly free and open. No one is saying that Natalie Maines can't say whatever she likes. The problem is that she can talk to 20,000 people every night, while most people don't have access to twenty. The debating field isn't level; the boycott aims to give her the same type of access to political debate that everyone else has by taking away her audience.

Furthermore, she gained that access to an audience because of her music, not because of her political views. When she abuses that power by using a concert as a political forum, she loses the right to that audience. Sorry Al, the Republic is just fine and there is limitless debate. Thanks in part to the Dixie Chicks boycott, everyone can have equal say in that debate.

Oh, and just so we can get some hits from Google: Natalie Maines is a traitor.

posted by Josh | 9:06 AM


Tuesday, April 01, 2003  

Dear Mr. Sheen...

hollywood

'Nuff said.

(hat tip: Will)

posted by Josh | 10:47 PM
 

The Sun: Quite Possibly Inaccurate, But Still a Great Read

England's Sun has three very interesting articles today that if true definitely change the look of the war:

(1) Saddam has ordered chemical attacks from his death bed. The Sun claims that the phrase, "Don’t give them [coalition troops] a chance to catch their breath," made by a spokesperson after Saddam failed to show up for a scheduled speech, is a coded message directing Iraqi troops to use the supposedly non-existent weapons. We'll see in a few days.

(2) The suicide taxi that killed four troops the other day might not have been a suicide bomb after all. Engineers examining the remains of the cab found a remote control device and evidence that the bomber was not a soldier at all but a civilian. I guess this report suggests that someone sent the cabbie in and detonated the device from afar, but that might be a stretch. Could be a sign that the predicted rash of suicide bombings won't occur.

(3) The Desert Rats have found a huge cache of Iraqi weapons in a school. This one probably is true, and I think it points out two things. The obvious one is that Saddam fights real dirty and doesn't care about putting little kids at risk. The other point is that even though the 'human shields' insisted on staying in hospitals and schools, they were still protecting Iraqi ammunition dumps. Real humanitarians.

So believe these stories or don't, but one thing you should check out is their list of coalition fatalities.

posted by Josh | 10:12 PM
 

Time for Bed, Mon Petit Jacques

Drudge has a London Times article which reports that one in three Frenchmen hopes Saddam beats the coalition in the current conflict.

That's alright; I bet at least one in three Americans will want Saddam to win - when he attacks France. Seriously though, the propaganda in that sorry excuse for a country must rival that coming from the Iraqi Ministry of Information. Or maybe Chirac just has Iraqi TV piped directly into French homes.

But to keep perspective, just remember this - the French didn't just start hating us, they've hated us for awhile. For example, after we gave Charles de Gaulle his country back from the Nazis, he spent the better portion of the next three decades trying to thwart our attempts to keep western Europe free from communism. French anti-American and anti-British sentiment is nothing new, and it's unlikely to end anytime soon (like, in this century).

Here's why: the French desperately want to be a world power, but they haven't been one for two centuries, they're not one now, and they're not going to be one in the future. Frankly, they have neither the work ethic nor the stomach for it. This frustrates them and makes them hate the nations who actually are world powers. They're like children who want to stay up late but their parents won't let them. Accordingly, we placated them for a while, and when that didn't work we put them to bed. We were right to do so and hopefully we will continue to do so in the future. The world is much too dangerous a place to be run by nations full of children. The adults have to take a stand every now and then.

posted by Josh | 9:34 PM
 

American P.O.W. Rescued

Jessica Lynch, of Palestine, West Virginia has been rescued from behind enemy lines.

Palestine, huh?

It must have been the will of Allah!!!

posted by Geraldine | 4:48 PM
 

One Bad Turn Deserves Another

Apparently, France and Germany have decided that putting everyone in the free world in jeopardy just really didn't demonstrate what a bunch of self-interested jerks they are. So they've instituted their own Boycott of America. French restaurants aren't buying American products and one even had the gall to say that they wouldn't take American Express anymore.

For those of you who weren't taking the Boycott France thing seriously, this should be a wake-up call. They are trying to hurt us economically, so we should return the favor. And since there are five times more of us than them, we have the advantage.

Here's the list of French companies to boycott. It's a shame to have to boycott Jerry Springer, but we'll all probably be smarter for it, anyway.

(hat tip: MB)

posted by Josh | 12:46 PM
 

A Different Syrian-Axis Theory

While W.M.I. is certain Syria is running head long into an encounter with the 4th Infantry, a reader isn't so sure. Richard writes:

The Syrians are letting all the Islamofascists come into Iraq to be killed so we will not have to go into Syria to kill them, with attendant collateral damage. After the slaughter is finished, the Syrians will say, "Nobody here but us peace loving Syrians."

While we hope that this theory is correct, we wonder if it doesn't give the Syrian goverment just a little too much credit - it's pretty crafty for a country that couldn't even keep control of the Golan Heights. However, it would be nice if one Arab country other than Kuwait actually understood that the U.S. is for real and understood where the War on Terror is heading. We'll reserve judgement for the time being.

posted by Josh | 12:16 PM


Monday, March 31, 2003  

Axis of Evil Update: Kim Jong-il's Paranoid Policy Mandates that All Triplets be Placed in Orphanages

ALL triplets in North Korea are being forcibly removed from parents after their birth and dumped in bleak orphanages.

The policy is carried out on the orders of Stalinist dictator Kim Jong-il, who has an irrational belief that a triplet could one day topple his regime.
The number three is thought to be auspicious in North Korea and triplets are revered. It is believed they are likely to rise to positions of power, which accounts for Kim's insistence that they are all raised in state-run orphanages, where their development can be controlled.

Officially, the policy was introduced to help poverty-stricken parents in a country where hunger is widespread.

But aid agencies and diplomats have dismissed this: triplets born to high-ranking officials are also seized.

"There is no doubt that the policy is compulsory and universal," a veteran Western diplomat told London's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"It may be officially atheistic and Stalinist, but North Korea essentially operates a state religion infused with superstition, astrology and a personality cult that glorifies Kim as a unique individual.


Oh he's unique alright, uniquely f**king nuts. Good thing the Clinton Administration took care of his nuclear ambitions by making him promise that he wouldn't build a bomb.

posted by Geraldine | 10:16 PM
 

We Did Predict This

Just a few hours into the war, we prophesized that Saddam was most likely dead. While that prediction has not been totally borne out by the facts, American intelligence has been unable to confirm Saddam's existence since that night and Iraq's military units look as if they have no direction from top leaders.

Unfortunately, this is not the stuff of which wars are won. I'm sure that we'll need a picture of his rotting corpse to convince the Fedayeen to lay down their arms. But if we did get him, it's still a good thing.

A few days ago, we also surmised that it wouldn't be long before Syria attempted to place itself in the almost-vacated third spot in the Axis of Evil. Haaretz is now reporting that Syria has opened is borders and is allowing thousands of Syrian fighters across the border to join the Iraqis.

Since these fighters have to cross miles of coalition-held territory, I'm not sure they'll see much combat before some 19 year-old from Kentucky lays them flat at five hundred yards. So a thousand or two Syrians are about to become cannon fodder, which ain't the worst thing. But you really have to wonder what is going through the minds of the people running the Syrian government. We knocked out the Taliban, we're knocking out Saddam, who says we won't come after you? It's like they're suicidal - oh wait, I forgot over there that's a good thing.

posted by Josh | 7:21 PM
 

We Should Have Predicted This

Left-wing Bush-hating rag the Daily Mirror has hired the recently fired Peter Arnett. He said:

"I report the truth of what is happening in Baghdad and will not apologize for it."

But didn't you apologize for it just this morning? Look, do whatever you want, Baghdad Pete, but next time could you at least try not to be the voice-piece for a mass murderer? Pretty please?

posted by Josh | 4:38 PM
 

If He's Alive, He Can Hear Us Now

Best Verizon ad ever:

Verizon

(hat tip: Mohan)

posted by Josh | 3:10 PM
 

Traitor on the Faculty: Columbia Professor Would Like to See "A Million Mogadishus"

An academic furor was brewing Friday over a Columbia University professor who told thousands of students and faculty that he would like to see the United States defeated in Iraq and suffer "a million Mogadishus" -- referring to the 1993 ambush in Somalia that killed 18 Americans.

The professor, Nicholas De Genova, told a "teach-in" on Wednesday that "the only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." De Genova also asserted Americans who call themselves "patriots" are white supremacists.

De Genova's hopes for the defeat of the United States were cheered by the crowd of 3,000, according to newspaper reports. But his mention of the Somali ambush -- "I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus" -- was largely met with silence.


Let's meet "Professor" De Genova's remarks with more than silence.

Exercise your right to free speech and let him know what you think: npd18@columbia.edu

posted by Geraldine | 2:01 PM
 

He Loves His Work

"God and country, baby! That's why we're doing this! And we're gonna WIN!"
- an enthusiastic Marine in Iraq, from FOX News

posted by Josh | 9:50 AM
 

1945 Germany = 2003 Iraq

In an apparent effort to prove that they publish something other than contrarian drivel, the NY Times op-ed page today has an interesting piece that compares post-war Germany with (soon-to-be) post-war Iraq, and the implications of that comparison. The piece argues that just as Germany was de-Nazified, Iraq will have to be de-Baathified to ensure that democracy has a chance to flourish.

But then, if Iraq's dictatorship resembled the totalitarianism of the European past, why shouldn't its future likewise resemble, at least in a few traits, Europe's happier experience in more recent years? The Iraqi exiles' report recommends precisely such a future. And with that purpose in mind, the report invokes the de-Nazification precedent in Germany.

Let's just hope the Iraqis don't all become David Hasselhoff fans.

posted by Josh | 9:03 AM


Sunday, March 30, 2003  

Thanks for the shout-out, Right Wing News.

You have been added to WMI's Coalition of the Willing.

posted by Geraldine | 11:33 PM
 

WMI Fisks Maureen "If I Can Win a Pulitzer, Why Can't Warmongering Illustrated?" Dowd

We're shocked that the enemy forces don't observe the rules of war.

No one’s shocked. We’re appalled.

We're shocked that it's hard to tell civilians from combatants, and friends from foes. Adversaries use guerrilla tactics; they are irregulars; they take advantage of the hostile local weather and terrain; they refuse to stay in uniform. Golly, as our secretary of war likes to say, it's unfair.

Where to begin? First, we don’t have a Secretary of War anymore; the post was changed to Secretary of the Army in 1947. So, assuming that you meant Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, I’d like to see some documentation regarding your allegation that Mr. Rumsfeld has complained about the Iraqis using guerilla tactics, the terrain, and the weather to aid them in battle. As for their refusal to wear uniforms, it’s not just unfair, it’s a
war crime.

Of course you'd know this if you actually read your own paper. And yet it's funny that you should forget to mention all the other war crimes the Iraqis have been perpetrating: treachery, hostage-taking, summary executions, humiliation of POWs. Must have slipped your mind.

Some of their soldiers are mere children. We know we have overwhelming, superior power, yet we can't use it all.

No shit, sherlock. That’s because we don’t believe in killing innocent people if we can avoid it – even if that means losing more of our soldiers in the process.

We're stunned to discover that the local population treats our well-armed high-tech troops like invaders.

Friendly Locals
Well if this is the way they treat invaders, I'm stunned.

Why is all this a surprise again?

It isn’t a surprise. Can’t you get that through your thick skull?

I know our hawks avoided serving in Vietnam, but didn't they, like, read about it?

Isn’t it, like, a little early for the Vietnam stuff? Let’s make a deal, no Vietnam analogies until we lose, like, more than 100 men in combat.

"The U.S. was planning on walking in here like it was easy and all," a young marine named Jimmy Paiz told ABC News this weekend with a rueful smile. "It's not that easy to conquer a country, is it?"

I’m sure Jimmy Paiz, God bless him, is in constant contact with Pentagon planners. In fact, it probably went something like this: Rumsfeld: “Hi, Jimmy, this is the Secretary of Defense, we were over here at the Pentagon, planning on walking into Iraq like it was easy and all. We just thought we’d let you know.” Jimmy Paiz, USMC: “Thank you, sir, that’s good to know.”

We will conquer the country, and it will be gratifying to see the satanic Saddam running like a rat through the rubble of his palaces.

If you really believe that, then why don’t you just sit back, shut the fuck up, and watch it happen on CNN?

But it was hard not to have a few acid flashbacks to Vietnam at warp speed.

Oh Maureen, you’re beginning to date yourself (not that your byline photo is doing much to help you on that front either — hint: you might want to look into turtleneck sweaters, and sunlight):
Old Ass Biatch


The hawks want Iraq to be the un-Vietnam, to persuade us that war is a necessary disciplinary tool of the only superpower, that America has a moral duty to spread democracy.

(1) Hopefully everybody wants Iraq to be the un-Vietnam. (2) War is one of two possible tools for imposing international discipline. The other one is trade sanctions. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, didn’t work. (3) Do you mean to suggest that America does not have a moral duty to spread democracy?

This time, we crush the opposition swiftly. This time, the domino theory works in reverse, as repressive regimes in the Middle East fall in a chain reaction set off by a democratic Baghdad. Yet in just a week we've seen peace marches, world opinion painting us as belligerent, and draining battlefield TV images. We saw American commanders expressing doubts about a war plan that the Pentagon insisted was going splendidly while being vague about the body count. "The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against," Lt. Gen. William Wallace, the Army's senior ground commander, told reporters. (No doubt, that truthful heads up will earn General Wallace a slap down.)

Oh yeah, they’re going to tear that three-star general to shreds for saying that they didn’t “war-game” against guys driving exploding taxicabs. What an embarrassing admission. How will the army ever figure out how to deal with this? I’m no military expert, but here’s my seat-of-the-pants solution: tell them to stop the cab a lot further away or they get a tank round through the windshield.

Retired generals were even more critical of the Rumsfeld doctrine of underwhelming force.

Some underwhelming force. We’ve been fighting for a week and a half and we’ve already taken 3/4 of the country.

The defense chief is so enamored of technology and air power that he overrode the risk of pitting 130,000-strong American ground forces —— the vast majority of the front-line troops have never fired at a live enemy before —— against 350,000 Iraqi fighters, who have kept their aim sharp on their own people.

Well, geez, I guess since we’re outnumbered 3 to 1, we’ll have to make sure that we keep our kill ratio up around the 200:1 level we achieved in the first Gulf War.

The incoherence of the battle plan —— which some retired generals say is three infantry divisions short —— has made the guts and stamina and ingenuity of American forces even more remarkable. Rummy was beginning to erase his fingerprints. "The war plan," he said, "is Tom Franks's war plan." Tommy, we hardly knew ye. Paul Wolfowitz, Rummy's deputy, conceded that the war planners may have underestimated the hardiness of the heartless Iraqi fighters.

You’ve really got to despise a guy who’s willing to admit to his mistakes. God I hate that!!!

This admission is galling. You can't pound the drums for war by saying Saddam is Hitler and then act surprised when he proves ruthless on the battlefield.

Why not? Why can’t you say, “Saddam is evil like Adolf Hitler and we should do whatever it takes to get rid of him, including going to war,” while at the same time saying, “Wow, Saddam’s guys are surprisingly brutal and ruthless when you consider the fact that even Maureen Dowd thinks that they have no chance of winning”? It seems perfectly logical to me. The Pentagon (allegedly) underestimated how completely irrational and inhuman the Saddam Hussein regime turned out to be, but so what? It’s not like we sent our guys in there unarmed.

In their wild dreamscape, the hawks envision Iraq as the rolling start of a broader campaign to bring other rogue states, like Iran and North Korea, to heel.

We can only hope.

But in pursuit of what they call a "moral" foreign policy, they stretched and obscured the truth. First, they hyped C.I.A. intelligence to fit their contention that Saddam and Al Qaeda were linked.

Really? So how do you account for the fact that British military interrogators have received reports from Iraqi POWs that Al Qaeda fighters were in southern Iraq?

Then they sent Colin Powell out with hyped evidence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

So I guess Saddam just keeps thousands of chemical warfare suits and nerve gas antidote injections on hand in case we use them, right?

Then, when they were drawing up the battle plan, they soft-pedaled C.I.A. and Pentagon intelligence warnings that U.S. troops would face significant resistance from Saddam's guerrilla fighters.

Wow, you’re getting a lot of access to CIA and DIA intelligence reports for a jerk who writes smart-ass columns for the NY Times.

In cranking up their war plan with expurgated intelligence, the hawks left the ground troops exposed and insufficiently briefed on the fedayeen. Ideology should not shape facts when lives are at stake.

What ideology would that be? Neoconservativism: the ideology for those people who do not believe in telling the Army about crazy-ass Iraqi terrorists who might attack them in the desert. Neoconservatives similarly stand for not giving Tommy Franks as many armored divisions as some retired general on MSNBC thinks he should have. Sounds like an interesting ideology.

Asked about General Wallace's remarks, Donald Rumsfeld shrugged them off, noting that anyone who read Amnesty International reports should have known the Iraqis were barbarians.

God I love Donald Rumsfeld.

Rummy was too busy shaking his fist at Syria and Iran to worry about the shortage of troops in Iraq.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to shake a fist at Syria and Iran, those paragons of virtue, peace, and fair play.

As one administration official marveled: "Hasn't the guy bitten off enough this week?"

Actually, when he warns Syria to stop sending supplies to the enemy, he’s just looking out for our country and our troops in the field – in other words, he’s doing his job.

Maureen Dowd’s job, as far as I can tell, is in either news or entertainment. Unfortunately for her, from the looks of things, she’s not succeeding at either.

posted by Geraldine | 10:32 PM
 

A Change in Tactics

The approach of the peaceniks for awhile was to cite the 'overwhelming' opposition to war (when 45% opposed it) as a reason we shouldn't fight. Now that polls are showing less than 25% are against the war, they've had to change their tactics.

This new 'argument' is illustrated in Tom Tomorrow's latest cartoon. The left's new argument is "Americans may want the war, but Americans are stupid." Good luck with that slogan in the 2004 elections.

posted by Josh | 9:57 PM
 

Perspective

While pro-Saddam propagandists like Peter Arnett and the editorial staff of the NY Times are doing everything they can to portray the war so far as a military defeat for the coalition and prophesize nothing but doom for the coming days, there was a time in this country when eleven days in a war meant nothing. Take note of these American war posters published during some of the darkest days of World War II:

poster 1 poster 2

Eleven days. Our grandparents fought for years, and we're war weary after eleven days. Notice in the second poster the list of locations where battles had already been fought. It was a long list, but still the poster exclaims "We have just begun to fight."

Maybe the current war is taking longer than some (including, admittedly, W.M.I.) had predicted, but in historical terms the amount of time spent in Iraq so far is the blink of an eye, and the amount of territory gained unprecedented. Basra, Umm Qasr, Al Najaf - We Have Just Begun To Fight.

(posters courtesy of Northwestern U.'s collection)

posted by Josh | 9:14 PM
 

Goin' to Gitmo: U.S. May Send Iraqi Civilian Suspects to Cuba

Suspects are being segregated from enemy prisoners of war, in part because they may have been tormentors of regular army soldiers now being held. The detainees will be treated like POWs, but without official status, until a hearing is held under Article 5 of the Geneva Conventions, officers said.

...Any who are determined to have used civilians as human shields or otherwise violated the international covenants of war will be declared illegal combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay or other holding facilities, to be detained with al Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan, military officers said. "That guy's going to get the full treatment," said the senior officer.


Hey fellas, don't forget to save some room in Gitmo for self-appointed Iraqi Propaganda Minister Peter Arnett. Here is his Iraqi TV interview.

posted by Geraldine | 8:29 PM
 

Unexpected Allies and Intricacies of the Iraqi Legal System

This morning on Meet the Press, soon-to-be war criminal Ambassador Mohammed Al-Douri of Iraq claimed that claims of human rights abuses in Iraq by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were "unreliable" and "part of the war propaganda of United States and Britain."

Wow, to have such organizations on our side is quite the diplomatic coup, considering they both have decried many American policies such as the death penalty, the detainment of terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, and some of our policies regarding the war in Iraq.


On a side note, during the interview the Iraqi Ambassador also claimed that he was a "lawyer." Which inspired me to write a short sketch entitled:

Iraqi Lawyer: World's Easiest Job

Iraqi Court: And Mr. Al-Douri, what do you think the law says about this issue?

Iraqi lawyer: Whatever Saddam says it says, your honor.

Iraqi Court: Quite right. Bailiff, shoot the prisoner.

posted by Josh | 8:07 PM
 

Saddam Goes Hollywood

Drudge has a link to a Time magazine article which reports that Saddam gave copies of the movie "Black Hawk Down" to his commanders as a manual on how to defeat the American military.

He's missing two really, really big points. First, eighteen Americans died in Mogadishu, but thousands of Somalis died. If we can keep that ratio in this war, it should be over pretty fast. Second, at the time of the battle in Mogadishu, Bill Clinton was our president and Les Aspin was our Defense Secretary. Both men are mere shadows of the men who occupy those offices today. Bush and Rumsfeld would never have let Mogadishu occur, and they won't let such a debacle occur in Iraq.

I hope this example reflects Saddam's larger thinking about this war. It is always a great thing in conflict for your enemy to vastly underestimate your resolve.

posted by Josh | 3:02 PM
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