Scratch That Old Joke

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Time was you could laugh about Third World military prowess with a "Yeah, and whadda they gonna hit us with? A donkey cart?" They just did.

The Washington Post kicks off its take with the head-warping, "Insurgents deploying rocket-launcher-equipped donkey carts attacked symbolically important and well-fortified buildings in Baghdad…"

Seriously, what the Hell are we doing?

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  1. And again from the anti war crowd we are asked to pretend that we didn’t know anything about Saddam until someone suggested that he might have WMD, and we are treated as though our simple minds used that one pat reason to support military action Iraq.

    Come on guys, a little credit would be nice.

  2. “…we are treated as though our simple minds used that one pat reason to support military action Iraq.

    Come on guys, a little credit would be nice.”

    You’re a smart guy, Jason. Why are you still looking for honesty from these people?

  3. The knock-kneed terror of the dictator of a pissant country on the part of hawks is simply unmanly. It’s not womanly either. It’s little-girlish.

    Just when I thought the argument over the war had reached its intellectual nadir, I encountered this post.

    Thanks to Jim Henley, for redefining the terms of the debate. 🙂

  4. Jeff, what the hell we are doing is making it up as we go along.

    In a democracy it’s crucial for a war to have popular support. Everyone agree?

    Despite flame throwing rhetoric by PNAC Infl, everyone has principles. Problem is, these are nebulous, ethical things which can change according to circumstances.

    So, here’s a principal principle: don’t fight a war over principles (Free the Marsh Arabs! Free Mumia! Free Everyone!), fight a war over threats (“Saddam Hussein is reconstituting nuclear weapons.)

    But make sure you get consensus on the facts before hand. Then you will have popular support, as in Afghanistan.

    And when democracies do go to war over principles i.e. things that don’t threaten their citizens directly (Kosovo, Gulf War 1), they need much broader consensus.

  5. Jason Ligon and JDM,

    The WMD story was a large justification of the former administrations involvement in Iraq. The link to 9/11 was the rallying cry. Were you for the removal of SH in 1991? What about in the years following? Or is it just after 9/11? Not moving in and “fixing the glitch” in 1991 was the biggest mistake. I think we missed the best chance then. February 1998 was the next good time. But probably hand dipping cigars clouded the presidentail judgement. We should have put people on the ground after Kenya bombings to stop Aq also.

    This policy worked before and can work. Notice how Libya did not cause problems post 1986 for the most part (Pan Am 103 speaks of terrible tragedy, but thank goodness it was only one incident. )

    The (ad hoc?) justification that this is a bad guy we got, was that the same reason you were for the action in Haiti too? If not, that kind of talk gives the Chomskyians among us the moving target defense. A consistent anti dictator approach would be preferred. A consistent nation-building approach would be preferred too. But many conservative-minded people who rightly point out that SH was a bad guy were against Haiti, Somalia (as soon as Clinton took over) and against Yuguslavia.

    Bad guy countries ending in vowels: Haiti, Panama, Somalia, Yugoslavia. Korea. All countries end with a vowel. Italy. Greece. Russia, Germany, France. There is a pattern here 😉 cp. United States, Poland, United Kingdom.

    What is a good strategy for North Korea? For them, I favor withdrawal and for starving them out. An indirect way this time? Norrrrrrriega was a threat to the Panama Canal so that makes sense.

    The one discussion that should be there but is not is how the former administration allowed Aq to gain confidence through many actions in Africa: Kenya, the Cole and so on. How can we prevent active terror cells from popping up in Iraq? How can we be sure that the UN won’t in a backhand way premit Syria and others from being on the “peace in Iraq” committee like they are on the Human Rights Committee?

    thanks, Mike Kenston

  6. Chad: I like your statistic. I’ll have to do the math myself, but if there was a line-item voter endorsement of the budget, I would pay $300 to remove a tyranny. I feel that I get more for my money than my $12 levy for a new library that’s closed whenver I want to borrow a book.

  7. trainwreck: Well said.

  8. Seriously, what the Hell are we doing?

    Winning the war on islamism? (You can tell who is winning by where the bombs are going off. Terrorist attacks in the US – we are losing. Terrorist attacks in terrorist strongholds (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan) – we are winning.

    Reconstructing a former dictatorship so that it is a bulwark of our security rather than a threat?

    Killing lots of bad guys?

    Saving millions of Iraqis from a life of terror?

  9. What we need are some donkey seeking missiles.

  10. >>Seriously, what the Hell are we doing?

    yeah, no shit. we are in a real mess, better to have just left saddam alone. does anyone really think this guy would develop a missle or bomb and actually use it?

  11. Is a donkey cart really “military prowess”? You can launch a rocket from anywhere and it seems an automobile would be a better option. The fact they don’t have a car or van is telling.

    Or are you surprised they have rockets? Well it’s amazing what oil money can illegally buy from people with French accents….

  12. Bombing runs by US government on Iraqi territory, 1991 (postwar)-2003 (prewar): 14,000/year

    Bombing runs by Iraqi government on US territory, 1991-2003: 0.

    The knock-kneed terror of the dictator of a pissant country on the part of hawks is simply unmanly. It’s not womanly either. It’s little-girlish.

    Annie Hall demanding that Alvie Singer come kill the spider. Really, Annie Hall demanding that Alvie Singer go kill _every spider on earth_ because it _might_ get into her apartment some day.

  13. The faux-astonishment act put on by some newspeople is growing old. “Insurgents attacked a convoy/hotel/building. How is this possible!?”, they ask. Iraq is not completely secure/pacified. How is that news?

    Is it such a shock to discover that kicking Saddam and cronies out of Iraq will be difficult? Crikey! Stop the presses!

  14. When oat-fueled donkey-towed rocket launchers are outlawed, only outlaws will have oat-fueled donkey-towed rocket launchers.

    They can get my oat-fueled donkey-towed rocket launcher from me when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    Support the right to keep and bear oat-fueled donkey-towed rocket launchers.

    Oat-fueled donkey-towed rocket launchers don’t kill people, Fedayeen kill people.

  15. We have found the donkeys of mild destruction.

    Well. . . they’re fighting the only sort of war available to them. Militarily, their actions are completely insignificant. But, an insurgency movement is a political thing, not a military thing. You can lose every battle and still win the war.

  16. Yes Jim, our troops risking their lives are just little girls. It is little-girlish behavior to free a nation from a democidal regime and it terrorist allies. It is more manly to insult our military men and women from the comment sections of a blog.

    You fucking asshole.

  17. Remember when a donkey show was just a live performance one could see in Tijuana or Bangkok? Oh, I miss those innocent days…

    –Mark

  18. It’s because we find the idea of rocket-equipt donkey cards so silly that they’re a great idea. I’m sure our troops keep an eye on cars and trucks they see, but how many US-born young men and women would take a donkey cart seriously?

  19. Come on, PNAC Infiltrator, you know as well as I that Jim was talking about things at the national level. No reasonable person could doubt the courage and integrity of the US military. Likewise, no reasonable person could wish harm upon individual members of the military because of political disagreement with the Bush administration.

    And that is the point we need to see: There is no reason for our troops to be put in harm’s way. Saddam was simply not a credible threat to the US. This is a fact — show me any reliable evidence to the contrary and I will reconsider.

    The argument that we “liberated” Iraq doesn’t hold water. This ain’t nice, but it’s the truth. It is not the place of American tax dollars or American soldiers to liberate the world.

    The Bushies know this as well as anyone, which is why they jump into bed with the seriously corrupt and deadly bastards in charge of China, but get all self-righteous about Iraq.

    And just think of that $87billion Welfare Package we’re sending to Iraq when you do you taxes for this year.

  20. A libertarian would say that Saddam was a threat by the very fact he was mass murdering his people. A smart person would see the forest for the trees and understand this “war” was just a front in a larger conflict.

    A fucking asshole would downplay the danger our troops are facing this very moment from the safety of his keyboard.

    Thanks for the standard anti-war talking points Frenk. Let me know when you actually want to discuss something.

  21. PNAC, how about you let me know when you want to discuss something? I asked you for some proof of the danger from Saddam; you ain’t got it.

    Enjoy paying your taxes for welfare to the Iraqis.

  22. Apparently what we are doing is putting apostrophes where they don’t belong and randomly capitalizing words.

    Yours truly,

    The Language Police

  23. Likewise, no reasonable person could wish harm upon individual members of the military because of political disagreement with the Bush administration.

    You’d be surprised. What is called “reasonable” on some levels is in fact an intellectual capacity far beyond reach of a significant chunk of the People Curve.

    Wasn’t there next to no damage? Tactically it’s a failure; a few insurgents grandstanding with a donkey cart and a few missiles. Congrats, I can blow shit up too.

    Jeff, this is the natural conclusion to what did not end in 1991. A.q. will blow up folks just because they won’t kneel to some invisible tribal
    “deity”. We took the country out of the hands of a minority whose leader liked to kill and torture the more populous Kurds and Shiites. There were many more left, so I imagine Hussein wasn’t exactly done yet. Cur, Interrupted. He wants his torture chambers back. From whence cometh this inane surprise at his supporters trying to do just that?

  24. rst: you might be right about the rarity of reasonableness, but I still stand by my statement, and can’t accept PNAC’s take on Jim’s words.

    Jarod: The only thing on a blog that is more pointless than repeating the same old Republican vitriol is some putz trying to get pedantic about punctuation, spelling, or whatever.

    Share your thoughts; show us the excellence of your punctuation; awe us with the perfection of your grammar. Do all of that, but PLEASE spare us the langauge police crap.

  25. “Come on, PNAC Infiltrator, you know as well as I that Jim was talking about things at the national level. No reasonable person could doubt the courage and integrity of the US military. Likewise, no reasonable person could wish harm upon individual members of the military because of political disagreement with the Bush administration.”

    Exactly, thank you.

    While no honest reader could claim that I said “our troops are little girls,” such a reader can usefully exemplify the sort of person I do mean.

  26. IS THERE A DONKEY CART GAP NOW, TOO??????

  27. Silly PNAC infiltrator, Jim was talking about the cowards in Washington who would never deign to wear a uniform, because they’re too good for that.

  28. Jim: Keep snickering in your blog as our soliders fight and spill blood for the freedom of Americans and Iraqis, it is so very brave of you.

    Maybe someday you can ask a Kurd or Marsh Arab what is like to be on wrong end of primitive AK-47 held by a “pissant dictator.”

  29. “A.q. will blow up folks just because they won’t kneel to some invisible tribal ‘deity'”

    We could drop a big rock with some other deity’s symbolism on their invisible tribal one! Don’t worry, RST, it’s just invisible. Not even tangible. It can’t hurt or do anything. It’s just reducable.

  30. We could drop a big rock with some other deity’s symbolism on their invisible tribal one!

    Yup, and it would still be just a rock.

  31. You betchas 😉

  32. yeah, no shit. we are in a real mess, better to have just left saddam alone.

    Yeah, we should have left Milosevic alone, too. It’s not like he was going to build WMD.

  33. Given how much the Democrat party in this country thought we should have left Saddam and Sons alone to rape pillage and torture, it is no suprise and ironically symbolic that they are now using the party symbol as a waepon against us.

  34. Taylor, we know you’re clueless when it comes to current events (imagine, people shooting at us in a war, the idea!) but it’s time you learned the possessive “its” has no apostrophe.

  35. Excellent point, Jeff, it’d be so much better if they had nuclear weapons to attack us with.

  36. Silly PNAC infiltrator, Jim was talking about the cowards in Washington who would never deign to wear a uniform, because they’re too good for that.

    Nah, I was more talking about folks like PNAC Infiltrator. I think the guys in Washington are more opportunists than cowards. (The Dems who rolled over for the use-of-force resolution were pretty cowardly, though.)

    What I fault the administration for is trying to make Americans cowardly – engaging in a deliberate months-long campaign to scare Americans into supporting the invasion. That’s why I call it the Million Mom War – the prewar rhetoric was all about some mirage of perfect safety the Administration would chase for us. I despise them for sacrificing the lives of our soldiers on that mirage.

  37. What a facile display of abject idiocy.

    Why is political correctness enforced on a blog frequented by soi disant libertarians? As experience should confirm, your typical soldier is defending his country not because he’s thoughtfully considered the concept of freedom and decided after months of quiet musing that foregoing his freedom for the benefit of the ‘many’ is what the eternal laws of justice have ordained for persons such as himself, but because penury or patriotism or a need of restrained punition thrust the brutal task upon him.

    I’m not downplaying the dangers the trusty troops are facing (I do not wish to be called a ‘fucking asshole’ by someone whose foraneous nickname is ‘Infiltrator’): I’m merely stating what is plainly obvious, and that’s that you needn’t be a noble soul to grab a gun and submit to the commands of others. Drop the holier-than-thou bullshit, in other words, cack. Your status as part of a specific ‘group’ is meaningless; individuals matter, not labels and categories.

  38. So it seems we’ve found the “Weapons of Ass Destruction”.

  39. Sorry Jim, but I am not taking cracks about how harmless Saddam “weally was” while he was mass murdering thousands of people.

    I notice how you pull a Mike Moore and dump on us Americans for being tooo stupid and cowardly to stand up to Bushilter and his lies. Of course you are so brave and smart blogging behind your keyboard, able to see through the Matrix while us dumb Americans fall for it.

    I despise your snarky condensation, in addition to your lack of principles.

  40. “And just think of that $87billion Welfare Package we’re sending to Iraq when you do you taxes for this year.”

    Actually, it’s costing me about 300 bucks. It’s pretty easy to download Excel files from the OMB website, and calculate the effect of $87B on one’s prospective tax bill. For my 300 bucks I get the best-trained, best-armed force in the history of the world to play roach motel with every scumbag scrambling in. Far better there than said scumbags learning to fly airplanes next door while I’m playing a round of golf.

    It’s funny, a lot of the same people who say I should be whining about that 300 bucks this year, or for the next few years even, don’t mind at all that between my wife and my employers and I, we’re setting close to 20 GRAND a year – for the next THIRTY FIVE YEARS – up in flames in a big ponzi scheme they call “Social Security”. And I’m a Nazi if I suggest that hey, maybe I’d like the opportunity to invest a little of that $20K myself rather than watch it go up in flames.

    So I should whine about $300 instead? Talk about barking up the wrong tree.

  41. Personally, I don’t fall for

    (1) The fake astonishment of articles like this one
    (2) The arguments of moral superiorty about the cause of liberation in Iraq, when everyone knows we were lied to about a WMD threat as a means to get us there.

    I’m gonna make all the astonished rhetoricists go stay in the Palestine Hotel.

    And I’m gonna make all you moral purpose people go fight about 60 damned wars in about 50 dictatorships around the world.

    You next stops, Zimbabwe and Georia. Enjoy your trips. If it helps any, I will lie to you about WMDs until you get there.

  42. Now… if the president had come to me and said

    “We need to invade Iraq because we want to take on dangerous regimes before they get into a position where we hav eto bargain with them…”

    Then maybe I would have been for the war.
    But trying to manipulate me with WMDs, or The impending invasion of the Mexicans, or whatever the hell it was this time around, loses my respect and loyalty.

    As for the astonished Internet bloggers: I don’t expect anything other than rhetoric anyway.

  43. PNAC, Dan – you totally missed the metaphor. The troops in Iraq aren’t the little girl; you’re the little girl. The troops in Iraq are Alvie Singer, killing spiders because a frightened Annie Hall (you, the president, etc.) demanded that he come kill them.

    Get it?

  44. A genocidal tyrannical madman is hardly just a “spider.”

    I am not the one marginalizing the danger of a “pissant” dictator that slew millions (and was more than eager to slay more) while men and women are taking up arms in defense of my freedom.

    Downplaying the danger of these thugs, as you and Jim have done, is little girlish.

    Comments such as yours only reinforce my gut belief that most anti-warmongers are mostly dishonest, small-minded cowards.

  45. Downplaying danger is “little girlish?” Clearly, PNAC doesn’t spend a lot of time around little girls. And for that, we can all be grateful.

    ‘A genocidal tyrannical madman is hardly just a “spider.”‘

    Well, yes, the metaphor isn’t perfect. For example, if you hit a spider with your shoe, you don’t have to worry about that spider anymore. Whereas our actions in Iraq don’t appear to be making me any safer, and are getting a lot of people killed.

    Please explain how not being as frightened as you of Iraq makes me a coward.

  46. So now your agrument is that I am a child molestor? Real classy joe, you and your ilk have clearly not yet hit rock bottom yet with your dishonest and disgusting accusations.

    As usual your premises are false. Our actions in Iraq are an act of courage. Inaction in the face of tryanny is cowardice. Equating courage with “little girl” behavior is dishonesty.

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