Blood, Toil, Tears and Bullshit



In the dying days of the campaign, some Republicans are winning over the media by puffing out their chests and talking about the war in Iraq in high-minded, "take your medicine" terms. The war's been so unpopular for so long that Rick Santorum's current gambit—a series of speeches dubbed "The Gathering Storm Tour" (after Churchill)—looks almost heroic.

Santorum linked Iran and North Korea with a network of enemies that include Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Islamic extremism in general. Quoting Winston Churchill, Santorum said that, as in the lead-up to World War II, America does not recognize the "gathering storm."

"Unlike the past, the wicked are not just building a military machine that can threaten us with a large war on the ground and in the air, they are building weapons of mass destruction unlike anything we have ever seen… . The consequences are higher than they've ever been," Santorum told cadets at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne.

It's impressing the hell out of conservatives, but Matt Yglesias has an analysis that's probably more in line with what voters think.

And just think—what if the Venezuelan terrorists get on the Iranian space station? What then Mr. Casey, huh? huh? Seriously, these people are morons. Dangerously dishonest or (I fear) dangerously confused about what's going on in the world. "Say what you will," remarks [National Review's Kathryn Jean] Lopez, "but this is leadership." Custer-quality leadership at that.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Senate candidate Mark Kennedy (last seen here) is getting a ton of soft media coverage, including a block on Fox News later today, for an ad where he hikes up his John Mark Karr-brand khakis and defends the war in the wheeziest possible terms.

None of us like war, and we've made some mistakes in Iraq. We're facing an enemy that must be defeated. Leaving Iraq now will create a breeding ground for new attacks on America. That's the harsh reality. My opponent says the answer is diplomacy, but you can't negotiate with people who wanna kill ya. I'm Mark Kennedy. Securing the peace is a lot harder than wishing for it. I approve this message, even though it may not be what you wanna hear.

I've watched that ad twice and I can't see what's substantially different between his message and the Bush administration's message. It's just phrased in a mopy, self-righteous way. So, why do media and political experts see stuff like this and stroke their chins thoughtfully at the "honesty" on display? Pro-war Republicans refuse to take responsibility for the conduct of the Iraq war, refuse to consider alternative arguments in the "war on terror," and want to be taken very, very seriously. I see some light at the end of the tunnel: After election day, maybe some few think tanks will have openings for former Senators and congressmen to make these very, very serious arguments.

NEXT: Stay the Course

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    Maybe the entire government is dellusional Dave. But to argue that there is a a nexus between middle-eastern extremists and Venuzuela and not that far fetched. Go to any anti-war rally in Europe and jihadists march in lock step with hardcore leftists. Iran and Venezuala are openly seeking to work with each other.,,1804469,00.html. What do you think they are doing, selling each other oil? No question that the Anti-American left is not above working with jhihadists. If anyone is a dangerous moron it is Yglesis, but anyone who reads his stuff probably already knows that.

  2. All this Long Twilight Struggle stuff is going to sound pretty goofy after we declare victory and get out after the election.

    Will be fun to watch the apologists make a 180 and find a way to rationalize it though.

  3. “they are building weapons of mass destruction unlike anything we have ever seen…”

    Pfft. Yeah, like that North Korean “bomb”? There are 3,000 warheads sitting on a base two miles from my house, each of which make that bomb look like a bottle rocket.

    Santorum is reaching, as usual. Apparently he has nothing against man-on-dog after all, ’cause he’s sure screwing the pooch…

  4. Senator Frothy has such a forward-looking awareness of the threats facing our country, that he supported taking forces out of Afghanistan and allowing Osama to escape, so that they could save from the threat of non-existant Iraqi WMDs passing through nonexistant channels to Al Qaeda.

    Wannabe Senator Kennedy, of the Baathist and Sunni nationalists who are our enemy in Iraq manage to take over that country, what makes you think that they would suddenly allow the international jihadists they spent thirty years locking up and executing, and who declared war on them when they ran Iraq, to start using their country as a base?

  5. what I want to know is how does Kathryn Jean Lopez have a job? She is a terrible writer (really, you have to read her posts 5 times to make any sense of them) and the biggest hero-worshpping, GOP cheerleader out there. It stuns me.

  6. “”””All this Long Twilight Struggle stuff is going to sound pretty goofy after we declare victory and get out after the election.

    Will be fun to watch the apologists make a 180 and find a way to rationalize it though.””””

    I agree.

    The new finger pointing between Iraq and the US over failed security will give it an interesting twist.

    I’m betting that we will get fed up with the lack of security, and claim the goal all along was to install a new government, not to defeat an enemy, mission completed we can leave.

    Bush has repeated no time lines, but now we have a “benchmark” for 12-18 months. But, it’s not a time line, is a 12-18 month benchmark!!!!

    Though I am concerned with the outcome, (I’m with the few that want to send more troops to secure most of Iraq, and back a draft to do so), I’m enjoying the flip floping Bush is doing while claiming he’s not.

    Will the real reason we are in Iraq please stand up.

    “””they are building weapons of mass destruction unlike anything we have ever seen…”””””

    That is a joke of a statement.

  7. The Soviets had and ICBM with a 50 megaton warhead. Not kiloton, megaton.

    So, yeah, that chlorine gas Syria has is really filling my shorts with a frothy substance.

  8. The Soviets had and ICBM with a 50 megaton warhead. Not kiloton, megaton.

    Actually, joe, they only tested a 50 megaton bomb. They even talked about testing a 100 megaton one but couldn’t work out how to do it without incinerating the plane that dropped it. Even at that it was so big they had to rig it half ouside the plane with the bomb bay doors removed.

    Apparently the Soviets dropped their test bombs from planes rather than using stationary platforms like we did.

    Apparently they did design a 50 megaton warhead but never deployed it.

  9. Seeing John call Matthew Yglesias (oops, I mean Yglesis) a dangerous moron has to be the comic highlight of the day. But anyone who reads John’s posts probably already knows that.

  10. I watched part of the Casey/Santorum debate and Casey is incredibly annoying. So annoying I made a video showing how one of his arguments is highly misleading. Youtube video at my link

    As for Venezuela, read the recent House report (PDF file from, which contains this:

    Furthermore, according to senior U.S. military and intelligence officials, Venezuela is
    emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere, providing assistance
    to Islamic radicals from the Middle East and other terrorists.117
    General James Hill, commander of U.S. Southern Command, has warned the United
    States faces a growing risk from both Middle Eastern terrorists relocating to Latin
    America and terror groups originating in the region. General Hill said groups such as
    Hezbollah had established bases in Latin America. These groups are taking advantage of
    smuggling hotspots, such as the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and
    Venezuela?s Margarita Island, to channel funds to terrorist groups around the world.118
    Venezuela is providing support?including identity documents?that could prove useful
    to radical Islamic groups, say some U.S. officials. The Venezuelan government has
    issued thousands of cedulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from
    places such as Cuba, Columbia, and Middle Eastern nations that host foreign terrorist
    organizations. The U.S. officials believe that the Venezuelan government is issuing the
    documents to people who should not be getting them and that some of these cedulas
    could be subsequently used to obtain Venezuelan passports and even American visas,
    which could allow the holder to elude immigration checks and enter the United States.119
    Recently, several Pakistanis were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border with
    fraudulent Venezuelan documents.120

  11. John, Im curious. When we launched our mighty jihad against Grenada, there were many reasons given by the ubiquitous “serious thinkers” about the why of it, repeated over & over again by right thinking patriots.
    A- the airstrip would be used to refuel Libyan bombers headed towards the US, B, there were secret underground Soviet missile bases, C, There was a secret Russian sub seacave base. There were more reasons, including “students”.
    Which story had YOU under your bed? Im curious……

  12. Now I’m going to lock myself up in my room so all the scary brownskinned people can’t hurt me.

  13. So the Republican foreign policy is now “pissed of at the world.” At least it’s now consistent with their domestic policy.

  14. You laugh, MUTT, but Grenada is only a two day drive from Brownsville for Soviet tankes.

    If they had Donald Duck tanks.

    Which they didn’t.


  15. I think Santorum, John, and Lonewacko have watched “Red Dawn” one too many times.

  16. The fact that Sen. Frothy is taking a serious shellacking is great for a number of reasons, not least of them his newfound willingness to say anything to see what particular bullshit will stick to the wall. “Will the voters be scared enough of the heinous Iran-Cuba-Venezuala-Korea-Syria-__________ coalition to pull the lever for Mr. Man-on-Dog-Action? Or will the sheeple vote themselves into a hideous radioactive DEATH?” I even supported the war in Iraq and I think his rhetoric is retarded.

    And I couldn’t agree more with bb RE: Kathryn Lopez. She is easily the most airheaded conservative blogger that I know about, and I think I know about most of ’em.

  17. While the US built and tested a 15 megaton thermonuclear “device”, I don’t know if we ever weaponized anything that large. Most of our arsenal is made up of 330 kiloton nuclear warheads and 4 megaton thermonuclear warheads. Both of which are fairly small, sizewise. Both weapons, however, are very advanced, and it’s unlikely any terror-supporting state has or could acquire the technology to build such weapons in the near future.

  18. Just curious, has the honorable senator from Pennsylvania ever been queried about the SAVAGE LOVE defination of santorum (n). It appears to have gained a lot of traction.

  19. Me too: “Just curious, has the honorable senator from Pennsylvania ever been queried about the SAVAGE LOVE defination of santorum (n).”

  20. Any serious thinker knows the real danger is the Senegalese Doomsday Machine.

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