Kill Yr Idols

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The Guardian has your slice of Iraq glumness for the day: The Iraqi who took a sledgehammer to the base of Saddam's statue in Baghdad now regrets ever doing so.

I regret tearing down the statue. The Americans are worse than Saddam, and we are in the fifth year of their occupation. Every day is worse than the previous day.

And so on. What's needed: A surge of 21,000 (or 30,000) sculptors to build some new tear-downable statues and help Iraqi bodybuilders get their grooves back.

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  1. “Every day is worse than the previous day…. That means that every day you see me it’s on the worst day of my life”

    “What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?”

    “It sure is”

    “Man. That’s fucked up.”

    transcript between Petr al Gibbons and Dr. alhambra Swanson

  2. Iraq sounds like a small-government paradise to me. I bet you can smoke in the bars there and I doubt anybody cares about trans fats.

  3. What’s really messed up is that we won’t even let the Iraqis keep their staplers.

  4. If you’re using “smoke” as a synonym for “smolder,” then sure.

  5. So this guy would rather be celebrating Nowruz today?

  6. What a whiner.

  7. I think he’d probably like to go down the road to his favorite cafe and have a cup of mud and a few pulls on the hookah without worrying about being blown up or snatched off the street for some impromptu brain surgery. At least when Saddam was on the job, the chaos and carnage were predictable.

  8. The Americans are worse than Saddam

    This guy just might make a fine Reason intern. Snap him up!

  9. But we meant well!

  10. “Iraq sounds like a small-government paradise to me. I bet you can smoke in the bars there and I doubt anybody cares about trans fats.”

    Yeah. Because the last time you heard libertarians saying that the government shouldn’t be responsible for preventing road side bombs was when?

  11. Yeah. Because the last time you heard libertarians saying that the government shouldn’t be responsible for preventing road side bombs was when?

    Well, gee, when did David Friedman write his last book? Gotta love those anarcho-capitalists.

  12. I think he’d probably like to go down the road to his favorite cafe and have a cup of mud

    I agree that he’d rather do that that, oh, I don’t know, fight for his freedom.

  13. secon ‘that’ = ‘than’

  14. It seems to me like taking a sledgehammer to that statue was an illegal act — unless he had permission from the US military command I suppose.

    Are locals allowed to commit spontaneous property crimes during wartime?

    I hope d00dski knows what the statute of limitations is for serious vandalism (terrorism?) under Iraq’s criminal law.

  15. The Americans are worse than Saddam

    Well, we could always try rape rooms, mass killing of our political opponents, censoring the press, tightly controlling all membership in any organizations whatsoever, instituting a secret police force to root out opposition, and see if that gets things running as swimmingly as it was under Saddam. Thanks for the ideas, sledgehammer guy!

  16. Yeah. Because the last time you heard libertarians saying that the government shouldn’t be responsible for preventing road side bombs was when?

    Just pointing out that a little too much government is probably better than not quite enough.

  17. Well, we could always try rape rooms, mass killing of our political opponents, censoring the press, tightly controlling all membership in any organizations whatsoever, instituting a secret police force to root out opposition, and see if that gets things running as swimmingly as it was under Saddam. Thanks for the ideas, sledgehammer guy!

    I think that’s the point. As nasty as Saddam was, it appears that he was better than civil war.

  18. Not even I thought we’d manage to make Iraq worse than Saddam.

    And think about it – this guy is saying that he was better off under Saddam, even when the sanctions were on. Yikes!

  19. it’s certainly a miss of the low bar.

  20. As nasty as Saddam was, it appears that he was better than civil war.

    My point was that no one would stand for us imposing Saddam-like controls to avoid civil war, would they? This guy complains about “occupation” but a real military dictatorship wouldn’t put up with complaining, would it? The Kurds have managed a prospersous self government. Maybe it’s not all the occupier’s fault. Maybe the occupied should take some responsibility.

  21. So — is the consensus that we should’ve just gunned them down in the streets back in ’03 when the first rumblings of dissent occurred? Would that have produced a more optimal outcome?

  22. “When smashing monuments, save the pedestals – they always come in handy.” — Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

  23. The consensus, JKP, is that we never should have set this disaster in motion in the first place.

    You’re right, neither of those options is acceptable, and no better options are presenting themselves. This is just occurring to you in March 2007?

  24. My point was that no one would stand for us imposing Saddam-like controls to avoid civil war, would they? This guy complains about “occupation” but a real military dictatorship wouldn’t put up with complaining, would it? The Kurds have managed a prospersous self government. Maybe it’s not all the occupier’s fault. Maybe the occupied should take some responsibility.

    The Kurdish enclave is a hothouse flower that requires a combination of American patronage and an American willingness to overlook ethnic cleansing by the ruling majority. It’s a Kosovo with less annual rainfall. Those conditions are not going to obtain in the rest of Iraq.

  25. It’s the fault of the cultural left. There can be no other explanation.

  26. this guy is saying that he was better off under Saddam, even when the sanctions were on.

    That settles it for me!

  27. Abdul, R.C. Dean, etc.,

    Whatever the merits of the man’s arguments, maybe you ought to go live in Iraq for a while to see exactly why he is saying these things?

  28. At the very least one should be able to empathize with the man’s situation even if one doesn’t agree with his assessment, especially if one actually gave a shit about the plight of Iraqis. After all, this an individual who is having to live with the consequences of our nation’s actions.

  29. You know, I could just sit here and post a snarky (yet observant and perhaps surprisingly funny) comment, but instead of that I’ve chosen to applaud the Sonic Youth reference.

    Bravo, sir, BRAVO!

  30. 2 words

    flip-flopper

  31. Joe said-

    “Not even I thought we’d manage to make Iraq worse than Saddam.

    And think about it – this guy is saying that he was better off under Saddam, even when the sanctions were on. Yikes!”

    Ok Joe, when I brought up this line of thinking the other day , you told me that it was a straw man argument and people weren’t saying that. The new call of the Liberal “We should support dictators to promote stability! Saddam made the trains run on time!”

  32. brotherben,
    You get an unsolicited

    Amen!

    for that.
    (Is “can I get a…” now just meant to be understood at the end of your comments?)
    (Is “Amen” not really appropriate for a comment that isn’t any sort of righteous, but just very clever?)
    (How many parenthetical questions are too many?)
    (Is this too many now?)
    (How about now?)

  33. Grotius, I’m not denying that things are not good in Iraq, and that for some folks (especially Sunnis profiting from the Saddamite state) things are worse than under Saddam.

    Still, the notion that one guy’s opinion on all this, taken totally out of context, has the least information or persuasive power, is ludicrous.

  34. Perhaps if Saddam were still in power, this guy would still be dreaming about pulling the statue down. Or perhaps he would be fighting for his freedom.

    And maybe when he says the American occupation is worse than Saddam, he is not expressing nostalgia for the Ba’ath Party regime. He probably thinks it is the strongest possible way to reject what the American occupation is doing to his country.

    Not so long ago, most Libertarians were quite unhappy with Clinton’s Democrat Party regime, and were glad to see Republicans win the 2000 election. Now some of those same people, and some conservative Republicans are saying “bring Clinton back.”

  35. Dave,

    The reason your comparison, argument, and accusation fall apart is because “support” does not mean the same thing as “oppose through means short of invasion and occupation.”

    It is a straw man to say that liberals want us to support dictators. If I say that Germany was better off under the Kaiser than under Hitler, does that make me a monarchist?

  36. Gene Berkman rules.

    “Perhaps if Saddam were still in power, this guy would still be dreaming about pulling the statue down. Or perhaps he would be fighting for his freedom.”

    The damage this war has done to the noble, important cause of Middle East democracy – a goal that liberals and neocons agree on, even if we differ on tactics, strategy, and the definition of democracy – cannot be understated.

    Remember when war supporters told us that post-war Iraq was going to serve as a model of democracy for the entire Muslim world? I’m afraid they’re right.

  37. IM IN UR COUNTRY
    SMASHIN UR IDOLS!

  38. Sorry, I misspelled that:

    “IDOLS” should be “IDOLZ”

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