Zarqawi’s Death: Good News For Al Qaeda?

One of the more perceptive folks whom I have known in my limited experience in online politics, Ian Welsh has a unique perspective on Zarqawi’s death and current trends in the mideast in general:

All of this is very good news for the West – drying up bin Laden’s money didn’t exactly stop the idea of al-Q’aeda but it did transmute it into a much less virulent form by reducing bin Laden’s ability to enforce the ideology of al-Q’aeda due to his dependence on men like Omar who are provincial fanatics.

From this perspective the death of Zarqawi is not necessarily particularly bad news to al-Q’aeda. It will depend, greatly, on whether the new Iraq leader of al-Q’aeda is less of a fool than Zarqawi and is able to bring people into al-Q’aeda rather than forcing people out.

As they say, read the whole thing. I hope that he is right because for my money America faces worse odds fighting a charismatic pan-Arabist strategist like bin Laden than we do fighting small minded street toughs like Zarqawi, for whom chasing arbitrary sectarian disputes is as important or more important than challenging the West. Zarqawi’s fingerprints are all over the now-infamous Khalidazid memo, originally leaked to the Washington Post:

This cable outlines, the Post reported Sunday, “the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees’ constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government.”

It’s actually far worse than that, as the details published below indicate, which include references to abductions, threats to women’s rights, and “ethnic cleansing.”

[…] As a footnote in one of the 23 sections, the embassy relates, “An Arab newspaper editor told us he is preparing an extensive survey of ethnic cleansing, which he said is taking place in almost every Iraqi province, as political parties and their militiast are seemingly engaged in tit-for-tat reprisals all over Iraq.”

For the innocent Iraqis who have had to make the dangerous trip to collect fallen relatives at the local morgue Zarqawi’s death could not come soon enough. Americans have to wonder, however, whether this new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, abu Hamza al-Muhajer, will focus his bloody attention as much on fellow muslims as his late predecessor. Do we hope yes, or no? If yes then we go on being the equivalent of the Compton PD – undermanned and grateful that at least they’re mostly killing each other. If no then al Qaeda will have nowhere else to send their piles of loose munitions and faith-hardened volunteers except against us.

I would love it if there was some third way out of this unpleasant Sophie’s Choice. Hey, maybe we can just keep dropping laser-guided antipersonnel rottweilers on every #1 and #2 that comes up. Everything will get rosy again, right? Unfortunately that’s not how it works. Israel keeps vaporizing #1 and #2 terrorist masterminds and the LAPD keeps on putting away the heads of this or that gang, and yet missiles keep raining down and gangs go on thriving. Some problems don’t end like a cheap Hollywood actioner where the chief bad guy loses a fight at the edge of a chasm, plunges into space and rights every wrong with the unambiguous finality of his death. On this side of the movie screen some ambitious sous-chef will always step in to fill the void. We’ve seen this movie before. In lieu of any other strategy I think that we should seriously ask whether, at least in part by our own doing, our continued presence in Iraq does more harm than good.

Let me expand, briefly. Iraq’s al Qaeda gets its funding over and above bin Laden’s dwindling share, iirc, because of the confluence of holy sites and the infidel army. Images of US violence in the muslim holy land work just like the terrifying specter of president Hillary when it comes to bringing in the cash. If you take away the US presence then AQ has to find some other bugbear to demonize and something tells me that a Sunni-Shiite-Kurdish coalition government just doesn’t have the same bite. Will a diminished al Qaeda end the sectarian forces that already threaten to pull Iraq apart? No, it won’t. But neither will we.

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222 replies
  1. 1
    Vladi G says:

    Why does Tim hate America?

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    In lieu of any other strategy I think that we should seriously ask whether, at least in part by our own doing, our continued presence in Iraq does more harm than good.

    Ah…The Murtha Argument. The way I see it, AQ is responsible for much of the bombings and other high-exposure events, but the 50 killed on a bus or 30 found dead in a back alley with torture marks are all just Sunnis vs. Shites.

    This is like South Africa in the 90’s. When suddenly a historically oppressed group regains power, and quickly, they can’t resist themselves in getting revenge. Just like in S. Africa, there’s no way to stop this in Iraq. Revenge is based on anger and pride, and it’s going to take place regardless of any gov’t or the US military.

  3. 3
    D. Mason says:

    On a barely related note. I’m surprised the refusal of Iranian nuclear concession offers hasn’t got more attention. We rattle our sabres in their general direction and they fold, then we tell em to go fuck themselves? You can count on Bush to do anything and everything he can to avoid a nuclear showdown.

  4. 4
    caroline says:

    I’m surprised that the United Arab Emigrates still running our ports hasn’t gotten more attention.

  5. 5
    D. Mason says:

    Caroline sadly its the first I had heard of it. Are these the same ports from the infamous deal that was “squashed”?

  6. 6
    stickler says:

    Is there some sort of anti-reality field operating on this thread?

    South Africa did not see a bloodbath of revenge after Mandela and the ANC came to power.

    The Bahrain ports deal died an ugly death in the Congress.

    You can count on Bush to do anything and everything he can to avoid a nuclear showdown.

    The evidence suggests the opposite, actually.

  7. 7
    Pb says:

    D. Mason,

    I’m surprised the refusal of Iranian nuclear concession offers hasn’t got more attention

    That’s old news, isn’t it? Of course, I was making fun of them when it was North Korea in the news, so I find it all entirely unsurprising in any case. As for the important, substantive news that the hacks avoid and the stupid, unimportant fluff that the spin machine churns up… yeah, that’s business as usual too.

  8. 8
    ppGaz says:

    This whole thread, and most of the blogchurn around the Zarqawi killing in recent weeks, hangs on a single assumption: That it’s Al Qaeda and/or “leaders” like Zarqawi around which the fate of Iraq will revolve.

    I don’t see any evidence to dispel the notion that the fate of Iraq will hang on its own makeup and its own history of being inherently ungovernable. Zarqawi, the new guy, Al Qaeda, and the US presence over there, are all complicating factors that interact with each other to some extent. But are they controlling factors, either indicidually or together? Sorry, I don’t see it.

    The evidence, which arrives daily on your screen, seems to show that Iraq will continue to descend into civil war and chaos, and our big “choice” is all about our egos and our desire to appear to “be” one thing or another … but it will have no lasting effect on the outcome over there.

  9. 9
    D. Mason says:

    Pb you’re right of course, It’s no surprise that the MSM doesn’t give us these stories. The surprising thing is that the blogs arent abuzz with this particular outrage.

  10. 10
    Sherard says:

    This whole thread, and most of the blogchurn around the Zarqawi killing in recent weeks, hangs on a single assumption: That it’s Al Qaeda and/or “leaders” like Zarqawi around which the fate of Iraq will revolve.

    So, if AQ in Iraq is just some “myth”, then how do you explain the 450+ raids after his death ? I find it hard to believe that if we overstate their importance, that they could find 450 locations to raid.

    My only assumption is that you guys will respond that the military is fabricating the news about 450 raids. Which would be typical.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    Given the complete lack of intelligence or analysis on what exactly Mr. Z was responsible for (rather than what he and the administration claimed w/o evidence), we can presume Mr. Z was vastly overrated if the bombing patterns stay the same, and that all this happy-face AQ talk (Al-Zawhiri’s letter, Mr. Z traded in by the Sunni, etc) were just false-flag operations (by us or the Sunni).

    Here we are, over 2 years later, and we still don’t have any data to compare the once-denied insurgency:

    1) What % of bombings/attacks are actually known to be completed by non-Iraqis? The intel folks ought to be able to figure this out by comparing total bombings, jihad claims and what limited forensics are available. If they don’t have these numbers, we’re spending way too much on intel.

    2) What % of detainees are foreigners? What is the trend? There’s no way they don’t have some data on this.

    The US media never, ever, asks basic questions like this. The foreign media gave up asking them two years ago. The real question is whether our leaders are still in denial about the insurgency or whether blaming AQ for everything is just a concious ploy to confuse the public.

  12. 12
    Pb says:

    D. Mason,

    The surprising thing is that the blogs arent abuzz with this particular outrage.

    Well I won’t make the mistake of thinking that I’m somehow representative of ‘the blogs’, but I’m sure there are many other bloggers who, like me, have a) already heard this or something like it; b) are entirely not surprised even if they hadn’t heard it yet; c) are too busy being outraged about something else; and/or d) are suffering from acute outrage fatigue.

  13. 13
    Pb says:

    srv,

    There’s no way they don’t have some data on this.

    That’s what many people speculated about WMD’s before the war, too. I’m afraid that you might have grossly overestimated the intelligence and/or competence of the people involved here–if they had such data, then I’d wager it’s either lost in a file cabinet somewhere, or it was shredded, or both… (gotta love those document retention policies)

  14. 14
    ed says:

    So, if AQ in Iraq is just some “myth”, then how do you explain the 450+ raids after his death ? I find it hard to believe that if we overstate their importance, that they could find 450 locations to raid.

    My only assumption is that you guys will respond that the military is fabricating the news about 450 raids. Which would be typical.

    Sherard, I don’t think the number is fabricated. What I would like to know is:
    1. How many terrorists/insurgents were killed or captured in the 450 raids?
    2. How many of the raids were dry holes (no terrorists/insurgents killed or captured)?
    3. How many of the raids were on AQ members and how many were on Iraqi insurgents, non-AQ?
    4. How has the number of violent acts by terrorists/insurgents in Iraq been impacted since the 450 raids, more, less, the same?

    Some facts would be useful in evaluating the importance of the Zarqawi intelligence. Otherwise, comments are just “my side is right and your’s is wrong” stuff.

  15. 15
    ppGaz says:

    I find it hard to believe that if we overstate their importance

    You are free to believe what you like. The history of Iraq will continue to play itself out, and the machinations of Al Qaeda and the US aren’t going to have much lasting effect one way or the other. Except on each other.

    Al Qaeda and the US have something in common here. They both act as if Iraq is just a vehicle for their own agendas. Iraq was what it is long before we started paying attention to it … and being wrong about it over and over again. And it will be what it is long after we’ve finally had enough. We are not going to transform it into something it isn’t.

    The US presence there is an expression of the American will to put up with it. That will is declining and will continue to decline. Those are the realities, ignore them at your own peril.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    My only assumption is that you guys will respond that the military is fabricating the news about 450 raids. Which would be typical.

    Typically, your crowd sees VC AQ everywhere. How those body counts working for ya? Don’t show us all those captured foreign jihadis, because our gov’t never, ever exaggerates.

    Funny how they spend “weeks” planning this thing, make no attempt whatsoever to THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. AQ. FIGURE. IN. IRAQ, bomb him, and announce it to the world, and then go off on the majority of these “raids”. You’d think we’d want to keep his death quiet, at least until his minions got rolled up…

    But that would be obvious, wouldn’t it?

  17. 17
    srv says:

    no attempt whatsoever to capture

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    Now it appears our two “missing” soliders have been found, sans domes. The brutality of this “war” is astounding. No more POWs, it appears. You’re either a terrorist (if the US gets you) and can be tortured for “intel”, or you’re an infidel that can be tortured for “occupation” (if the insurgents get you).

    We’re back to an eye for an eye…

  19. 19
    slickdpdx says:

    Of course you and Ian may be right, but if Al Qaeda did things your way, a lot of things would be different.

    And ppg: To the extent you are right above, the American game promising a relative increase in freedom and democracy beats the AQ alternative. Arguments about the value of the effort to U.S. aside, because there can’t really be a definitive answer by anyone lacking a crystal ball or a time machine, the chaos following the toppling of a dictatorship is to be expected. Its not much of an argument against toppling them. And, aren’t you assuming AQ and others wouldn’t be actively seeking to impose their nightmare in Iraq? They and their ilk are on the move in lotsa places. What would the alternative have been, increasing support to secular dictators to fight religious tyrants?

  20. 20
    Sirkowski says:

    This is like South Africa in the 90’s. When suddenly a historically oppressed group regains power, and quickly, they can’t resist themselves in getting revenge.

    You’ll have to refresh my memory because I don’t remember that ever happening.

  21. 21
    LITBMueller says:

    This is like South Africa in the 90’s. When suddenly a historically oppressed group regains power, and quickly, they can’t resist themselves in getting revenge. Just like in S. Africa, there’s no way to stop this in Iraq. Revenge is based on anger and pride, and it’s going to take place regardless of any gov’t or the US military.

    No, its a hell of a lot more like the Troubles in Northern Ireland (but with people getting their heads chopped off). And we know how long that went on for…

  22. 22
    ppGaz says:

    And, aren’t you assuming AQ and others wouldn’t be actively seeking to impose their nightmare in Iraq? They and their ilk are on the move in lotsa places. What would the alternative have been, increasing support to secular dictators to fight religious tyrants?

    I’m not the one making gross assumptions about AQ. For one thing, I don’t assume that all Islamic radical terrorism revolves around or depends upon Al Qaeda, any more than I think that Christianity revolves around the Southern Baptists. They’re just a piece in a large puzzle of terrorism worldwide, and hatred of America worldwide.

    The history of Iraq speaks for itself. It’s an internal war made more harmful by Western interference going back 100 years. Drawing a line around Mesopotamia, calling it “Iraq” and imagining that the cute little brown people will want to be like us and therefore will govern themselves like we do, is fallacious, is a messianic delusion, is contrary to what history teaches us about the people and the region, is foolish, and when American lives are put on the line to advance the folly, it’s irresponsible and disastrous for us. And when Karl Rove gets up and turns the thing into a divisive struggle in this country in order to advance his own political goals, then it’s more destructive to this country than the occasional terrorist attack will ever be. A divided America is just what the America-haters want, and they have one, and as far as I can tell, the government is out to divide it deeper and longer with every passing day. Was that not Karl Rove I saw on television yesterday, talking about how Democrats are the Cut and Run party?

    Iraq is a cesspool. I am not in favor of turning America into a cesspool to try to reform Iraq. Iraq is not worth it, it doesn’t matter that much, and it isn’t governable unless that last 1000 years of its history have all just been an anomaly.

  23. 23
    John S. says:

    We’re back to an eye for an eye…

    The Code of Hammurabi never really left that region of the world in the first place:

    If a [noble-]man put out the eye of another [noble-]man, his eye shall be put out.

    What is ironic is that the quasi-Christians that Bush panders to (and Bush himself) seem to have ignored what Jesus himself preached:

    YOU heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ However, I say to YOU: Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him.

    If ever there was a more direct refutation of Hammurabi’s code, I have not seen it.

  24. 24
    srv says:

    the chaos following the toppling of a dictatorship is to be expected. Its not much of an argument against toppling them. And, aren’t you assuming AQ and others wouldn’t be actively seeking to impose their nightmare in Iraq?

    I suppose Peggy Noonan and crowd rationalized destabilizing Cambodia the same way you do. They certainly found someone else to blame for what followed.

    Foreign Jihadis cannot operate in Iraq w/o the knowledge of the Sunni tribes/leadership. They are probably outnumbered about 5000 to 1. The day the Sunni don’t need AQ is the day AQ ceases to exist in Iraq.

    The idea that any Iraqi is going to bow down to Osama and his ilk is even more ridiculous than the idea that Islamic invaders are on their way to the US to take away our freedom.

  25. 25
    jg says:

    No one could have anticipated the level of violence in Iraq after the fall of Saddam.

  26. 26
    srv says:

    I am not in favor of turning America into a cesspool to try to reform Iraq. Iraq is not worth it, it doesn’t matter that much, and it isn’t governable unless that last 1000 years of its history have all just been an anomaly.

    ppGaz, isn’t it funny how we’re expected to justify how western concepts (now being called Christian concepts!) of Liberty, Freedom and Government aren’t Innate attributes in the ME? That it’s racist to presume otherwise?

    Bah! History! Who has any use for it! We’re creating our own realities! If we just believe something hard enough, it will naturally come to pass… And if you don’t agree, you’re just a bad person.

  27. 27
    Punchy says:

    You’ll have to refresh my memory because I don’t remember that ever happening.

    This is how the huge spike in violent crime in the mid 90s in SA was portrayed in my history class. Perhaps it was not so much “revenge” as it was the mass urbanization and societial change bestowed upon Blacks apres apartheid. I’ll retract my analogy since it does not appear to be accurate.

  28. 28
    Jon H says:

    slickpdx writes: “the American game promising a relative increase in freedom and democracy beats the AQ alternative.”

    Even if you remove AQ from Iraq, local fundamentalists are making sure that Iraqis are even less free than they were under Saddam.

    At least they could wear shorts unders Saddam.

  29. 29
    ppGaz says:

    No one could have anticipated

    Good line.

    Just one thing to say, though:

    Colin Powell.

    What’s really astounding is that Powell had the most military experience and the most experience in the region of anyone in the inner circle in our government, and that he argued forcefully against the war … and they ignored him. He’s their Secretary of State, and they just ignored his warnings. They posed with him for pictures when Bush was building his cabinet, and a year and half later, they were blowing him off in the most important decision they’d ever make. If somebody wrote that as a novel, who’d believe it?

    Truly amazing and astounding.

  30. 30
    Jon H says:

    “ppGaz, isn’t it funny how we’re expected to justify how western concepts (now being called Christian concepts!) of Liberty, Freedom and Government aren’t Innate attributes in the ME? That it’s racist to presume otherwise?”

    The thing is, the ‘innateness’ is irrelevant. Even if a majority of people in the Middle East would want these things, it doesn’t take many people in violent opposition to push things towards tyranny.

    Right now, you have a large number of people, who nevertheless are a minority of Iraqis, who are pursuing their own interests at the expense of their countrymen. They are 2-bit fundamentalists seeking power over their neighbors, thugs and gangsters trying to get rich, etc.

    Democracy is a fragile crop. Bush tried to grow a democracy in Iraq, without using enough field hands to get rid of the weeds and the vermin.

  31. 31
    Jon H says:

    “What’s really astounding is that Powell had the most military experience and the most experience in the region of anyone in the inner circle in our government, and that he argued forcefully against the war … and they ignored him.”

    Well, it’s clear that the GOP only likes military people who help them play soldier.

  32. 32
    BlogReeder says:

    So we finally get the guy and you fall all over yourselves showing how this is not a good thing. In fact, it’s really a bad thing. It’s quite funny. What would be good news to you?
    Really, I’d like to know. Is there anything we can do over there that would be good? Anything?

    The only answer I can think of is that we pull out immediately. Now I’m being like you because that can’t be good (I’m talking about doing it immediately) because that’s what we did in Beirut and Mogadishu. Didn’t that just embolden the terrorists? They called us paper tigers.

  33. 33
    MikeLucca says:

    I hope Tim is wrong, but the recent murder of the 2 soldiers doesn’t bode very well. It’s funny to see how Bush is handling this, where he acted very confident, almost gloating with the old twang back in his voice after they killed Zarqawi. But we aren’t hearing very much about what is going to be done in retaliation for the killing of these soldiers. That almost seems like an admission of defeat.

    I’d like to see a little more swagger here. Or no swagger at all. Bush is being too halfway here

  34. 34
    BlogReeder says:

    … but the recent murder of the 2 soldiers doesn’t bode very well.

    What are you talking about? It’s bad that 2 of our soldiers died but how is that any different from the 2500 that died before this? It’s just a knee-jerk comment, right?

  35. 35
    Punchy says:

    He’s their Secretary of State, and they just ignored his warnings.

    And Bush chose to follow Cheney instead. This is like hiring your doctor instead of a lawyer to defend you against a medical malpractice lawsuit because “he knows medicine”. Bush does (or did) have some professionals in his WH; his biggest failure was not knowing or caring when and how to use each one.

  36. 36
    jg says:

    No one could have anticipated

    Good line.

    Just one thing to say, though:

    Colin Powell.

    Dude, you didn’t actually take me seriously did you?

    “I don’t think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we’ve encountered,” Cheney said.

  37. 37
    MikeLucca says:

    But the way they were grabbed in such a calculating way. It indicates a lack of control on our part and a boldness on the part of the Al Qaeda and insurgents that just simply does not inspire confidence. Wouldn’t you agree?

  38. 38
    srv says:

    Right now, you have a large number of people, who nevertheless are a minority of Iraqis, who are pursuing their own interests at the expense of their countrymen. They are 2-bit fundamentalists seeking power over their neighbors, thugs and gangsters trying to get rich, etc

    You really think the vast majority of Sunni (5 million of them, at least), eagerly want to accept permanent political minority status in Iraq?

    No doubt most Germans in WWII weren’t bad people and most Southerners just wanted to move on after the Civil War. And the Serbs just had a few bad apples.

    The “minority” of bad guys are not pariahs in their communities. They’re the leaders, and there are millions of followers. And you’re projecting values on those followers.

    We are taking the fundamental power away from a large group that has had it for generations. Just because most Sunni didn’t go around hacking up Shia and Kurds before doesn’t mean they’re ready to roll over. This is about their status, jobs, wealth, oppportunities, safety, and faith.

    It doesn’t get any more fundamental than that. Why should they want to play ball? Because they’re good people at heart?

  39. 39
    MikeLucca says:

    Cheney is clearly way out to lunch here. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Yes, we should have followed the Powell doctrine and sent in more troops. Hindsight is always 20-20. We’re there now, so not too much point in saying what should have happened differently.

  40. 40
    MikeLucca says:

    Cheney is clearly way out to lunch here. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Yes, we should have followed the Powell doctrine and sent in more troops. Hindsight is always 20-20. We’re there now, so not too much point in saying what should have happened differently.

  41. 41
    Perry Como says:

    1) What % of bombings/attacks are actually known to be completed by non-Iraqis?

    I’ve heard 5-10% from bobbleheads and less than 5% from someone that sounded like they knew what they were talking about (a former Bush admin official that was in Iraq, iirc). That means that at best 90% of the violence Iraq is at the hands of Iraqis.

    But no one could have predicted it. Except everyone that warned about the sectarian violence before the war.

    And it’s no worse than Detroit.

  42. 42
    jg says:

    We’re there now, so not too much point in saying what should have happened differently.

    Yes there is. As long as there are people in this country who think these ass clowns are doing a good job it has to be pointed out over and over just how fucking incompetent our leadership is. We can’t just say ‘we’re here now, how we got his doesn’t matter anymore’. That just leads to future fuckups by the same people.

  43. 43
    jg says:

    We can’t just say ‘we’re here now, how we got his doesn’t matter anymore’.

    We can’t just say ‘we’re here now, how we got here doesn’t matter anymore’.

  44. 44
    Perry Como says:

    We’re there now, so not too much point in saying what should have happened differently.

    I really wish my clients would take this attitude. It would be fun to fuck up their projects consistently and take their money with no repercussions.

  45. 45
    MikeLucca says:

    jg: I don’t think that Rumsfeld or Cheney will ever run for office or be put in a position of authority, so I fail to see how making sure they get the blame they should accomplishes anything. If Cheney runs in 08, then I agree that it becomes relevant.

  46. 46
    MikeLucca says:

    Perry Como says:


    And it’s no worse than Detroit.

    The Pistons or the city?

  47. 47
    Perry Como says:

    The Pistons or the city?

    Yes.

  48. 48
    Punchy says:

    We are taking the fundamental power away from a large group that has had it for generations. Just because most Sunni didn’t go around hacking up Shia and Kurds before doesn’t mean they’re ready to roll over. This is about their status, jobs, wealth, oppportunities, safety, and faith.

    It doesn’t get any more fundamental than that. Why should they want to play ball? Because they’re good people at heart?

    Well-spoken. Very well-spoken. This is the crux of the whole problem. One that an undergraduate in ME studies at Ohio State could have figured out beforehand.

  49. 49
    srv says:

    So we finally get the guy and you fall all over yourselves showing how this is not a good thing. In fact, it’s really a bad thing. It’s quite funny. What would be good news to you?

    The truth would be a good start.

    Nobody on the “left” ever portrayed Mr. Z as the guy pulling all the levers and as the mastermind behind all bad things happening in Iraq. So pardon us if we didn’t accept your false meme before and don’t jump up and down validating it now.

  50. 50
    Ryan S. says:

    And it’s no worse than Detroit.

    The Pistons or the city?

    Hey!! Say bad stuff about the Pistons, and I’ll blow you up too.

  51. 51
    Ancient Purple says:

    What are you talking about? It’s bad that 2 of our soldiers died but how is that any different from the 2500 that died before this?

    The difference is that their kidnapping, torture and murder came on the heels of Bush doing his stealth 5-hour victory lap in the Green Zone in Baghdad and then claiming how things are getting so much better in Iraq, he can barely contain himself.

    Last throes. Democracy on the march. Etc.

    Remember, we were supposed to be greeted as liberators, being handed flowers and sweets from Iraqis in every quarter of the country. Oh, but who could have anticipated there would have been an insurgency.

    Must be tough being the President in an impenetrable bubble in a heavily fortified area of a nation that is falling apart and claiming how well things are going.

  52. 52
    Steve says:

    Feel free to bash Detroit, but you basically show yourself to be on an intellectual par with Jimmy Kimmel.

  53. 53
    Krista says:

    jg: I don’t think that Rumsfeld or Cheney will ever run for office or be put in a position of authority, so I fail to see how making sure they get the blame they should accomplishes anything. If Cheney runs in 08, then I agree that it becomes relevant.

    What’s to stop them from still being behind the scenes in the Republican party, however? There are people in both parties who have seen many a president come and go, and yet they’re still there, pulling strings, making deals, and training and mentoring the next generation of Iagos. I think it’s very appropriate to blame those who deserve the blame, and to ensure that they are so vilified that no sane Republican would let them get anywhere near their campaign or their administration.

  54. 54
    Tim says:

    “Compton PD – undermanned and grateful that at least they’re mostly killing each other.”

    hey there’s some tasty racism. love that “fear of a brown planet” stuff !

    back to my “Negro blogs” !

  55. 55
    BlogReeder says:

    kidnapping, torture and murder

    Well so far the story is that their bodies were mutilated and booby-trapped. They were taken from the site of an IED. You have to believe the AQ website for the kidnapping, torture part. Of course, that’s your gospel. Isn’t it? Rhetoric matters.

  56. 56
    Ancient Purple says:

    They were taken from the site of an IED. You have to believe the AQ website for the kidnapping, torture part.

    From the AP and Yahoo! News:

    The director of the Iraqi defense ministry’s operation room, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, said the bodies showed signs of having been tortured. “With great regret, they were killed in a barbaric way,” he said.

    Remember, the AP, Yahoo! News and the Iragi defense minister: sockpuppets of AQ. All of them.

  57. 57
    Ryan S. says:

    Well so far the story is that their bodies were mutilated and booby-trapped. They were taken from the site of an IED. You have to believe the AQ website for the kidnapping, torture part. Of course, that’s your gospel. Isn’t it? Rhetoric matters.

    Yeah. I’m sure they cut off their own heads… Sheesh at least have point to your snarky comments. ;)

  58. 58
    srv says:

    Oh, everybody, FYI. I think tomorrow is John’s bday, so please have something awful prepared to say.

  59. 59
    slickdpdx says:

    ppg: “A divided America is just what the America-haters want” So if we disagree, the terrorists have already won. Isn’t that supposed to be the Bushies line?

    srv: i read your position as a vote for taking the support secular dictators vs. religious tyrants road. i wonder what the fruits of that policy would be? or have we seen those fruits lo these past twenty years or so.

  60. 60
    BlogReeder says:

    Yeah. I’m sure they cut off their own heads

    That doesn’t even make sense. Where did I say that they did this to themselves? The point of my snarky comment is that you have to believe an AQ website. I guess that shows my bias. Cause I don’t automatically believe AQ websites. If AQ were torturing them I’m sure they would be forth coming with the images. Maybe they’re waiting for the pictures to get developed at Wal-mart?

  61. 61
    Ryan S. says:

    The point is, why would a group that routinly tortures and kills people, lie about torturing and killing people.

  62. 62
    Krista says:

    Oh, everybody, FYI. I think tomorrow is John’s bday, so please have something awful prepared to say.

    Delightful.

  63. 63
    Perry Como says:

    Mission accomplished! [pdf]

    The Bush apologistas have supported the creation of a new Islamic state. Congratulations!

  64. 64
    Tom in Texas says:

    Well so far the story is that their bodies were mutilated and booby-trapped. They were taken from the site of an IED. You have to believe the AQ website for the kidnapping, torture part. Of course, that’s your gospel. Isn’t it? Rhetoric matters.

    So they were taken from the site of an IED, but only an AQ lover thinks they were kidnapped? They were mutilated and beheaded, but “you have to believe AQ for the torture part”? Look, I know you don’t think waterboarding or solitary confinement or holding someone six years without charges is torture, but can we at least agree that beheadings are torturous?

  65. 65
    Punchy says:

    Oh, everybody, FYI. I think tomorrow is John’s bday, so please have something awful prepared to say.

    Ask him if he knows where his cat is.

  66. 66
    ppGaz says:

    Dude, you didn’t actually take me seriously did you?

    Well, I thought it was some serious sarcasm. If you get my drift.

  67. 67
    Richard 23 says:

    If AQ were torturing them I’m sure they would be forth coming with the images.

    So you want the snuff pictures? Sicko.
    Maybe you can request them from the AQ websites.
    Or suggest that they take pictures next time.

  68. 68
    ppGaz says:

    I think tomorrow is John’s bd

    I will strive to have a Happy Birthday msg up at 12:00 am blogtime romorrow. I think that’s the earliest I can get do.

    Oh damn, I can’t. Picking people up at the airport tonight …. maybe I can. I’ll work something out.

  69. 69
    Ancient Purple says:

    Cause I don’t automatically believe AQ websites.

    Oh.

    You must mean like this one: Link.

  70. 70
    BlogReeder says:

    but can we at least agree that beheadings are torturous?

    I know this is getting insensitive, but if you behead someone after they are dead, then no, it’s not torture.

  71. 71
    ppGaz says:

    if you behead someone after they are dead, then no, it’s not torture.

    That goes right into my knowledge base. Thanks!

  72. 72
    BlogReeder says:

    So you want the snuff pictures? Sicko.

    I think you’re being obtuse.

  73. 73
    BlogReeder says:

    That goes right into my knowledge base. Thanks!

    Glad to help. So are you really saying that if someone mutilates a dead body, that it’s torture? That’s my point. I believe that’s what AQ did. Does that change things?

  74. 74
    ppGaz says:

    So are you really saying that if someone mutilates a dead body, that it’s torture?

    Ya lost me. I was just cracking wise.

    Of course, mutilation of a corpse is not torture … for the corpse.

  75. 75
    Tom in Texas says:

    I get your point, Bloggy — the person has to ben alive for it to be torturous, but I have to know: how do you think they were killed if it wasn’t a beheading? I have seen a few of the videos or still photos of them these men release and from what I have observed they enjoy sloowwlly sawing off these people’s heads while they are alive. I have never seen footage of them quickly and humanely executing someone so they can mutilate the dead body afterwards. Why are these particular terrorists exhibiting a MO utterly opposite that of the others previously observed?

  76. 76
    Tom in Texas says:

    REPRINT SECOND SENTENCE:

    I have seen a few of the terrorist videos (or still photos of them) where they execute Coalition contractors or soldiers, and from what I have observed they enjoy sloowwlly sawing off these people’s heads while they are alive.

  77. 77
    jg says:

    I think you’re being obtuse.

    Exceeding 90 degrees? Rounded at the free end? Dull?

  78. 78
    srv says:

    srv: i read your position as a vote for taking the support secular dictators vs. religious tyrants road. i wonder what the fruits of that policy would be? or have we seen those fruits lo these past twenty years or so.

    Ideologies (cultural, religious or political) have, and will always kill alot more people than thugs.

    But the world is not binary. I support economic carrots to those who can be coached, containment (never generic sanctions) for the very few who can’t. Far more faith in economics than force, wacky ideologies or the UN. Preventive war is always wrong. Pre-emptive war is very, very, very rarely justified.

  79. 79
    KC says:

    Well, good to know that torture works.

  80. 80
    Richard 23 says:

    So now you want proof that the soldiers were alive when their heads were separated from their bodies? Why do you hate the troops?

    Oh, yeah, being obtuse. Sorry, BlogReeder for interrupting your obfuscating and derailing of the thread. ;-)

  81. 81
    BlogReeder says:

    I get your point, Bloggy—the person has to ben alive for it to be torturous,

    Thanks, that’s exactly what I mean.

    I have seen a few of the videos or still photos of them these men release

    Have they release them in this case? I haven’t read of any. That’s why I believe that these guys were already dead. No, I don’t want to see them. If AQ had such pictures I don’t don’t believe they would hesitate to use them.

  82. 82
    BlogReeder says:

    Sorry, BlogReeder for interrupting your obfuscating and derailing of the thread.

    You should be.

  83. 83
    Tom in Texas says:

    You know I did ask a couple of questions in my post as well sir:

    1) How were they killed, if not by the forcible removal of their heads?

    2) Why would these jihadists act so differently than others? Why would AQ wait in this specific case until they are already dead to behead them? They never have before.

  84. 84
    Punchy says:

    Well, good to know that torture works.

    Whoa, Nelly! Since when did Andrew Sullivan, Conservative (or is this another Andy Sully?), finish blogposts with THIS:

    This shallow, monstrous, weak, and petty man is still the president. God help us.

    Can I now conclude that if Mr. Sullivan (and Mr. Cole) are offering this type of stuff up, that Bush’s only supporters are his fanatical nutjobs?? Ouch.

  85. 85
    BlogReeder says:

    1) How were they killed, if not by the forcible removal of their heads?

    I don’t know. I believe they were killed by the IED.

    2) Why would these jihadists act so differently than others? Why would AQ wait in this specific case until they are already dead to behead them? They never have before.

    Well now. Do I have to do the thinking for you? This could be the first time they had American soldiers. That’s different. They acted differently because of the situation.

  86. 86

    The truth comes out on torture’s effectiveness.

    Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. “I said he was important,” Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. “You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” “No sir, Mr. President,” Tenet replied. Bush “was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,” Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, “Do some of these harsh methods really work?” Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, “thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target.” And so, Suskind writes, “the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.”

  87. 87

    You know I did ask a couple of questions in my post as well sir:

    1) How were they killed, if not by the forcible removal of their heads?

    2) Why would these jihadists act so differently than others? Why would AQ wait in this specific case until they are already dead to behead them? They never have before.

    I would like to introduce people to a new term…

    Posthumous Execution

    It’s not a new concept, it’s actually rather quite old. Oliver Cromwell(for example) was posthumously executed… dug up 3 years after his birth, drawn and quartered and his head stuck on a pike in front of Westminster.

    It’s not too difficult to imagine someone doing something similar only days after someone dies.

  88. 88

    Err… death not birth… duh

  89. 89
    canuckistani says:

    We’re there now, so not too much point in saying what should have happened differently.

    I disagree. You want to afix blame for two good reasons: 1) If people have deliberately done bad things, like say starting a war on false intelligence, they need to be held accountable and punished for their wrongdoing. 2) Future leaders need to know that if they do wrong, they too will be held accountable. This is also why you punish those guilty of atrocities in wartime; although you take a propaganda hit at the time, you reduce future atrocities by making it clear that future occurances will not also be swept under the carpet. In the long run, you come out ahead.

  90. 90
    Ryan S. says:

    I don’t know. I believe they were killed by the IED.

    What IED!? It was a fire fight at a checkpoint. A group of AQ attacked a group of two humvees seven soldiers. Then the AQ fled, and four soldiers chased them in one of the Humvees. After they where gone a group of seven AQ came out of hidding and surrounded them. Killing one and taking two hostedge. There where Iraqi eyewitnesses.

  91. 91
    slickdpdx says:

    srv: Fair enough. Economics does have the virtue of being useful as a carrot as well as a stick.

    I remain convinced though that we were and are reaping the rewards and harms of the srv policy (even if imperfectly applied, which is all you can realistically ask for). Of course now and in the future we will also be reaping the rewards and harms of the Bush policy. Its like the many layers of a crazy wedding cake. But less tasty. How will the cake turn out? No one can say.

  92. 92
    srv says:

    What IED!? It was a fire fight at a checkpoint. A group of AQ attacked a group of two humvees seven soldiers. Then the AQ fled, and four soldiers chased them in one of the Humvees. After they where gone a group of seven AQ came out of hidding and surrounded them

    OK, please provide links that this was AQ and not Sunni.

  93. 93
    Perry Como says:

    That’s why I believe that these guys were already dead.

    I believe there’s an invisible unicorn in my back yard.

  94. 94
    Tom in Texas says:

    I’ll do my own thinking thanks :). You say this could be the first time they had American Soldiers. Then again, it might not be:

    The last U.S. soldier to be captured was Sgt. Keith M. Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, who was taken on April 9, 2004 after insurgents ambushed his fuel convoy. Two months later, a tape on Al-Jazeera purported to show a captive U.S. soldier shot, but the Army ruled it was inconclusive and remains listed as missing.

    So we have three kidnapped soldiers in two incidents. One was purportedly shot, with the videotape as inconclusive (by our Army’s standards) proof. He or his remains have not been found. What do you think happened to Sgt Maupin? Personally, I find it hard to believe that Al Qaeda would simply hide him away and not attempt to gain any propagandic value from his death. I think it more likely that they killed him in a very public fashion and the US Army tried to minimize the attempt. Maybe you could think about it for me though, and change my mind.

    Two others were found brutally beaten. You apparently believe that insurgents dragged these already dead soldiers off to flay them and fake torture them. This is possible, I admit, but there are a few flaws in this theory:

    1) If the terrorists took their bodies, why wouldn’t they simply pull the same MO the Army says they did in Maupin’s case? Dress someone else who is already dead up in his uniform and fake an assasination.

    2) Why now? Many US soldiers have died in IED attacks — why wait until now to spirit one away and cut it up?

    But the larger question remains, whether these two were alive or dead when abducted — are these people capable of beheading a soldier they find alive? Do you think they would hesitate?

  95. 95
    srv says:

    I remain convinced though that we were and are reaping the rewards and harms of the srv policy

    Under the srv policy
    – Iran would be a 50 year old democracy right now
    – The west would have defended Iran from any Saddam and defeated him.
    – Afghanistan would still be a mess

  96. 96
    Al Maviva says:

    Hey, Canuckistani, when is your country going to be called to answer for the fear mongering and anti-Arab racism it’s now engaged in, with it’s phony terrorist hype about the “Canada 17”? There’s no way they could have pulled off all the attacks your government claims they were planning. It sounds totally exaggerated. If there is anything to it at all, it’s probably well-deserved retaliation for Canada’s disastrous involvement in Afghanistan.

  97. 97
    Tom in Texas says:

    Al, the Canucks are playing up the Canada 17 thing to try to make themselves look tough, but we all know their stance on the war on terror: One overhyped lucky break doesn’t negate your Allah loving ways, Canada. Still, your claim that “there’s no way they could have pulled off all the attacks your government claims they were planning” dangerously underestimates Frenchy’s ability to ignore real threat. Those guys could easily have blown up Toronto — any 17 year old with an accent can with all that multicultural rainbow crap.

  98. 98
    Perry Como says:

    The real question is whether the Canada 17 planned on taking down the Confederation Bridge with blow torches?

  99. 99

    How come Japanese soldiers get to leave Iraq? They’re claiming it’s because the Iraqi army has taken on a broader role.

    Sounds good. Let’s bring the Americans home too.

  100. 100
    BlogReeder says:

    Personally, I find it hard to believe that Al Qaeda would simply hide him away and not attempt to gain any propagandic value from his death.

    I concur. To me, terrorism doesn’t work without media involvement. How will the populace get terrorized if they don’t know about it?

    I think it more likely that they killed him in a very public fashion and the US Army tried to minimize the attempt.

    That’s were we disagree I’m afraid.

    But the larger question remains, whether these two were alive or dead when abducted—are these people capable of beheading a soldier they find alive? Do you think they would hesitate?

    Of course they are capable. As of now, I don’t believe they were alive at that point. Maybe ten minutes from now more information will become available and make me wrong. Who knows?

  101. 101

    More good news coming out of Iraq.

    Oh wait, something about iraqis working in the green zone fearing for their lives. Strike that, bastard media is obviously making this stuff up to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  102. 102

    I concur. To me, terrorism doesn’t work without media involvement. How will the populace get terrorized if they don’t know about it?

    We’re talking about it, aren’t we?

  103. 103
    Perry Como says:

    We’re talking about it, aren’t we?

    Yeah, but it’s just a number. 1,000, 2,500, 3,000. Who cares?

  104. 104

    Yeah, but it’s just a number. 1,000, 2,500, 3,000. Who cares?

    If we’d taken a public opinion poll after D-Day, Americans would have demanded we cut and run!

  105. 105
    ppGaz says:

    To me, terrorism doesn’t work without media involvement. How will the populace get terrorized if they don’t know about it?

    Ooops! You’ve tipped off the people to the real reason for the Color Coded Terrorist Threat Level system.

    What good is a perpetual threat if there’s no color code and no media to broadcast it?

  106. 106
    Richard 23 says:

    It’s the Iraqis’ fault that we can’t “cut and run.” After all, “when they stand up we’ll stand down.” And not before then.

    Clever transfer of responsibility. The Bush Administration isn’t at fault for the continued occupation — the Iraqis are.

    If only they’d get their act together we would then be able to move “Together Forward” (or whatever). Until then, we just have to “stay the course.” After all, we have no other choice.

    The Bush Administration never takes responsibility for anything it does. What a bunch of wankers.

  107. 107
    ppGaz says:

    After all, “when they stand up we’ll stand down.” And not before then.

    Yeah, this whole “stand up” thing. I imagine they must now be sitting down, or as I said on another blog, maybe they are hanging upside down like bats. In any case, according to the master Plan for Victory published on the White House website last year, we can leave when they stand up. Oh, then just after that it says, we can leave when we have Total Victory in the war on terror, whatever the fuck that means.

    So there’s a flaw in the Plan for Victory. We wait for them to Stand Up and then we wait for Total Victory, or is it the other way around? In any case, the truth is, nobody knows what Total Victory is or when it’s safe to leave Iraq under the plan.

    The President, bless his pointy head, cleared it up soon after when he pointed out that he doesn’t need to know when to leave Iraq, because that’s up to a Future President, as yet unnamed.

    But apparently their rule is that the Future President cannot be a Cut and Run guy, because that’s not what wins the War on Terror. So it will have to be a Future President who doesn’t want to Cut and Run but knows that only Total Victory is acceptable after the Iraqis Stand Up and stop Lying Down.

    Got that?

  108. 108
    ppGaz says:

    only Total Victory is acceptable after the Iraqis Stand Up and stop Lying Down.

    Which is really annoying, since now whenever I lie down or sit down or just squat down, or kneel to pull a weed or check the air in my tires, I am thinking, should I be Standing Up as an example to the Iraqis, to show that I am not in favor of Cutting and Running? Am I doing my duty?

    You see my dilemma.

  109. 109
    ppGaz says:

    But really, this whole Cut and Run thing. Is it the Cutting or the Running that does the damage?

    See, we could Cut. Just Cut. No need to run. We could Cut and not Run. Obviously, Running without Cutting is not seemly. That would mean everybody would have to Run at the same time. That’s a stampede, and nobody likes a stampede. People can get trampled that way, you could poke your eye out.

  110. 110
    ppGaz says:

    What I’m wondering is, doesn’t the war come with an owner’s manual?

    See, there must be a standard and safe way to do the Cutting without necessarily Running. I imagine the instructions would look something like this:

    To begin, make a small cut (figure A).

    Then, withdraw slowly while maintaining eye contact with the bear enemy. Make loud vocalizations and wave your arms while stepping slowly back and away from the bear enemy.

    When about twenty feet from the bear enemy, then make another cut (figure B). Again, move slowly and do not run.

    Repeat as necessary (figure C) until the bear enemy is totally defeated or until Iraqis stand up (figure D).

    And so forth.

  111. 111
    Richard 23 says:

    So there’s a flaw in the Plan for Victory. We wait for them to Stand Up and then we wait for Total Victory, or is it the other way around?

    Don’t be silly. Obviously they will Stand Up and cheer once we achieve Total Victory. That’s when the flowers and candy and burqas and hugs and kisses start flying.

    The “Plan for Victory” is a “Stalling Tactic” and a bunch of “Empty Rhetoric” and I know that you know that I know you know that.

  112. 112
    ppGaz says:

    Maybe the Iraqis will stand up if we take away their folding chairs?

  113. 113
    Andrew says:

    Hey Al! How’s it going over there at Cold Fury? You guys killed any America-hatin’ liberals yet?

    However, I can’t help but notice that you went into a crazy rage about stupid leftist journalism:

    Oh mah got. They sent the Humvees into battle without spare tires. If that isn’t sheer incompetence, the entire Bush Administration encapsulated in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.

    The only problem is, this little would-be indictment is about the stupidest line in the entire story containing a compound error, and the Post is kind enough to draw our attention to it by posting it in bold faced, 36 pitch Times New Roman in the print edition.

    The reason Humvees don’t have spare tires, is because they don’t need them, not real close at hand, anyways.

    That there’s some righteous indigation. Some facts those liberals have! They must not know a damned thing.

    This must be librul propaganda!

    Now, yes, I know all about run flats, and that most humvees don’t have a spare while on patrol, but the article CLEARLY was not making a point about combat patrols, but general availability of spares, including MREs, batteries, and yes, tires, during the invasion:

    The tire shortage was so severe that some soldiers and Marines were forced to strip and abandon expensive, and otherwise perfectly good, vehicles because they had no way to replace flats, the GAO later documented.

    I know it’s hard to read more than a single sentence once you get all rabid and frothy, but gee, those were the words directly after the quote that you attacked.

    I’ve got to give Al a lot of credit for continuing to be a hyperbolic, lying dickhead of the first order.

  114. 114
    ppGaz says:

    The “Plan for Victory” is a “Stalling Tactic” and a bunch of “Empty Rhetoric” and I know that you know that I know you know that.

    Hey, we paid good money for the Plan and now you are telling me that it’s just for show?

    Why would they go to all the trouble to write a Plan for Victory and then not actually follow through on it?

    I’ve noticed that the Democrats don’t have a Plan for Victory.

  115. 115
    chriskoz says:

    If we’d taken a public opinion poll after D-Day, Americans would have demanded we cut and run!

    I assume you got at least a cheesy article from a “think tank” to back up a statement like this. I’d hate to think you are just pulling random stuff out of thin air.

    Oh wait… that might be fun… let me try…

    – If you add up the IQs of pro-bush supporters and the current administration, the total is 4.

    – Bush always intended to invade Iran. He just never learned the difference between the letters “q” and “n”.

    – The current administration is made up of pod-people from outer space bent on weaking the Earths defenses to prep for the impending pod-people invasion.

    – Global warming is real and is caused by human influences. Every time someone from the Bush administration speaks the resulting hot air causes climate change.

    Yea… that is fun.

  116. 116
    Richard 23 says:

    I’ve noticed that the Democrats don’t have a Plan for Victory.

    “Some say” that that’s something Republicans and Democrats seem to have in common. The Administration may have a “Plan for Victory” but they have neither a strategy nor a plan for victory.

  117. 117
    ppGaz says:

    Well Richard, I dunno, you’re talking as if maybe Bush is nothing but a lying weasly manipulative motherfucker.

    And that just isn’t something that I can explain to my grandkids.

  118. 118
    ppGaz says:

    I mean, how do I sit down with Maci, that perfect little cherub that I adore (see photos at my url) and say, honey, the president is a self-serving little alcoholic liar, a person who would send you and your friends to their deaths to prove a point that nobody gives a hoot about?

    I just don’t want to have to do that.

  119. 119
    ppGaz says:

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s true, it’s just that I don’t want Maci to have to find it out.

    What will she say when she finds out that we’ve left her a country run by people like George Bush?

  120. 120
    srv says:

    I predict the Plan for Victory will be completed just before the Plan for Occupation is found. Someone said it’s on the back of the Mission Accomplished banner, but written in secret ink.

    But perhaps we could dig up Nixon’s secret plan for victory and re-use it?

  121. 121
    Richard 23 says:

    Or we could just bomb Cambodia.

  122. 122
    Andrew says:

    ppGaz,
    Whatever, dude. If you libs have your way, you know little Maci is getting gay married to Osama bin Laden or whatever it is that you liberals hope for, and you’ll just rewrite history.

  123. 123
    Krista says:

    The real question is whether the Canada 17 planned on taking down the Confederation Bridge with blow torches?

    As long as they don’t mess with Anne of Green Gables. They’d be swarmed by angry hordes of Japanese tourists.

  124. 124
    Perry Como says:

    What will she say when she finds out that we’ve left her a country run by people like George Bush?

    “How am I going to pay off an $8 trillion dollar defecit on this allowance?”

  125. 125
    ppGaz says:

    “A NEW KIND OF WAR IN WHICH ACTION AND EVIDENCE WERE CONSCIOUSLY DIVORCED”….Barton Gellman reviews Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine in the Washington Post today. Here’s the story of Abu Zubaydah, hailed as al-Qaeda’s chief of operations when he was captured in March 2002:

    Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be….Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda’s go-to guy for minor logistics….And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as “one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.”

    [Other unrelated bungling described, all of which is worth clicking the link to read.]

    Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. “I said he was important,” Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. “You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” “No sir, Mr. President,” Tenet replied. Bush “was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,” Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, “Do some of these harsh methods really work?” Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, “thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each…target.” And so, Suskind writes, “the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.”

    This is not the way to protect the national security of the United States. It is not the way to make us safer. It is not the way to defeat jihadist terrorism.

    From WashingtonMonthly. Just had to share it with y’all. It is a jaw dropper …. just one of a thousand jaw-dropping tales of feckless ineptitude by these people.

    Christ, will we survive another two and a half years of these crazy stupid fuckers?

    I am not sure, really.

  126. 126
    Sherard says:

    Good News for Al-Qaeda ??

    Don’t Think So

    But suffice to say, I’ll NOT be holding my breath waiting for this once “balanced” site to give equal time to the opposite of the ridiculous, moonbat-central idea that “Zarqawi Death = Good for Al-Qaeda”.

    Most likely that’s not true, no matter how much you all wish it were. And please refrain from the faux outrage at your “patriotism” being questioned (yes the quotes are there for a reason).

  127. 127
    Jo Blough says:

    “. . . undermanned and grateful that at least they’re mostly killing each other.”

    Nice. Weren’t we supposed to be liberating those folks and bestowing upon them the glorious gift of democracy? Of course the fact that we bombed them back to the stone age, or “rubbled” them, as Mr. Darbyshire, Devonshire–whatever that slimy little creeps’s name is–likes to say and then sat back and allowed looters to dismantle what was left of their infrastructure has NOTHING to do with the fact that their country is in total anarchy and “they’re mostly killing each other.”

  128. 128
    Andrew says:

    Sherard is back and blowing strawmen out of the water!

    In other news, Sherard thinks that the capture and torture of U.S. soldiers is a sign that the enemy is on the run.

  129. 129
    ppGaz says:

    What Sherard doesn’t get is that “the enemy” pretty much doesn’t exist over there. Last time I heard a number, there were a thousand Al Qaeda in Iraq. The US-AQ rivalry is a minor detail in the grand scheme of things in Iraq. Iraqis pretty much don’t give a fig about it. Their problem is civil war. US v. AQ is just background noise.

    US presence is not going to prevent further civil war. AQ presence will not make much difference either.

  130. 130
    Ted says:

    And please refrain from the faux outrage at your “patriotism” being questioned (yes the quotes are there for a reason).

    Very well.

    But please refrain from the faux outrage at your “humanity” being questioned (yes the quotes are there for a reason).

  131. 131
    srv says:

    Sherard, here’s so more good news for ya:

    Tide is turning

  132. 132
    Richard 23 says:

    And please refrain from the faux outrage if you get called an “a-hole” (yes the quotes are there for a reason — someone will have said it).

  133. 133

    I’ve noticed the Republicans don’t have a Plan for Anything.

  134. 134
    Krista says:

    ppGaz – so…how’s the heat?

  135. 135
    ppGaz says:

    How’s the heat?

    Temp on the patio, 107. Relative Humidity is 7%.

    You couldn’t work up a sweat if you played tennis out there for an hour, it is so dry that it is actually very comfortable.

    We have two summers here, a dry one, and a wet one.

    The wet one starts sometime in the next month. That’s when the dew point heads toward 60-70F and the humidity starts to cause discomfort. That leads to … August, the Time of Punishment for All Sins.

    But anyway, the survey is just bullshit. For misery, you can’t beat Dallas, Orlando, New Orleans. The thing about Phoenix’ summer is not the temperatures. It’s that summer is five unrelenting months long. By Labor Day it is pretty hard not to be suicidal without some kind of therapy or medication. One starts to believe that one will never feel a cool breeze again. That one will drive forever with oven mitts. That air conditioning salesmen are circling your house like vultures, sensing a funny noise from your compressor.

    This time of year, I’d move to where you live in a heartbeat. Besides, I love fish. I can eat any fish, cooked or raw. I love fish. Not a lot of fish in the desert.

  136. 136
    Al Maviva says:

    Andrew, you want to combine namecalling with your ineffective criticism? Fine. It’s moronic shit for brains knee jerk partisan left wing fuckheads like you that make me really want to not bother even discussing politics or anything else because you don’t know enough about what you are discussing to provide a worthwhile critique, and frankly, you are so contrary-for-the-purpose-of-being-contrary that even my explaining the following is a complete waste of my time, and yours. You can check out now and say I’m wrong, since that’s what you’ll do anyhow, no matter what I write. For anybody else who cares…

    The article I cited was fundamentally dishonest in the way in characterized HMMMV’s as being ill-equipped, and pointing out that they lack spare tires. It didn’t express this fact as a question of supply chain complexities, but as evidence that Rumsfeld hates troops, or some slightly watered down version of that meme. Given the general ignorance about military HMMMV design, the manner in which the fact was stated was deceptive. Private Hart died… not only did HMMMVs mostly not have armor, but they didn’t even have spare tires. A HMMMV is designed to go 30 miles on the runflat devices in the hub. The military doesn’t care that much if the vehicle has to be abandoned at that point. It’s more important that the vehicle has plenty of room for ammo, food, water and people, and stuffing a spare tire into them would degrade the lift capability – especially on the armored HMMMV – substantially.

    If the subheadline was meant to refer to supply chain difficulties – which it did not do, it was presented as a standalone graf – but if it did, it’s a criticism without any understanding of the things it criticizes. You want to know why spare tires for HMMMVs – something outside of the normal basic load – don’t get to the front lines quickly? Because people are more important than HMMMVs, and in a world with limited lift capability, logistics officers generally make the choice to protect the people, not the gear. So they use the limited strategic lift available to focus on sending ammo, fuel, water, and food, well before they get to things that are very nice to have, but frequently non-essential to the mission at hand. Yeah, sometimes load officers screw up, but generally manifests reflect the priorities given to various supply requests. If tires don’t make it onto a ship or a truck headed down the MSR, it’s usually because higher priority supplies had to go first.

    Treating the loss of a vehicle like the loss of a person is stupid anyhow. Most military vehicles are designed to be vehicle casualties and to protect the life of the troops. If a HMMMV got shot up and had some flats but got the troops out of the ambush zone, it did its job. Unless the unit is about to participate in maneuver warfare, and the HMMMV is really, really truly necessary for mission accomplishment, other supply priorities may take precedence. You don’t want to waste equipment, but if the thing is tits up, you write it off, strip the weapons and basic load and crypto, drop a thermite grenade on the engine block, then hitch a ride on another vehicle. It isn’t your personally owned vehicle that you have a lot tied up in, that you feel like crying over if somebody steals it. It’s a piece of equipment to be used, and thrown away if it’s not carrying its own weight.

    You can criticize the log pack during combat operations, but the fact is that when our M-1s and Bradleys start rolling, there are few vehicles fast enough to keep pace with them, and there are no heavy lift vehicles hardened enough to go comfortably to the front lines. Harden a fuel truck enough to make it safe to go up front, and the thing will crush every road it drives down, not to mention it will move even slower, and *completely* lack cross country mobility. Same thing for 5 ton trucks, and HEMTs, and similar lift. If you remember the strategic pause on the road to Baghdad, the purpose was to give the logistical chain time to replenish the basic load that had been expended in early fighting – that’s simply food, water, bullets and fuel, nothing else. It’s not a design flaw, it’s just the resource intensive manner in which we wage war. The combat battalions’ ability to concentrate huge firepower in a tiny space means they chew up resources at an ungodly rate, and resupply is merely a physics problem about how much crap you can cram into a set number of trucks, moving down a very limited number of roads over a set distance. It is a bottleneck problem that no amount of handwringing about dickhead conservatives can solve.

    You can also criticize the log pack once things slow down – but again, you need to take into account lift capability and theater-level attempts to meet priority needs. Nobody at the Pentagon gets a priority request for private snuffy’s spare tire. They get a request for 5,000 tires, each of which has to find its way to just the right place, along with X hundred thousand tons of food, X million gallons of water, more faster mail service, and a million other things. To impute the slowness to malice, or some strategic flaw landing on Rumsfeld’s desk, is vindictive at best and pretty damn ignorant of how the logistical tail works. Yeah, there’s a problem with strategic lift. That’s been punted by 4 straight presidents, and will continue to get punted as long as it’s HMMMVs getting abandoned here and there, rather than troops.

    Thanks for shedding your ignorance on the question, Andrew. Now go back to studying and tell us how that graduate degree at the Army War College studying military logistics is working out. Wanker.

  137. 137
    Krista says:

    This time of year, I’d move to where you live in a heartbeat. Besides, I love fish. I can eat any fish, cooked or raw. I love fish. Not a lot of fish in the desert.

    Well, I might just have to send you a little care package of the crustacean variety someday. :)

    Yeah, I do get more than my fair share of cheap (if not free) lobster and oysters. But, when I’m up to my arse in snow, and that cold, damp wind is blowing right through into my bone marrow, and I wonder if I’ll ever be warm again, I envy you. So I suppose it’s even.

  138. 138
    ppGaz says:

    They get a request for 5,000 tires, each of which has to find its way to just the right place, along with X hundred thousand tons of food, X million gallons of water, more faster mail service, and a million other things

    You go to war with the supply system you got, not the one you wish you got, right?

  139. 139
    ppGaz says:

    when I’m up to my arse in snow, and that cold, damp wind is blowing right through into my bone marrow, and I wonder if I’ll ever be warm again, I envy you.

    Our winter is the nicest in the country. No doubt about it. 70F on Christmas Day is pretty common. Although it can get chilly at night that time of year. I mean, we are dyin here with temps in the 40s. Thank god for electric blankets :-)

  140. 140
    John S. says:

    I love when commenters use lots of military acronyms and official-sounding jargon in their posts to give thenselves an aura of credibility.

    It really makes them sound authentic.

  141. 141
    ppGaz says:

    I love when commenters use lots of military acronyms

    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMV!

    Much more impressive than “jeepy thing.”

  142. 142
    Andrew says:

    Tee hee, I got Al to splooge a big one.

    But lets face it, you were fundamentaly dishonest about that quote you took as liberal ignorance of military technology. Look at those San Francisco tree-hugging latte drinkers! They don’t know about the combat combat capabilities of run-flats!!! Um, except that it was a GAO report about a completely different situation.

    But yeah, it’s a real bummer that you don’t have the proper supply chain in place for a completely optional war that you launch on your own time table. Sometimes you have to go without, um, fuel, communications, and water. Gee, only about the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most important things for warfare, after ammo.

  143. 143
    ppGaz says:

    Tee hee, I got Al to splooge a big one.

    Yes, a big wet one, in fact.

  144. 144
    Richard 23 says:

    I need a towel.

    Hmm, my towel just asked me if I want to get high….

  145. 145
    Richard 23 says:

    Sorry, that should have read hmmmv.

  146. 146
    Ancient Purple says:

    It didn’t express this fact as a question of supply chain complexities, but as evidence that Rumsfeld hates troops, or some slightly watered down version of that meme.

    Well, Rumsfeld may certainly not hate the troops, but he certainly doesn’t care about their well-being as much as he should. In fact, I would assert that he cares more about touting how he stands in his office a minimum of eight hours a day doing his work than he does about the needs of the troops and the veterans.

    Troops don’t have proper equipment and Rumsfeld says they have to do with what they have. Families send the troops the body armor and the military threated to cancel their life insurance if they accept it.

    Veterans come home with missing limbs and destroyed lives and the Pentagon gives them a bill for the flack jacket they left on the battlefield outside of Basra. Veterans go to to VA hospitals for treatment of PTSD and are left out to dry because they have better things to do than deal with mental illness. Veterans go to VA hospitals for treatment of physical problems from the war in Iraq and are told to make co-pays.

    This is how Rumsfeld and Co. have been treating the troops and the veterans.

    Meanwhile, Al, I see you leading the charge to get Rumsfeld to get the troops everything they need to be successful and this Administration to treat our veterans better.

    Oh, wait. No, I didn’t.

    You are too busy trying to demonstrate that you really can become the next Chair of the English Studies Department at Oxford by typing out your Iliad- and Odyssey-esqe diatribes about the facts on flat tires on HMMMV’s.

    Please tell me you are an only child.

  147. 147
    ppGaz says:

    You are too busy trying to demonstrate that you really can become the next Chair of the English Studies Department at Oxford by typing out your Iliad- and Odyssey-esqe diatribes about the facts on flat tires on HMMMV’s.

    I thought Homer was easy reading compared to Al’s epics.

    Of course, I was young when I read Homer, and what the hell did I know?

  148. 148
    Richard 23 says:

    So now you’re gonna tell little Maci that the Iliad isn’t true either, eh? What’re you? The grinch who stolie Xmas? Btw, just tell Maci that Bush is a poopyhead and be done with it. He’s a really scary Grinch who stole the Constitution. And don’t read Maci, Help Mommy There’s a Liberal Under My Bed.

    As Homer might say, “Mmmmm, Stolie.”

  149. 149
  150. 150
    GOP4Me says:

    I thought Homer was easy reading compared to Al’s epics.

    Of course, I was young when I read Homer, and what the hell did I know?

    The Trojan War actually offers an interesting glimpse into the opposing camps of the political spectrum. The modern-day moonbats clearly resemble the Trojans- whiny, reactive, constantly running for help to their puny European allies, more concerned with debauched decadence and the destruction of marriage than with the functioning and advancement of their own civilization. The aptly-named “Paris” would be a true-blue liberal Democrat, nowadays. (Of course, the Trojan piety is atypical amongst Democrats, unless you consider that its polytheism fits in well with their abject moral and social relativism. I bet most pagans and Wiccans vote Democratic to this day, in fact.)

    The Greeks, on the other hand, stood for patriotism and the spread of moral goodness. A Coalition of the Willing stood up for the preservation of Greek civilization and the sanctity of Greek marriage by rescuing Helen from her dastardly Trojan seducers. They knew the campaign would be a long, hard slog, but they weren’t afraid to fight for what was right no matter how long it took or what methods they had to employ to obtain victory (the Trojan horse, while arguably immoral, certainly shortened the war and was definitely justifiable in light of the objectives pursued and the standards of the time.) The Ancient Greeks were a stoic, stalwart, and loyal people. (It is a shame and a misfortune that the current Greek culture of moonbattery indicates that many of these values were lost to the mists of time, but that’s hardly germane to this discussion.)

    Obviously, the analogy isn’t perfect. Both sides were pagan, for example, and there are arguments that Achilles had homosexual tendencies (although interestingly, the text mostly deals with his natural heterosexual urges for Briseis). And individuals on both sides were better or worse than their causes (Hector was a good Trojan, for example, and thus comparable to a Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller of our day and age; on the Greek side, Ajax allowed his appetites to cloud his judgment, in keeping with the RINO traditions of Lincoln Chafee or John McCain). But viewing the text as a whole, a distinct dichotomy emerges: The Greeks stood for patriotism, love of country, love of tradition, and victory; the Trojans stood for cowardice, moral relativism, decadence, and defeat.

    One can always quibble with one detail or another of this inexact, arguably anachronistic comparison. But anyone who seriously disputes the assertion that Homer would be a Republican if he lived in this day and age is clearly out of their league in analyzing the Ancient Greeks.

  151. 151
    Richard 23 says:

    And the horse’s ass of the Trojan Horse represents GoPee4Me. His Achilles heel is his love of Bush, a useful idiot for Cheney and Rumsfeld. And he will never admit to himself that he has fallen for the siren song of fascism.

    GOP, honey, return to Scrutator post haste. You’re not respected here, laughed at wherever you go and should stick to your asylum and your meds.

    Your hyperbole is funny for a moment until one realizes that you think you’re serious. I want ppGaz to be right that you’re a spoof, if he has gotten around to saying that, but I fear that the foam is real.

    Your understanding, if that’s what it could be called, of Homer, is laughable. I didn’t realize that there were Cliff’s Notes for Homer or even for GOP4Me.

    Obviously, the analogy isn’t perfect.

    We are in agreement there. But you flatter yourself. You don’t go far enough. You are completely full of shit. And I mean that with the utmost respect and decorum that you deserve.

    I hope I can restrain myself from responding to your postings anywhere in the future because, spoof or not, you’re just not worthwhile. Responding to you makes me sound almost as stupid as you do. D’oh!

    Finally,

    The Greeks, on the other hand, stood for patriotism and the spread of moral goodness.

    Keep your love of anal sex out of the discussion. Spread your moral goodness, if that’s what you call it, in the privacy of your own home, cardboard box, or whatever.

    You stink. ;-)

  152. 152
    GOP4Me says:

    And the horse’s ass of the Trojan Horse represents GoPee4Me. His Achilles heel is his love of Bush, a useful idiot for Cheney and Rumsfeld. And he will never admit to himself that he has fallen for the siren song of fascism.

    And this is relevant to my assertions because…?

    GOP, honey, return to Scrutator post haste. You’re not respected here, laughed at wherever you go and should stick to your asylum and your meds.

    I’m not in an asylum. And I’m not your honey. But thanks for playing, anyway.
    I notice you still slink around Scrutator, so even there I’d never be rid of you. Anyway, it’s important to confront you and out-argue you on your own turf. It’s better to defeat you here than to have to defeat you there.

    Your understanding, if that’s what it could be called, of Homer, is laughable. I didn’t realize that there were Cliff’s Notes for Homer or even for GOP4Me.

    Show me where I’m wrong.

    We are in agreement there. But you flatter yourself. You don’t go far enough. You are completely full of shit. And I mean that with the utmost respect and decorum that you deserve.

    Gosh, thanks, Mr. Ad Hominem. Now, show me where I was factually inaccurate in my assertions, or excessively reaching in my analogies.

    I hope I can restrain myself from responding to your postings anywhere in the future because, spoof or not, you’re just not worthwhile. Responding to you makes me sound almost as stupid as you do. D’oh!

    THAT Homer is also a Republican, albeit a leftist parody of one.

    Keep your love of anal sex out of the discussion. Spread your moral goodness, if that’s what you call it, in the privacy of your own home, cardboard box, or whatever.

    I believe I specifically mentioned this as an example of where the analogy didn’t work. Did you even read my post?

    You stink

    How would you know what I smell like? I’m actually a very fastidious person. But because I disagree with your politics, my personal hygiene is suspect? Classy.

    And you are the kind of person who expects candidates sharing your ideas and values to win America’s highest offices in 2006 and 2008? Truly laughable.

  153. 153
    Richard 23 says:

    But anyone who seriously disputes the assertion that Homer would be a Republican if he lived in this day and age is clearly out of their league in analyzing the Ancient Greeks.

    I was on my second barf bag reading someone’s, I hesitate to call it a, post. So I missed this useless drivel.

    Whoever wrote it was clearly out of his league — full stop.

    Who the fuck cares if “Homer would be a Republican?” In any “day and age?” Are you retarded?

    Jesus Christ, even if it could somehow be true in anyone’s addled mind, what the fuck would it mean? Are we keeping scores on which ancient scholars would post masturbatory eliminationist fantasies on scrutator or what?

    Why are you [the unnamed poster] here? Why are you anywhere? Why not go away and GFY?

    Please go back to posting about how John Cole is a useless RINO or better yet just go away. You have your own blog to pollute.

    R23 apologizes and will refrain from responding to such worthless drivel in the future.

  154. 154
    Richard 23 says:

    R23 apologizes again. Like somebody else said, at least GOP is funny. Sometimes.

    Now I’m going to do something more fun, like give myself a root canal.

  155. 155
    ppGaz says:

    Ah, am I the first? Happy Birthday, John.

    Somebody said it was your birthday.

  156. 156
    Richard 23 says:

    Oh yeah, happy birthday! Am I second?

  157. 157
    Ancient Purple says:

    Well, after reading Al Maviva and GOP4Me, I certainly won’t need any Ambien tonight!

    (Happy Birthday, John Cole – if it is your birthday. If not, have a box-o-wine anyway.)

  158. 158
    MikeLucca says:

    Krista says:


    What’s to stop them from still being behind the scenes in the Republican party, however?

    In Cheney’s case, probably death. I am not sure whether or not it is appropriate to put a winking face after saying that.

  159. 159
    chopper says:

    Obviously, the analogy isn’t perfect.

    understatement of the day.

  160. 160
    MikeLucca says:

    The religious right would be the Greeks, because of their aversion to Trojans.

  161. 161
    John S. says:

    The religious right would be the Greeks

    Because of their devout worship of polytheism, their fondness for keeping slaves or their enjoyment of bisexuality?

    Honestly, sometimes you people need to rethink your analogies.

    And Mike, only Catholics have an aversion to Trojans.

  162. 162
    Krista says:

    What’s to stop them from still being behind the scenes in the Republican party, however?

    In Cheney’s case, probably death. I am not sure whether or not it is appropriate to put a winking face after saying that.

    I wouldn’t. It’s probably not a good idea to say his name out loud.

  163. 163
    Krista says:

    Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!!!

  164. 164
    Al Maviva says:

    Supply chain issues have proven to be nearly insoluble ever since they were identified and made the subject of formal study by the Prussian general staff. When the hard problems and damn near impossible physics of military logistics all of a sudden gets attributed, with a degree of religious certainty to Republican eeeeee-vil, the conversation isn’t worth having. Y’all want to talk politics as religion, in the real world the problem has little to nothing to do with politics and everything to do with how much tonnage you can stuff down a straw of very limited diameter. The severe fuel crisis facing the Allies on the Western Front in Europe in Fall-Winter 1944 wasn’t proof of Marshall’s incompetence, or Roosevelt’s hatred or callousness towards the troops; it was proof of the axioms that longer supply lines hinder military operations, that it takes quite a while for the supply chain to uncoil and fully catch up to the troops, and that a tube of a certain diameter, or a road of a certain width, can only bear so much logistical traffic. That’s why defensive Monty famously got the gas, and offensively minded Patton didn’t.

    Very few here care to know the facts relating to anything, it’s much more emotionally satisfying to hear an ad hominem attack against a political opponent, believe it as gospel truth, reflexively defend the ad hominem if it gets questioned, and then walk away secure in the smug belief that you with your surface-level knowledge (at best) are righteous and morally superior, and everybody else – technocrats included, and that’s who sets up the supply chain – are not just wrong but evil, callous, morally inferior and deliberately wrong.

    Whatever. I’m done here, crack the champagne. [Cue Nixon speech.] There is a rock in my backyard that I can yell at, and it has the advantage of being merely passive, and not actively opposed to hearing the facts, and on top of that, the rock isn’t seeking simple answers for problems that don’t have simple or even satisfying answers.

    Now please, go back to your previously scheduled regurgitation of talking points, clever quips about eeeeevil conservatives or lying Republicans, or whatever else it is that helps you maintain a little bubble around your world view.

  165. 165
    Pb says:

    Ancient Purple,

    Please tell me you are an only child.

    You’ve got a problem with that? I’m an only child, and I don’t think that could explain Al here.

    Now please, go back to your previously scheduled regurgitation of talking points, clever quips about eeeeevil conservatives or lying Republicans, or whatever else it is that helps you maintain a little bubble around your world view.

    Now now Al, you know that Democrats aren’t organized enough to have ‘talking points’ faxed out, powerful enough to have them shot out over the airwaves, or sheepish enough to slavishly agree with them like the Republicans do.

    On the other hand, considering the many blatant lies and slimy mischaracterizations of a few bad apples over here who slavishly follow said nonsensical Republican talking points, we don’t exactly have to be ‘clever’ to debunk them, either. More’s the pity.

    it takes quite a while for the supply chain to uncoil and fully catch up to the troops

    I’m sure. Why, I bet it can take *years* for them to get all the stuff they need to fight an elective war. Maybe even longer than WWII took, period. Sheesh.

    Very few here care to know the facts relating to anything

    You’re telling me!

    it’s much more emotionally satisfying to hear an ad hominem attack against a political opponent

    Do tell. Oh wait, that’s the rest of that paragraph. Correction, that’s the rest of the next *three* paragraphs. Woe is you, the sole bastion of truth in this dismal nest of ad-hominem attacksfacts!

  166. 166
    Jim Allen says:

    Still, you have to be at least a bit impressed that his farewell speech refers to Prussian studies of supply chains. They don’t get that sort of commentary at DailyKos or Eschaton, where they tend to stay focused more on this century.

    On the other hand, I’m sure John and Tim will appreciate getting their bandwidth back.

  167. 167
    MikeLucca says:

    Al says:


    The severe fuel crisis facing the Allies on the Western Front in Europe in Fall-Winter 1944 wasn’t proof of Marshall’s incompetence, or Roosevelt’s hatred or callousness towards the troops; it was proof of the axioms that longer supply lines hinder military operations,

    Laugh all you want to, Jim Allen, but this is a very important point. The problems we are having in Iraq are not entirely Rumsfeld’s fault. They are indicative that we are facing a new type of war. Sure, Rumsfeld could have done things better. I think he should have been fired after Abu Ghraib came to light. But let’s not forget that many unexpected things have come to pass and that Rumsfeld cannot be blamed for all of them.

  168. 168
    Pb says:

    Jim Allen,

    Still, you have to be at least a bit impressed that his farewell speech refers to Prussian studies of supply chains. They don’t get that sort of commentary at DailyKos or Eschaton, where they tend to stay focused more on this century.

    I thought that was a nice touch, too. 7/3/1866: Never Forget!

  169. 169
    Pb says:

    MikeLucca,

    let’s not forget that many unexpected things have come to pass and that Rumsfeld cannot be blamed for all of them.

    Well, sure, certain specific items fall to certain people. Blame Bush for going to war, and blame him for not firing Rumsfeld (when Rumsfeld offered his resignation… twice). Blame Cheney for pushing the war, and blame him for having a hard-on for it since before the *first* Gulf War (when he was Sec Def. and pushing *that* war…). But when it comes to poor planning, the blame has to fall to Rumsfeld.

    They are indicative that we are facing a new type of war.

    Spoof again? Did you miss all that stuff about the Prussian General Staff and supply chains? Where does this ‘new type’ of war come in?

  170. 170
    MikeLucca says:

    I didn’t make it through all of Al’s post. But I do think it is always worth keeping in mind that problems occur that are unexpected, such as the strength of the insurgency, and that just saying Rummy is an idiot over and over again isn’t helpful at this point.

  171. 171
    Punchy says:

    Very few here care to know the facts relating to anything,

    Here’s a fact. We didn’t need to invade that country. We surely didn’t do it with enough troops, or apparently, enough supplies. Logistics be dammed–fix that shit BEFORE you go in, or don’t go in at all. It’s like dropping it in your girlfriend, THEN pulling the condom out of your pocket. Too stupid an act, and far too late to correct after the fact.

    And your girlfriend’s now pregnant with Iran.

  172. 172
    Pb says:

    MikeLucca,

    I do think it is always worth keeping in mind that problems occur that are unexpected

    Indeed. That’s an especially good tidbit to keep in mind at the *planning* stage, when you’re making important decisions, like, oh, I don’t know, how many troops to send, or whether or not to invade a country. It’s good to have backup plans, contingency plans…. hell, just plans, period.

    just saying Rummy is an idiot over and over again isn’t helpful at this point

    If anyone is doing that here, I’ll be sure to relay that message. Although actually I think it is helpful even at this point–it’s probably good to have a competent Sec. Def. when you’re fighting a war. It won’t make up for having an incompetent President, mind you, but it’s a good start. Of course we should have had one earlier, but that doesn’t change the fact that we still need one now.

  173. 173
    Pb says:

    Punchy,

    To further strain the analogy: Of course, she already put North Korea up for adoption. Because you said it wasn’t yours…

  174. 174
    Ancient Purple says:

    Very few here care to know the facts relating to anything, it’s much more emotionally satisfying to hear an ad hominem attack against a political opponent, believe it as gospel truth, reflexively defend the ad hominem if it gets questioned, and then walk away secure in the smug belief that you with your surface-level knowledge (at best) are righteous and morally superior, and everybody else – technocrats included, and that’s who sets up the supply chain – are not just wrong but evil, callous, morally inferior and deliberately wrong.

    Let me get this right. You were determined to write a “War and Peace” sized missive on the unimportance of flat tires on HMMMVs and then get your panties in a wad because someone challenges you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture? For the love of God, Al, are you really that provencial?

    My “attack” on you was to get you to see that the flat tire issue is peanuts compared to how our soliders and veterans are being treated. Even after I pointed that out, you still can’t (or won’t) offer one bit of critcism against Rumsfeld or the Administration.

    Whatever. I’m done here, crack the champagne. [Cue Nixon speech.] There is a rock in my backyard that I can yell at, and it has the advantage of being merely passive, and not actively opposed to hearing the facts, and on top of that, the rock isn’t seeking simple answers for problems that don’t have simple or even satisfying answers.

    While the Devil may often be in the details, Al, pardon me for not being willing to get myself worked up over the issue of your “facts” on HMMMVs. I am far too concerned about why soldiers (like my nephew) had to be forced to choose between putting on body armor from home or keeping their life insurance intact.

    Crack the champagne? No way in hell. I refuse to waste a good bottle of bubbly on the likes of you.

    Now please, go back to your previously scheduled regurgitation of talking points, clever quips about eeeeevil conservatives or lying Republicans, or whatever else it is that helps you maintain a little bubble around your world view.

    Your parting shot proves that you are guilty of that which you accuse us of. For the billionth time, Al, I was a firm Goldwater supporter. I voted for Goldwater every time he came up for re-election, and if he were alive today, I would vote for him again. And again. And again. He is the conservative. The current GOP is not. Oh, there are some Goldwater Republicans/conservatives left, but they are few and far between. You all stabbed Goldwater in the back and care about nothing but scoring political points on every level.

    Your departure does nothing to change the liberal vs. conservative scale here at B-J. You were never a true conservative to begin with.

  175. 175
    Jim Allen says:

    But let’s not forget that many unexpected things have come to pass and that Rumsfeld cannot be blamed for all of them.

    Then let us also remember that many expected and predicted things have come to pass, despite what Rumsfeld & Co. said at the outset, and blame him for those.

  176. 176
    Andrew says:

    Can we all just keep in mind that Al was COMPLETELY WRONG about the context of the Humvee tire supply issue? Wrong like watching a webcam of John Cole eating cheetos in his undies wrong.

    And I think he forgot to change screen names before he penned that massive screed on the Trojan War as GOP4Me.

  177. 177
    Punchy says:

    Wrong like watching a webcam of John Cole eating cheetos in his undies wrong.

    Why must you post this stuff right after breakfast? Besides, if it really is his birthday, it’s most likely him eating cake in the buff with a 40 of Shlitz and the WC on the tube.

  178. 178
    Jim Allen says:

    Wrong like watching a webcam of John Cole eating cheetos in his undies wrong.

    John never struck me as the Cheetos type, for some reason. Beer and pretzels, maybe, during a Steelers game, but Cheetos? Not so much.

  179. 179
    Krista says:

    Wrong like watching a webcam of John Cole eating cheetos in his undies wrong.

    You’re mean. John might be a very attractive man, for all we know.

    (The cheeto-eating in the underwear is still a pretty distasteful image, though. Really, is there ANYTHING that can be eaten while wearing only underwear, that doesn’t immediately form a repulsive image?)

  180. 180
    Andrew says:

    John never struck me as the Cheetos type, for some reason.

    You see, wrong!

    Beer and pretzels, maybe, during a Steelers game

    But this, oh so right.

  181. 181
    ppGaz says:

    Where does this ‘new type’ of war come in?

    Well, it has no defined physical enemy, it targets no defined territory, it has no definable end, or for that matter, no defined middle, it trumps all objections and cannot be challenged or objected to …. from a president’s point of view, it’s the Perfect War.

    It can only be ended if there’s Total Victory, although there is no need to define what Total Victory actually is.

    If other people, who are sitting down or lying down or hanging upside down like bats or burrowed into holes in the ground …. if those people will stand up, we can leave. Or something like that. It’s all spelled out in the Victory Plan.

  182. 182
    srv says:

    Whatever. I’m done here, crack the champagne. [Cue Nixon speech.] There is a rock in my backyard that I can yell at,

    Sigh, another one bites the dust. More and more wingnuts are arguing with their rocks in their back yards. ppGaz, please have the DSM-IV updated with these symptoms of Bush-Lover Syndrome.

    Perhaps the day will come when we can perform more experiments (cultural, political and logistical) on other countries.

  183. 183
    ppGaz says:

    There is a rock in my backyard that I can yell at

    Call your doctor when the rock starts yelling back.

  184. 184
    John S. says:

    Goodness, Al Maviva sure has gone off on a rant so peppered with Freudian projection that herr doctor would likely have used him as a case study:

    Y’all want to talk politics as religion

    This is the Achilles heel of the Democratic party: the infusion of religion into politics.

    Very few here care to know the facts relating to anything, it’s much more emotionally satisfying to hear an ad hominem attack against a political opponent

    Conservatives: staunch opponents of smear tactics since June 21, 2006.

    and then walk away secure in the smug belief that you with your surface-level knowledge (at best) are righteous and morally superior

    Says Al in a post where he smugly stalks off after lecturing everyone from a position of superiority.

    Now please, go back to your previously scheduled regurgitation of talking points

    A known liberal tendency – to have disseminated talking points that everyone dutifully follows to stay on message.

    Hey Al, whatever “helps you maintain a little bubble around your world view”. You’re a very special boy.

  185. 185
    tBone says:

    At least give Al credit for style. When’s the last time you’ve seen a GBCW that discusses Prussian military logistics?

  186. 186
    ppGaz says:

    Al, your rock just called and said you were yelling mean things at it.

    Cut it out.

  187. 187
    Perry Como says:

    is there ANYTHING that can be eaten while wearing only underwear, that doesn’t immediately form a repulsive image?

    Are you sure you want that answered?

  188. 188
    srv says:

    Call your doctor when the rock starts yelling back.

    Maybe we could get this for his rock:

    Prussian Wilson

    Not sure if he would out-rank Al or not.

  189. 189
    ppGaz says:

    is there ANYTHING that can be eaten while wearing only underwear, that doesn’t immediately form a repulsive image?

    Please send for my informative and entertaining booklet, “Eating In Your Underwear — With 25 Quick and Easy Recipes.” Just $12.98 plus S&H.

  190. 190
    ppGaz says:

    is there ANYTHING that can be eaten while wearing only underwear, that doesn’t immediately form a repulsive image?

    Please send for my informative and entertaining booklet, “Eating In Your Underwear — With 25 Quick and Easy Recipes.” Just $12.98 plus S&H.

  191. 191
    Krista says:

    is there ANYTHING that can be eaten while wearing only underwear, that doesn’t immediately form a repulsive image?

    Are you sure you want that answered?

    Well, I suppose it depends on who’s wearing it. I can see it now…the next Victoria’s Secret catalogue will feature Giselle reclining on a velvet chaise, wearing the newest ermine-trimmed boulder-holder, munching on a big plate of ribs.

  192. 192
    ppGaz says:

    the next Victoria’s Secret catalogue will feature Giselle reclining on a velvet chaise, wearing the newest ermine-trimmed boulder-holder, munching

    It’s art appreciation that drives me to keep a storage shed stacked with Victoria’s Secret catalogues. I swear, nothing more than that. It’s … anthropology.

  193. 193
    jg says:

    Are you sure you want that answered?

    Well, I suppose it depends on who’s wearing it. I can see it now…the next Victoria’s Secret catalogue will feature Giselle reclining on a velvet chaise, wearing the newest ermine-trimmed boulder-holder, munching on a big plate of ribs

    Nice image but I suspect Perry was saying something else. :)

  194. 194
    Krista says:

    Oh. (Light switches on). Oh! Well…indeed. Good point.

  195. 195
    Krista says:

    Sorry I didn’t catch on right away. My mind is obviously much more pure and innocent than your own, Mister Perry-Dirty-Minded-Como.

  196. 196
    Pb says:

    the next Victoria’s Secret catalogue will feature Giselle reclining on a velvet chaise, wearing the newest ermine-trimmed boulder-holder, munching on a big plate of ribs

    More likely, “She don’t eat meat / But she sure likes the bone” — New Age Girl, Deadeye Dick

  197. 197
    ppGaz says:

    She don’t eat meat / But she

    { thud }

  198. 198
    Richard 23 says:

    So Al was complaining about the level of discourse in the comment thread of a site that proudly proclaims itself as “Hot Air and Ill-Informed Banter?” Awww.

    Go P 4 Me went away. He was so proud of his post on Greeks and Trojans he’s put it where it belongs as Homer, the Original Republican.

    By way of encouragement, I won’t bother to comment on it there.

  199. 199
    Richard 23 says:

    Bah, I went and commented on it.

    “Don’t pick that scab.”

    “I won’t.”

    [pick] [pick] [scratch] [pick]

  200. 200
    GOP4Me says:

    You have yet to offer any substantive criticism of my ideas, Richard.

    Homer would’ve been a Republican and a Bush supporter if he were alive today. Dante would’ve been a Republican and a Bush supporter if he were alive today. Virgil would’ve been a Republican and a Bush supporter if he were alive today. Even Shakespeare probably would’ve been a Republican and a Bush supporter if he were alive today. I’ll happily concede that both Ovid and Christopher Marlowe would probably be moonbats if they lived in modern America, though.

    I could write a post explaining why I think these things, but I’ll spare you the need to pooh-pooh my ideas and hurl ad hominems and invectives at me without offering one shred of substantive thought in the process. Anyway, I’m still waiting to hear back from you on Homer, and I suspect I may be waiting for quite a while.

  201. 201
    Pb says:

    Homer don’t play dat.

    The whole idea–to ignore hundreds or thousands of years of history and speculate about which *political party* a historical figure might belong to now (in some alternate reality, I assume, where said ‘historical figure’ is American, alive now, and speaks English) is ridiculous. Of course, it’s almost equally ridiculous to dredge up the political affiliation of some historical figure from hundreds of years ago and trumpet that fact, as if it means anything today.

    So. I won’t say that Jesus would be a Democrat, if the Republicans won’t say that Lincoln would be a Republican. As for “Jesus was a Liberal”, well… maybe not, and of course there’s always Supply Side Jesus. And of course Lincoln *was* a Republican, but apparently they don’t make them the way they used to, anymore.

  202. 202
    chriskoz says:

    Homer would’ve been a Republican

    Oh goody… we are continuing the “bullshit claim” game again today.

    My turn…

    -Judas would’ve been a Republican. (a hard core “conservative” one at that)
    -Jack the Ripper would’ve been a Republican.
    -Nero would’ve been a Republican.
    -The hunter who killed Bambi would’ve been a Republican.

    I would explain why I think these things, but that’s not how the game is played.

  203. 203
    chriskoz says:

    Sorry, I meant…

    -The hunter who killed Bambi’s mother would’ve been a Republican.

    (In real life Bambi would’ve died from the crack habit he picked up while in a foster home.)

  204. 204
    Richard 23 says:

    So I don’t get it. Am I supposed to prove a negative: that Homer, who may not have even existed, would not be a statist Republican suporter of George Bush if supplanted into modern times? Based on what? What he wrote about? Why would I want to bother?

    What do I win if I prove such an unhinged useless assertion has no merit? What does GoP win if it does?

    GoP is right in his suspicion. He will have to wait a long time for me to argue nonsense which I am not interested in refuting except to say: poppycock.

    Prove that Gengis Khan would be a social libertarian for all I care. What’s the point? I thought Republicans discounted the political affiliations of celebrities anyway. Except Ron Silver, perhaps.

  205. 205
    Andrew says:

    Thanks, Scrutator! I think that this is the single funniest thing I’ve ever seen on the internets:

    Jesus would not cut and run. Jesus had ample opportunity to cut and run before his own crucifixion. I would argue that any mortal would have, in fact, cut and run rather than face such a gruesome and painful death. But Jesus did not. And neither would he cut and run in Iraq.

    Big ups to Leo for actually fisting himself so hard that he pulled this one out of his lung.

  206. 206
    GOP4Me says:

    So. I won’t say that Jesus would be a Democrat, if the Republicans won’t say that Lincoln would be a Republican. As for “Jesus was a Liberal”, well… maybe not, and of course there’s always Supply Side Jesus. And of course Lincoln was a Republican, but apparently they don’t make them the way they used to, anymore.

    Read up on your Scrutator. Jesus is a Republican, and a patriotic American.

    -Judas would’ve been a Republican. (a hard core “conservative” one at that)

    No, Judas was obsessed with poverty. But beneath his facade of caring about the poor, he was embezzling from them. Hence, Judas would’ve been a corrupt social worker or an FDR bureaucrat.

    -Jack the Ripper would’ve been a Republican.

    No, Jack the Ripper patronized prostitutes. Prostitution is against family values. Moreover, he was anti-Semitic, a trait he shares in common with Cindy Sheehan.

    -Nero would’ve been a Republican.

    Nero was a limousine liberal.

    -The hunter who killed Bambi would’ve been a Republican.

    Maybe. I haven’t seen the movie since I was about 4 years old, so anything is possible.

    What do I win if I prove such an unhinged useless assertion has no merit? What does GoP win if it does?

    I win the concession that classical arts and classical scholarship support George Bush, and that the moonbats derive their ideology from… God knows where, outer space, maybe. Maybe the moon, which is made of green cheese, and whose mold corrupts their brains. Maybe.

    Prove that Gengis Khan would be a social libertarian for all I care. What’s the point? I thought Republicans discounted the political affiliations of celebrities anyway. Except Ron Silver, perhaps.

    I doubt it. Genghis Khan was very big on the idea of taxing and spending. Very big.

    Big ups to Leo for actually fisting himself so hard that he pulled this one out of his lung.

    As dismissive a reply as it is oversexualized. Why can’t you argue with Leonidas on the merits of his claim? (Incidentally, Leonidas, the Spartan King who perished at Thermopylae, would also likely have been a Republican.)

  207. 207
    Richard 23 says:

    [someone cool] would definitely be a republican and a george w bush supporter.

    [anybody lame] would be a democrat.

    Screwloose mad libs are fun!

  208. 208
    chriskoz says:

    On to round two of the game…

    Homer would’ve been a Republican

    No, Homer often strangles Bart for punishment. Child abuse is against family values. (Wait, maybe that’s just being a “compassionate conservative”. Damn, I guess I lose that one.)

    Jesus is a Republican

    No, Jesus actually cared about the less fortunate in the world. Hence, he can’t be a Republican.

    Nero was a limousine liberal.

    Nero watched while his capital burned. (or so I’m told) He’s definitly a Republican.

    GOP4Me, I realize my comments aren’t as moronic as yours, but I’m trying. Can you give me some tips?

  209. 209
    Krista says:

    Richard, if you’re around, drop me a quick line at redkitten@yahoo.ca. Have a quick favour to ask you…

  210. 210
    Richard 23 says:

    Bounced, Krista. Sorry.

    And no, I won’t refrain from posting in the future if that was the favour!

  211. 211
    ppGaz says:

    Jesus is a Republican, and a patriotic American.

    Delusional fuckhead.

  212. 212
    Richard 23 says:

    Nero was a limosine liberal.

    Yeah, I’ve seen those pictures of Nero trucking around behind tinted glass playing his lyre while Rome burned. Although it’s been suggested that he may himself have been the arsonist… kinda like the Reichstag fire. But I suppose this just supports GoP’s ravings: the nazis (national socialists) were obviously liberals because liberals are socialists. Or something like that.

    I guess the real question is: is GoP4Me for real or a spoof? Obviously his protestations against being labelled a spoof don’t count. Some non-spoof would have to vouch for him. Any non-spoofs around who would like to vouch for GoP4Me?

  213. 213
    Mover Mike says:

    From the Embassy, a Grim Report

    There was a very important story on Sunday in the Washington Post, From the Embassy, a Grim Report. The story carried a “leaked” cable purportedly from …

  214. 214
    MikeLucca says:

    This thread has become very strange.

    Is it possible that Al Maviva and GOP4Me are the same person?

  215. 215
    Krista says:

    Bounced, Krista. Sorry.

    And no, I won’t refrain from posting in the future if that was the favour!

    That’s weird. my spam filter isn’t set up to automatically delete. Try it again.

  216. 216
    Andrew says:

    s it possible that Al Maviva and GOP4Me are the same person?

    It is unpossible that they are not.

  217. 217
    MikeLucca says:

    Andrew says:


    It is unpossible that they are not.

    Is that something Stephen Colbert says? It would almost be worth having cable to watch that guy.

  218. 218
    Krista says:

    I think you can download the episodes from iTunes, from what I’ve heard. When that show first started, I was kind of doubtful, but he’s really hit his stride.

  219. 219
    MikeLucca says:

    I’ve seen some clips on the comedy central site. The one with the Italian congressman from New Jersey was priceless. I haven’t laughed so hard in months.

  220. 220
    GOP4Me says:

    No, Homer often strangles Bart for punishment. Child abuse is against family values. (Wait, maybe that’s just being a “compassionate conservative”. Damn, I guess I lose that one.)

    He often denigrates leftists. But, he’s written by leftists. Hence, he’s a leftist parody of a Republican.

    No, Jesus actually cared about the less fortunate in the world. Hence, he can’t be a Republican.

    What about when Judas came to Him because he had precious oil rubbed on His feet, and Judas pointed out it could’ve raised 300 silver pieces for the poor, and Jesus said, “Well, you’ve basically always got poor people among you, but you won’t always have Me with you.” It sounds to me like Jesus had a sense of priorities which is missing amongst your average moonbat (Judas being a prime example of one).

    Nero watched while his capital burned. (or so I’m told) He’s definitly a Republican.

    And what would liberal Nero have done? Taken the opportunity to evacuate the gold from the vaults?

    GOP4Me, I realize my comments aren’t as moronic as yours, but I’m trying. Can you give me some tips?

    I can’t help but feel this comment was derogatory. But if you want to be moronic, keep up the good work!

    Delusional fuckhead.

    Ad hominem-spewing civility-slayer.

    Yeah, I’ve seen those pictures of Nero trucking around behind tinted glass playing his lyre while Rome burned. Although it’s been suggested that he may himself have been the arsonist… kinda like the Reichstag fire. But I suppose this just supports GoP’s ravings: the nazis (national socialists) were obviously liberals because liberals are socialists. Or something like that.

    Well, they did call themselves Socialists. How do you explain that one?

    I guess the real question is: is GoP4Me for real or a spoof? Obviously his protestations against being labelled a spoof don’t count. Some non-spoof would have to vouch for him. Any non-spoofs around who would like to vouch for GoP4Me?

    I’ll vouch for me, even if it means nothing to you.

    Is it possible that Al Maviva and GOP4Me are the same person?

    I respect Al, but I have no relation to him and don’t know him at all. We are not the same person.

    Is that something Stephen Colbert says? It would almost be worth having cable to watch that guy.

    Stephen Colbert is a hateful traitor. He belongs in Guantanamo.

  221. 221
    Richard 23 says:

    Stephen Colbert is a hateful traitor. He belongs in Guantanamo.

    Yawn. No, any American who wants other Americans in Guantanamo belongs in Guantanamo. No, wait! Time out.

    [Homer Simpson] often denigrates leftists. But, he’s written by leftists. Hence, he’s a leftist parody of a Republican.

    Good lord. And with that pretzel logic I request this thread be officially closed.

    (Maybe you were thinking of American Dad?)

  222. 222
    lard lad says:

    Stephen Colbert is a hateful traitor. He belongs in Guantanamo.

    Behold the conservative mind in action! How do we further the cause of liberty? By throwing comedians into gulags.

    Does anyone with a grain of sense doubt that an America run by the likes of GOP4ME would be as repressive and fascistic as anything the Talaban could conceive?

    Oh they wouldn’t execute the citizenry for blasphemy… right away, anyhow. But after twenty years of GOP4ME rule…?

    Say “goddammit,” you lose a hand. First offense, anyhow.

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  1. Mover Mike says:

    From the Embassy, a Grim Report

    There was a very important story on Sunday in the Washington Post, From the Embassy, a Grim Report. The story carried a “leaked” cable purportedly from …

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