Project Valor-IT

I think Project Valor-IT is a good cause and, like a lot of other “support the troops” initiatives, both online and from a personal standpoint, I may consider contributing. But then I see posts like this from Malkin:

In addition to my donation yesterday, I will chip in another $25 for each left-wing blogger, up to 10 total, who signs up today.

Which, if you’ll forgive me for being a cycnic, may as well read, “We set up this charity so we could bash those troop-hatin’ libruls over the head with it,” and I become less interested in being a part of it.








Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Glenn Greenwald:

If there is a place with more abject stupidity swirling around than the right-wing blogosphere, I’d like to know where it is.

There isn’t such a place. Next question.

Really, you have to read this to believe it, I can’t do it justice. I can tell you this- Glenn’s tricky use of ellipses and hyperlinks seems to have completely confused the living shit out of the leading minds of the right blogosphere. These folks shouldn’t be allowed near sharp objects. Or keyboards.

*** Update ***

I am going live with my theory, the only thing I can come up with for the rampant asshattery and thorough idiocy we have witnessed lately from the right-wing blogosphere:

They are now working in concert to say as many stupid things as possible so that we are unable to document and mock them all.

It is the only thing that makes sense.








Warriner’s Wept

Quote of the Day:

The knives are being swung at the back of our soldiers comes from the hand of Franklin Foer.

-Bob Owens at Yglesias’s pad

As Tim noted via AOL IM, “an instant classic.”

Personally, I am just relieved we can stop nancying about and really get into the good old stab-in-the-back phase of this war. In fairness to the Confederate Yankee, the grammatical problems may stem from a direct translation from the original German, as Molly Ivins noted in another case.








ATTENTION WINGNUTS: NARRATIVE IN DANGER

DTG28102007: 1459ZULU, STOP
THIS IS AN IMMEDIATE ACTION ALERT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE 101st CHAIRBORNE
, STOP
OUR NARRATIVE IS UNDER ASSAULT AGAIN, STOP
RAISE HYSTERIA LEVELS TO DEFCON ELEVENTY-THREE AND SET PHASERS ON SMEAR, STOP

YOUR TARGET- OBSIDIAN WINGS, STOP:

I stayed away from the entire Beauchamp affair. I was aware of it, and I had my own opinion, but since I had no way of proving anything one way or the other, I saw no real value to jumping into the fray. However, an experience I had the other day has left me with the feeling I have little choice but to speak up.

***

I had to get back to my FOB the other night. I was away from my unit, so I hitched a ride. The guys in the HMMWV I rode in seemed like normal soldiers: a bit irreverent, sometimes frustrated, but decent guys. Until we passed through a town and spotted three dogs in the middle of the road. Without hesitation, indeed with genuine glee, the driver accelerated and apparently ran down one of the dogs (in the dark, from my position, all I know for sure is that there was a bump). He then got into a vigorous argument with the gunner over whether or not he had hit the dog; the gunner was attempting to deny him ‘credit’ for the kill. There was no objection from the vehicle commander over any of this…killing a stray dog didn’t seem to faze him in the slightest. Granted, this didn’t affect the mission one way or the other, and it was a dog and not a person. Still…I felt a bit ill at the thought the vehicle I’d been riding in probably ran over a dog, and the fact this seemed to bring joy to otherwise normal appearing people remains appalling to me.

Does this mean Beauchamp was telling the truth? Nope…I still can’t prove that one way or the other. My point in bringing this up is only to note that, whether or not his story was true, soldiers are people, and sometimes people do some pretty unpleasant things. And attacking people who point out that soldiers are people, however cathartic it may be for some, does nothing to change that fact.

RECOMMENDED COURSE OF ACTION: STOP

PHASE 1: DENY G’KAR IS A SOLDIER, STOP
PHASE 2: ADMIT HE IS A SOLDIER, FIND OUT HIS NAME, INVESTIGATE HIM THOROUGHLY, RECOMMEND BLANKET PARTIES AND/OR FRAGGING, STOP
PHASE 3: SANDTABLE EXERCISES WITH A SCALE MODEL OF A HMMWV TO PROVE YOU CAN NOT RUN OVER A DOG, STOP
PHASE 4: REFER TO RELEVANT MILITARY SOP’S AND NOTE IT IS NOT SOP TO RUN OVER STRAY DOGS, STOP
PHASE 5: DEMAND G’KAR TURN OVER THOSE SOLDIER’S NAMES AND THEN REPORT HIMSELF TO THE NEAREST JAG FOR PUNISHMENT AND POSSIBLY EXECUTION FOR TREASON, STOP

ADDITIONAL COURSES OF ACTION, IF IN ANY WAY APPLICABLE- BLAME THE LIBERAL MEDIA AND/OR DHIMMOCRATS, STOP

PLEASE FORWARD ALL SITREPS TO THE CONFEDERATE YANKEE, STOP

I THINK YOU ALL KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. WE CAN NOT ALLOW OBSIDIAN WINGS TO EMBOLDEN THE INSURGENTS WITH THIS SLANDER, FULL STOP








One Arrogant Prick

I guess all those months serving at the feet of annointed God-General David Petraeus has turned Public Affairs Officer Col. Steve Boylan into one arrogant prick. While the authenticity of the first email is still in doubt, I think we can agree the subsequent ones are legit, and Boylan is a real jerk.

Compare the almost matter-of-fact responses that right-wing PR bots like the Confederate Yankee get, and the taunting and juvenile tone Boylan uses when addressing Greenwald:

I am interested in this issue. What I am doing about it does not concern you. Interesting is what I find it.

Whether I agree with what the email says or not is not an issue I wish to discuss with you, as I decided after our last exchange that I would not take the time or efforts to engage with you.

Is there a reason why you posted this?

Does it mean I hate the troops if I call Col. Steve Boylan an asshole?

At any rate, this all stems from Greenwald’s earlier post this week regarding the obvious and overt politicization of the military that has taken place during the past few years, and I think it is important to visit an older post from Stiftung Leo Strauss (thank you Jim Henley for turning me on to this guy):

Congress has devolved into a parody Duma. The White House its own parody – pick your favorite analogy. A liberal democracy should not be exposed thusly to a tightly organized, culturally aloof-if-not-disdainful, military fresh from defeat and facing budget cuts and perhaps future deployments. Even now, the rarity of service makes it almost mandatory to do obeisance before one who has. Regardless how one feels about the Warlord’s disasterous policies, this is not healthy for a democracy. Whether Dubya general shops, hides behind them or Petreus calls it as he sees it, the totemistic deployment of veterans and the outsourcing of decision-making to the military under these circumstances forecasts more disconcerting events on the horizon.

If Congress, the Judiciary and the Executive had not been so debased by the Warlord and Movement’s radicalism we might feel less concern. So here’s to a draft. Not just to “share the burden”. But also to ensure that our military shares liberal democratic culture and values.

There is cause for concern. The right wing is sowing the seeds for Dolchstoßlegende even while claiming victory or progress or positive trends or however we are euphemizing it today, and there appears to be a significant portion of the Officer Corps who are willing to go along with it. The arrogance of Boylan is not only a symptom of this problem, it is one of the intended outcomes.

*** Update ***

The Commisar has a question for me:

If Oberst Boylan had sent Greenwald an email threatening to run over his Beagle with a Panzer, would that be a serious threat to America, or not?

It would be weird, but no.

But that isn’t really what this is all about. And it wasn’t just a soldier sending a rude email to Glenn (does the Colonel even admit to sending the email yet?). It was a bizarre series of taunting e-mails (if legit) from the PAO who works (unless I am mistaken) directly for Gen. Petraeus. That takes us to a whole other ball game.

Again, I believe there is enough anecdotal and documented evidence of the politicization of at least a portion of the Officer Corps (the issues discussed in the original Greenwald piece cite a few, other examples that immediately spring to mind are the Air Force Academy imbroglio). I think that is problematic. Perhaps the Commisar thinks I am overstating the case. I hope he is right.