December 11, 2003

Is there anything left?

To call "treason," that is. I ask that in all seriousness. I mean, what else could this statement:

And I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we’ll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We’ll bring you in.

by Wesley Clark -- who, I might add, is a general in the United States military -- be but treasonous in attitude if not intention? And I thought Clinton's Europandering was bad. Wait for the "Clark didn't really mean it that way" ass-covering to start soon, if it hasn't already. There was a time when the thought of consulting foreign governments in matters of our own security would not have crossed through the minds of someone who was vying for the presidency, much less been allowed to pass though their lips into the open air. Times such as the date of the founding of our country. But loyalty and the idea of the welfare of the citizens of one's own country coming first are so outdated, right? Good-bye Democratic Party, it was nice knowing you. (Via exit zero and


In other news -- I know I had promised a daily post. Well I don't live for you people! I'll blog whenever I want! (Wild-eyed stare.) Heh. Actually, it's been a case not of having nothing to say, but having too much, and having it jam up in my head whenever I have tried to write. For instance: did you know that there was a pro-coalition, anti-terrorism rally in Baghdad yesterday? It appears that the media (the professional media, that is) didn't. Actually, I am sure that they knew quite well what is going on -- blogger bigwigs like Glenn Reynolds and Jeff Jarvis have been promoting the hell out of it, and news media organs haven't ignored these guys in the past. (Jarvis works for the media -- I used to read his things in TV Guide -- for godssakes.) So I am sure that the downplaying and almost-total-ignoring of this event was deliberate. The news people seem to have decided that being reporters on the scene isn't enough: they want power to influence world events too. And they seem to have decided that they want to influence world events in a way that makes for lots of great dramatic news (explosions! dead bodies! people suffering!) instead of boring stuff like Iraqis wanting to have a normal life under a non-totalitarian government. What a surprise.

They are shameless: I opened my city's paper today, looking for Iraq stories, and I found this heart-wrencher (registration required, use "laexaminer" twice) about a dog that had to be put to sleep because of a regulation against having dogs in a US army encampment. Of course it was a terrible story; the law certainly sounds like it was written (and enforced) to please some martinet somewhere -- though I can think of a dozen reasons why there might also be good reasons for having such a regulation. (Animal-born diseases, the possibility of distraction caused by an animal underfoot, and the danger of a dog-bite leading to a lawsuit are three that come to mind.) All the same, a sad tale -- and yet, I wonder why that story was one they chose to report. There was no possibility of saving the animal: the dog was already dead at the time of the story's writing. I can only suppose that the purpose of writing this up was to show that our military is run by cold, cruel people who won't even save the life of a helpless dog (if you didn't know, life generally sucks for dogs in Arab countries; let's just say Mohammed was by all accounts a cat person), and to destroy yet another few molecules of morale. I know that reading the story left me depressed -- even though the dog at least had some people (the soldiers who adopted it) show it some kindness before it died, something that many dogs don't get.

Then there is this column, by a Gulf War I veteran and author named "Joel Turnipseed." (I wonder if he is any relation to that Tom Turnipseed weirdo who writes for The column is all about how we shouldn't worship heroes in wartime. Now there is nothing wrong with cautionary advice when it comes to deciding who is a hero or not; after all, this is an age where it is considered "brave" of entertainers with a gajillion fans to make a pouty sad face and say "war is bad!" on teevee. But that isn't what Turnipseed is getting at. He's another of the morale-destroyers, and I can't help thinking what a soul-smothering suck in person he must be after reading these words of wisdom:

Why are we so desperate for heroes, anyway? The ancient Greeks, who taught us the term, found the word inseparable from tragedy, intertwined with disaster by hubris: A hero was someone they feared as often as they praised.

Leaving aside the almost total misunderstanding he has of ancient Greek attitudes, what exactly is he trying to accomplish with his rambling and unfocused maunderings? All it communicates to me is that, like many faux-hip cynics, the only person "desperate for heroes" to worship is Mr. Turnipseed.


One thing the pro-news people couldn't seem to quit babbling about was the refusal of the coalition to let France, Germany, Russia, and Canada play our reindeer games in the rebuilding of Iraq. The notion that the people who had spent blood and money on Iraq get to be the ones who decide who gets to profit off the rebuilding of that country seems to have come as a shock to the above-mentioned foreign bodies as well as many of the media squeakers. Of course, the idea that one would have to have cast-iron balls to go up to someone you've stabbed in the back (such as France et al re the US in Iraq) and expect to be treated like bestest friends does not seem to have occurred to the wounded parties. What's that faint whiny sound? It's the smallest violin in the world, boys, and it's playing just for you.

More later, possibly. I'll open comments on this one for a while. Get your digs in while you can!

Posted by Andrea Harris at December 11, 2003 09:04 PM

all my money is being spent on Coalition of the Swilling™ products: aussie wine and brit beer.


Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 11, 2003 at 11:22 PM

Was a US general.

But he's a West Point graduate. Dang it.

Posted by: blaster at December 11, 2003 at 11:25 PM

Cast-iron balls? No. But it pretty well fits the definition of "chutzpah".

Posted by: Ken Summers at December 11, 2003 at 11:28 PM

or schmuck

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 12, 2003 at 07:14 AM

I miss you, lady...won't you consider doing more than one post a day? Are you in some 12-step program for internet-typers?

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at December 12, 2003 at 12:42 PM

I read somewhere on the net that in Europe when a politician spews a bunch of nastyness and hot air the people say that's just political talk - it doesn't mean anything. (Whereas in the US, people (mostly) think the politician means what he says.)
The French, Germans, Russians and others expect us to pay no attention to what they've said and done - but they've just bumped their noses into American political thought.
I don't expect they will learn from this experience.

Posted by: Ralph M at December 12, 2003 at 10:57 PM

All I have to say is... BRAVO!

Posted by: Lynn S at December 13, 2003 at 09:41 AM

Will Turnipseed become something useful (such as a tasty root crop) when he grows up?

Posted by: Slartibartfast at December 15, 2003 at 10:23 AM