Showing posts with label ralph blood 'n' guts peters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ralph blood 'n' guts peters. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DON'T MEAN NOTHIN'.

Someone told me a Fox News dummy had turned and even the New York Times was covering it...
“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,” [he] wrote in his message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times
“Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association,” he added. “Now I am ashamed.”
...and damned if the dummy didn't turn out to be Col. (Ret.) Ralph Peters -- better known to alicublog fans as Eleventy-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters! His alicublog archive is available for all to see.

I've been following the General since he was an Iraq War cheerleader for the New York Post ("America is, indeed, the modern Rome. And Rome does not ask permission of Thebes or obey the orders of Gaul"). I was late to the General generally: Back in 1996, he was talking about using military invasion tactics on American cities. But it was Iraq that made him a true public buffoon.

Back then he was very concerned that the hippies were going to spoil this war for him -- and as the war got more spoilt, Peters got more mad (as in crazy as well as in angry):
In the War Against Terror, no other power or organization can defeat America. But America remains dangerously capable of defeating itself... 
The terrorists will seek to convince American voters that the War on Terror is failing, paving the way for the electoral victory of a weakling [John Kerry] and allowing them to surge back into vacuums created by an American retreat... 
The media weren't reporting. They were taking sides. With our enemies. And our enemies won. Because, under media assault, we lost our will to fight on...

Make no mistake -- The anti-war voices long for us to lose any war they cannot prevent... 
Forget about our dead soldiers, whose sacrifice is nothing but a political club for Democrats to wave in front of the media...

The media are now combatants -- even if we're not allowed to shoot back...
He wasn't sentimental about Iraqi democracy, either: "We're overdue to take a lesson from the Romans and the British before us," barked the General, "and recognize the value of punitive expeditions… we need not feel obliged to rebuild every government we are forced to destroy… Where you cannot be loved, be feared.." (Also: "We didn't even have the common sense to declare martial law. It convinced our enemies that we were naive and weak." And see his tribute to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, "who sought the best for his tormented country but never knew how to package himself.")

Oh, and for those of you who are big on stories about how SJWs are the Real Threat to Free Speech, Blood 'n' Guts was there waaaay ahead of you:
It's fashionable in left-wing circles to describe anyone who admires America as a fascist. But the real totalitarian threats of our time come from the left. And no public figure embodies the left's contempt for basic freedoms more perfectly than Howard Dean.
Amazing we have any free speech left after Dr. Dean's reign of terror!

In the waning days of the Bush Administration the General seemed becalmed and unfocused. In 2008 the specter of Obama sometimes excited that ol' Blood 'n' Guts insanity ("There was a good reason the assassins of 9/11 attacked the targets they did, rather than steering those planes into Columbia University or Harvard Yard: They knew that the potency of the intellectual is illusory, that it dissolves at the first shot"). But after the election the General withered, as if his troops had abandoned him as the enemy breached the perimeter and the enemy wouldn't do him the honor of an execution; he was reduced to complaining that Obama was escalating the war in Afghanistan -- yes, that's how low he fell. The General became a TV clown, occasionally getting ink for calling Obama a pussy. I assumed he'd die in the saddle, slumping into some Fox blonde's lap.

But this new attention-getter shows that the General is at least trying to come back. Peters' current gripe is that Trump is in hock to Putin and Fox has been covering it up ("Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the 'nothing-burger' has been covered with Russian dressing all along" -- now there's some of the old Blood 'n' Guts!), which is interesting, because back in 2004 Peters was soft on Putin himself ("An angel won't replace Putin in the Kremlin. But Putin isn't entirely a devil. The glass is dirty, but it's nearly three-quarters full"). Putin hasn't changed much; has Peters "evolved"?

Ha! Men like RB&GP don't evolve -- evolution's for liberal traitors! What changed is, back then George W. Bush liked Putin and Peters liked Bush; more to the point, Bush was popular. Trump, on the other hand, looks to be destroying the national Republican Party and the nation is turning against him -- which may explain why the General is turning against Trump. There will be a Morning After, and with it a Morning Show After, and the General wants to be on the dais. Let Sean Hannity go down with the ship; the General Shall Return.

UPDATE. Comments, as always are worth a look, particularly those of BigHank53 and glen_tomkins, who have followed Peters' career as a Soviet-watcher in the U.S. military and have intelligent speculations on his motivations that somewhat contradict my cynicism. I accept that the General may have legit feelings about the Bear, but before Trump conservatives generally reacted to Putin's intransigence with tough talk and calls to drill more oil. All these years after the Soviet Union collapsed, they generally treat adversaries as opportunities to enrich their donors, such as the oil and gas industries and the military contractors who will profit when we invade Iran.  It may be Peters is simply responding to a patriotic impulse, but as he's been in the propaganda service almost as long as he was in the armed forces, I'm not inclined to interpret his actions charitably.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

HE MAY BE A FOOL, BUT HE'S YOUR FOOL.

Now that the Republican Presidential front-runner has anted up his bigotry, conservatives are trying harder to disown him. But it really cuts against their grain. When Trump proposed keeping Muslims out of the U.S., David French had just put up a post at National Review all about how dangerous Muslims are -- the title, in fact, is "Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth – the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate." Among the choice bits:
...jihadists represent the natural and inevitable outgrowth of a faith that is given over to hate on a massive scale, with hundreds of millions of believers holding views that Americans would rightly find revolting... 
To understand the Muslim edifice of hate, imagine it as a pyramid — with broadly-shared bigotry at the bottom, followed by stair steps of escalating radicalism... 
The base of the pyramid, the most broadly held hatred in the Islamic world, is anti-Semitism, with staggering numbers of Muslims expressing anti-Jewish views... 
The next level of the pyramid is Muslim commitment to deadly Islamic supremacy. In multiple Muslim nations, overwhelming majorities of Muslims support the death penalty for apostasy or blasphemy...
Etc. To be fair, he stops short of calling them vermin. If you said something like this about Christians, French would file a hate-crime complaint. You can imagine some goon reading this and thinking Shee-it, them Muslims sound awful, I better vote for Trump an' keep 'em all out!

But today French is trying to distance himself from Trump. Not on the grounds of their mutual beliefs, mind you -- French reiterates that "it’s foolish to admit a class of refugees when we know the world’s leading terror army is attempting to infiltrate the displaced masses or recruit from their ranks." But the ones that are here already, they can stay, French says -- and we can let in a small, select group of "good" Muslims, such as "interpreters who’ve laid down their lives to serve our warriors downrange... members of allied militaries who are training to be the Muslim 'boots on the ground,'" et alia. Everyone else can go die in the sea.

Oh, then he talks about what a menace political correctness is. Which is weird, because he and they are really just waiting to put in a nominee who can be as racist as Trump but keep his mouth shut about it.

UPDATE. As has become his habit of late ("We Didn't Start The Fire: Who Created Trump?"), Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller emerges again to tell us that Trump's strong support among Republicans is bad for Republicans, especially when they were getting so pumped up denouncing Obama after his pro-reason terrorism speech:
Yesterday, the media cycle was focused on radical Islamism and President Obama’s inability to counter it. Today, Donald Trump has changed the subject. But it’s not just that. Yesterday, the view that radical Islamism was a serious threat that President Obama has not taken seriously (polling backs this up) was a persuasive mainstream position that evoked sympathy and agreement. Today, it’s marginally harder to make that argument.
Now when Ralph Peters calls Obama a pussy, people will think we're intemperate! At the end Lewis admits Trump will probably get a boost from his statements -- another case of Republicans being unfairly made to look bad by other Republicans!

UPDATE 2. At The Federalist, Ben Domenech:
It is no accident that President Obama’s America has given rise to Donald Trump.
It defies explanation, but I'll try: Everyone thinks Obama's a failure and hates him (never mind showing Domenech polls that suggest otherwise, those are all run by liberals), and "our modern elites respond to that rational distrust by smearing it as vile hatred, which further divides and toxifies our politics." In other words, if you point out that their argument is wrong, that just makes Republicans more insane and racist -- so it's all your fault! "And Trump is a perfect personality to exploit these divides," Domenech goes on, "offering the promise of an authoritarian who represents the people in place of an authoritarian who represented the elites." I hope you're proud of yourself, liberals!

Like the rest of our subjects, Domenech basically agrees with Trump; he, too, thinks Muslims are toxic and "elites" are losing the War on Whatchamacallit with their "tolerance" bullshit ("Republicans have spent much of the past three years wringing their hands over how to win the white working class – Donald Trump is showing them how: by confronting and rejecting the values and authority of the elites..."). But he got the Trump-bad memo, so he portrays Trump as a menace while embracing his message. Look, it's at The Federalist -- it's not like it has to make sense.

UPDATE 3: You see this shit:


"The author advises Marco Rubio’s campaign for president." Presumably he advises on non-sequential thought, because his column is just the usual rightwing froth crowned with an "if it weren't for Joel Grey singing 'Wilkommen' there'd have never been a Hitler" assertion. And actually that's not new either: Conservative factota have been trying to blame Trump on Obama, or draw parallels between the two men, since Trump became the front-runner, and because they've saturated their little world with this false equivalence, there's no longer any reason to even pretend to back it up with evidence.

UPDATE 3. What have I been telling you people.

Monday, December 07, 2015

DAWN OF A NEW AGE.

Some days back I wistfully mentioned that a once much-esteemed member of the alicublog rep company, Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters, had moved on to Fox TV commentating, and since it's a mug game (or Media Matters') to scan that shit for gold we weren't having him anymore, and would move on to new hypermacho nutjobs like Kurt Schlichter.

Well, wouldn't you know it, Ol' Blood-'n'-Guts has found a way back into print:
Fox News analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters did not mince words when expressing his displeasure with President Barack Obama Monday morning, saying on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. that he was a “total pussy.”
Maybe fans will start watching more faithfully for him, as they once did for Howard Beale.

Peters was moved to obscenity by Obama's Sunday night speech, in which the President tried to be reasonable. (He did talk a little about killing people, but not enough to qualify as a Fournier-grade leader.) I see Obama also caused some lady on Fox to also make a swear:
"His speech was an epic fail," [Stacy] Dash said on the Fox News Channel show "Outnumbered." "It was like when you have to go to dinner with your parents, but you have a party to go to afterwards, that's what it felt like."
Watch your back, Peggy Noonan.
"I did not feel any better. I didn't feel any passion from him," Dash said. "I felt like he [couldn't] give a s--, excuse me, like he [couldn't] care less. He [couldn't] care less."
I don't know what's the bigger outrage here: Stacy Dash's swears, or that Newsmax corrected her perfectly acceptable colloquial use of "could care less."

I like to think this is the beginning of a new era of conservacursing. Obama's trying to keep the lid on, and conservatives have been trying to pry it off with belligerent talk about killing everybody and their wives and children with a third-time's-the-charm Middle East invasion. It must be frustrating to have that much rage dammed up inside without the near prospect of an armed conflict to relieve it. So I can't wait for, say, Mike Huckabee to go, "Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch, when the fuck are we gonna nuke these cocksuckers?" on live TV. Then maybe we'll finally get a full run of "Ow! My Balls!" and handjobs at Starbucks, as was prophesied.

UPDATE. The Washington Free Beacon put up a collection of Peters' TV work, confirming my original instinct -- while it is provocatively stupid, it lacks the the keening nuthouse poetry of his prose efforts.  Well, he wouldn't be the first artist ruined by television.


Friday, March 27, 2015

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


Song's been going through my mind for some reason. Weep, sad freaks of a nation.

•    I guess 2012 was the last year I paid attention to "Human Achievement Hour," the annual chest-thump in which the Competitive Enterprise Institute says Fuck You to the World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour by asking True Sons of Liberty to burn up as much energy as possible in celebration of the stinking shithole we've made of the earth, I mean progress. The event remains hilarious. Got some links from a CEI publicist to "Human Achievement of the Day" posts about how guitars only exist because of capitalism and so forth. My favorite is about bitcoin:
These are still very early days, and bitcoin is still thought more as a volatile store of value rather than an emergent system of property rights, but the prospects for this particular human achievement are incredibly bright, if regulators do not find a way to stifle it (by regulating people rather than the system, for example).
This puts me in mind of Hearst on the trail of The Color in Deadwood, except Hearst's psychosis was not the type that kept him in his parents' basement. Murder and dismemberment were more his thing -- the sort of activities in furtherance of capital that the CEI pencil-necks are more likely to dress up in purty language than directly perform.

•   In the high-decibel world of wingnut blowhards it's tough to rise above the din, but in a column about the Bowe Bergdahl prosecution at PJ Media Michael Walsh amps it up:  In addition to standard-issue slur-slinging -- "the Coward-in-Chief and his deliberate thumb in the eye to the honor of the American military," "pathetic little pansy Bergdahl," "painfully stupid Jen Psaki," aargh,  blaargh -- Walsh bellows:
...it’s a rare instance of the military finally asserting itself against a rogue commander who is imperiling the nation and insulting it as he goes. Unlawful orders do not have to be obeyed, even from Fearless Leader; that’s a principle the U.S. clarified at Nuremberg. 
One imagines Walsh parachuting into Fort Bragg, a cigar in one hand and a pearl-handled revolver in the other, crying PATRIOTS! NOW IS THE TIME! Or maybe not: see, everyone's a disappointment to Walsh:
John McCain and Mitt Romney should both be hanging their heads in shame. They could have defeated him, and they chose not to. But that’s America in the 21st century — it never saw a fight it wanted to finish.
Maybe Walsh can stake out a little corner of his mental ward and declare that The Real America. I'll have to read Walsh more often; I haven't seen anything like him since the heyday of Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters.

•   The composer John Adams recently remarked at Avery Fisher Hall that Rush Limbaugh exercises "casual brutality toward women" -- which, really, is about as close to an incontrovertible statement as you can get -- and to National Review's Jay Nordlinger this is Hitler plus Big Brother:
To this remark, the audience responded with sustained and robust applause. In 1984, Orwell writes of the two-minute hate. The applause in Avery Fisher Hall did not last for two minutes, but it went on long enough... 
You’re never supposed to analogize anything to the Nazis. That’s the rule. But sometimes I break the rule. And I believe I got a whiff — just a tiny whiff — of Nuremberg in Avery Fisher Hall tonight. Collective hatred, and self-satisfied hatred, based on damnable lies.
I suppose this makes me Genghis Stalin, but Nordlinger is a fucking idiot.

Monday, May 25, 2009

THE GENERAL'S MODEST PROPOSAL. Like a star athlete of insanity, 5-to-the-infinite-power-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters keeps making us raise the bar. His latest essay at the Journal of International Security Affairs, to which we were tipped by Brad Reed (goddamn him), begins with several propositions which are bold but unexceptionable -- for instance, that the all-volunteer army has put added distance and tension between the military and civilian worlds. But even in his warm-up phase, the General shows an inclination to go off-track and head straight for the brain-baking desert. For instance:
Fifth, we have become largely a white-collar, suburban society in which a child’s bloody nose is no longer a routine part of growing up, but grounds for a lawsuit; the privileged among us have lost the sense of grit in daily life. We grow up believing that safety from harm is a right that others are bound to respect as we do.
Okay; we've grown litigious. Maybe we don't take bloody noses as stoically as we used to. Still, does the General really mean that in "daily life" we shouldn't presume a right to be safe in our persons? But the General has already sprinted far ahead:
Our rising generation of political leaders assumes that, if anyone wishes to do us harm, it must be the result of a misunderstanding that can be resolved by that lethal narcotic of the chattering classes, dialogue.
Apparently he sees no difference between the social order of Main Street and that of Mogadishu. If you don't accept daily life as a slugfest, you're going to wind up playing patty-cake with terrorists.

But this is only the General's ordinary madness, which divides the whole world into wimps and warriors. Our terrorist enemies are warriors, and the General respects them, but the pussies from the State Department down to ANSWER don't have what it takes to get inside their enemies' heads. They can't comprehend their homicidal religious mania, for instance, because they don't share it themselves, which the General finds a fault: "Even officials and bureaucrats who attend a church or synagogue each week no longer comprehend the life-shaking power of revelation, the transformative ecstasy of glimpsing the divine, or the exonerating communalism of living faith." If you're not incited to kill for your God, how are you going to handle enemies who are?

For the General, it's not a matter of simple preparedness, reacting coldly to present threats, and the reason why not becomes clear in the course of his essay: everyone is a threat -- not just the Islamists (who must be wiped out), but also the Chinese, with whom "we could find ourselves tumbling, a la 1914, into a conflict." And we must also consider the "unexpected rise of a dormant power." How do you war-game that? You don't; you just get pumped, ready to kill or be killed at a moment's notice.

And as is his wont, the General wants America to sharpen its talons on a homegrown menace:
Today, the United States and its allies will never face a lone enemy on the battlefield. There will always be a hostile third party in the fight, but one which we not only refrain from attacking but are hesitant to annoy: the media.
Though this is an old theme for the General, I've never seen him get quite this worked up about it. Maybe he had a vision, or heard the final trump. In any case the traitorous media are now more than wimps to him: "Rejecting the god of their fathers," he roars, "the neo-pagans who dominate the media serve as lackeys at the terrorists’ bloody altar." He invokes Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Book of Joshua. The rest of us nervous nellies may not be getting pumped, but the General sure as hell is! And here's his big idea:
Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.
This will be an easy kill, as journalists tend to be unarmed; it will give raw recruit much needed practice; and it will show the world that we mean business. Best of all, it will finally get Michael Yon in Newsweek.

The Pentagon had better call him up fast; if they hesitate he may, like Coriolanus, grow disgusted with us and take his winning ideas to our enemies. Though I think his ideas will not be new to them.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

THE GENERAL DONS THE CHICKEN TRACK. Back before the election, MyGodIt'sFullOf-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters told as many white people as he could reach that if elected, Obama was going to capitulate in (among other places) Afghanistan:
Pandering to his extreme base, Obama has projected an image of being soft on terror. Toss in his promise to abandon Iraq, and you can be sure that al Qaeda will pull out all the stops to kill as many Americans as possible -- in Iraq, Afghanistan and, if they can, here at home -- hoping that America will throw away the victories our troops bought with their blood...

The Pakistanis think Obama would lose Afghanistan - and they believe they can reap the subsequent whirlwind...

Even without nukes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would try the new administration's temper in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf...
When Obama became President, Peters flailed a while for a suitable Afghan talking point, settling briefly on the complaint that Obama wasn't getting enough support in Afghanistan from the Europeans.

Now the President is ordering thousands of troops to Afghanistan, and suddenly the General has become Hanoi Ralph, actually advising Obama to pull troops out of Afghanistan:
Barack Obama? I heard Lyndon Johnson. The only LBJ touch that BHO lacked was the word "escalation"...

Do what makes military sense and reduce our forces in Afghanistan to a level that can be supplied by air. And concentrate on destroying al Qaeda, not on "owning" village X. (Obama's approach just stinks of Vietnam.)
Well, that was after all how Richard Nixon won the Vietnam War. I'm not crazy about Obama's plan, either, but I'm a dirty fucking hippie. What's the General's excuse? Also: Do even people on his own side think he has any principles at all except Destroy All Democrats?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A LITTLE CLOSER TO UNDERSTANDING. We've considered the case of General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters at length here, yet while we have gotten a full load of his mania, we have not learned much about the man. His peroration in today's New York Post, though, offers clues.
A FUNDAMENTAL reason why our intelligence agencies, military leaders and (above all) Washington pols can't understand Afghanistan is that they don't recognize that we're dealing with alien life-forms.

Oh, the strange-minded aliens in question resemble us physically. We share a few common needs: We and the aliens are oxygen breathers who require food and water at frequent intervals. Our body casings feel heat or cold. We're divided into two sexes (more or less). And we're mortal.

But that's about where the similarities end, analytically speaking.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that the General finds opposing life-forms inhuman and "more divergent from our behavioral norms than the weirdest crew member of the starship Enterprise." But he also reveals something of where he got this perspective. No, he doesn't mention whippings by his father or his time in that special CIA program where he was broken and rebuilt, but he does tell us this:
I was an effective intelligence officer. Why? In junior high, I matured past the French Existentialists and started reading science fiction. The prose was often ragged, but the speculative frameworks offered a useful approach to analysis.

Begin with the view that all opponents are aliens from another cultural planet. Build your assessment from a blank slate. What do the alien collectives desire or fear? How do they perceive the galaxy? What are their unique weaknesses?
Son of a sea cook! The General's a libertarian!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

IN THE LAST DITCH. Indeterminate Number of Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters continues his bilious streak with an unusually brief and at least more-than-usually incoherent rant on Georgia:
WAR doesn't change anything! How many times have we heard the claim from self-righteous leftists protected by their betters?

Tell the dead in Georgia.
Pausing, even only for a moment, ruins nearly all of the General's arguments, and in this case even interventionists would have to wonder upon reflection what righteous act of war would have saved the Georgians from their fate. The one Truman et alia were too chicken to declare on Red Russia, back when only America had the Bomb? Or the one Bush is too chicken to declare now?

Attend: the answer is blowin' in the General's wind. Condi Rice doth "huff and puff," NATO dithers. But the "hardcore Left," without any of Rice's and NATO's power, is always worse, for one thing because it mocks the General:
Over the years, as I've tried to explain the human reality I've encountered, the leftist response has been "Shoot the messenger!" (presumably, with a water gun). When I wrote that a dangerous minority of men enjoy tormenting and killing others, the response was that I obviously believed killing was good.

I've never even kicked a cat.
This is a startling admission from an author who has never, in my experience, seen or heard of a difficult situation that he didn't think would be improved by a whole heap of killing. (Or maybe he's just saying that he's fond of cats, the way Patton was of Willie.)

When the General asks, "what solutions does the war-doesn't-change-anything Left bring to the party now, in Georgia?" he's just offloading his own disgust with the current Administration, whose huffing and puffing he obviously considers no more efficacious that whatever the Berkeley City Council would propose (or Barack Obama, whom the General fantasizes "gobbled up in one bite" by Putin -- as opposed to Bush, whom one imagines would take longer to digest, at least when Putin got to his liver).

Maybe, because Bush's and NATO's officers don't wear distressed denim or love beads, the General feels protective of them. Or maybe he's just protecting himself. "I don't think a military response at this point would do any good," the General admits, "only more harm." What then does the General bring to the party? Only a deep-seated faith in force, regardless of its usefulness in the present situation, and an equally profound lack of faith in, or perhaps understanding of, anything else.

Friday, August 08, 2008

ARMY OF ONE. America's favorite psychopath, Umpty-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters, is on one hell of a mood swing. His ravings on the Olympics in today's New York Post start, "I RARELY watch sports on TV. I'm a doer, not a viewer." Right off the bat the General is reminding us that he has killed men with uncurled paper clips. Then he tells us that "Beijing's post-Mao mafiosi dropped their (dirty) drawers." Context is unclear; maybe the General just emitted it in a spasm of journalistic Tourette's, and his editor -- well, what am I saying: clearly nobody edits the General.

A strong believer in useless gestures, The General will "boycott" the Olympics -- that is, he will refrain from watching it on TV, instead curling up with a Faces of Death marathon. He is also boycotting Chinese goods, which probably means (if he is serious) that he goes everywhere in his old Army uniform. Even the General admits "it can be hard" to do without Commie provender, and he wants you to know how hard: "A work-out bench ordered online recently turned out to be made in China." Again, the General is unclear: was the online ordering done by him, a neighbor, or another imaginary character? Doesn't matter, the key words are "work-out bench," to remind us that the General is out running the obstacle course while you maggots are still raising your morning wood. Now drop your dirty drawers, Chinamen, and he'll give you twenty!

You know I'm not fond of the Chinese Government, either, and would like to make common cause with the General on this issue, but that would lead to the same sort of problems William Holden had with Bo Hopkins in The Wild Bunch.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

THE FIRST TIME AS TRAGEDY, THE SECOND TIME AS FARTS. Obama's talking about moving troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. Sensing an opening, General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters storms the breach with a squad of Howlin' Paradoxes:
Now their presidential candidate has announced that he won't bring all those troops home, but will simply transfer combat forces from Iraq to Afghanistan -- expanding that war. (He's discussed possibly invading Pakistan, too.)

And the left's quiet as a graveyard at midnight.

Where are the outraged protests from MoveOn or the DailyKos? I thought the extreme left felt sorry for our service members in harm's way and wanted to reunite them with their families.
Having nothing to say against Obama's prescription ("Yes, we could use more combat forces in Afghanistan") -- nothing coherent anyway ("I'm not quite ready to invade Pakistan without weighing the consequences and costs") -- the General instead directs his fire against a squadron of straw pacifists. Like a true action hero, the General likes to wisecrack while he rips through the enemy:
If the next president yanks our troops out of Iraq, all the progress disintegrates, Iran moves in and we have to re-invade to clean up the mess, will you enlist and do your part?

I know, I know: Educated people like you are too smart and too important to serve in uniform. The military's for dummies, for losers. Serious players stay home and blog and bitch over double espressos.
Along with their effete choice of beverage (real men drink instant, boiled over a flaming skull), the imaginary peaceniks are also assailed for "sitting in your basement blogging in your underwear at 3 a.m." Speaking of which, Ace O'Spades gets the General's back, and also gets credit for additional dialogue:
I'm not a big fan of the chickenhawk argument, but the left has long made it. And I asked similar questions a hundred times in the past: Fine, you're against the Iraq War. But you claim to be in favor of the Afghanistan War and even, on occasion, in favor of the Great Overmountain Invasion of Pakistan. So, um, Chickenhawk? How's blogging from Kabul?
Then he pours his Pibb Xtra over the crotch of his Stupid Hippie doll, and laughs the laughter of the righteous over the Hippie's weak bladder.

Inside jokes like these are fun for us dorks, but McCain's mainstream operatives are not likely to pick them up, figuring that John Q. Citizen won't know what the hell they're talking about. So if they want to ride their meme to glory, the General, O'Spades, and their comrades might try a public education campaign, alerting America to the perfidious people who blog for war from basements. As examples, they can take some of their old posts and change the names; for strats and tacts, they can emulate the left in 2004. It probably won't even work as well as it did last time, but let us encourage them to try.

Monday, July 14, 2008

THE REAL END OF COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM. If you're wondering what Phil Gramm was thinking with that "nation of whiners" crack, let me suggest that it may just be part of a new charm offensive from the right, at least if these bits from the weekend's New York Post are any indication.

"The baby boomers... have once again spoken. What they have said is, 'Waaaaaahhh,'" says Monica Hesse, who reads a Pew study showing boomers "worry that their income won't keep up with rising costs of living" and "that things don't look too good for their kids." They sound like most Americans of whatever age, but Hesse responds, "Oh, the drama! Oh, the anguish!" A separate study "found that boomers have never been happy," so there's no need to pay any attention to them now -- only Hesse does, and at column length, because "the rest of us are doomed to study them, analyze them, wave shiny objects around for them," though by what coercive mechanism she doesn't say. "BUCK UP ALREADY!" she shouts, or she may have to write another column about them, instead of one about "The Google Ogle Defense" ("'Orgy' might be a popular [Google] search term not because it's a popular practice, but because it's not. How do all those limbs fit together, anyway?"), or "Things that are 'awk-ward,' according to a group of University of Maryland students hanging out on the campus quad," or other topics of national importance. Trend reporting seems like an easy gig, even when the economy's in the toilet and some fossils are bitching about it.

Younger people get it -- at least the ones in Iraq, reports movie reviewer Kyle Smith, who pimps LiveLeak, "a destination spot for short war films that are awesome or disgusting, depending on your viewpoint." Smith's own viewpoint is clear: "LiveLeak is doing a much better job presenting the facts than, say, the latest foamy-mouthed drivel about corporate masters of war from the formerly popular actor John Cusack." The lead featured item at LikeLeak at this writing is "Man Shows Unique Ability To Put Hands Into Cauldron Of Hot Fat," but Smith seems to be talking about stuff like this:
...a clip of gunship attacks set to the metal song by Dope called "Die Mothe - - - - er Die." The video wasn't gruesome, though, since the enemy was well off in the distance and disappearing tidily under puffs of white smoke. One of the troops is overheard saying, "This was great. I need a cigarette. This was like sex." And a few more shocked grad students get some fuel for their eroticization-of-violence papers...
Actually it sounds like "Jackass," except instead of injuring themselves Johnny Knoxville and Wee Man kill other people from a distance. Smith believes "the primary message fired-up young men are likely to take from [these films] is that fighting for your country is a lot cooler than the mainstream media make it out to be. " One wonders why the Army hasn't dispatched teams of movie-makers to Iraq to do fan-film versions of Halloween and Saw, casting the natives as terrified teenagers, and release them with titles like Be Kind Re-enlist.

The gem of the bunch is of course by Umpty-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters. The General's been on a roll lately, and his opening here is a classic: "We all have irritants that make us want to reach for the revolver." Don't I know it! But what gets the General in a killin' mood is bumper stickers -- "One per car is OK, but anything more is public masturbation"; get it, maggot? -- people who call dissent patriotic, and Barack Obama. The dissent fans misquote Jefferson, who was of course against dissent, as shown by his accommodating attitude toward the Alien and Sedition Acts; as for the "last refuge of a scoundrel" thing, though the General admires Samuel Johnson ("I've got a huge two-volume replica edition [of Johnson's Dictionary] -- it's so heavy you could bench-press it"; real he-man writin'!), he reckons the Great Cham was just blowing smoke. "I'd rephrase the line," announces the General, "to read: 'Attacks on patriotism are the last refuge of the coward.'" Get some REMFs on it most ricky-tick, and then fetch the General a copy of the Constitution and a blue pencil!

But you know what really chafes the General around the chaps? Obama and that "Hope" bull-hockey. "Hope is the opposite of audacity," says the General. "It's passive, an excuse for inaction. Medicating ourselves with fuzzy hopes, instead of rolling up our sleeves and fixing things, has wasted countless lives and entire cultures..."

So, to sum up: Don't hope, don't complain, and enjoy your free war videos. It's the new conservative message! They must really be counting on those Diebold voting machines.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

RUN THROUGH THE JUNGLE. At first I thought Infinity-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters was going somewhere else with the title "INTELLECTUALS LIE, THE POWERLESS DIE" -- you know, toward a Treason of the Clerks sort of thing, in which the evil intellectuals of a particular nation sell out their particular people to a particular evil. The giant face of Mugabe that appeared with the article in the New York Post suggested that the General had tracked down some Zimbabwean professors who had enabled the dictator by teaching Women's Studies or something.

Turns out the General is just on a rampage against writers in general. Doesn't matter whether it's Paul Begala or Christopher Hitchens -- in the General's view, no fancy-pants scribble-boy is worth the sweat off a rifleman's ass:
THE greatest lie intellectuals tell us is that "the pen is mightier than the sword." That's what cowards claim when they want to preen as heroes...

While intellectuals wrestled with compound sentences, Darfur degenerated from selective oppression to savage anarchy...

Regiments of professors and pundits have bemoaned China's gobbling of Tibet for half a century...

Only when better men acted did the surviving victims of one of the world's worst dictatorships glimpse freedom...

There was a good reason the assassins of 9/11 attacked the targets they did, rather than steering those planes into Columbia University or Harvard Yard: They knew that the potency of the intellectual is illusory, that it dissolves at the first shot...
Later, "No elegant phrase has ever stopped a bullet," "a sword will cut off the writer's head," etc.

Really, that's pretty much it. Politics doesn't enter into it; anyone not a soldier is an ineffectual, puking pussy. This represents a new and promising frontier for the General. As we have seen, he has in the past been content to attribute unmanliness to Democrats and liberals, as part of a propagandist's job-o-work. Now it looks as if he has gone freelance, and answers only to the law of the jungle. Before long he'll spend his columns explaining how easy it would be for him to kill us all with the end of a rolled-up newspaper or a bottlecap, and his signature line will be "The horror, the horror."

Monday, June 23, 2008

THE HORMONAL SURGE IS WORKING. I was worried for a while that I would have to bust Gazillion-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters back down to Lt. Colonel. His recent columns have been normally ridiculous, but lacking in that special madness that has made him an alicublog favorite. But in Saturday's New York Post the General uncorked a classic. It sings from the very beginning:
WORKING out last Monday, I heard a campaign flunky on TV insist that progress in Iraq is an illusion. "The war isn't over until all of the troops come home!" she grumped.

Guess we're still at war with Germany. And Japan. Even Italy. Oh, and let's not forget all of our military bases occupying the Confederacy.
Maybe the General's workout stimulated an epinephrine cascade that inspired this column. I imagine him banging it out on the Selectric with one hand and pumping a gazillion-kilo handweight with the other, high off the idea that an operating base in Iraq is a direct equivalent to Fort Bragg.
And one look told you she didn't even know any "troops."
You can smell it on 'em, even through the TV. Probably drives a Prius and eats pussy, too.
But after my initial shrug (back to the bench for more crunches)...
The General is a man of action.
...Since that woman on TV "explained" victory last Monday, I've thought about the different kinds of people who refuse either to accept that the situation in Iraq has improved remarkably or that quitting now would have serious consequences.
Even in the grip of raging catecholamines, the General holds the game together: Iraq is always in a delicate balance between total conquest and all hell breaking loose. And pay attention, because he redeploys this strategy in his big finale.

The General identifies three enemy battalions: First, "Protesting university students," an easy target: "Once they graduate and get a dose of reality, most of the kids will do fine. The need for liberal-arts undergrads to prance to the left is virtually hormonal." (Certainly the reality of the post-graduation job market will put an end to all hormonal prancing. Try prancing in a tiny apartment with three roommates!) Next, "Hollywood stars and other celebrities." Their only ordnance is "self-righteous anti-war (anti-military) films" and Susan Sarandon. The General orders you to laugh!

But he can't so easily shake off that most formidable of foes: "My generation. Those of us from our mid-50s into early 60s. The florid youth of yesteryear... the high point of whose lives came in a protest march down University Boulevard, chanting, 'Ho-ho-ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win!'"

You'd think that, now that Dennis Hopper is selling them retirement plans, reality long ago put an end to the Boomers' hormonal prancing. But the General's got that thousand-mile stare: he doesn't see a bunch of greyhaired time-servers -- he sees the Mongol hordes, animated by "bitterness toward the military," looking in the last ditch to "rise above their disappointing lives and to recapture, for one Viagra-assisted moment, their glory days of raised little fists and bell-bottoms."

As the General describes them, his generation is a pathetic bunch, with only "tenure at an obscure college, serial divorces and a failed book or two," while "the nerds in the comp-science classes, the geeks with punch cards in their shirt pockets... became billionaires."

So it's the General and internet billionaires versus a "soured minority" of former commune dwellers. He seems to have this thing sewn up. Can't we just have the McCain victory party now? The General wearily shakes his head: "I'd pity them," he whispers, "if the stakes weren't so high."

So the homefront is really just like Iraq: the enemy is merely a pathetic rump, but the General must fight on, sparing neither troops nor firepower. The enemy is just as weak as he needs for morale-building purposes, and just as strong as needs to justify continued involvement. Most likely he imagines himself, and us, at it for another 100 years.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

THE TREASON OF TECTONIC PLATES. Gazillion-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters says that not only is the press lying about our glorious war in Iraq, it's enlisting Communist help:
When Iraq seemed destined to become a huge American embarrassment, our media couldn't get enough of it. Now that Iraq looks like a success in the making, there's a virtual news blackout.

Of course, the front pages need copy. So you can read all you want about the heroic efforts of the Chinese People's Army in the wake of the earthquake.

Tells you all you really need to know about our media: American soldiers bad, Red Chinese troops good.

Is Jane Fonda on her way to the earthquake zone yet?
Today the top stories on the website of the New York Post, which carries Peters' column, concern Governor Patterson's migraine headache, a pay raise for the NYPD, and SPITZER AND THE HOOKER BY TV'S "LAW & ORDER" -- GOV. SCANDAL INSPIRES SHOW. Not a word about victory! Maybe Jane Fonda will bring Rupert Murdoch to the People's Republic. Oh wait -- he's already there.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

INK-STAINED RETCH. The opening of a museum dedicated to journalism stirs the wrath of our old friend, Zillion-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters:
There's no museum in the vicinity of the National Mall dedicated to our military.
Tells you a lot about the vanity and priorities of today's governing and informational "elite," doesn't it?
On the Mall a hippie couldn't spit without hitting a bronze servicemember or a military memorial. It's practically a Valle de los CaĆ­dos. But there's no reasoning with the General, and thank God, because that gives him a whole column to expound on the lowest form of life on earth:
Let's be honest: Journalists are parasites. Whether war correspondents or metro-desk editor, we live off the deeds and misdeeds of others. They do, we tell. Without the soldiers, cops and firemen (or the politicians, terrorists and criminals), there ain't no stories.
He forgot death-sniffing dogs and Britney Spears. But, again, leave him the floor:
Of course, any biologist will tell you that there are good parasites and bad ones, so we're not condemning the entire profession here. Just noting that journalists piggyback on the courage or failings of others.
Kind of like novelists and playwrights, and all those other inky bastards who engage the world with a lousy pen instead of a manly bayonet. Why, Washington gives a whole library to Shakespeare, who never shouldered a rifle.

The General digs in: once journalism was "something of an outsiders' profession," but "today, big-media journalism is a white-collar, insiders' profession that grows more elitist by the year." Well, it is too bad that "big-media journalism" has grown more elitist, though I doubt big-corporate, big-pharmaceutical, etc. are hiring many kids off the turnip truck anymore. (Astonishingly, some of my friends and I have written for the media without J-school degrees. Perhaps we were the equivalent of mercenaries, though in that case I expect we would have been better paid.)
From "All The President's Men" forward, journalism was the ultimate career for the well-educated, well-connected young voyeur who didn't want any bottom-line responsibility (just a byline, thanks). No need to get dirty, at least not for very long. Just make fun of the young soldiers or cops who get dirty every day.
There is something to this. Just scan the headlines in today's Washington Post: "Police Say Man Has Robbed Six Banks Since January" -- clearly implying that the cops are too stupid to catch him. And: "Iraq Fires Policemen, Soldiers" -- there's a twofer! Couldn't the Post have just referred to them as "downsized" and left them their dignity?

To further prove his point, the General bets you can't "name one decorated hero from Iraq or Afghanistan," while some TV newsmen may be familiar to you by sight. And I'll bet you know who Simon Cowell is, too, you treasonous bastards.

His rage spent, the General pleads for simple justice:
Would it be too much to ask for a little humility on the part of the privileged? Yesterday, at Ft. Bragg, I met a Special Forces sergeant-major whose courage won him the Distinguished Service Cross. He'll never earn what a TV anchor earns.
Insolent civilians may be tempted to mention the earning disparities between TV anchors and schoolteachers, home health care workers, etc. But that kind of talk won't fly with the General. For him, your respect for the Armed Services is not satisfactory until you admit you aren't fit to lace their boots -- unless you're a Republican politician, and even then you dast not cross him or he will unscrew your head and shit down your neck. Now drop and give him twenty, maggots!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

PAKISTAN: THE LESS-SHORT VIEW. The Bhutto assassination has already led to unfortunate side-effects, including riots, U.S. Presidential candidate reactions, and what the Pakistani dictator Musharraf, in a piquant bit of Western political usage, calls "the blame game." Al Qaeda has expectedly taken credit; Bhutto herself left a note fingering Musharraf; reporters work their sources, and pundits their traditional decoder rings, for leads.

The flames in Karachi indicate that many Pakistanis will not have patience for this sort of inside-baseball analysis. I note this recent poll showing the unpopularity of Musharraf's regime, and also the poll's interesting provenance. I suspect similar results might have been obtained without the support of John McCain and neocon apparatchiks, but the International Republican Institute's efforts to publicize the discontent in Pakistan suggest that the current (and just about any possible future) Administration would have been much happier dealing with Bhutto.

What do you suppose they think about Nawaz Sharif, who is currently playing it extremely cagey? He's been linked to Al Qaeda, but even Bhutto played footsie with the Taliban once upon a time. And the New York Times reports that our government is now reaching out to Sharif. ("The very fact that officials are even talking to backers of Mr. Sharif, who they believe has too many ties to Islamists, suggests how hard it will be to find a partner the United States fully trusts.") This certainly wouldn't be the first time the U.S. has suddenly rehabilitated a suspect foreign leader, and it's not as if we don't know how to deal with him.

Armageddon may come tomorrow, in which case you may put me down as a fool. But one of the fortunate aspects of global political corruption -- contra Dr. Paul -- is that it presents opportunities for self-correction, at least until the next, inevitable crisis. It's not the best way of doing things, of course. In fact it's pretty sad. But who among our next generation of leaders will handle it any better?

UPDATE. I should have known ol' Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters wouldn't let me down! In October he wrote a full-throated paean to the Musharraf dictatorship and denounced the infusion of Bhutto's "charisma" into the race. Today he supplies us with the Good Riddance to Bhutto post we've been waiting for:
Her country's better off without her. She may serve Pakistan better after her death than she did in life.
What good can come from even a dead Bhutto? "Her murder may galvanize Pakistanis against the Islamist extremists who've never gained great support among voters, but who nonetheless threaten the state's ability to govern." That'll be some trick, even with the Pakistan government's hilarious accidental death verdict there to help.

But Peters is not all Blood 'n' Guts today; he spares a tear for the poor, misunderstood dictator Musharraf:
But [Bhutto] always knew how to work Westerners - unlike the hapless Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who sought the best for his tormented country but never knew how to package himself.
Better get the pointy-heads on that one, General! Maybe they can engineer a fun-loving, Idi Amin persona for Musharraf. Laugh and the world laughs with you!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BEYOND DEMOCRACY. Umpteen-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters tells us Pakistan proves that most military coups are A-OK, especially as compared to the vile alternative, democracy.

Aficionados of the General's prose will appreciate his opening:
WE simplify the problems of others. It's bad enough when we do it to family and friends, but it can be fatal when we simplify the problems of the developing world.
"Bad enough" to simplify the problems of family and friends! We're in for some very tough love.
The generally accepted line is that all civilian leaders are good, while military coups are always bad. Like most such generalities, it's often wrong.

Our prejudice is on display again as Benazir Bhutto, a feudal landlord posing as a democrat, returns to Pakistan.
In the West, Bhutto is popular because she's a civilian - and that's about it. Her champions merrily overlook the pestilential corruption, social polarization and pandering to extremists that marked her two terms as prime minister.
We and the General have come a long way since he likened the newly-democratized citizens of Iraq to a "kid" who had to "ride the damned bike" of democracy "and fall down a couple of times" without too much U.S. interference, lest we become an "overly protective parent." Now the citizens of Pakistan, who saw a great deal more of the bike before Musharraf put it away than have the Iraqis, cannot even be allowed the presence in their government of a former elected leader. For one thing, she has too much "charisma":
Charisma will always be with us. It's human nature to be drawn to a dramatic speaker who struts artfully upon the political stage, telling us that all of our problems are the fault of others and that, if he receives our vote, we'll all soon live in paradise.
To be fair, the General is prepared to let politicians strut, if not caper nor gambol, in the U.S., where "checks and balances... restrain the worst men who reach the White House." And he is willing to admit that "Most coup-makers then botch the job of governing," but adds, "just as the civilians they overthrew failed before them," in case we were warming toward the idea of elective representation.

Feeling his point made, the General ends with a grand speculative leap:
Given the inability of non-Western societies to build effective government institutions, it may be time to rethink our faith in the state itself as the answer to their needs.
I can't wait for the follow-up. What will replace the state? Surely not the United Nations. Maybe Blackwater, but the General hates them. I guess that leaves space aliens or, more likely, an international brotherhood of military dictators who will erase all meaningless boundaries and continent-hop with arms and instruments of torture, ready to do the business of pacification that feeble politicians messed up in that poorly-remembered age when democracy was thought to be on the march.

I do hope the General will revisit the subject now that Bhutto's return has inspired a deadly public attack. Amateurs! he must be thinking. A few well-trained snipers could have done the job much better.

Monday, September 03, 2007

ON TOUR WITH OLD BLOOD 'N' GUTS. Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters has been sending dispatches from Iraq to the New York Post, and they are a delight. Here are some of Peters' most recent "I'll-remember-this moments":
Scrawny Iraqi police recruits chattering like excited birds as they marveled at the tattoos on a Marine weightlifter's torso: A flesh-and-blood metaphor for muscular, over-the-top America and our relationship with malnourished, bewildered Iraq.
Here's what our stateside poets miss: the opportunity to make metaphors of scrawny occupied peoples. Kipling might have appreciated the chance, but I expect he would have made more of it.

Peters continues in this expansive vein:
We were standing in Iraq's Atlanta, discussing Sherman. For one of those lightning instants when you grasp something beyond words, we both felt the timelessness of war and soldiering.
The glory that was total war, the grandeur that was Reconstruction. Well, five years after it was taken, Atlanta didn't have reliable electric service either.
Sitting in a plywood-partition office in a combat outpost with an American captain and an Iraqi Provincial Security Forces general as the Iraqi "complied" with the captain's request for three bids from local firms to deliver gravel to a dirt motor pool before the rains began.

Eager to close a deal that wouldn't do his own retirement savings any harm, the general laid down three pieces of paper. They were identical, except that one specified $800 per truckload, a second $750 and a third $700.

It was obvious that the bids were all from the same source and that the drill was simply to do things in the peculiar way Americans expected.
Who says they don't know how democracy works? Wait'll they get internet access. They'll be selling our own weapons back to us.
An old sheik, who had done nicely under Saddam, reminiscing about the days of no-nonsense law and order when he could drive safely on the spur of the moment from Fallujah to Basra. As the polite old man continued telling stories, it became heartbreakingly obvious that much of the post-liberation fighting between Iraqis and Americans had been the result of confounded expectations on both sides.

Living so long under Saddam - and previous stern regimes - men such as the sheik simply couldn't comprehend our rules or assumptions or philosophy, nor did we grasp the accommodations Iraqis had made with the concept of "laws."

We began by shouting past each other, and ended by shooting at each other.
This piqued my interest, till I read on and found Peters was speaking of Americans and Iraqis in general, and not of himself and the polite old man.

Peters closes with a long, funny description of one of Saddam's old palaces, during which he remembers that he hasn't said anything bad about liberals yet. "But maybe we could organize a tour that would take them to a few of Saddam's palaces," he says, "then to see the squalor in which most Iraqis live." I suppose we all have some idea of both pictures, and look forward to the day when both the palaces and the squalor will be eradicated. But I see we are almost done building a new palace in Baghdad, while the Army Corps of Engineers projects that Iraq will get sufficient power services sometime in the next decade. Also, I doubt even Peters could vouch for the security of our tour bus. So I'll pass on the offer, and continue to rely on Peters' dispatches, which are very revealing in their way.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

AS OF THIS MOMENT, THEY'RE ON DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION! Zillion-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters must have been a great hand-to-hand combatant back in the day. Just when you think you've got him down, he comes back at you with a surprise.

For instance, take the lede of his latest column:
WONDER what Iraq would look like if we left to morrow? Take a look at Gaza today.
One is inclined to laugh. Civil war and chaos if we leave Iraq? What have the past few years been, rehearsal?

Cornered, the General pulls out his Ka-Bar!
Then imagine a situation a thousand times worse.
Gasp! A thousand times worse? Now I'm scared! But I can't show it, or Peters will move in for the kill with Ten thousand times worse! Hundred thousand times worse! Infinity!

No worries, though -- eventually I'll pass out from the powerful fumes of the rest of his column. To encrapsulate: Arabs are sub-human and incapable of self-government, and our last hope of victory -- this month anyway -- is... (opens the envelope) "As fine an officer as we've got in uniform, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey." Start molding the statue!

Reading the General for sense is useless; persist if you must for his style, full of ripe analogies such as this:
Four years ago, the neocons fantasized about a post-Saddam Age of Aquarius. Now the Murthacrats insist that, once we bail out, Atlantis will rise from the Tigris and Euphrates.
I begin to suspect that Peters learned his trade -- the writin', not the killin' one -- from old police comics.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

SELLER'S REMORSE. Michael Ledeen notes the latest mayhem in Iran, blames unnamed liberals:
But, just like women stoned to death in Iran, or the mass starvation of the people of Zimbabwe, these horrors are greeted with the silence that racists reserve for the less-than-humans who behave in an uncivilized way. Their unspoken attitude is, well, what can you expect of these untermenschen?

And anyway, it's all Bush's fault.
The Ole Perfesser concurs:
"UNTERMENSCHEN:" He's right. That's how they seem to think.

UPDATE: Reader Ted Clayton emails: "Perhaps you could specify who "they" refers to. "

As you can see from reading the linked item, it refers to those allegedly-progressive Westerners who refuse to hold non-Westerners to the same moral standards applied to, say, America and Britain. That should be obvious to, well, anyone who's paying attention.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Drew Kelley writes: 'I am shocked, shocked, to find prejudice among our "best and brightest'." The descent of the "progressives" into racist double-standards is an old story, but it's still one that bears pointing out now and then.
I'm sick of this shit. First, conservatives called for the invasion of Iraq, with the welfare of the Iraqi people one of their flimsier pretexts. And since the whole DemocracyWhiskeySexy business went south, it's conservatives we most often hear talking about what a disappointment the Iraqis have been.

General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters, for example, has said he wants an end to "'peace, love, and understanding' silliness" in Iraq, and cites as a better model for pacification "the Mau-Mau revolt, in which the British won a complete victory -- thanks to concentration camps, hanging courts and aggressive military operations." And, he has also said, "if Iraq's Arabs choose to backslide into the regional addiction to corrupt governance, it's a lick on them, not on us."

John Derbyshire has said that while he supported the invasion as a "psychic shock to the whole region" -- which "It would have done, if we’d just rubbled the place then left" -- he came to realize that "we have submitted to become the plaything of a rabble, and a Middle Eastern rabble at that."

Another rightwing erstwhile warfan, Crunchy Rod Dreher, now says that "I hate that a single drop of American blood was shed for these people."

John Podhoretz says "If the Sunnis and Shiites really go at it, it's hard to see what exactly we can do to get them to stop."

Even Rich Fucking Lowry, author of the notorious "We're Winning" National Review cover story, has said that "The problem with Bush’s freedom rhetoric is that it appears to not be true... All around the chaotic and violent Middle East, human hearts are yearning for many things, but freedom isn’t high on the list."

Yet Ledeen and the Perfesser persist in saying that those of us who predicted that their invasion would result in a shitstorm are the ones who look down on the Iraqi people.

I'd say they suffered from guilty consciences, if there were any indication that they had consciences of any sort.

UPDATE. Commenters point out that The Good Glenn got there first with more. How could I have forgotten the Perfesser's "more rubble, less trouble"? I guess that's why Greenwald is at Salon and I'm wearing a cardboard belt.