Monday, October 09, 2006

NYUK, NYUK, NYUK. So how's the Most Powerful Nation on Earth doing against the Axis of Evil -- or, as I like to think of them, Moe, Larry and Curly? Iraq -- originally the Curly of the outfit, though now downgraded to Shemp or perhaps even Joe Besser status -- has been "liberated" and "pacified" -- that is to say, it's a basket case, where daily life has become so dangerous that authorities recently had to stick a flak jacket on Condi Rice before escorting her from Baghdad Airport. Even the Donald Rumsfeld publicity bureau known as OpinionJournal today declared in an offhand tone that "if another 10,000 or 20,000 or however many troops would reassure Iraqis in the months ahead... then by all means President Bush should deploy them."

Iran, the Larry of the outfit, is treading water, with Ahmadinejad working a global charm offensive while riding herd on his opposition back home.

And North Korea, proving a worthy bearer of the mantle of Moe, just blowed up a big bomb. Remind him to kill us later!

We all knew this was coming, given the ham-handed U.S. approach to NK nuclear negotiations. Though previous administrations had managed to maneuver North Korea away from H-bombs, Bush treated and spoke of the Korean nuclear situation in oh-well, whattaya-gonna-do terms, as if it were out of his control: "I think what we have to do is plan for the worst and hope for the best."

Now Kim's got a working bomb, and naturally the conservative response is: we have GOT to keep the Democrats out of office, or they might fuck up even worse than we have! "...we know what the Democratic Party and its media surrogates will want to do -- begin a comprehensive and multi-lateral campaign to BLAME BUSH!!!" cries Dean Barnett. References to 9/11, WWII, and Awakening the American People to their Grave Peril naturally follow.

"When the conflagration comes, it will burn as surely as night follows day," intones Josh Trevino from atop a plinth, toga rippling in the wind. "The puerile predator in Pyongyang will do no less. We have failed to prevent: now it falls to us to deter, and in time, avenge." Avenge what? Maybe he means the North Korean "slave state," generally; Trevino once lived near it, of which joyous days he still has happy memories of "leftist students assaulting our housing compound," apparently forging a lifelong bond between Trevino and his noisy neighbors. Or maybe he seeks vengeance for this: if we nuke North Korea, maybe the radiation will seep over into Seoul, and that guy Trevino couldn't get arrested in '05 will finally get his.

Others also appear optimistic -- not for the imminent bloodshed, but because of the possibility of Republican political advantage. "Mr. Kim drives Foley off the front page -- or does he? Well, he better," sez Roger L. Simon. But his heart's not in it -- not like the old days of the Iraqi cakewalk and flag lapel pins! "Foley was starting to get boring," yes, but still there is a "fundamental lack of seriousness of a great part of our society, especially in the political and media classes" -- not like Simon, playing Stratego with Victor Davis Hanson and Michael Ledeen all night long! "In a way I hope the Democrats win in November, so that they are forced to face reality." Wow -- he's so rattled, he's forgotten we're all traitors!

In short, thanks to the persistence of human stupidity, this urgent worldwide crisis promises to be as hilarious as any other.

UPDATE. At Ace of Spades HQ, poster "Dave from Garfield Ridge" (who reveals, to our horror, in comments that "my day job touches on a lot of what I write about...national security stuff...") repeats the new wisdom: "The big lesson today is the most obvious one, a lesson most any reader here could have imparted long before we got here. Namely, that any nation that wants nuclear weapons will eventually get them, and will get them by any means necessary." Gee, if they've felt that way since "long before we got here," when Bush gave his original Axis of Evil speech, why didn't he just say, "We give up"?

Actual sensible commentary here.


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