Thursday, September 18, 2003
I swear these people must have been on drugs. It's the only explanation.
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Helpful information on preparing for disasters.
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3 am oddities: I'm sitting on my porch and I hear a deep gongy bell traveling about walking speed down the street a block away. Ok I'm asking. Why would anyone be walking down the street at 3 in the morning ringing a bell?
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Well, another year older. We went to The Melting Pot. It was fabulous as always. Tasty tasty food. 9,000,000 calories in one meal.
I sampled some new scotch. (Always better to try a glass then to spend big bucks on a bottle you'll never drink.) Helpful hint: Laprohaig is actually mislabeled bottles of Raid. Don't even bother.
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Lileks takes off on a tear over the nattering class and Iraq. Read the whole thing it's worth it.
"If Clinton had risen to the occasion, wiped out al-Qaeda, sent Marines to kick down the statues and put bullets in those filthy sons’ brainpans, this would be the most noble effort of our time. We would hear clear echoes of JFK’s call to bear any burden. FDR, Truman, Marshall Plan, forbearance, patience - the editorial pages of the land would absolutely brim with encouragement and optimism every damn day, because the good fight was being waged, and the right people were waging it."I agree with him wholeheartedly and I will continue to take after the idiots who bitch about this stuff, (including my own mother to my eternal shame.) But I do take a measure of comfort from this little bit of perspective:
I can’t help but come back to the central theme these edits imply: we should have left Iraq alone. We should have left this charnel house stand. We should have bought a wad of nice French cotton to shove in our ears so the buzz of the flies over the graves didn’t distract us from the important business of deciding whether Syria or China should have the rotating observer-status seat in the Oil-for-Palaces program. Afghanistan, well, that’s understandable, in a way; we were mad. We lashed out. But we should have stopped there, and let the UN deploy its extra-strong Frown Beams against the Iraqi ambassador in the hopes that Saddam would reduce the money he gave to Palestinian suicide bombers down to five grand. Five grand! Hell, that hardly covers the parking tickets your average ambassador owes to the city of New York; who’d blow themselves up for that.
Would the editorialists of the nation be happier if Saddam was still cutting checks to people who blew up not just our allies, but our own citizens? I’d like an answer. Please. Essay question: “Families of terrorists who blow up men, women and children, some of whom are Americans, no longer receive money from Saddam, because Saddam no longer rules Iraq. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Explain.”
In short: the same people who chide America for its short-attention span think we should have stopped military operations after the Taliban was routed. (And they quite probably opposed that, for the usual reasons.) The people who think it’s all about oil like to snark that we should go after Saudi Arabia. The people who complain that the current administration is unable to act with nuance and diplomacy cannot admit that we have completely different approaches for Iraq, for Iran, for North Korea. The same people who insist we need the UN deride the Administration when it gives the UN a chance to do something other than throw rotten fruit.
The same people who accuse America of coddling dictators are sputtering with bilious fury because we actually deposed one.
"As usual, individuals with no responsibility in the matter, their humanitarian impulses outraged by conditions that were frequently beyond help, began carrying to America tales of indifference, negligence, and callousness on the part of the troops. Generally these stories were lies. The thousands of men assigned to the job of rescuing the DP's [Displaced Persons] and organizing relief for them were Americans. They were given every facility and assistance the Army could provide, and they were genuinely concerned in doing their utmost for these unfortunate of the earth. But because perfection could not be achieved, some so called investigators saw a golden chance of personal publicity. They did so at the expense of great numbers of Americans who labored night and day to alleviate the average lot of people who had suffered so much that they seemed at times beyond suffering." I have to take comfort in the fact that the people who bitch now will be forced to either explain to their grandchildren why they wanted the monster left in peace, or to lie and know that they lie, to conceal their shame.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Crusade in Europe" page 440
Doubleday and Co. 1948
Topic: World War II
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