Life Imitating Art

by Kieran Healy on March 1, 2005

Rep Sam Johnson , the other day:

Speaking at a veterans’ celebration at Suncreek United Methodist Church in Allen, Texas….Johnson said he told the president that night, “Syria is the problem. Syria is where those weapons of mass destruction are, in my view. You know, I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on ‘em and I’ll make one pass. We won’t have to worry about Syria anymore.”

Randy Newman, some years ago:


No one likes us
I don’t know why
We may not be perfect
But heaven knows we try
But all around even our old friends put us down
Let’s drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money
But are they grateful?
No they’re spiteful
And they’re hateful
They don’t respect us, so let’s surprise them
We’ll drop the big one and pulverize them.

Maybe the GOP should hire Newman as a foreign policy consultant. Johnson’s decision to deliver the remarks in a church was a particularly nice touch. I wonder if he knows where the road to Damascus actually is.

{ 21 comments }

1

floopmeister 03.01.05 at 12:50 am

Road to damascus?

Hell, he’ll throw in a strafing run as well on the way back and wipe out any bloody peaceniks wandering along, having second thoughts about the state of the world today.

2

fyreflye 03.01.05 at 1:30 am

You think Congressman Sam is gonna let any dam’ Syrians mess with his Precious Bodily Fluids?

3

christopher ball 03.01.05 at 1:39 am

But Randy Newman was railing against our allies:

Well, boom goes London
And boom Paree
More room for you
And more room for me

4

christopher ball 03.01.05 at 1:41 am

But Randy Newman was railing against our allies:

Well, boom goes London
And boom Paree
More room for you
And more room for me

5

jet 03.01.05 at 1:44 am

Any way we could get a little more than just that excerpt? Maybe a synopsis of the context? As this was a veteran’s celebration, I’m thinking more is being made of this than it deserves. I mean he said he would fly and F-15 and drop the nuke personally. That might be the first clue he was just BS’ing with the veterans. Maybe some of these soldiers were wounded or fought against Syrian armed and trained Bathist in Iraq? They probably enjoyed the bravado quite a bit.

6

Bob McGrew 03.01.05 at 2:06 am

Is he talking about wiping out Syria or wiping out the WMD stockpiles?

Obviously, we don’t know where the WMD stockpiles are, but then, I don’t think two nukes can really wipe out Syria either.

7

John Isbell 03.01.05 at 2:09 am

Allegedly he was repeating a remark he made to GWB. I think Atrios has it.

8

Kieran 03.01.05 at 2:18 am

He was relaying a conversation he had with the President, where he explained to Bush what he thought the situation in the Middle East called for.

9

luci phyrr 03.01.05 at 2:19 am

“Republicanism – it’s a guy thing, you wouldn’t understand.” [bobs head, adjusts himself]

10

DMF 03.01.05 at 3:41 am

I agree with Jet. If only I knew the context for calling on an unprovoked nuclear attack I’m sure I could justify it.

A fun game: what possible context (sorry ‘bravado’ doesn’t cut it) would make this kind of statement not repulsive/scary?

11

floopmeister 03.01.05 at 4:05 am

A fun game: what possible context (sorry ‘bravado’ doesn’t cut it) would make this kind of statement not repulsive/scary?

Too easy: it was made by one of the Good Guys, and he was talking about the Bad Guys. Therefore, if you think it’s repulsive/scary, you’re not one of the Good Guys and, in fact, you’re probably one of the Bad Guys.

Easy, huh?

/sarcasm

12

New Yorker 03.01.05 at 4:16 am

Thanks for pointing out Rep Sam Johnson’s comments. I’d vote for him….

And I like the lyrics. Bombs away!

13

Andrew Brown 03.01.05 at 7:47 am

whoever said two nukes would not wipe out Syria has not hoisted in what even one modern nuke could do. It looks as if someone, somewhere, is bound to give a demonstration within the next fifty years. Let’s hope it’s only one.

14

Alan K. Henderson 03.01.05 at 8:45 am

The updated Axis of Weasel version would replace London with Berlin.

15

Brendan 03.01.05 at 9:46 am

In response to the poster who said that this might be ‘just a joke’: Walter Benjamin wrote about this long ago. He stated that there was a kind of ‘trope’ (apologies for jargon) which he called, if memory services, a ‘blague’. This is when someone on the extreme right said something ‘outrageous’ and then when challenged looked aggrieved and said, ‘well i was only joking!!! Don’t you have a sense of humour?’ Benjamin commented that various ‘jokes’ along the lines of ‘Of course we’re going to have to kill all the Jews’ were of this sort.

Later on we all found out just how funny these jokes turned out to be.

16

John Bragg 03.01.05 at 3:50 pm

We bloodthirsty hawks prefer to call it “informal diplomatic pressure.”

17

Steve 03.01.05 at 9:23 pm

Thank you Brendan. Only three hours into the conversation, and you’ve initiated the Republicans=Nazis argument. Between people like you and Howard Dean (“Its a fight between good and evil. And we’re the good”), I appreciate the gift of the House, the Senate, and probably the White House for a very long time.

Steve

18

Lars 03.01.05 at 11:03 pm

Well, it looks like some things never change. As Mark Twain said:

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

19

Movie Guy 03.02.05 at 1:29 am

It doesn’t sound like most of you know much about Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas).

He was a fighter pilot. He also served 7 1/2 years as a POW.

But he wasn’t being serious in his remarks. Of course, he will be serious if the USA is struck again, as will be another 295 million citizens.

Just think about the retaliation if a nuke goes off in the USA. All hell will break loose, and Syria will be near the top of the list if there are indications that the source/support for the effort came from the Middle East.

20

Locutor 03.02.05 at 4:47 pm

So, old Sam was “jus’ jokin'”, huh? Well, that makes it all A-OK, then!

Any other hypothetical situations you’d like us all to picture, movieguy?

How about one in which Republican Congressmen don’t speak like jackasses?

Wildly improbable, I”ll admit, but since we’re all just supposin’ here….

21

Movie Guy 03.03.05 at 4:53 am

by MG:

“Just think about the retaliation if a nuke goes off in the USA. All hell will break loose, and Syria will be near the top of the list if there are indications that the source/support for the effort came from the Middle East.”

—-

by Locutor:

“Any other hypothetical situations you’d like us all to picture, movieguy?”

No, this is the one to worry about. It’s the major one that DoD/CIA/HS/STATE/other agencies are planning responses for.

We can sit back out here in the civilian world and hope that it never happens, but they plan for it. And those plans include responses…

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