STFU Syndrome

by Belle Waring on May 14, 2006

Just when you thought the lamentable “we are too the 101st Flying Keyboardists” thing had plumbed the very depths of warblogger self-regard…you got another think coming. Here I must interrupt myself to post the best warblogger comment of all time, from the “Captain” Ed thread:

Captain,
It seems to me that when one’s country calls, one should respond with the very best one has – with what you are best at. Having served in the military a very long time ago, and being an unwilling victim of advancing age and persistent gravity, I find that my best resource is my ability to express my conviction as eloquently and persuasively as I can. Not to convert those on the opposite end of the spectrum, but to buttress and strengthen those who share my world view and inform those whose opinions are yet unformed. On the surface, of course, this sounds laughably self-serving and a towering rationalization[you reckon?!—ed]. Bear with me a moment, however, for I have a point to advance.

As I have stated on previous occasions, the great achilles heal of a free society at war in defence of its freedom, is its ability to maintain the support of its citizens. If the conflict be short, the enemy of obvious evil and the victory clear, then the support will be easily held. Victory has a thousand fathers, afterall. If however, the war is long and the enemy is elusive and victory is ill defined, then a free society is at a distinct disadvantage. A nation that cannot be smashed, can instead be nibbled to death!

And so, I and my keyboard stand at the pass – the weakest point [He’s like a noble Lacedaemonian, combing his long hair, oiling and strigilling the dust from the bodies of his loyal…where was I?—ed]. Armed only with words and whatever wisdom I may have gained along the way, to point to the danger and urge the defenders determination. To clarify the mist of confusion and uncertainty and to defend the vision of our purpose. These are my best weapons and I stand, old and bent and nearly used up, in the critical breach.

Since a thing of beauty is a joy forever, let’s just all think about that a while. Moving on, via the Instapundit we find this “thoughtful” post on warblogger “battle fatigue.”

I think all three [conservatives who have broken ranks with Bush over runanway deficit spending or his immigration policy] may be suffering some variant of PTSD, worn down by defending difficult positions at the forefront of the battle against irredentist Democrats in Congress and their fifth-column in the media.

It’s easier to verbally support defense of the ramparts of Western civilization from thousands of miles away than to endure the daily tensions and split-decisions of the actual battlefield [don’t be hasty, now—-ed]. The battles over federal spending and illegal immigration, however, are closer to home, and impose an unavoidable consideration of the tense nuances and compromises. No one can or should accuse these or other reasonable and intelligent men of shying from that. Indeed, they’ve ably and bravely led. However, I feel fatigue has set in, along with some degree of localitis, mistaking their angst for others’, and while recognizing a larger strategic setting overfocusing on their portion.

I’ve really no doubt that they will see the bigger picture, and stakes, and come down on the right side. I wish them a speedy recovery, before more adversaries are allowed to breach the walls because of their petulance.

Now, I…I. Damn. I think it’s distasteful to accuse people of being unpatriotic because you disagree with their politics, so let me just say that I think this is in very poor taste. Extremely poor taste. Why? Because actual real live American (and coalition) soldiers are fighting and dying right now, and one might imagine the Iraqi on the street to be suffering from a bit of battle fatigue herself (better make that himself given current conditions for women walking alone on the streets of Baghdad), and there are thousands of US soldiers returning each month at severe risk for, or suffering from actual PTSD. The armed forces, sadly enough, are not well known for sensitive, effective responses to these emotionally wounded soldiers.

So, and if I may state the obvious [“When have you ever needed our permission, then?”—The Plain People of Teh Internets], manning the keyboard against the evil MSM and “irredentist” Democrats is not very much like going out and getting shot at every day, or having a car bomb kill your daughter, or having to go to the morgue to identify your son’s mutilated body. (Let’s keep in mind that there’s likely to be a line at the morgue too, if we’re talking about Baghdad itself.) Not much like it at all. And you know the closer-to-home scrum of domestic politics? Also not like that at all. Not a bit of it. Now, and I hate to belabor the point[“Don’t you just.”—TPPTI], but we are talking about some strikingly dissimilar things. I’m not saying that the desire to conflate the rigors of combat with the crushing burden of being, say, Jeff Goldstein means that you’re a dishonest person with an extraordinarily inflated self-regard, I’m just…No, take that back. I am saying that.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Academia as an Extreme Sport » Warblogging
05.14.06 at 1:30 pm
alternative hippopotamus » Blog Archive » Dead Polemics Society
05.17.06 at 10:04 am
Dr. Weevil » Crooked Timber, Missing Comment
05.18.06 at 10:29 pm

{ 110 comments }

1

Inigo Jones 05.14.06 at 7:03 am

‘War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things…’ etc…

2

nick s 05.14.06 at 7:14 am

Outrageous self-importance through analogy appears to be this week’s flavour of rhetoric from the 101st. Indeed, Special Ed himself had some front on display by arguing that the involuntary donation of his phone records to the NSA meant that, yes indeed, he was making a sacrifice for the war effort. Which is really quite clever, if you think about it, since the instinctive response to that kind of chutzpah is to diminish the seriousness of the NSA’s data-nabbing.

3

Daniel 05.14.06 at 7:18 am

the desire to conflate the rigors of combat with the crushing burden of being, say, Jeff Goldstein

I have to say that if offered this choice, I would probably take my chances in the foxhole. Remember that combat at least comes to an end, but Jonah Goldberg has to wake up every morning and he’s Jonah Goldberg.

4

Carlos 05.14.06 at 7:34 am

“Yes, at this point, anything resembling “subtext” has been thrown out the window and replaced with some kind of supertext, a rare substance known for its sheer overtness.”

5

Matt Weiner 05.14.06 at 7:36 am

I record for posterity Instapundit’s ink. Any harsh criticism will probably be deflected by one of those “Linking isn’t endorsement” thingies.

6

Kieran Healy 05.14.06 at 7:58 am

Son, we live in a world that has blogs, and those blogs have to be guarded by men with computers. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Waring? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Reynolds and you curse the Keyboarders. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Reynolds’ existence, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that blog. You need me on that blog. We use words like “fisk,” “indeed,” “heh” … We use these words as the backbone to a life spent at home defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a woman who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the endlessly self-important invective that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a laptop and start to post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

7

DivGuy 05.14.06 at 8:02 am

Don’t miss Vic Rubenfeld’s Instatastic “related thoughts” – he lays out the reasons why conservatives have been jumping ship on the president!

– The Conservatives have had so much success with the economy, and in preventing another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, that we need time to regroup to pick our next goals.
– Conservatives are temporarily exhausted by the fight against mainstream media propaganda.
– Under the constant drumbeat of MSM propaganda, Conservatives feel disappointed that everything in Iraq didn’t go flawlessly. If MSM had been reporting GWB’s achievements in Iraq — damaging Al Qaeda, eliminating a government that supported terrorists, and bringing Democracy to the Mid-East — we’d all be cheering and every Republican candidate would be likely to win election — which of course is why MSM is so wildly anti-Republican.
GWB has refused for far too long to trumpet his achievements publicly, and to speak to the public about his key initiatives. This is probably the most important of all — Conservatives feel GWB has dropped contact with them.
– As Noonan argues, Conservatives have been out of touch with the Conservative base on important key issues of immigration and budget.

Teh awesomness.

8

Steve 05.14.06 at 8:08 am

My God: I actually agree with Belle.
Yes, you are right. Typing and writing do not represent the same sacrifice, or the same commitment, or the same amount of work, as fighting in a war do. The chattering classes, the nattering nabobs of negativism, the journalists, the academics, the lawyers, and, yes, the silly bloggers-ie the thinkers-all are mere parasites on the body public. It is the soldiers, the fighters, that are really serving this country, and who are really worthy of our veneration and respect.

That is what you meant, isn’t it?

Steve

9

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 8:18 am

It appears that ‘daniel’ (comment 3) doesn’t know the difference between Jeff Goldstein and Jonah Goldberg. I know it’s confusing to have two right of center humorists (or ‘humorists’ in sneer-quotes, if you like) with the initials J.G. and last names beginning with ‘Gold’, but try to keep up.

As for ‘nick s’ (comment 2), calling your opponent something as stupidly offensive and unoriginal as ‘Special Ed’ is a quick and easy way to forfeit all credibility and make him look marginally less unsympathetic. Was that what you had in mind?

10

Robin Green 05.14.06 at 8:23 am

Steve – “parasite” is usually used as a term of harsh opprobium. Are you actually saying that thinkers – no inverted quotes, I note – are to be hated? Or what are you suggesting?

11

Robin Green 05.14.06 at 8:24 am

er, inverted commas, I meant to say

12

nick s 05.14.06 at 8:39 am

Ooh, stick you, weevil. (Now there’s a blast from the past: weevil was boring people stupid back in the long-lost days when ‘warblogging’ was trendy.) Do you have anything substantive to add on the actual topic, which is the outrageous use of figurative references to the sacrifices of war by the 101st? I quote from Special Ed:

When we finally acknowledged that Islamist terrorists had declared war on us, President Bush warned that we’d have to make sacrifices to beat our enemy. Yet civilians haven’t been asked for much in the way of sacrifice to date. Here it is: a limited loss of privacy on our telephone habits, in exchange for giving the intelligence community a tool to root out terrorist sleeper cells.

I will acknowledge that Morrissey does mention the possibility that, maybe, at some point, the invasion of privacy might overstep the mark; but truth be told, he’s over the moon at the chance to say that he’s suffered on behalf the war effort. And it’s a clever line, too: to say that such a thing is not really a sacrifice, compared to being, y’know, shot or blown up, he can come back and say ‘AHA! You liberals aren’t really concerned about the unlawful accumulation of giant databases of personal information after all!’

‘Be grateful that we do not need to sacrifice more,’ he says. Uhm, okay? Tell that to the people who are being shot at, or blown up, or families of same.

Oh, and if ‘Special Ed’ annoys you so much — I’m not going to use ‘Captain’ until he dresses like Captain Birdseye — I shall simply replace ‘Special’ with ‘Dick’.

13

Kip Manley 05.14.06 at 9:00 am

Ladies. Gentlemen. You’re missing the point. The 101st Fighting Keebees are nothing more than a group of people that, and I quote, “support the troops and support civilian control over foreign policy and the military, and have a really good sense of humor. It’s all in fun and meant to irritate all the right people.”

Obviously, the original joke hasn’t quite gotten the rise they’d hoped, so they’ve decided to push the humor a little further. You know: be edgy. The brilliance, of course, is how much further they can take it: imagine the punishment suffered by these brave soldier-manques, the permanent damage to their rational faculties and senses of proportion, due to long-term exposure to such toxic arguments and memes. Perhaps the “crazy Keebee vet” will become a staple antagonist in movies and Saturday Night Live skits, misunderstood, living in the basement, unshaven, surrounded by hand-made rhetorical traps. Certainly, stories are already starting to spread of dirty dirty hipsters spitting on Keebees as they return from tours at the keyboard. When they go out for snacks, maybe.

So cop a sense of humor, already! It’s all satire! In good fun! Why aren’t you laughing?

14

Barry 05.14.06 at 9:22 am

Weevil, it is a bit much, calling somebody ‘special’ like that. Unless, of course, the target has already exceeded sanity by taking on naval rank.

15

abb1 05.14.06 at 9:41 am

…support the troops and support civilian control over foreign policy and the military…

Is it really possible to simultaneously support the troops and civilian control over them? I think not. It’s obvious to me that they despise the troops.

16

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 9:50 am

“Capt. Ed” has not “taken on naval rank” any more than Capt. Kangaroo or Capt. Beefheart, and it is ridiculous to impugn his sanity because he chose a slightly pompous pseudonym.

By the way, that’s “Dr. Weevil” to you, ‘barry’: people here seem to be be a bit hung up on academic credentials, and I do have a PhD, unlike (e.g.) “Dr. Frank” — not that I have any objection to calling him that.

17

Kip Manley 05.14.06 at 9:51 am

“Support civilian control” is nothing more than a vestigial shibboleth. Remember when the retired generals starting speaking out? It was de rigeuer to dismiss them by summoning the spectre of the military overruling its commander-in-chief, as if retired generals saying do you have any idea how mind-boggling inept the orders we followed were is a step shy of a coup. —The crisis has moved on, but the old talking point lingers in some circles, like a nervous, spasmodic tic.

After all, if “civilian control” had truly and actually been implemented, we’d be home by now.

18

Tim May 05.14.06 at 9:54 am

Belle, why do your recent CT posts keep including broken img tags to a file called “!” (as following “You reckon” above?) I don’t get it.

19

Bruce Baugh 05.14.06 at 9:56 am

I’m going to quote something I mailed to Jim Henley yesterday, that occurred to me in the course of some family reminiscing:

Talking with Mom and Dad about their personal histories led me to this association: what the war party bloggers have done is recreate the experience of being a child in World War II. They write patriotic essays and make patriotic collages, and get pats on the head and congratulations from the authorities. They watch diligently for the mutant, I mean, for the subversive among us, and help maintain the proper atmosphere of combined courage and vigilance. They are not expected to manage the family books, nor invited into discussion of the nitty-gritty, and it seldom occurs to them that there’s even a possibility there – that’s for the grown-ups, and rightly so.

But what’s fitting for a child isn’t fitting for an adult.

20

Bruce Baugh 05.14.06 at 9:58 am

Kieran, that was beautiful. You really got the rhtyhm of the original down. I laughed out loud, and now my cat’s giving me a quizzical look.

21

yabonn 05.14.06 at 10:20 am

then a free society is at a distinct disadvantage

Butbutbut, is the switch to fascism so late in the game justified? I mean you lose quite a lot of production – unless you have a philosophical civilisation, of course.

Join the “What Would Sid Meier Do” school of warblogger geostragegy!

22

Kieran Healy 05.14.06 at 11:05 am

Belle, why do your recent CT posts keep including broken img tags to a file called “!” (as following “You reckon” above?) I don’t get it.

It’s because she likes to use multiple exclamation marks, and in the auotmatic “Textile”:http://www.textism.com/tools/textile/ markup we use here, two exclamation points are used as shorthand for the image tag. If you get all declamatory!11eleventyone on us, it confuses the poor parser.

23

roger 05.14.06 at 11:27 am

I think the commenter on Captain Ed is sorta sweet.

In general, isn’t it better to fight the battle for Iraq at home? If these people volunteered, it would keep the army going. The Dems are certainly not going to withdraw from Iraq, and of course the Bushies are plugged into their vanity project like crackheads are plugged into their pipes: which leaves the army cracking up. Happily, that prospect is looming — yesterday, the Washington Post had a small story about Army reserve officers suing because the military isn’t letting them retire. Every able bodied pro-war person who stays at home to fight the war against the Islmo-fascists is another nail in the coffin of an American army that has been turned into a mercenary force to be used by the president as he sees fit. Far from thinking they are unpatriotic, they are unconsciously fighting the good fight — against militarism. There are few good outcomes from the Iraq war, but the meltdown of the American military has to be one of them.

24

Blar 05.14.06 at 11:50 am

I find Special Ed’s artful arrogance, exuberance, and overstated metaphors delightful. I quote from Special Ed:

I’m Special Ed and you can tell by the style that I use
I’m creatively superior, yo–I never lose.
I never lost ’cause I’m the boss,
I never will ’cause I’m still
The champion, chief one; won’t lose until
I choose.

Which I won’t ’cause I don’t retreat.
I’ll run you over like a truck and leave you dead in the street.
You’re inviting me, a titan, to a battle–why?
I don’t need your respect ’cause I
Got it made.

Which is all just a roundabout way of getting to the point that I agree with the good doctor that people shouldn’t be called “Special Ed” unless they’re named Special Ed. Unless, that is, you’re making an obscure reference to the immaturity of warbloggers, as described in Bruce Baugh’s comment and the corresponding Jim Henley post. Youngest in Charge indeed.

And by the way, Ed’s ode to The Bush really is overrated, and not nearly as entertaining as his clever boasting.

25

P O'Neill 05.14.06 at 12:55 pm

In addition to co-opting the 101st moniker for their own use, they also seem to have taken the ‘Heathers’ pejorative, always intended to refer to the 2000 campaign press corps and their hatred of Al Gore, to now refer to “left-wing” bloggers.

26

nin 05.14.06 at 1:08 pm

Bruce Baugh–excellent hypothesis re: the psychological immaturity of the entire war-blogger mind-set. (Jonah blusters but he can’t make the recruitment age).

These people experience the entire war as a video game, and they don’t want Battle Action Bush to lose. Next time, instead of having a war, could we just have web-sites that these people could go to get their fix? And maybe leave other countries alone?

And, no, roger, I do not think the meltdown of the American military is a good thing in any way. Far beyond the puerile shoot-em-up fantasies of the war-bloggers, there is actually a need for the US to have an effective defense force. That’s another reason why we would all be better off now if Bush had not launched an insane war–we might really need an army one of these days, and now it’s not working so well. And no amount of rah-rah from the Cheetos-eaters helps that basic fact.

27

Matt Weiner 05.14.06 at 1:24 pm

Hard to complain about anyone using the “Heathers” name to refer to any group that they see as mean, spiteful, and cliquish. The 101st thing, however, is amazingly toolish.

28

Kelly 05.14.06 at 1:24 pm

I think it’s distasteful to accuse people of being unpatriotic because you disagree with their politics, so let me just say that I think this is in very poor taste.

Well, we can lay that one at the feet of our darlin’ commander in chief – you’re either with us or against us, after all. Bush and his “no room for neutrality” take on the police action in Afghanistan and then Iraq has spread out to those who support with blind fervor; if there’s no room for neutrality, and you’re either in line behind him or a terrorist…well, does it really surprise you that the commonfolk would have that idea, if the president does?

Bloggers aren’t parasites on the body of the public any more than thinkers are; they’re a necessary part of the social whole. But there’s a really big difference between supporting the troops and supporting the police action that’s going on – something that seems to get missed in the desire to black and white the situation into soundbites. And I say this having spent quite a lot of time with folks who’ve shipped out at least once, several of them several times – folks who’ll go do their job, because that’s what they signed up for.

I think anyone who has any strong opinion about what’s going on in our foreign policey of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell – hit it with a big stick and ask questions later’ needs to make sure they’ve sat down with a few who’ve shipped out and back again, and get a firsthand opinion, devoid of the spin of politicians, of what’s going on.

Okay, sorry. Off ranting soapbox now. My best friend is married to an MP who’s seen combat in Afghanistan, and just narrowly missed being sent to Basra because of a torn rotator cuff. It is, for me, a support the troops by bringing them home sort of thing – I don’t want my friend to become a war widow.

29

Rasselas 05.14.06 at 2:03 pm

Bruce Baugh wins. Though even during WWII the children were put to work at useful tasks from time to time: collecting rubber and tin, advertising the sale of war bonds, etc.

On another matter:

Please stop using the unword “teh.” It cuts me.

30

S. E. Kaufman 05.14.06 at 3:20 pm

And on another note, following those links I stumbled on the latest installment of Chris Muir’s T & A–in which all women sleep in sexy panties (the liberals, with teddy bears) and complain about their weight–and I couldn’t help but note that the men possess talking penises. You think I’m kidding? Tell me who says this:

Every adult develops a reasoning ability. Yet liberals do not.

I ask you: why do curvaceous liberals who sleep with teddy bears dream of black men whose penises deliver lectures on rationality? More to the point, I ask: why do conservative men draw nearly-naked, curvaceous liberals sleeping with teddy bears and dreaming of black men whose penises deliver lectures on rationality?

Maybe it’s the Sunday morning intellectual doldrums, but I just can’t parse it.

31

Thlayli 05.14.06 at 3:53 pm

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever! My man Keats said that!”

— Playground-basketball trash-talk, White Men Can’t Jump

32

JillK. 05.14.06 at 4:11 pm

The 101rsts are delicate indeed if losing an argument or being unpopular gives them PTSD! Perhaps the “chickens” they eat for lunch are in the form of chicken soup for their souls?

Naw, they don’t have souls!

33

Barry 05.14.06 at 4:16 pm

Posted by Dr. Weevil: ““Capt. Ed” has not “taken on naval rank” any more than Capt. Kangaroo or Capt. Beefheart, and it is ridiculous to impugn his sanity because he chose a slightly pompous pseudonym.”

Nah, it’s actually quite appropriate, particularly after he talks about his fellow warbloggers as if they were actually making sacrifices.

“By the way, that’s “Dr. Weevil” to you, ‘barry’: people here seem to be be a bit hung up on academic credentials, and I do have a PhD, unlike (e.g.) “Dr. Frank”—not that I have any objection to calling him that.”

How about “Boll” Weevil? An appropriate name for a pest.

34

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 4:26 pm

Bruce Baugh (comment 19) loses. According to him, the experience of World War II shows that there is something infantile about rhetorical or symbolic support for the war effort. This is obviously false. During that war, millions of men and quite a few women served in uniform, but most did not. Some of the civilians supported the war fairly directly, by working at military bases, shipyards, and munitions factories. The rest were expected to keep the economy rolling by working hard at their regular jobs and paying their taxes. However, they were also expected to support the war effort in other ways. Some of that was practical: buying war bonds, collecting scrap metal for recycling, knitting sweaters for the troops, sending letters and packages to soldiers and sailors, visiting the wounded in the hospital, attending the funerals of the dead, and keeping an eye out for spies, saboteurs, and profiteers and reporting them to the authorities. Some of it was more symbolic: flying flags and saluting them, going to parades for departing and returning troops, making and distributing posters, and writing editorials supporting the war effort.* And some of it was purely rhetorical: keeping an eye out for Fascist sympathizers, isolationists, and defeatists, and arguing or (more often) shaming them into supporting the war. There was nothing specifically childish about supporting the war with flags, posters, or arguments, and anyone who thinks there was reveals an astonishing ignorance of American history.

Of course, so-called ‘warbloggers’ do not just sit on their butts typing – not that anyone here is in a position to criticize that – they make care packages for the troops and for Afghan and Iraqi civilians, visit wounded veterans in the hospital, and raise money for war-related charities, among other things. Some have visited the war zone to see for themselves what’s going on. Some have in fact enlisted: at least one blogger who was already on my blogroll (Porphyrogenitus) hasn’t posted much in the last year or two because he joined the Army, which doesn’t leave much time for blogging.

– – – – – – –

*Of course, in the 1940s, ordinary Americans did not generally make their own posters, and could not write and distribute their own editorials: only newspapers, corporations, unions, and the government had the resources. If the Internet had existed, they surely would have. No doubt the Fascist sympathizers, isolationists, and defeatists would have done so, too, though in those days they would have felt obligated to do so anonymously, like common trolls.

35

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 4:48 pm

Re comment 32:

How about “‘marion’ barry”, an appropriate name for someone whose lame arguments suggest he may be on drugs? See how easy it is to substitute insult for arguments? Don’t worry, I’ll call you ‘barry’ in the future, no matter how childish you act.

Now, do you have an actual argument you want me to respond to, ‘barry’? Or do you just come here to insult those you disagree with? The fact remains that ‘Capt. Ed’ did not write the comment that started this post, he merely hosted it, and though he may well be wrong on all the issues, he is quite obviously neither retarded nor insane. Continuing to insist that he is one or the other will only drive away fair-minded people you might otherwise hope to convince.

I would add that ‘Lew’, who wrote the comment at Captain’s Quarters that started this post, provided no e-mail or URL, and may (I repeat, may) for all we know be a leftie troll who posted something over-the-top for his friends to laugh at. In any case, bloggers are not responsible for the comments they attract, even those that agree with them. For instance, it’s hardly Jim Henley’s fault that the post in which he quoted Bruce Baugh has attracted a comment ending “The animating force behind the right-side of the blogosphere is fear, cold, naked, fear (with some cowardice thrown in).” Anyone who actually reads the right-side of the blogosphere will find a lot of anger, loathing, and contempt directed at Islamist head-choppers and their western sympathizers, but “cold, naked, fear” is much more characteristic of (e.g.) the newspaper editors who refused to publish the famous Danish cartoons, or the Dutch apartment-dwellers who sued to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali evicted.

36

Barry 05.14.06 at 5:01 pm

Wow, Mr. Weevil, I’d have thought that a man with a Ph.D.(!) could come up with better arguments.

37

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 5:09 pm

They’re good enough that you haven’t even bothered to try to answer them, ‘barry’. (See how easy it is to resist using any of the seven obvious insulting variations on your name?)

38

Barry 05.14.06 at 5:24 pm

Mr. Weevil, perhaps a refresher on the thread topic is in order. The specific comment mentioned by Belle was, indeed a comment on a blog. However, if you’d bother to read the post on that blog, you might find that ‘Capt’ Ed is, indeed, ‘special’. Or perhaps you wouldn’t; but we here pretty much all do. That’s the joke – on him. And on those who look over at his blog, and see nothing out of the ordinary.

39

Russell L. Carter 05.14.06 at 5:40 pm

dr. evil insists of Special Ed: “though he may well be wrong on all the issues, he is quite obviously neither retarded nor insane.”

Appropriating the eminent doctor of philosophy’s rapier sharp debating skilz I cunningly deploy the devastating counterattack: he (Special Ed) quite obviously is either retarded or insane!

I’m awaiting the erudite lecture on manners you now owe me and that I so richly deserve, dr. evil, so man your keyboard and serve it up!

Meta-ing out, it sure is weird how people who have turned out to be wrong about everything short of predicting the sun will rise a morning can put on their high hat and condescendingly lecture the people who were right.

(My mother always told me the inability to remember a person’s name would cause me a lot of problems in life, sorry, I blame lite beer)

40

Bruce Baugh 05.14.06 at 5:47 pm

Dr. Weevil: I’m not making any such argument. I’m saying that the way a lot of warbloggers approach the war reminds me of my parents and their friends talking about the experience of life in World War II, except that it’s all about the child’s life. It’s very unlike the experience of, say, my father, who joined the Army Air Corps and flew photo-reconnaissance missions over eastern Europe, or of the millions of other men who put their lives on hold to serve in the military, or the millions of women who put much of theirs on hold to work in vital industries.

I emphatically do not mean that support for the war means indulging oneself in a fake childhood. I specifically mean that those who keep finding excuses to make their war-supporting duty the convenient exercise of warblogging are very likely to be doing that. People who serious about the clash of civilizations would be doing more. People who genuinely wish not to inconvenience themselves shouldn’t babble about the clash of civilizations.

41

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 5:47 pm

If “we here pretty much all” agree on something, perhaps that is because some here consider it their duty to drive away anyone who dares to disagree by juvenile insults and a resolute refusal to address the arguments. Keep it up, ‘barry’: that’s precisely the kind of arrogant attitude that loses arguments and elections.

42

Bruce Baugh 05.14.06 at 6:06 pm

Russell Carter hits on the other thing: children have a lot of leeway to misunderstand the world, partly because they have so little authority. Warbloggers generally want to have it both ways – they want never to be held accountable for their errors of both fact and judgment, but they also want to be part of the decision-making authority, and in particular to sit in judgment of others who were, well, much more correct than themselves.

43

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 6:26 pm

Thanks for arguing (39) like a grown-up, Bruce Baugh. I agree with some of what you say, but you still leave out the vast middle group. Besides the children on the one hand, and the actual soldiers, sailors, and direct employees of the military-industrial complex on the other, the population of the U.S. in World War II included a hundred million or more adult civilians. Contemporary ‘warbloggers’ fall mostly into the same group, though some are serving, even more have served, and quite a few would serve if they were able. Like the home-front civilians of World War II, they all consider it their duty to argue with defeatists, and to support the war symbolically and verbally if they cannot do so in person. The only difference is that they fly flags on their websites as well as their front porches, and do their arguing on their websites as well as at the office or the barbershop.

The problem with your last two sentences is that they apply to both sides. Do you think that invading or bombing Iran would be utterly disastrous, would lead to the deaths of millions and damage world civilization for decades to come? Do you think Bush intends to invade or bomb Iran? Lots of people agree with both propositions. Has even one of them quit his job, sold all his possessions, and put his body on the line to prevent it? If not, why not? If 10,000 Americans volunteered to be human shields around Iranian nuclear sites, it would be impossible for Bush to invade or even bomb the place. But they haven’t, have they? Why not? Are they all cowards? Sure, Iran is a loathsome regime, but those who are serious about preventing a catastrophic clash of civilizations should be willing to choose the lesser of two evils: we allied ourselves with Stalin to defeat Hitler.

Don’t like my Iranian example? The same argument applies to other conflicts. Have you volunteered to go to Darfur and try to stop the ongoing genocide? Why not? Do you ‘have better things to do’? Are you some kind of racist? Or just a coward? These are not serious questions: I’m just showing how easy it is to turn the ‘chickenhawk’ argument, which was the original spur to Capt. Ed’s post, into a ‘chickendove’ argument. The fact is that the ‘chickenhawk’ argument is one that no decent and intelligent person would use. ‘Capt. Ed’ is merely reacting to it. I don’t know that it’s the best possible reaction, but mocking it doesn’t seem to be particularly tasteful, either, unless of course you’ve put your life on the line for some better cause.

44

Nads 05.14.06 at 6:31 pm

Wow, Mr. Weevil, I’d have thought that a man with a Ph.D.(!) could come up with better arguments.
Posted by Barry

This is why I rarely call PhDs “doctor,” as evidenced by the fairly low level necessary to achieve one … relative, that is, to an MD … like me!

I wouldn’t advertise that degree, Mr. Weevil.

45

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 6:36 pm

If ‘warbloggers’ “want never to be held accountable for their errors of both fact and judgment” (comment 41), how does that make them different from the other side? Opponents of the invasion of Iraq alleged that it would bring hundreds of oil fires, massive epidemics, hundreds of thousand of civilian casualties, millions of refugees, and immediate civil war, that it would take at least three months to capture Baghdad by siege, that the Iraqis would probably use their chemical and biological weapons to defend the place, and that thousands or tens of thousands of American troops would be killed in those three months. None of that happened, though the civil war may come some day. We’re also still waiting for the “brutal Afghan winter” to destroy our army there. In short, it is only historical amnesia that allows those on the left to claim to have been “much more correct” than those on the right.

46

roger 05.14.06 at 6:43 pm

Nin, hate to take Goneril’s part, but yes — I do think America needs “a little to disquantity its train.” Actually, a lot – given the state of the world, the U.S. barely has need to spend more on defense than China — 40 billion dollars — and the 400 billion it does spend is an obscenity and a crime. The crime is compounded by the fact that the old system of checks and balances by which the executive branch had to specifically ask Congress for declarations of war (and, presumably, respond to a Congress that has made that declaration) has long gone by the board. With a crazy, and possibly undemocratically elevated president (viz Bush, but Bush’s inability to fit into the pretty bare rule of law of, say, Iranian democracy by gaining the majority of the popular vote in 2000 can easily be repeated), the U.S. should certainly not be able to throw hundreds of thousands of soldiers around the world. Cracking the army is the only way to lead back to democracy. As for the threat of terrorism, come on. The conscious decision to let Osama bin Laden escape, which is all over the pathetic Tora Bora incident, and the unwillingness of the American government in any way to really pursue the perpetrators of 9/11 tell us all about what terrorism means in D.C. — it is an excuse to use the military for other things. Terrorism on tap is the best thing since white bread for the belligerants and their zombie camp followers. So yes, shrinking the military down to a reasonable size is probably the best method of taking control of the government again. Which is why I find the frequent advise, given by liberal bloggers to pro-war bloggers to join up, close to insane. I much prefer Mr. Weevil’s solution: send chocolate chip cookies. And stay home and work and make money. Cheney’s phrase about going to Vietnam is perfect: I had other priorities. The message that carries is: You have to be a sucker to join the military. That is what the pro-war bloggers embody at this time, God bless them. Keep fighting the fight from Nashville or whereever.

47

Tony D 05.14.06 at 6:44 pm

“There was nothing specifically childish about supporting the war with flags, posters, or arguments, and anyone who thinks there was reveals an astonishing ignorance of American history.”

Oh dear.

Research the military doctrine of Total War, pay attention to the propaganda aspect.

In Total War (such as WW2) massive propaganda campaigns that are designed to boost production and raise morale are a core feature of the doctrine. Rationing is another logical outcome as any state engaged in such a war requires the ready availability of the material for waging war. A further consequence is the expansion and maintenance of peace time military forces sufficient in size to fight any potential enemy, or at the very least prevent defeat before society can be mobilised for war. Typically, to justify this huge expense to its citizens it is necessary that a state keep its citizens in a constant state of near hysteria and again massive propaganda is the most effective way of doing this.

So essentially, the warbloggers are a necessary evil of the propaganda machine. They may be dupes, but they help the machine function.

48

Nads 05.14.06 at 6:47 pm

In short, it is only historical amnesia that allows those on the left to claim to have been “much more correct” than those on the right.
Posted by Dr. Weevil

It is the height of dishonesty to claim that the errors made by the left are even comparable to the lack of WMDs, the lack of a link between saddam and osama, the lack of any nuclear ability, the lies told by powell at the UN, or the 16-word lie uttered by bush.

you were suckered … don’t blame us for not being as stupid as you. there is no comparison.

49

McAdder 05.14.06 at 7:42 pm

No Dr weevil,

WW2 required a huge draft. 11 million men in the US were put under arms–their jobs were filled by women most of the time. Virtually the entire male population of the UK switched over to armaments and soldiering. WW2 was a REAL war of survival. This current war is theatrical micro-militarism. Something that falls between The Boer War and The US invasion of the Phillipines. It could escalate into something more serious of course, but it is a small war of murderous convenience.

50

nick s 05.14.06 at 7:52 pm

No doubt the Fascist sympathizers, isolationists, and defeatists would have done so, too, though in those days they would have felt obligated to do so anonymously, like common trolls.

Wow: Weev appears to be a late entry in the ‘Tacitus’ Memorial Cup For Blog Pomposity.

There was nothing specifically childish about supporting the war with flags, posters, or arguments, and anyone who thinks there was reveals an astonishing ignorance of American history.

It’s those who regard such ‘sacrifices’ as comparable to being shot at or blown up who are truly miserable creatures. Oh, and other countries fought against fascism in WW2, as well, and their far greater sacrifices are not yet totally lost to history.

In short, it is only historical amnesia that allows those on the left to claim to have been “much more correct” than those on the right.

Please plot those respective predictions on the scale I provide below:

fuck-up non-fuck-up

What sophistical bullshit from Weev. ‘Chickendove’? Chickenshit, more like.

51

nick s 05.14.06 at 7:56 pm

Bloody tag-mangler. Let’s try this:

blood and guts [—————————————————] flowers and candy

52

Walt 05.14.06 at 8:15 pm

Two of my favorite web arguments is the “your behavior makes your side lose elections,” and “but your side is worse.” The day I become influential enough to single-handedly swing elections is the day I become a celebrity judge on American Idol. (And at this point, that kind of talk from any Bush-supporter is whistling past the graveyard.) The second argument is even more striking, because it shows what’s really important to the arguer. Not Iraq, not foreign policy, but sticking it to the left. For people like that, the reason that they talk like the real war is here is because for them the real war, the war against their real enemies, really is here. They don’t care about terror, or Islam, or the long-term danger of nuclear weapons. They care about sticking it to the Left, here and now.

Let me be the first to say, Dr. Weevil: fuck the Left. I was originally in favor of the war. I could give a shit what Noam Chomsky or Ward Churchill thought would happen in Afghanistan or Iraq. I’m against the war now because every reason given to me in favor of the war turned out to be a lie, and because the Bush administration screwed it up. Bruce Baugh’s point is that during World War II, America’s adults did not rush into a war under dubious circumstances, and when war came to them, they rolled up their sleeves and won the fucking thing. They didn’t sit on their asses and whine about the lack of enthusiasm of their neighbors.

53

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 8:33 pm

I wrote (comment 35) that in World War II “millions of men and quite a few women served in uniform, but most did not”. ‘mcadder’ (comment 50) objects that “11 million men in the US were put under arms”. So what? A few minutes spent on the U.S. Census site will show that the population of the U.S. in 1940 was over 132 million, of whom 39.5 million men and 12.6 million women were over 14 and in the workforce. That’s over 52 million workers. Subtract 11 million soldiers and sailors, add the millions of women who moved into the workforce to replace some of them, and it is still true that “most” adults “did not” serve in the military, just as I wrote.

I did make a mistake in comment 44, estimating that there were over 100 million civilians, when it was more like 45 or 50 million, which is still more than four times the number of soldiers and sailors. (The population of the US has grown a lot faster than I thought, and I was guessing that it was around 200 million then rather than 132 million.)

As for ‘nads’, I hope to Hell I never meet you in a professional capacity: you’re way too rude and ignorant to be a good doctor, and I wouldn’t trust my own ‘nads or any other part of my body to you. You pretend that only the right thought Saddam had chemical and biological weapons when everyone did, even his own generals, repeat the lie that Bush lied in the famous “16 words”, in short, you go through the usual talking points as if loudly asserting victory is the way to win an argument.

54

nick s 05.14.06 at 8:48 pm

Shorter Weev: change the subject. Of course, he probably thinks that it’s his heroic contribution to the war effort.

55

Nads 05.14.06 at 8:55 pm

It’s OK Mr. Weevil … you likely won’t ever need to see me for yourself, but possibly your grandkids might. For my part, I hope your PhD isn’t in something biomedical, because I’m quite certain you lack the necessary intelligence or originality to contribute to the field.

And rudeness on a message board is one of life’s little joys … lying to the public to get into a war for profit is one of those little things that I find more rude and unacceptable.

And, for fuck’s sake, the very chickenhawks you’re defending have essentially cornered the market on incivility in discourse, and foxnews OWNS the concept that “volume=truth.” So please, spare me your sensitivity. Try for a little honesty; or lacking that as a rightwing apologist, some dignity.

56

Bruce Baugh 05.14.06 at 9:09 pm

Here are just a few things that might have been done by people serious about a clash of civilizations…

– No person with important skills (Arabic fluency, for instance) will be dismissed on grounds of homosexuality, or anything else that poses a security risk only because it is a grounds for dismissal. Basically, we don’t care about your private life, and if the problem is that we’ve made some part of your life a threat because it might get you fired…we’ll stop that, for the duration. We would rather fight this war with every talented person available.

-The staff assigned to investigate official fraud and corruption will be increased, and its independence strengthened. Officials in any war-related effort found guilty of negligence or fraud will face maximum sentencing.

– Captured enemy combatants will be tried in public, promptly, to the highest standard of US and international law. This will be a showcase of Western values of justice.

– Oil independence will become a long term high priority. To that end, we will increase fines for pollution from avoidalby inefficient industry, subsidize research and development in hybrid and alternative fuel systems, up standard for fuel efficiency, and so on. The primary burden for this will fall on manufacturers and business consumers, though individuals will also face incentives to modernize (and help doing it when their resources are limited).

– We will diplomatically confront the governments with histories of supporting terrorism. We will talk with anyone, but our genuine alliances will be relatively few. In particular, we will reduce our ties to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan until they start improving.

– Where we must occupy territory, we will make the development of local commerce a priority. Wherever possible, we will work with local businesses, and we will generously fund the start-up of new ones. All of this will be subject to oversight for fraud and corruption, of course, with public rewards for those whose tips lead to successful prosecutions. Where American businesses are required for crucial tasks, they’ll work under local supervision wherever possible.

That’s the sort of thing an administration serious about a war for the hearts and mind of the world would do.

57

Dr. Weevil 05.14.06 at 9:20 pm

I would gladly sign off on more than half of that list, but there seems to be a lot missing from the Oil Independence section: how about drilling in ANRW, leaning on brother Jeb to allow drilling off the coast of Florida, leaning on Ted Kennedy to allow windmills in sight of his beachhouse, building a bunch of new nuclear power plants, and making some kind of deal with Canada (perhaps a long-term purchase at a guaranteed minimum price) to bring the Alberta oil-shale into production sooner rather than later? Or would that all sound too icky and right-wing even for a clash of civilizations?

58

Bruce Baugh 05.14.06 at 10:00 pm

Show me a nuclear industry that can reliably build and maintain plants and I’ll go for it. That means not the one we have, and probably one not likely to exist until after extensive investigations, trials, corporate disbandings, and so on. Or we could import nuclear know-how from countries that can run an industry more honestly.

I’m aware of no good evidence that ANWR has enough oil to actually matter, and I am aware of substantial past effort at deceit in this matter. On offshore Florida, I’m plumb ignorant – I’m a West Coast boy. :) As a matter of principle, I think that opening up quickly exhausted reserves is a bad idea, because it encourages people to look away from the long-term urges. But I’d have to evaluate the merits of each case. That goes for the Alberta oil shale too, though there I gather the reserves are much larger, and the technology’s worth developing for the future for sure.

Windmills on Kenendy beachfront sound fine to me. Likewise with windmills other places.

The underlying principle in each case is simple. Be open, be honest, reward openness and honesty, favor the long-term over the short, at all times embody the best of our heritage as fully as possible. War is sometimes necessarily ugly and secretive and bad. We need to build up reputation capital to spend on those times.

59

S. E. Kaufman 05.14.06 at 10:04 pm

Man, that five-and-a-half hour approval lag sure does mean #31’s going to be buried, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t someone rather talk about the depiction of women in hawkish conservative commentary than rehash what is possibly the single oldest argument about political advocacy in the books? I mean, seriously:

Hamilton: But I’m inciting them to war!

Madison: We try so very hard!

&c.

That may be a bad example, but at the very least, it’s a relevant one.

60

Jon H 05.14.06 at 10:16 pm

dr weevil writes: “I would gladly sign off on more than half of that list, but there seems to be a lot missing from the Oil Independence section: how about drilling in ANRW”

Why drill in ANWR when the oil companies don’t want it? The only reason is a mindless political impulse to annoy the environmentalists.

61

Matt Weiner 05.14.06 at 10:19 pm

I saw and appreciated 31, s.e.k.! And perhaps I am ahistorical, but I don’t understand 60.

62

Jon H 05.14.06 at 10:23 pm

dr. weevil writes: “ou pretend that only the right thought Saddam had chemical and biological weapons when everyone did, even his own generals, repeat the lie that Bush lied in the famous “16 words”, in short, you go through the usual talking points as if loudly asserting victory is the way to win an argument.”

Whether people though he had them or not is a very different issue than whether people thought that made him a threat rising to the level of requiring invasion.

Many people decided that Saddam wasn’t a threat, even if he had some WW1-class chem/bio weapons. Hell, even the Bush administration knew that was an insufficient excuse to launch their toy war, leading them to lie about the yellowcake and the aluminum tubes, to create the impression of an impending nuclear threat.

So you might as well drop the whole “lots of people thought he had WMD” argument.

63

Jon H 05.14.06 at 10:27 pm

dr weevil rights: “you go through the usual talking points as if loudly asserting victory is the way to win an argument”

Um, pointing out your side’s myriad errors of fact, logic, strategy, priorities, tactics, morals, and ethics should suffice, in theory.

But I’m sure you’ll spend the rest of your days insisting you were right, even when your side were so often deeply, tragically, fatally wrong.

64

Saint Fnordius 05.15.06 at 5:49 am

It is interesting that this debate has reduced itself to a poster who describes himself as a PhD-wielding doctor against, well, everybody. The more interesting thing is how he actually proves the original point by flailing around, desperately trying to change the subject.

When bruce baugh wrote that the attitudes of the 101st reminded him of those that were children during World War II in comparison to actual veterans, he tried to bog down the discussion in how many adults actually fought, something entirely unrelated to the either/or comparison. I must say I am amazed at his self-delusion.

It amazes me even further how the hoary old arguments are trotted out again and again. ANWR is a classic poster boy (and yet another example of his attempt to derail the topic, to bog it down in side issues). Why keep arguing in favour of such a low-yield project that nobody wants? Why does he insist on throwing out Senator Kennedy’s name, unless it’s meant to distract?

No, I’m afraid dr. weevil has proven himself no longer wothy of attention. He reveals with his words that the one uniting feature amongst conservatives is simply resentment.

65

Bruce Baugh 05.15.06 at 10:01 am

Nice summation, Fnordius. :)

66

Barry 05.15.06 at 11:45 am

But ya gotta give the Wevil credit – holding the *left* responsible for their predictions of the effects of Saddam usings his (lied about by the administration) WMD’s really deserves a prize of some sort.

67

Bruce Baugh 05.15.06 at 11:53 am

It is impressive, in the same sort of way as dung beetles’ efficient use of others’ crap is.

68

Daniel 05.15.06 at 3:57 pm

It appears that ‘daniel’ (comment 3) doesn’t know the difference between Jeff Goldstein and Jonah Goldberg.

Actually I do know, but I dislike Goldberg more, Weevil Knievel.

69

Dr. Weevil 05.15.06 at 5:27 pm

If no one else cares to argue with you all (comment 65), that could theoretically mean that you’re absolutely correct on all the issues, and everyone else is shamefully and moronically wrong. Given the quality of argumentation here, it seems more likely that you have driven away all but the true believers by your rudeness, your unwillingness to argue honestly or even intelligently, and your disgusting double standards. I’ll give you one instance of each, then depart so you can go back to heaping up cretinous insults and mutual congratulations. It will be difficult to come up with a more obvious lie and a stupider insult than ‘daniel’ does in comment 69, but I’m sure you’ll all do your best.

1. Rudeness: You wouldn’t call Bitch PhD ‘Bitch’ or ‘Bitchie’ if she posted here, you wouldn’t call Pharyngula ‘Pharry’, and you wouldn’t call Charles Dodgson ‘Dodgy’. Why do you feel entitled to trash the opposition with stupid nicknames? Most people grow out of that by the time they finish middle school. I have no problem referring to ‘Saint Fnordius’ by his chosen pseudonym, though he is far from saintly and almost certainly not named Fnordius. If you show some basic respect for your opponents, you’ll find a lot more of them willing to argue, instead of writing off this site as just another vicious leftie echo-chamber like Atrios or Daily Kos. Of course, that assumes that you actually want to hone your arguments by defending them, rather than just repeating the one-line versions over and over as mantras, basking in your confidence that you are always right on every issue.

2. Bad arguments: Here’s just one: So far from trying “to bog down the discussion” with something “utterly unrelated to the either/or comparison” (65), my argument was intended to rebut the dishonesty of making it an either/or comparison in the first place. ‘bruce baugh’ tried to infantilize supporters of the war in Iraq by comparing them to children in World War II and contrasting them to those who fought. I pointed out, with examples, that their behavior has far more resemblance to that of adult civilians on the home front in that war. My point in giving the numbers was to show that they were far more numerous than the military, so it is utterly dishonest to treat this third group as if they didn’t exist. A simple point, but apparently not simple enough for some of you. Most of the other points I’ve made here continue to stand unrebutted and unaddressed.

3. Double standards: You all sneer at Ed Morrissey’s ridiculous commenter ‘Lew’, but when ‘roger’ twice pushes for “the meltdown of the American military” (comment 23) and “cracking the Army” (47), only one commenter (nin, 26) even mildly disagrees with him. The fact is that ‘roger’ is willing to lose a war, wreck the U.S. military, and hand over Iraq to Zarqawi and his Ba’athist buddies, all to win the White House for the Democrats. But don’t you dare call him ‘unpatriotic’, just because he wants thousands to die so his party can get back in power!

Enough of this nonsense. Ite in malas cruces, Podices.

70

vice chancellor engels 05.15.06 at 6:16 pm

1) Rudeness. Your first comment, Mr Weenie, said that nick s’s post was “stupidly offensive and unoriginal” and that he had “forfeit all credibility”. You write the names of people you don’t like in inverted commas (PhD level stuff!).

2) Bad arguments. Too many to count but bragging about your PhD, apropos of nothing, and pretending to be offended when you – someone who calls himself “Dr Weevil” – and your friend (“The Captain”) are called silly names is beyond parody. Affecting offence, as a means of avoiding the issues, is in any conservative’s repetoire but you, Weevo mio, are a virtuoso.

3) Double standards. See (1) and (2) above and note that there hardly seems to be one sin – rudeness, obsession with “credentials”, content free posts – which you decry in your opponents in which you have not indulged ten fold yourself.

Ascendo tuum, Weevile!

71

Dr. Weevil 05.15.06 at 9:39 pm

Hahahahaha. It’s like the monkey house at the zoo. You guys are so stupid I just can’t stay away!

My first post said that calling someone named Ed “Special Ed” was “stupidly offensive and unoriginal”. Anyone who actually reads it (#9) can see that I did not criticize the rest of the comment, just those two words, which were a gratuitous addition to an otherwise sensible comment. Which means that ‘vice chancellor engels’ is just one of the many commenters here who is either unable to comprehend written English, or unwilling to tell the truth about what he reads. Which is it?

72

trialsanderrors 05.16.06 at 4:15 am

I do have a PhD

Our hats are drawn.

73

abb1 05.16.06 at 5:22 am

I recently read Hitchens’ piece on Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Slate. Interesting, more on that story in today’s Guardian

74

Barry 05.16.06 at 6:31 am

“Hahahahaha. It’s like the monkey house at the zoo. You guys are so stupid I just can’t stay away!”

Posted by Dr. Weevi

Right-wing freudian projection; it’s so powerful.

75

TheDeadlyShoe 05.16.06 at 7:15 am

Ha.

Weevil:

I will let Tbogg take this one, from his review of the, er, reviews of United 93.

Fortunately for us Special Ed took time out from his busy weekend to face the enemy close-up (okay, they were actors on a movie screeen, but come on, at least he left the house) to file this special report. We love the title:

Movie Review: United 93 ** Spoilers **

…and you wonder why we call him Special Ed.

76

kharma 05.16.06 at 10:31 am

Oh…poor keyboarders broke a nail and ran out of soda pop. It is such hard work fighting Democrats.

77

Big Elf 05.16.06 at 11:28 am

I think if your Achilles heal fast enough, you cannot be nibbled to death.

78

Electrolux 05.16.06 at 12:07 pm

Why can’t we all just get along?

79

Max Renn 05.16.06 at 1:53 pm

Dr. Stupid bloviates:

“Opponents of the invasion of Iraq alleged that it would bring hundreds of oil fires, massive epidemics, hundreds of thousand of civilian casualties, millions of refugees, and immediate civil war, that it would take at least three months to capture Baghdad by siege, that the Iraqis would probably use their chemical and biological weapons to defend the place, and that thousands or tens of thousands of American troops would be killed in those three months. None of that happened, though the civil war may come some day. We’re also still waiting for the “brutal Afghan winter” to destroy our army there. In short, it is only historical amnesia that allows those on the left to claim to have been “much more correct” than those on the right.”

A panoply of caractures that only a fever-dream could invent. Many, mnay people that opposed this adventure had a variety, a spectrum of views on its wrongness, ignored by the domestic media and the government. Only someone who wishes to reduce his opponents to a rank cartoon would write this.

Hay, Weev, you f-stick, here’s the 4-11: I don’t care if we lose every election until the sun burns out. Your path is simply not worthy of respect, or of debate. Go back to punishing the bishop over The Fountainhead. You’re an android. Rude? I’ll give you rude: more than 2000 Americans dead for bullshit. That’s rude, you monumental ass.

80

Doug 05.16.06 at 2:56 pm

[Much, Much] Shorter Dr. Weevil:

You guys! I am so much smarter than you! Hey! Hey! You guys! Listen to me! I said, I am so much smarter than you! You guys! I’m smarter than you! Hey! Listen! I’m smarter than you! Why won’t you admit I’m smarter than you?

&c.

81

tassawwuf 05.16.06 at 2:58 pm

i’m nobody. i’m a 27 yr-old college drop-out turned landscaper. i have no military record, & am probabley not as smart as dr. weevil. all i have going for me in a discussion like this is a life-long passion for history & current events (the same study, right?), & a philosophical need to reconcile my high opinion of human potential with the dismal evidence of my day-to-day observations. my only “agenda” is to be honest in what i think & do…planning for the future was never my strong suit, but i flatter myself that i can grasp a situation, & i’ve lived enough to know that anything you undertake & anything that happens to you will go badly if you’re not honest. you yourself will go crazy if you’re not honest. & honestly, obviously, & for once & all, the war in Iraq, more than anything i’ve ever lived through, or even read about, is dishonesty in action, it is a towering monument to greed & stupidity, in a word, evil, it is an affirmation that the same troubles that have plauged humanity for the last thousand years will plauge us for the next thousand, & this because America, the triumph of every good trend in history, has decided to be dumb & lazy & flush it all down the toilet, & yes, bush is the one with his finger on the handle. let that sink in, if you dare. if it hasn’t already. or call me unpatriotic, & screach that i don’t support the troops, & bring up some ridiculous, trivial thing some Democrat has done (shouldn’t be difficult, that’s all they seem to get up to these days). although if that fact (both of them, really) hasn’t been blindingly obvious to you for quite some time, i don’t really know what hope there is for you…
i don’t know what’s the best we all could even hope for here, really…acknowledging that the liars & morons & greedheads who brought this hellstorm about really are liars & morons & greedheads, let alone punishing them won’t fix this. having bush & the neocon creatures tried, convicted, & jailed won’t bring all the dead back to life, or put limbs back on the mangled, or love for America back in the worlds hearts, or even iron back into Americas glove
(theres one thing that’s always blown my mind about “warbloggers”…they should despise what’s going on today, are they really that comically ignorant of the subject they claim so much scholarship in? what part of our armed forces being destroyed & our resources squandered do they regard as “good strategy”? are they just spiteful, politically-motivated, fantasy-based children?)
, but it would be honest, & it would be a start, & it would at least send the right message to our allies, our enemies, & most importantly, to every joker with a jillion $$$ who thinks they can run this country:
this is serious. the unserious & dishonest need not apply. NO MORE BULLSHIT. & there are consequences.
that would be the best, the BEST day in history.
when we could put our shame, & even our rage, behind us & say (to paraphrase mr. kilgore trout): America was sick, but now we’re well, & there’s lots of work to do!

82

dilbert dogbert 05.16.06 at 4:00 pm

I think the correct term is “Special Ed” not “Captain Ed”. He rides the short bus to school.

83

DrBB 05.16.06 at 4:14 pm

I’m still kinda hung up on this “irredentist” thing. If the Dems are irredentists, doesn’t that mean they want to return Iraq to the Iraqis? Cuz if I’m not mistaken that’s the official policy of our Preznit, too, though I question whether he means it. Or does it mean they think Iraq should belong to us (what’s their sand doing over all our oil)…? Or does it mean they favor flouridation of water to prevent tooth decay? Or is that irradiationist? Or something else? I’m confused.

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jade 05.16.06 at 4:34 pm

1. Rudeness: Why do you feel entitled to trash the opposition with stupid nicknames? Most people grow out of that by the time they finish middle school.

Because there is a limit to the length of time you can spend seriously arguing with people who have no grip on reality whatsoever, and while we’re keeping an eye on them we may as well have a few laughs at their expense.

2. Bad arguments: ‘bruce baugh’ tried to infantilize supporters of the war in Iraq by comparing them to children in World War II and contrasting them to those who fought. I pointed out, with examples, that their behavior has far more resemblance to that of adult civilians on the home front in that war.

When you ‘support’ a war by putting a magnetic ribbon on your car, you infantilise yourself quite adequately enough. The people he was referring to are obsessed with the war, follow it constantly, portray themselves as ‘virtual soldiers’, and yet would never even think of signing up, though there is nothing stopping them.

3. Double standards: when ‘roger’ twice pushes for “the meltdown of the American military” (comment 23) and “cracking the Army” (47), only one commenter (nin, 26) even mildly disagrees with him. The fact is that ‘roger’ is willing to lose a war, wreck the U.S. military, and hand over Iraq to Zarqawi and his Ba’athist buddies, all to win the White House

The war is already lost, and the army already damaged. I can’t speak for ‘roger’, but I think his comments refer not to the obliteration of the military but to its reduction to a less draining size.

Okay?

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Barry 05.16.06 at 4:37 pm

drbb, Bush does want to return Iraq to the Iraqis. A very carefully selected group, of course – not an irresponsible, non-controlled by the US group. This failed when Chalabi turned out to be a short p*ss in a large pond; failed again when Sistani said ‘nice Army; be a shame if it got trashed’; failed again when the US candidates drew votes only from their own families (if that); is failing on a large scale, as the democracy in the Green Zone matters less than the militias outside of it.

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David in NY 05.16.06 at 5:10 pm

I am struck by the similarity between the fulminations of Captain Ed and those of Gen. Jack D. Ripper (right name?) in Dr. Strangelove. I expected that at any moment Ed would insist on the importance of his staying at home to conserve his “precious bodily fluids” from the advancing hordes. What a pompous jerk.

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nick f 05.16.06 at 5:19 pm

The fighting 101st is stuck in 2002. Think back, they were on the side of the angels. They were going to remake the middle east, scare those crazy Saudis, Syrians and Iranians into submission. The French and Germans would grovel at our feet and Europe would erect a statue of George Bush in Trafalgar Square. They wanted it so badly. They believe it like a child believes a fairy tale. Try telling a four year old that Santa doesn’t exist. The fighting 101st refuses to accept what they know deep down to be true. They have been played for fools. The world they envisioned is nothing like the reality of Spring 2006. They won’t give up. They’re soldiers dammit!

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Bruce Baugh 05.16.06 at 5:36 pm

Another irony of history:

The neo-conservative moment has its roots in the old, genuinely communist Left. The neocon founders left the Left when they realized they’d bought into a line of BS that couldn’t possibly be fulfilled, resting as it did on bogus facts and faulty logic.

And now they’ve grown up and passed the torch on to…followers who did exactly the same thing all over again.

I’m wondering if we might want to consider that some kinds of creed simply indicate excessive gullibility on the part of their adherents.

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Dr. Righteous 05.16.06 at 6:02 pm

People who brag about having Ph.D.’s are lame.

Anybody worth his salt who has a Ph.D. knows that the degree is not the important thing, but rather the quality of ideas presented.

Roger is correct about the need to downsize the military. Enough is enough. All the military has done for the past twenty years is posture and flex muscles, and soak up LOTS and LOTS of tax dollars. Nobody’s going to invade the US anytime soon. It’s fairly well-document that after the Soviet Union fell, defense contractors searched around desperately to try to find a new “enemy” as threatening to the interests of America to take place of the Red Menace. After toying with China for a while, which really never caught on, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 provided a bogus argument to build up a military to do a job where the widespread application of military force was not at all appropriate.
And then there was the WMD nonsense.
If the goal in Afganistan was to capture Osama bin Laden, it failed in a pathetic and curious manner the belied a lack of serious effort. As for Iraq, I don’t quite understand the talk about “losing” the war. We still haven’t been told a credible story about why the invasion happened in the first place. If the goal was to topple Saddam Hussein, Mission Accomplished, go home. If the goal was to set up permanent bases so Straussian neocons could “influence” oil markets for the coming century, then the powers that be shouldn’t be surprised that the public finally saw through the lies and the support for the war is dwindling.
The country really cannot afford another decade-long counter-insurgency against a determined populace that knows that we are going to leave eventually anyway.

90

floopmeister 05.16.06 at 7:57 pm

Keep it up, ‘barry’: that’s precisely the kind of arrogant attitude that loses arguments and elections.

That ‘argument’ doesn’t work any more with the Republicans so unpopular.

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Christopher Davis 05.16.06 at 8:02 pm

dr. weevil brings up the experience of civilians during WWII.

Interesting parallels, certainly. Gas rationing? Higher taxes (bring back the 90% bracket)? Three shifts in the munitions plants? Blacking out coastal cities?

Americans! SHARE THE MEAT as a wartime necessity: “To share the supply fairly, all civilians are asked to limit their consumption of beef, veal, lamb, mutton and pork to 2½lbs. per person per week.”

Most civilians aren’t making sacrifices. Does dr. weevil have a blue star in the window, that he hopes never turns gold?

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notway 05.16.06 at 10:22 pm

“The Plain People of Th’ Internet”

Loved the Myles NaGopaleen reference.

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Dr. Weevil 05.16.06 at 11:32 pm

And the fun continues:

‘thedeadlyshoe’ (76) joins in calling Ed Morrissey ‘special’, while showing himself unable to accomplish a simple link even with the instructions right in front of him.

‘dilbert dogbert’ (83) suggests that we call Ed Morrissey “Special Ed” as if that were a brilliant idea that no one else had thought of before. Isn’t that special?

‘max renn’ (80) tells me to “go back to punishing the bishop over The Fountainhead”. As he puts it in the previous paragraph, “only someone who wishes to reduce his opponents to a rank cartoon would write this”. I don’t know what “punishing the bishop” means, though I suspect some juvenile sexual insult. More important, I’ve never read any Ayn Rand, or been tempted to, except for the occasional bit quoted on the web. As I recall, these bits are sometimes tolerably eloquent, but not so eloquent that I can remember any of them now, or that I’ve ever felt the slightest urge to check one of her books out of the library, much less buy one. Once again, someone who pretends to answer my arguments just makes stuff up.

‘jade’ (85) thinks ‘roger’ only wants to shrink the army, not have it “meltdown” or “crack”, but that’s not what he wrote, is it? I prefer to think ‘jade’ is just too kindhearted to face the likelihood that ‘roger’ meant exactly what he wrote. Is everyone else here happy with what he wrote? Perhaps he could clarify his remarks.

‘bruce baugh’ (89) and ‘dr. righteous’ (90) denounce “neo-conservatives” and “Straussian neocons” as if they had something to do with this thread. Was Ed Morrissey ever a Trotskyite or any other kind of Communist? I doubt it. He seems like an ordinary National Review-reading paleoconservative to me. I certainly never was, nor was Bush, or Cheney, for that matter. So what do “neocons” have to do with this thread? Is someone trying to change the subject again?

‘christopher davis’ (92) mentions some of the differences between the World War II home front and today’s. Interesting, but irrelevant. When I listed the similarities, I never meant to imply that there were no differences. Of course there were: all wars are different.

And of course everyone insists that I was bragging about my Ph.D. when the only person here claiming that his diploma shows how smart he is is ‘nads’ (45). I certainly do not think that Ph.D.s in general are proof of intelligence, even if I do insist that my pseudonym is two words, not one, and that only a juvenile troll would shorten it. I only mentioned the degree to point out that my pseudonym is less fictional than a lot of others. Of course, I do think I’m more thoughtful and better-informed than most of the commenters abusing me here, but that’s not a very high standard, is it? (See previous paragraphs.)

I’ll check back tomorrow to see what the monkeys can come up with next to fling my way.

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pbg 05.17.06 at 2:35 am

It’s a long and troll-bespattered thread, but I read it all, and so I’ll leave a comment:

All the comparison with World War II leaves out one crucial element: folks in WWII put themselves at the disposal of the government, and did as they requested. The service and sacrifice was as a coordinated effort administered by the government.

To equate all that requested service with a bunch of folks just deciding for themselves that this was how they were going to serve the cause is dishonest and not a little bit loathsome: who decided that you wouldn’t go to Iraq? What branch of the military assigned you this duty? Oh, you just came up with it yourself?

But it also raises the intriguing possibility that they really have been assigned this duty: trolling the blogs. That would explain things that would otherwise have to be ascribed to infantile arrogance.

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space 05.17.06 at 4:42 am

It’s a long and troll-bespattered thread, but I read it all, and so I’ll leave a comment:

Ditto. A few comments.

First, I want to note that some time back I left a comment or two at Dr. Weevil’s blog. I was promptly banned. While I don’t recall the substance of my remarks, I can confidently say that they contained no profanity. Just, at the most, run-of-the-mill snark. The point being that Dr. Weevil would never tolerate a thread like this on his blog because he wouldn’t reciprocate the respect he is given to air his opinions (even if they are openly mocked).

Second, I want to address the single valid point that Dr. Weevil has made: You all sneer at Ed Morrissey’s ridiculous commenter ‘Lew’, but when ‘roger’ twice pushes for “the meltdown of the American military” (comment 23) and “cracking the Army” (47), only one commenter (nin, 26) even mildly disagrees with him.

If “roger” represented a common viewpoint of the left, I suspect that there would be plenty of people engaging him to disagree. Personally, I can’t think of a single major lefty blogger who has ever advocated the “meltdown of the American military.” More importantly, I can’t think of any lefty policymakers, pundits, or politicians who would advocate for a meltdown.

OTOH, the chickenhawk mentality is pervasive among Republicans. Indeed, the Fighting Keyboardists are merely a small manifestation of the widespread pattern of rhetorically elevating the War on Terror to equal if not eclipsing WWII and the Cold War in terms of existensial importance, while refusing to make ANY serious sacrifices (Enlisting is merely one possibility. Raising taxes, tolerating gay translators, and buying smaller vehicles are a few of many others).

Dr. Weevil hides behind the fact that *some* bloggers have enlisted. Well then, *some* bloggers are not chickenhawks. But the ones that haven’t can’t hide behind the aprons of their “enlisted friends” in order to avoid legitimate criticism of their deeply unserious (in)actions.

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abb1 05.17.06 at 6:09 am

I thought Roger’s comments were perfectly reasonable.

Get off of this ‘military is sacred and we need more of it’ juvenile crap. Military is nothing but a necessary evil and militarism is nothing but atrocious barbarity.

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shep 05.17.06 at 11:10 am

“‘The animating force behind the right-side of the blogosphere is fear, cold, naked, fear (with some cowardice thrown in).’ Anyone who actually reads the right-side of the blogosphere will find a lot of anger, loathing, and contempt…”

Apparently the good doctor’s PhD isn’t in psychology.

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jade 05.17.06 at 1:15 pm

bruce baugh’ (89) and ‘dr. righteous’ (90) denounce “neo-conservatives” and “Straussian neocons” as if they had something to do with this thread. Was Ed Morrissey ever a Trotskyite or any other kind of Communist? I doubt it.

Wow. You are REALLY ignorant. The word ‘neo-conservative’ distinguishes those conservatives who think the US should vigorously (and militarily) work to spread its values from those who think the US should generally keep itself to itself. There is more to it than that of course, but the Republican party is largely neo-conservative in outlook now. The ‘former Trotskyite’ background is only true of a small number.

If you don’t know that, what the hell do you know about anything? This is about as elementary as a concept as exists in politics.

Let’s face it: the only monkey here is you.

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lemuel pitkin 05.17.06 at 1:58 pm

I, also, agreed with Roger’s comments. It would be a very good thing if the US had a smaller & weaker military, with (1) less capacity to intervene abroad, (2) less respect from the public.

The first point is obvious enough, but the second:

When I was growing up, in the 1970s, kids didn’t paly with toy soldiers. Toy guns were hard to find in the stores. Movies and and Tv shows with military or quasi-military heroes were rare, or at least much rarer than before or since. Vietnam had produced a real revulsion in the public toward the military and military values.

It was also in the 1970s that the most successful strands of the New Left — the women’s rights and gay rights movements — had their real flowering and consolidated their gains. There is no question that the shift away from patriarchal values and male supremacy (old phrases but not inaccurate ones) was intimately connected with the discrediting of the military ethos. Force and hierarchy had lost appeal as solutions to life’s problems.

I don’t wish harm on anyone serving in Iraq — in the past six months, a guy I went to church with growing up and a guy I went to grad school with were both killed over there. But I do wish harm on the military as an institution. I do hope it cracks up and melts down. It has an almost wholly pernicious influcence on American life.

So space, it won’t do to say that people like roger and abb1 and I don’t exist. And frankly, I am more than a little tired of liberals like you trying to establish their bona fides by refusing to engage with anyone to their left.

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Ray Davis 05.17.06 at 4:31 pm

Being an old-and-in-the-way kinda guy myself, I’m late to the party. But before the thread closes up, I want to note, admiringly, how much the comment quoted by Belle reminds me of this.

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drieux 05.17.06 at 5:57 pm

I hate to point out the simple and obvious problem here.

The VOCHAS ( victims of chichen hawk angst syndrome ) by embracing their PTSD for having valiantly fought at home are not merely continuing their degradation of those who are serving, but are, ironically attacking themselves openly – since ideologically there is suppose to be NO PTSD, since that is merely the Evil of the Evil Liberal Media….

so the levels of irony and brutality here are just pathetically amusing – hopefully americans will finally find a cure for the VOCHAS so that they can find some way to safely try to mainstream themselves back into society. Why Shucks, they might start by stop attacking the Troops! They might decide that supporting the Actual Troops who are Actually Dealing with PTSD would be a good form of penance…

After that, who knows, maybe they can find a way to forgive themselves for the years of hatred of americans that they have spewed up and at the veterans community…

along the way, who knows, maybe the VOCHAS will even be able to forgive themselves their lack of moral fortitude…

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tassawwuf 05.17.06 at 11:58 pm

i like the title of this blog. is that from something?

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nick s 05.18.06 at 2:32 am

There is no question that the shift away from patriarchal values and male supremacy (old phrases but not inaccurate ones) was intimately connected with the discrediting of the military ethos.

That is a very interesting point. As a corollary, I suspect that if you ran a survey asking people to think of two people outside family and friends who have served in Iraq, the names ‘Jessica Lynch’ and ‘Lynndie England’ would feature prominently.

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r4d20 05.18.06 at 3:15 pm

Kieran,
Thanks. I laughed good over that one.

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Dr. Weevil 05.18.06 at 10:36 pm

I tried to post a comment answering the latest accusations and arguments, but it has been “in moderation” for more than 24 hours now. Anyone who wishes to read and comment on it is therefore welcome to come over to my site and do so. Here I will note only that Space’s allegations in comment 96, paragraph beginning “First”, are simply false.

(I wonder whether this comment will be approved.)

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nick s 05.19.06 at 1:05 am

Poor weev, coming back to the thread like a kid with a loose tooth: “I wish I knew how to quit you!”

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Jon Swift 05.19.06 at 8:16 am

Sadly, I have been diagnosed with Conservative Fatigue Syndrome amd I have written about my struggle.

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tassawwuf 05.19.06 at 11:02 am

nevermind…i Kant believe i forgot…

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Zenji 05.19.06 at 2:00 pm

The difference between the current generation of chickenhawks and the civilians in WWII are important. In WWII there was a draft: the government called up *as many as it needed* and they responded. If you did not get called up, i think you could honestly feel justified in not serving, although i suspect that more than one young, eligible man felt some guilt over that one.

In our current situation, there is no draft. The president has promised that there will not be one, that we will prevail with an all volunteer military. And yet, there is a serious shortage of people volunteering. So, in our current situation, there is a real need for people willing to sign up, but the people on the right who so vociferously support the war abstain from actually fighting in it…why is that? Feel like it is for someone else to do the hard work? Why is it for someone else? Why is it that people who do not support the war are nevertheless expected to sign up for it, while people who do support the war are given a free pass to support if from their bedroom desk? For if the war’s own supporters won’t sign up…who will? who is left?

The president and the warmongers of the right support a war in Iran. They need more men even to fight the war they currently have, but they want more war. This must inevitably lead to one of two outcomes: defeat, or a draft. A War supporter who does not sign up necessarily supports either defeat or a draft. If defeat, wtf is that? If a draft….then again, they support the notion of someone else fighting the war they so ardently believe in, and in fact, they believe in *forcing* someone else to fight it. Our last experience with a draft shows how ably the chickenhawk leaders are able to avoid serving. I’m sure some chickenhawks would get called up, but i’m equally sure many of them would have pilondial cysts, children on the way, bad knees, or “other priorities.”

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Zenji 05.19.06 at 2:06 pm

As to the argument that lefties aren’t signing up to be a human shield around the nuclear reactors in Iran to prevent war, it is specious bullshit. Even if lefties did sign up for that, even if someone were to provide them with support for themselves and their families, the right already calls lefties traitors — they would prefer to nuke a reactor with 10,000 lefties guarding it, frankly.

Darfur, though, is a more serious issue. I think the difference there is, there is no organized, serious effort to go provide assistance. Our government is not doing it. Our military is not doing it. There are precious few resources devoted to supporting the people who are over there trying to help. If i join the army to go fight in Iraq, i get training, combat pay, support from my government and military….if i wanted to go to Darfur, i’d be on my own.

Historically, there were a number of Americans who did go to Spain to join the opposition to the Fascists, without the support of their government. Lefties, all. But they were joining something organized and real, not just hopping on a plane to a country where they don’t speak the language and throwing themselves at a problem they are in no way equipped to deal with, on their own and without support.

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