Tobacco Road Fogey
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Hand him another harpoonMark Steyn skewers Michael "Moby D*ckhead" Moore:
Yet somehow the notion persists that an Upper West Sider adored on the Cote d'Azur is the authentic voice of blue-collar America. The vast bulk of his credibility in this regard derives from his vast bulk. Less of Moore would be a career disaster; he would be just another cadaverous limousine liberal nibbling on his curly endive.You know the drill -- read the whole thing!
Ranting Rangel updateCongressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has confused his rectum with his mouth yet again. His performance on FNC's Hannity and Colmes program on Thursday night was, unfortunately, a typical Rangel RANT -- Rabid, Asinine, Nutty, and Truthless. NewsMax has a good summary of Rangel's despicable and disgraceful performance here. I watched the show and Sean Hannity went after Rangel like a starving piranha and even Alan Colmes was shocked into silence.
Apparently, Hannity didn't get enough of Rangel's rant on TV, so he booked him on the Friday Hannity radio program as well. According to this story on NewsMax, Osama bin Rangel started backpedaling from his Thursday remarks faster than Deion Sanders covering a fly pattern.
Charlie missed his real calling. He should have auditioned for that less-than-memorable remake of The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz. He could have saved the producers of that movie a lot of money because he is eminently qualified to replace Michael Jackson (Scarecrow), Nipsey Russell (Tinman), and Ted Ross (Cowardly Lion) -- three roles for the price of one.
Captain Steve says a mouthfulIn his latest note, posted by Meryl, Captain Steve gives us something to think about:
And let's face it. Not flying our flag has bought us no good will. Americans are not loved in this country we helped defend, and no amount of symbolic sacrifices will change that. As a matter of fact, acting ashamed of who we are is exactly what costs us the respect of people here. All it gets us is a hole in our morale where the symbol of our nation should be. Young Marines who fight and lose their friends in Basra, or An Nasariyah or Baghdad should not be deprived of the comfort of seeing Old Glory wave above the battlefield they have secured. And Iraqis who have yearned for freedom these long years should not be deprived of it either.To be blunt, multi-culti sensitive crap like not raising the American flag over our camps and requiring our female military personnel to wear an abaya when they go out in public makes my blood pressure spike.
The way I see it, American flags raised over territory that we occupy are the symbol of the freedom that we take for granted and that we are trying to deliver to the people of Iraq. Let the totalitarian scumbags be outraged at the sight of the Stars and Stripes. It's the symbol of their failure -- and their impending doom.
Random thoughts about the warJust a couple of ideas that have been bouncing around in my head over the past day or two.
1. If it bleeds, it leads -- unless it doesn't
In my opinion, all of the gloom and doom being bandied about by the media (especially the 24-hour cable news services) in the past few days is primarily due to the fact that they haven't gotten the flash-bang-boom visuals that they were counting on at the start of the war. All of them were counting on being able to have the best views of the expected "shock and awe" fireworks show over Baghdad on the first day of the war (like CNN had during the first Gulf War). They also expected that their embedded reporters would be able to show running firefights as the coalition forces slogged their way up-country.
Unfortunately for the networks, the war started a day or two earlier than had been planned. There were no fireworks over Baghdad on the first night, leaving all of the expensive talking heads and their "hired-gun" military experts with little beyond educated guesses to fill all that airtime. And the images sent back by the embedded reporters mainly consisted of dust clouds and the rear-ends of Bradleys and Abrams cruising down an endless highway.
The networks started rallying when "shock and awe" made its dramatic debut, two days into the war, but the massive sandstorm that settled into the war zone during the weekend pretty much killed the momentum that was starting to build.
End result: all the pre-war hype about how comprehensive the coverage was going to be was left high and dry. All of the mega-bucks spent on the fancy sets, the retired generals, and the satellite phones for the embeds appear to be giving a much-reduced return on investment. And now, with the apparent 4-6 day pause in the campaign, I think we can expect even more gloomsaying until the ravenous beast can be fed.
2. Diplomacy bred delay
Did all of the diplomatic efforts at the U.N. give Saddam time to pour enough resources into Basra and Umm Qasr to put a serious crimp in the allied war plan? The British forces have gotten tied down trying to bring those critical cities under allied control, instead of moving up the eastern flank of the allied thrust. I'm not denigrating what the British have done so far, but maybe the intelligence guys just missed the indicators of how big a fight Saddam really intended to put up in the Basra/Umm Qasr corridor.
3. First to market makes the market
World opinion seems to being driven by Iraqi TV and their fellow travellers at Al-Jazeera. Our side is not spending enough time and effort attacking the obvious lies and disinformation being flashed around the world by the other side. When are we going to meet these enemies on the propaganda battlefield?
For example, why did we wait so long before taking down the Iraqi TV satellite service? If they can't uplink their video to Al-Jazeera, it's a lot harder for them to get their propaganda out.
David Warren again!If you are not reading David Warren's columns for the Ottawa Citizen, you are missing a true treat. Here's a link to his Thursday column, and here's the link to his Saturday column.
A brief sample from Thursday's column:
On the large scale, we have the persistent display of doubts about tactics and strategy from journalists without any qualifications to judge them: who know no military history, indeed hardly any history at all; nor are they in possession of many current facts. Their motives are, moreover, clear enough: for many are people whose anti-Bush and anti-American attitudes were on display long before the war.
And here's a sample from today's column:
The people who didn't grasp, and still haven't grasped the nature of this enemy, are the media and the Bush administration's mendacious critics. And if these latter want bad news and good quotes, there are any number of retired U.S. Army generals, whose noses were put out of joint by Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon shake-ups, who also don't grasp it, and will be happy to talk. Very selective quotation from officers and soldiers in the field will supply the necessary updates. (I know this game, I work in it; or rather, whenever possible, around it.)Needless to say, Mr. Warren is probably not very popular with his fellow journalists, but he is well worth the read if you've gotten tired of all the gloom-and-doomsaying that seems to be so pervasive on the 24-hour news networks over the past few days.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Don't miss this!If you haven't read this article from TheDissidentFrogman yet, you have missed a real treat. Here's a sample:
And what really upsets me is that, consequently and as always, it's the silent, the weak, the downtrodden, those who stand next to the common graves, waiting for the bullet, those who die slowly, feet first in plastic shredders, screaming in inconceivable pain, those who are forced to watch their wives raped or their children tortured, or those who are "just" condemned to a life in misery and deprivation of their most basic rights who are sacrificed while the anti-war movement is dancing to Samba music in the streets, enjoying a grand day out with elaborated costumes and signs in the comfort of a democratic state that guarantees their right to criticize it without reserve.Sliced, diced, and quick-fried "human shields". Now for a good wine to go with that main course. It'll also come in handy to toast the Frogman (raises glass).
(via Kathy Kinsley at On The Third Hand)
A deal for the antiwar folksSo, you're tired of having your patriotism questioned. And you want the rest of us to know that you support our troops, even if you don't support their commanders.
Boy, do I have a deal for you.
For clarity's sake, let's agree on a few basics. First, it takes at least two sides to constitute a conflict, right?
Second, if one of the opposing sides in a conflict retires from that conflict, the conflict ends, right?
Third, what you really want is for the war in Iraq to stop, right?
Here's my deal. Use this as the slogan of the day for your marchers and your speakers, free of charge and no credit to me necessary:
Saddam, surrender now!Here's the reasoning. If Saddam's regime surrenders, the war stops. That would solve your primary problem, right? No more troops or civilians being killed.
If Saddam's regime surrenders, he and his cronies lose their political and military power and the Iraqi people get a chance to start afresh with a new government that won't be killing, torturing, and oppressing the citizens of Iraq.
That meets my needs.
So, do we have a deal? I'll even march with you in that rally.
Monday, March 24, 2003
A little overstatement...I've been watching Fox News Channel war coverage tonight and one phrase kept popping up throughout the evening. "Today was a tough day" seemed to be the "party line." Greta van Susteren said it so many times in the first half-hour of her show that you would have been knee-walking drunk if you had taken a shot of liquor each time she said it.
Even the New York Times seems to be pushing this line, with the headline "Allies and Iraqis Battle on 2 Fronts; 20 Americans Dead or Missing, 50 Hurt" leading their front page on the Times website.
Admittedly, we lost some fine people today. They and their families are in my thoughts and prayers tonight and for the next several days. If and when we can bring them home, they should be honored as the heroes that they are.
But we have to put today's events in perspective. Compare the numbers in the Times headline to the numbers on this page.
Takes your breath away, doesn't it? One U.S. division, two days -- over 900 casualties. Yet we count D-Day as the beginning of one of our greatest victories.
I have no desire to minimize the sacrifices made today by our lost soldiers and their families. I am incensed over the Iraqi mistreatment of some of our people.
But we insult the valor and the memory of those brave soldiers by exaggerating the circumstances in which they were lost.
They were lost in a victorious battle, not a loss. Their comrades continued to fight despite their losses and broke through the enemy resistance, allowing our forces to continue their advance toward the ultimate showdown with the murderous Iraqi regime.
In 1944, it took our forces months to break out from the Normandy beachhead. In 2003, our troops may be in sight of the enemy capital in less than a week.
Iraqi forces may have taken the lives from our lost soldiers, but let us not take their honor from them.