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Hell.

War is. Is for children. In a handbasket. Freezing over. Fire and damnation. Damn you all to. Fuck it. Maybe it’s the bourbon and maybe it’s my hot head, the one that yells at the television set, and maybe it’s my snarky anti-authoritarian nature and maybe it’s just that I’m a self-hating anti-American objectively Ba’athist Stalinist stooge whose good intentions are greasing the skids down the slippery slope straight to.

I don’t care.

Forget the shameless politicization of an unprecedented terrorist attack. Forget that every informed opinion says that an invasion will trigger reprisals here at home that we are not ready for. Forget the broken promises to firefighters and cops, forget the unnecessary, clumsy, and disruptive invasion of civil rights by the largest and most expensive government ever, forget the staggering arrogance and sobering ineptitude on the international stage. Wipe it all off the table and send it smashing to the floor. I don’t care. Sit down across the now-empty table from me and tell me how on earth I can live with an administration that proposes to do this in my name—

The US intends to shatter Iraq “physically, emotionally and psychologically” by raining down on its people as many as 800 cruise missiles in two days.
The Pentagon battle plan aims not only to crush Iraqi troops, but also wipe out power and water supplies in the capital, Baghdad.
It is based on a strategy known as “Shock and Awe,” conceived at the National Defense University in Washington, in which between 300 and 400 cruise missiles would fall on Iraq each day for two consecutive days. It would be more than twice the number of missiles launched during the entire 40 days of the 1991 Gulf War. [...]
“You’re sitting in Baghdad and, all of a sudden, you’re the general and 30 of your division headquarters have been wiped out,” [architect of “Shock and Awe”, military strategist Harlan Ullman,] said. “You also take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of their power and water. In two, three, four, five days they are physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted.”

Even as they reach out with their other hand to do this

Weeks before a prospective invasion of Iraq, the oil-rich state has doubled its exports of oil to America, helping US refineries cope with a debilitating strike in Venezuela.

If you use the word “realpolitik” in your explanation, I will hit you.

This doesn’t come as a shock. I almost wish it did. Shock (even awe) would be better than this feeling like I hit a funny bone in the back of my head. I am not surprised by this; and that is almost what I’m angriest about right now.

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Roast in. Burn in. Rot in. See you in.

  1. language hat    Jan 28, 04:44 AM    #
    Give 'em!

  2. Lydia Nickerson    Jan 28, 05:21 AM    #
    I thought I was past tears, at least until the bombs started falling. I was wrong. I've lost the ability to count the number of ways in which this is evil -- not even a nod to the civilian dead, not even a euphemism. But we buy oil. Of course we do. How could it be otherwise?

  3. Kevin Moore    Jan 28, 07:20 AM    #
    Look, this is a question of "credibility." We can't back down now. Bush would lose face in international relations. The military is all ready to go, so you might as well use them. It's getting expensive after all. If the UN doesn't enforce its own resolutions, it is a paper tiger. The US is then obligated to restore order and enforce international law.

    Okay, okay, I'll stop. I'm beginning to make myself sick (and more than a little scared: writing the above was too easy. Must stop reading op/ed pages.)

    But seriously—brilliant post, Kip. You give good outrage.

  4. Kevin Moore    Jan 28, 07:22 AM    #
    Oh, yes, and: Check last week's New Yorker for brilliant piece by Seymour Hersch on the Pakistani-North Korean nuclear technology exchange. You will lose control of your bowells.

  5. Ardinger    Jan 28, 07:51 AM    #
    I think most of the world understands what we've been encouraged to forget: this is not actually being done in our name. The Bush Administration, unelected, does not support the mass of people in this country. It never claimed to. I remember its installation clearly: the unelected Supreme Court colluded with the Bush family to put in place an expansionist junta which, unsurprisingly, barely acknowledges the vast majority of its subjects. I believe that most of the world realizes this (most of the real news of the coup came from foreign sources) and doesn't hold the actual population any more responsible than the Bush Adminstration holds the civilians of Iraq for Hussein--oops, bad example. For the sake of my ability to look in a mirror I must believe the rest of the world is less barbaric than the regimes currently posturing over our heads. I guess I can advise you to do likewise: a fairly dark shade of silver for a lining, to be sure, but we grasp at such straws as we get, eh?

  6. Kevin Moore    Jan 28, 08:06 AM    #
    Ardinger is right, but with one caveat: I just heard on NPR that today's State of the Union speach will not include a compelling new argument for going to war with Iraq; rather, Bush will explain why Saddam Hussein is a bad man. Like we needed it. But my point is this: the American people would support a war if there were a really good reason for it. So far one has not been provided. But that doesn't mean that the American people cannot be made to feel as if one has. Hence the sudden about face of Colin "reluctant soldier" Powell. Reasoning? "If Powell thinks we gotta do it, then it must be necessary."

    Ick.

  7. Norm    Jan 28, 08:09 AM    #
    Bush and his bunch of evil-doers are not from this planet. Don't you feel like some evil presence from some other place has taken control here on earth? We humans are prone to failure and making big mistakes but Bush and company are taking it to a whole new level. We must keep doing whatever we can to stop him and defeat him in 2004.

  8. Amy S.    Jan 28, 09:42 AM    #
    "Do anything to get rid of Bush..." Sounds great, until you realize that the current state of the supposed 2nd party is embodied by Joe "More Patriot Act Than Thou" Lieberman. That's what we've got waiting to replace the little bible-thumping psycho, another psycho thumping a different version of the bible. Somebody pass the Zoloft, please. And a bottle of Makers Mark, if it's not too much trouble.

  9. jake squid    Jan 28, 01:00 PM    #
    Defeat current admin - yes. Install 2nd party - yes (if only for attempted judicial appointments). Build credible 3rd party - gods yes.

    I can't believe that Sen. Zoiberg (not made up by me) can even win the D nomination. And, in this case, that is not a bad thing. Whoever it is has had their campaign handed to them ("Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?", which is god since party 2 seems to have not a clue as to how to run a campaign.

  10. Norm    Jan 28, 01:48 PM    #
    Amy, you are correct. Lieberman is not the answer. We need a real populist person to lead this country. So far I like what Dean has to say. Let's do our best to let the Dems know that we won't stand for a Lieberman type to run for President.

  11. Anemic Slime    Jan 28, 03:29 PM    #
    You expressed my thoughts far better than I could have ever hoped to. Thank you.

  12. Chris    Jan 29, 04:30 AM    #
    Hate is not overcome by hate; by Love alone is hate appeased. This is an eternal law.

    The others know not that in this quarrel we perish; those of them who realise it, have their quarrels calmed thereby.
    - the Dhammapada

  13. Kip W    Jan 29, 05:45 AM    #
    Bush said it rather well in his speech last night. Memory will probably force me to paraphrase a little, but I heard a clip of him saying, "The enemy is not surrounding your country; the enemy is ruling your country. And when they are thrown out, you will be free." I must have missed the part just before that, when he said he was addressing the citizens of the United States, but it was nice to hear him admit it like that.

    I'm pretty sure that's not an exact quote, because it doesn't contain pithy, memorable phrases with two (no more) alliterative words (e.g., Axis of Evil, Bag of Badness, Crypt of Criminals, Teeter-Totter of... well, that's two already).

  14. The Long Letter    Jan 29, 05:59 AM    #
    Does the name Janus ring a bell?
    The US intends to shatter Iraq 'physically, emotionally and psychologically' by raining down on its people as many as 800 cruise missiles in two days, and yet, facing its most chronic shortage in oil stocks for 27 years, the US has this month turned to...

  15. Prentiss Riddle    Feb 3, 12:10 PM    #
    I've stumbled across the book mentioned in that Common Dreams piece. Surprisingly, the full text appears to be online: Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade (NDU Press, December 1996, ASIN 1579060307).

    It's scary stuff, full of references to the strategies behind Hiroshima and Blitzkrieg and Roman legions and the like. The authors refer to moral qualms and public will as minor impediments the way a marksmanship text might talk about crosswinds and glare. But I can't tell whether this really represents the main stream of Bush administration and DOD thinking, or the coverage of Ullman is just an instance of the curious symbiosis among different positions on the political fringe (dove pundits needing hawk pundits and vice versa). Or, as the Guardian suggests, maybe it's just a bit of propaganda, intentionally leaked to give Saddam the willies.

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