Wednesday, March 26, 2003

War Jokes

Most of them are tired. But here's one fresh to me from my friend, Nancy DeWitt in Ketchikan.

Canada will be helping the US in the war against Iraq by sending 2 destroyers, 6000 troups, and it's Air Force, but with the rate of exchange it will amount to 2 canoes, a mountie, and 2 flying squirrels.

We are a Warlike People

"I think it all depends how the war goes. And I think the level of causalities is secondary. It may sound like an odd thing to say. But all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people. And that we love war. And one of my favorite comments on American character, which is Patton's speech at the beginning of the movie, where he says "Americans love war. We love fighting. We've always fought. We enjoy it. We're good at it. And so forth." What we hate is not casualties but losing. And if the war goes well, and if the American public has the conviction that we're being well-led, and that our people are fighting well, and that we're winning, I don't think causalities are gonna be the issue.
If the American public gets the idea that we're doing poorly, that we're badly led, that the war plan is inferior, that we're being outmaneuvered, outwitted and our guys are dying on behalf of a losing cause, then the American people will turn against it. And that's the usual rule." Michael Ledeen via Josh Marshall.

Ow. These shoes are killing my feet.

A Choice Between Fools and Mean People

I've been blogging now for about a year. I have read hundreds of points of view. I visit the blogs of all sorts of people. Sometimes I'm entertained and want to say "me too." You can always tell the folks who enjoy a good "amen" because their blogs have a Comments section. I've known from the very first time I read a personal blog that I had to do one as well. In the South, when you move to a new town, you spend a period of time trying out churches. Every Sunday you get all dressed up and go hear a preacher you may have heard about or who came recommended by someone. You try to linger after the sermon and have coffee and chat with the congregation. While you're pretty much accepted at face value for the purpose of visiting the church, good taste and Christian etiquette suggests that you should keep your testimony to a simple "amen" from time to time, and personal savior stories saved until after you've joined. I guess I can talk hillbilly Christian to you. After all, it's the language the President has been using to communicate.

Now, if you're not Southern, you have to understand, being accepted into a particular congregation is not a done deal just because you want to join. You have to be accepted, and in the Baptist churches I attended growing up, there was usually a vote. For the past year now I've been reading other people's blogs pretty much like a new convert who just moved to town. I've been searching for a home of like minded individuals. I have been drawn to more conservative blogs. I won't mention them by name, but if you're curious, do a google search on my blogname and you'll get a pretty good idea of where I've been hanging out and what I've been thinking, but that's neither here nor there. I just 'fessed up to hanging out in very conservative waters. That was before the war commenced. The war has started now and suddenly I feel like a Presbyterian on the front row of the Episcopal Church and the collection plate has just stopped in front of me. Now, I'm a polite sort of guy, but all I've got is a hundred dollar bill, and there's no fucking way in the world I'm putting in a hundred dollars into any collection plate, much less an Episcopalian one, and I don't know these people well enough to ask for change. This being "put up or shut up" time, I'm inclined to express why I can't join that particular church.

Those people are mean. When I read the rhetoric of people whose opinion I valued and whose counsel I sought, I feel actual fear. They rant with such belicosity that I fear for my own safety and for the safety of others. I don't know them well enough to know if they actually intend to cause bodily harm on someone whom they wish bodily harm upon. They don't question the decisions of their leaders. They attack anyone who does question, either decisions or motivations. They also get mad at anyone who does not feel as passionate about it all as do they. I recognize these kind of people. They've been around for a long time.

The other bunch, the Fools, scream just as loud, just as obnoxious as the Mean. They're out of power right now, so they get to indulge themselves by making signs and screaming at the government. Total fools. You want an example? San Francisco is probably the most anti-war city in the U.S. So, all these demonstrators come to San Francisco from all over the state and the West and try to bring it to a standstill. Would someone tell them, and me, how making the choir late for church is going to help your cause?

And their hatred of the President is so perverse that it doesn't matter what he says or does, they are opposed. End of discussion. Well, in Texas we say that such behavior usually ends up in the payment of what we call a "stupid tax." This level of stupidity is going to cost them 4 more years of Bush.

In my area, the overwhelming majority of people are very opposed to this war. A small group of opportunists saw a need and moved in to manipulate that need into an expression of the small group's will. The small group is the main organizers of this past several months of protests in San Francisco called A.N.S.W.E.R. It stands for radical communist (with a small "c") revolutionaries who believe the easiest way to get into power is the way Lenin did in Russia early in the last century. Get a revolution going then a small, dedicated group can control the agenda, like herding cattle. Being a giant magnet for ideologues, they also get a fair share of anarchists and other groups who see their best chance lying with a collapse of the present system.

And in San Francisco, this so-obvious-as-to-be-trite methodology is working. Oh, not the revolution part of it, just the controlling of the anti-war agenda. Can you see this group actually working to defeat Bush when he runs for re-election? Can't you see the influence they're going to have on the largest of America's voting blocks, the A.A.R.P. crowd?

Fools and Mean people. Gotta find some more choices.