It's Amazing What A Difference A Couple Of Days Can Make
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Right up until last night, I actually felt sorry for the Iraqi army. I described this feeling in the post below, and, so far as the conscripts and the civilians are concerned, I still feel that way.
But now have zero compassion for their officers, and for the men who willingly serve them. Part of this is my frustration that they did not take the chance to quit while they could, and to spare their country and their countrymen a lot of unnecessary violence and destruction. Even then, I could sort of understand... these folks are holding an enemy army at bay in their own country, and sometimes good sense gets put aside when you are called to defend your own home. I could still forgive them their misguided courage, for surely there was courage there when they stood up to us against such overwhelming odds.
My patience has evaporated, not from anger, but from sheer frustration at their stupidity. These people act as if they will not be answering to our military tribunals within the month. They act as if they don't care what happens to them, or to their country, or to the people who are under their care. What are they going to do next, spill poison out on the streets and dance around in it?
It's like dealing with a pack of violent, retarded children. They can be counted on to always do the wrong thing, to bet on the wrong horse and piss away every decent chance. If nobody ever went broke underestimating the good taste of the American public, surely there is a fortune to be made in betting against the decency and basic animal intelligence of the Iraqi leadership.
So they have a handful of our prisoners, and they will probably mistreat them, and they will probably single out that lone, shoeless female for particular abuse. Another handful of our marines are dead, some probably executed after capture. Fine. We expected some losses, and frankly, our losses to their point have been astonishingly light.
That doesn't change the fact that most powerful military force on earth is now poised to crush them, and that nothing this side of hell is going to stop it.
Within days their remaining tanks will be smoking hulks, and within two weeks these now-confident captors will be bound and kneeling on the ground, grinning like our best friends and begging not to be held accountable for what they have done.
I expect we will hang at least some of them. I have every confidence that we are not going to fuck around with these people, not now, and not with this president.
And I will be pleased to see it done. Very pleased indeed.
Update: Looks like they managed to dig the hole a little deeper:
Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said about 10 Marines were killed in a faked surrender by Iraqi forces outside of An Nasiriyah. The Marines came under fire while preparing to accept what appeared to be surrendering Iraqis.
The Japanese used to pull this shit, too. We slaughtered them.
Am I The Only One Who Noticed This?
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Check out this key line from Bush's speech last night:
He did not say "Their failure to comply" or "If they do not avail themselves of this last opportunity", or even "Once time has run out". He said "Their refusal to do so".
These phrases are always carefully chosen. This sounds to me like we have reserved the right to strike at any time, once Saddam and his sons have refused to leave Iraq.
Of course, they have already refused, repeatedly, and in a very public manner, most recently at the UN itself.
I have predicted the start of this war at least a half dozen times, and I have been wrong on every occasion, but what the hell, pixels are cheap and if y'all want a refund you can talk to my secretary.
I expect this war to begin within hours.
Update: OK, so I was wrong again.
My Message To The Soldiers Of Iraq
Sunday, March 9, 2003
Drudge is reporting that Iraqi soldiers, upon hearing the sound of British forces zeroing their guns, have already crossed the Kuwaiti border and tried to surrender. The British, perplexed, had no choice but to send them back.
My first thought was that perhaps they had some French military advisors among them; my second was that the Iraqis made exactly the right decision. I hope all of them do the same thing.
The Iraqi military is in an unusual position, perhaps unique in modern history. They can surrender instantly, and see their country liberated, their own lives improved, and the futures of their children made brighter than ever before. Or, they can fight, face certain death, and leave only scars upon their own land as the reward for their efforts.
Military history is replete with examples of men who knew that surrender meant death, slavery, tyranny, and that battle was their only hope for themselves and for their families. I can't recall a single time when this equation has been so perfectly reversed as it is now.
Perhaps this is the new, humane face of modern warfare, or perhaps it is just a fortunate historical accident. Whatever the reason, when the fighting starts I'll be rooting for the Iraqis, too, cheering them on to surrender quickly, safely, and to live to see happier times.
The US has printed a number of leaflets which they have dropped by the thousands to Saddams troops - you can see a nice gallery of them here. I thought I'd like to add my own contribution, on the off-chance that some Iraqi officer somewhere is reading my blog and is inclined to listen to what I have to say:
Do Not Fire On American Troops
Another Quiet Sacrifice
A buddy of mine sent me this link with the following note:
Hero is a good word, I guess.
Imagine having spent a decade or two training to be a top-notch doctor, with a comfortable, rewarding, and lucrative life awaiting you. Spending your life in the third world, getting your hands on ugly things that want to kill you would probably be pretty low on your to-do list, I'd imagine. It's already quite low on mine.
I wonder how many lives he saved? I wonder how many of those people would ever know he existed?
Odds And Ends
This thing is just fucking cool. Be prepared to blow an hour or so playing with it.
Random Jottings found this excellent quote from one of my favorite people. I'll be doing something similar with my own weapons, when the time comes. (Bushrod??! Turns out he grew up to be a Supreme Court Justice. Go figure).
I actually attended Cornell, once. Seems to me it's become a hell of a lot more interesting lately. Maybe I should have stayed longer than four months...
Here are some amazing photos of snowflakes. They are even cooler in real life than I imagined. Be sure to click for the hi-res versions.
FBI Pleads for Help in Finding Al Qaeda Suspect
They want this guy bad:
Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, also known as Adnan G. El Shukri Jumah; Abu Arif; Ja'far Al-Tayar; Jaffar Al-Tayyar; Jafar Tayar; Jaafar Al-Tayyar
U.S. authorities made a fresh and urgent call for public help on Monday to find a Saudi-born man who could pose what they termed a "very, very serious" threat as part of an al Qaeda plot against the United States.
Such A Fucking Surprise
By now you've heard of the grenade attack on officers of the 101st airborne which killed one captain and wounded 16 other soldiers. The attack was carried out by one of the 101s own men.
The media seems genuinely perplexed by his motivation, suggesting "resentment" and "stress" as the likely causes. Well, here's a fucking clue, officer...
The perp's name? Sgt. Asan Akbar.
I predict he is executed before the year is out. There are a lot of pissed-off paratroopers out there.
Update: More info on the illustrious Mr. Akbar, a recent convert to Islam:
The U.S. soldier accused of throwing grenades into tents at a 101st Airborne Division command center early Sunday was opposed to the killing of Muslims and opposed to the war in Iraq, two high-ranking U.S. Army sources told NBC.
Update: Still more, from the Boston Globe:
Outside the charred and blood-splattered tents yesterday afternoon, soldiers recalled hearing the suspect say as he was being led away by armed soldiers: ''You guys are coming into our countries, and you're going to rape our women and kill our children.''
The soldier killed in the attack was identified as Captain Christopher Scott Seifert, 27. Witnesses said they believed Seifert was the soldier shot in the back by the assailant as the officer paused outside his tent to put on his gas mask, as required when the camp is under threat.
FBI Advises That Cars Bearing These Plates May Be Suspicious
The FBI advises - seriously - to be on the lookout for cars bearing Iraqi diplomatic plates.
If you live outside of the NYC or Washington Metro area (where these vehicles are normally used), keep an eye out for these things. They look like this:
They are red, white, and blue, with the word "Diplomat" across the top. Iraqi plates are identified with the codes BZ, TF or TS.
And You Thought YOU Had A Bad Day Today
Strangely, there does seem to be a bright side to this one:
Just When We Got That Whole 'School Shooting' Thing Under Control
One more thing to worry about:
Sometimes, they film stuff like this as propoganda, or as recruiting video. Sometimes, they film it for training.
Personally, I'd expect they would pull a stunt like this; in fact, I wouldn't put it past them for a minute.
Methamphetamine (speed) is one of the few drugs that really as bad as people say it is. Habitual use of the stuff is a one-way, high-speed ticket to The Bad Place.
Check out these before and after photos. Be sure to scroll down to see the rest.
This Is Good
Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and - most important - the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap.