Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Have You Checked Out Philmon Lately?

If not, go ahead. It's all right; I'll wait for you here.

Or, if you want me to tease you some more, I'll happily oblige... because Phil has gotten off some great ones lately. I love his capsule summary of Zarqawi's supposed apology for murdering Muslims in Jordan -- "Sorry we killed you. We didn't mean to. But you deserved it anyway."

He also has quite a list of quotes, from Democrats, supporting the need to go to war against Iraq, both before and after President Bush was elected in 2000. And once again, a killer summary: "Saddam deceived. The World believed. And he has been relieved ... of his post."


Oh, and you might want to check out Jeff Harrell as well. He's been reading the White House's National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, and the commentary he's added to it is the opposite of a Fisking. (We need a new word for that. Unfortunately, Harrelling sounds too... harrowing.)

For example:
The obvious question that springs to mind when the White House releases a document like this is, “Why the heck didn’t we see this three years ago?” The answer is on page two, right inside the snazzy, The Shape of Days-inspired cover page: “The following document articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003 and provides an update on our progress as well as the challenges remaining.” And then there’s a quote from a speech the President gave in February 2003, before US troops ever even crossed the line of departure. He said, “Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more.”

The subtext is pretty clear, and infinitely amusing to your humble narrator: ”We
did tell you our strategy three years ago; 48 percent of y’all were just too stupid to wrap your ‘American Idol’-softened noodles around it. So we’re gonna tell you all again, and again, and if necessary again until you get what we’ve been saying all along.“

And then there's this:
“Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete.” It’s kind of sad in a way that that’s the sort of sentence that has to be spoken out loud. It’s like something you’d say to a child. “We’re at the grocery store to do the shopping. We’re going to stay here until all the shopping is done. We’re going to shop until we’re finished; then and only then will we go get ice cream.”
See what I mean by the opposite of a Fisking? I don't know about you, but I'm enjoying this immensely.

By all means, go read the whole thing.

UPDATE: As seen on Instapundit, concise commentary on the President's speech by a sergeant currently serving in Iraq:
I watched Bush speaking on television last night. It was my first day off since arriving in theater one month ago.

Please, America, listen to the man.
Indeed. Check out the rest of what he has to say; he says it quickly and well.

UPDATE II: Speaking of brevity (a skill I often seem to lack), David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy reminds us that Joe Louis was criticized, during WWII, for helping recruit blacks to serve in the American Armed Forces, which were then segregated. His response was short and to the point:
"There may be a whole lot wrong with America, but there's nothing that Hitler can fix."
Indeed. Prof. Bernstein is referring to universities balking on admitting military recruiters, supposedly due to discrimination against homosexuals, even during wartime... and, as Joe Louis's comment above illustrates, this lacks perspective on what we're doing and whom we're fighting. (Are al-Qaeda's proposed policies vis-a-vis homosexuals preferable to those of the U.S. military? I think not.)

Similarly, I wonder if anti-military demonstrators -- those who daub graffiti on recruiting centers, for example, or scream anti-military slogans outside VA hospitals, of all places -- have given much thought to the alternatives.

Nobody is forcing anybody to join the U.S. Army these days. But if you despise their very existence, just think about whom they're fighting against... and ask yourself if your life would be better with them in control.


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