January 07, 2004

Forgiveness

I may even be able to forgive Jim Henley for writing for The American Spectator. He is that good:

Unqualified Offerings: Gary Farber finds an article in which a US Army Captain informs us that "The only thing they [Arabs] understand is force - force, pride and saving face." How fortunate for us! Apparently, since pride and saving face are so important to the, well, let's just call them wogs, shall we? the key to success in Iraq is to grind down their pride and make saving face impossible by surrounding their towns with razor wire, requiring passes to move around and demolishing the homes of whoever our famously effective intelligence operations tell us is closer to the Iraqi resistance than Kevin Bacon. Hey, that should work! A couple of thoughts:

1) Maybe it's a coincidence, but doesn't it seem like everybody on the planet has enemies who, they tell us, only understand force? Do we all have the same enemy or something? Because if we do, it should be easy to gang up on the bastards...

Posted by DeLong at January 7, 2004 04:13 PM | TrackBack

Comments

Does anyone know how many wogs you have in custody,in Iraq? Isn't " Wogs" short for Golliwogs?. Not Wily Oriental Gentlemen.

Posted by: big al on January 7, 2004 06:01 PM

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Remember the WOGs begin at Calais! There are lots of them.

Posted by: dilbert dogbert on January 7, 2004 06:19 PM

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I'm curious what your beef with The American Prospect is.


Also did you miss the George Will column on Rubinomics?

Posted by: KevinNYC on January 7, 2004 10:10 PM

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You might have to go well beyond forgiveness here. I mean, if you liked the bit you quoted, check *this* out:

http://www.highclearing.com/archivesuo/week_2004_01_04.html#004887

Yeesh. I mean, it's really too bad he feels he has to hold back this much.

Posted by: Jonathan King on January 8, 2004 07:59 AM

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"demolishing the homes of whoever our famously effective intelligence operations tell us is closer to the Iraqi resistance than Kevin Bacon"

That sort of thing is terribly ineffective, isn't it?

The interesting thing, to me, is that getting particular individuals has become the metric for the Shrub's war. Get Osama, dead or alive. Get Saddam. Get 53 others in the "deck of cards".

It's a business truism that you get what you measure. Had the metric been simple body counts ratios -- how many insurgents did we kill versus how many U.S. (or Bulgarian, or Polish, or Italian/Spanish/Australian or other allies of the "unilateral" force) have been killed -- we would, I suppose, have a much worse quagmire than we do.

But we had no such metric at all in Kosovo. Slobbo is still politically powerful. Genocidal assassins still run free. That operation is still tying down thousands of troops from the U.S. and NATO, and who can say whether the situation is better or worse now than 4 years ago? What is the metric?

And, what would be a BETTER metric for Iraq? Number of nukes impounded, I suppose, for starters. Number of French/Russian-long-range- missiles-smuggled-in-during-and-in-defiance-of-the-U.N.-embargo would be good, too and might be of other than trivial interest. (The "nuke" metric has the so-far trivial result "zero" which is a VERY interesting number in the scientific sense of interesting-for-being-unexpected.) Number of live bodies daily avoiding a mass grave?

ANYhow, it appears that using his own chosen metric, the Shrub is 40-something for 54. A
grade of a "gentleman's 'C' ", as usual. *sigh*.

Posted by: Pouncer on January 8, 2004 09:52 AM

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"Does anyone know how many wogs you have in custody, in Iraq?"

I don't know how many wogs are in custody. The U.S. military has approximately 12,800 human beings in custody in Iraq. This population consists of:

~9000 in custody as a result of raids that resulted in weapons or finding more prominent fugitives

~3800 in custody for participation in militias

The U.S. military expects to release approximately 500 of these 12,800 in the coming few weeks.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/01/07/MNG0S44TCJ1.DTL

Posted by: Mark Bahner on January 8, 2004 09:54 AM

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"Does anyone know how many wogs you have in custody, in Iraq?"

I don't know how many wogs are in custody. The U.S. military has approximately 12,800 human beings in custody in Iraq. This population consists of:

~9000 in custody as a result of raids that resulted in weapons or finding more prominent fugitives

~3800 in custody for participation in militias

The U.S. military expects to release approximately 500 of these 12,800 in the coming few weeks.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/01/07/MNG0S44TCJ1.DTL

Posted by: Mark Bahner on January 8, 2004 09:59 AM

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The term "wogs" for a national group is offensive, no matter how it is used.

Posted by: lise on January 8, 2004 02:04 PM

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The party-line psychology:

(1) "The terrorists hate us because they envy our wealth and freedoms!" (Because apparently they think just like Wall Street speculators... Oh no wait a minute, Osama's worth about a quarter-billion.)

(2) "If we make them fear us, they will stop!" (This is also Daniel Pipes' advice to the Israelis for dealing with the Palestinians.)

(3) "We can make a democracy in Iraq." (Well maybe, but it's unlikely to be Western liberal style, and first they want to see us walk away from the oil fields.)

(4) "If we make a democracy in Iraq, the others in the region will change their hearts." (Because they haven't already noticed the nearby examples of Greece, Turkey, Israel, India.)

I think Pouncer's onto something: this terror war needs more faces to hate! They may call it a playing deck for scoring, but I'll bet the original P.R. session was about "baseball cards", for the armchair spectators.

Posted by: Lee A. on January 8, 2004 10:49 PM

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