May 09, 2004

From Apocalypse Now

Matthew Yglesias is haunted by the following dialogue:

Matthew Yglesias: May 09, 2004 - May 15, 2004 Archives: Kurtz: "What did they tell you?"

Willard: "They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound."

Kurtz: "Are my methods unsound?"

Willard: "I don't see any method, at all, sir."

Posted by DeLong at May 9, 2004 09:59 PM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

The current circumstance in Iraq bears an even more direct analogy than _Apocalypse Now_ (Cambodia) to that in the Belgian Congo of Joseph Conrad's _Heart of Darkness_ (quoted here):

"You remember I told you I had been struck at the distance by certain attempts at ornamentation, rather remarkable in the ruinous aspect of the place. Now I had suddenly a nearer view, and its first result was to make me throw my head back as if before a blow. Then I went carefully from post to post with my glass, and I saw my mistake. These round knobs were not ornamental but symbolic; ... They would have been even more impressive, those heads on the stakes, if their faces had not been turned to the house.... I was not so shocked as you may think. The start back I had given was really nothing but a movement of surprise....

"In fact, the manager said afterwards that Mr. Kurtz's methods had ruined the district. I have no opinion on that point, but I want you clearly to understand that there was nothing exactly profitable in these heads being there. They only showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him -- some small matter which, when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of his deficiency himself I can't say. I think the knowledge came to him at last -- only at the very last. But the wilderness had found him out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude -- and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core....

http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Literature/Conrad/HeartOfDarkness/03.html

Posted by: William in Beijing on May 10, 2004 12:27 AM

____

I love AN, it's one of my favorite movies. I love this exchange:

KURTZ: Are you an assassin?

WILLARD: I'm a soldier.

KURTZ: You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.

Dumbya = errand boy. Rummy, Cheney, Condiliar, Powell, the neo-cons = grocery clerks.

Posted by: Jim on May 10, 2004 12:37 AM

____

Yglesias would have better off with this one:

'They train young men to drop fire on people... but their commanders won't allow them to write 'FUCK' on their aeroplanes because... it's obscene...'

Posted by: mark bearn on May 10, 2004 01:41 AM

____

"Willard", being a fictional creature of the '60's, gets a free pass on this one.

Yglesias, on the other hand, can't use that excuse for HIS cinematic blind spot...

-------------------------

"Gangs of New York"

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent

By Stephanie Zacharek

Dec. 20, 2002

"'Gunsmoke' meets 'Planet of the Apes'...

http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/review/2002/12/20/gangs/

Posted by: Mike on May 10, 2004 04:05 AM

____

The horror, the horror.

Posted by: currus on May 10, 2004 06:16 AM

____

I guess my point above was that, because it's a movie, _Apocaplypse Now_ forfeits a lot of the commentary on the troubled mindset of imperialism which is at the core of _Heart of Darkness_, and which is difficult to present visually in the cinematic context. Instead, AN subsitutes a more general statement about the effects of war and violence on the human conscience, introducing new characters like Lt. Col. Kilgore, etc., in pursuit of that new purpose. I suppose one can find some relevance of _Apocalypse Now_ to any wartime situation; I'm not a veteran and don't pretend to know for sure. People I know who like the movie best are *not* vets; viewers I know who are Viet Nam vets tell me it had nothing to do with Viet Nam. (This contrary to what I'm told director Coppola has claimed, "This film isn't about Vietnam. This film IS Vietnam.") Anyway, if I'm asked whether recent events in Iraq reflect more directly that movie or Conrad's book that inspired it, I'd point to the book. Again, quoting:

"The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea -- something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to..."

"Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush.... In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech -- and nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives -- he called them enemies! -- hidden out of sight somewhere."

http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Literature/Conrad/HeartOfDarkness/01.html

It's impossible for me to re-read those lines, together with those in my previous post (above) and not see a foreshadowing of the futility that now confronts our efforts in Iraq. Once again, life imitates art. And while many will say that liberation rather than conquest is our objective, I have to ask which of these is better reflected by the behavior shown in the photographs we're now seeing. The pictures tell me that the objective of at least some in this endeavor is conquest, driven by bloodlust or some other selfish motive; and I suggest that those pictures are "not ornamental, but symbolic," just like the heads on stakes around Kurtz's house.

Posted by: William in Beijing on May 10, 2004 06:16 AM

____

While we're quoting from the original Heart of Darkness, it's worth pointing out not just that the Belgians were, in their own minds, on a glorious civilizing mission, but that those who ran the operation from Brussels are portrayed as having no idea at all what's actually going on there. Marlowe gets his job through the interventions of his aunt; she apparently has enough pull to get him the job, but so little idea of where she's sending him that she tells him to dress warmly (in the CONGO?) and write often.

Also note that Kurtz is valued by those in Brussels for his high ideals, and by those downstream in the Congo because he delivers more ivory than anyone else. For Marlowe, he's the only person in the Congo whose idealism is not simply mindless. He is the only person in the story besides Marlowe who sees the Africans as people, and the only one who has gone so far as to learn their language. Which all makes what he has become infinitely worse than it would have been had be been merely greedy.

Posted by: hilzoy on May 10, 2004 06:56 AM

____

Here I am this fine Springtime Monday morning refreshed from my home and family centered weekend; prepared to do battle with the evil empire of the left. This, of course, in between earning a substatial living in my very own business. It is wonderful being truly in charge of your own life, something most of you Neibelungen Lefties will never know.

What happened in Abu Gharab Prison is truly horrible by peacetime standards, BUT THIS IS NOT PEACETIME. If you think that was horrible by wartime standards, READ THIS:

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/09/wpearl09.xml

Again, I must repeat to you ivory tower lefty ignoramuses, HUMILIATION IS A LEGITIMATE WARTIME TACTIC, as our enemies well know.

My friend and neighbor, an Army Reserve Major activated and defending Western Civilization in the DIA tells this wonderful story:

"Shortly after occupying Baghdad, a convoy led by a Humvee drove through town broadcasting a woman's voice insulting Iraqi manhood. Scores of furious would-be snipers jumped out of hiding firing their kalishnikovs from the waist defending that questionable manhood. Needless to say they were all exterminated making the town a little safer for our boys and girls."

How many times do I have to tell you pitiful pretenders: HUMILIATION IS A LEGITIMATE WARTIME TACTIC.

Adrian the Turkish Delight

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on May 10, 2004 07:15 AM

____

Well, if we are now using the term "insane" rather than "incompetent", we are making progress toward using the term "evil" to describe the leadership of this country. I like progess.

Just a point here on Apocalypse Now and the comment above from someone quoting Coppola about how the movie was Vietnam. I worked as an extra in the movie for a time, and what Coppola meant was that the effort to make the movie was like Vietnam. Pristine good intentions, countless scripts, outrageous sums of money thrown at the problem, sets destroyed by the tropical elements (some still molder away today in the jungle), mental breakdowns even among the higher ups (Coppola), confusion, dissension, outrageous doublecrosses, failures of will stateside, marriages destroyed, the cast going native, you name it!

As for the finished product, the vets are right, of course, the movie itself is nothing like Vietnam. But they miss the point: it's a work of art about the human condition in extremis. Not a documentary.

Evil. Who says it must display method? Maybe evil is willful, disorganized, and incompetent blundering for its own sake for its own barely discernable ends, like the current dangerous inhabitants of the White House. It takes a certain competence to place those heads on stakes and protect Kurtz at all costs in the film. Imagine O'Neill's, Clarke's, Duilulio's (sp?) heads on pikes surrounding the White House. Imagine the babbling, addled Dennis Hopper character as the current cast of babbling, addled right-wingers in the media: "He's a good man, he's a great man!"

Evil.

But "insane" gets a little closer.

Posted by: John Thullen on May 10, 2004 07:23 AM

____

We must kill them
We must incinerate them
Pig after pig
Cow after cow
Village after village
Army after army.

What do you call it
When the assassins accuse the assassin?
They lie.
They lie and we must be merciful to those that lie.
Those nabobs...
I hate them.
I do hate them.

Posted by: Chairman Barney on May 10, 2004 07:32 AM

____

"Just a point here on Apocalypse Now and the comment above from someone quoting Coppola about how the movie was Vietnam... Imagine the babbling, addled Dennis Hopper character as the current cast of babbling, addled right-wingers in the media: "He's a good man, he's a great man!"

Evil.

But "insane" gets a little closer.

Posted by John Thullen"

Well, I'm pleased to finally see a lefty acknowledge that evil exists. As one would expect, obviously, he gets it backwards.

The real wonder of this thread, however, is how this blog, that supposedly consists of the smartest of all lefties, quotes silly movies as data points in their unidimensional causal chains designed to impress each other that they're right and us more highly evolved righties are jerks.

PITY THE FOOLS

The Illustrious Adrian

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on May 10, 2004 07:32 AM

____

Thank you Brad.

This sums it up for me.

Posted by: Sharon on May 10, 2004 07:36 AM

____

Adrian says that humiliation is a legitimate wartime tactic. Or as he puts it HUMILIATION IS A LEGITIMATE WARTIME TACTIC.

Hmm. He seems to be lightly skipping over the fact that these photos are just the ones they've released. As Lindsay Graham among others have made a point of saying, the problems are systemic and they include rape and murder. And there are photos and video depicting those acts. The humilitaion is just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: ccobb on May 10, 2004 07:39 AM

____

"Those nabobs...
I hate them.
I do hate them.

Posted by Chairman Barney"

My oh my, some of you lefties are wonderful crafters of words that show how wise, sensitive, talented and erudite you are.

Problem is none of you are smart enough to tell the difference between how you think the world is and how it really is.

God save us from you Ivy League English Majors who write beautifully while knowing absolutely nothing about the real world.

Adrian the wise

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on May 10, 2004 07:40 AM

____

I must admit, I was hoping you'd sit this one out, Adrian. But since you're already in it, I must correct you: I'm not a leftist, and you're no conservative. There is nothing historically conservative about interventionism overseas. In fact, the aggressive interventionism of a few *self-professed* "conservatives," who curiously are not at all fiscally conservative, and whose social conservatism is schizotypal, is a relatively recent political development here in the U.S. But to stay on-topic, I have nothing further to say about it. Sorry to disappoint you.

Posted by: William in Beijing on May 10, 2004 07:47 AM

____

Is Adrian Spidle by chance any relative of the Nazi General Wilhelm Speidel condemned at Nurnberg to 20 years of prison? Just curious :-)

Posted by: Thomas T. Schweitzer on May 10, 2004 07:50 AM

____

Let's pretend this, Adrian.

Sundry horrible leftists like yours truly comment in a thread about a movie as a ruse to get right-wing filth to show themselves as rhetorical snipers in the minarets of their temples of self-righteousness. Then we blow their fucking heads off. Because we can't let humiliated scum live to recruit more terrorists.

Now, put those panties over your head, tough guy, and shut up.

Posted by: John Thullen on May 10, 2004 07:54 AM

____

>>HUMILIATION IS A LEGITIMATE WARTIME TACTIC>>

So far it's served as a wonderful recruiting tool for the bad guys. From reports, it does not seem to have resulted in much if any useful information.

Leaving aside the incredible moral issues regarding what's being done to prisoners, as a tactic it seems particularly stupid.

Posted by: richard on May 10, 2004 07:59 AM

____

"Is Adrian Spidle by chance any relative of the Nazi General Wilhelm Speidel condemned at Nurnberg to 20 years of prison? Just curious :-)

Posted by Thomas T. Schweitzer"

Probably. But I'm proud to say Maj. Gen. Hans Speidel, Rommel's fellow Wurtemburger and Chief of Staff is also my cousin.

It was Cousin Hans who enlisted Rommel in the failed assasination attempt on Hitler that cost Rommel his life and left Cousin Hans in Command of the Defense of Europe on D- Day.

Cousin Hans refused to destroy Paris on Hitler's orders and spent the rest of the war in a Gestapo Prison. He also succeeded another cousin, Gen DD Eisenhower, as the second Commandant of Nato.

Adrian the genetic warrior

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on May 10, 2004 07:59 AM

____

Adrian, read the following quote:

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Now, the question.

If we act like our enemy, do we become the enemy? This is the question that is currently being asked in Iraq. If we claim the moral high ground, we have to act like it, not debase ourselves with the tactics that we publicly disavow.

Posted by: Thane Walkup on May 10, 2004 08:09 AM

____

"If we act like our enemy, do we become the enemy? This is the question that is currently being asked in Iraq. If we claim the moral high ground, we have to act like it, not debase ourselves with the tactics that we publicly disavow.

Posted by Thane Walkup"

GREAT QUESTION and GREAT NAME. As a fan of Anglo Saxon history I'm jealous.

This is a popular lefty position. I'm actually a bit surprised at your Nietzche quote.

I look at it two ways (something you simple minded lefties should also do).

1 - There is no logical connection to show that doing some things your enemy does makes you the same as your enemy. This assertion is a typical lefty tennent that sounds great but IS WRONG.

2 - In every day discourse, it is often true that the insults one party hurls at their enemies are usually more accurate descriptions of the insulter rather than the insultee.

However, we are at war and the only way to win a war is to wage TOTAL WAR. The western democracies forgot how to wage total war after we destroyed tens of millions of "innocent" Japanese and Germans and we haven't really won a war since.

This historically new cultural inability to wage total war puts Western Civilization at real peril in the face of a determined Islamist enemy committed to a multi-generational crusade to kill or convert us.

Adrian von Klausewitz

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on May 10, 2004 08:23 AM

____

I am rather fond of Adrian posing as the Good German. But then again, he is in denial about being the Ugly American.

Posted by: Eli Rabett on May 10, 2004 08:27 AM

____

"I am rather fond of Adrian posing as the Good German. But then again, he is in denial about being the Ugly American.

Posted by Eli Rabett"

My God, I love arguing with you gifted wordsmiths. Brad's blog is almost as much fun as watching a Patriots NFL game.

There is no American less ugly than yours truly. I've visited scores of nations in the first, second and third world. I've had scores of exchange students live with my family with whom we've enquired into our cultural differences.

I actually live cultural diversity every day; unlike you culturally ignorant lefties who know no more than trite lefty talking points.

Adrian

Posted by: Adrian Spidle on May 10, 2004 08:37 AM

____

"As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

Too late for Adrian, RNC contractor.

Posted by: Dem on May 10, 2004 08:54 AM

____

"I actually live cultural diversity every day; unlike you culturally ignorant lefties ..."

By all means, impress us with your cultural acumen. No really, this I've gotta hear - you'll insist on it anyway, no doubt.

William in Beijing

Posted by: William in Beijing on May 10, 2004 08:55 AM

____

Adrian,

Thanks for the compliment on my name. I'm glad I have it now, but at age 6-12, I kept wanting to change it to "Bill" or "Frank" or something ordinary.

It's quite easy to dismiss those you don't know as "liberal lefties" or whatever label you care to slap on us. For the record, I'm fiscally conservative (which means "don't spend beyond our means", something Bush seems to have forgotten), socially privatist (meaning that the government should not regulate the actions of an individual that do not affect other individuals - by extent of this, it is my opinion that when a person takes an action that has a negative effect on others, then the government, as the representative of the people, has a DUTY to step in and stop that individual from doing what they are doing), and anti-privacy (google for David Brin, The Transparent Society).

I'm of the opinion that the reason WHY we are doing something matters as much as the goals we are trying to achieve. Has Bush demonstrated that there was just cause for war with Iraq? In my perception, no.

1. Weapons of Mass Distruction - None found so far, except for pesticides which happen to have dual-purpose use, and those were stored at farming locations, not military locations.

2. Harboring Al-Quaeda - What about Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Both nations have much more obvious ties with terrorism than Iraq ever did. Most financing for 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia.

3. Mr. Hussein is a genocidal despot - Well, yes, but so are the leaders of roughly 2/3 of the countries of the world. There are arguably much worse cesspools that need cleaning. North Korea, anybody?

4. But he's a threat to the rest of the world - See point #1. He doesn't have a nuke. He doesn't have significant biowarfare devices. North Korea and Pakistan both do.

In other words, Bush never made a convincing argument for war with Iraq. This makes the whole thing look like a vendetta for daddy, which diminishes the world's perception of the United States, and destroys its credibility. We had an opportunity to do something real, to fix the world after 9/11. Instead, since then, we've squandered our political capital and made the situation much worse than it had to be.

We've forgotten the lessons of World War II. Yes, you have to use overwhelming force to defeat the enemy, but once they are defeated, give them respect and honor in defeat, and there's no limit to what they can do. Compare and contrast Japan and West Germany to East Germany...

Posted by: Thane Walkup on May 10, 2004 09:01 AM

____

Adrian. Facts. Let's agree these are facts because your Dear Leader's administration has acknowledged them as such, shall we?

1) It was Torture. It was widespread at that prison and probably other Iraqi prisons. (It was probably also widespread in Afghanistan and Gitmo, but the administration has not acknowledged that yet.)

2) Innocent people. Many of the detained people were innocent. The internal report estimated the innocent at 60%, and that most of the rest were common criminals, not "enemy agents".

Got that? Agree to those facts?

Good.

Now you come here and tell us that torture of innocents is a good thing because this is war.

Why should we not consider you the absolute scum of the Earth?

Posted by: Dem on May 10, 2004 09:11 AM

____

Wow, Mr. Spidle, that is some great stuff! I have some additional suggestions. You should be sure to CAPITALIZE MORE OFTEN because we know shouting 'SHUT UP!' is a terrific argument. Also, U shud include WAY more kool speling triks like the kool kidz at Free Republic. Just so you'd know! ;-)

Posted by: weinerdog43 on May 10, 2004 09:19 AM

____

First, don't believe a damn thing Adrian says. Second, I remember looking at his name-link a few weeks ago and it pointed to a translation services company instead of the current email address. Perhaps he owns it or works there. I assume he changed this behavior and now prefers to get hate mail directly instead of through the company's "Contact Us" link..... Personally, I find Adrian's rants refreshing and humorous. More, please!

Posted by: heet on May 10, 2004 09:36 AM

____

Adrian,
Humiliation may be a useful and legitimate combat tactic, but the Geneva Conventions expressly prohibit that kind of treatment of prisoners of war.

Posted by: Pete B on May 10, 2004 10:45 AM

____

What,s wrong with [H]Adrian? One of the better Roman emperors?

Posted by: big al on May 10, 2004 10:46 AM

____

If Mr. Spindel truly believes that this behavior at Abu Ghraib is a legitimate tactic, then I expect him to respond calmly and with understanding when the next American prisoner is treated the same.

The Geneva Conventions were designed to make war more civilized. We abide by the Geneva Conventions so OUR troops will be treated humanely. Holding the moral high ground has significant advantages. Does anyone doubt after the revelations of the last two weeks that the occupation is only going to get more vicious for our troops?

Think ahead.

Posted by: currus on May 10, 2004 10:47 AM

____

"However, we are at war and the only way to win a war is to wage TOTAL WAR. The western democracies forgot how to wage total war after we destroyed tens of millions of "innocent" Japanese and Germans and we haven't really won a war since."
Adrian, you can't wage total war against an enemy that has no state, no armies, and no leadership. It takes very different tactics to fight a guerilla conflict, and I'm sure anyone in the military would tell you as much.

"This historically new cultural inability to wage total war puts Western Civilization at real peril in the face of a determined Islamist enemy committed to a multi-generational crusade to kill or convert us."
The ability to wage total war has no relevance to a conflict against a few thousand(?) nihilistic religious zealots scattered around twenty or thirty countries and living amid millions of people who have no deep interest in their cause. I think the majority of Iraqis think Americans are OK... although their opinion of us may be rapidly changing with this incompetent occupation going on.

Posted by: Pete B on May 10, 2004 11:07 AM

____

Adrian, you loathesome piece of dittohead shit: Sen. McCain completely disagrees with you. Another lefty, I suppose. He seems pretty irate.

Despite what some might think, the senator insists he was not reminded of his own experience, more than three decades ago, when he saw the photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners, images he calls "so horrific it defies my imagination." But asked to compare the two situations, he offered a quick and revealing rejoinder: "I was never subjected to sexual humiliation and degradation."

Rick Davis, who ran Mr. McCain's campaign for the presidency in 2000, was struck by that comparison. "He said, `You know, I was tortured, but I was never humiliated.' To me, torture is humiliation. I guess he saw it in a different light. Only someone who has been there would understand the difference."

Best wishes to your comely granddaughters and greatgrandaughters in their fetching yet modest burkhas, and I hope the boogeyman under your bed doesn't end up horribly depriving us of your esteemed company.

Posted by: Zizka on May 10, 2004 12:47 PM

____

URL for McCain quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/10/politics/10MCCA.html

Quote:

"Despite what some might think, the senator insists he was not reminded of his own experience, more than three decades ago, when he saw the photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners, images he calls "so horrific it defies my imagination." But asked to compare the two situations, he offered a quick and revealing rejoinder: "I was never subjected to sexual humiliation and degradation."

Rick Davis, who ran Mr. McCain's campaign for the presidency in 2000, was struck by that comparison. "He said, `You know, I was tortured, but I was never humiliated.' To me, torture is humiliation. I guess he saw it in a different light. Only someone who has been there would understand the difference.""

Posted by: Zizka on May 10, 2004 12:50 PM

____

OK, so a cousin of a relatively nice Nazi general (retrofitted for NATO, like Werner von Braun) is telling us that Clausewitz sould be our model. (I suppose we have an admirer of Carl Schmitt here too). A second opinion seems desirable.

One reason why many of us are repelled by the Abu Ghraib photos is that we don't have the taste for blood and iron. We really don't want a twenty-year war against the whole Islamic world (single-handed, since our allies are dwindling), and we don't think that it's necessary. But those for whom war is the source of all meaning and moral purpose feel differently.

Not that it makes any difference, but the situation is different than 1939 when we were facing Adrian's nation. Germany was the single greatest power in Europe and was located a few hundred miles from London and Paris. The USSR was also a power, and between them they or their allies soon controlled all the resources of the continent.

By contrast, Islam is divided into more than twenty uncooperating nations speaking ten languages or more and divided by a number of hostile sects and parties. No Muslim nation has an industrial or technical base or a modern army, and only the oil countries have any financial power. Thus, the present struggle should not require the type of total war that hysterical bitches like Adrian need so badly.

Posted by: Zizka on May 10, 2004 01:07 PM

____

Can't help but updating my priors about the existence of a new cancerous breed of neo-Nazism in the United States. Can't do it to the Jews anymore? Let's do it to the negros? Can't do it to the African Americans anymore? Fine, let's do it to the Muslims!

Posted by: Jean-Philippe Stijns on May 10, 2004 01:24 PM

____

You are OK with the punishment of those whose guilt is not proven and you call yourself a libertarian? On what grounds, sir?

Posted by: Steven Rogers on May 10, 2004 03:16 PM

____

Adrian, you are hilarious!

No one here seems to have picked up the clue you left.
-----------
Adrian wrote:
…1 - There is no logical connection to show that doing some things your enemy does makes you the same as your enemy. This assertion is a typical lefty tennent that sounds great but IS WRONG.

2 - In every day discourse, it is often true that the insults one party hurls at their enemies are usually more accurate descriptions of the insulter rather than the insultee.

Adrian von Klausewitz
Posted by Adrian Spidle at May 10, 2004 08:23 AM
----------

First, I really like your logic. By point 1, I can torture and not be a torturer? And by point 2, if I call you a torturer, it is likely that I am a torturer.

So by using your logic and looking at your posts, you are saying that you are a Neibelungen Lefty, a pitiful pretender, a liberal lefty etc…

I get you Adrian. The others will come around to your style of humor.

Am I right? Or are you just an idiot? …wait by questioning whether you are an idiot am I questioning whether I am an idiot? --- You clever son of a bitch…. wait, that would make me a clever son of a bitch…… Maybe I will call myself hilarious so that you can know that it is really you that are hilarious!

Posted by: HopeFades on May 10, 2004 04:08 PM

____

Adrian wrote, among other things:

"PITY THE FOOLS

The Illustrious Adrian"

Ah it's all clear to me now... Adrian is Mr T

Posted by: Sir Humphrey on May 10, 2004 06:10 PM

____

Torture (or "pressure" or "humilition" or whatever) is not a legitimate tactic in THIS war. In order to win this war, we have to get a substantial minority of Iraqis on our side to govern the place, unless we want a democratically elected hostile regime or unless we want to be there forever. These images only serve to make them hate us more and make a mockery of our claims to be the good guys. Torture is effective at extracting information, but no information could be worth the political cost of having these images shown to the world.

But the righties who run this country haven't got a clue about this kind of thing. That's why we're losing this war (which was totally winnable as of a year ago, IMO). I miss Bill Clinton. His war (against the Serbs) was stupid too, but at least we WON.

Posted by: rps on May 10, 2004 07:09 PM

____

OK, Adrian, you are the Ugly German and the Good American. Same thing these days. Of course, the Germans probably will be insulted.

Posted by: Eli Rabett on May 10, 2004 07:44 PM

____

Adrian is the character played by the Robert Duvall character, Lt. Kilgore.

Anyway, this war in Iraq is so over. The best thing that will come out of the expeience is some good literature and maybe a couple of good movies.

Thanks, WinBeijing for your posts on AN.

Posted by: phil on May 10, 2004 08:00 PM

____

Adrian,
I really do think you are funny. Keep up the good work.
cheers.

Posted by: HopeFades on May 10, 2004 08:35 PM

____

"In every day discourse, it is often true that the insults one party hurls at their enemies are usually more accurate descriptions of the insulter rather than the insultee."--Adrian Spidle--


"you ivory tower...ignoramuses"--Adrian Spidle--

"you pitiful pretenders"--Adrian Spidle--

"As one would expect, obviously, he gets it backwards"--Adrian Spidle--

"none of you are smart enough to tell the difference between how you think the world is and how it really is"--Adrian Spidle--

"God save us from you...who know[...]absolutely nothing about the real world"--Adrian Spidle--

"you are the idiot"--Adrian Spidle--

Posted by: Dubblblind on May 10, 2004 08:53 PM

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Eli Rabett: I'm a German, and I'm not insulted. I take insults (to heart) only from people whose opinion I value. Which does not include Mr. (?) Spidle.

If he is one person, he strikes me as being quite intelligent and fairly read (although I don't agree with the views he puts forward), but he appears to have a quite confrontational, lecturing, and not seemingly interested in honest discourse, style. To that extent I think some rightfully classify him as a "troll".

Posted by: cm on May 10, 2004 11:14 PM

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phil: "Anyway, this war in Iraq is so over."

Over, no. (Although I think I get your point, and may have to agree.) Fucked up, you bet. It is hard to say what is the best the world community in general and the US in particular can make out of this. Cut-and-run does not strike me as a realistic option.

Posted by: cm on May 10, 2004 11:24 PM

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Adrian writes: Thanks Dubblblind, you have proven my point -- YOUR LITTLE MIND IS NOT ABLE TO DEAL WITH AMBIGUITY. That's exactly the reason our efforts in Iraq are hampered by your attitude.

Americans in general do not deal well with moral ambiguity. That is why the pictures are so damaging to the war effort.

Posted by: Steven Rogers on May 11, 2004 03:32 AM

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"In every day discourse, it is often true that the insults one party hurls at their enemies are usually more accurate descriptions of the insulter rather than the insultee."--Adrian Spidle--


"you ivory tower...ignoramuses"--Adrian Spidle--

"you pitiful pretenders"--Adrian Spidle--

"As one would expect, obviously, he gets it backwards"--Adrian Spidle--

"none of you are smart enough to tell the difference between how you think the world is and how it really is"--Adrian Spidle--

"God save us from you...who know[...]absolutely nothing about the real world"--Adrian Spidle--

"you are the idiot"--Adrian Spidle--

"YOUR LITTLE MIND IS NOT ABLE TO DEAL WITH AMBIGUITY"--Adrian Spidle--

Keep talking Adrian, you continue to describe yourself beautifully.

Posted by: Dubblblind on May 11, 2004 06:03 AM

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Adrian,

Saddam's abuses at Abu Ghraib - the rape rooms, the torture - were, I'm sure, also done in the interest of suppressing insurgents and rebellion. Just like us.

What's the difference?

Posted by: Jon H on May 11, 2004 08:06 AM

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Dubblblind,
Thanks for the summary of Adrian's thoughs.

Posted by: dilbert dogbert on May 11, 2004 08:31 AM

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Getting back to the comparison of Apocalypse Now and the Iraq situation, I've made an initial attempt:

http://www.apocalypse.kustomrides.com/

An excerpt:

"Because there's a conflict in every human mind between the rational and the irrational, between intelligent and stupid. And logic does not always triumph. Sometimes the hairless ape triumphs over what Socrates taught us of truth, that we know nothing, and in that knowing, may become wise. Therein, every man has got a breaking point. You and I have. George Bush has reached his quite quickly. And very obviously, he has gone stupid."

Posted by: Bill on May 12, 2004 11:45 AM

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dim sez, adrian sez: "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

Too late for Adrian, RNC contractor.

Adrian's not an RNC contractor. All their heads are too cubical for them to ever hire anyone as cool as Adrian. Adrian is obviously a self-employed/employing artist who writes what he does for the love of beauty and delight.

However, Adrian. Where you say:

This assertion is a typical lefty tennent that sounds great...

I must bring to your attention that while there is a fashion model named Stella Tennent - no wait that's Tennant - and the person who rents a room from you is your tenant, the word you were looking for is "tenet."

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