Archive for the ‘podhoretz’ Category

Sham Wars, Part 2


The right-wing songbook on this Pearl Harbor Day, is ringing out a thumping version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  Taking a cue from reliable gasbag, J Pod, they are clamoring for utter defeat and humiliation of our enemies, weeping over our country’s divided views on the Iraq War, and wringing their hands for their fellow countrymen and women’s failure to express patriotism through blind acquiescence.

Glory! Glory! Halleluiah!

As tempting as it must be to draw comparisons between WWII and our current entanglement in Iraq, the cognitive leap is too great to withstand scrutiny.  Like pathetic Harpies, the wings refuse to abandon the long ago discredited claims of a connection between Iraq and the events of 9/11 – screech, screech, screech – and in doing so, they show an utter lack of respect for every civilian and soldier who served or lost their life as a result of Pearl Harbor or the attacks of 2001.

Patriotism exercised with blinders honors no one, least of all the dead.

For my part, I prefer the alternative lyrics to the Battle Hymn composed by Mark Twain in 1901, in the wake of the Phillipine-American War. 

Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword;
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger’s wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.


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Playing With Boys

also useful for gasbag adults

J Pod has an absolutely brilliant piece in today’s New York Post, in which he purports to tell “The Truth on Iraq.”   His visionary truth is this:  Critics who say there was no plan for Iraq are wrong.  There was a plan.  It just wasn’t a military plan.  According to Podhoretz, the necessary new plan?

Kill as many bad guys as we can, with as many troops as we can muster.

If this is unrealistic, then Iraq is lost.

If we can’t win, then we lose.

Political change doesn’t win wars. That’s what we’ve learned, painfully and horribly. Only winning wars wins wars.

I’ll pause while a chill runs down your spine.

No one seems to be very interested lately in revisiting the manner in which we came to be involved in this current war.  The lies.  The deceit.  The careful manipulation of the American public and their elected leaders by the current White House administration.  The sense is that it’s old news and not conducive to discussions of how to deal with the mess in Iraq right now.

I disagree.

We arrived at our current position in Iraq as result of falsehoods, trumped-up and unsubstantiated threats and base hubris on the part of President Bush and his advisors.  Under those pretenses, what we have done is Iraq is not only illegal, it is immoral.

J Pod thinks that the only way to get ourselves free of this entanglement is to “kill as many bad guys as we can,” a position springing from the mindset of a ten year old boy.  In the real world, the strategies of boyhood war games are far too dangerous to apply to the lives of real men, women and children.

The necessary step to getting ourselves out of Iraq will be to admit to the moral failure that put us there in the first place, and ask the Iraqi people to join us in rebuilding their society and culture.  Adults who make mistakes acknowledge them and ask their victims for forgiveness.

Children just keep lining up their toy soldiers to kill more imaginary bad guys.

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Classic J Pod.  The companion piece to Rotten at the Top.

It’s not the Republicans who are responsible for the Foley scandal.  It’s a really, really smart Democratic operative who’s had his or her fingerprints scrubbed.

Republicans have been victimized!

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Just when I was feeling lower than Bush’s approval ratings, I stumbled across this J. Podhoretz editorial  entitled “Party in Ruins,” in today’s New York Post.  The emphasis is mine in the following excerpt:

In part, the destruction of the GOP is the result of secular trends in the state and the nation. The base of the state GOP was made up of downstate liberal Republicans, who no longer exist, and rural upstate traditionalists, who are vastly fewer in number than they were 20 years ago. The Reagan Democrats who crossed party lines to vote Republican are (literally) a dying breed. 

But the fault lies not just with major social patterns. Blame belongs to two men in particular: ex-Sen. D’Amato and soon-to-be-ex-Gov. Pataki. D’Amato was the most powerful Republican in the state for 15 years, and he packed the party leadership with cronies and hangers-on and losers and bums who danced to his tune and jumped like marionettes at his finger’s slightest movement.

Now, I’m not at all certain what Podhoretz is referring to when he starts gas-bagging about “secular trends in the state and nation,” unless the GOP political platform has been completely overtaken by the interests of right-wing religious zealots.  If that’s the case, I guess we can all drop the pretense of thinking there still exists a conservative ideology within the Republican Party that is in any way distinct from a religious ideology.

But that phrase, “secular trends in the state and nation” is just so, so . . . provocative!  Pray tell, oh Inflated One, what on earth are you speaking of?

It could have been my favorite line until I got to the part where he criticizes D’Amato because he “packed the party leadership with cronies and hangers-on and losers and bums . . .”

As if D’Amato is different from Tom DeLay or George W. Bush or any other GOP leader.

Perhaps the gas-Pod does intuit the end of good times just around the corner, but I don’t see anyone else turning in their party hats.  Nor do I see any secular trends in my state or nation.

But the J Pod is down and I’m feeling up.

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