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March 14, 2003

Daniel Davies continues to speak for people of good will and bad attitude:
I have been troubled greatly over the last few days by the following thought; although it is obvious that the USA has an incredible advantage over Iraq in terms of men and materiel, you have to admit that if you were picking a team of leaders to lose this war, you wouldn’t be able to do much better than Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Ignorance—check; Hubris—check; Ability to alienate allies —check; Tendency to ignore unfavourable information—check. It’s like having Saddam Hussein’s fucking fantasy football team in the top job.
[11:48 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Daniel Davies:

David ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 12:31 AM:

Lucky for us that the war will be run by General Wesley Clark and none of the people listed, then, isn't it?

Now, losing the peace afterwards I could buy...

Tom Beshear ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 03:11 AM:


I wish the war was being run by Gen. Wesley Clark; he is retired, alas, and considering a Democratic presidential run. The war will run by the woebegone-looking Gen. Tommy Franks.
He's profiled in this week's Time magazine, but I haven't read it yet.

Barry ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 08:43 AM:

My biggest two worrises are (1) the aftermath is what counts the most, and (2) the Bush administration is in a position where they benefit from continued crisis.

Subtract 9/11 from the Bush administration, and he'd be pathetic. So a 'need' for another Middle East war after Irag is not necessarily a bad thing for him.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 09:35 AM:

I'm certain that after the war in Iraq, that Osama bin Laden will be reported to have close ties to either North Korea or Iran.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 09:40 AM:

Well, Bush's 2002 State of the Union speech certainly ensured that North Korea would immediately perceive that it's in their interest to get friendly with Al Qaeda in a big hurry.

I imagine Osama is already Customer #1 on the waiting list for North Korea's under-construction come-one, come-all nuclear-weapons supermarket.

Barry ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 01:48 PM:

And Iran. I doudt that Osama is #1 on that list, because it'd so clearly be suicide for Kim Il Jung.

Other countries, perhaps. But giving one to somebody who'd immediately use it on the US would be crazy.

If Al Qaida had used a (probably russian) nuke on NYC or DC on 9/11, we'd have probably retaliated with nuclear weapons on Iraq before the end of 9/12. Iran and N. Korea would be on the 'do by Friday' list. Even if the US government *knew* that a particular enemy state had nothing to do with it, it would be so easy to fire off some more nukes, and make the accusation afterwards.

Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2003, 11:13 PM:

Von Moltke's distinction of officer types applies pretty well, although even modulo his objectives Saddam is also an energetic idiot.

This does not apply to the Iranian or the North Koreans; they've both advanced very different entirely rational objectives.

Those are the interactions where I'd expect the current administration to have real problems.

Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2003, 12:03 AM:

I wouldn't be so sure about the generals being allowed to run the war. Everything I've read about Rumsfeld indicates that he's a micro-managing politico who gathers around him a special cadre of yes men. I'm very much afraid that some of our military actions will be done for very political reasons. Wasn't that one of the accusations about how the Vietnam War was run?

I'm scared, folks. Just thought I'd mention that.

Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2003, 04:53 PM:

This, from David Letterman, may give some rueful amusement:

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S TOP TEN HELPFUL INVASION TIPS:

10. -Don't- phone ahead.

9. Start with something easy -- like France.

8. Make sure everybody uses the rest room -before- your armored columns rumble across international borders.

7. Don't feed the raccoons at KOA campsites.

6. Nerve gas: Don't leave home without it.

5. If "Nightline" calls for an interview, make sure Ted Koppel's doing show, nor Forrest Sawyer.

4. Take along a gift for your host -- for example, a puppet regime.

3. Point out that people -liked- the British invasion of the '60s.

2. Plenty of change for tollbooths.

1. Don't just race through a country, take some time to stop and smell the goats.


Didn't catch this one on TV? You had to be watching in 1991. (Who says political jokes have a limited shelf-life?)