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July 7, 2005

Wouldn’t It Be Great
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 09:42 AM *

I see on the news this morning that there were multiple simultaneous explosions with multiple casualties in London, with an al Qaeda group claiming responsibiity.

Wouldn’t it be great if, after the 9/11 attacks, George W. had turned his attention to al Qaeda? We know that by that afternoon our pals Rumsfeld/Bush/Cheney were already planning to go to war with Iraq, with what results we’ve seen.

Wouldn’t it be great if, back in spring 2001 that George W. and Condi Rice had gotten serious about al Qaeda as Richard Clarke was urging?

Wouldn’t it be great if the right-wingers had let Bill Clinton go after al Qaeda when he wanted to rather than yell “Monica! Monica! Wag the dog!” every time he tried?

Wouldn’t it be great if someone in the US and British governments realized that al Qaeda was and is the threat?

You can’t fight a war against terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic: You’d have as much success fighting a war against ambushes, encirclements, and covering fire. You can fight a war against specific organized groups that use terrorism as a tactic.

Don’t you think it’s time we started?

Comments on Wouldn't It Be Great:
#1 ::: Bob ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:13 PM:

WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO TURN ON THE TV AND HEAR ANY U.S. PRESIDENT, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, GIVE THE FOLLOWING SPEECH?

My Fellow Americans: As you all know, the defeat of Iraq regime has been completed.

Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.
This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now time to begin the reckoning.


Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, and Poland are some of the countries listed there.

The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.

Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.

Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.

Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France , or maybe China

I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mes amis.

I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded, and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers, and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change.

Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put em? Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil

Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty - starting now.

We are tired of the one-way highway. Immediately, we'll be drilling for oil in Alaska - which will take care of this country's oil needs for decades to come. If you're an environmentalist who opposes this decision, I refer you to List 2 above: pick a country and move there. They care.

It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying, "darn tootin"
Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America. It is time to eliminate World Cup Soccer from America. To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you and we won't forget. To the nations on List 2, a final thought: You might want to learn to speak Arabic. God bless America. Thank you and good night. If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

#2 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:18 PM:

My goodness. Some people have been smoking the strong stuff today.

#3 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:26 PM:

Abi, that or reading some very strange reports.

Immediately, we'll be drilling for oil in Alaska - which will take care of this country's oil needs for decades to come.
Wishful thinking.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.
It might be an improvement if we were, instead of watching our leaders growing fat on corruption. (See 'Halliburton', 'KBR', 'Enron', and 'Abramoff', and note that they're all good buddies of Bush, Rove, and Cheney.)

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:26 PM:

This sounds like the utterings of an irreducible supporter of George, abi. I didn't know there were many of those left around. Even my Republican father-in-law is disgusted with the incompetence of the Boy Emperor who is so big on waging war as long as he doesn't get dirty.

#5 ::: Christopher B. Wright ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:27 PM:

This is what happens when you combine methamphetamines with internet access...

#6 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:32 PM:

I'm just uncertain whether to suggest an education (history - even basic US history, the economics of world trade, something like that), detox, or his very own bunker to retreat to.

After all, once he has excluded the rest of the world, he is unlikely to find his fellow Americans ideologically pure enough for his tastes for very long.

#7 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:38 PM:

This is what happens when you combine methamphetamines with internet access...

Intermeth?

#8 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:51 PM:

The thread is dated July 7, 2005 (very top of page).

The first post is "January 11, 2007, 04:13 PM:"

Am I missing something?

#9 ::: Christopher B. Wright ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:57 PM:

Well it's obviously comment spam... we were all sort of drawn in to the strangeness of it.

I wonder if it was designed to look for posts that matched the beginning of the first sentence (i.e., "Wouldn't it be great") in order to fool people into thinking it was an actual response...

#10 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 04:58 PM:

It does seem almost impossible that an entry on ML would go uncommented when originally posted. But that appears to be the case.

Would that it had remained so, if this is the alternative.

#11 ::: Christopher B. Wright ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:01 PM:

#10 - abi, I disagree. I found it extremely entertaining. Not in the same way the author intended, I'm guessing, but entertaining nonetheless...

#12 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:01 PM:

Having Googled, I see that this has been floating around the nutbar Intarweeb for some time now. The number of email forward > marks I see in many copies is telling.

#13 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:17 PM:

I've seen this one before. It's a loony right-wing meme, that's been around for a while.

Here's an early example of it.

I am in awe of the complete ignorance exhibited by the author.

#14 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:22 PM:

a loony right-wing meme

The word 'redundant' comes to mind, Fragano.

#15 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:39 PM:

Serge, I think that's a little excessive. There are valid, coherent worldviews in the right wing, for instance those that advocate a small and minimally interfering government. That's a political choice (with its own upsides and downsides), not a rejection of sanity.

I don't share it, but I don't consider people who do nutbars.

#16 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:45 PM:

Yeah, you're right, abi, but right now it is the loony faction that's on top. The reasonable right-wing people kept their mouth shut when it mattered most. When torture is up for a debate that shouldn't be happening, there's something wrong.

#17 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 05:53 PM:

So they have been overly tribal. What if the left went off its own particular deep end - would you immediately buddy up to the elephant?

Overly tribal and willfully deaf is not the same as nutty as fruitcake with a low weasel content. I can work with the former, if I haven't insulted them into the ground. The latter? Hand me the Velveeta and stand well back...

#18 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 06:03 PM:

Deep-fried with Velveeta, abi? Or charcoal-grilled with cheesy sauce?

#19 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 06:04 PM:

I think perhaps this post was withdrawn but not deleted, and the spambot found it.

Bob, you're a lsr, n dt, nd stpd rght-wng rslckng mthrfckr.

There. Let's see if he posts in response to THAT.

#20 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 06:05 PM:

Actually, abi, a Republican taking a stand against torture would not have been buddying to the donkey. He would have been standing up for what America is supposed to stand for. As for insulting people into the ground... Since 9/11, their side has been calling us degenerates, traitors, and advocating the assassination of those holding the views that are dear to us. I'm not feeling particularly generous. Still, when my father-in-law started talking politics during Xmas, and agreeing that Bush is an idiot, and that we should never have gone to war in Iraq, and that the war's architects are incompetents, I did not say "I told you so." All this being said, I do hope I will have the moral fiber that I currently require from the reasonable Republicans if ever my side goes off the deep end. I don't see us going off that deep end. Still, I hope I'd do what I expect from others.

#21 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 06:40 PM:

In today's polarised political climate, I could see where a Republican might avoid taking a stand against torture specifically to avoid any donkey-lover accusations.

So if "they" (for any value of "they" you choose) have been behaving like spoiled five year olds (and I put all namecalling in that class), does that make it OK for us to throw ourselves on the ground and howl?

Why does everyone want me to be angry all the time? It really hacks me off sometimes. (joke)

#22 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 07:14 PM:

Thats... wow. It makes sense that an isolationist rant would be blindly americo-centric (is that a word?) but you have to have such a short memory that you forget the word "Afghanistan". Where the NATO ISAF* right now has French, German, Canadian and many other nations' troops.

I'll resist saying anything about the advisability of severing diplomatic relations. No I will. No, really.


* Since it's the 21st century it shouldn't have suprised me that the ISAF has it's own website.

#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 08:07 PM:

abi... Yeah, I know, being angry all the time is no fun. I did enough of that for a good part of my life and sometimes the old habits come back.

#24 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 08:49 PM:

Serge #14: There's a difference between a principled conservative, with whom I disagree on matters of principle, but who accepts the basic premises of free speech, civilised discussion, and so on, and a right-wing loony. The above idiocy is so far into nutbar territory that I wonder if the author wears a colander.

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 08:53 PM:

Sometimes, Fragano, I wonder if persons like that are for real, or if they put this stuff out just to watch us left-wing types take the bait and blow our tops. (My apologies for the mixed metaphors.)

#26 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 09:02 PM:

Serge #25: You could well be right. I think it may have been a 'bot, however.

#27 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 09:28 PM:

While I believe that being angry all the time is bad, I'm very glad I'm angry right now. It's the only thing keeping me from wanting to die.

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 09:55 PM:

What's going on, Xopher?

#29 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 10:11 PM:

Boy trouble. I'm not ready to discuss it. But thanks for asking.

#30 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 10:15 PM:

That's the least I can do, Xopher.

#31 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 10:58 PM:

Hope it works out.

A friend of mine was having very great work difficulties caused by co-workers who wanted to "get the fat fag fired." He works for a financial services company where any employee / department can have a surveillance camera on at any time, it's a matter-of-fact part of being employed there.

Fellow employees were so mean about him that management decided to turn on the cameras in his department/around his workstation.

Result: My friend was always doing his job (and he ain't fat anymore, thanks to Weight Watchers and continuning vigilance, he is quite buff-looking). And his coworkers whose complaints about him had caused the surveillance, including his supervisor, were video taped screwing off. And they have been having manditory overtime. Makes the bad folks look especially foolish....

#32 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 11:20 PM:

My nominee for most amusing misstatement in the post: foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

From what I've heard, this is somewhere between a common delusion and a common lie. Actual grants -- money that we don't expect to come back out the way it went in -- is certainly under $100 billion/yr (today's quote of what the Pentagon is asking for Iraq next year), and IIRC closer to $10 billion -- and most of that is not freely spendable, but is supposed to be used to buy US products, so cutting foreign would do more to slow our economy down than to save money.

#33 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 11:25 PM:

Paula... What town was this in and how long ago?

#34 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 12:23 AM:

What town was this in and how long ago?

Just because it's there, I'm gonna toss a dart at the board and see if I'm close:

Raleigh. last year.

#35 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 04:17 AM:

Am I slow for not understanding what in the good grief happened with this post and this comment and the dates and the confusing and I should just go to bed. Question mark?

#36 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 04:47 AM:

ethan @35:
The posting attracted no comments when originally created. I suspect this is because all of the London bombing discussion went on in the subsequent thread, which was posted shortly after this one.

Then, yesterday, a driveby wingnut, or a wingbot (it is uncertain which) posted a C&P nutcase rant.

Astonishingly for this crowd of near-Trappists, this appears to have occasioned a discussion. Who would have thought?

Sleep well.

Xopher @29:
I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy. If/when you need sympathetic ears, you know we're here for you.

#37 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 05:27 AM:

It occurs to me that we're still missing one crucial component in this thread. I'm afraid I'm not up to original composition this morning (too much to do around the house, plus a kid with croup), so let me post the inevitable:

This is Just to Say
I offended
the allies
that were in
NATO

and which
you were probably
saving
for a real threat

I forgive me
they were foreign
so strange
and so free.

#38 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 06:17 AM:

abi, that's wonderful! Well, it isn't wonderful, but it is brilliant, if you know what I mean.

#39 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 06:35 AM:

abi: I like it.

The whole Bob post strikes me as coming from that innocent state in which you still believe that your parents are all-powerful and all-knowing.

It's a terrible moment in childhood when you find out that this isn't true - when you find in adolescence that, instead of your father pulling his squash game to give you a chance, you're pulling yours for his sake; or when, as a child, you run up against the limits of your parents' knowledge of science, and find you can go beyond them. It's part of growing up, but it also leaves you (or at any rate it left me) with the queasy sense of "who the hell is running this ship, then? Ordinary people? Like me?"

The only other moment that comes close to it is when you realise for the first time that, to your pupils, or the trainees you're in charge of, or the recruits you're instructing, or even your own kids, you are now The Wise Old Man. And they're expecting you to know it all, because you aren't at the bottom of the chain now - you're at the top.

To quote my favourite tag again: "Nescio, me fili, quo parvo sapientia mundus regnatur". Little do you know, O my son, with what a small store of wisdom the world is governed.

Bob, and the other Bobs, haven't really hit that stage yet - to them Father is still all-powerful, superhuman, and omniscient. He hasn't worked out that they call him Uncle Sam because he isn't your father or your mother.

#40 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 06:58 AM:

The only other moment that comes close to it is when you realise for the first time that, to your pupils...you are now The Wise Old [Wo]Man.

This is a true statement. The whole of the Cthulhu mythos has no moment of existential horror to equal it.

#41 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 08:29 AM:

Well, abi, you have inspired your Muse (that thing works both ways):

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
George, many dead,
Thanks to you.

#42 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 08:56 AM:

TexAnne: quite.

But it would be even worse if I realised my pupils regarded me as The Wise Old Woman. "My Lord, they're even duller and less observant than I thought!"

(Using terms like "father", "wise old man" etc because I'm talking about my own experience. Alter as necessary to suit.)

#43 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 09:33 AM:

Abi (37): That says everything that I wanted but much better. If only it didn't take me three days to write any poetry that isn't a limerick.

Looking at Bob's comment, I can't help thinking that whoever wrote this feels that the rest the world needs America more than than America needs the rest of the world. This may be true, but that doesn't mean America doesn't need the rest of the world.

#44 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 10:20 AM:

Earliest copy of Bob's message that I can find easily is from 2 April 2003, a few weeks after the U.S. and allies invaded Iraq. It appears to be attributed to "Earl Roe, SGM, USA (RET) in Michigan," but possibly Sergeant Major Roe merely passed the essay along. One wonders if it is this Earl Roe.

There are 200 hits in Google Groups and 716 hits in a Google search of the Web for the short phrase I searched on.

#45 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 10:35 AM:

Paula Helm Murray@31: My friend was always doing his job (and he ain't fat anymore,

I'm puzzled. Did his weight have something to do with his ability to do his job? I understand that his coworkers were using his weight to put him down, but if we don't accept that a person's weight has anything to do with job performance or character, why does it matter what his weight is now?

#46 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 11:12 AM:

Neil @43
On a good day, with a following wind, I can do a sonnet in 13 minutes (Note that a good sonnet takes longer). But if I have kids talking at me (as today), I just pastiche the greats.

#47 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 11:24 AM:

Serge, here in KC, last month or so to present. Like I said, it's a financial services company (one of the nation's largest), they handle payrolls, and a wide range of other such things. They let employees know up front that cameras can be on without the employees knowing.

And Aconite, they were just being abusive and attributing weight to being lazy. Which is stupid. Just like saying "any attribute" = lazy.

#48 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 01:03 PM:

ajay, 42: Indeed, that's why I changed it to "woman" in my case. There's no possible way I could be mistaken for a Wise Old Man. (Granny Weatherwax, though, there's a role model!)

#49 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 01:06 PM:

Cameras in the work place... Is this a fairly common thing, Paula? My employer has the usual cameras in the lobby, but not elsewhere, although it may have different rules in other states.

#50 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 01:07 PM:

TexAnne... If I tried thinking of myself as a Wise Old Man, my wife would immediately correct me. 'Old Fart' is ok though.

#51 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 01:32 PM:

That thing "Bob" posted is an old "send this to everyone you know" e-mail that's been on the 'net for years.

I thought about doing a line-by-line on it (as we have on other wingnut e-mails) the first time I saw it.

It's fair game.

#52 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 01:53 PM:

Incidentally, "Bob" (who gave as his email address "Gitmo@yahoo.com" (and wouldn't it be great if the folks who approve of the prison camp at Gitmo got sent there as prisoners?)) posted from 68.100.193.231 (ip68-100-193-231.dc.dc.cox.net).

One of our astroturfers, earning his pay.

I think one reason they're bringing back this chestnut is because Bushie-boy is in trouble -- his speech Wednesday didn't even play at Ft. Benning.

#53 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 02:28 PM:

abi #36: Thanks. I may rant at some point.

ajay #39:Nescio, me fili, quo parvo sapientia mundus regnatur

Nescio,
Sed fieri sentio,
Et excrucior.

#54 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 02:46 PM:

Jim, this post at Daily Kos also says the troops who got to be at the meal with Shrub were ordered not to talk about it, besides the lack of joy at the speech. (The folks who are already in Iraq aren't exactly thrilled, either.)

#55 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 05:28 AM:

ajay@39: You're garbling that tag a little. It should be Nescis, mi fili, qua parva sapientia.... Although I went googling and saw a lot of people quoting it as quantilla sapientia.

#56 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 08:09 AM:

P J@54, that post appears to be gone.

#57 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 10:08 AM:

Aconite, they move things off the front page pretty fast. It was up yesterday, however; I think it was by Hunter. (Figuring out how to find things that aren't on the front page, or in the sidebar, is beyond me.)

#58 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 10:27 AM:

Ah, it hasn't dropped off their front page just yet:

Kicking A Dead Horse
by BarbinMD
Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 10:03:05 AM PST

#59 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 01:32 PM:

P J, your original link @54 somehow picked up a 'D' at the end of the URL; otherwise, it would have worked (you can click on the link, and backspace over the 'D' in your browser's address field to get to the story).

#60 ::: Anticorium ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 05:39 AM:

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change.

I'm glad Bob was taking bad drugs on 9/11 and not, say, running Transport Canada. I shudder to think of how much higher the death toll would have been if the fine folks at Gander International Airport hadn't said "What's that? Dozens of potential flying bombs that the United States can't possibly allow into their airspace because any of them could be full of suicidal terrorists just waiting to turn whatever civilian targets they can into piles of rubble punctuated by jet-fuel fires? Of course we'll let them land here! Plenty of room. We'll just have Molly run to the Sobeys for some more tea."

#61 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 07:05 AM:

Being a citizen of a country that appeared on list one, may I say how much better this makes me feel. Not.

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

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