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November 22, 2004
Everything Is So Cheap When YOU Pay For It!
The American press corps has many members who specialize in frothing, terrifying nincompoopery. But perhaps the nincompooperest is Ralph Peters of the New York Post. When Mr. Peters in on the case, you know any situation will be resolved -- resolved with massive firepower. In fact, if Peters has his way, not only will the situation be blown up, so will the table on which the situation was sitting, plus the house the situation was in, plus if at all possible the town, country and planet where the situation was located.
Here are some of his latest words of foamy-mouthed wisdom:
We need to demonstrate that the United States military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price. Most of Fallujah's residents -- those who wish to live in peace -- have already fled. Those who remain have made their choice. We need to pursue the terrorists remorselessly.
There are several wonderful aspects of this.
First, note his fervor about showing the US military can't be deterred. I suspect this was the REAL fear about Saddam Hussein ever getting WMD... not that Saddam would use them on us in a first strike, but that they would allow him to deter us from doing whatever the hell we wanted in the mideast. There is a worldview embedded deep, deep in American consciousness that goes like this: we must be allowed to attack any country on earth. If anyone resists, they are vicious, mindless scum whom we can destroy without compunction.
Second, I'm glad to know "those who remain have made their choice," since we prevented men aged 15 to 55 from leaving Fallujah. I guess the choice they made was to be 15-55 year-old men. Too bad they didn't choose to be three year-old girls, or they would have been home free.
Finally, I enjoy the concept that "widespread destruction" in Iraq is a price "we" pay. This is probably a surprise to Iraqis, who may be under the impression this is a price they're paying. This is another thing deeply embedded in America consciousness -- that we may cause others to die, gosh darn it, but we're the ones who really suffer. Compare to this famous 1996 exchange on 60 Minutes:
LESLIE STAHL: We have heard that half a million children have died [in Iraq due to sanctions]. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it.
You know, it's been a very hard choice for me to use your money to buy myself nineteen mansions and a Porshe carved from one huge diamond. But the price -- I think the price is worth it.
UPDATE: Here's another excellent part of the Peters column:
Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it. We need to demonstrate our strength of will to the world.
Yes... if we can demonstrate our strength of will in this way, well, what can I say? It would be a real triumph. Maybe a talented female director could even make a black and white documentary about this triumph. But what would we call it? Does anyone have any good ideas?Posted at November 22, 2004 09:33 PM | TrackBack