You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

February 05, 2006

Who Is This "George Orwell" Of Whom You Speak?

Perhaps you've heard of Iraq's Wolf Brigade. Working closely with the U.S., they're loved by many Shiites, and feared by many Sunnis. Some call them a sectarian death squad notorious for brutal torture. Others call them "highly motivated."

In any case, someone's decided "Wolf Brigade" didn't have quite the right ring to it. As Glen Rangwala noticed while reading a Pentagon publication, they've now been renamed the "Freedom Brigade":

There's still one problem, however. Here's a report from Amnesty International:

The men described to the lawyer how they suffered systematic torture for 27 days while being held by the Wolf Brigade in a Ministry of Interior building in the district of al-Ziyouna in Baghdad. They claimed that they were beaten with cables, received electric shocks to the hands, wrists, fingers, ankles and feet, received cigarette burns to the face, and were left in a room with water on the floor while an electric current was applied to the water.

I'm sure you've thinking what I'm thinking: the Freedom Brigade name change is a good start, but there can be no genuine democracy in Iraq until the Ministry of Interior is renamed the Ministry of Love.

Posted at February 5, 2006 03:43 PM | TrackBack

At first glance, I thought they had renamed it "The Franken Brigade."

Posted by: Mike G at February 5, 2006 06:39 PM

No geunuine democracy, if it is even possible, will happen until the US is out of there.

Posted by: oldguy at February 5, 2006 10:53 PM

I want to object to the implied badmouthing of wolves . . what, current events cause the brain to short circuit into absurdity? Nah. . .

Posted by: Saheli at February 6, 2006 01:06 AM

Oh, yes, "1984" is so prophetic about the rape of language to suit political ends, it's scary. W. and his henchmen are adept at this and so are the boobs who mouth "fighting for our freedom" and all the other meaningless jargon that kill thought. Are kids still taught about Orwell in school? They should get the message: Question, question, question...

Posted by: mimi at February 6, 2006 05:27 AM

Good idea, but it's been done. Why do we have to keep reinventing the waterboard?

During our crusade for freedom in Latin America, a contra (as in "The contras are the equivalent of America's Founding Fathers" - R. Reagan) group called itself the Jeane Kirkpatrick Brigade in honor of our ambassador to the UN who never met a junta she didn't like. So while a "Freedom Brigade" that torures people is to be expected, they might try showing a bit more imagination, using names like "Wits o' Wolf," "Negropontoons," or "Bush's Glowsticks."

Posted by: Tirebiter in Sector R at February 6, 2006 08:38 AM

I can't believe how much Freedom is on the march!

The Freedom Brigade will surely provide the Sunnis with Freedoms that they don't even know they are missing. Freedom from the crushing burden of life itself. Freedom from fear - that quickening of the pulse will no longer happen when you don't actually have a pulse! Freedom from existential questions like "why are we here?" - those dark, restless nights will be over, replaced by a restful, eternal peace.

March, Freedom, march!

Posted by: Lame Man at February 6, 2006 09:34 AM

Because my name - Ochoa - comes from "Otsoa", which means "wolf" in the Euzkadi (Basque) language, I cannot stop howling with laughter.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at February 6, 2006 05:13 PM