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 22, 2006


Here's an excerpt from a NY Review of Books article about Paul Bremer's book on Iraq:

Bremer says that Bush "was as vigorous and decisive in person as he appeared on television." But in fact he gives an account of a superficial and weak leader... In Bremer's account, the President was seriously interested in one issue: whether the leaders of the government that followed the CPA would publicly thank the United States. But there is no evidence that he cared about the specific questions that counted: Would the new prime minister have a broad base of support? Would he be able to bridge Iraq's ethnic divisions? What political values should he have? Instead, Bush had only one demand: "It's important to have someone who's willing to stand up and thank the American people for their sacrifice in liberating Iraq." According to Bremer, he came back to this single point three times in the same meeting. Similarly, Ghazi al-Yawar, an obscure Sunni Arab businessman, became Bush's candidate for president of Iraq's interim government because, as Bremer reports, Bush had "been favorably impressed with his open thanks to the Coalition."


Ah. Yes.

Yes, I see. Let me just adjust my throat and make preparations to scream at the top of my lungs, and then we can--


Truly, why bother with all the other nonsense, when the only real qualification for an Iraqi leader is how vigorously he can smooch George Bush's ass.

You know who I think would find this the most charming? Iraqis. Because, as today's news shows, Bush's wise, far-sighted strategy has really paid off for them.

Posted at February 22, 2006 06:03 PM | TrackBack

Ah, I see. "Thanking the American people for their sacrifice in liberating Iraq" = "smooching George Bush's ass". Thank you for clearing that up. I'm sure Dubya will be happy to learn that his ass and the American people are equivalents.

As far as whether Bush's strategy has paid off for the Iraqi people, at least they don't have to worry about being fed through a plastic shredder (feet first, of course) by one of Saddam's psychotic kids. Some people would count that a plus.

Posted by: Tim of Angle at February 22, 2006 06:34 PM

That's how Karzai got his job.

Posted by: Bob at February 22, 2006 07:48 PM

This is assuming of course rather optimistically that we could find ANY ONE who would publicly thank us for the hash we've made of their country.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe at February 22, 2006 10:45 PM

But, really, old boy, that's what was important at the frat house and at Skull & Bones at Yale: saying thank yew vedy much to the frat prexy or the social chairman or...
The rest is for the commoners, or those intense types who take stuff soooo seriously.

Posted by: donescobar at February 23, 2006 07:26 AM

When you are an instrument of God all you really need to do is go limp. Everything will take care of itself. Trying to actually "control" anything is just going to get in the way of God's mysterious plan which is far beyond human comprehension. All you can really do is hang a few balloons to make it look nice.

Posted by: Doug at February 23, 2006 11:29 AM

So, Doug, you're saying ED is submission to the will of God.
Who knew?

Posted by: donescobar at February 23, 2006 11:41 AM

"Hey Dad, can I borrow the democracy?"

*Grumble*"Yes, you can borrow the democracy. But you better fill up my tank."

"OK, Daddy."

"And don't leave the radio blaring that fundamentalist Islam dogma stuff - the neighbors might hear and get some bad ideas."

"Uh-huh. See ya, Dad!"

"And would a 'thank you' kill you? I mean, really!"

*Goes back to playing with little green army men.*"I'm such a great dad."

Posted by: Lame Man at February 23, 2006 11:54 AM

From an e-mail a bud sent me a couple of years ago:

Clinton's faults was many,
and Bush have only two:
everything he say,
and everything he do.


Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at February 23, 2006 01:23 PM

I keep reading this blog expecting to be thanked, but so far, nothing. Consider yourself on notice, Jon.

Posted by: Mike of Angle at February 23, 2006 02:26 PM

I see Tim of A., in one comment of only six sentences, managed to demonstrate exactly why this endeavor was doomed from the beginning.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 25, 2006 12:20 PM

What Tim of A seems to miss is that the majority of Americans didn't elect this administration into office, didn't choose to go to war, and don't support it. So when Bush says "the United States", he really just means the administration. And when he says, "the American people", he means, the administration.

I didn't sacrifice anything by him choosing to send thousands of American soldiers to their deaths, except my sanity. In fact, this administration has gone out of its way to make sure any day-to-day sacrifice of "the American people" (real, not imagined), is as little as perceivably possible.

Posted by: Pyrrho at February 26, 2006 10:41 AM

Ah, the old memes of the zombie set. I've been keeping a little collection. The context for the Bremer anecdote was a mini-fashion, in I think early 2004, among the Weekly Standard set, to say that the only thing wrong with Iraq was the fuckin' ingratitude of the people over there. They weren't thanking us! The rebel in chief's biographer, Fred Barnes, embedded himself in a military vehicle and took the neo-con vacation in Iraq (at that time, all the mongering set were driving around Iraq -- I think Mark Steyn started it) and wrote a big article for the WS which actually said "I was expecting a little gratitude" -- something close to that. No, let me go to Factiva. Ah, here it is: the bumpy road to democracy, 5 April 2004. It ends like this (evelyn waugh, in his darkest dreams, couldn't have come up with something as good as this in Scoop): "Should national unity prevail, Iraq's chances of becoming a stable democracy will improve dramatically. I'd like to see one other thing in Iraq, an outbreak of gratitude for the greatest act of benevolence one country has ever done for another. A grateful Iraqi heart would be a sign of a new Iraqi attitude and a signal of sure success."

Ah, Rebel in Chief and Rebel in Chief biographer -- one heart, one pulse, one narcissism!

Posted by: roger at February 26, 2006 03:40 PM