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

November 25, 2006

The Salvador Option

Britain's Channel 4 has run a long reporting piece about Iraq's Shia death squads, available here.

As you watch it, remember this was in fact planned by the U.S. as the Salvador Option:

"The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving to the terrorists," [a military source] said. "From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation."

Also remember Dick Cheney's endorsement of the Salvador Option for Iraq during the 2004 Vice Presidential debate:

Twenty years ago we had a similar situation in El Salvador. We had -- guerrilla insurgency controlled roughly a third of the country, 75,000 people dead, and we held free elections. I was there as an observer on behalf of the Congress...

The power of that concept is enormous. And it will apply in Afghanistan, and it will apply as well in Iraq.

Posted at November 25, 2006 01:13 PM | TrackBack

Just remember: When the next hole in NYC's skyline opens up, They hate us because They don't know how good We are.

Posted by: Lloyd at November 25, 2006 05:24 PM

What was it Jean-Paul Sartre said?

A victory described in detail is indistinguishable from a defeat.

Posted by: sk at November 25, 2006 06:05 PM

Cheney's presence in El Salvador as an observer brought success there. So he needs to be on the ground in Iraq, in the Anbar province, so he can straighten things out in Iraq. The solution has been obvious this whole time!

Posted by: MarcLord at November 25, 2006 08:39 PM

I keep hearing that all the supposedly smart people are saying that the US can either "Go Big, or Go Long, or Go Home."

I imagine they will do all three of these things, and we'll be in there until early 2010 or so. And all the US will accomplish is a drawing-out of the civil war that is supposedly not going on, the one we're supposedly preventing by staying.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at November 26, 2006 10:35 AM

Jonathan Chait in the LA Times advocates a return of Saddam to power.

The beauty about punditry is that it never leaves any truly asinine idea unloved.

Give the war a few more months, and we'll be able to write the World's Finest Encyclopedia of Stupidity by simply stapling US newspaper columns together.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at November 26, 2006 08:47 PM

The link didn't work. Here it is:

Posted by: hedgehog at November 27, 2006 12:40 AM

Chait's record as an idea man remains unmarred.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at November 27, 2006 07:27 AM

I don't quite follow you, Jonathan. I know what happened in El Salvador, and we've seen what the US has accomplished in Iraq. But Cheney was clearly referring to "free elections," not to unleashing Shia militias on Sunnis. How do you get from A to B?

Also, would a military source really know anything about using death squads to alter "political equations"? I know they trained them in South America, but Negroponte is not a military man. Wouldn't it be the politicals who scheme to turn the militias loose?

Posted by: at November 28, 2006 09:41 AM