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March 27, 2010

Democracy Whiskey Sexy Etc.


Secularist challenger Iyad Allawi's coalition won the most seats in Iraq's election, according to preliminary results on Friday...

From a 2005 New Yorker article about Allawi:

[T]here have been persistent rumors that [in 2004] Allawi shot and killed several terrorist suspects being held prisoner at a Baghdad police station. When reporters asked him about the rumors, Allawi denied that he had shot anyone, but added that he would do “everything necessary” to protect Iraqis...

In late June, however, I sat in on an interview, conducted by Paul McGeough, a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, of a man who claimed to have witnessed the executions. He described how Allawi had been taken to seven suspects, who were made to stand against a wall in a courtyard of the police station, their faces covered. After being told of their alleged crimes by a police official, Allawi had asked for a pistol, and then shot each prisoner in the head. Afterward, the witness said, Allawi had declared to those present, “This is how we must deal with the terrorists.” The witness said that he approved of Allawi’s act, adding that, in any case, the terrorists were better off dead, for they had been tortured for days.

In the ensuing months, the story has lingered, never having been either fully confirmed or convincingly denied. (Allawi did not address the incident with me.) During my visit to Jordan, a well-known former government minister told me that an American official had confirmed that the killings took place, saying to him, “What a mess we’re in—we got rid of one son of a bitch only to get another.”

Mission accomplished.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 27, 2010 07:19 AM

Well, after all, they were "the terrorists."

God Bless Us -- Every One Of Us.

Posted by: john at March 27, 2010 02:26 PM

We only hate gang bosses who don't belong to, or don't give due respect to the international club of bosses.

Posted by: Cloud at March 27, 2010 02:43 PM

Tangential to this post, this BBC story from a few weeks back is interesting:

Six years after the intense fighting began in the Iraqi town of Fallujah between US forces and Sunni insurgents, there is a disturbingly large number of cases of birth defects in the town.... ...

The [Iraqi doctors] were well aware that what they said went against the government version, and we were told privately that the Iraqi authorities are anxious not to embarrass the Americans over the issue...

We heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children...One photograph I saw showed a newborn baby with three heads.

Which reminds me of this Kagan quote from last year:

If anyone has seen pictures of Ramadi or Fallujah, they looked like Stalingrad. Not a single building standing. Streets filled with rubble. Cities absolutely crushed... The interesting thing is that when we were fighting those battles and doing that damage, on the whole the Iraqis were not bitching about collateral damage...

For good or ill, Iraqis expect to fight in their cities...the Iraqis don’t on the whole say “darn it, you shouldn’t have blown up all of our houses.” They sort of accept that.

Lucky for us the Iraqis expect and accept three headed kids.

Posted by: Carl at March 27, 2010 03:25 PM

The schwarzian recognition of hypocrisy has not dimmed.

Carl's comment reminds me that I haven't heard much about depleted uranium in a while, or white phosphorus, or for that matter anything else nasty that the military has been using. I guess they must have stopped all that. It doesn't even seem like you can counton the military to be homophobic these days.

Last night I watched The Hurt Locker, which was suspenseful and I thought quite good, though watching that movie wouldn't really give you much of a sense that the United States invaded Iraq and killed a million or so Iraqis and counting. Other than that, it was really good.

Posted by: N E at March 27, 2010 05:20 PM

Sadrists have won election seats too,however:

Posted by: Jenny at March 27, 2010 08:50 PM

Given America's thug-of-choice did better than expected by picking up a lot of Sunni votes, it seems Maliki really shot himself in the foot by supporting the ban on those Sunni "ex-Baathist" candidates.

According to Cockburn at the above link, it's unlikely Allawi will ever be PM, so it's not really a victory* for the US (or, for that matter, the Saudis). It'll be Maliki's party without Maliki, plus a strong dash of the Sadrists.

* yeah, I know you were being ironic. But Allawi's been America's boy ever since it started to look like Chalabi was an Iranian agent of influence, so if he did end up leader the US would be most pleased.

Posted by: weaver at March 27, 2010 09:35 PM

Hey, Grover Cleveland PERSONALLY hanged two murderers while he was Sheriff of Erie County!

Posted by: En Ming Hee at March 27, 2010 09:49 PM

Teddie Roosevelt enjoyed talking about a Spaniard he shot and killed in Cuba. True to his character, he delighted in the stories, including to dinner guests.

As for poor old Grover Cleveland (the President with the best name hands down),the New york Times reported a century ago that The Buffalo Hangman refused to impose the "obnoxious and degrading task" of executing a convicted murderer, and after he performed the task himself he had the decency to be sick for several days. He certainly was never heard to boast of having killed a man, and he didn't start any wars.

Posted by: N E at March 27, 2010 10:38 PM

This leaked CIA memo is about Afghanistan, not Iraq, but it is very much to the point of working to maintain the Mission (Being) Accomplished / Democracy—Fuck Yeah! façade:

Posted by: Cloud at March 27, 2010 11:15 PM

Yeah, but he's our son of a bitch.

Posted by: Jimbo at March 29, 2010 07:46 PM