fisking gene collier
if you don't live in pittsburgh, you've probably never heard of gene collier. he's a sports commentator and columnist for the local fishwrapper, the post-gazette. he's also a far, far left raving moonbat, and when he isn't busy misreporting local sports, he's misrepresenting international politics.
his column is, laughably, not published in the editorial section (then they might not have room for maureen dowd...who am i kidding, safire'd be the first to go), rather, it is published in the "lifestyle" section, presumably because...well, i really have no idea why. every once in a while he writes about something other than how stupid bush is, but it's rare and generally uninteresting when he does.
so, since i'm assuming nobody else out there reads this guy, i'm making it my duty to respond to what he has to say, because he consistently pisses me off so freaking bad, somebody's gotta do it.
this week, the title is "Bush I's book warned of misadventure"
There exists a perfectly instructive metaphor for the fast-festering Iraq misadventure, but unfortunately, it's in a book, and thus pretty much worthless to an administration that doesn't read much. No books (unless authored by departed staffers), no newspapers, not even reports written by its own people.
The Bush White House is a homework-free zone, where no one is accountable and everybody gets a daily gold star regardless of the actual degree of his or her dereliction.
getting warmed up...i only included this silly disguised ad hominem attack as a sample of the way ol' gene thinks (or, rather, dosen't). it is, of course, elementary to point out that gene has no idea how much the president reads, although in a speech he did admit he didn't read any of the recent books bashing him, he probably had other stuff to do, like, i don't know, running the country or something, that may have trumped al franken's book.
Headmaster Dubya, following a long weekend of devastating abuse allegations against the American military, even started the week by proclaiming that Secretary of Offense Donald Rumseld was doing "a superb job."
for a better rebuttal of that i point you to the recent vdh column
(which of course i got via the llamas
). but suffice it to say that the "secretary of offense" has supervised two wars, or really two major battles in the same war, with such grace in minimizing collateral damage while effectively destroying the enemy that he is considered by many to be the single best sec def in many years.
But as Dubya himself might ask, "Is our children learning?"
On Page 473 of a highly illuminating volume titled "A World Transformed," the authors -- Dubya's father, an actual elected president, and his national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft -- describe the tension endemic to a White House in the thick of the first Gulf War, Feb. 18, 1991:
well, at least he acknowledges bush 1 was elected, although i'm sure ten years ago he was bitching about the vrwc's manipulation of the people to get him in.
he then goes on to relate an anecdote of a fire in the white house as being comprable to the current situation in iraq, but it's boring and not terribly relevant so i'm cutting it out.
...but what if he'd read from the middle of Page 489?
"Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq . . . would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different -- and perhaps barren -- outcome."
well, this pretty much sums up the picture of iraq for someone that gets their news exclusively from cnn. however, neverminding the fact that our military and the world have changed from the time that bush 1 was in office, and taking the points one at a time, the coalition hasn't "instantly deserted" us, there's still plenty of international troops there. no french, germans, russian, or spanish, but last time i checked the definition of "coalition" wasn't "must have the french".
and once again, the "precedent of international response to aggresion" becomes somewhat useless when the international community insists on allowing themselves to be the subjects of aggression and violence. eventually, say after 12 years or so, somebody has to take a stand.
Maybe Dubya actually read "A World Transformed," and maybe he even got to Page 491, where his father and Scowcroft explain of the first Gulf War, "in international terms, we tried to establish a model for the use of force. First and foremost was the principle that aggression cannot pay."
But I doubt it. He's more likely to read books about Joe DiMaggio. Even if he had read his father's book, he'd tell you it doesn't matter because everything changed on Sept. 11, and even if he were disposed to seek the counsel of a dedicated internationalist like his father, he'd tell you he's more likely to take his instruction from "a higher authority."
In this climate, reading is anything but fundamental.
i don't really have to respond much to this, because he dosen't say much. he just simply excerpts a quote, and then goes on to more name calling. but the fundamental issue is that 9/11 did
change everything. it proved that sitting back and waiting for our enemies to come to us, witholding our aggression from people that we know are plotting against us, is a really, really dumb way to go about conducting business, because under that policy things like 9/11 happen.
So it isn't that hard to imagine Rumsfeld, called onto the carpet last Friday to explain the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at American hands, saying that he hadn't read a report prepared by the Army in February outlining exactly those atrocities. Nor is it hard to imagine Gen. Richard Myers telling the same Senate panel that he hadn't read it either, and that it was "working its way up" to him.
and once again, maybe rumsfeld and myers have better things to do, like, maybe run a war and try to keep americans alive. but it was my understanding that rumsfeld had read the report, and was in trouble for not presenting it to the president. at least, that's what my leftie buddies tell me.
but if he hadn't read it, if it hadn't been given to him, and was still "working its way up to him", then i would say that that pretty much completely exonerates him, right? he can't be fired over something he was never told about, so thanks for the argument, anyway, gene.
And it's not surprising at all to have Dubya continue to call Red Cross-documented abuses "the wrongdoing of a few," when the Army report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba not only says that the international conventions-flouting Guantanamo Bay interrogation protocols were adopted by the American military in Iraq, and thus the "softening up" of prisoners for questioning by intelligence officials was "systemic."
again, don't have to say much, except "softening up" != dragging naked prisoners around on a leash. i'm sure that the prisoners at gitmo aren't exactly living the easy life, but systemically making life difficult on them in order to make them not want to be there anymore, and therefore provide better information, does not mean that they went to the level of abuse that has been exhibited at grabanarab prison. "softening up" prisoners may mean that they don't get their daily ration of goat milk for a week after misbehaving. the point being, i don't know what went on, and neither does gene, but assuming the absolute worst of our soldiers and our policies there is not only "systemic" among the left, it is an incorrect way to approach the situation.
Is it possible to lose an election due to poor reading habits?
Yes, but luckily for Dubya, much of the public suffers from the same thing.
and, finally, a little stab at the stupid, ignorant readership among the "public". notice he does not specify conservatives, but means all of you ignorant fools out there, you are all so much dumber then he, because he reads alot.
guess what, gene, i read alot too, but i also live my life in the real world, and i know what is going to keep me safe and give me a better life. and it ain't you, or your system of thought.
for the original article, go here
, and if you want to read more of his madness, go here
, i reccomend the articles titled "bush is also wagin a war on science" and "it's time for the president to play the 'name the names' game", among many, many others.