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Stay the course in Klendathu

Yesterday I learned via Mad Kane that Bush has been evacuated to safety.  Then while I was driving down to DC yesterday afternoon, I caught Bush’s speech in San Diego on C-Span radio—every second of it.  So now it appears that our mission in Iraq is just like our mission in World War II—and our “reconstruction” of Iraq is just like our reconstruction of Imperial Japan.  They were evil, we defeated ‘em, we rebuilt their country, and now they’re one of our closest allies.  Well, I’m no military theorist, but this sounds like a pretty solid analogy to me, except for the “rebuilding” part and the “ally” part.  And I’m no historian, but I don’t remember any entrenched Japanese insurgency that targeted the domestic security forces-in-training who were working with or for Americans, and I haven’t been able to Google any Japanese clerics who demanded that the constitution for postwar Japan be written in accordance with Islamic law.  I’m still trying to figure out who the Japanese equivalent of the Kurds might be, too.  Any help?

Actually, I don’t think the Japan thing is going to work.  For one thing, I’m not sure it’s a good idea for Bush to draw parallels with past American military operations in east Asia and the Pacific.  You never know—people might get confused, and start thinking about Vietnam or the Philippines instead of Japan.  (Especially when the President is speaking in San Diego, where, you’ll remember, he seemed to suggest that major combat operations were over two and a half years ago, though I suppose it all depends on what the meaning of “over” is.) For another thing, the premise of the analogy is reality-based (insofar as it appeals to actual historical events), and reality-based politics has never been Bush’s strong suit.

So I think the Bush Administration is making the wrong kind of appeal altogether.  Instead, as Rox Populi and I agreed last night, Bush should be telling his supporters that the situation in Iraq is just like Starship Troopers: the enemy threatens our very way of life.  We’re fighting the aliens over there so that we don’t have to fight them here.  Containment didn’t work, and we can’t go back to the pre-Buenos Aires mindset.  It’s a hard fight against a determined enemy but we will prevail.  Sign up now and you may get to serve alongside Denise Richards.  And don’t forget—we’ve already caught the brain!

Not only would this strategy take the heat off the WW2 analogy—it would also help prepare Americans for what will surely be the Bush/Cheney alternative to the draft.  Service guarantees citizenship!

Would you like to know more?

Posted by on 08/31 at 09:08 AM
  1. Another advantage of the Starship Troopers parallel over WWII: the whole “showers” thing is much more pleasant.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  08/31  at  10:21 AM
  2. Although Doogie Howser as neocon is very disturbing at its base.

    Posted by Roxanne  on  08/31  at  10:23 AM
  3. Please, mighty explainer of the Great Moron, give us more.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  10:55 AM
  4. Kurds...Ainu?

    OK, I’ve done my stretching and can go for a run now.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  11:00 AM
  5. Best part of Bush’s WWII analogy: comparing kamikazi pilots to suicide bombers!  That, and the truly demented,, Patton-esque phrase “eyes sparkling with victory.”

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  11:05 AM
  6. Nice post!  Thanks for linking my Bush parody page

    Posted by Mad Kane  on  08/31  at  11:45 AM
  7. Well, all of that’s technically true, but I don’t think that even Zarqawi has ever shot low Earth orbit anti-aircraft plasma balls out of his ass.

    Also, look at the downside: Jake Busey. Who says all byproducts of Gary Busey and a horse are stillborn?

    Posted by norbizness  on  08/31  at  11:59 AM
  8. I don’t think that even Zarqawi has ever shot low Earth orbit anti-aircraft plasma balls out of his ass.

    Oh, and I suppose you have this on the word of Michael Moore, Mr. Norbizness?  The President has repeatedly said that the enemy attacked us, and that’s good enough for me.  Where exactly that first meteor came from is not my concern.  And even if the President was mistaken when he claimed that Saddam, in cahoots with Zarqawi and bin Laden, was developing ass-launched low-Earth-orbit anti-aircraft plasma balls (or perhaps an “ass-launched low-Earth-orbit anti-aircraft plasma ball weapons program"), it doesn’t matter, because everybody else in 2002 looked at the same intelligence the President had cooked reviewed and came to the same conclusion:  Klendathu was an imminent threat.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/31  at  12:30 PM
  9. History and fantasy twist around this our most twisted president like some double helix from hell.  Boy president, boy who cried wolf once too often, boy whose dog ate his homework, boy when will this all end?  I wish I was at the movies and this was all Starship Troopers and even if I was up there on the screen alongside Denise Richards, I know that it would end.  When will this delusion with Bush all ever end?

    Posted by The Heretik  on  08/31  at  12:49 PM
  10. Would it kill you guys to make analogies to movies that are over twenty-five years old once in a while, so I could play too?

    Posted by Doghouse Riley  on  08/31  at  12:52 PM
  11. On a less serious note, he did drop these tasty tidbits into his speech, suddenly and inexplicably mentioning something actually honest about the original intention of invading Iraq.  Damn, he was doing so well avoiding saying anything about oil too.  But weren’t the Troopers assigned to protect the resources of the insectoids, and safeguard the technology for the “dominion forces?” And of course Japan had all that sushi we wanted, not to mention cool cars and way awesome electronics.

    {from AP}tongue winkresident Bush on Tuesday answered growing anti-war protests with a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country’s vast oil fields that he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.  Bush said the Iraqi oil industry, already suffering from sabotage and lost revenues, must not fall under the control of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  “If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks.” “They’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  12:53 PM
  12. spyder has it, I was just about to post that.  Oh yeah, and we need to protect the oil!

    At least the WWII analogy is better than Cheney’s pinched comparison to the Revolutionary war.  I forget who, probably Digby, pointed out that in that analogy we are most like the Red Coats. 

    RE: Starship Troopers, Bush have to reverse our opposition to stem cell research to we can get to that tasty limb regrowing biomedicine.  And since we have huge numbers of wounded, not a moment too soon.  Then we could just regrow the necessary parts for soldiers and take the pressure off recruitment.

    However, appealing to our fear of bugs would really help.  It might even save DeLay’s, aka The Bugman’s, roasting thorax from the fire.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  01:07 PM
  13. We could, Doghouse. But Paths of Glory is just so linear!

    Posted by Roxanne  on  08/31  at  01:33 PM
  14. Doghouse: It’s like that one scene in Forbidden Planet where Leslie Nielsen is spying on Anne Francis, who is swimming with her make-up on. I don’t know how, however.

    Posted by norbizness  on  08/31  at  03:14 PM
  15. Michael, I think you meant to say that Saddam was engaged in “ass-launched low-Earth-orbit anti-aircraft plasma ball weapons program-related activities.”

    Actually I just wanted to type that.  So sad.`

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  03:20 PM
  16. Speaking of Starship Troopers (the novel, not the movie - better, doghouse?), I’ve long felt that the first chapter could make a nice polemic if you re-wrote it from the perspective of the city under attack.  Heinlein unapologetically describes a military terror attack on a civilian target.  Put yourself in place of the “Skinnies” and it would be harrowing.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  04:04 PM
  17. Wow.  With all this talk of ass-launching in here, it’s starting to sound like Wonkette.  Oh wait, that would be ass… never mind…

    ...it would also help prepare Americans for what will surely be the Bush/Cheney alternative to the draft.  Service guarantees citizenship!

    Wasn’t this (or at least a green card, if not citizenship) one of the provisions of the DREAM Act that Hatch and Durbin introduced a couple of years back?  Are they planning on re-introducing this?

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  04:11 PM
  18. We could, Doghouse. But Paths of Glory is just so linear!

    ... and Bush domestic policy is already based on Birth Of A Nation.

    Actually, Roxanne, if you want non-linear we could encourage Bush to make policy based on Pulp Fiction.

    - Check out the big brains on Paul O’Neill!

    - You’re sending Mr. Wolfowitz? That’s all you needed to say in the first place!

    - You done used up your Baghdad privileges.

    The jokes would write themselves. Which is a good thing, because I’d hate to waste my time on jokes that stupid.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  08/31  at  04:23 PM
  19. All I have to say to Bush is this!

    For those w/o soundcards: “To fight the bug, we must understand the bug. We can ill afford another Klendathu!”

    Posted by Scaramouche  on  08/31  at  06:47 PM
  20. the whole “service guarantees citizenship” thing is something that has always bugged me about using the term ‘chickenhawk’.  it does fundamentally piss me off that, say, hitchens bloviates like a twit but leaves the actual fighting to others, but still, it gives one pause. yelling ‘chickenhawk’ is not the same as saying you have no right to comment unless you’ve served, but it is a [small] step toward that extreme.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  07:59 PM
  21. Thank you Michael for the Starship Troopers analogy; finally it all makes sense. I believe I will join up now.

    Posted by Bob Davis  on  08/31  at  08:08 PM
  22. well, call me an overeducated coastal elitist, but I never saw Starship Troopers (nor did I see Shindler’s List or the Titanic). I guess I’m just out of touch with the ‘NASCAR generation’, and it’s obviously all my fault...;>

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  08:18 PM
  23. I never saw Starship Troopers (nor did I see Shindler’s List or the Titanic). I guess I’m just out of touch with the ‘NASCAR generation’

    What a bizarre juxtaposition. Seeing Schindlers List and being part of a NASCAR generation. I’ve never seen it put quite that way before.

    Posted by Bob Davis  on  08/31  at  08:24 PM
  24. Michael, I think you meant to say that Saddam was engaged in “ass-launched low-Earth-orbit anti-aircraft plasma ball weapons program-related activities.”

    Doh, are you kidding me?  Ass-launched low-Earth-orbit anti-aircraft plasma ball weapons program-related activities?  Now, that’s just silly.  The American people would never stand for weasel words like “program-related activities.”

    And David W, you must be an overeducated coastal elitist.  I saw Starship Troopers in a double feature with Titanic at the Midwest Multiplex the night they had half-price corndogs.

    Chris C, that’s some very funny shit.  Especially when you remember that Samuel L. Jackson says “check out the big brain on Brett” minutes before killing him.  The Price of Loyalty, indeed.  But you leave unanswered the question of whether we would be justified in nuking Iraq if Saddam had had oral sex with Laura Bush, or even if he’d given her a foot rub.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/31  at  10:18 PM
  25. But you leave unanswered the question of whether we would be justified in nuking Iraq if Saddam had had oral sex with Laura Bush,

    I was kinda hoping that would go unasked.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  08/31  at  10:43 PM
  26. The Pulp Fiction approach might actually be too realistic, when you consider that Bush probably recites Ezekiel 25:17 to the guy with the brush hog when he doesn’t show up to the ranch on time.

    Posted by  on  09/01  at  12:34 AM
  27. Michael - Starship Troopers AND Titanic on ONE BILL?  I mean, even with the corndogs (and Denise, and Kate) that’s one ton o’ cheez!  Cheez Heaven, actually, what with the boyz, and those ass-launched plasma balls.  Worth the price of citizenship.
    Though I’d trust Michael Ironside’s teeth over Cheney’s any day.

    Posted by grishaxxx  on  09/01  at  04:57 AM
  28. Put yourself in place of the “Skinnies” and it would be harrowing.

    The briefing for that attack actually includes the phrase: “This is a demonstration of firepower and frightfulness. We need them to know that their cities are not safe even though we refrain from total bombardment.” At one point the narrator cheerfully spots the city’s waterworks on the horizon and destroys it with an atomic weapon. Nice going on that infrastructure.
    Unnervingly accurate, though ‘firepower and frightfulness’ isn’t quite as punchy as ‘shock and awe’ or ‘thunder run’; I can see why they changed it.

    And for ten points: the nickname given to the Somalis by US forces in Somalia in 1992-3. Yes, well done.

    “Illinois National Guard? Good for you, son! Made me what I am today!”

    Posted by  on  09/01  at  07:30 AM
  29. Michael,

    I wish you had more decency than to suggest that the president had gone as far away as San Diego. You know he wouldn’t do that while New Orleans, Biloxi, and Gulfport were sinking.

    I bet the next thing you’ll try is to put up a picture of the president playing a guitar.

    Posted by Bulworth  on  09/01  at  12:54 PM
  30. Sorry about that, Bulworth.  It’s just cheap shots 24/7 around here.

    Posted by Michael  on  09/01  at  01:57 PM
  31. Am I mistaken, or didn’t Bush first announce the end of plain old “combat operations” and then add the modifier “major” much later--you know, as U.S. and Iraqui death tolls alike continued to rise post-"Mission Accomplished”?

    Posted by  on  09/01  at  03:09 PM
  32. I do believe that the Kurds in your analogy would be the Chinese.

    That turned out well, I must say.

    Posted by paulk  on  09/02  at  09:31 AM
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