Friday, April 16, 2004

You shoot like a goat herder

Tony Blair, according to Dubya, is “a stand-up kinda guy,” “as we like to say in Crawford.” They don’t say that in England, however, where they think their prime minister has just been described as a stand-up comedian.

I found bin Laden’s latest tape disconcerting without being sure why. A Guardian writer explains that the nice thing about bin Laden was that he made absolutely no demands and nothing you offered him would make him stop, so there could be no talk of appeasement or tactics. And then this week he actually made a demand of European countries, assuming it was him, and the CIA says that it is, so it probably isn’t.

Also, I hadn’t noticed the Henry Higgins aspect of Al Qaida methods before: planes on 9/11, trains in Spain (by George, I think he’s got it).

That’s my second reference to a musical this month.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Gen. Richard Myers repeats a line I thought had been buried under the dead American soldiers and the children buried under the Fallujah soccer field: the insurgency is “a symptom of the success that we're having here in Iraq.”

However Paul Krugman today says we have reached Vietnam-type “quagmire logic”: “they no longer have high hopes for what we may accomplish, but they fear the consequences if we leave.” Knee-deep in the big muddy.

Winning Hearts and Minds: US troops have been blasting heavy metal at Fallujah. Worked so well at Waco. AC/DC, Hendrix, sounds of babies crying, barking dogs, etc. They’re trying to irritate the insurgents into coming out and getting blasted like a man, so they are also using insults such as, and I’m not making this up, “You shoot like a goat herder” and “May all the ambulances in Fallujah have enough fuel to pick up the bodies of the mujahadeen.”

There was a fire-fight on the 6th inside the town of Kut, between Iraqis and... mercenaries (which may be why it took 10 days to hear about it). A South African was killed. After American troops, armed mercenaries are now the second-largest contingent in the Coalition of the Willing, comfortably ahead of the British, so why does Blair get to go to Crawford and the CEO of Blackwater doesn’t? Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

I’m long past believing anything Bob Woodward writes where he doesn’t name his sources.

From the Post: “• OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A bank robber wearing a wetsuit under his clothes tried to make a scuba-diving getaway but was tackled by police before he reached the water, authorities say. Police subdued the man Thursday on the shore of Budd Inlet after a car chase, a crash and a sweaty quarter-mile dash through the woods, during which he tried to sprint into the water while lugging his diving gear and a backpack filled with the stolen cash, Sgt. Ray Holmes said. Charles E. Coma, 35, was jailed on suspicion of robbery.”

Karl Rove says he wishes they hadn’t put up that “Mission Accomplished” banner, because it’s become “one of those convenient symbols.” Of course it was meant to be a convenient symbol, but not for the other side.

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