Thursday, September 11, 2014

We will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq

Last night, Obama gave a speech announcing our next war. Hurrah.

“We took out Osama bin Laden... and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia.” Enough with the euphemisms for killing.

“Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.” Safer than what, he doesn’t say. Gaza?

“We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world.” We must invest in giant-eraser technology.

He does the “Holy Roman Empire” thing on the Islamic State. “ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’” I have a problem with non-Muslims declaring what is or is not Islamic: Your beliefs which I do not consider to be true are not the same as these other beliefs which I also do not consider to be true. If you don’t believe in fairies, you have no standing to tell someone they believe in the wrong type of fairies.

“No religion condones the killing of innocents.” Innocents no, heathens, heretics, apostates, followers of false gods, people who believe in the wrong type of fairies, and bystanders killed in “just” wars, yes. Also homosexuals. And witches.

“And ISIL is certainly not a state. It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates.” I wasn’t aware that the US had a problem with Middle Eastern regimes not recognized by the people they subjugate. Must be a new thing.

“Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances.” Targeted action = blowing shit up.

“we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes”. As long as it’s systematic.

“we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.” Obama - he kept us out of war.

“I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL...” He does not explain from what this authority magically derives. “...but I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together.” He uses the word “believe” because it’s purely theoretical at this point. “So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.” How can you welcome it when you haven’t asked for it, as specified in the Constitution?

“Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL.” Ah, dehumanizing the enemy, classic.

“taking out terrorists who threaten us”. There’s that euphemism again.

“America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.” We’re invading the future now?

“Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world.” Like death and taxes, with both of which American leadership is intimately associated.

“It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists.” Not condescending to the entire rest of the world at all.

“Tonight, I ask for your support in carrying that leadership forward.” Although, like the “support” of Congress, it’s basically irrelevant to what I’m going to do anyway. Which is why this was such a bland speech, not intended to rally the nation or win over sceptics.

Listeners to this speech will be left unenlightened about what Obama’s goals are, how they can be measured, how he intends to go about fulfilling them, how long it will take, and how much it will cost.

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  1. Yeah presidential nonsense. I love the recap.

    I keep getting stuck on the 'we're not going to have boots on the ground in Iraq we're going to arm rebel troops to fight' and why it wasn't followed up with examples like China, Vietnam, Iraq (80's), Iraq (90's), Afghanistan, most everywhere in Central America, etc.

  2. ...and how much it will cost.

    Lots, and lots and lots, you betcha

  3. Seize the future, and shake it down for a few trillion.

  4. Good post, but I don't think that "take out" is a euphemism any more, if it ever was. It's more of a masturbatory thing, where the speaker excites himself with fantasies of his toughness, and hopes to excite the audience as well. Sort of like "warm your bottom," which is not a euphemism for spanking.