right, perhaps the title is a bit melodramatic.
it doesn't approach the melodrama embodied by the post-9/11 cover
of National Review: In gigantic bold caps: "AT WAR:
THE FIRST GREAT WAR OF THE 21ST CENTURY BEGAN SEPTEMBER
11" then continues, "seemingly out of the blue. The United
States is a target because we are powerful, rich, and good. We are
resented for our power, envied for our wealth, and hated for our
liberty … continued on page 6." [Cue John Williams theme music.]
couldn't help but think of the opening of Star Wars, the
gigantic words scrolling away into space, portending a magnificent
universal battle of good and evil.
of the roles are easy to identify — Jonah Goldberg as young Luke
Skywalker, William F. Buckley, surely, as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Needless
to say, the role of Darth Vader (for this issue) is played by Osama
bin Laden. Perhaps the only honorable character in the cast is Florence
King, playing the troll-ish Yoda. (I think the whole misanthropy
thing is a gimmick.)
here it gets difficult — I just can't think of anyone manly enough
to fulfill the role of Han Solo; and judging from the surplus of
hysterical columns I've seen in NR in the last few weeks,
the competition for Princess Leia would be pretty fierce. Actually,
the saucy Ann Coulter might fit the bill — as I recall, Princess
Leia was pretty ballsy. It's just too bad she's on the dark side.
When I wrote the above words, Ms. Coulter had not yet been canned
by NR. Her characterization of the tender stems at NR
as "girlie-boys" was too perfect. The irony of
it all is that what she wrote is no more wacky than anything else
written by the editors or other columnists on the NR payroll.
In fact, if one considers the large doses of obvious hyperbole normally
injected by Coulter, what she wrote was probably not even as bad.
What really makes the label "girlie-boys" stick is that
NR freely posted her column, the contents of which is their
editorial responsibility, then dumped her when the kitchen got a
little hot. That she was let go because of substance or style strains
credulity. Now that's editorial integrity!]
front-and-center, is a piece by David Pryce-Jones, where he tells
us "Why They Hate Us": "They are possessed by hate,
a simple thing that reduces everything and everybody to a simple
is the kind of objective analysis we have come to expect from NR.
Online certainly isn't any better.
days after the attack, Rich Lowry did a hit piece on Powell, called
"Empty Powell," which attempts to make the case that Powell
has no ideas. Right, Mr. Lowry, spoken like a true social worker.
The NR boys must be apoplectic that, for now, Powell appears
to have won the argument.
another recent column, Jonah Goldberg tells us that he's "beginning
to believe that the central source of animus from the Arab world
is, quite simply, envy." Wow, except for every single soul
I've seen on the boob tube (which is developing a whole new meaning),
I've never heard that before!
the regular contributors at NRO have been developing the
script for The Empire Strikes Back, a parade of guest columnists
have been given the go-ahead.
term "war fever" seems somewhat understated when I read
what flows from the pens of normally rational people and fine writers.
David Gelernter, in his 14 September column, wrote, "Their
goals are to create suffering and death. Suffering and death for
their own sakes are what they believe in."
of the slanty-eyed, demon-faced Japs depicted in WW II propaganda
posters, we're to see nefarious turban-headed darkies with deep-set
eyes. He continues,
ultimatum should read: You have so many hours to turn him over,
or prove to our satisfaction that he’s not in Afghanistan. If
you don’t, we’ll declare war and systematically destroy everything
you own, every building and field, every shop and sheep in Afghanistan,
one by one, until you hand the man over or there’s nothing left.
was truly quite surprised at this. I was under the impression that
sheep were highly valued at NR; not only for companionship,
but in the event that the senior editors are called to don their
priestly robes, they have a ready sacrifice for the re-dedication
of the Lincoln Memorial.
"war fever" doesn't do the term justice. But NR
has been toiling in the fever swamps of The American Hegemon for
so long, what else can one expect but an epidemic of the most virulent
of the defenestration of all editorial judgment at NR is
abundant, but the coup de grâce has to be from NRO
guest columnist Newt Gingrich.
get me wrong, I cancelled my subscription to NR years ago,
and haven't broken a binding since. I don't visit NRO, either,
unless I'm referred to it for morbid curiosity.
friend came by my desk when I got in, "You need to read this
Gingrich piece on NRO."
a heavy sigh, I said to myself, "Do I have to?"
I said. My friend returned, "You need to have a drink before
you read it." "Alright." "No, really, you need
to have a drink before you read it. It made me physically ill."
was only ten o'clock, and my boss frowns on screwdrivers at the
desk before eleven.
scanned the article, and concurred with my friend's assessment.
I thought, it's been a long time since I visited my old haunt, Café
Adobé, so I'll print it out and read it over margaritas.
been going to Café Adobé for twenty years, ever since
it opened. (I once figured out that I've dropped about $20K there.)
Through all this time, it has continued to be the best place in
Houston for people-watching — and what people! Always a very eclectic
crowd, of every stripe, age, and color.
was a beautiful Fall day, so I knew I had better get there by four
o'clock (when the upstairs patio, called "The Acapulco Bar,"
opens) to get a table. When I arrived, there was already a small
group of souls at the bottom of the stairs anxiously waiting. Then,
a loudspeaker announcement: "The Acapulco Bar is now open."
Walking up the stairs, I said to the gentleman behind me, "What's
that? — I've never heard that before!" He replied, "Yeah,
it sounds like an Astroworld ride." I agreed, "Exactly
— and I think that's an appropriate analogy!"
sat at my usual table — where I could view all the scenery there
was to offer.
immediately began to read.
terrorism is an enormous task.
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, is CEO of The Gingrich
28, 2001 9:15 a.m.
attack on September 11 was a 21st century Pearl Harbor committed
by a 21st century enemy, and launched a 21st century war. [Since
we haven't heard from Mr. Gingrich since the 20th century,
he wanted us to know that he knows what century it is. ... Hmmm.
East Asia then, South Asia now -- yeah, I can see the similarities.
Then it was to make the world safe for British and European imperialism,
now to make the world safe for Halliburton. Then, as now, American
citizens were pretty much kept in the dark as to what was being
done in their name. I'm thinking of a line in the movie Pearl
Harbor -- as the Zeroes were flying at low altitude, dropping
bombs, two men run for safety -- one says to the other, "I
didn't even know they were sore at us!" ... A beautiful waitress
with long blond hair comes over. "Frozen, with salt, please.
Thanks." When she returns, I talk to her for a while, she
remembers me from before, she's going to school, etc.]
president was exactly correct when he said u2014 We are not about
punishing those who did this one thing. We are about defeating
terrorism. He said in his Texas way, We will “whip” them. “Whipping”
isn’t the same as punishing. “Whipping,” in Texan means defeat.
[At least he knows his audience, who fits
approximately the same demographic profile as those who saw the
film Dude, Where's My Car?]
of State Colin Powell at a State Department press conference also
had it exactly right when he talked about the coalition forming
[sic] of nations willing to work
with us, but that we will act unilaterally whenever necessary.
[That's always a splendid diplomatic strategy
for consolidating an alliance.] Our opponents are terrorism
[sic] and the states that support
them. Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon also got it exactly right
when he explained that it is not just the terrorists, nor the
structures, but the states that harbor and protect the terrorists.
[And now Mr. Wolfowitz was been told by
his boss (Mr. Rumsfeld) to pipe down. I am gleeful. ... Holy Cow
-- a gorgeous young thing just came in -- she's passing to my right,
toward the late afternoon sun -- I'm having trouble seeing her
for the glare (the sky contains not a hint of turbidity), and
I'm trying not to be too obvious by covering my eyes. Oh who am
I kidding, at my age I don't care about being obvious ... oh never
mind, she's joining friends at the far side of the patio.]
August of 1990, we orchestrated [sic]
28 countries for eight months, put 500,000 American troops in
the field and bombed Iraq for 42 days [I
think it's more like 4200 days] over the invasion of Kuwait
[and never-mind that Iraq was an ally, and
that our State Department gave Saddam its passive assent to grab
the Kuwaiti oilfields]. If that was the appropriate-scale
campaign over the invasion of a distant country, then for the
most powerful nation in the history of the world [he's
so modest], the question is, what is the appropriate-scale
campaign after thousands of American civilians have been killed
in our own cities? It is important to understand this. This is
not about a tiny thing. [O.K, O.K., we get
it.] This is not about a few Tomahawk cruise missile strikes.
This is not about three special-forces teams performing magical
missions. [Actually, every special forces
expert I've heard says that this is exactly what it is, and that
anything else would be futile and disastrous. One SAS type, after
providing a laundry list of dire warnings, was asked "Are
you saying we can't win?" He responded, "We can
win." -- but his expressive eyes seemed to belie his words.
... "Are you a professor?" asks a girl to my left, observing
the text from which I'm reading, which is beginning to look like
a palimpsest under all my mad scribblings. "No, I just play
one on television." Reading at Café Adobé has
begun many a conversation ... The waitress comes by again -- "Yes,
please, another one. Right, with salt. Could you bring some queso
with that? Thanks." I look around and my eyes rest on a large
table of nice-looking people. An attractive young man looks in
my direction, at which time I realize it's more than a friendly
glance. I return a smile that communicates "hello-I'm-actually-a-heterosexual-but-I'm-not-judging-you-and-have-a-good-evening,"
then I return my eyes to my reading.]
terrorism is an enormous task. In [sic]
may be closer to the Second World War in terms of scale and complexity
to any conflict since then. [But not to
worry about the scale of casualties.]
that context, there are ten principles that will create the potential
for victory. [All of a sudden I feel weary.]
One: We are at war.
have been at war at least since 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait.
[Finally, something I can agree with.]
Terrorists have been continually killing Americans since then.
[I should have known better -- I thought
he was going to mention something like the sanctions and the almost
daily bombings.] This time terrorists crossed the threshold
of killing enough Americans in our own country that it cannot
be avoided by our political system. [That
is, we can no longer hide what we're doing.]
of September 11, terrorists have come into American territory
to use American aircraft to kill thousands of innocent Americans.
That was an act of war more despicable and more costly in American
lives than Pearl Harbor. [Well, at least
this is a lot better than what I've been hearing elsewhere. I
can't tell you how many times I've heard that we haven't been
invaded since 1812 -- I think it kind of depends on who "we"
are (re: 1861).]
are at war. We have to defeat terrorism or they will end safety,
freedom, and civilization [don't forget
about democracy!], as we know it. We have no alternative.
We must win.
very pretty girl in her mid-thirties walks onto the patio, accompanied
by two girls in their mid-twenties. I usually try to hold out
for Helen of Troy and her handmaiden, but I usually end up feeling
guilty for taking up a whole table. It was already crowded -- not
a table left -- so I invite them to sit down. I find out that the
older girl is the supervisor of the others, has been trying for
months to get them together for some "bonding." A few
more girls in their mid-twenties follow shortly thereafter. The
waitress tells them that it's restaurant policy that customers
being added to an occupied table must pay in cash. I can't blame
them, it can get pretty complicated -- one night I sat at no less
than five different tables. I later found out that my waitress
once chased down a group of customers that tried to stiff her
eighty bucks, and jumped on the hood of their car -- I was surprised
-- she doesn't look like the type.]
Two: In wars your enemies are allowed to be clever, courageous,
and determined. [I don't know what this
tortured sentence means.]
the Washington Post website there was a headline that read,
"Taliban warns of revenge. Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban warned
of revenge if the United States attacked their country in retaliation
for this week’s devastating terrorist assaults."
why shouldn’t they? If the Taliban, given the choice of being
on the side of civilization and the side of terrorism chooses
terrorism, and we are so foolish as to only bomb their country,
why shouldn’t they seek revenge? [Didn't
French radicals invent the word "civilization"? Do we
all want to become like snotty Parisian waiters?] When
you go to war, you seek victory, so that they are no longer in
power, so they do not have the power to take revenge, so they
cannot threaten you. Time is always on the side of the evil. [No,
time is always on the side of patience. Evil only fights in desperation.]
It is an important premise of history. Time is always on the side
of evil because they can wait, they can plan, and they can look
for vulnerabilities while the good go about their daily business.
But in order to defeat terrorism, the good have to mobilize for
getting bored with my reading assignment. "This is a beautiful
spot isn't it?", I ask my new friend. "Yes, it's been
such a long time since I've been here." I continue, "I
love the Spanish architecture of St. Anne's church [across the
street], especially as the sun is setting." My eyes move
down to the red Spanish tile roof that covers the first-floor
patio below. "Last year some drunk girl threw a magazine
I was reading on that roof." "What?!", she asked
incredulously. "Yeah, I was sitting in this exact spot —
she had a real attitude problem — and maybe a drinking problem.
Apropos of nothing, she just grabbed it and threw it on the roof.
I considered for quite some time walking out on the roof and getting
it, but I wasn't certain of the structural integrity of the roof
and tiles, and didn't want to come crashing down upon the hapless
diners below — and I also figured it wasn't worth a night in jail.
On subsequent visits to Café Adobé, I would look
out over the roof, and see it still sitting there. Then we had
some rainy weather, but it was still there — a big mushy pulp.
After several months, it finally disappeared." It so happens
that the magazine I was reading was Chronicles, the issue
containing responses to Pat Buchanan's book, A Republic, Not
an Empire (which I also read at Café Adobé).
About six months after this incident, I attended the Second Annual
Antiwar.com conference, and knew I'd be meeting Thomas Fleming,
the editor of Chronicles. I approached him, "Hey,
I'm a subscriber to Chronicles, and I was wondering who
to contact regarding a replacement issue — you see, I was at a
bar and some drunk chick threw my copy on the roof." I received
the expected laugh, and he quipped, "Well, at least she appreciated
what you were reading." … I'm going to need another margarita
to continue this. One rapidly appears before me. (I didn't even
need to ask.) I ask the waitress, "Could you bring a bowl
of refritos?" She smiles, "Well, we're really not supposed
to [because it's not on the upstairs menu], but we can do it just
this once." They've been giving me the same answer for twenty
years, so I play along. "Thank-you so much, you're so
Three: In war, your vision of success is decisive for the rest
of your achievement. [This is beginning
to sound like a management seminar.]
is important for this administration to codify what the president
World War II we picked a very specific goal u2014 unconditional surrender.
[I'm glad he mentioned this, since the concept
of "unconditional surrender" is (or at least was until
recently) considered to be quintessence of barbarity. But regardless
of the vanity and immorality it epitomizes, it just doesn't work.
It didn't work in Germany, it didn't work in Japan, it didn't
work in Iraq, it didn't work in Serbia. It only entrenched the
populace, even those that hated their own governments.]
It was quite clear. We occupied Germany, Japan, and Italy. We
created democracies. [There it is! Democracy!
And we've kept troops there ever since to make sure those funny-lookin'
people keep those democratic systems. A quick note on "democracy":
the word is constructed from demos (people) and krátos
(a fist) -- ancient political scientists didn't think much of it.
And it seems that monarchies (even absolute ones) may lean toward
the benign and freedom-loving, or they may lean toward tyranny.
Democracies, which are created with the promise of "risk-free"
government, always devolve into tyranny, throwing away
freedom for "security." The balance of our great founders
were monarchists ... As the ethanol is starting to take effect,
thinking of the founders in the context of this article leads
me to consider a permanent solution to our energy problems. We
simply harness the energy of the founders who, by my best calculations,
are spinning in their graves at the rate of approximately 146,400
revolutions per second.] The world has been better ever
since. That was a direct goal.
the Civil War [The incorrect use of the
phrase "civil war' is instructive. A civil war is a war among
factions for control of the same territory and government. The
War of Southern Secession was fought over the preservation of
sovereign territory (the southern states). The obvious parallel
with current U.S. imperialism is that the U.S. government wants
control of land that is not theirs.], Lincoln chose a specific
very, very hard goal u2014 unconditional victory, and he paid with
more lives to achieve that goal than in any other American war.
[I like the unintended irony of the term
"unconditional victory." In other words, Lincoln didn't
even want "unconditional surrender," he wanted annihilation.]
Korea, we tolerated the goal of stalemate because we thought the
geopolitical consequences were too great. We have had troops in
the Korean Peninsula since 1950. Korea has been a long campaign,
this is the 51st year. [Here Mr. Gingrich
entertains us with his mathematics skills -- this is beginning
to sound like a grade school primer. ... It's interesting that when
North and South Korea first started making overtones toward normal
relations, our State Department said, "Hey! You can't do
that! This is our show!" Yes, and those damned North
Korean peasants are still getting to the tree bark! Save
the trees! Send in the Sierra Club! Korea -- what a superb example
of our magnificent foreign policy successes! Just think -- if we
can do that well in Korea, just think how well we can do elsewhere.]
Vietnam, we decided that defeat was preferable to the risk of
victory, not that we could not win [God
forbid], but the nation, the body politic [to
paraphrase The Simpsons, isn't "body politic"
the kind of phrase you use when you don't know what you're talking
about?] after a decade of agonizing internal struggle,
decided that defeat was preferable to the cost of victory. [The
hallmark of foreign policy progression: escalation, destabilization,
Desert Storm, we arranged a coalition for or [sic]
a limited goal u2014 kick Saddam out of Kuwait and weaken him. That
was a very specific goal. It turned out, in my judgment, in retrospect,
to have been wrong, and I think all of the architects of it would
now agree. [No they don't.] They
thought he would fall as a consequence, an underestimation of
the survival mechanisms of dictators. [It's
the survival mechanism of peoples made desperate and often radicalized
is vital that we have the right vision. It is not going after
bin Laden, who is trivial in this larger context. [There
are at least tens of thousands of family members of those who
perished in that recent little act of barbarity who might disagree
with you.] It is not going after the specific terrorist
organization that launched the attack in New York. Yes, it would
be useful to know who they are, yes, we should get them, but they
are a symptom of the disease. [Which incubates
under those turbans, right?] If we eliminate them, we will
simply create martyrs. They will be the bin Laden brigade. [Madison
Avenue is now scrambling their talent.] There will be a
new generation of their children who decide to fight us. [So
drop the bomb! Exterminate them all!]
only legitimate vision is the defeat and the destruction of the
system of terrorism [Oh, it's the system
of terrorism, not terrorism itself.], and that requires
that we declare terrorism to be a crime against humanity [Dang,
how come no one else thought of that?], just as we did
with piracy [... to the shores of Tripoli!
...], and that we refuse to accept the existence of any regime
which harbors, supports, or protects terrorists. [Well,
that would include us, since our ridiculous immigration policy
"harbors, supports, or protects terrorists." Incidentally,
since there are around a million Moslems living in Chicago, maybe
we should carpet-bomb Chicago? Hell, they'd understand, I'm sure
the windy city wouldn't mind a little "collateral damage"
in the name of freedom.] Anything short of that simply
sows the seeds so that in a few years organized terrorism will
are you doing this?", my companion asks, looking down at
my notes. "Because Newt Gingrich is an idiot." I realize
by the expression on her face that she doesn't necessarily question
this, but that she might have expected a less metaphysical answer.
So I add, "Oh, I'm writing something that might be posted
on the web." I tell her that what I'm beginning to realize,
aside from the little amount of thought that was put into this
piece, is how horribly written this is.]
was on the National Security Commission, the Hart-Rudman Commission
[I wouldn't brag about it], and we
spent three years studying the world of 2025 [That's
right, not in theory, they actually visited the year 2025
-- but unfortunately they spent their whole visit stranded in Sri
Lanka]. Our number one unanimous conclusion by a bipartisan
panel of 14 people was that the most significant threat to the
United States is a weapon of mass destruction going off in our
cities, biological, chemical, or nuclear. [That's
quite a conclusion -- that must have been some brain trust. I'm
glad our money was put to good use.]
know today, that Saddam Hussein is willing to accept any level
of sanctions to keep his program for weapons of mass destruction
[You know, this one really bugs me. From
what I've been able to observe, the most educated and best-informed
of U.S. citizens almost invariably assume that the suffering of
the Iraqi people is at the hand Saddam Hussein, and that U.S.
policy is blameless; and treat with a high level of skepticism
a suggestion of anything different. The following questions are
usually a good start at turning that around: If the over 100,000
innocent Iraqis that have died per year for ten years have done
nothing to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and have done nothing
to allow inspections, why are the sanctions still in place? Why
is the coalition of nations that put the sanctions in place falling
apart? Why have three senior UN officials resigned rather than
participate in what they refer as a genocide? If sanctions haven't
affected what the Iraqis need for survival, why did a complement
of the French party Front Nationale (led by Jean-Marie
le Pen) travel to Iraq on a humanitarian mission, which incidentally
was opposed by the U.S. government? Why does former UN weapons
inspector Scott Ritter claim that Iraq has no capacity to manufacture
weapons of mass destruction? Why did he eventually resign in disgust
and protest of these inspections? Why does former Reagan advisor
Jude Wanniski believe that the sanctions wouldn't be lifted even
if the inspectors were let back in? Why do the UN's own officials
cite that vital drugs, painkillers, chlorine and equipment for
infrastructure rehabilitation have been blocked or delayed over
and over again? Why is the Pope against the sanctions? Why is
Colin Powell against the sanctions? Why are the most vocal proponents
for war in the Middle East for the sanctions, and those for peace
against the sanctions?], that Iran has a massive program
underway, that North Korea, while its population is starving despite
being the largest recipient of U.S. food aid in Asia, has a massive
program of weapons of mass destruction.
read what these countries are saying [Well,
no, not in the American press.] and you wonder why no one
understood Hitler in the 1930′s [No one?],
just as we don’t understand our generation’s Hitlers [No
one?]. So we have to take their words and their programs
seriously. [Hmmm. That's interesting. I
see bin Laden's lips moving and I hear the translator talking
and I hear words about injustice in Palestine, dying Iraqi children,
and American soldiers profaning holy Saudi soil. Then I hear every
last American journalist, talking head, and politician saying
that "they" hate us for our freedom, democracy, and
fast food. Go figure. "Yes, another one, please."]
Four: The stakes are enormous.
Second World War we understood. [No we didn't.]
Our way of life was threatened. [No it wasn't.]
A world in which the German Nazis [as opposed
to the Newark Nazis], the Imperial Japanese [Damn
those Japs for being imperialists in their own backyard!],
and the Italian Fascists had won would have been a stunningly
different world. Today we face a similar stark choice. There are
principles at stake on two grounds. [I'm
waiting with enraptured anticipation for the revelation of this
brilliant taxonomy.] The first is the very fabric of a
free worldwide economic political structure, the ability to travel,
the ability to have a decent job. Also consider the necessity
in the global economy to have just-in-time delivery where Taiwan
or Thailand or China or Mexico is making something that arrives
at the auto factory exactly on time for production. [For
those that don't understand what "just in time" means.
You know, the more I think about it, "just in time"
delivery truly is the archetype of human civilization -- this cannot
be overstated. Truly, Mr. Gingrich should consider a ghostwriter.
If this is a ghostwriter, he should be fired.] Terrorists
are directly threatening the entire fabric of the world we have
built for the last 60 years. [The entire
fabric of the world in 60 years? -- so long Noah, Abraham,
Moses, David, Aristotle, Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Leonardo, Columbus,
Newton ... At this exact moment I've realized the unintentional
wisdom of the friend who suggested alcohol was a necessity when
reading this nonsense. My attitude has been all wrong -- this
stuff is really funny!]
if we do not defeat terrorism while it is still using conventional
weapons, we will inevitably in our lifetime be faced with terrorism
using weapons of mass destruction. This is a tragic, but providential
warning [Here it is, I knew he was
talking to God through his toaster!], of a much worse future.
Five: Issue a series of ultimatums. [Now
here's a phrase that one will find in every diplomatic
will cease to house terrorists or we will replace the government
of Sudan. The Taliban will cease to house terrorists or we will
we replace the Taliban. [And we won't finish
until we've replaced every government on Earth.] This does
not mean you have to be stupid. [Well, some
of us don't have to be stupid. Where is that ghostwriter when
you need him?] It does not require us, for example, to
decide that we will put seven American infantry divisions in Afghanistan.
It may mean we decide to allocate $3 billion to hire every Afghan
who does not like the Taliban and arm them and then help then
with American firepower. And in less than a year, my guess is
American air power, combined with armed Afghans, would drive the
Taliban from power. [Sounds like a plan
in Iraq, we should not do something indirectly with volunteers
as guerrillas. We are the most powerful nation in the world. [That's
right, just keep saying it ...] If we want to eliminate the
regime of Saddam Hussein, we have the capacity to eliminate it.
We did not say, let’s set up a free Japanese guerrilla movement
in 1942. We did not say the OSS could liberate Europe. We said
the OSS is a helpful addition while we land at Normandy and bomb
German cities. [Call 1-800-GHOSTWRITER.
Extraordinary analysis. Yes, that's right, the OSS couldn't have
possibly accomplished the terror-bombing of Dresden, etc., without
the help of bombers. What was the point again? Oh yeah, we
must terror-bomb our enemies.]
is a serious nation, and if this is a serious war, then the message
is simple. [The message is: we're serious!]
Saddam will either close down all of his efforts toward weapon
systems of mass destruction, and he will expel all of his terrorists
or we will create a government in Iraq that will agree not [sic]
to do this. [That's the ticket! We should
be able to find a plethora of willing towelheads that will agree
to our terms at the end of a gun barrel! Then we can train them
and support them with money and arms, and they can fight our enemies,
and then ... never mind ... we've already been there.] We must
insist on change, because we now have vivid proof in New York
and Washington of the future if we do not. [Change,
yes. But don't you dare discuss foreign policy!]
The next time it will not be an airplane. The next time it will
be a chemical weapon or it will be a germ agent or it will be
a nuclear weapon. We must take this seriously. [Remember,
we're all serious now] No one should say they have not
been warned by the facts of their own life during the week of
September 11. [We've been warned for years
and years -- article after article, book after book, has been written
about "blowback" -- and if pinheads like you had listened
there probably wouldn't be thousands of people dead right now.
... O.K., it's time for another margarita. I look up, and my pretty
friend is standing up, doing soulful dance moves to a soulful
song. She looks over and winks, knowing that I know she's trying
to be "one of the girls." It seems to be working. When
she sits back down, I whisper "Good job." She whispers,
"I'm trying." I notice that one of the youngstresses
for whom she was performing is looking at my cell phone. It's
all of five inches long, but I know what she's thinking. I guess
that looks pretty big to you, huh?" "Yeah, I was noticing
that." I decide to have some fun with her. "Yeah, it's
three whole years old ... And years and years ago, my parents even
had one that was ten inches long, and weighed five pounds ..."
Then I lower my voice, "And long, long ago, concealed beyond
the mists of antiquity, we used to have phones that had wires
that went into the wall!" She has a good sense of humor --
she mocks, "Reeeeeeally?" Then she adds, "You are
so sweet to let us take over your table like this." I tell
her that "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Six: To achieve victory we must plan for a coercive, not a consensual
campaign. [... or, "Diplomacy? What's
a consensual campaign you say, I really wish the Sudanese would
be nice, but they won’t do more than X. In a coercive campaign
you say, anyone not doing X, anyone not doing the minimum we have
set, we will have to replace. [Right, replace
everyone. Haven't we covered this?] So we just need to
know which team you are on, and there are only two teams [Rah!
Rah! Rah!] on the planet for this war. There’s the team
that represents civilization, and there’s the team that represents
terrorism. Just tell us which team you are on because there are
no neutrals. [I'm laughing so hard I'm crying
-- people are beginning to stare.]
Swiss banks have to now break their secrecy law to find out everything
we need to know about terrorism, period. If not, we should isolate
the Swiss banks, and they will not be part of the world banking
system. [Oh perfect! That's it --
destroy what is arguably the only working democratic system in
the world! Destroy the crown jewel of the worldwide banking industry!
This is saying a lot, but this may well be the most stupid thing
he's said thus far. Oh, those evil secret banks, which
protected not only the assets of the Nazis, but also the Jews!]
Again and again, across the planet, when the United States is
serious, it is amazing how many people decided that they are on
the side of civilization. [My head is in
my hands, and I'm just shaking my head in astonishment. "Are
you having fun?", she asks. "This is really hilarious
-- read this sentence." She purrs, "Wow ... that's deeeeep"]
is not asking permission, this is stating a fact. There are two
scorecards, which scorecard do you want? We are going to replace
the government who choose [sic] the
terrorist scorecard, so if you would like to be on the replacement
list, we need to know it because we have a planning process underway,
and we already have two lined up, and you know if you want to
be third, we need your information. ["Am
I really reading this? Is it me? It seems like the more I
drink, the drunker he gets! You just have to read this
paragraph." She cheerfully obeys. "I really see what
key word is replace, not punish. You do not punish governments
that are dictatorships because they do not care if you kill their
civilians. [This is of course utter silliness.
The Czar of Russia, who once was an absolute dictator, settled
disputes over such things as the ownership of a chicken. That
doesn't make it an efficient or equitable system of government,
but that doesn't make it evil. Hasn't he ever read The Bible?
Or anything?] They do not care if you kill their infantry.
If we have killed 100,000 Iraqis, and it has not replace [sic]
Saddam’s dictator ship [sic] it should
teach us something. [Memo to Goldberg, Lowry:
I proofread for booze. No, really. Will send references.]
Saddam could not care if every Iraqi died, as long as he was the
hero of the myth. We have to talk about replacement, not about
punishment. [We seem to have once again
stumbled onto the thesis of this brilliant work. We shall rule
Seven: The campaign has to be comprehensive. [I
think we've covered this, too. We will eradicate all evil everywhere
always. And to think those ignorant towelheads were offended by
the clarity of such phrases as "Infinite Justice." You
know, Newtie really didn't need to take his other hand out of
his pocket for principles six through ten ... but then again, I'm
really beginning to enjoy this.]
should reach out economically, diplomatically, and militarily
to all Muslims who oppose fanatical terrorists. We should offer
the future of a better way of life for every Palestinian who would
like to live in peace and prosperity. [What
manifest hypocrisy. Yes, "a better way of life for every
Palestinian who would like to live in peace and prosperity,"
as long as Jewish settlers can keep bulldozing their homes and
groves, and keep stealing their land.] We should be clear
to every Muslim country that we are not anti-Muslim. We are anti-fanatic,
and we would like to have good relations with every non-fanatic.
It is as important to be prepared to be economically supportive
as to be militarily effective. [That's right,
bread in one hand, a gun in the other.]
of the keys to winning the Cold War was the Marshall Plan, which
was at least as important as creating NATO or the CIA or the Strategic
Air Command. We should have a comprehensive understanding that
in this war, we will be the proactive [I
think he's been far under-using the management buzz words]
ally of creating prosperity, and safety and freedom for the entire
Muslim world [but what do we do after
lunch?] that wishes to live in civilization [as
we define it. I'm surprised that NR posted this -- Mr. Gingrich
obviously lacks the required imperial fervor -- after all, only
those that "wish" to live in civilization?].
We will only be coercive and focused on those fanatics who give
us no choice, including governments that give us no choice [like
Switzerland]. It cannot be only a military or an intelligence
campaign. It has to be an economic, military, diplomatic, and
Eight: The coalition must be the largest willing to support our
is a very important distinction. We cannot write a plan designed
to have a big coalition. We have to write a plan to win and then
recruit to the plan. Countries that are not willing to participate
but also not harbor any terrorists are fine. [This
sentence encapsulates the sum essence, the very breadth and amplitude
of magnanimity of which National Review foreign policy
consists.] This is a passive support we will tolerate.
But, we should not tolerate opposition. For example, Uruguay may
decide they’re not in this fight. That’s fine, as long as they
do not harbor terrorists. [You know, I u2018m
planning a trip to Montevideo to look at bare-breasted beach bunnies
-- if Newt scares them off, I'm going to be pissed.] No
country can harbor terrorists and claim to be out of the fight.
["Aren't you tired of lookin at that?",
my friend impatiently asks. "I'm almost finished, darlin'."
The waitress brings another margarita.]
Nine: We have to sustain freedom every day. [I'm
disappointed in his resolve -- we have to sustain freedom every
worldwide economic system and a high-speed prosperous free society
are inevitably vulnerable to a deeply committed state-supported
terrorism. It is inevitable. [The key word
is: "inevitable."] Whatever we brilliantly figure
out how to stop this time [sic],
they will study, and they will look for the one thing we have
not figured out because they only have to hit once. [Well,
with respect to say, entry/exit immigration tracking, we already
figured it out, but it was nixed for the sake of multiculturalism
by Sen. Spencer Abraham. The FAA (after 9/11!) has stated that
they will not engage in racial profiling. As Sam Francis has observed,
racial profiling is at least a hundred years old, and is called
... criminology. (E.g., a serial murderer is likely male,
Caucasian, in his twenties.)] They do not have to hit every
day. We have to sustain freedom every day.
is unavoidable, if you intend to remain a prosperous, free society,
then [sic] our campaign must be 90-percent
offense and only 10-percent defense. [Yeah,
that's the problem, we've been so darned passive.] Our
job is to root out the terrorists, root out the organizations,
and root out those governments which support them because only
by pursuing evil abroad can we stop evil from entering the United
States. [... and preserve our precious bodily
fluids ... "Another glass of pure grain alcohol and rainwater,
please!"] We cannot ever passively build a system
[You can never passively build
anything -- that's what "passive" means.]
that will stop evil from entering the United States. We can only
slow it down. [That's right -- whatever were
doing wrong, it's irreversible -- we can only leave the most horrible
aspects of it to our children.]
Ten: We must continuously communicate to the American people and
most people around the world about what it means to be on our
side. [Submit or die.]
war will be fought in the age of 24-hour news channels. The powerful
wrenching images of Americans dying on September 11 will gradually
fade as new images are projected on a daily and even hourly basis.
Our opponents will maneuver to maximize civilian casualties in
any American action. The timid and the undecided will seek every
opportunity to explain why we should accept minimal results, be
patient, and avoid aggressive action.
will happen. It is vital that the right explanations and the right
language are available within the news cycle. [The
media must be controlled!] It is also vital that those
words and explanations fit both the American people and audiences
around the world. [The people must be deceived!]
campaigns are the decisive campaigns of the 21st century. They
have to be organized, resourced, and led just like any other aspect
of warfare. This campaign to defeat terrorism will only last as
long as the popular support sustains it and that support will
require a substantial continuing information campaign both at
home and abroad. [Or, in other words, when
the people of the United States of America find out what we're
up to, we had better do some freakin' fast talkin' or our heads
(or worse) will be on a stick!]
Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States
of America. Second in line for presidential succession. Hard
to imagine. I don't think I want to.
it's only six o'clock, and there's still plenty of night left …
Wow, you should see the four beauties that just walked out here.
sure do love this place — it has even facilitated the discovery
of a much-needed solution.
finally learned how to read National Review: only when drunk,
and only for comedy.
Dunaway [send him
mail] is a chemical engineer and a native Texan.