Thursday, October 29, 2009

Realism in War

Big wimps such as myself do not like to hear things like this:
"I'm not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love," Hoh said. Although he said his time in Zabul was the "second-best job I've ever had," his dominant experience is from the Marines, where many of his closest friends still serve.

"There are plenty of dudes who need to be killed," he said of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. "I was never more happy than when our Iraq team whacked a bunch of guys."
Who is this bloodthirsty monster? This guy:
When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.
Let me allow here that I do not know if Hoh is an expert or a loon. But look at this:
This week, Hoh is scheduled to meet with Vice President Biden's foreign policy adviser, Antony Blinken, at Blinken's invitation. If the United States is to remain in Afghanistan, Hoh said, he would advise a reduction in combat forces.
Shouldn't a Serious Administration be smearing this guy as an attention-loving faggot by now instead of listening to him?


mikey said...

Ok, couple of things. First, c'mon. I've actually known a few stone killers in my life, and every last one of 'em smoked pot. Every one. So to somehow equate "pot-smoking" with a squeamishness about taking lives wholesale is disingenuous at best.

Then, as far as "Let me allow here that I do not know if Hoh is an expert or a loon" goes, I think someone who points out that many of the Afghan insurgents are nationalists fighting an occupying army, and would stop fighting if there was no occupation need not be an expert but is certainly no loon.

Note that he also points out that there is no valid National Security imperative for the United States in Afghanistan. If that isn't obvious to everyone, think about the intellectual hoops the administration had to jump through in order to portray American involvement in Afghanistan as "necessary".

If THEY can't even explain what the threat to American interests is, it's probably a reasonable conclusion that there is no threat...

Substance McGravitas said...

Regarding expert vs. loon, the point I was trying to make is that I claim no expertise about Afghanistan.

This guy does, and despite my image of him - because it's all about me y'see - he has the courage to take a step in a direction I wouldn't give him credit for, because I'm an asshole. Did I mention it was all about me?

Furthermore, some important people are taking him seriously.

Positives about the Afghanistan situation are like digging through a shitpile for a payoff of A Shiny Penny but who knows? This may be meaningful.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

There might have been a chance to do the right thing in Afghanistan. The Taliban are teh suck.

But in this, as in every other fucking thing, Bush and Cheney shat the bed.

Now our hands are too bloody, and the situation is too fucked.

We're just like any other fading empire: bogged down in denial and unable to pay for the consequences.

I think we need to get the hell out.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Now our hands are too bloody, and the situation is too fucked.

Very cogent comment for a banker.

I'd expect it from Neil Peart, at the least.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Also, I miss mikey's hardcore comments; if not at S,N; then elsewhere.

Substance McGravitas said...

Yup. I think the dialogues are good too. He should be hanging around theatre folks.

mikey said...

I'm not uncomfortable suggesting that nobody misses Sadly more than I do. It is a sadness.

And while I agree, I SHOULD be hanging around theater folks, unfortunately I tend to scare them.

I'm an OGRE!! **SOB**

Substance McGravitas said...

Just over the last couple of days the mess has become unrestrained once more.

I'd purged my filters and everything.

mikey said...

It wasn't just the arguing with idiot trolls, Sub McGun, although that served very well as the canary in the coal mine. Sadly died under the weight of it's own success. A few years ago it was a magical backwater, filled with brilliant, funny people who had such a strong natural grasp of the bizarre, grounded in intelligence and education and history in a way that wasn't ever really done before.

The newcomers, bless their bandages, wanted to participate. But overall, it just got repetitive, redundant and ridiculous. That, coupled with the willingness of so many to argue the pros and cons of Nazism like that was fun, and the inability to understand that parody only works when it targets a rare kind of hypocrisy, and it just became a kind of "Groundhog Day" fever swamp, the same as it ever was....


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I agree that with the larger scale success of Sadly, it attracts the unwelcome and humorless, as much as the large scale sites and even the lesser traveled sites like Whisky Fire and World O Crap. The Ugly Troools like to try to disrupt those locales...
S,N has developed and interesting response, however, New trools are swarmed, like white blood cells will engulf an invading army, and mocked until they give up.

Not everybody's cup of tea, admittedly. But it has, for the most part, cleaned out the infections. There's a good number of good, smart, funny people who still frequent.

As well as the occasional zombie, who is none of those. and he's a bit bitey too.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Also, I've known a fair number of pot smokers in my life too, and I am pretty sure none of em are stone killers.

don't know what that says, except that maybe pot smoking has little to do with killing or not.

mikey said...

I think what it says, and this is very GOOD news, is that stone killers are ultimately rare, and nothing in their individual habits effectively predicts their ability to harvest humans without psychological suffering....

herr doktor bimler said...

I have nothing intelligent to add, so instead I'll link to a bOING bOING post about fellatio in fruit bats.