San Diego Soliloquies

Friday, November 21, 2003

War Makes People Crazy

And approaching the head of the line for his daily happy pill is Blogdom's own Lileks:

    Hey, Salam? F*** [BEEP, ed.] you. I know you’re the famous giggly blogger who gave us all a riveting view of the inner circle before the war, and thus know more about the situation than I do. Granted. But there’s a picture on the front page of my local paper today: third Minnesotanan killed in Iraq. He died doing what you never had the stones to do: pick up a rifle and face the Ba’athists. You owe him.

James, do you kiss Gnat with that mouth (or feed her with those fingers)? What pray tell set him off? This missive from Salam Pax, who won so much acclaim for blogging from Baghdad before the war. Salam is not impressed with George W. Bush's perspicacity:

    Listen, habibi, it is not over yet. Let me explain this in simple terms. You have spilled a glass full of tomato juice on an already dirty carpet and now you have to clean up the whole room. Not all of the mess is your fault but you volunteered to clean it up. I bet if someone had explained it to you like that you would have been less hasty going on our Rambo-in-Baghdad trip.
    To tell you the truth, I am glad that someone is doing the cleaning up, and thank you for getting rid of that scary guy with the hideous moustache that we had for president. But I have to say that the advertisements you were dropping from your B52s before the bombs fell promised a much more efficient and speedy service.

I've noticed that pointing out Bush's infamous lack of forethought, or basically ignorance, really gets a rise out of the warbloggers. And they are always deeply concerned about the contents of other people's scrotums too. I'm sure Lilek's efforts at keeping our wartime economy on an even keel shopping at Target have filled his to the bursting point. Oh, and James, we're well into the double digits here in San Diego. Salam doesn't owe them a thing. We do. We, the citizens of the Untied States of America, sent these kids, some of the best men and women you now will never meet, into the wrong war in the right place at the wrong time.

Anyway James seems to be emulating his hero by completely missing the point of Salam's writing, especially given Salam's background.

    ... What’s certain is that none of your pals would ever have gotten rid of that “scary guy with the hideous moustache?” (as if his greatest sin was somehow a fashion faux pas) and the Saddam regime would have prospered into the next generation precisely because of people like you. People who would rather have lived their life in low-level fear than change your situation. I understand; I would have done the same. I’m not brave enough to start a revolution. I wouldn’t have grabbed a gun and charged a palace. I would lived like you. Head down, eyes wary. When the man’s too strong, the man’s too strong. But let me quote from a Guardian story on your life:
    “Like all Iraqis, Salam was familiar with the dangers. At least four of his relatives had gone missing. In the past year, for no apparent reason, one of his friends was summarily executed, shot in the head as he sat in his car, and two others were arrested; one was later freed and another, a close friend, has never returned.”
    The rug was soaked before we got there, friend. Cut the clever cafe pose; drop the sneer. That “Rambo” crap is old. Iraq needs grown-ups. Be one.

At least James has enough self-knowledge to know that he'd be a coward. But he's not quite grownup enough to know that he's not an adult either.


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