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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Quote du jour

"We have not failed yet." -- General John Abizaid, speaking at Harvard last Friday.

Not exactly John Paul Jones, is he?

Everything about that article is disturbing, including the crappy writing by Boston Globe writer Charles M. Sennott. (Yeah, I make mistakes too, but this isn't my job and I don't have an editor.) But really...
Speaking over the faint chants of a small group of protesters outside, US Army General John P. Abizaid told an audience at Harvard University yesterday that the war in Iraq was winnable despite the gathering dissent at home.

On a day of distant echoes of the Vietnam War, Abizaid, the senior US commander in the Middle East, and President Bush, who was in Hanoi, faced a quagmire of tough questions about the comparison of that conflict and the Iraq war.
Can you hear the distant echoes of the faint chants saying "Crappy writing! Crappy writing!?" I know I can.

Then there's the group that sponsored Abizaid's talk:
Sarah Sewall, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, which sponsored the talk, introduced the general. She described Abizaid's "uniquely valuable perspective" and cautioned against blaming military leaders for executing decisions made by political leaders.

Referring to the way the Vietnam War polarized the country and crippled the military, she said: "We have been down that road before."
Oh yes, the poor crippled U.S. military, having to get by on only $500 billion a year, plus supplementals for all the actual wars they're fighting, while practically deafened by the faint chants of those of us who oppose those wars. It's all our fault, obviously, isn't it, Ms. Sewall?
Abizaid said the stakes were high in Iraq and in the global struggle against the rise of violent Islamic extremism, which he has dubbed "the long war."
The speech was part of a yearlong calendar of events at the Carr Center titled "The Long War Series."
Wonderful. An entire series of stupid talks on endless war (the "global struggle against the rise of violent Islamic extremism" -- yikes! That's the longest one yet).

Of course, the star idiot was Abizaid himself. Like all the lying scumbags, he says it will take one Friedman to turn the mess around:
"We absolutely are in the stage where we have got to make this work," he said. "We need to start having better effect against the sectarian violence within six months."
Of course, he couldn't leave without one more tasteless and obnoxious joke, which also happened to be a lie:
At the end of a grueling week in which he was barraged on Wednesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill with questions and criticism about the war, Abizaid joked with the audience about why he wore camouflage fatigues instead of his green dress uniform for the evening.

"I usually wear my green uniform," he said to a polite round of laughter. "But there was so much blood on it, I had to come in this uniform."
WIIIAI noted Abizaid's casual dress when meeting with Maliki on November 13, and again on November 16 when Abizaid showed up in his dress uni to talk to the Senate Armed Services Committee. But the next day, he's back in his fatigues speaking to "polite laughter" at Harvard. Was that committee meeting really that bloody?

Wouldn't stunned silence have been more appropriate than polite laughter to a sick "joke" like that? Better yet, why not just tell him off and walk out, like the audience did after Michael Richards' tirade?