Evil by Any Name

Al-dawla al-islamiya fi al-iraq wa al-sham.  There you have it.  This is the full name  (in arabic) of the group that is currently terrorizing large swaths of Iraq and Syria by using inhuman terror techniques more familiar to the middle ages.  They also have a significant number of the citizens of the civilized world shaking in their boots and shaking their fists clamoring for retribution and then destruction.

As I previously opined in a piece about the former dictator of Libya, Muammar Khadaffi, it’s nigh well impossible to focus on an enemy if you can’t agree on a name for the evil.  Let’s see,  Obama and his crowd insist on referring to them by the acronym ISIL which stands for The Islamic Sate in Iraq and the Levant, and there’s some support for that naming convention in that the arabic “al-sham” evidently most correctly translates  to  “The Levant”.  The fourth estate, at least in the western world, insist on using ISIS or The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and there is also some logic to this as they are doing most of their current damage in Iraq and hide out in Syria.  One hold-out of the pen and ink crowd is the Associated Press which eschews any high fallutin’ name as giving them too much credit for the sicko, killer, creeps they are and merely refers to them as “Islamic militants”. I rather like that terminology, but I would substitute terrorists for militants; unfortunately, in retrospect, “Islamic terrorists” is already pretty overworked.  They themselves, likely after having consulted with a good public relations outfit somewhere in The Levant, have been referring to themselves in their tweets and blog posts simply as The Islamic State.  You can probably see why.

After several hours of frustrating research, I determined that if we were going to have these guys as public enemy number one, I would have to take it on myself to straighten this naming mess out, because I want to get rid of these murdering bas*@#ds.

I’ve ruled out the Obama construction of ISIL for many reasons, not the least of which is that no one, and I mean no one, knows who or what or where The Levant is.  One possible meaning of levant is that it is the present participle of the french irregular verb lever to rise.  Translated to the King’s english it would mean “rising” or if you added the article “le” to it-the rising.  Nah.  I don’t think that’s it. Our government types don’t learn French anymore.  If it’s referring to a place, well, it’s a poor choice because almost no one knows where it is, and if they think they know they’re wrong.  One, usually impeccable source identifies it as “the eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt”.  I know the Med, but Littoral and Anatolia goes for naught.  This definition goes on to say that “it includes Cyprus, Israel, Palestine and Aleppo Vilaytel”.  See what I mean. Cyprus for chris sakes.  I dug deeper.  Another usually definitive source said that it is an area, “bounded by the Taurus Mountains to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the West, the northern Arabian desert to the South and Upper Mesopotemia to the east.  Does that help?  Ever been to the Four Seasons Mesopotemia.  Of course not.  ISIL is another case of the Obamaites being too particular about the facts, getting caught up in the details of things, and missing the big picture.  Many of the pundit class say they use it because it implies that the threat goes beyond Iraq and Syria.  I agree with that, but it gets a little fuzzy when you throw in Upper Mesopotemia.

ISIS won’t work because it’s just too confusing.  First of all Isis, as you all know, is the name of the Egyptian goddess who is the offspring of Nut, the Goddess of the Sky and Geb the God of the Earth who then married her own brother Osiris.  This Eqyptian god and goddess stuff get pretty kinky.  So you can see why CNN and the New York Times have made a really big mistake insisting on using ISIS to refer to this particular group of murdering thugs.   In addition Isis is also a perfectly good, and fairly common name of certain of the fairer sex including one Isis Martinez of Miami who has started an on-line  campaign to keep the news media from corrupting an old and honorable name.

I would never go for The Islamic State as the bad guys would really prefer if only because that’s what, after consulting with some PR types, they seem to prefer.  Seems to me we have plenty of Islamic States already, that is, those sovereign states which have adopted a theocratic basis for their governance.  Even most of this crowd are, apparently, joining up with us to get in on the destruction of these  pretenders to Islam who murder indiscriminately any who gets in their way.

That leaves us, then, with only the AP appellation of Islamic militants, but that just doesn’t get it for me.  It’s overly broad, overly used and doesn’t convey the heinous nature of what they do and how they are doing it.  I’m open to suggestions, but in the interim, I propose, PIMIPIS&OPifWLT.  It’s a little long and unwieldy, but I think it says it all.  Perverted Islamic Murderers of Innocent Peoples in Iraq and Syria and Other Places if We Let Them.

I’m still open to suggestions.





Iraq: They Did It Again

No matter how many times they don’t say it, they are saying the same thing. Can one lie by not saying something? I think so

I don’t know why I punish myself by subjecting my rather smallish and cluttered brain to the hours and hours of political low theatre implicit in the testimony of two of the Bush Administration most accomplished sycophants on the status of our “Mission in Iraq”.  Watching these two fellows give dissembling answers or completely dodging the same simple minded questions over and over and over could drive one to drink.  In fact it did.  An early morning Bloody Mary and a late afternoon potion of Vitamin G (as in gin and tonic) helped me make some sense out of the whole thing.

I even took the time to look in the archives of these humble writings to reread (no, I don’t expect you to do the same) my blog written on Sept. 11, 2007 entitled “War in Error” wherein I commented on, in an indirect way, the first testimony of these two same distinguished chaps.  I’ll jump to the punch line.  I concluded that epistle by opining that Petraeus and Crocker were perhaps amongst the best and brightest in the service of our country, but that they were bound on the fools errand of  “….fighting the wrong enemy based on a bankrupt foreign policy built on a foundation of lies and false assumptions.”  Nothing has changed.  Well, that’s not quite true.  A few things have changed.  Thanks to our Surge Strategy we now have about 30,000 more troops on station in Iraq.  And sadly to say, we have sacrificed another 275 of our young people and maimed, many for life, still another 2000 or so.  I’ve tried to calculate the cost since that day almost exactly 7 months ago in cold, hard cash, but a) the numbers are so big that they’re hard to relate to, and b) there is no definitive source for toting up all the money we’re spending on our Iraqui misadventure.  One source suggested that we were spending $100,000 per minute, so for 302,400 minutes x $100,000.00 that is ?????.  You see what I mean, too many zeros.  Another source said $12 billion per month, but I dunno if that’s all in.  I mean that probably they count the guns and bullets, and cheeseburgers, but what about the aftermath.  The funerals, the lifetime of treatment for brain injuries and repairs to the prosthetic devices that will be needed are most certainly not included in any of the accountings I’ve seen.  So, yes some things have changed.

But to show you that I was paying attention:

…the phrase “fragile and reversible” was used 417 times throughout the testimony.

…and yes, I did see McCain genuflect to the General before launching his own particular pomposity

…I noted that our best new enemy is not Saddam, Saddam’s Imperial Guard, the Baathists, the militias of al Sadr, it’s not even Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI to those of us in the know), it’s now something called “special groups”.  I never did figure out what made them special.

…I caught several glimpses of the Lt. Col behind Patraeus, probably his bag carrier,  dozing peacefully.

…I learned again that war is “hard” and “complex”

…and the ever popular phrase “on the ground” was used by witnesses and questioners alike 4716 times.  This, btw, is a new Guiness record.

The Honorable Senators and Representatives so fortunate as to have a seat at the table had seven months to think of a relevant question or two, but alas only the rare Congressperson (I’ve been waiting to use that) was able to muster a question of any relevance.  The rest of this hard charging gaggle apparently spent their time honing their opening remarks which ranged in quality from  inane to  ridiculous.  I calculated that we could have saved two hours and seventeen minutes of valuable air time if the honorables had selected one of their number to remind the witnesses that all assembled were thankful for their patriotism and sacrifice, and all the rest could have gotten to the business at hand forthwith.  But alas, we had to hear different versions of the same groveling patrimony time and again.

The real crime wasn’t the poor quality of the questions that were asked or the non-answers that were provided, it was the questions that weren’t asked.  To wit:  General P. stated repeatedly that only after a period of consolidation and analysis after the surge ends in July, would he be able to determine if the conditions “on the ground” would permit him to recommend further reductions in forces.  Why not ask, “General, exactly what are the conditions ‘on the ground’ that would allow you to draw down our forces in Iraq?”  And then ask, “General, what is your plan for achieving those conditions?” and finally ask, “General, in you best estimate how long will it take you to execute your plan?”

Notwithstanding the fact that war is hard and complex, as is the the job of our overworked and under appreciated elected representatives.  What’s so hard about that?

The Spinmeisters

I thought I had seen or heard it all, or almost all.  The guys who can make chicken s**t and sell it as chicken salad.  The ones that called the Edsel an “advanced piece of American engineering”.  The Swift Boaters turning Kerry’s military record into a liability in the face of Bushies stalwart record of avoiding the draft.  The miscreants who can make an apology via a non-apology for stepping on their tongue and offending millions.  The bios that make Chaney sound like a warm and fuzzy fellow…..well, that might be taking it a bit too far.

But to spin Tony Blairs announcement of their “staged withdrawal” as a sign of our success in Iraq  strains the credulity of even the Rushies.  BTW, he tried valiantly in todays Limbaugh rant to blame Blair’s withdrawal on pressure from the Royal Family to keep Bonnie Prince Harry’s tunic clean while keeping their military tradition in tact.  Egad, accusing the Royals of political shinnanigans.  Rush is clearly on the edge.

Wait a minute now, I wonder….is pulling 3000 Tommies out of southern Iraq a manifestation of the cut and runism that seems to be rampant in our dem/lib folks.  Is there an “alliance of the willing” to promote cut and runism.  I’ll bet we’ll soon not see the T-man holding hands and making sweet cooing noises with Bushie.  This may indeed be the beginning of the beginning of the end of the coalition of the willing.  And on top of that, the Danes are part of this too, cutting and running by pulling out their three guys too.  I guess that leaves the squadron of Moravian sappers and several hundred Aussie truck drivers.  “Gday mate, we sar thuh big beach and just pulled up for a quick barbie and a brew”.  “A quick scan aroun’here’ll tell ya there’s no shielas here worth doodlin’ at.”  Let’s go on home soon’s the surfs up.”

Nothing should surprise at this late stage.  If Libby can excuse his nine fold lie by saying, “gee, I dunno how this happened.   I was really busy those three months and had a lot of stuff on my mind, you know terrorists and Putin and all”, anything is possible.

It would be really hard to make all this up, so it must be true.  It is, after all, a part of the plan.