I love Fall. It is soccer season, which means our Saturdays are consumed by first my son's game and then mine. Neither of us possess great skills but we play a physically intimidating game. It is fun. Come Sunday I settle down in front of the TV to indulge in my other obsession: football. Not just any football, Redskins football. I couldn't care less about any other teams. Not just any Redskins football, physical smash-mouth Joe Gibbs-coached football. Not the prissy, finesse-laden ball favored by the Rams or Gibbs' lame predecessor Steve Spurrier. We're talking Riggo Drill, the infamous Body Bag Game against Philly and such. And now he is back. Hallelujah. I've waited long for this day and now it has come. I wasn't disappointed as the 'Skins eked out a 16-10 victory long on muscle and short on trickery.
Today I get up and divide the paper between me and my wife. She gets Style and Metro and I get the rest. I disappear into my smelly lair. I read columnists waxing rhapsodic about the Return of the King, the good old days redux. Smash-mouth football. I feel good. Then I pick up the front page and learn about this.
Now admittedly, this is a Gibbsesque, violent, smash-mouth approach to a grisly wartime situation. Yet this is no game. It is difficult to imagine how those helicopter gunmen felt at the time they openned fire on the revelers or looters (depending on which account you read.) Somewhere in the online netherworld is a grainy video of the attack shot by one of its victims, a reporter doing his job. I bet it's uninformative about whether the revelers/looters were really dancing or systematically dismantling the Bradly Fighting Vehicle for future use against American troops. And who knows if they were truly "civilians" or not. That line has grown so blurry that it is almost meaningless.
But a couple things are for sure: 1) Maybe this was a time for some Rams-style finesse. Get on the loudspeaker, warn people to move away before firing Hellfire missiles in their directions. Freaking cameras were rolling, for Christ's sake. 2) WE NEED TO GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE MIDDLE EAST FOREVER. Even if you buy that we're there to help people, dude, they obviously aren't buying into it. Some might, but enough don't that a thousand of our citizens are dead for trying to help out a bunch of ingrates or perhaps, even something more sinister still. Sometimes shit just doesn't work out. Face facts. Move on.
As Bruce Springsteen once sang, "It's a town full of losers, we're pulling out of here to win." And the key word is, forever, as in never to return. Nothing good has come of our meddling there and what's more, nothing ever will. Let those boys 'n girls come home, brew up some chili, sear some hot wings, ice down some beers and watch the 'Skins roll to their 5th Super Bowl.
Or else deploy them elsewhere to hunt down Osama and Doc Zawahiri and force-feed him his own nuts; seared to a crisp with a generous dousing of hot sauce, like the wings. Isn't that why we were ever in that hellhole in the first place? Or did I miss something?
Hear, hear. I heard about it first on Metafilter, and I felt sick. When I was surfing around, there was some doubt as to whether fire from a helicopter caused the on-camera explosion. But the way our military can't get its story straight is pretty suspicious.
by jean at September 13, 2004 10:47 PM
Agreed. At least the Israelis are honest about it: There was a guy we don't like sitting in his living room sipping tea, so we deployed a helicopter outside his window and fired a Hellfire missile into his home killing him and his entire family. So what, they were terrorists, no?
by anna at September 14, 2004 7:41 AM
Things have been steadily spinning out of control in Iraq for a while. One of the problems facing our military is that our hands are tied in many respects. You have al Sadr's followers holed up in a holy shrine, stock piling weapons, running operations from it and we can't touch it. It's kind of like base in hide and seek. Then you have nameless, faceless insurgents mixed in with the Iraqi population that we can't target. Then our military fires on a target with civilians and media around it without warning? Maybe I'm a bit heartless but if anyone was dancing and rejoicing around that vehicle, I would've fired on them too. That's just me though. I would've at least given a warning though. I'm still pissed that we allowed Somalis to drag an American through the streets and did nothing about it. If I was a commander in that situation you would've seen Somalis dragging that pilot through the streets then a fucking fireball as attack helicopters scorched the street.
How can you even hope to win in a situation where you're unwilling or unable to meet the level of ruthlessness your enemy brings to the table? I'm with you Anna. I say we get the hell out and leave them to their own devices.
by Ezy at September 14, 2004 9:42 AM
Ezy is right -- either we give up this "We're the good guys, we're above the crap you do" image or we should leave. There's no way to maintain this unnatural standard and win the war. Obviously one has to give.
by Cynthia at September 14, 2004 1:44 PM
Hi Cynthia. You made my point better than I could hope to. What ever happened to all is fair in love and war? But if you don't still believe that then it is time to bail. We did what we could. Now cut your losses.
by anna at September 14, 2004 6:53 PM
Anna, I lost it over your reply. That's exactly how I'm translating all reports out of that region now. It's chaos there.
by jean at September 15, 2004 11:29 PM