Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Jerry Dantana Hour


Episode 1763:  A Hawk from a Handsaw.*

For the record, I think anyone who authorizes the use chemical weapons should be tried for war crimes.

For the record, absent a beat cop on hand to slap on the cuffs, I think anyone who authorizes the use chemical weapons should be killed using the least secret and most efficacious means the military has at hand.

However the world of full to overflowing with things I wish were so but are not, and I have no stomach for sending anything in this country's arsenal -- from missiles to troops to folding chairs -- into Syria.  I am also keenly aware of how much I don't know: how corroded my means of getting un-stepped-on information have become.  I know how little faith so many people have in "the government" to tell them the truth, but also I know that Barack Obama is not Bush II just as Bush II was not Bush I, and Bush I was not Clinton, and Clinton was Andrew Jackson, and Andrew Jackson was not Roosevelt, and Iraq is not Syria, and Syria is not Korea, and Korea is not Granada, and Granada is not Nazi Germany (or fascist Italy or Imperial Japan), and Nazi Germany is not Afghanistan, and Afghanistan is not Czechoslovakia (also Czechoslovakia  is not Czechoslovakia), and Czechoslovakia is not the Gulf of Tonkin,  and the Gulf of Tonkin is not the World Trade Center, and the World Trade Center is not Guantanamo Bay, and Guantanamo Bay is not the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand is not the attack on Fort Sumter, and the shelling on Fort Sumter is not the War of 1812, and the War of 1812 is not Iraq.

All that being duly entered into evidence, if it please the court, let me conclude by adding that I am also keenly aware of  how eager people like the one's in this video are to pound our round and complex world into a square ideological hole, and to treat The Truth (tm) like the bus in Speed: something that, it reaches a certain ideological momentum, they will not allow to slow down to let actual facts on or to toss the worst of the bullshit off.

Because if that happens...


...shablams!

*Jerry Dantana explained, but there also be spoilers thar, so beware.

20 comments:

Coldtype said...

However the world of full to overflowing with things I wish were so but are not, and I have no stomach for sending anything in this country's arsenal -- from missiles to troops to folding chairs -- into Syria

Well done Drifty, a sentiment shared by approximately 60% of Americans according to recent polling data. The $64,000 question, however, is wether or not Obama gives a damn.

Overclock speedy said...

The "cruise missiles" they are talking about are TLAMs, for those who never served that would be Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. Back when I was in the Navy OS like me used to deal with them before that was handed over to the FC rating, this was for surface ships, bubble heads did it their own way.

A ton of crap about TLAMs is still TS (Top Secret) and above. But they are highly accurate, course can be changed during flight if needed, very long ranged, can deliver a payload from a few hundred pounds up to a nuclear warhead, and don't put any of our assets in danger. All in all they are the perfect weapon with one issue... the price tag, a million bucks a shot!

Without getting into the full on War in Iraq 2, cluster fuck of all time, the Navy loves them. Prior to Iraq 2 the TLAM was one of the weapons of choice when we were playing whack-a-mole enforcing the no fly zones and other matters with Saddam. They're great for shooting artillery, blowing planes off runways, hitting weapons depos, blasting radar stations, taking out some wise ass in a convoy.

This isn't endorsing TLAMs, it's just to say we've been doing this stuff for decades, prior to 9/11, and it's usually considered just every day bullshit of popping planes, weapons depos, and other stuff. We've also done it without it escalating into a door kick operation (where you fly in with electronic warfare aircraft, stealth aircraft, and just smash the shit out of anything that could pose an air superiority threat at all and establish dominance), let alone a ground war.

I have no way of knowing how this will turn out. I do know that the Navy has been TLAM'ing the fuck out of things for a while and it rarely escalates into a door kick followed by a ground invasion. The fleet's perfectly happy to lob million buck a shot missiles at 100k buck artillery pieces, blow 1970/80's planes off the runway, and blast a few officers in SUV's and then calling it a day without sending the Marines in.

blackdaug said...

I read something today about Obama...and America lacking the moral authority to intervene in Syria, due to, you know, every bad thing any President has ever done in a foreign country in the past.
I can remember being pretty angry at another Democratic President for not intervening sooner in a certain ethnic cleansing situation in some far flung country over a decade ago. It only took deaths in the tens of thousands to finally move that President to action.
You know what really removes any trace of "Moral Authority" this country may still have?
Standing by and doing nothing while innocent civilians are grotesquely killed by weapons outlawed almost a century ago, that Hitler himself would not deploy on a battlefield.
If we cant draw a line for intervention at ethnic cleansing or chemical and biological weapons, we don't have the moral authority to breath air.



Jack said...

There are a lot of fact-free assertions tossed around in that video, but probably the worst is what the little guy 2nd from the left says at 10:05: He jumps straight from the Downing Street Memo, which showed evidence was fixed to justify war with Iraq, to saying "and that's what's happening now."

He offers not a single shred of evidence that evidence is being fixed now. But why should that stop him? No one at the table even blinks. They "just know" that Obama, the military, and the government are sooo evil that it *must* be true.

This brings to mind what Noam Chomsky said during the Cold War. About the Official Enemy, the Soviets, one could make up any charge, no matter how outlandish, and it would be accepted uncritically and circulated widely. But if someone dared to criticize the United States, reams of proof were demanded. And when you supplied the proof, the question immediately turned to "why do you hate America?"

Among the Outrage Caucus, you can say anything you want about Obama or the US government, and no one will question you. If you dare to raise a single doubt about the sweeping claims of the Outrage Caucus, you're immediately attacked as an apologist for the worst abuses of state power.

If there had been just one intelligent adversary on that panel, it might have been an interesting discussion. But the panelists were either selected for their ideological purity or they knew to toe the party line. Whatever the case, having four people try to out-purity-troll one another results in a cascade of total, fact-free nonsense.

We're heading for a repeat of 1999-2000, when a significant enough segment of the Democratic base found itself too outraged to vote for Gore and keep Bush out of office. A big obstacle to keeping Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or whoever out of the White House in 2016 is going to be the Fact-Free Brigades of the Outrage Caucus.

Overclock speedy said...

@blackdaug

One of the things that's cracked me up the most as a former service member is watching people say "who cares how they are killed a death is a death", why are chemical weapons so bad.

True, dead is dead. No former service member who actually qualifies for the higher veteran status of campaign medals is going to pretend that bombs and bullets can't maim in horrific ways. However there is a difference.

The reason CBN weapons are banned is for a few reasons. They are made to kill everything and cannot be used in surgical targeting, you have no idea what collateral damage can truly be. They pollute the environment in horrific ways and once out there spread with the wind and the water. Worst of all they kill in horrific ways. Any of us that had to go through this got to see the videos of what they do to animals, bleeding out your eyes, vomiting up your guts, while thrashing around so badly your spine snaps over a period of time is no way to. I'd much rather die to a proper execution or a sniper than suffer through a chemical attack.

Hence why those who use them deserve a special place in hell. I have no gripes with my service even though part of it took place under a war a I did not support and a president I did not vote for. Such is life and the oath is an oath. I take such things seriously, people in family were saved from Nazi death camps by Americans.

I can safely say I'd refuse the order to launch sarin, I can safely say I never met anybody in the military who would do such a thing. There are things worse than death in this life. There is killing and then there is killing with no regard to anything and in the most horrific of manners.

If this was a chemical attack, while I don't support getting involved in this fiasco I won't be at all upset if those involved are killed.

blackdaug said...

Oh..and I wish Mac had kicked Glenn Dantana square in the nuts.
The way girl-of-my-dreams Olivia did that one guy..
... back in that first episode...
..the one where the show stopped sucking....

Jack said...

Overclock speedy said ...

the Navy has been TLAM'ing the fuck out of things for a while and it rarely escalates into a door kick followed by a ground invasion.

Great point. That's another one of the aggravations: So many are talking about Obama "going to war" with Syria. Limited air or missile strikes are not "going to war." This idiocy reaches peak absurdity in the video above at 6:40 when the skinny little guy says "now we're headed for what is going to be another all out war by the United States."

Just painfully stupid.

I generally don't try to predict the future, but I cannot fathom Obama starting another "all out war" with anyone. I feel sure that one of Obama's long term goals for his two terms in office has been to end the two wars he inherited and return the nation to the state of peace it was in before September 11, 2001. (And also to bring an end to the "war on terror," which was more of a psychological thing than an actual conflict.)

Unsalted Sinner said...

"For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long. Something would turn up to scare it away. Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long eight-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the eight-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech—and nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives—he called them enemies!—hidden out of sight somewhere."

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Compound F said...

do you consider depleted uranium or white phosphorous chemical weapons?

but I think you're real "shorter driftglass" point is that "war crimes are complicated," so "shut up, Outrage Caucus!"

This place feels more "Redstate" daily. Just another variation on a theme of psychotic breaks.

I'm totally digging it, "theoretically."

Anonymous said...

This place feels more "Redstate" daily. Just another variation on a theme of psychotic breaks."

Then for god's and the rest of our fucking sake....leave.

Don't read the post!
Don't comment!
Don't come back!
Nobody cares what you think about anything!

You are not clever.
You are not droll.

Much as in your real life, no one is in any way impressed by anything you have to offer.

You add nothing to any discussion.

Go away, and stay there.

Overclock speedy said...

DU is not a chemical weapon in any real sense of the term. There are issues with it, and they should be addressed, they will be addressed, but a chemical weapon it is not.

WP is in a sort of murky zone. It's horrific, but most items have some sort of chemical reaction. However we aren't really talking about something like a nerve gas. It has uses and applications not related to killing, it can't waft over places in the air like nerve gas or fuck over resources. It kills horrifically however and should not be used, but placing it in the same category as nerve gas is lunacy. If you want to argue about phosphor bombs HE bombs would be a better place to start.

Not all weapons are the same, even within the CBN category they are not considered the same.

Chemical weapons are the mildest and least lunatic of the three. They are horrific, they do not discriminate, they are a crime, but they have limits. Nuclear even has some quasi practical applications (extreme defense, potential use in space, it's there but horrific) but the damage should never be unleashed again. Unleashing a biological weapon is just flat out lunacy given the nature of the beast the highest of crimes.

This is hard to fathom for many people who have never had to confront the concept of being killed in a violent manner. However there is a difference between being shot through the head, hit by a 2000 pound bomb, nuked, nerve gassed, bleeding out through a limb lost through a land mine, or killed by a customized plague. There's also a difference to the area the attack happened, and those around you.

Plus your question is idiotic, it assumes I'm claiming US moral superiority in weapons used in different militaries over time, I'm not, and I won't. I'm simply pointing out that if nerve gas was used, that's a special sort of horror that serves a special sort of response. What and how DU or WP are classified or used as has fuck all to do with the horror of nerve gas.

When you can the artillery coming at you there are some things you really hope it is not, some things you resign yourself to, and some things that make you want to piss your pants.

It's one of the reasons death by firing squad is coded into how "civilized" nations wage war and their armed services. It's one of the reasons napalm and flame throwers are currently verboten, toss land mines and cluster bombs into that mess. Not that violations don't happen, but these are still vastly less horrific than chemical weapons.

If you want to debate WP and DU, tell me where and let's do it. But do yourself a favor and don't dump them into the same category as the big S, because it's not the fucking same.

Compound F said...

Overclock,

DU is, in fact, a very horrifying teratogen that can utterly maim and destroy mammalian development. Think of your own wife giving birth to "cyclops babies," and you've taken your first, minor step to understanding that DU is indeed a chemical weapon, perhaps not in the way you classify chemical weapons based on the "death throes" profile, but it is perhaps much worse since DU often precludes the opportunity for a "normal adult profile of death throes." To put it another way, killing adults is one thing (however they die), but killing reproductive potential is an entirely different realm of aggression. I'm not entirely unfamiliar with violent mammalian death through various means.



I think DG's comment section is a perfectly good place to have the discussion, btw. I do appreciate your taking the time to make your argument based on your experience and expertise, which is a far cry above others.

However, the entire pretense that we're going into Syria for "humanitarian reasons," is beyond any idiocy with which you intended to tag me. It's not humanitarian, and you know it.

Anonymous said...

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuP5kUQro40

Watch an up close and personal, if fantastical, look at the death of a real enemy.

Somehow, I doubt that our President has the humanity to execute a Syrian (or anyone else) that threatens the existence of our "imperfect union" with the same reverence, solemnity and most importantly the intimacy that is exhibited by the Union infantrymen that is displayed above.

Just when you think we can sink no lower, the bottom is pulled out from under us.... again.

Anonymous said...

Compound F:

Your accusations would carry a lot more weight if you made a habit of using persuasion rather than condemnation. Try again.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Overclock --

Thanks for all of the information.

It is really controlling the scope of any perspective military action that I'm worried about. It seems to me that a realistic set of objectives is essential in that regard, which is why the media furor has me unsettled.

-- Nonny Mouse

Damian, Pink No More said...

Notice how the first reaction of our erstwhile worse-than-Bush "friends" immediately try to shift the conversation to how Truly, Trult Terrible America Is. I notice all the little darlings are using this srgument now - almost like they've been told to...

Damian, Pink No More said...

And wow did that last one come out poorly. I've gotta stop typing angry.

Anyway, if the first reaction of someone to the possibility that maybe at some point we may do something more than wring our hands over Syria is to scream "BUTBUTBUTBUT DEPLETED URANIUM SO WE'RE WROSE THAN THEM!!1", then that person is not worth talking to. We can have a conversation or we can have a pissing contest but we sure as fuck aren't doing both because I, for one, follow the Man Code and don't talk while I piss.

Compound F said...

Damian Self-Pisser,

but you don't say why that person isn't worth talking to. You merely exit the freeway in a huffy manner.

Like most on this site, you refuse debate. It's a pattern here, which suggests to me that DG's potent rhetoric tends to induct close-minded folk. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

I see plenty of people having conversations and talking about their differing concerns, Compound, just none of them are talking with you for some reason. Curious that.

-- Nonny Mouse

Damian, Pink No More said...

Known liar Compoundmeintheass is mad I won't address his distractionary measures the way he'd like. Free tip: Trying to force a discussion offtopic is trolling and most places ban people for it.