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May 07, 2008

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Smarter, please.

i think i once saw lopez write something like "thank god for the troops and thank god for michael ledeen." that pretty much captures it.

it is an ongoing wonder to me that he's allowed to be on tv

Eric, if I might suggest/point out, the style here is for posters to put their names immediately under their post title, at the top, so we know whom we're reading without having to scroll down, and then back again, and without having to guess.

As regards Ledeen, as you know, he has been proposing contradictory policy (We must attack Iran, faster please!; I have always been for this!; I have always opposed an attack on Iran!; I have always advocated an attack on Iran!) for years.

editor?

they need an ethicist.

Gary, duly noted and revised. Thanks. As you know, I appreciate the corrections.

Hi Eric, glad to see you here. One small suggestion: It'll help ObWi readers if you add a byline at the top of your posts in addition to the 'posted by' at the bottom.

Oops, should always preview first.

Anyway, welcome to Obsidian Wings!

Thanks Nell. Will try to keep my euphmisms to a minimum ;)

My favorite K-Lo moment is when she tried to push the porn ban on military bases favored by that loony congressman. Does he not realize how bad the world economy will be when shipping through the Straits of Hormuz gets shut down because of Iranian missiles pointed in the general direction. War with Iran should be the last option in the play book.

"...like every mother does an ugly child"

My song of the year last year. Now, back to the post.

LT,

I don't think he cares about that stuff. He wants war with Iran for other reasons.

Elsewhere: Pinko wins!

Eric, welcome!

Your post reminded me of a classic Ledeen moment I thought I'd share.

On June 24, 2004, President Bush was interviewed on Irish TV's Prime Time. This is the famous "let me finish" clip.

The show included a segment where Michael Ledeen appeared alongside Congressman Richard Neale addressing Iraq. It's a very good discussion and you can get a very clear picture of Michael Ledeen from this brief appearance. On the show Ledeen says we should have "done" Iran first, not Iraq. (about 6 minutes into the clip)

I thought Neale was good at the time -- looking back he only looks better.

Every time Ledeen comes up, I feel compelled to point out that despite his claims to be an expert on the Middle East, he speaks neither Arabic nor Farsi.

Mr. Martin,

Is Ledeen one of these eschatology types?

As regards Ledeen, as you know, he has been proposing contradictory policy (We must attack Iran, faster please!; I have always been for this!; I have always opposed an attack on Iran!; I have always advocated an attack on Iran!) for years.

In other words, Ledeen could argue "No, this isn't a sudden flipflop; I have been contradicting myself for years".

You know how sad Ledeen's attempt at revisionism is? His own Wikipedia page shoots it down. Yes, that's right: Ledeen apparently failed to wiki (let alone google) himself before trying to BS us.

Ledeen=unprincipled buffoon.

Not unlike the Pentagon surrogate types, only more unprincipled and more buffoonish. But contra Publius, that’s clearly no reason to keep him off the networks.

Clowning is his and their stock-in-trade.
Pity.

Speaking of nutty foreign policy types, this is hysterical:

"So, it wasn't surprising to everyone there that Kurt Campbell felt comfortable next to Kagan saying that "despite Europe's best efforts and wishes, the neocons were not dead."

Campbell said that the "neocons were alive and well in the McCain camp" and then said that some people had a tough time searching for the right analogy to describe neoconservatives.

He said that he had heard some people call them "vampires and werewolves but these were both imperfect."

Campbell said "you can kill a vampire with a perfectly placed silver bullet, unlike a neocon -- and the werewolf paradigm is wrong because werewolves are fine during the day but do crazy things at night."

"Neocons do crazy things at any time," Campbell reportedly said to much laughter.

Then, on a roll, Kurt Campbell said that "a better analogy was 'intellectual special forces' -- highly trained, confident, ninja-like, working well in small teams but always seeking to define the terrain of conflict."

"They will not stand and fight if things go poorly but instead will search for a better battle," Campbell advised.

All along, Robert Kagan was frowning, fidgeting, growing visibly icy. It turned out he hadn't really left the comfort of the neoconservative collective at all and was highly displeased with Kurt Campbell's effort to be "flip and funny.""

LT,

I don't think Ledeen fits that mold. He's one of those types that, mistakenly, believes that Israel's security will be enhanced if the US wages war against its regional adversaries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc.

Clemons, from Hilzoy's link: "My own analogy to describe the neocons to lay audiences is the 'Borg' in Star Trek. The Borg mean well,"

The Borg have no emotion; they can't and don't "mean well." This is completely wrong.

"but they want to 'assimilate' dissimilar cultures and peoples and make them look just like the Borg. If they can't assimilate them, they either annihilate them or wall them off."

Um, wtf? "Wall them off"? What is he talking about?

"and make them look just like the Borg."

The Borg couldn't have the faintest interest in how anyone, Borg or otherwise, "look." Where does this possibly come from? What episode? (None; it's just completely wrong.)

It's helpful to know what you're talking about when you reach for a metaphor.

And how neocons resemble the Borg more than any other political grouping does, I have no idea. It's just a horribly wrong metaphor. Neocons don't assimilate at all. Borg inject everyone with nanotech, via nanotubules, and turn everyone they encounter into Borg. This is how neocons metaphorically work? When a neocon meets someone, the neocon can turn them into a neocon in seconds, effortless, until the whole planet is converted? WTF? This seems to make no sense whatever.

And why does "Steve Clemons" put "Borg" in scare quotes? What does "Steve Clemons" mean by that?

If we're going to make silly Star Trek analogies, I'd suggest that the wilier neocons are endlessly more like Romulans: always plotting behind the scenes to try to manipulate events without showing their hand overtly, but their plans usually suck and fail.

Campbell said "you can kill a vampire with a perfectly placed silver bullet, unlike a neocon -- and the werewolf paradigm is wrong because werewolves are fine during the day but do crazy things at night."

Seems to be (mostly) backwards. Hasn't watched enough BtVS.

Um, wtf? "Wall them off"? What is he talking about?

Not sure Gary, but I'm thinking that Clemons could have been talking about the "Gaza" strategy. This article is worth a look in this regard. And others.

http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5162

"Not sure Gary, but I'm thinking that Clemons could have been talking about the 'Gaza' strategy."

You'll have to refresh my memory as to which episode had the Borg in Gaza, Eric.

Or was there some other episode in which the Borg demonstrated their well-known strategy of "walling off" a race they can't assimilate. (Species 8472 was clearly a unique encounter, I think anyone would agree, and in any case, the Borg continued to pursue assimilation or annihlation, right?)

I repeat: the Borg "either annihilate [every race they meet] or wall them off"? In what episode did they "wall off" anyone? Wtf?

"Seems to be (mostly) backwards. Hasn't watched enough BtVS."

Yeah, the "kill a vampire with a silver bullet" is equally wtf?

These guys should stick to reaching for a metaphor where they have some clue what they're talking about, rather than babbling nonsense like this.

Or maybe I should teach a course on science fiction, and available sf metaphors, to clueless academics and journalists. I work cheap.

Gary, if they stuck to knowing what they're talking about there'd be a lot of dead air.

There is no fixed set of vampire lore (and neither is there with werewolves). Although the most common strain (popular through Hollywood) has werewolves allergic to silver and vampires to garlic, there are others. The only movie I know that referred to that is Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (made by Hammer but not starring Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing), where it is an important part of the plot to find out what type of vampire the heroes are facing and what method has to be employed to kill them.
Blessed silver seems to be a kind of universal weapon against traditional monsters including vampires. But usually it is a silver-plated blade weapon, not a bullet, against those haemophiliacs of the night.
Would the body snatchers not be a better analogy. Or maybe a brain slug infestation could explain them ;-)

"There is no fixed set of vampire lore (and neither is there with werewolves)."

Of course not. But I didn't think this was a place for a 5,000 word, or longer, essay explicating the history and details of either.

"Or maybe a brain slug infestation could explain them ;-)"

Heinlein's "puppet masters"? Alas, I believe neo-conservativism is a home-grown American perversion.

You'll have to refresh my memory as to which episode had the Borg in Gaza

It was the one with Seven of Palestine...

Thank you folks. I'll be here all week.

Ro Laren. Kira Nerys.

Again, helps to make some sense. It's not as if Star Trek doesn't have a deep investment in having looked at the issue of occupation since it's the entire basis of seven years of Deep Space Nine. And then Cardassia itself was occupied in turn.

This is not an obscure novel read only by 12,000 people were're talking about, let alone some more literary work, say, by Gene Wolfe, or Geoff Ryman. It's a universe that's been around for over fifty years, with six different tv series, hundreds of novels, many NY Times best sellers, hundreds of comics, and hundreds of millions of fans around the world. It's not hard to have the faintest knowledge of what one is talking about if one wants to make a Star Trek reference, rather than to say stuff that makes no sense whatever.

And it's not as if there isn't a tremendous amount of Star Trek that deals with issues of occupation. Hello, Bajor?

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