And Sylvania’s never gonna know what hit it:
I try to let a few years pass between viewings of Duck Soup and the other early Marx Bros. It’s hard to appreciate their improvisatory brilliance when one remembers it too well. It pays rediscovery.
Anyhow, on to more serious matters. War with ISIS—yay or nay?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I think the president is doing everything that he can in trying to defeat ISIS. But when I hear words like enduring conflict, it makes me very, very nervous. I think it opens a door wider than it should be. I think we’ve got to continue air strikes. I think we’ve got to use special operations forces when we can. But I do not want to see a never-ending quagmire in the Middle East where our troops die, come back with terrible illnesses and we end up spending trillions of dollars.
Once again, this war is a battle for the soul of Islam and it’s going to have to be the Muslim countries who are stepping up. These are billionaire families all over that region. They’ve got to get their hands dirty. They’ve got to get their troops on the ground. They’ve got to win that war with our support. We cannot be leading the effort…
I want to make sure that our young men and women are not fighting a never-ending war in the region, not getting killed.
Agree or disagree, you have to agree he’s clear.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN: The language is fuzzy, is it not?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Intentionally so. And the intent is —
ACOSTA: Intentionally so?
ACOSTA: It’s intentionally fuzzy?
EARNEST: Yes, Jim, because we believe it’s important that there aren’t overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander-in-chief who needs the flexibility to be able to respond to contingencies that emerge in a chaotic military conflict like this.
Remember when this administration touted a “time-limited, scope-limited military action”? Those were the days. Of course, that was in Libya, and that didn’t turn out so well.
BILL O’REILLY: 10-year-old girls are getting raped and killed, people are getting set on fire and beheaded. You can theorize all you want. We have a disagreement. You and the president believe that it’s working–.
AXELROD: What do you think the answer is though? Let’s make you president of the United States for a second, which your viewers may want.
O’REILLY: I put forth the answer, that you have to basically get a ground force. There’s 40,000 of these people. Go in and kill them. It should be an international force, but this should have been convened months ago.
AXELROD: The question is, what then? What happens then, Bill?
O’REILLY: They’re dead, and then we bury them.
AXELROD: Are we going to stay in perpetuity?
O’REILLY: No. We kill them, and then we leave. And if we have to go back we kill them, and then we leave.
AXELROD: And your assumption is — and that’s it, there’s no more anywhere else? This doesn’t inflame the situation–.
O’REILLY: Where they are, you seek and destroy.
AXELROD: If they don’t have recruits coming in, this doesn’t inflame — does it add to our security or does it detract from our security?
O’REILLY: You really want to use the word inflame after the Jordanian guy got set on fire? Is that the word you want to use? Come on.
You know what they say: opinions are like a**holes—everyone has one. Even a**holes.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Our coalition is on the offensive, ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose. Its barbaric murders of so many people, including American hostages, are desperate and revolting attempts to strike fear in the hearts of people that it can never possibly win over by its ideas or its ideology because it offers nothing but misery and death and destruction.
With vile groups like this, there is only one option. With our allies and partners we are going to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.
Two questions come to mind: if we’re going to “destroy” them, who gives a fig that we’re also going to “degrade” them? Why does he keep repeating that? Bill O’Reilly may not be president, but his rhetoric of “kill them, bury them” (which is twice as much work as I’d invest) is a lot more presidential.
Second, if ISIS “can never possibly win over by its ideas or its ideology because it offers nothing but misery and death and destruction”, why do we need to fight them? By Obama’s reasoning, ISIS’ ideology will defeat its arms. If you’ll allow the analogy, Lord Voldemort, too, offered only “misery and death and destruction”, yet he was winning; he had no shortage of death-eaters at his beck and call. But for Harry Potter, his ideology would have won—twice.
ISIS is winning, but only because we—or another suitable force—are not fighting them. The Kurds are proof that if you shoot an ISIS maggot, he will die. Shoot more of them, with more guns. To complete the analogy above, instead of “the boy who lived” standing against “barbaric, desperate, revolting” terrorists, we have “the boy who smoked a lid”.
He was elected president in 2008 largely on a no-war platform. How fitting he has become an “endless wartime” president. An absence of strategy will do that.