November 5, 2006

"A 23-year old named Ali in western Baghdad ... was playing with a PlayStation video game to take his mind off the day’s events."

Oh, no! It's the dreaded Sunni reaction to the death sentence for Saddam Hussein. I'd heard it was going to be horribly chaotic and violent, but this, this is terrible. I mean, I'm assuming it's a pretty violent PlayStation game, probably. Don't you think?

Said Ali:
"It’s just like a comedy play... We’re not surprised."

Perhaps he was seething.

37 comments:

ntodd said...

A 23yo Sunni is playing on his PS? MY GOD! THERE IS NO CIVIL WAR, IS THERE?

ntodd said...

If I were Ali, I'd be out violating the curfew instead of playing video games.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I've been looking for reports of the predicted violence all day. That was the anecdote presented in the story in the NYT. Anyone who acts like this post is an example of my selectivity is being inexcusably lame!

Ann Althouse said...

You got a problem with this post? You've got a problem with the NYT. Damn them! The way they support Bush and the war no matter what! Can't trust anything!

Ann Althouse said...

And the notion that comedy is wrong during wartime? Ha! You don't mind when the pull-out-now crowd makes jokes. You're just flummoxed because the joke is funny, and, more seriously, perhaps because the violence you were hoping for didn't happen! Search your own conscience and be ashamed if you like when things go bad in Iraq.

Edward said...

Ann: I love the post, and I think it’s brilliant. You’re not saying there will never be a violent Sunni reaction to Hussein’s conviction -- just that there doesn’t seem to be one yet.

At a minimum, this Sunni kid interviewed by the NYT has the right perspective on the whole matter, and he isn’t allowing himself to get worked up over it.

I think it’s brilliantly funny.

You just happen to have a few really vile, mean-spirited people who post comments to your threads. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way the world is.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Derve said: "Don't jump to the conclusions that your partisan opponents wish there was more immediate violence either. I can see that coming."

Why would anyone jump to that conclusion, Derve? What kind of sicko would want the Iraq enterprise to end in horror? That would be some kind of sicko, man. Some kind of sicko.

ntodd said...

Hey, I've been looking for reports of the predicted violence all day. That was the anecdote presented in the story in the NYT. Anyone who acts like this post is an example of my selectivity is being inexcusably lame!

No, you're selection of the article and adding nothing to it except "Perhaps he was seething" is inexcusably lame. Really.

Garage Mahal said...

Some mighty dim light bulbs in this Alt-House.

Gahrie said...

Derve:

Hey I've got a great idea. Why don't you start your own blog? That way the people who want to read your bullshit can go there, and the rest of us won't have to put up with it.

boringmadedull said...

At least Derve acknowledges that there is a war. Many don't.

The violence in Iraq will likely only settle down when someone points out to Iran and Syria that it's in there best intrests to have Iraq settle down.

Unfortunately, this is likely to be some kid from the 101st Airborne.

DRJ said...

This article doesn't do much for the notion of a "seething Arab Street" unless that's defined as a passion for Grand Theft Auto.

PatCA said...

Well, the neighborhood was described as "brooding." I didn't know a neighborhood could brood, but that's something for the naysayers to latch onto!

At first I thought he should have been shot by his captors, but this trial did as much to bolster Iraq as a nation as Saddam's mere absence from this earth. And the judge kicked Ramsey Clark's a** to the curb!

All in all, a ripping good day. Let freedom reign!

downtownlad said...

Who cares about the verdict anyway. It's not like he had a fair trial. It was all a big show and the timing was solely for the U.S. elections.

I'm glad Saddam is going to die, but please, let's not act like this was anything but a Karl Rove orchestration for the elections.

Leland said...

I'm glad Saddam is going to die, but please, let's not act like this was anything but a Karl Rove orchestration for the elections.

One more week of lame comments, and then the ABB crowd will move back into the woodwork.

Rafique Tucker said...

Who cares about the verdict anyway. It's not like he had a fair trial. It was all a big show and the timing was solely for the U.S. elections.

Do you really believe that, downtownlad? I mean, the evidence was presented, and he was convicted, despite repeated attempts to sabotage the trial. Rove and crew will politicize everything, but that doesn't somehow delegitimitze this trial or the just verdict.

How would you have handled it, BTW?

Wickedpinto said...

Ali was plaing "kill all humans II," so he's obviously a part of the expanding AQ threat in Iraq.

Wickedpinto said...

Madam Ann,

Ha! You don't mind when the pull-out-now crowd makes jokes.

I'm a member of the pull-out-croud, be it in peace time or war, and in fact I don't understand how pulling out is in anyway associated with Iraq.

john(lesser) said...

Wikedpinto; Funny, but nice threadkill.

Ntodd; Nice hit and run. Mostly run.

Is it just me or are people responding to a nonexistent derve post ?

Ron said...

You gotta wonder if Ali was playing "Mortal Combat." That would have been
the sprinkles of irony on the ice cream cone of his life, wouldn't it?

Eli Blake said...

This was expected. It was also on schedule, making the headline on the last full news cycle before the U.S. election.

Oh, of course the Iraqi government is claiming that the timing of the announcement, moved back a couple of weeks from when it was originally scheduled, had nothing to do with the U.S. election.

And if you believe that this was a coincidence then I have a used car to sell you...

And as far as a spike in violence, to be motivated to commit a violent act you have to have a reason, and even the Sunnis don't give a flying leap about what happens to Saddam anymore.

ntodd said...

Ntodd; Nice hit and run. Mostly run.

Bzzz! Wrong answer, but thanks for playing. Your parting gift: my eternal derision. You are inexcusably lame!

ntodd said...

Yeah, where did those posts to the violence in Iraq go? Really, Ann, do you really need to disappear comments that give lie to your thesis?

Oh, right, it's not you, it's the Times...

Eli Blake said...

And one other point on the violence (or lack thereof):

If an individual or a group is planning to commit an attack, which day are they going to pick? The day everyone is on alert looking for it, or some ordinary day when no one expects it any more than they would on any other ordinary day?

I suspect that for the next few days you will see a decrease in violence precisely because the Iraqi army and police as well as the Americans are out in full force. However as Sun Tzu wrote in The art of war (I may be paraphrasing this) 'when the enemy comes to fight, retreat. When he moves on, advance. When he is resting, attack.' Neither the Iraqis nor the Americans have the resources to maintain this level of security indefinitely and what we are seeing is a competent guerilla war underlying all of the civil unrest (which they have provoked largely as cover).

JorgXMcKie said...

Jeez, the Iraqi court didn't frogmarch Karl Rove out nor convict Bush of war crimes, so how could it be a real trial? I mean, who would have thought that Ramsey Clark could be wrong? You act as if you (and the Iraqi people) actually think Uncle Saddam might not have been the nicest guy in the world.

And, Ann, I would have thought a hoity-toity law professor at a Major Midwestern University would have remembered that part of the Constitution where it says only the Left is allowed to release 'news' to try to influence elections.

No wonder some posters are so upset here.

luagha said...

If you are going to try and start a riot, you need a spark that moves otherwise uncaring folk to join in that riot. Some people will always join in, but those people are either already terrorists or they are just amoral opportunists looking for an chance to rob and rape (like the recent Eid riots).

It doesn't seem too hard to get a riot going in Arabic nations.

But Saddam's death was clearly not such a spark.

altoids1306 said...

Late to the party...I assume there were many deleted comments prior to Ann's series of comments?

I was originally wondering why Ann had decided to get snarky with that particular line, but she explained it fully in her comments. I think it's something that Democrats would find hard to hear, that we are winning in Iraq.

As Instapundit linked today, I think Orson Scott Card has it exactly right. He may have overstated the case a little bit - I don't think Bush is dumb, but I don't think he's quite that smart - but the essential truth is that Bush has taken the right strategic course on this war.

The Leftist hatred for American power is self-contradictory. You can find no greater champion for equality and social justice, for the oppressed and the poor than the US. The nations they idolize are laughably horrific - Iran, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela - and yet they would aid these countries, against their own principles, to spite the US. They are simply nihilists.

altoids1306 said...

(Addendium: I'm slightly drunk, so if that came out as gibberish...well, I'm drunk.)

Daryl Herbert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daryl Herbert said...

ntodd wrote: If I were Ali, I'd be out violating the curfew instead of playing video games.

I think your point is: it sure would be crazy for one guy all by himself to violate curfew in protest of the verdict.

But that's just it: if there were 100,000 other Sunnis marching, Ali might have joined in.

How do you report a non-event? How should the NYT cover the fact that 100,000 Sunnis didn't march? Maybe by tracking a few of them down and finding out why not?

AST said...

Methinks the NYTimes hasn't made up its mind how to spin this. It may take until Wednesday to decide whether there chaos and civil war, due to Bush's bungling and the refusal of the voters to throw the Republicans out, or less violence than we feared because the Democrats have regained control of the House of Representatives.

Ann Althouse said...

The only post I removed was the first one, not by Derve, which just cursed me. Any other deletions were made by the commenters.

I think some people may have realized how shameful it was that their posts displayed disappointment that the predictions of violence didn't come true and that it was embarrassing not to understand my post which essentially said hey, isn't it great that the predictions of violence didn't come true.

The ultimate manifestation of BDS is when you want us to lose the war. It showed, and I pointed it out.

I still have every comment, btw, in my gmail.

Ann Althouse said...

ntodd: "No, you're selection of the article and adding nothing to it except "Perhaps he was seething" is inexcusably lame. Really."

I know you love to write on your blog that I'm dumb, but don't you ever pause to worry that maybe you're dumb? (Or as you might put it "your dumb"?)

Because, really, you actually do seem pretty dumb, you know. You really didn't understand the post. You don't see what I added in the beginning, you don't get the reference and the implication.

And you don't understand my comment that said the post was not about my selectivity. (I wasn't selecting one anecdote and ignoring all the violence in Iraq, I was noting what the NYT came up with, which in the context of its article was an observation about how the people who were expected to riot did not.)

I've been trying to politely help you understand things because I think of you as a young student-type, but now I realize you are that pathetic blogger who keeps posting that I am dumb -- with little to say except just that: I am dumb.

Really, you r dum.

I'm going to have to slam you from now on. No more Miss Nice Professor for you. Loser.

Derve said...

"Oh no"

If you have to explain yourself, maybe outside your circles, it just wasn't that funny to begin with?

Thorley Winston said...

The Leftist hatred for American power is self-contradictory. You can find no greater champion for equality and social justice, for the oppressed and the poor than the US.
It’s only self-contradictory if you believe that the Left actually cares about any of those things.

Derve said...

Thorley:

Distinguish between elite left (champagne liberals type of lifelong Democrats) and those out there working to keep their families and communities together. Much of the faith-based coalition that Republicans have counted on in the past fall into the latter category. Deny them at your own peril. (take the champagne liberals -- please. They tend to distort the party needs of the second group, who in the past have made up the majority of Democratic voters.) The "Democrat party" is never going represent that first group, Republican lites. The demographics just don't support it. A party cannot please two masters and all that.

michael a litscher said...

Don't give up hope, leftists!

There is still time to influence the election by leaking some more top secret documents to the NYT.