July 12, 2007

Animal news -- incredibly cute and not cute at all.

1. There's this chihuahua puppy born with a big heart-shaped spot on its back. He wuvs you.

2. There are these -- I don't know -- corpse-eating monster badgers that Iraqis in Basra are saying the British released on them. Here's the video that goes with the story:

30 comments:

Triangle Man said...

They killed Buckey! You bastards!

Tim said...

If some Americans believe George W. Bush conspired to kill 3,000 persons in the attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, why should we be surprised some Iraqis think the indigenous badger was unleashed upon them by the British?

Eli Blake said...

You know, I'm sure someone will jump all over me for saying this, but I'm beginning to think that the reason Saddam Hussein was such a brutal dictator was because he knew Iraq, and he knew that the only way to make the people on the street behave was for everyone to be afraid all the time.

Not saying I think he was anything other than an evil dictator, but it's obvious when I read stories like this that the only thing that everyone in Iraq can understand, is fear.

Mike said...

Ann, the Bucky photo in your post from April 10, 2006 is missing.

I blame the Brits.

ak said...

These wouldn't be evil Jewish killer badgers, would they? You know, the kind that eat babies and give you AIDS and make your penis fall off if you shake hands with them?

Mike said...

I just played the video. It's just a Badger, for crying out loud! Big deal.

Gahrie said...

mushroom mushroom

Anthony said...

There's better video here.

Tim said...

Yeah, but given that the Brits are implicated, this one's probably better:

http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/footy/

blake said...

In related news, the SciFi channel just announced it's badger-themed fall lineup....

reader_iam said...

The video I associated with this story is FAR more horrifying.

reader_iam said...

Which song really, really, really belonged on that list about which Althouse blogged the other day.

stoqboy said...

Muskrat Love

Susan said...

Dang, stoqboy, you beat me to it.

Internet Ronin said...

It would appear that Mencken's point about Americans transcends cultures and continents and one can never go wrong underestimating the intelligence of the Iraqi people as well.

Revenant said...

I'm beginning to think that the reason Saddam Hussein was such a brutal dictator was because he knew Iraq, and he knew that the only way to make the people on the street behave was for everyone to be afraid all the time. Not saying I think he was anything other than an evil dictator, but it's obvious when I read stories like this that the only thing that everyone in Iraq can understand, is fear.

For pity's sake, Eli, did it ever cross your mind that Hussein might be the REASON the Iraqi people tend to be fear-driven? The only form of government most of them had ever experienced, prior to the US invasion, was the fear-driven totalitarian regime of the Baathists.

The Iraqi people aren't genetically predisposed to violence and fear. They're just like battered wives or abused children -- used to an unhealthy relationship with authority.

Eli Blake said...

Well, Revenant, the direction Iraq is taking, I suspect that sooner or later they will either have complete anarchy, or they will be 'stabilized' by another dictator (just as the anarchy of the French revolution opened the door for Napoleon, the Russian defeat in battle and the Kerensky revolution eventually opened the door for Lenin, and the German inflation and civil strife of the 1930's opened the door for Hitler.

Internet Ronin said...

Hate to say I tend to agree with your last post Eli, but I fear you are correct.

Revenant said...

Well, Revenant, the direction Iraq is taking, I suspect that sooner or later they will either have complete anarchy, or they will be 'stabilized' by another dictator

Neither condition will occur unless either (a) the United States agrees to it or (b) the United States prematurely withdraws from the country and leaves it to its own devices.

Admittedly, (b) is looking more likely every day, since that's what the American people currently favor. But it doesn't have to be that way; the Iraqi people are no more inherently incapable of democratic self-rule than any other group of people in the world.

Internet Ronin said...

Admittedly, (b) is looking more likely every day, since that's what the American people currently favor.

Yes. And history shows that support for war erodes after the third year. The lesson is do not go to war unprepared, without doing a good job of preparing the public, without sufficient manpower to do the job, nor with too many back-office restrictions on military initiative. And the last two major wars the United States has been involved will hopefully teach someone that you don't go to war without declaring it - as an act of Congress.

Drew W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew W said...

British troops to nervous Basrawis:

We don't need no stinkin' badgers!

(C'mon people, this one was staring you right in the face. Thank heavens I'm here . . .)

Tim said...

"Yes. And history shows that support for war erodes after the third year. The lesson is do not go to war unprepared, without doing a good job of preparing the public, without sufficient manpower to do the job, nor with too many back-office restrictions on military initiative."

And that same history shows that our enemies have a predictable, reliable ally in the Democrats, who find every reason in the world to first equivocate and then undermine the United States in its wars against its enemies. Our enemies know us better than we know ourselves. Stave off defeat, wage an information war via the ever-so-willingly complicit media to demonstrate the U.S. cannot possibly win (no matter the facts) and then wait, like clockwork, for the Democrats to tell the world they are prepared to deliver surrender on whatever terms the enemy will dictate.

Internet Ronin said...

Do you really think this is a modern phenomenom, Tim? Read the papers from 1945. Why do you think Eisenhower promised to go to Korea? Why was Lincoln in serious danger of losing his bid for re-election in 1864? What was the American public attitude as WWI dragged on?

I thought maybe this experience shows that those who wish to wage war damn well better wage it and not pussy-foot around. Which means secure a declaration of war, sell bonds, actively involve the public (don't try to hide it or the consequences from them), and draft as many as needed to get the job done right the first time not three or four years later when it is too damned late to make a difference.

The damage to our nation by this ill-considered adventure and inept occupation is mind-boggling. We are approaching one half a trillion dollars spent on this and are perilously close to having less to show for it than before it started. Our international reputation around the world is approaching an all-time low. Jesus, Tim, even the Czechs who loved us to death 10 short years ago don't trust us much more than the Russians. Our word is not believed to be our bond.

To date, no credible plans for the occupation have come to light - probably because there were none. Our leaders took us into an undeclared war with insufficient troop strength. We didn't have enough to even make a pass at securing the borders. Where do you think those IEDs come from Tim? Whose fault is it that all those foreigners and war materiel poured into Iraq AFTER our brave men and women won the short war?

Internet Ronin said...

Forgot to ask, Tim. Were you one of those who criticized Clinton for not taking out bin Laden when he had the chance? Or railed against the Clinton Administration Justice Department for failing to give approval for a hit?

Did you damn the Bush Administration when it failed to take advantage of repeated opportunities to quietly take out Al Sadr when they had the chance, very early in the occupation, after he murdered an opponent? Or later, when he was holed up in a mosque? Or later... Each and every time, the Bush Administration blinked. And the Bush Justice Department refused permission for such hits more than once, so please, don't insult my intelligence about the Democrats. This adminsitration has tied the hands of the military on numerous occasions, not given them the material and manpower they desperately needed, and our men & women there, as well as the American taxpayers here, are paying a horrific price for their incompetence and hubris.

By the way, Tim, if they had done the right thing from the beginning, and that is ask for a Declaration of War as provided for in the Constitution of the United States of America, some of their domestic problems you bemoan probably would not have surfaced. They chose the method and we have to live with the consequences of their decision.

BTW, I voted for Bush, Tim, so I pulled punches in my reply.

the jackal said...

ROUS's? I don't think they exist.

reader_iam said...

Read it and weep.

Tim said...

"...so please, don't insult my intelligence about the Democrats."

IR, your points, well made and many of which I agree, don't mitigate three simple points: 1) al Qaeda is the enemy in Iraq, and there is no better place to take on al Qaeda than Iraq (or do you prefer war in Pakistan?). 2) if we cannot defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, do you really think we can defeat al Qaeda anywhere? 3) Despite factual complaints (and some not so factual) about how the war has been managed, there is absolutely no scenario in which defeat is better than winning. Since '68 the Democrats have found virtue defending our enemies from our military; I've nothing but contempt for them, especially those who vote to authorize war for reasons of political expediency and then work to undermine the very men they agreed to put in harm's way. I may insult your intelligence; they insult my sense of integrity and honor.

Comparisons to the war in Korea do not hold, for obvious reasons. Your post deserves more response than I have time for right now; suffice to say that while I think many of your complaints are valid, I think Bush faced constraints (some self-imposed) that have been extracting their price. On the military front, the surge is working, the Sunnis are flipping, we are defeating al Qaeda.

And once we defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, I think we'll be able to wind down significantly; our remaining presence is likely to look like that in Korea post-'53 to help manage the long-term project to stabilize Iraq's political situation.

That is, if the Democrats and the New York Times can abandon their pro-U.S. defeat and genocide in Iraq platform and let the program finish.

Internet Ronin said...

I must apologize for the over- heated reply to you last night, Tim, and appreciate your measured response in turn.

It seems to me that the simple points you made aren't all that simple:

1) al Qaeda is the enemy in Iraq, and there is no better place to take on al Qaeda than Iraq (or do you prefer war in Pakistan?).

There are a host of enemies in Iraq: Sunnis who want power back, foreign opportunists, Shiites like Al Sadr, Iranians, Syrians and poorly coordinated but still deadly groups affiliated with Al Qaeda.

There has been a low-level war going on in Pakistan since 2001. The most recent example of that is the sotrming of the red mosque.

2) if we cannot defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, do you really think we can defeat al Qaeda anywhere?

Yes, I do, as it seems to me that al Qaeda's organizational abilities and influence are overrated. There appears to be strong evidence that as much damage is being caused in Iraq by those aligned with Iran as those claiming allegiance to al Qaeda.

3) Despite factual complaints (and some not so factual) about how the war has been managed, there is absolutely no scenario in which defeat is better than winning.

Agreed. However, the phrase "reality sucks" readily comes to mind. I see no sign that American public opinion is going to reverse course, do you?

On the military front, the surge is working, the Sunnis are flipping, we are defeating al Qaeda.

Again, I believe the evidence is clear that there is not a single enemy but many. The surge is nothing more than a military escalation that the military itself has said is unsustainable given their manpower. Had it been done years earlier, before various groups had time to form, it would probably have been more successful. At the moment, it is successful as long as American troops remain in an area in numbers unsustainable over the long-haul. Although pre-surge, the region around Baquabah is a good example of what was believed to be a success that quickly deteriorated when American troops were relocated.

our remaining presence is likely to look like that in Korea post-'53 to help manage the long-term project to stabilize Iraq's political situation.

I believe that is the likely result. We will probably end up occupying and protecting a rump Kurdistan, but that was what we were doing before the war, when 150,000 Turkish troops weren't on the border champing at the bit to invade.

Tim, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this administration was on the march towards this elective war long before they were paying attention to al Qaeda, that they failed to do anything but cursory due diligence before embarking upon it, failed to provide the military with the manpower, support, and tools necessary to finish the job, failed to plan for the occupation, failed to understand the dynamics of Iraqi society, failed to secure the borders, failed to identify their enemies within Iraq and isolate them, failed to involve the American public in their grand adventure, failed to seize one of the great opportunities of modern times to forestall domestic opposition, and failed to account for the international reaction to their misadventure and the far-reaching implications that will haunt our national interests in a host of areas for decades to come.

I think the writing on the wall has been there for all to see for some time now, and the text is the same as in the Book of Daniel:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

And our modern-day Belshazzar's Feast is now drawing to a close.

Tim, I earnestly hope that I am completely wrong and that the escalation will prove successful and Iraq will emerge as an independent democratic state of some sort, but I am far from hopeful and believe it is far too late.

As I understand it, Our military in Iraq had been asking for this kind of effort since 2004. If they had been given the tools they needed and the permission to use them then, we might be in a far different situation than we are today. They weren't so we aren't.

As to genocide, Tim, it seems to me that ethnic cleansing of one sort or another has been going on in Iraq since not long after our occupation began and will continue to do so after we are long gone, in victory or defeat.

Cedarford said...

Internet Ronin said...
Hate to say I tend to agree with your last post Eli, but I fear you are correct.


Imagine how nauseating it is for me to be agreeing with Ronin agreeing with Eli...

Revenent - But it doesn't have to be that way; the Iraqi people are no more inherently incapable of democratic self-rule than any other group of people in the world.

Hate to quash your multi-culti, all people and cultures are the same - but 8 serious attempts to introduce democracy to Haiti since 1804 all failed. We actually have a pretty good idea ahead of time based on experience - of what nations and peoples are almost certain to succeed in transitioning to Democracy (Mongolia, Slovakia, Myanmar, Marshall Islands) and which are quite expected to fail (Zimbabwe, Iraq, Moldava, Somalia, Egypt, etc.)

******************
Ronin gets anal though - And the last two major wars the United States has been involved will hopefully teach someone that you don't go to war without declaring it - as an act of Congress.

He goes back to the old Lefty duplicitous argument that the Magic Words of the Sacred Parchment will legitimize war and set us on a path to victory if only they are uttered.
Ignoring that the Sacred Parchment does not allow declaration of war except on specific nations - and we gave up letters of Marque against piracy and declarations of war itself with us signing on to the Treaty of Lisbon and the UN Charter.
All members of the UN are prohibited from formally declaring War. No formal War declaration has happened since the UN was formed.

The Lefty anal insistance on the Magic Words that they have yammered about since Vietnam in no way signals that they wish to leave the UN and all their Holy International Laws UN members fall under -- no, it is just a ploy to maintain that all war the US is involved in is illegitimate and wrong..

But other than his anal "Magic Words" demand, Ronin's critique of Bush launching a half-ass, ill thought-out war where all the sacrifice was to be on 3% of the population while the rest of us "cheered the heroes" - is pretty accurate by Ronin...

***********

Tim - if we cannot defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, do you really think we can defeat al Qaeda anywhere?

You misapprehend the actual enemy. You are thinking with the knowledge available to US citizens on 9/12/01 and incorporating no new info since them.
The struggle is not with Al Qaeda. They are just one of 60 organized terrorist groups that along with spontaneous Jihadis, act as the "tip of the spear" for at least 100 million radical Islamoids globally that wish for lethal violence against the infidels, heretics, and godless Pagans..

While we have been playing terrorist "whack a mole" with sorties by 50 million dollar planes from a 4 billion aircraft carrier we have burned up half the lifetime reactor fuel load of in 5 years vs 22 to kill a 200 dollar Sudanese Jihadi?? Well, all that while we have been fighting a "tiny band of evildoers", Bush's good friends the Saudis have built hundreds of new Mosques, Madrassahs, and prison ministries to push radical Islam in the USA, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Pakistan, and subsaharan Africa.

As indicated by the women now flocking under the veil from Toronto to Turkey, the sympathies towards radical Islam have exploded. (More like how the fascists of Europe came out of the woodwork when the Nazis were winning and on the march. It wasn't Churchill and Stalin "alienating" the poor proto-fascists.....it was the fight was on and brownshirts, like Muslims, were choosing between being "moderate half-asses" and "committed".)