Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
"I sort of gave up on this whole human adventure a long time ago, divorced myself from it emotionally. It gives me an artistic detachment that I find valuable. I think the human race has squandered its gift, and I think this country has squandered its promise, for the sake of cell phones and Jet Skis."
"Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there's an invisible man . . . living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of 10 specific things he doesn't want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money."
"When you're born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front-row seat."
"The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions."
“What's all this stuff about motivation? I say, if you need motivation, you probably need more than motivation. You probably need chemical intervention or brain surgery. Actually, if you ask me, this country could do with a little less motivation. The people who are causing all the trouble seem highly motivated to me.”
"Consumption. This is the new national pastime. Fuck baseball, it's consumption, the only true, lasting American value that's left . . . buying things . . . People spending money they don't have on things they don't need . . . So they can max out their credit cards and spend the rest of their lives paying 18 percent interest on something that cost $12.50. And they didn't like it when they got it home anyway. Not too bright, folks, not too fuckin' bright."
"We're so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody's going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven't learned how to care for one another. We're gonna save the fuckin' planet? . . . And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin' great. It's been here over four billion years . . . The planet isn't goin' anywhere, folks. We are! We're goin' away. Pack your shit, we're goin' away. And we won't leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we'll be gone. Another failed mutation; another closed-end biological mistake."
"Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That's all, a little place for my stuff. That's all I want, that's all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody's got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there. That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you're taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody's got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you're saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get . . . more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore."
"Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying . . . lobbying, to get what they want . . . Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it . . . they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin' place. It’s a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in The big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you . . . they don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .”
"There are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven you can't say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 . . . to seven. They must really be baaaad. They must be OUTRAGEOUS to be separated from a group that large. 'All of you words over here, you seven . . . baaaad words.' That's what they told us, right? 'That's a bad word!' Awwww. No bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions, and wooooords. You know the seven, don't ya? That you can't say on TV? Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits. Huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the words that'll infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war. Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits, wow! And tits doesn't even belong on the list! It seems like such a friendly word. Sounds like a nickname. 'Hey Tits, come here man! Tits! Meet my friend Toots. Toots, Tits. Tits, Toots.' Sounds like a snack . . . oh yeah, it is. Right. But I don't mean your sexist snack, I mean new Nabisco Tits. Corn Tits n' Sesame Tits n' Cheese Tits . . . Tater Tits. Bet you can't eat just one!"
Saturday, January 12, 2008
January 11, 2008 -- AS you read these lines, our troops are in the midst of Operation Phantom Phoenix, a "mini-surge" to squeeze al Qaeda and its fast-dwindling band of allies out of their few remaining safe havens in Iraq.
Iraqi troops fight beside us against a common enemy. Vast swaths of the country enjoy a newborn peace. Commerce thrives again. At the provincial and local levels, the political progress has been remarkable.
As for Operation Phantom Phoenix, our commanders expected terrorist dead-enders to put up a fight. Instead, they ran, leaving behind only booby traps and disgust among the Iraqis they tormented far too long.
Well, they can run, but they can't hide. We dropped 20 tons of bombs on 40 terrorist targets yesterday, including safe houses, weapons caches and IED factories. In a late-afternoon exchange with The Post, Gen. David Petraeus characterized our current ops as "executing aggressively, pursuing tenaciously."
The headlines at home? "Nine American Soldiers Killed." No mention of progress or a fleeing enemy on the front pages. Just dead soldiers.
Determined to elect a Democrat president, the "mainstream" media simply won't accept our success. "Impartial" journalists find a dark cloud in every silver lining in Iraq. And the would-be candidates themselves continue to insist that we should abandon Iraq immediately - as if time had stood still for the past year - while hoping desperately for a catastrophe in Baghdad before November.
These are the pols who insisted that the surge didn't have a chance. And nobody calls 'em on it.
Meanwhile, "Happy Birthday, Surge!"
One year ago, "the surge" kicked off as a forlorn hope, our last chance to get it right.
The odds were against us. Terrorist violence was out of control. Baghdad was a toxic wreck. Militias ruled, with ethnic cleansing rampant. And Iraq's leaders couldn't even agree about which day of the week it was.
We had never applied a coherent military or political policy in Iraq. Dithering leaders, civilian and in uniform, squandered American and Iraqi lives. A unique opportunity to jumpstart change in the Middle East had collapsed amid ideological fantasies, a looting orgy for well-connected contractors and Washington's simple unwillingness to really fight.
Even the new US jefe maximo for Iraq, Petraeus, was a dark horse. He'd just signed off on a counterinsurgency manual suggesting that the key to defeating terrorists is to learn to pronounce Salaam aleikum (Peace be with you) properly.
And then it all went right. Confounding Dems who expected him to preside over a retreat, Petraeus took the fight to the enemy like a rat terrier on meth. Jettisoning all the p.c. dogma, he turned out to be the first true warrior we put in command in Iraq.
Luck turned our way, too - and luck matters in war. Al Qaeda had managed to alienate its erstwhile Sunni Arab allies in record time. Former insurgents decided that the Great Satan America made a better dancing partner than Osama & Co.
Although analysts have missed it completely, the execution of Saddam Hussein helped, too: It took away the rallying figure for Sunni hardliners and made it easier for former insurgents to switch allegiance. The shock of Saddam's hanging jarred Iraq's Sunni Arabs back to reality: Big Daddy with the mustache wasn't coming back.
Meanwhile, the rest of the population was just sick of the violence. The merchant class wanted to get back to business. Tribal sheiks felt betrayed by foreign terrorists. And mashallah! We had veteran commanders on the ground who recognized the shifts underway in Iraqi society and capitalized on them.
Petraeus manifested two stages of military genius: 1) He recognized exactly what had to be done. 2) He didn't imagine he could do it all himself.
Our new man in Baghdad had the wisdom to give subordinate commanders a long leash when they caught a good scent.
Without in any way detracting from Petraeus, the indispensable man, our success this past year rested heavily upon field commanders far from the flagpole having the savvy to realize that the local sheik just needed one last bit of encouragement to jump sides.
Oh, and the left turned out to be dead wrong, as usual. We hadn't created an unlimited supply of terrorists. In fact, the supply turned out to be very finite, to al Qaeda's chagrin. And killing them worked. (One of the great untold stories of 2007 was the number of al Qaeda corpses.)
And our former enemies have been killing them for us.
Iraq still faces massive problems, of course. Thirty years of murderous tyranny under Saddam followed by four years of Coalition fumbling left the country a shambles. But Iraqis want it to get better.
The military situation is well on the way to being under control. Now the question is whether Iraq's leaders, especially those from the newly empowered Shia, can put their country above their personal and parochial interests (something that we don't expect of our own politicians these days).
On our side, the immediate problem is that we lack diplomats as visionary and capable as our soldiers. After almost a century, the Foggy Bottom fops still can't see beyond a world gerrymandered by their European idols at Versailles.
So here we are: The surge worked. It achieved all that we can expect of our military. 2008 will tell us whether the politicians and diplomats, US and Iraqi, can do their part.
And a final note: The Post had over a week's advance warning of Operation Phantom Phoenix, but didn't publish it. We don't share our nation's secrets with our enemies.
Ralph Peters' latest book is "Wars Of Blood And Faith."