Attila the Pun
Friday, April 09, 2004
Paging all morons

Stupidity appears to be breaking out all over the place today. First up is our previously sane ex-Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, channeling Ted Kennedy to claim that Iraq paralled Vietnam. (The sydney Morning Herald of course headlined it as "Iraq conflict like Vietnam", which isnt the same thing).

The parallel is apparently that "[i]n both cases, you had a largely American army, not completely but largely, trying to support or establish a state in a country that was foreign and alien to them."

And the solution? No prizes for guessing kiddies - "the killing there could be stemmed if control was handed to the United Nations. " Suuure Malcolm, after the slap up job that the UN has done everywhere else. Do people actually believe this stuff, or is it just knee jerk support for the principles underpinning the UN? Have they seen the roll call of countries that are in Iraq? - it is like the UN, without the terrorist hugging countries.

Somehow people manage to claim that this is all the US, and in the same breath state that Australia, Spain, Japan etc should pull their troops out. Which is it to be?

But to return to Malcolm's claim, Iraq is not like Vietnam, other than the US military is involved. Remember how Afghanistan was going to be just like Vietnam? When that didn't happen (though i am sure they are still hoping), the claims have been shifted to Iraq. There are dozens of reasons why they arent the same, but to take just one, look at a topographical map. Iraq is a completely different country to Vietnam. Fighting a war in urban areas and desert is very different to a jungle. Of course the urban areas lead to the "Baghdad will be another Stalingrad!!!" calls. I wonder if anybody will try that one on for Fallujah?

But for sheer teeth-aching stupidity, it is hard to go past former Northern Island Secretary Mo Mowlam. She has claimed that the US and Britain should open talks with Osama and his fellow al-Qaeda pals, lest we condemn large parts of the world to war forever.

Of course you cant go round making statements like that without some pretty heavy justification and well reasoned arguments, and Mo doesn't let us down - "If you go in with guns and bombs, you act as a recruitment officer for the terrorists." Aaah, no mindless cliches for Mo. Of course going in with guns and particularly bombs is what al-Qaeda do quite well, not to mention Mo's friends at the IRA. Speaking of which:

Interviewer Tony Cartledge asked if she could imagine "al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden arriving at the negotiating table"

her reply?

"Some people couldn't conceive of Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness getting to the table but they did."

Which confirmed that it is possible to bomb your way to the negotiating table against the West. To do the same with al-Qaeda would be catastrophic.

I know some people have trouble with this, so let me break it down - you do not negotiate with someone when the only concession they are making is to stop attacking you. That isn't a negotiation, that is a surrender.

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