Sunday, February 25, 2007

Support the troops redux

I'm in quito for work and I'm stuck in the hotel
room because I've picked up some kind of stomach
virus that won't go away. All I've done for the past
24 hours is migrate from the computer to the bed
to the bathroom, so I got to watch about 15 hours
of TV yesterday. One of the expat channels is showing forrest
gump this week, so I settled down to watch forrest and bubba
discuss boiled shrimp fried shrimp, shrimp sandwich, etc.

One scene that particularly jarred me was the peace protest
rally, where they are protesting Fucking VIETNAM!

The big banner behind the podium says "Support our GI's,
bring them home". Which makes me wonder if the hippies even
spent money to reprint signs for this war, or they are using the
same ones.

Iraq and Vietnam are similar in that the roots of both wars are
deep. There were several points in time before ground troops were
in vietnam where we could have changed policies, not returned indo
china to france after WWII, not supported the french, not supported
the South Vietnamese and just washed our hands of the whole thing.

Once ground troops were there and it was a proxy war with the Soviet
Union it had morphed from a colonial war that was a bad idea to an
anti-domino war where the country did have something at stake. The
troops should have been supported by silence, not protests.

The Iraq war is similar in that it is a continuation of the first gulf war where
only a cease-fire was signed way back in 1991 on condition that Saddam
give a full accounting of it's wmd and destroy all of it, not fire missiles at
coalition aircraft, etc (resolutions 686 and 687) The cease fire was signed
after the first bush decided not to go on and attack bagdad and topple

The roots go even further back because we gave support to Iraq against
Iran, when we probably should have been bombing both combatants, or at
least not talking to either one. This led to our ambassador telling the Iraqis
'we have no opinion with arab-arab conflicts like your border disagreement
with the Kuwaitis
'. (that's the text of the conversation between Saddam and
Ambassador Gilespie- fascinating)

So my point is, if I have a point, both wars had deep roots that go back in time.
The final decisions were made to send in ground troops, and after that point
we are stuck like a fly in amber. As mortals we can't go back in time and change
any of the events that happened in the past. We are there, the troops are fighting.
We can either support them by sending money or packages, we can work hard
so that the economy stays strong, we can strap on bombs and fly to Iran and blow
ourselves up over there (maybe not), but protesting the war and demanding
the troops come home is not support and never has been, in this war or in
past wars.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cien anos de soledad

One of the reasons I've felt weirded out this past week, apart from
too much work and not enough time to do it is that I'm reading 'One-
hundred years of solitude' by the colombian author Gabriel Garcia
Marquez. I tried to start reading it in spanish, but it is so different and
weird that my first reaction was 'fuck, my spanish must really suck, because
I don't have any idea what he's talking about.' So I bought the english
version instead and it really is a fantastic book, in every sense of the word
fantastic. It follows 5 generations of the Buendia family and it rings so
true at the same time that every almost single event that happens in it
is false and magical, the story is told in the past fantastical tense.

Everything that happens could be a later mythical interpretation of past events,
instead of a town being built because a group of young couples are moving
away from their parents after one of the men kills a rival, instead they
leave because the ghost of the dead man is haunting his killer. More things
happen in the first 60 pages of this book than any two other books, it's like
the Anti-tom clancy, instead of 800 pages of nothing followed by 100 pages
of climax, it's several hundred pages of climax.

The book comes out the pages and infects your life so that sentences run
on and become paragraphs, paragraphs blow up into pages and pages fly away
into books, all of which makes it difficult to finish the technical proposals I'm
writing. Cien anos de propuestas technicas.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I hate it when that happens

Do you ever travel to a different city and go to one of those
places...what's it called? oh yeah, a casino, and you play craps for
about 4 hours and lose $100 in a slow unfun kind of way while
drinking what do you call them? oh yeah, cuba libres, then you get
get tired of losing so you go over to the $5 baccarat table even though
you don't know the rules, but it's really pretty easy so you play and
you win back your money plus another $50.

Then you go back to your room and turn on the tv and they have what's it
called? oh yeah, the wizard of oz with Pink floyd's dark side of the moon
dubbed over it, and it plays and it plays and it seems to fit so perfectly that
you realize that pink floyd, the people that wrote the wizard of oz and the
guy that dubbed the movie with the album are all doing you know, what's that
called? oh yeah....serious drugs. Man, I hate it when that happens.

[dorothy is just meeting the scarecrow, and "dark side of the moon" is
playing -roger waters is saying "the lunatic is on the grass" just as the
scarecrow jumps out] no more cuba libres for me.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Going Tharn

I've been so busy lately that this morning I'm actually tharn.
Like a rabbit being stalked by a coyote, or a manager stalked
by too many employees, I'm laying in the grass with my ears flat
against my head as snowflakes of emails drift down around me
and the buzzing cricket of my cellphone rings incessantly.

Should I dash for the warren, just shut down my rabbit computer and
leave the crickett where it lies, vibrating?

Unfortunately, I'm in the warren, it's sunday morning and the oilfield
is calling me here at home....shit, no more rabbit metaphors.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

72 Virgins

Steve Martin has a great blurb in the New Yorker called
72 Virgins.
Linked from Instapundit, since I'm so busy lately the
only web surfing I do is check LGF and instapundit to see what's
going on in the world. It's sunday, so I read the Nytimes & times
picayune too, yeah!

Here's the 20's, I hope bin ladin is enjoying his 72 Virginians:

Virgin No. 21: I hope you’re not going to sleep with me and then go sleep with seventy-one others.

Virgin No. 22: Do you mind if we listen to Mannheim Steamroller?

Virgin No. 23: Are you O.K. with the dog on the bed?

Virgin No. 24: Would you mind saying, “Could I see you in my office, Miss Witherspoon?”?

Virgin No. 25: Ride me! Ride me, Lucky Buck!

Virgin No. 26: You like your vanilla hot?

Virgin No. 27: Does Ookums like Snookums?

Virgin No. 28: It’s so romantic here, dead.

Virgin No. 29: Well, I’m a virgin, but my hand isn’t.

Virgin No. 30: You are in?