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Posts Tagged with Iraq


Crooks, Liars & Cowards

November 3rd, 2011 by

Or why I can’t afford a cell phone

Maybe you noticed that I was writing for Crooks & Liars for a minute there. Well, that’s done. They found out that I once wrote an article called “Fuck the Troops” — apparently, they couldn’t be bothered to Google my name before bringing me aboard. They wanted a mea culpa. I wrote one. I wrote something, anyway. That was three weeks ago. Instead of having the ovaries to just fire me, they ignored me, likely wishing I’d just drop dead from fatness. (more…)

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NEOCON LIKE ME:

November 4th, 2010 by
HOW I SPENT A YEAR IN IRAQ TEACHING WITH THE BUSH-CHENEY CRAZIES
BY JOHN DOLAN
(This piece was originally published at Alternet)


The hero of this story is the $100 bill — or rather, the wad of $100 bills. My first meeting with those lovely $100 bills came at the end of my interview for a job teaching English at the American University of Iraq Sulaimaniya (AUIS). At the end of the interview, the Chancellor, Joshua Mitchell asked me what my travel expenses had been and pulled out a wad of $100 bills. He peeled off 11 of them — the cost of my ticket — and slapped them down on the table, snarling, “There, that’s how I do business!” (more…)

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Top 10 Idiocies of the General Election

August 10th, 2008 by

…so far

BY ALLAN UTHMAN

The Surge: Working Overtime

“The surge is working.” It’s an incessant mantra, forever on the lips of politicians and “journalists” these days. It’s as if they can simply will it into truth. Yes, there has been a reduction in violence in Iraq, if the stats are to be believed. But it’s a mistake to think that’s primarily due to an increase in troop strength. What is working in Iraq is the Awakening, a movement of Sunni tribes against al Qaeda in Iraq (which, while a franchisee of the al Qaeda trademark, is really an entirely separate group). Essentially what has happened is that the Sunni Arabs have grown weary of al Qaeda’s tendency to wantonly murder their own people, and to start civil wars and stuff like that. So they’ve started taking money from the Pentagon instead of bin Laden, and things have quieted down somewhat. This change was bound to occur, and preceded the surge. In fact, if Bush had eschewed the surge, and instead sent the equivalent amount of money for bribes and salaries, it would have been much more effective. (more…)

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Say Uncle!

August 10th, 2007 by

BEAST Negotiates Iraq Withdrawal

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Mahmoud OthmanA lifelong Kurdish diplomat, Dr. Mahmoud Othman is now a leading member of the Iraqi National Assembly. He is also our editor’s uncle.

Do you think it’s wrong that the PKK is listed as a terrorist agency?

Of course it’s wrong, because I think Turkey is waging a sort of  state terrorism against them for the last century. So when they defend themselves, you can’t call it terrorism. (more…)

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Schlep Boys

February 10th, 2007 by

Failing forward in one act.

BY ALLAN UTHMAN



[Scene takes place in the interior of an auto repair garage. Charles Krauthammer is seated behind a counter. America walks up and addresses Krauthammer.]

America: Hey, I’ve got a problem here.

Krauthammer: Welcome to Kristol and Krauthammer Kollision. Can I help you?

America: Uh—yeah I was just in here… I paid you guys to fix my car? It was making a knocking sound?

Krauthammer: Yes?

America: Yeah, it broke down in your driveway right there.

Krauthammer: Oh dear.

America: Yeah, and…uh…

Krauthammer: Let me get the guys. Bill! Tom! Peter!

[William Kristol, Thomas Friedman and Peter Beinart approach. They are well dressed and clean, bearing no signs of having been engaged in auto repair work.]

Krauthammer: This guy says we messed up his car.

Kristol: No way, hehe.

Beinart: Damn, I knew it.

America: Listen, it’s not just you didn’t fix it. I looked under the hood—

Beinart: Shit.

Kristol: Damn, hehe.

America: [Growing impatient] Yeah, I looked under the hood, and—I can’t believe I’m saying this—I looked under the hood, and my engine’s not there. And uh… instead of the engine, there’s a… a pig in there, on a treadmill, and a monkey. The monkey’s not moving.

Friedman: Yeah, we had to replace the engine.

America: Replace it? There’s a pig and a dead monkey in there! What the hell? You guys are supposed to be good at this?

Beinart: Dead? Oh god…

Kristol: Well, hehe, that explains your problem, hehe.

America: Yes, dead. There’s a dead monkey with a whip taped to his hand and two wires stuck into his side. And a goddamn pig in a harness on a treadmill!

Krauthammer: [Amused] What’s going on here, guys?

Friedman: Well, how else were we going to get the pig to run, besides training a monkey to whip it when electrically shocked?

America: That’s completely insane! Why not just fix the damn engine?

Friedman: Look, the problems your engine faced were like a Superbowl halftime show: powerful and flashy, and everywhere. But fixing it would have been costly, difficult and time-consuming, like going to the moon and back. So, actually fixing your engine would have been like eradicating a Superbowl halftime show on the moon. And who wants to do that? I like the Superbowl halftime show.

America: What the hell is this guy talking about?

Beinart: Just humor him.

Friedman: I’m not done. So, you see, the halftime show—so that’s too hard, actually fixing your engine. But simply removing and replacing it with a pig and a monkey, now that is inspired, audacious thinking. We are totally, 110% outside of the box here. The box is around the corner behind us. A homeless man has moved into it.

America: But it doesn’t work!

Friedman: But just imagine how incredible, how wonderful everything would be if it had! It would be like magic donuts, but cooler! I mean, sure, the results have been disappointing, but what kind of people would we be if we hadn’t at least tried? We’d be like uneaten donuts!

[Silence.]

Beinart: Look, it was a mistake to replace your engine with a pig and a monkey, and I can admit it. In fact, looking back, I can see how disingenuous I was really being at the time, and that I might have done things differently if it was my engine. That saddens me. But, at any rate, I am still a fabulous mechanic.

Friedman: The Chinese are going to save the world!

Kristol: Shut up, hehe. I have seen no evidence of any pig or monkey, heh. The engine is fine, hehehe. Obviously, the our maintenance hasn’t, heh heh heh, been exactly to your liking, but clearly progress is being made, and anyone arguing against moving forward on this auto repair is only rooting for failure, and undermining the morale of our brave auto technicians, hehe.

America: Why do you keep snickering like that?

Kristol: I can’t help it, hehe.

America: Look, you guys are unbelievable. I can’t believe you came so highly recommended. You obviously know nothing about fixing cars, and don’t give a damn about your customers’ well-being.  That monkey died because of your irresponsible actions and your lazy thinking. This isn’t a game. You should be ashamed. You should close up shop, go home and hang your heads in shame for the rest of your lives.

[Silence.]

Beinart: Yeah… You’re right. Sorry.

Friedman: You know, you’re really great.

America: Who, me?

Kristol: He’s right, you know. You are spectacular and wonderful.

America: [Blushing] Come on…

Beinart: No, really. You’re special and you deserve the world.

America: Shucks. You guys are so nice.

Krauthammer: Um, so you need a new engine, huh?

America: Yeah, I guess I do.

Krauthammer: Can we get that for you?

America: [Perking up]: Well, I don’t see why not!

Krauthammer: Okay! We’ll need the cash up front again, of course.

America: No problem! You take credit?

[End scene.]

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