Skip

Time's Person of the Year
December 21, 2003 11:07 AM   Subscribe

"They swept across Iraq and conquered it in 21 days. They stand guard on streets pot-holed with skepticism and rancor. They caught Saddam Hussein. They are the face of America, its might and good will, in a region unused to democracy. The U.S. G.I. is Time's Person of the Year." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha (67 comments total)

 
Press release and MetaFilter discussions of the 2002 and 2001 selections.

Time's criteria:
Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill--guidelines that leave them no choice but to select a newsworthy--not necessarily praiseworthy--cover subject.
I would have selected either Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:08 AM on December 21, 2003


I think we'll find out in a few years that the person that had the most impact on 2003 was either Dick Cheney or Ahmed Chalabi.
posted by machaus at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2003


If one were to include, as Time has done in the past, the entertainment industry, I'd give strong consideration to a joint award to Mark Burnett (Survivor) and the producer of American Idol. Boy, did those guys waste a lot of air time and newsprint this year!
posted by billsaysthis at 11:13 AM on December 21, 2003


Apparently the Kurds caught Saddam. Drugged and abused him, left him in the hole to die slowly. Little wonder he wasn't putting up a fuss when rescued...
posted by five fresh fish at 11:14 AM on December 21, 2003


Er. As discussed in the FPP two below this one. D-oh.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:24 AM on December 21, 2003


Once they became afraid to pick villians and terrorists (Osama in '01-hello!?!), this lost a lot of status.
posted by amberglow at 11:39 AM on December 21, 2003


Once they became afraid to pick villians and terrorists (Osama in '01-hello!?!), this lost a lot of status.

Time looks glowingly back on MOTY/POTY with its online archives and tribute to itself to maintain a prestige of the issue. As said many time before though, it's clear to anyone who actually cares about it that the "honor" jumped the shark pretty much after Gorbachev took the Decade issue in 1990.

POTY is pretty much a glorified "People" annual at this point: a decision on what picture on the cover sells more issues. This isn't appealing to the world affairs crowd; it's an attempt to sell the "Yay soldiers!" image to people who would otherwise never be reading Time anyway. My point isn't that the GIs don't deserve praise; it's that putting them on the cover of Time wasn't done with praise in mind.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:58 AM on December 21, 2003


We should all be very proud of how the United States has acted in the past year, particularly in the face of European cowardice and econo-whore-ism, and the medievil outlook of so much of the world. May 2004 bring continued success!
posted by ParisParamus at 12:08 PM on December 21, 2003


May 2004 bring continued success!

...towards my harvesting of souls!
posted by machaus at 12:24 PM on December 21, 2003


We should all be very proud of how the United States has acted in the past year, particularly in the face of European cowardice and econo-whore-ism, and the medievil outlook of so much of the world. May 2004 bring continued success!

Wow. You say that with a straight face, don't you, PP?
posted by cx at 12:26 PM on December 21, 2003


ParisParamus: Oh? Behaving as the ultimate rogue nation is behavior to be proud of? Econo-whore-ism to Bechtel and Halliburton is pride inducing? Our own SEC ignoring corporate fraud after fraud and standing by letting Elliiot Spitzer do their job? Ongoing unemployment buoyed not by the rising economy but by nation guard and reservist mobilizations? Thump you chest all you want.

I think the dedication of the men and women in uniform is admirable though their mission flawed they have done their jobs in a way worthy of respect. Their bosses on the other hand...
posted by shagoth at 12:28 PM on December 21, 2003


In a time long ago there lived in the kingdom of Gallowmere a sorcerer named Zarok. This arrogant, pitiless man hated his fellow citizens for their simple and peaceful ways, so he raised an army of demons and set out to take the realm for his own... [ Medievil ]
posted by taz at 12:29 PM on December 21, 2003


Yes, without irony. When will you fools realize that neither men, nor their governments will ever be perfect. When will you realize that insisting on a hypocracy-free foreign policy as a condition precedent to action means never acting?
Should the United States not have entered WWII because there was some trade between Nazi Germany and the US before Normandy? Sorry, but once your (one's) depostism and inhumanity spills out beyond your own borders, or you affect genocide on those within your borders, you're fair game for invasion.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:04 PM on December 21, 2003


hypocrisy.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:07 PM on December 21, 2003


You're a laugh riot, PP. Don't ever change.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2003


Hey five fresh: you're floundering--again.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:12 PM on December 21, 2003


When will you fools realize that a low introductory rate is merely an enticement to get you to sign up for a credit card, and that it will balloon after six months -- along with your payments!
posted by Hildago at 1:13 PM on December 21, 2003


I hate freedom. I LOVE TERRORISTS!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:20 PM on December 21, 2003


The soldiers didn't ask for this mission and when it's over they probably won't want another but however you feel about the war the soldiers deserve the recognition Time has given them in particular the dead soldiers and their families.
posted by stbalbach at 1:29 PM on December 21, 2003


Soldiers never ask for a particular mission. The only wars a good chuck of people on this site approve of are ones which took place too long ago for the moral/ethical imperfections to be seen in detail.

Look. It's not like the wealth and technology of the various dangerous regimes of the world is homegrown. One could argue that, apart from the danger Iraq caused and fomented, the fact that the West's money made Iraq odious, and it is/was our responsiblity to limit the horrors they caused. For better or worse, Saddam made taking that step a no-brainer.
(no-brainer, except here on Metafilter...)
posted by ParisParamus at 1:37 PM on December 21, 2003


more jingoist blather designed to distract us from the fact that killing them has nothing to do with appreciating them.
posted by quonsar at 1:38 PM on December 21, 2003


Paris, you waste no opportunity to discount the whole of metafilter as some hippie strawman and you wonder why you get piled on. when I snap my fingers, I command you to age 5 years.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:41 PM on December 21, 2003


chunk, not chuck!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:42 PM on December 21, 2003


Metafilter apparently salutes the troll for this year, given the number of people feeding it in this thread.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:44 PM on December 21, 2003


Time Canada's Newsmakers of the Year are the first gay couple to legally wed in Canada. We should all be very proud of how Canada has acted in the past year, particularly in the face of the medieval outlook of so much of the world. May 2004 bring continued success!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:45 PM on December 21, 2003


No. Actually, a college campus strawman. Without the straw. It's pseudo-morality.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:47 PM on December 21, 2003


Time's POTY choice is a good move. Sell copies to families of GIs over there, keep morale up, desertion rates down...

zig!
posted by Busithoth at 1:55 PM on December 21, 2003


Canada: It's the America we should be : >
posted by amberglow at 1:56 PM on December 21, 2003


Conquest is anti-American. I'm still glad one of those guys slugged Saddam, though. Amen to Amberglow tho.
posted by inksyndicate at 2:09 PM on December 21, 2003


According to this column, there were three finalists. The other two were Bush and Rumsfeld. Schwarzenegger was on the "short list but not the short short list."
posted by Daze at 2:14 PM on December 21, 2003


I for one am glad Time chose the American Soldier. They deserve it. I know so many families affected by this Iraq thing-some of the finest people I know. I'm proud of them. They don't whine or gripe, just go do what they are called to do (spouses as well.)

If you squint, PP, you can ignore the cynicism. Isn't hard if you try.
posted by konolia at 2:19 PM on December 21, 2003


I think this is a good choice. I also liked last year's choice of the whistleblowers.
posted by homunculus at 2:23 PM on December 21, 2003


Canada: the pleasant little kingdom subsidized by it's messy big neighbor to the south...
posted by ParisParamus at 2:24 PM on December 21, 2003


The only wars a good chuck of people on this site approve of are ones which took place too long ago for the moral/ethical imperfections to be seen in detail.

Sorry. No. Not me. I'm all for the going into Afganistan. The US of A got 'world blessing' on that action.

The rebuilding of Afganistan is being done on the cheap. Spending some $$$ there, cleaning up after the Soviet wreckage would have gone a long way to making Osama look like a loon. Instead, the unwillingness of the rich people's buildings that collapsed to open thier wallet and spend $$ is why the 'terrorist alert is at orange'.

If "the rich" had their way, the twinb towers in New Your would be written off as 'a cost of doing business'. Instead, your Uncle Sam has his hand in your pockets taking money to make sure Haliburton and others can be paid.

*sigh*
posted by rough ashlar at 2:28 PM on December 21, 2003


Oh man, talk about your safe crowd-pleasing picks. Next year its either Mom or Apple pie.
posted by skallas at 2:31 PM on December 21, 2003


We should all be very proud of how the United States has acted in the past year, particularly in the face of European cowardice and econo-whore-ism, and the medievil outlook of so much of the world. May 2004 bring continued success!

OK, regardless of my or anyone's opinion on the war, considering that Europe was in fact split in two on the issue, and plenty of countries did get involved I think that's bullshit with a capital ULLSHIT. Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey... Considering the list of countries that *could* realistically get involved but didn't is roughly 2 in length... you know... jeez
posted by nthdegx at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2003


I hate freedom. I LOVE TERRORISTS!


posted by delmoi at 2:50 PM on December 21, 2003


I'm glad Time chose the American soldier - good idea or not, Iraq's not a fun place to be at the moment, and the US soldiers there did not chose that war. They're not getting rich on the invasion like the Bechtel and Halliburton folks. Some are losing jobs, spouses......A little recognition via Time is not much, but it's something.

Plus, think of the range of other alternatives Time was considering.
posted by troutfishing at 2:53 PM on December 21, 2003


Ahem. "Conquered""? Let's hope nobody from Iraq, or indeed any other middle-eastern nation, is reading this article, it might give them serious cause for concern - after all, the party line as I understood it has always been that we "liberated" Iraq.

Still, conquered is more accurate, I suppose. To the victor (not the helpful liberators) goes the spoils...
posted by kaemaril at 2:58 PM on December 21, 2003


I'm all for the going into Afganistan. The US of A got 'world blessing' on that action.

No.
posted by signal at 3:06 PM on December 21, 2003


It really bugs me when people dismiss universities and places of higher education as just places for "elite liberal academics" or whatever the phrase du jour may be.

Because what they're saying is that the thoughts and ideas of people (the professors) who get paid to think and develop ideas are worthless.
posted by nath at 3:21 PM on December 21, 2003


If the GI can win, the American Industrialist can win: the one who made us so preposterously, almost embarrassingly superior in armaments that we could use shock and awe as a substitute for tactics and strategy.

Or how about the American Taxpayer, who's paying for all those armaments whether he wants to or not?

Or since corporations are supposed to be legal persons, how about the Multinational Corporation as POTY? The "person" on whose behalf (it is commonly argued) the war was fought in the first place, and so far the biggest winner.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:23 PM on December 21, 2003


Don't confuse your "liberation" with your "empire-building", now...
posted by Vidiot at 3:23 PM on December 21, 2003


Canada: Not nearly as liberal as the US media would have you think.

Pot possession punishment is more severe than before decriminalization - before cops never charged anyone (you had to piss them off pretty badly to get charges laid for possession) and gay marriage might be dumped by the new conservative coup leader disguised as a liberal party PM.

There are things I am proud of my country for ...but these two recent things are more smoke than reality.
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 PM on December 21, 2003


Good on ya, PP.
posted by davidmsc at 3:41 PM on December 21, 2003


I've got to say this for PP - unlike others who struggle mightily against the pinkocommie gay-feminazi america-hating crowd here and provide us with that well-reasoned and patriotic alternative viewpoint, he doesn't just drop thread-turds and run away. He stays and makes a stand. So that's something, at least.

Anyone got a link to that Iraqi-prisoner execution video? You know, to be fair and balanced?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:37 PM on December 21, 2003


Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill

By this logic, Saddam Hussein should be the man of the year as the soldiers wouldn't have gone into Iraq if he wasn't the one in power.

I guess what those British (amongst others) soldiers did was useless! bah. More like Time: American Patriotic PR of the Year.
posted by mkn at 5:35 PM on December 21, 2003


The rebuilding of Afganistan is being done on the cheap.

What rebuilding?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:12 PM on December 21, 2003


Is it worth getting in a flap about? I can't even remember when I last saw a copy of Time. It's to news like Rolling Stone is to music.
posted by emf at 6:26 PM on December 21, 2003


The rebuilding of Afganistan is being done on the cheap.

What rebuilding?


Exactly. I'd have been willing to put aside doubt about Iraq's aftermath if the Adminstration could have pointed to Afigansatn and said "see what a GREAT JOB done here".

But the Adminstration doesn't have the vision or ability (or both) to move Afganstan forward. Food, infrastucture, replacing what the Soviets bombed into rubble would be a good start.


Oh, and signal....saying "no" is less useful than a Seth posting.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:43 PM on December 21, 2003


rough ashlar, let me re-phrase, then:

no, they didn't.

better?

and what the fuck is a seth posting?
posted by signal at 6:48 PM on December 21, 2003


the question begs to be asked: who cares? time's POTY is as deep and meaningful as the 'wonderful site awards' given by those cloistered pink-bunnyrabbit-.gif wielding saps who see the world through 6-year-old-puffy-cloud huggy-bear little-girl eyes. not that time is self-deluded, quite the contrary - this is time's 'swimsuit issue', and there's bucks to be banked. but the award? meaningless.
posted by quonsar at 6:49 PM on December 21, 2003


But the Adminstration doesn't have the vision or ability (or both) to move Afganstan forward.

What does that really mean? Afghanistan isn't a building, the construction of which will abide by principles of engineering. physics and architecture. It's a medevil "country" where our primary aim is to make sure terrorism doesn't become an export.

What would you do in Afghanistan? Throw more money down the rat holes?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:54 PM on December 21, 2003


What would you do in Afghanistan? Throw more money down the rat holes?

send you there. no sense all those ratholes going uninhabited.
posted by quonsar at 7:01 PM on December 21, 2003




and what the fuck is a seth posting?

Seth posting.
posted by SPrintF at 7:19 PM on December 21, 2003


An thusly ParisParamus said: What does that really mean?

Considering you have not bothered to answer a question of you when I've directly asked you to answer them, I have no desire to hold you hand and spell out the world to you now.

When you have demonstrated that you are able to engage in an actual conversation ParisParamus, I'll be happy to answer your question.

Oh and signal, do you have some actual links to back up your statements? I'm happy to adjust my POV when someone goes beyond hand waving. So far you have "no" and a "no, they didn't.". 3rd time is the charm signal, or just more hand waving?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:04 PM on December 21, 2003


Just curious. I wonder how the families of Afghan and Iraqi civilians killed by American troops feel about the selection. I guess they're pretty voiceless, though....so who cares, eh?

....particularly in the face of European cowardice and econo-whore-ism, and the medievil outlook of so much of the world.

ParisParamus, would it be too much trouble (if you're not too busy!) for you to maybe actually support just one or two of the things you assert, like via perhaps providing a link,, or even little things like maybe some facts, to perhaps attempt (pretty-please?) to support any of your assertions...like, oh, say, that Europe consists of nothing but cowards and econo-whores, and that America can do absolutely no wrong when it takes military action, as long as it satisfies "our interests". That just seems so suspiciously binary, and I just know you're not a guy or gal who's as simple as that. Maybe you could explain how your outwardly black and white view is somehow different from every terrorist organization's marching orders on this planet. You know...that comparison and contrast thingie you may remember from your prior and no doubt lengthy education.

I don't know if you realized this or not, but people will tend to actually take you a bit more seriously if you actually take the time to do so. If you can. And, as I said, if it's not too much trouble for you. Thanks so much.

Besides, you really don't want me to get "medevil" or (gasp!> even "medievil" on your ass, now do you?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:15 PM on December 21, 2003


'Round these parts, I'd say that this is a Seth posting.
posted by troutfishing at 9:22 PM on December 21, 2003


>I wonder how the families of Afghan and Iraqi civilians killed

Not to mention, we're applauding Quadaffi for paying for the Lockerbie bombing, yet the US hasn't paid a penny out for Reagan's civillian targeted bombing in Libya.

Who cares, its all collateral damage right? A cvillian is just a thing in the way of a good war or two or three.
posted by skallas at 10:03 PM on December 21, 2003


Is it worth getting in a flap about? I can't even remember when I last saw a copy of Time. It's to news like Rolling Stone is to music.

Hilarious.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:19 PM on December 21, 2003


collateral casualties are just consumers who bought too little, too late.

"if they ain't buyin', they better be dyin'." said pappy prescott with a mischievous smile to his inheritors.
posted by quonsar at 11:47 PM on December 21, 2003


The foreign policies of France and Germany speak for themselves as examples of econo-whore-ism.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:09 AM on December 22, 2003


Thank you, Mr O'Reilly.
posted by emf at 5:34 AM on December 22, 2003


They're not getting rich on the invasion like the Bechtel
?
Bechtel is already rich. Also, should the solder get rich, perhaps take home some sweet crude or someones gold?

I guess they're pretty voiceless, though....so who cares, eh?
you guesses really bite the chimps butt then. The voice of Iraqi dissent can be heard with bobby traps, bombs, bullets. They go to the streets voicing thier displeasure. I imagine they publish newspapers reflecting what that "voice" says.

you wanna link foldy?
posted by clavdivs at 8:50 AM on December 22, 2003


The foreign policies of France and Germany speak for themselves as examples of econo-whore-ism.

Ah yes. Because I declare x to be true, I will then assert that x is true.

Nice going, ParisParamus.
posted by Vidiot at 11:30 PM on December 22, 2003


This is telling.
posted by amberglow at 9:41 AM on December 26, 2003


« Older Saddam's spiderhole photo was taken in August?   |   A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post