Well, ha ha ha, and yah, boo
March 20, 2002 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Well, ha ha ha, and yah, boo said Christopher Hitchens to those who would oppose the war on November 14. At this time, of course it was assumed by Hitchens and his ilk that we had won, all that remained was to install "our sons of bitches", and rub the peacenicks faces in it. Now it seems very far from over and Hitchens and others with similar views have articulated their thoughts in the Guardian. It makes interesting reading. As does this article on how it is possible to love the U.S but not George Bush.
posted by Fat Buddha (9 comments total)
There are so many little semantic games being played on both sides WRT what constitues "winning" or "victory" or the "end game" that I'm not sure what we can accomplish with this thread, because everyone's going to be able to track down some snarky one-liner to attack everyone else's one-liner.

In any case, I'd like to point out that regardless of what Hitchens and his ilk said, nobody in the US government ever claimed this was going to be a two-weeks-and-we're-outta-there operation like the Gulf War. Sometimes the Pentagon likes to spin things a little too brightly a little too soon, of course, but they are correct in that our victory in Afghanistan is assured, regardless of how long it eventually takes to kill or capture them all. Remember, we were still rounding up and/or taking out individual Japanese soliders months after WWII ended, because they refused to believe it was over.
posted by aaron at 1:34 PM on March 20, 2002

Good inoculation, aaron -- one hopes. And months doesn't begin to describe Japanese stragglers: try 4½ years! Not to mention the infamous Hiroo Onoda, who was still stomping around for the Emperor's glory in 1974. Yes, after the Vietnam peace agreement....
posted by dhartung at 2:02 PM on March 20, 2002

aaron captured exactly what I was going to say. In fact, I distinctly remember the government urging caution, and reminding us that this was going to be a long war. It was never declared "over."

I don't like the tone of this article -- the pervading mood is one of glee that the war isn't over and that more people are going to die. Anyway, it's the Guardian, so what do you expect?
posted by pardonyou? at 2:03 PM on March 20, 2002

I think the article is referring more to the celebratory tone of the pro-war press which, after recasting the bombing as a sort of "liberate Afghanistan" effort, was quick to pat itself on the back when the Taliban gov't collapsed. People like Hitchens made common cause with the Bushies over their latecoming opposition to the Taliban and newfound sympathy for human rights, though I'm sure Hitchens is aware that had the Taliban handed over bin Laden, the Taliban would still be in power, and probably receiving U.S. aid.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:16 PM on March 20, 2002

If this was sports, It would be a bad victory. Its like, if top world class team, is held till the fourth quarter before it scores a winning point, one can argue that the delay has taken the sweet ouf of winning.
posted by adnanbwp at 3:13 PM on March 20, 2002

it is possible to love the U.S but not George Bush.

Yes, this is very true.
posted by homunculus at 3:51 PM on March 20, 2002

dhartung: I would've loved to have visited the site you linked in word, but in actuality it was linked to metafilter. Not that it isn't an exotic place to visit from time to time, or that I don't appreciate it, but . . .
posted by raysmj at 8:07 PM on March 20, 2002

ray: Japanese holdouts.
posted by dhartung at 10:42 PM on March 20, 2002

It was never declared "over."

It had been several times here though by some people. No one announced it was over, but it was declared to be so by far too many smart people. There were some amusing-ish threads pre-bombing campaign that went along the lines of:

"This war will take a very long time"

"No it won't. The Soviets took a long time to lose and it took us a very short time to fight a Soviet trained army in Iraq and Kuwait."

"Err, yes it will. That was a desert, these are mountains. You can't drive a thousand tanks up the side of a mountain."

"Well we'll just wait and see."

Then the bombing started. The Taliban positions, built pre-11/9 to withstand the daily shell from the NA tank on a hill two miles away, were obliterated by repeated full-load bomb runs from B-52s.

"See! See! Told you! Fecking Europeans and your dissing ways!" :)


We're only now in the position that the Sovs were in. The US and Allies are the force in situ, and the enemy is the mobile aggressor. This is the hard stuff.

Sorry for the quotes, I promise this is my only "I told you so!".
posted by vbfg at 2:10 AM on March 21, 2002

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