Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, June 01, 2006

This Is Why I Do What I Do

I sell stuff. To do this one has to be charming, for about a half an hour. Kilgore Trout was incapable of this, and so he installed aluminum windows. Kilgore Trout is a recurring character in Kurt Vonnegut's books, a sort of alter ego to the author. I like Vonnegut a lot. He has a way of making a point, as so:

Sparky could not wag his tail--because of an automobile accident many years ago, so he had no way of telling other dogs how friendly he was. He had to fight all the time. His ears were in tatters. He was lumpy with scars.

First I laugh, then I think, then I laugh a little harder. I like that.

It occurred to me about thirty years ago that I would have to be charming for a lot longer before I could, say, work for a corporation. Or be a teacher. Or a lawyer. Or a diplomat. Or a Defense Department Spokesperson. Half hour is about all I can do. Why? Because I know I'm a bit insane and so insanity scares me, to the point that I would have to to cry out when it all became too much. I wouldn't last a week.

I couldn't come up with this, couldn't come near it, from American Forces Press Service, a propaganda sheet of the DoD:

BAGHDAD, June 1, 2006 – The top coalition operational commander in Iraq has directed his subordinate commanders to conduct training in "core warrior values" for all coalition forces, highlighting the importance of adhering to legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield, military officials here announced today.

"Now let me explain this to you again. You really shouldn't be busting into people's homes and spot executing entire families. Got it?"

"Yes, SIR."

In addition, the troops will be shown a Power Point presentation to reinforce that it is counterproductive to Iraqi morale, this busting into homes and spot executing entire families.

The program will take about 30 days. Where have we heard that before?

I just couldn't, can't be a part of all this. It's my health.


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