Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Comedy gold: invading countries for no f***in' reason


By A.J. Liebling
Meta-content Generator

Desperate to distract a restless public from job losses, stagnant incomes, his China-tariff debacle, crude racist jibes, and in general the rising perception that his Presidency is in fact an insane rolling dumpster fire, President U Bum has proposed acquiring Greenland.

Uh, what?

You know, Greenland, often regarded by foreign affairs strategists as a dagger pointed at the heart of Labrador (actually it points southeast, but facts have never distracted deep thinkers).  Maybe as Catherine Rampell suggests, the Tangerine-Faced Moron saw it on a Mercator map, in which it looks falsely as large as Africa and decided it would his biggest deal since his airline, his casinos, his steaks, his water, his board game, his vodka, his New York hotels – [We catch the drift – Ed.]

Is he serious?  The question doesn't really compute because he's never serious about anything, even when his cruelty and ineptitude results in nursing infants being ripped from their mother's breast.  But he has successfully chummed the media waters with tweets like this:

Good one, although a hotel there would likely attract few customers, other than Republican lobbyists and Saudi chain saw murderers looking for a cheap way to buy a U.S. President.

It didn't take too long for The Washington Post's reliable conventional wisdom dispenser Dana Milbank to smelt comedy gold from this dross:

The great Danes reacted indignantly. “Greenland is not for sale,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen proclaimed on a defensive visit to the island Sunday, calling the idea “an absurd discussion” and saying “I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”
Fighting words! There is only one proper response to such intransigence: The United States must take Greenland by force.
Greenland has no regular military, so we should be able to occupy every Nuuk and cranny of the place without much struggle. It’s possible, of course, that this attack on Danish territory would prompt a response by NATO under the alliance’s mutual-defense pact, but Trump has already defanged that alliance.

Funny.  The idea of invading a country that poses no real threat to the United States and the occupation of which would generate nothing but financial losses not to mention human suffering is inherently hilarious, is it not?

It did get us to wondering about the media reaction to the equally hilarious idea of responding to al-Qaeda terrorism by invading a country that had absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaeda terrorism back in 2002.  Certainly no pundit could take such a ridiculous idea seriously, could they?

Let's get into the Waybac machine and find out!

A little ancient history: on September 11, 2001, America was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists, most from Saudi Arabia.  None had any connection with Iraq.  Iraq played no role in the attack.  That was why with the World Trade Center still smoldering, Bush Administration officials decided that the 9/11 attack was a good and sufficient reason to invade Iraq.  They spent the next year fanning the flames of war, cherry picking and inventing intelligence first to show an Iraq-al Qaeda connection and when that was laughed out of Capitol Hill, concocting a story about Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

Was this effort to create a casus belli out of cow pies regarded as generally hilarious?  Here's the Boston Globe reporting on September 8, 2002:

Boston Globe 9/8/02Boston Globe 9/8/02 Fri, Sep 6, 2002 – 16 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Boston Globe

“Interesting and troubling,” was it, Trent?  God knows what fruity line of bullshit was poured over the credulous Senators that day – maybe they got the mobile bioweapons lab or the aluminum tubes supposedly used as WMD projectiles.

After many more months of Bush Administration pro-war propaganda, no one was laughing, although Dick Cheney was snickering.  Here's the Globe's H.D.S. Greenway on the eve of the debacle:

Fri, Feb 7, 2003 – 19 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Boston Globe  Golly there's nothing funny about that. And yet Greenway wasn't worried about Greenland's program to acquire weapons of mass destruction, which was just as real and as threatening as Saddam Hussein's. 

It's not quite fair to single Greenway out because the punditocracy pretty much spoke with one voice.  On the same day on the same page Scott Lehigh told us that Colin Powell's threadbare brief for a war of aggression was, um, “compelling.” We'll spare you what Freddie Hiatt '76 was shoveling on the Washington Post editorial page this one time.

If the idea of invading Iraq didn't occasion as much hilarity as invading Greenland, don't worry, comedy fans, because the Iraq War itself provided no end of big laffs.  Here's some great abu-Ghraib improv sure to leave you screaming [Surely, screaming with laughter? – Ed.].

Show me the funny!

They say that great comedy is timeless.  So we're still left with the question of why invading Greenland is funny, but the invasion of Iraq was deadly serious.  Not to mention deadly.

What was the difference?  We're thinking about it and we'll let you know when we discover the white answer.

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