Monday, January 13, 2020

The Hot Air Force: Will It Fly Again?

Dispatches from the Imminent War Fronts

By Douglas MacArthur
War Correspondent with A.J. Liebling
Meta-content Generator

Nothing get the blood racing faster than a jolly war somewhere in the Middle East.  The shock and awe!  The crisis diplomacy!  Joe Lieberman!

So with war in the air with Iran, we thought it was time to see if the Channel 651 Hot Air Force, that ragtag gang of radio talk show hosts, media gasbags, Op-Ed Pundits and similarly underemployed white men, were ready to man their microphones and keyboards to once again send other people's children into harm's way, this time against a well-armed nation of 80,000,000 souls, Iran.

Let's start with the grizzled veterans of the Hot Air Force's last campaign, the thrilling 2003-today war of choice against Iraq.  That turned out great, unless you were one of the several hundred thousand dead, missing, wounded, or maimed or a taxpayer stuck with the $3,000,000,000,000 bill or really anyone on Earth other than the valiant 651 Hot Air Force itself.

So has Generalissimo Freddie Hiatt '76 ordered your children into combat from his vantage point high about The Washington Post editorial page, as he did in 2002, when he declared ridiculously that we had to invade Iraq because of 9/11, a calamity in which Iraq was . . .  not involved?

His editorial page said last week: “Mr. Trump ought to embrace the pause in hostilities as an opportunity to begin serious negotiations with the Islamic republic.”  Negotiations?  But Freddie said in 2002 that in the ruins of the World Trade Center we see the futility of attempting to appease dictators who might get their mitts on nuclear weapons.  So Generalissimo Freddie seems to be AWOL on the new war.  Very disappointing.

How about the brains behind the 651 Hot Air Force – Billy Kristol?  He must be ready to saddle up!   Apparently not so much:

A useful cautionary thread?  Where were all these useful cautionary threads when Billy was shilling for invading Iraq and torturing detainees?  Maybe they hadn't been spun yet?  Well, the Hot Air Force isn't going to fly again with commanders like that!

How about Major General Thomas “Six Months” Friedman?  Surely he's ready to go, albeit in six month increments (which he back in the day used to buy time to demonstrate the wisdom of the invasion of Iraq).  The fight to rid the world of the dangerous terrorist den that is Iran and restore peace and security to Zion, uh, the Middle East must be worth another $3 trillion and 5,000 American lives (not to mention the thousands more wounded and crippled in body and mind), eh Tom?
[W]hen I hear Fox News’ flag-waving commentators claiming that those who don’t support Trump in his careening around the Middle East are being unpatriotic, I want to burst out laughing, because it is so pathetic. 
Wait, what?  General Tom wasn't laughing in 2002 when he said every so often we had to throw some tyrant against the wall and beat the crap out of him.  Or maybe he was but we just didn't get the joke.

And what about ol' Axis of Evil himself, Toronto Dave Frum?  He flacked endlessly for the Iraq debacle as a speechwriter for poor clueless George W. Bush, but now he responds very differently when asked by his fellow Canadian journalists about war with Iran:
You supported at the time the invasion of Iraq, but now you're writing that if the Iraq war is repeated in Iran, that it would terrify you. What's so terrifying?

DF: Well let's look at the difference in the process. With the Iraq war, George W. Bush put in place a lot of important pieces. He had an operating war plan.  [He did?  What was it? – Ed.]
And with all that, it was still less than a complete success, to put it mildly. Now what if you don't do any of those things?

You're going to try to change the regime there with no plan to do it.
Yeah, not a good idea he realizes 18 years later.

Maybe the answer is the old generals of the 2002-03 651 Hot Air Force have simply retired from the field of combat.  Is there a new generation of incoherent warmongers ready to step in and fill the breach?

Hell, yeah.  Let's strike up the brass band for Lt. Colonel Pete Hegseth, former Army National Guard but now clearly ready to take command of the 651 Hot Air Force.  In the best traditions of the HAF, he's ready for war crimes:
The morning after Iran launched missile attacks against several Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, Fox News host Pete Hegseth suggested the U.S. may need to “rewrite the rules” of war in engaging Iran. And that might include bombing cultural sites and hospitals, he said.
Hot Air Force Lt. Col. Pete Hegseth reporting
for short arm inspection!
That's more like it!  Let's bomb Iranian hospitals!  Victory would be assured.  Unless, of course, the Iranians responded by unleashing their large if poorly aimed battery of missiles at – I don't know – oil refineries anywhere in the Middle East or tankers transiting the Strait of Hormuz (through which U.S. aircraft carriers already refuse to pass due to their vulnerability to short-range Iranian missiles and coastal patrol boats).   But nothing could be more glorious than ruined hospitals and murdered patients!  Just like Bataan, except of course there we were the victims of war crimes.

So Lt. Col. Hegseth is locked and loaded for Nuremberg.  Anyone care to join him?  At least one old warhorse of the Hot Air Force, John “Once the rockets go up/Who cares where the come down/That's not my department” Bolton, is ready to saddle up: “Bolton has been calling for the U.S. to bomb Iran for years. Critics fear that his recent rhetoric will intensify an already fragile situation.”

F**in-A it would!  Bomb Iran and then what happens?  Bolton hasn't a clue and doesn't much care.  Bomb today and the rest will take care of itself, says this not-very-happy-looking warrior.  But it's that kind of inspiring lack of leadership that has always marked the 651 Hot Air Force as one of this century's most effective engines of death and destruction.

Fortunately, no one would be stupid enough to make decisions about war and peace based on what ignorant bloviating talking heads say, amirite?  According to Media Matters:
That said, the fact that commentators are discussing the impact of Fox commentators on Trump’s state of mind and decision-making process is a sign of the abnormality of this administration.

It is bad that the president takes advice from his television. 
Bad for our men and women in uniform being sent into harm's way maybe.  But it's another great victory for the new and improved high-definition 651 Hot Air Force, which has made an unopposed landing in the empty orange skull of President U Bum.

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