Tom Ricks to Get Off of My Cloud!

Anointed Washington Surge scribe Thomas Ricks takes to task for writing “about an area about which they know absolutely freaking nothing,” referring to my current piece on Gian Gentile: Exposing Counterfeit COIN. To his mind and of the COIN clique he runs with online, writing about the war should be left to practitioners and military theorists, and of course, Washington Post special war correspondents and senior fellows at the Center for a New American Security.

Certainly not any operation calling itself “Antiwar.” (Note to Ricks: Try to take more than two minutes to check out the site, then you’d find out how we feel about “predatory strikes” and “protecting the population.”)

Like many Washington types who ride a singular moment — say a war, a Surge, the rising stars of generals named Petraeus and Odierno –to such breathless heights of Washington success and sycophancy, there is a tendency towards peevishness when any of it is questioned. It’s territorial, and I can understand that. Thus Ricks reacts by reminding us of his bonefides in Iraq, and is so quick to defend the Washington think tank where he now hangs his hat. Don’t worry, we’ll get off of your cloud.

18 thoughts on “Tom Ricks to Get Off of My Cloud!”

  1. Don’t you know “serious” people do not question the wisdom and the great military mind of our Lord and Savior Petraeus. As for the people of Iraq, they should be eternally grateful to the members of the United States armed forces for the wonderful job they doing in protecting the population of Iraq. Why if the United States government and it armed wing the US Military never invaded Iraq four million Iraqi persons would not have been displaced and one million more might be alive today. And how about all those Iraqi persons who would not have had the wonderful experience of being tortured and sexually humilated at Abu Graib and other secret CIA torture prisons? How can any “serious” person not like or be inspired by such wonderful accomplishments as these? Petraeus=Jesus Christ and don’t you forget it!

    1. It’s an honor to be invaded and occupied by the United States. When we invade a country, it’s for that country’s own good, whether they like it or not. Shit, why can’t these ingrates understand that?

      Yes, a hell of a lot of Iraqis got killed, injured, and displaced. Doesn’t matter. As Ray McGovern put it, we’re there for “OIL”–Oil, Israel, and Logistics.

      1. Well said, both Ira and Orville! I’ll go one step further and add the following coda, addressed to my fellow Amerikans:

        The Great Petraeus, His Council of Warrior-Wizards, and their selfless foot soldiers by the hundreds of thousands have undergone intense and grueling seasoning on the glorious battlefields of Iraqhanistan and are now fully ready to deliver this precious “redemption” to the troubled masses here at home who so desperately crave and need their leadership in the midst of socioeconomic collapse.

        So when these selfless soldiers take control of our cities and towns and enter our homes to raid and ransack, do not be so selfish and shortsighted as to think of it as punitive or oppressive. Oh no, these blessed souls are securing your FREEDOM, and if that means having to arrest you and detain you for the remainder of your natural days in a Wackenhut[TM] gulag, why, that’s simply the price freedom demands.

        So, my fellow Amerikans, be sure to welcome these glorious, omniscient, omnipotent beings with open arms – or else.

  2. Aside from the sectarian cleansing in Baghdad…

    Well, that’s basically what COIN is, isn’t it? Segregate populations behind checkpoints; restrict movement between zones; pay local goons to do in-zone policing; and if things hot up too much, mass detain the usual suspects til things blow over.

    Been the same basic technique since the Spanish in Cuba…doesn’t matter whether you call ’em concentration camps or new villages or strategic hamlets or Baghdad neighborhoods.

    Only thing we learned since the Maine blew up (and we haven’t learned it that well) is you gotta keep conditions half-livable or the whole thing falls apart.

  3. Ah, Ricks pitches a hissy. How demonstrably sad. Swollen egos and disconnect. Such is the sorry state of mainstream journalism in propagandized America.

  4. Someone leave the flaming bag of dogshit at his door.

    Lester Ness

  5. Ah, stop picking on Tom! He did not mean it – it was the flu!

    “Lesson learned
    by tom ricks on Sun, 05/10/2009 – 12:02am

    I was in a bad mood when I wrote this, and since have learned that I was coming down with the flu.

    Lesson learned: Don’t blog when you feel lousy.

    Thanks to all,

  6. I love this, “about an area about which they know absolutely freaking nothing,”

    You know, there must be millions of opinions out there regarding Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflicts. I can appreciate that as everyone has a right to voice their opinions. What gets me about Tom Ricks is that he makes himself out to be some “expert” on military and warfare when in reality he has no clue about it either. Has he ever served a day in the military which might add a bit of credibility to his claim of being an “expert”? No! During Vietnam old Tommy boy was doing everything he could to make sure he didn’t go to Vietnam just like the rest of his cowardly, right wing buddies (Ricks graduated from Yale in 77). I’m glad I don’t have the problem. I can at least back up what I say with my 8 years of military service experience. Ricks’ being “embedded” (and protected by a large number of troops I might add) does not count as military service.

    1. Quite true. I spent the years 1971-76 in the US Navy, including a war cruise in 1972. I’m not necessarily qualified to command an army, but I know things that Ricks et al. will never know. The most educational part was observing the Philippines, esp. the Marcos Coup and following martial law period. Also, military debauchery. I keep wondering about the sex&booze aspect of the Iraq Occupation. I really doubt the US Army is composed of eunuchs, these days!

      Lester Ness

    2. So many of today’s neocon chickenhawks–Bill Kristol, John Bolton, William (“The Gambler”) Bennett, “Five Deferments Dick” Cheney, ad infinitum–got their start as Vietnam chickenhawks. They assiduously pursued their student deferments, their draft-dodging scams, what have you, in order to avoid the unpleasantness of a Vietnamese rice paddy. Meanwhile, they sat in their dorm rooms, writing letters to LBJ and Nixon praising the war, while hoping Daddy sends ’em a check from home.


  7. Whenever I hear someone refer to our troops as “heroes”, I know one thing for sure – the guy calling them “heroes” was never in the military. I was and what I saw was a broad cross section of society with a strong tilt to the agressive and the uncultured. For every “hero”, that I saw, I also saw several psychopaths, barrack thieves, drunks and whoremongers. Too bad, so many of our leaders missed out on the full experience of military life – the barroom brawls, getting the clapp, the puke, the blood … People who celebrate their military career have led a pretty unproductive life, in my opinion.

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