A Guest Column
from National Review

March 24, 2003

[Editorís note: Matt Barganier was too shocked and awed by events in Iraq to write this weekís column. In deference to the War Partyís superior gravitas, he decided to let some of his favorite militarists use the Collateral Damage space as a forum this morning. Unfortunately, CNBCís Kudlow and Cramer were busy, so he had to settle for the regulars of National Reviewís The Corner. Enjoy.]

Itís good to know that Matt has gotten on board with the war effort. You know, whatís so great about America is that after a reasonable period of dissent, everyone bows unquestioningly to the presidentís will.
Posted at 7:57 AM

IíM NOT SO SURE [Victor Davis Hanson]
My reading of classical history leads me to believe that this may all be a ruse. For instance, the ancient Achaeans used a similar ploy in their efforts to democratize Troy. They constructed a giant wooden equine and presented it to the Trojans as a sign of goodwill, but when the unsuspecting Trojans took this gift inside their city walls, Achaeans poured out of the hollow beast and made havoc. The lesson of this little-known episode should be clear to all: beware of Balkan livestock.
osted at 8:03 AM

Iíve got to hand it to Professor Hanson; he knows the classics the way Ron Jeremy knows prophylactics. Also, isnít "Barganier" a French surname?
Posted at 8:11 AM

You know who else was Italian? Mussolini. And he was with Hitler.
Posted at 8:12 AM

An old Sigma Nu bro just faxed me this essay called "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift. Iím not sure, but this Swift guy seems pretty anti-Irish. Any thoughts?
Posted at 8:20 AM

WHOSE FAULT? [Rod Dreher]
Iím deeply saddened by the loss of civilian lives in Iraq. If Saddam lives, he should be tried for crimes against humanity for using his people as human shields. Also, is there any precedent for posthumous execution? Rachel Corrieís a pancake now, I know, but she must have a vein left for lethal injection.
Posted at 8:34 AM

Ho-hum. Someone else called me a "chickenhawk." I remain unperturbed by all this chickenhawk nonsense. Itís like saying that anyone whoís never given birth should not teach lamaze. Or that deaf people shouldnít have a say on noise ordinances. Check back later for more similes.
Posted at 8:50 AM

If Iím a chickenhawk, then what would you call George Washington? He had never served a day in the U.S. military before the American Revolution broke out.
Posted at 8:55 AM

FLAGS PER CAPITA [John Derbyshire]
Is anyone tracking this statistic? I believe the U.S. must be the leader, and, hence, the greatest nation on earth.
Posted at 9:02 AM

Have you ever noticed how all of the so-called "chickenhawks" have, uh, JEWISH names? Myself, Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, Norman Podhoretz, Howard Zinn, Dick Cheney – hmmm, is there a pattern here?
Posted at 9:05 AM

"MYXOMATOSIS" [Rod Dreher]
The British poet Philip Larkin (1922-1985) wrote a poem called "Myxomatosis," which was the name of an animal disease deliberately introduced by British scientists to cull the rabbit population. The poem is written in the voice of a man (Death) approaching a fevered, dying and unaware rabbit, to put it out of its misery.

Caught in the centre of a soundless field
While hot inexplicable hours go by
What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed?
You seem to ask.
I make a sharp reply,

Then clean my stick. I'm glad I can't explain
Just in what jaws you were to suppurate
You may have thought things would come right again
If you could only keep quite still and wait.

This poem, its last two lines in particular, make [sic] me think of all the hopeful people in Europe and North America who believe that the deadly scourge of Islamofascism armed with weapons of mass destruction can be fended off without having to fight. [actual Dreher post]
Posted at 9:22 AM

IXNAY ON THE NEY-CHE [Jonah Goldberg]
Díoh! Thanks to an alert reader for reminding me that Dick Cheney isnít Jewish, and that Howard Zinn, though Jewish, has shamed his fellow veterans by opposing this war.
Posted at 9:29 AM

Great riddle, Rod, but the suspense is killing me. Who was going to kill that rabbit?
Posted at 9:30 AM

FRUM DELIVERS AGAIN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Check out David Frumís follow-up to his exposé of the paleoconservatives. In it, he draws a fascinating metaphorical web around the Rockwells in America: Norman, George Lincoln, and now Llewellyn. While Norman exalted FDRís Four Freedoms, George Lincoln betrayed his middle namesake to espouse Nazism. Youíll have to read the whole piece to find out which one David thinks Lew Rockwell is closer to. Sorry to leave you with a cliffhanger!
Posted at 9:41 AM

With all this yakkety-yak about paleoconservatives, I turn again to my beloved Edmund Burke, the most paleo of conservatives. Not only would Burke have supported a radical overhaul of the Muslim world (as he did for the forebears of todayís cheese-eating surrender monkeys in 1789), he would have poured scorn on those who criticized their government in a time of crisis.
Posted at 9:44 AM

THE ROCKWELLS [John Derbyshire]
Kudos to David Frum, as always, but he may have been a little unfair to George Lincoln Rockwell.
Posted at 9:46 AM

GOOD SHOW [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Davidís essay on the paleos is not only an important act of moral, intellectual, and political hygiene. Itís also, as essays go, a rollicking good time. Itís both heated and funny. [actual Ponnuru post]
Posted at 9:47 AM

ITíS RAINING MEN [Jonah Goldberg]
Another thing about this chickenhawk business: the military doesnít need every able-bodied male. As several of my fans in the armed services have informed me, Iím not wanted in the ranks. What really irks me about these Star Trek fantasists is their inability to recognize that we donít all live on the Starship Enterprise, where not pulling oneís weight might lead to the vessel being overrun with Tribbles or Ferengis. Iíve got my job to do right here, bolstering morale in the services and cracking wise about porno flicks.
Posted at 10:01 AM

CORRECTION [Jonah Goldberg]
By "Star Trek fantasists," I did not, of course, mean my good friend Ron Bailey nor those eminently sensible folks over at Reason and the Cato Institute.
Posted at 10:02 AM

CUTE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another reader e-mails:
I just overheard a colleague, who is the wife of a soldier in the Gulf, say "I can't wait for him to come home so I can give him a big Freedom kiss"! [sic] Another reason why I should've joined the Service. [actual Lopez post]
Posted at 10:13 AM

A SLICE OF TURKEY, ANYONE? [Victor Davis Hanson]
The broad view afforded by my expertise in history may make some readers think me callous, but consider the following: When Agamemnon (who led Western coalition forces) took Troy (in present-day uncooperative Turkey), he put all adult males to the sword, took the desirable women as concubines, and sold the children into slavery. Food for thought, as my colleague James S. Robbins would say.
Posted at 10:21 AM

I [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:25 AM

HAVE [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:26 AM

NOTHING [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:27 AM

BETTER [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:28 AM

TO [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:29 AM

DO [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:30 AM

THAN [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:31 AM

POST [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:32 AM

INANITIES [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:33 AM

ALL [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:34 AM

DAY [Katherine Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:35 AM

A reader from our ally Romania informs me that the U.S.A. may not be the most patriotic country in human history. She writes that during her childhood in the 1980s, Romanian schoolkids sang constant songs of praise to President and Mrs. Ceaucescu. Furthermore, journalists were very friendly to the needs of state. Sounds like paradise, Ms. Radulescu, but I still wonder, how many cars bore the Romanian flag?
Posted at 10:56 AM

As American troops press forward, letís take a minute to pray for those in peril: our brave correspondent Jed Babbin. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what he did there.
Posted at 11:00 AM

I think a great statesman put it best when he said, "It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lionís heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar." (Winston Churchill, Bartlettís Familiar Quotations, p. 68.)
Posted at 11:06 AM

A technical question: Could some of our Air Force jets in France be outfitted with crop-dusting gear, but instead of spraying pesticide, spray Ortho-Tricyclen? This is just to stimulate discussion, so donít anybody Ann Coulter me. Think about it, though: a relatively humane way to neutralize future vetoes in the U.N. Security Council. Also, no more of that gibberish talk they do over there, no more fancypants literary theories, no more blue cheese dressing, and a good place to resettle the downtrodden Kurds. Thatíll keep the Germans in check, plus it will be one less obstacle in the way of American soccer domination.
Posted at 11:08 AM

A SUDDEN TINGLE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
President Bush may give another speech tonight. At the very least, there should be some new footage of the aerial campaign. Why do I feel warm all over?
Posted at 11:10 AM

While Pat Buchanan rants about a Jewish fifth column in the United States, well-placed sources tell me that Buchanan himself is a papist. Now, I wonít employ the disgusting tactics of the paleos and assert that this dual loyalty colors his stand on foreign policy, but please. How else can one explain the nefarious influence of the Vaticanís amen corner in America? Whoís taking marching orders in this country?
Posted at 11:27 AM

IíM DYING HERE [Rich Lowry]
Rod, was that bunny a victim of Iraqi chemical weapons? And what about this Swift character?
Posted at 11:37 AM

THE MTV GENERATION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
60 percent of MTVers polled support the Iraq battle. [actual Lopez post]
Posted at 11:40 AM

Some skinhead wannabe just informed me that Edmund Burke opposed the French Revolution, and also spoke out against contemporary British foreign policy. Can you believe these guys?
Posted at 11:45 AM

Sad but true: Burke was an anti-Semite. So was Swift. We must fight on against all such enemies of civilization, whether in Baghdad or the local library. To total victory!
Posted at 11:56 AM

~ Matt Barganier

comments on this article?

Matt Barganier works for an educational philanthropy in Baton Rouge, LA. A late bloomer in his mid-twenties, he has only recently joined the ranks of web punditry. He is an alumnus of Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama.

Archived columns:
3/10/03 – Woolsey's Folly
3/17/03 – An Aural MOAB for the Middle East

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