Open Thread

Some fun baseball trivia. I noticed that on Friday, former Mariner Jamie Moyer will be pitching for the Phillies against Greg Maddux of the Padres. I wondered if it was the first time two pitchers over 40 years old faced off. It wasn’t. This page had my answer:

The oldest matchup featured California Angels SP Don Sutton and Cleveland Indians SP Phil Niekro, June 8, 1987. Their combined age was 90 years, 135 days.

Also, Moyer faced over-40 David Wells in an earlier Phillies-Padres matchup from July.

Comments

  1. 1

    ArtFart spews:

    Joel Connelly did a magnificently elegant job in his PI column this morning of giving our sorry-ass make-believe preznit the rhetorical finger. It’s too bad he’ll never see it, but then again, he’d probably have a lot of trouble with the big words.

  2. 3

    Case Closed spews:

    Who REALLY killed JFK: “Though [Oliver Stone] tried, in every way he could, to convince the millions who saw his movie that Clay Shaw was an integral part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, he told the New Orleans Times-Picayne in 1961, ‘I have to tell you I’m not that concerned about whether Shaw was innocent or guilty … This movie is … about a much larger international story.'”
    – Vincent Bugliosi, Reclaiming History (2007), page 1381.

    There it is, the smoking gun. In 1961, two years before JFK’s assassination, Oliver Stone was conspiring a film about JFK’s assassination, and was trying to build preemptive buzz in the MSM. It’s clear that the marketability of prospective assassination is less than the marketability of assassination, so Kennedy had to die for Stone to cash in.

    Oliver Stone is many things, all bad, but he’s seldom accused of being homicidally ruthless. Oliver Stone did not kill JFK. He was a patsy for the half-vast right-wing conspiracy that coalesced around Stone’s fellow Goldwater Girl, who had means, motive, opportunity, and homicidal ruthlessness.

    Hillary Clinton killed JFK. Slam dunk. Debate’s over.

  3. 5

    GBS spews:

    Keith Olbermann is getting his shot on the national network. Countdown will have a “Special Edition” of Countdown right before the big kick off to NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

    His viewership has gone up 88% year over year, he’s getting exposure for his news show on the national network, he’s co-hosting Football Night in America with Bob Costa . . . Ohhhh, poor Bill-O he’s just becoming irrelevant like the rest of Fox Opinion.

    Ha Fucking HA!

  4. 6

    GBS spews:

    ESPN gambled on big-mouth liar, Rush Limbaugh, from the right a few years back. Now they’re going with intellectual truth teller, Keith Olbermann from the left.

    See how marginalized conservative talk lying is becoming!!

  5. 7

    spews:

    Lee, that Moyer-Wells game on July 21 is the oldest matchup of LHPs in the history of major league baseball. Moyer was 44/245 (years/days) and Wells was 44/62, making for an 88/307 combined age.

    That contest supplanted Jamie’s May 30 battle with Randy Johnson, which in turn replaced another Jamie-Big Unit contest on May 9. In a rare instance of actual blogging activity, I posted about the May 9 game, and another geezer matchup (Maddux-Smoltz) on the same day.

  6. 8

    Broadway Joe spews:

    6:

    Actually, Olbermann isn’t going back to ESPN. He’ll stay in the NBC family of networks and be a part of NBC’s studio team for their Sunday night games.

    As for ESPN’s Limbaugh experiment, I’ll give credit where it’s due. ABC/ESPN is always willing to think outside of the box a little (I loved it when Dennis Miller was on MNF), and while no one is going to confuse Limbaugh with a legitimate sports journalist, he’s enough of a sports fan (if I remember correctly, he still holds a largely cermonial vice-presidency with the Kansas City Royals) that he could at least hold his own with the more knowledgeable members of the broadcast. But it was inevitable that he’d put his foot in his mouth, and damn near choke to death on it.

    Olbermann will be a nice addition to the NBC broadcast, and can you imagine what Faux Noise will think of that? Maybe Bill Orally will show up on Fox’s NFL pregame show. That’d be funny. He’d probably (if he hasn’t already) claim that the NFL has a liberal bias now that Olbermann’s on NBC’s show.

  7. 9

    spews:

    @7
    I actually liked Dennis Miller on MNF as well, although I never watched Rush before his inevitable foot-in-mouth incident.

  8. 10

    ... spews:

    Open thread! I was just thinking of the children of the 3700 American soldiers who have died in Iraq and how they must be feeling. And of course there are the children of all those tens of thousands of dead Iraqis. And there are the children on both sides who are living with parents who have been severely injured mentally and physically in this war and what it must be like for them these days. And then I think about the poeople who took us into the war. the war mongers like Bush and Cheney who played large roles and the war mongers like Dan Savage who played a smaller role, but actually argued that this war would be good for children. Why do so many people continue to treat these war mongers with respect?

  9. 11

    Mark spews:

    GBS says:

    ESPN gambled on big-mouth liar, Rush Limbaugh, from the right a few years back. Now they’re going with intellectual truth teller, Keith Olbermann from the left.

    See how marginalized conservative talk lying is becoming!!

    Whatever you little fucking bitch!!!

  10. 12

    The Guy With No Car spews:

    7

    Since Olbermann has a sports background I suspect he’ll do a much better job at separating his opinions about non-sports related matters from his sports commentary.

    It’s not like I watch football anyway, though. Usually too busy on Sundays.

  11. 13

    Right Stuff spews:

    “Now they’re going with intellectual truth teller, Keith Olbermann from the left.

    See how marginalized conservative talk lying is becoming!!

    Ha Ha Ha! now that’s funny..

    All I have to say is (in keeping with the sports theme)
    “check the scoreboard”
    Fox news ratings (higher than almost all other cable news channels combined)
    Conservative talk radio = booming, Air America = bankrupt.

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Putting Lipstick On A Pig Dep’t …

    “If you’re planning on protesting Bush’s Monday visit
    “Posted by David Postman at 10:49 AM

    “The White House is ready for you, according to the counter-protest handbook the Washington Post read.

    “To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to create ‘rally squads’ of volunteers with large … signs, placards or banners with ‘favorable messages.’ Squads should be placed in strategic locations and ‘at least one squad should be “roaming” throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems,’ the manual says. … ‘If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can … lead supportive chants to drown out the protesters …. As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site.'”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete comment and/or copyright info see http://blog.seattletimes.nwsou.....tml#018231

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Looks like they’re expecting protests. Noooooooo … not in Seee-at-tttllllle??!! But not to worry, Fake-President fans, the GOP’s amateur security guards know how to handle DISSENT, namely, pose as Secret Service agents and “arrest” people even though they have no authority whatsoever to touch, much less detain, anyone: http://www.democracynow.org/ar.....08/1346227

    (Note, in most places, this is called “kidnapping” and is a felony.)

  13. 16

    Mark spews:

    Right Stuff says:

    “Now they’re going with intellectual truth teller, Keith Olbermann from the left.

    See how marginalized conservative talk lying is becoming!!

    Ha Ha Ha! now that’s funny..

    All I have to say is (in keeping with the sports theme)
    “check the scoreboard”
    Fox news ratings (higher than almost all other cable news channels combined)
    Conservative talk radio = booming, Air America = bankrupt.

    From way downtown……BANG!!!! Olbermann is a great Sportscenter host, but a 100% goofball when it comes to serious jouralism. He is not…..day I say…..En Fuego.

  14. 18

    spews:

    @11
    It also helps that his non-sports-related ideas aren’t retarded. Rush got himself into trouble because his exteremely odd views on the state of our nation’s race-relations caused him to do some oddball analysis on Donovan McNabb that had every sports fan in the country going “WTF?”

  15. 19

    Mark spews:

    Lee says:

    @11
    It also helps that his non-sports-related ideas aren’t retarded. Rush got himself into trouble because his exteremely odd views on the state of our nation’s race-relations caused him to do some oddball analysis on Donovan McNabb that had every sports fan in the country going “WTF?”

    We may not agree on much else, but I agree with that 100%. McNabb went to several Pro Bowls and led the Eagles to 4 consecutive NFC Championship games but Rush tried to make the pathetic argument that it was the “desire to see a black QB do well” as the reason he was a starting QB. I was like……..HUH???????

  16. 20

    spews:

    @17
    Haha, yeah. Like Goldy, I’m a Philly native who bleeds Eagle green, so I’m hoping to have some football-related posts up through the fall…

  17. 21

    spews:

    @7
    N, whenever I have a baseball statistics question, it’s truly a tossup whether I’ll get the answer quicker through Google or by emailing you. :)

  18. 24

    Puddybud spews:

    I too am a Philly Native, remember the revered Vets Stadium, seeing snowballs thrown at Santa, etc. I’m glad the Mets traded Tug McGraw to the Phillies. I too bleed Eagle Green. Shucks, I like the Philly Flyers!

    Lee, are you city or ‘burb boy like ASSIE Voice?

  19. 25

    spews:

    Sigh, there goes the neighborhood. Sez Puddy:

    I too am a Philly Native, remember the revered Vets Stadium, seeing snowballs thrown at Santa, etc. I’m glad the Mets traded Tug McGraw to the Phillies. I too bleed Eagle Green. Shucks, I like the Philly Flyers!

    Ugh, the Vet… What a piece of crap multi(=no)purpose cookiecutter.

    Now, you should have seen Connie Mack Stadium. The greenest grass in the world, and what a thrill it was to come up the ramp and see the place. The Iggles? Yeah, I saw them a couple of times, at Franklin Field — Jurgensen, McDonald, Retzlaff, Timmy Brown… Saw the Warriors once in Convention Hall, the Wilt/Greer/Walker/Billy C Sixers a whole lot in the Spectrum. Don’t think I ever saw the Flyers, though the Broad Street Bullies did get my hockey-fandom started (later on, I saw the Pens a lot during Mario’s heyday).

    To answer your question to Lee, I lived in a colonial-era town (Woodbury NJ) through age 10, then moved to Cherry Hill as it was growing really fast.

  20. 26

    OneMan spews:

    I posted a comment over at Crosscut, responding to an article that many of you might find interesting. Look for it here

    Also, I coulda sworn I entered a comment in one of the threads this afternoon but it disappeared along with the post I was responding to (by Mark? — having to do with a Times article about Gregoire joining a regional group to cut greenhouse gasses). If I was hallucinating, I’d love to know what I was smoking.

    -OM

  21. 27

    The Guy With No Car spews:

    24

    Omigawd I have something in common with Pud. I was a casual Phillies fan when I lived in Jersey back in the 70s and even made it to a game once at the Vet. About all I remember is there was a rain delay (I got good and soaked) and the Phillies beat the Pirates.

    Sorta lost track of baseball when I moved to Texas (although I did get to see Reggie and the A’s play the Rangers once) and didn’t really take it up again until I came up here and started watching the Mariners just when Lou was getting them to win a few games.

  22. 28

    The Guy With No Car spews:

    Hey, now you’ve got me curious. What starting pitcher matchup do you suppose had the youngest aggregate age, and what matchup had the biggest age differential (oldest pitcher vs. youngest pitcher)?

    That’s one of the cool things about baseball, there’s all sorts of obscure and arcane lore to look up and learn.

  23. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Sonics co-owner McClendon fined $250K

    “By Percy Allen
    “Seattle Times staff reporter

    “The NBA fined Sonics minority partner Aubrey McClendon $250,000 for comments he made last week in The (Oklahoma City) Journal Record about his hopes of moving the team to Oklahoma City. …

    “McClendon … came under fire after he told the Journal: ‘We didn’t buy the team to keep it in Seattle, we hoped to come here. We know it’s a little more difficult financially here in Oklahoma City, but we think it’s great for the community and if we could break even we’d be thrilled.’ …

    “The … tycoon had been a silent partner before his comments last week.”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete story and/or copyright info see http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....oni23.html

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Yeah and the NBA is making sure he stays a silent partner in the future.

  24. 30

    Puddybud spews:

    Still waiting for Lee to say where he grew up. I guess he’s really a ‘burb boy too.

    N – Where in Cherry Hill? We would tease our CH cuzins as rich folk. They lived in a big house and had two cars!

    If you review the blogs here on ASSWipes, you’d remember another set of my cuzins live near city line ave and watched the Move Event from their front porch!

  25. 31

    spews:

    Puddy is full of shit:

    If you review the blogs here on ASSWipes, you’d remember another set of my cuzins live near city line ave and watched the Move Event from their front porch!

    Your cousins must have a very unusual front porch. It has to be several hundred — maybe several thousand — feet up in the air.

    City Line Avenue is well over a mile from 6221 Osage Avenue, with dozens and dozens of blocks of rowhouses, as well as a large park, in between. I know something about that part of West Philly, as my grandparents lived at 61st Street and Cobbs Creek Parkway (about half a mile south of Osage Avenue) in the 1960s. Also, I lived briefly in Overbrook about a year after the MOVE fire. Even from my grandparents’ house, about all that it would have been possible to see would have been the smoke. They might have been close enough to hear sirens, possibly even gunfire, but neither would have been the case all the way up on City Line.

    Here’s a Mapquest map of the area.

    On a more prosaic note:

    N – Where in Cherry Hill? We would tease our CH cuzins as rich folk. They lived in a big house and had two cars!

    Between Cherry Hill HS West and the Cherry Hill Mall. I could leave the house at 7:55am to start school at 8 o’clock. Yes, we had two cars … and a swimming pool.

    I checked out the Mall the day it opened in October 1961. On the web, I found some interesting postcards from yesteryear, showing the Mall’s interior as I remember it. Here’s the URL:

    http://tinyurl.com/2op7o4

  26. 32

    spews:

    @30
    I was born in West Chester, lived in Downingtown for a while and went to high school in Ambler (I also lived just outside of Detroit for two years).

  27. 33

    spews:

    Geeze, I wrote a comment about Puddy’s ridiculous claim that his cousins on City Line Ave. watched the MOVE events from their front porch — kinda tough, seeing as how Osage Ave. is well over a mile from City Line, with block after block after block of rowhouses (and a big park) in between — but it never showed up. Damn that WordPress…

    I also replied about Cherry Hill. I lived a block or so from CHHSW, and we did indeed have two cars. And a pool.

  28. 34

    spews:

    @32
    Geeze, I wrote a comment about Puddy’s ridiculous claim that his cousins on City Line Ave. watched the MOVE events from their front porch

    Maybe their TV was on their front porch.

  29. 36

    Born on the 4th of July, 2002 spews:

    Here it is, # 10 … Savage made the clear, cogent, coherent case for war that Bush was unable or unwilling to make:

    …AND PASS THE AMMUNITION
    By Dan Savage

    First, some ancient history…
    Shortly after the September 11 attacks, I saw something that made me wanna hurl. I still see this something almost every day because it hangs in a window I pass on my way to work, and the urge to hurl–my lunch, a rock–is as fresh today as it was back when I first laid eyes on it. And just what is this offensive something? The American flag peace symbol that appeared on the cover of Seattle Weekly on September 20. They called it their “Peace and Patriotism” symbol. So what is it about the Weekly’s, uh, “PAP” symbol that bothers me so much? Just this: Pacifism and patriotism, together, is no longer an option after September 11.

    After September 11, the left had some idiotic things to say–bomb them with love, Toni?–and some smart things to say. For instance, it’s true that the United States jump-started militant Islam through our Cold War-era support of anti-Soviet “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the left concluded that the United States didn’t have the moral authority to attack Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Christopher Hitchens–the lonely voice of sanity on the left–destroyed this argument with a few short, devastating lines: “Did we not aid the grisly Taliban to achieve and hold power?” Hitchens wrote in the Nation on September 24, 2001 [“Of Sin, the Left, and Islamic Fascism”]. “Yes indeed ‘we’ did. Well, does this not double or triple our responsibility to remove them from power?”

    While the left was running around (like some perverse photo negative of Jerry Falwell) arguing about just how much responsibility we deserved for the attacks, the rest of the country was coming to grips with the fact that we were at war with “Islamo-fascists,” as Hitchens dubbed bin Laden and his followers in Afghanistan and all over the world. “What they abominate about ‘the West…,'” Hitchens wrote [“Against Rationalization,” the Nation, Oct 8, 2001], “is not what Western liberals don’t like and can’t defend,” like our support for Israel or our support for the Arab states, “but what [liberals] do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state.” Osama has (had?) a vision for the Middle East: one nation, under Allah, cleansed of Americans, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, gays, a world filled with bearded men and enslaved women.

    In the wake of bin Laden’s declaration of war, people all over the world suddenly faced difficult, harrowing choices: People trapped in upper floors of the World Trade Center had to choose between jumping and burning to death; George W. Bush had to choose between an immediate, massive military response and a delayed, measured response; the Taliban had to choose between handing over bin Laden and enduring the wrath of the United States war machine; the president of Pakistan had to choose between cooperating with Bush’s war on terrorism (and risking a coup) and cooperating with Pakistan’s Islamo-fascists (and risking the wrath of the U.S. war machine). And while people all over the world were facing up to these difficult choices, the smug, dishonest lefties at Seattle Weekly–and the smug, dishonest lefties they were pandering to–sought to avoid making their own difficult choice, which was essentially this: Pacifism or patriotism? Because after September 11, you could have one or the other–but you couldn’t have both.

    In 1942, George Orwell (author of lefty classics Animal Farm and 1984) published an essay in Partisan Review slamming British pacifists who refused to fight Nazi Germany. “Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist,” Orwell wrote. “This is elementary common sense.” Michael Kelly spelled it out in the Washington Post on September 26: “No honest person can pretend that the groups that attacked America will, if let alone, not attack again,” Kelly wrote. “You are either for doing what is necessary to capture or kill those who control and fund and harbor the terrorists, or you are for not doing this. If you are for not doing this, you are for allowing the terrorists to continue their attacks on America. You are saying, in fact: I believe that it is better to allow more Americans–perhaps a great many more–to be murdered than to capture or kill the murderers. That is the pacifists’ position, and it is evil.”

    To be fair, I don’t think the old hippies at the Weekly were being evil when they slapped that PAP symbol on their cover, any more than I think the handful of lefties who turned out for anti-war demos in the weeks immediately after September 11 were being evil. Brain-dead? Yes. Evil? No. But sensible lefties–the vast majority of lefties, I’m happy to report–knew that this war was unavoidable, necessary, and just. Even if we were afraid to say so too loudly at Victrola or the Still Life.

    JOY IN BAGHDAD

    Why revisit these issues now? Why bring all this up when we should be celebrating our first Independence Day since the September 11 attacks? Because we’re about to go to war again–hello, Saddam!–and it would be nice if the left refrained from sticking its collective head up its collective ass this time.

    Here are some fun facts about Iraq:

    Iraq is ruled by a psychotic dictator who has successfully terrorized his own people into submission. (See “Tales of the Tyrant” by Mark Bowden in the May 2002 Atlantic Monthly.) Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction (anthrax, mustard gas, nerve agents, biological weapons), and Saddam Hussein has used those weapons against his own people. (Yes, yes: We’ve got weapons of mass destruction too, but the federal government has so far refrained from gassing, say, the people of Oregon for defying John Ashcroft on the assisted suicide issue.) Finally, Iraq may be closer to building a nuclear bomb than we think, and does anyone doubt that Saddam would use one if he got his hands on one? (Yes, yes, I know: The United States has helped Saddam hold onto power over the years, we gave him military aid during the Iran/Iraq war, and the first President Bush did all he could to make sure Saddam stayed in power after the Gulf War, and there are other atrocities. But like Mr. Hitchens said about the Taliban, does this not double or triple our responsibility to remove him from power?)

    All of these facts should bother anyone who resides in the United States–and here are some fun facts specifically meant to bother people who live in Seattle: For all the talk of nuclear “suitcase bombs,” people paid to worry about terrorism are more concerned about “conex bombs,” as Bill Keller wrote in the May 26 New York Times Magazine [“Nuclear Nightmares”]. The name “conex” refers to “those shack-size steel containers that bring most cargo into the United States.” Last year almost two million conex containers were unloaded at the Port of Seattle, and tens or hundreds of thousands of conex containers come into Seattle every year from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries believed to have been infiltrated by al Qaeda fighters. Put a few barrels of anthrax spores and/or some easily obtainable low-grade nuclear waste and a few hundred pounds of explosives into a conex container along with some Islamo-fascist jackass excited by visions of paradise and… well, will the last person to die in Seattle please turn out the lights?

    This is what we’re up against these days, and it depresses this Gore voter past the point of despair to write this… but… uh… the recently unveiled Bush Doctrine (rough translation: If we think you’re coming after us next Tuesday, we’ll be bombing your ass flat this Tuesday) is a necessary evil. Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: If it was within your power in August of last year to order a pre-emptive strike that would’ve prevented the attacks of September 11, would you have done it? Of course you would. That’s the Bush Doctrine. And the Bush Doctrine’s first smackdown is going to be Saddam Hussein, who has to be removed from power before he kills thousands (or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of American citizens in a major American city.

    Yes, yes: Taking out Saddam Hussein means war, and war is bad for children and other living things. I went to grade school in the 1970s, and I recall the poster. But there are times when war is not only a tragic and unavoidable necessity, but also good for children and other living things. For instance, doing everything we can to prevent a conex bomb from sailing into the Port of Seattle will save the lives of countless American children and other living things here–like, uh, American adults. And it’s not only American children who have benefited from the war that began on October 7, 2001 (my 37th birthday–oh, George! You shouldn’t have!). The war in Afghanistan has been good for Afghani children.

    “One of the uncomfortable realities of the war on terrorism is that we Americans have killed many more people in Afghanistan than died in the attack on the World Trade Center,” Nicholas Kristof wrote in an op-ed [“A Merciful War,” February 1, 2002] in the New York Times. Kristof estimates that between 8,000 and 12,000 Taliban fighters and about 1,000 Afghan civilians were killed. “[But in] each of the last few years… 225,000 children died in Afghanistan before the age of five, along with 15,000 women who died during pregnancy or childbirth. There was no way to save those lives under the Taliban.” UNICEF was able to vaccinate 734,000 children in the two months after the fall of the Taliban, “in a country where virtually no one had been vaccinated against the disease in the previous 10 years. Because measles often led to death in Afghanistan, the vaccination campaign will save at least 35,000 children’s lives each year.” In the case of Afghanistan, Kristof concludes, “[War] can serve the most humanitarian of goals.”

    Much more concerned about humanitarian means than humanitarian ends, lefty weekly the Nation came out–surprise!–against going to war with Iraq: “[S]ince the Gulf War, Iraq’s military capabilities have weakened significantly,” says the Nation [“War on Iraq Is Wrong,” July 8], “to the point where they pose little or no threat to its neighbors,” and the Nation worries that a U.S. invasion of Iraq might “destabilize the entire region.” (Gee, you think so? Well, gosh, we don’t want to do nothin’ to destabilize that good ol’ peaceful Middle East!)

    Even if everything the Nation says is true–Iraq is weak and poses little or no threat to anyone–there’s still the small matter of the threat Saddam Hussein’s government poses to the people of Iraq. They live in a police state, they’re ruled by a tyrant, and their lives are hell. And, yes, U.S. sanctions have made a bad situation worse, but lifting sanctions won’t turn Iraq into Sweden. Or Cuba. So even if Saddam Hussein poses no threat to Americans–and that’s a mighty big “if” that, post September 11, I’m not sure we should count on–Saddam is threat to his own people.

    “There is good reason to think that a Taliban defeat would fill the streets of Kabul with joy,” Christopher Hitchens wrote on September 24, 2001, and he was right. There was dancing in the streets of Kabul when the Taliban fell. Does anyone reading this doubt for a moment that the fall of Saddam Hussein won’t do the same for the streets of Baghdad?

    ON TO IRAQ

    In his June 20 column, Albert R. Hunt, the lone liberal voice on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal (it’s worth picking up the WSJ on Thursdays for his column alone), called for a national debate on invading Iraq. “The first Bush administration abandoned Afghanistan after the Russian-backed puppet dictator was toppled, resulting in the rise of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden,” writes Hunt, saying we shouldn’t go into Iraq unless we’re prepared for “an incredible challenge in nation building. It will take years, and the cost will be billions….”

    Instead of waving PAP symbols and arguing about whether or not we should go to war–we’ve already gone, folks–the left in the United States should be making the case for waging Hunt’s good war. To wit: The U.S. shouldn’t get out of Afghanistan, as some demanded at last weekend’s Gay Pride Parade. No, we should be getting in deeper: Afghanistan needs peacekeepers, medicine, money, educational materials, infrastructure, aid, and–finally and most importantly–a constitution. Leaving them with anything less amounts to a second abandonment. We will have a similar moral obligation to the people of Iraq post-Saddam. They’ll need help rebuilding their country and building a sustainable, democratic system, one that if the U.S. is going to invade other nations during the War on Terrorism–and we are, Blanche, we are–we should leave them better off than we found them.

    So the left needs to put down the PAP symbols and put away the “No War” posters. We’re at war, ya dopes. Simply stopping the war now–rather than holding the United States to the standards we set after the last world war–would harm the very people the left professes to care about. Afghanistan needs a Marshall Plan now; Iraq’s going to need one soon. U.S. smart bombs and troops, the left should argue, have to be followed by smart money and medicine and a constitution and an American commitment to long-haul nation building. We have to do for Afghanistan and Iraq what we did for Germany and Japan; anything less is immoral and indefensible. That’s the argument the left should be advancing.

    Why isn’t the left making this argument? Well, grandstanding and screaming “warmonger” at people (my voice mail should be a treat this week) is whole lot more fun than taking responsibility for a war that’s being waged in all of our names, of course, but I think it goes deeper than that. Since the left lost the “no war” argument, a perverse desire to see things go badly–even at the cost of Afghan and Iraqi lives–has taken root in the American left. Americans didn’t leave only rubble and corpses behind in Germany and Japan after the Second World War, although we helped create plenty of both. No, we stuck around; helped rebuild; drafted constitutions; oversaw elections; established freedom of religion, association, thought, and the press. To invade Afghanistan and Iraq and leave anything less would be a tragedy.

    So, tell me, PAPsters: What does the people of Afghanistan more good: Chanting “no war” and waving our PAP symbols? Or pouring into the streets and chanting, “We Want a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan!”

    Shit, you guys, it even rhymes.

    savage@thestranger.com

    by Dan Savage

    So. There you have it. Everybody knows that Bush is and was too damn dumb to think up a war on his own, so Savage did the heavy lifting and thinking, Bush read The (Independence Day 2002) Stranger, and then frogmarched freedom into Baghdad. The rest is … well, you know the rest.