Political Animal


THE DISAPPEARING IRAQI ARMY….South Knox Bubba asks exactly the question that’s been on my mind lately:

Where is the Iraqi army? It is estimated they have over three million men of military age fit for duty. Recent estimates by Jane’s put their regular army and Republican Guard troop strength at approx. 400,000. In addition, it has been estimated that they had 650,000 reserves and up to 60,000 paramilitary.

….Have they all really just thrown down their weapons and faded back into the population? (My guess is that some of them are probably the looters, by the way). That’s a scary thought. Can we really say they are defeated if they’re just hiding? Remember Lexington and Concord?

SKB has more, but the basic question is: why didn’t they fight? Entire divisions got annihilated without a single American casualty. And where are their weapons? There’s either something scary going on here or else there’s a truly fascinating story waiting to be told.

And what about the WMDs? I still think we’re going to find some, but as Jesse points out, General Amer Hammoudi “7 of Diamonds” al-Saadi, Saddam’s science advisor, has given himself up and says there are no WMDs. What’s the point of lying about it now?

Mysteriouser and mysteriouser….

A LIBERAL LEXICON….Everybody always complains

A LIBERAL LEXICON….Everybody always complains about the other side using broad brushes against their own side, stuff like “Liberals think that….” or “Liberals just want to….” The question is, what do people really have in mind when they say “liberals”? It could be any of the following:

  • Democrats

  • The university professoriate

  • Op-ed writer types

  • Actual high ranking politicians

  • Atrios

  • Hollywood stars

  • Indymedia/Democratic Underground denizens

  • Greens

  • Lefty bloggers

  • Anyone to the left of Douglas MacArthur

So when you get into a discussion that goes something like this:

OTHER GUY: I hate liberals, they just want to [fill in the blank]….

YOU: What liberals are you talking about? Nobody I know supports [blank].

Just replace “liberal” in those two sentences with choices from the list above. It will make the whole conversation go a lot easier.


TRADING CARDS, PART 2….I knew someone would come through. Thanks to reader David Phillips, here are the three not-so-bad-after-all Iraqis who made the list of 55 bad guys but didn’t get playing cards of their own:

26. Nayif Shindakh Thamir — BP Chmn & Cmdr BP Militia – Salah ad Din Gov.
34. Husayn Al Awawi — BP Chmn & Cmdr BP Militia – Ninawa Governate
35. Khamis Sirhan al Muhammad — BP Chmn & Cmdr BP Militia – Karbala Governate

Why them? Who knows.

And here’s a PDF of the entire deck. Print ’em out and make your own! Of course, it seems to indicate that there are actually 56 playing cards…..

TRADING CARDS….OK, so we’ve got

TRADING CARDS….OK, so we’ve got these playing cards with pictures of Iraq’s most wanted baddies. That’s fine, kind of a cute idea, but why 55 cards? You’ve got your normal 52 cards, and as the picture below shows, they’re also using the two jokers, but what’s the 55th one? Is it that weird card that always has the rank of poker hands? Or the copyright card? Or what?

UPDATE: Ah, here we go: there are three jokers in the deck.

UPDATE 2: The 7 of diamonds has turned himself in. But this story deepens the mystery further: it says, “Each deck has two Jokers, one showing Iraqi military ranks and the other, Arab tribal titles.” That’s 54 cards.

This story lists every one of the cards, but there are only 54, and once again the two jokers are said to have military ranks and tribal titles. So that means there are only 52 actual faces.

What’s the deal here? Is the Pentagon being coy about this for some reason, or is the press so incompetent that they can’t even get a simple story like this right?

UPDATE 3: OK, I’ll be damned. Here’s the official DoD list of 55 baddies, and here’s the official DoD picture of all the playing cards. Unless I’m blind, there are 52 people on the cards plus two jokers with titles and ranks and one blank card. So out of the 55 official baddies, who are the three who didn’t get put on a card? And why?