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Mark Steyn: We are at war with the losers
The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 11/17/2001 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 11/16/2001 4:16:49 PM PST by Pokey78

THIS war is in trouble. We're bogged down, getting nowhere and staring at a Vietnam-style quagmire. The Taliban's grip on the country remains total. These famously tough warriors of iron resolve are unlikely to be. . .

Whoops, sorry, that was last week. Just let me punch up this week's Conventional Media Wisdom. Ah, here we go. Things are moving too fast. There's a dangerous power vacuum. The Taliban, being famously tough, etc, have pulled off a brilliant double-bluff by abandoning every major city and lever of government. Their grip on selected southern and western caves remains total. The Northern Alliance are too vicious, unfairly targeting enemy soldiers instead of just killing unarmed women and homosexuals. The collapse of the burqa market will devastate the Afghan fashion industry.

The removal of 90 per cent of Afghan beards could leave vital supply routes choked with facial hair. The re-introduction of music has raised serious fears that many Western aid workers will become disc-jockeys on KBUL ("No Beards, No Burqas, No Bee Gees"). The Pushtuns will be pushed out, the Tajiks will be tragic, the Uzbeks want their Uzis back, and in Punditstan and Rootkhazia many Western commentators are cut off from reality, facing a bleak winter unless they can find a new title for Afghanistan: The War We Can't Win before Random House stops the cheque.

Here's Maureen Dowd in The New York Times on November 7, moaning that the Northern Alliance "smoke and complain more than they fight" and look "sillier and sillier". "Let's cut the chitchat," she urges. Here's Maureen on November 14, aghast that the Northern Alliance are bloodthirsty thugs: "Some Alliance soldiers looted dead bodies for valuables," she squeals. "We give the Northern Alliance an air force and they embarrass us with savage force." Alliance field commanders, having acted so impressively on Ms Dowd's earlier advice, must wonder if she's going for the Pulitzer for columnar whiplash.

Funnily enough, in all their droning about it being impossible to colonise Afghanistan, the Leftie know-it-alls failed to notice it was already a colony: the Taliban was propped up by bin Laden's money, Islamabad politicians and military recruits from Pakistan and the Arab world, plus a few British and American Muslims. The dead in the streets are mostly foreign Taliban soldiers killed by Kabul civilians. If they were foreign British soldiers, most Western Lefties would be delighting in a popular uprising against a colonial oppressor.

And then there's the grandees such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr who, being an Ivy League history prof, knows that Afghanistan is in the same general east-of-Martha's-Vineyard direction as Vietnam. "Our leaders gambled on the supposition that the unpopularity of the regime would mean the bombing would bring about the Taliban's rapid collapse," he wrote in The Independent this month. "Vietnam should have reminded our generals that bombing has only a limited impact on decentralised, undeveloped, rural societies."

The history guy has missed the point. From the Second World War on, most local squabbles - from Vietnam to Grenada - were proxy wars for the great game between Communism and the Free World. The difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan is that, as the Taliban were heading for the hills, the President of the Russian Federation was kibbitzing with Dubya in some Russo-Texan Borscht Belt routine. In this war, all the major powers are on the same side - America, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, even China.

The only countries that aren't with us are the basket-cases - Iraq, the Sudan, Cuba, North Korea - a handful of irrelevant loser states that contribute nothing, economically, culturally, technologically. We are at war with the world's losers. And losers tend to lose. If bin Laden really spoke for the entire Muslim world, we'd be in trouble. But, as we now know, Osama bin Loser doesn't even speak for the Muslims living 10 miles from his cave. Some jihad.

True, Mullah Omar has told the BBC that relocating to a cave is all part of the master plan for "the destruction of America", which "will happen within a short period of time". Dream on. That background noise is approaching Delta Force commandos playing Celine Dion's Greatest Hits really loud.

Let's make it easy for Professor Schlesinger and Co, and spell it out. In liberated Kabul, people are very happy. In Pakistan, anti-American protests are poorly attended. In Iran, the Ayatollahs are more worried about pro-American demonstrations. In the recent Bangladesh election, Islamic fundamentalists got less than five per cent. In repressive Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud has instructed its vile press to support America. Two months after the bloody attacks on American cities, the government that supported the men who did it has been overthrown and its troops are corpses in the dust. It's early days, but that alone is cause for all Americans - and Britons - to rejoice. Even journalists.

Last week, President Bush said, "Let's roll." We're rolling.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: marksteynlist
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1 posted on 11/16/2001 4:16:49 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; LarryLied; kattracks; JohnHuang2...
Ping for the Steyn list!
2 posted on 11/16/2001 4:17:59 PM PST by Pokey78
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The left's worst nightmare: Mark Steyn and Ann Coulter marry and have children. Can you imagine?!?
3 posted on 11/16/2001 4:21:36 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
A truly delightful essay.
4 posted on 11/16/2001 4:23:04 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Pokey78
"Losers" means a LOT of things to this forum........LOL.
5 posted on 11/16/2001 4:23:46 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Pokey78
bump.
6 posted on 11/16/2001 4:25:18 PM PST by hillsborofox
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To: Pokey78
"Our leaders gambled on the supposition that the unpopularity of the regime would mean the bombing would bring about the Taliban's rapid collapse," he wrote in The Independent this month

But, wait.......weren't "they" saying just last week that the bombings had only made Osama bin Laden MORE popular in Afghanistan?

7 posted on 11/16/2001 4:26:03 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Pokey78
This guy is a great writer. What a talent. He knows in addition how to slip the knife in and then slowly turn it as it lacerates one vital organ of his chosen protaginist after another.
8 posted on 11/16/2001 4:26:36 PM PST by Torie
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To: Pokey78
Dude, feel free to put me on any Mark Steyn zing list...
9 posted on 11/16/2001 4:27:37 PM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: Pokey78
Last week the media warned: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

This week the media warned: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
10 posted on 11/16/2001 4:29:02 PM PST by TomGuy
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To: Howlin
Ya, the folks knew the day was drawing nearer when they could loot the hell out of his organization's properties. No one is more popular than a man with unguarded valuables.
11 posted on 11/16/2001 4:29:34 PM PST by Torie
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To: Pokey78
uh, like, I can imagine one part of that whole process...
12 posted on 11/16/2001 4:29:50 PM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: Pokey78
Oh, this is so great. Bookmarking.

The left's worst nightmare: Mark Steyn and Ann Coulter marry and have children.

OMG, they should be bribed, pressured, coerced, whatever into doing just that once regardless of their personal feelings for each other; the world NEEDS their offspring.

13 posted on 11/16/2001 4:30:22 PM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: Pokey78
A few other "columnists" have made the same point, but none quite as well as Mark Steyn. We should make him an honorary US Citizen.
14 posted on 11/16/2001 4:30:51 PM PST by Paradox
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To: Torie
Uh, wouldn't that be 'an' tagonist?
15 posted on 11/16/2001 4:33:44 PM PST by mercy
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To: Pokey78
Another great one by The Mighty Steyn!
16 posted on 11/16/2001 4:39:54 PM PST by Gritty
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To: mercy
Ya, that too. :) Yikes!
17 posted on 11/16/2001 4:40:13 PM PST by Torie
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To: KayEyeDoubleDee
Dude, you have been added.
18 posted on 11/16/2001 4:41:13 PM PST by Pokey78
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
Thanks for continuing to ping me to Mark Steyn.

No one writes as he does; no one can condense a situation the way he does.

20 posted on 11/16/2001 4:46:11 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: coteblanche
Almost split my spleen laughing. Encore Maestro Steyn, encore!
21 posted on 11/16/2001 4:50:01 PM PST by Guillam
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To: Pokey78
Add me, too. My favorite quote of the week:

We are at war with the world's losers. And losers tend to lose. If bin Laden really spoke for the entire Muslim world, we'd be in trouble. But, as we now know, Osama bin Loser doesn't even speak for the Muslims living 10 miles from his cave. Some jihad.

And my favorite headline of the week: "Kabul Men Fling Off Trousers for Death-Free Soccer."

22 posted on 11/16/2001 4:50:57 PM PST by seamus
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To: Pokey78

Now hear this...

Two months after the bloody attacks on American cities, the government that supported the men who did it has been overthrown and its troops are corpses in the dust.


23 posted on 11/16/2001 4:53:43 PM PST by Nick Danger
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To: seamus
You are added to the MSPL.
24 posted on 11/16/2001 4:53:53 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Punditstan and Rootkhazia

LOLOL...

25 posted on 11/16/2001 4:55:50 PM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: Serb5150
This Steyn dude is a bad-ass...terrific.
26 posted on 11/16/2001 4:59:12 PM PST by jwfiv
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To: Pokey78
Wonderful!!! Steyn couldn't have done it any better than this!

May Osama bin LOSER be buried with a pig.

FReegards,

27 posted on 11/16/2001 5:00:31 PM PST by Capitalist Eric
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To: Pokey78
re your post #3-LOL!!! Or, on a different note -- what if Ann Coulter and Maureen Dowd are really long-lost sorority sisters? :)
28 posted on 11/16/2001 5:01:37 PM PST by summer
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To: Pokey78
BTW, please add me to the Steyn ping list.

Thanks!

Eric

29 posted on 11/16/2001 5:02:42 PM PST by Capitalist Eric
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To: Pokey78
Maureen Dowd...Man, what a KNUCKLEHEAD!! Semper Fi!! P.S. Great piece, too bad we won't get it here in the Pacific Stars And Stripes!!
30 posted on 11/16/2001 5:09:56 PM PST by MCFujiTanker
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To: Pokey78
Why are over half of the last ten articles posted her on FR from the U.K. Telegraph.

Is some conspiracy going on here?

31 posted on 11/16/2001 5:12:27 PM PST by snopercod
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To: Capitalist Eric
Done.
32 posted on 11/16/2001 5:13:34 PM PST by Pokey78
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: snopercod
Yep. Worldwide conspiracy. Didn't you get the memo from the CFR?
34 posted on 11/16/2001 5:15:28 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Howlin
That background noise is approaching Delta Force commandos playing Celine Dion's Greatest Hits really loud.

Gotta love it. I think Steyn is just getting better and better!

35 posted on 11/16/2001 5:22:36 PM PST by Amelia
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To: Pokey78
If this goes on for years, these CNNNYT idiots will get exhausted trying to create the news each week. I doubt theyll learn, it will be Sisyphean in it's stupidity.

back and forth, Wolf Blitzer with his already slumping shulders slumped even further, David Westin trying to think...it will be ugly but fun to watch.

"Um, no we didn't mean that..."

36 posted on 11/16/2001 5:29:23 PM PST by Benrand
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To: Pokey78
Is Mark Steyn that cute little balding guy with the killer dry wit that is frequently on Hannity & Colmes? I *love* that guy.
37 posted on 11/16/2001 5:55:08 PM PST by alnick
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To: Pokey78
This is one of his best in ages, a real joy to read.
38 posted on 11/16/2001 5:59:19 PM PST by habs4ever
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To: Pokey78; Victoria Delsoul; harpseal; Travis McGee; Spirit Of Truth; Manny Festo...
growl!


39 posted on 11/16/2001 6:00:47 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: Pokey78
Just love dry wit! This had me laughing so hard it scared the dog.
40 posted on 11/16/2001 6:04:30 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Pokey78
Mark Steyn is the greatest.
41 posted on 11/16/2001 6:05:43 PM PST by veronica
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
What a great editorial.
43 posted on 11/16/2001 6:18:27 PM PST by WriteOn
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To: Sabertooth
Good one!
Thanks.

BUMP

44 posted on 11/16/2001 6:19:20 PM PST by ppaul
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To: Pokey78
Good post, and great read.

We are at war with the world's losers. And losers tend to lose.

The losers aren't all countries. There are more than a few columnists, pundits, and networks working hard to get/stay on the losers list.

45 posted on 11/16/2001 6:19:46 PM PST by quimby
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To: Pokey78
"The difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan is"

This war is backed by the President, Congress and the people.
Johnson AND Nixon both went thru the motions only.
I served under both of them, so I know 1st hand the lack of military support they both REALLY showed.
Both parties in Congress also went thru the motions.
Both parties blamed each other as OUR body count went up.
Both political parties did nothing to rally the public to support our troops.
That is, in my opinion, the REAL difference between then and now.
46 posted on 11/16/2001 7:18:55 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: Pokey78
Rolling Bump!
47 posted on 11/16/2001 7:23:49 PM PST by VOA
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To: Sabertooth
Last week, President Bush said, "Let's roll." We're rolling.

I like that!

48 posted on 11/16/2001 7:58:17 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Pokey78; maica; Freee-dame; Sabertooth; harpseal; Squantos; Lent; rebdov; Manny Festo; FITZ...
"Two months after the bloody attacks on American cities, the government that supported the men who did it has been overthrown and its troops are corpses in the dust."

I am certain that Assad, Mubarak, Saud, Qaddafi etc have not missed this point.

Saddam may feel he is so strong, with possible WMD ready to launch, that he will not be attacked.

We shall see.

49 posted on 11/16/2001 8:59:14 PM PST by Travis McGee
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To: Pokey78
the lefty know-it-alls!

that says it all!

50 posted on 11/16/2001 9:18:05 PM PST by rockfish59
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