Ringo vs. Spinrad, Commie Code, and Bug Hunting (was Re: TRIPE (was: Poem))

R. A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Sun Apr 20 15:47:07 PDT 2003

Hash: SHA1

At 8:50 AM -0700 4/20/03, Elias Sinderson wrote:
>johnhall wrote:
>>[...] France took the side of our enemy. [...]
>You've been parroting inflamatory bits like this (pro-saddam, etc.)
>for a while, and it really does the discussion (and your intellect)
>disservice. Seeing the world in such black and white terms neglects
>to appreciate the mirad of influences and multidimensionality of the
>issues at hand.

Like most everywhere else, it's sounding like Bambi vs. Godzilla, or,
more properly and to transitize a smidge, John Ringo vs. mid-80's
Norman Spinrad (or John Varley?), around here.

Frankly, I like Ringo myself, these days.

A lot of people do.

It is, in fact, a black and white world right now, and most of the
choices are clear, folks. We were attacked. We've been under attack
since 1972 or thereabouts, but they've gotten good enough to get our
attention, and we're fighting back because they really do want to
kill us all and take our stuff. 

And, as Rumsfeld has said, "weakness is provocative", and we've been
layin' around the shanty momma, puttin' a good buzz on for too long. 
It's that simple. (Besides, having the broken washing machine on the
South Portico was bad enough, but that Chevy on blocks next to the
coon-dog pen in the Rose Garden was a bit much, don't you think?)

So, people are dusting off their popular war-poetry. It's been a
probably a century (Kipling?) since someone wrote some that didn't
sound pablum, or, more usually, whinging nonsense -- "surly bounds of
earth", and all that. It'll probably get worse before it gets better,
but it'll probably get better with practise. 

More people are going to write it, that's for sure.

By the way, "dialectic" is a commie code word for "discussion", in
the same way that "capitalism" is a commie code word for "economics",
or "petit bourgeoisie" is commie code for "people who actually work
for a living". Rousseau, Robespierre, Hegel, Marx, Engels, Trotsky,
"Lenin", "Stalin", and Mao are dead, folks. Hopefully, there will be
more. See below.

PS: Meanwhile, according to his web-page, Spinrad, who doesn't write
the same stuff he used to, either, lost his apartment in Paris and is
looking for a new one in the ¤1500/mo range. Having lived in 23
places before graduating high-school or some such, Ringo owns his own
house in Georgia somewhere and doesn't want to move anymore, for some
reason. (I can sympathize. It was 11, for me, and around 30, now. So
- ---------



John Ringo

March 21, 2003 -- The New York Post 

IN every war, a portion of the victory involves the pursuit of
political  leadership of the defeated side. This has been the case
since before  Alexander pursued the Persian emperor across half of
what is now Iran. But  America and the Western world have, since
World War II, brought this to  new heights. In Grenada, Mogadishu,
Panama, Bosnia and now Iraq, early in  the war the game becomes
"where's the dictator?" 

The troops call it "bug-hunting." 

Like most military slang, the term is long on possible etymology and
short  on definite history. It first got used in or around Grenada,
when the game  of "round up the leadership" was in high gear. It
assuredly refers to  cockroaches, another term used the military for
the targets, but one of  the first serious bug-hunters told me that
it definitively was related to  the book "Starship Troopers," in
which the alien enemy are "the bugs." 

Wherever the term derives, the substance of the game is the same:
Military  intelligence generates a list of "critical political
targets" which has a  small initial distribution. Over time, the list
gets copied to more and  more people. And as the fighting dies down
and officers and senior NCOs  find themselves with less and less to
do, they take up "bug-hunting."  Forget the CIA: The real ground work
is done by literally thousands of  bored and "hungry" lieutenants,
first sergeants and sergeants major  running around in Humvees
bribing everyone and the goats. 

Like thousands of terriers set free to hunt down rats, the officers
and  NCOs wander the landscape poking their heads in bars, talking to
 shady-looking characters, wandering though bazaars and generally
having  great fun traveling in foreign lands, meeting new people and
occasionally  killing them. But it's all in a good cause and despite
the mostly  amateurish methodology, they bring in a steady trickle of
leaders from the  enemy side, which lead in turn to medals, letters
of commendation and  eventually promotion outside of grade. 

It's the same concept as looting, but you're returning with prisoners
to  be converted into advancement, not booty to be converted into

For a change, this is how we started the war, but it's not all that 
different. Somebody told somebody else that they were sure that
Saddam was  going to be on the corner of Jihad Avenue and
Blood-On-the-Mosque Street  at a certain time. So Delta Force, in a
daring pre-dawn raid ,  swooped  down and grabbed anyone in the
area that was male and had a mustache. 

And when they got back they discovered that they had five
money-changers,  a rug-merchant and a reporter for Al-Jazeera or
maybe Geraldo Rivera. 

Don't worry, be happy. This will happen again and again as the "real"
war  progresses. Word will come that American forces have Saddam
trapped then,  that the wily dictator has slipped away and, last,
that he was never there  in the first place. Remember Panama! 

It's a bug hunt. You turn on the light, the cockroaches scatter and
then  you hunt them down one at a time. Sometimes they get in little
cracks  where you can't quite hit them (the Vatican embassy). Then
you have to hit  the wall repeatedly until they get so shaken they
stumble out where you  can whack them. It takes a while and it's
rarely thorough. 

But just think of all the fun and entertainment it provides to our
poor  troops in faraway lands. 

Let the bug-hunts begin. 

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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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