Hoisted from Others' Archives: Let us all remember what George W. Bush was really like: John Rogers (2005): Lunch Discussions #145: The Crazification Factor: "John: ... I mean, what will it take? That last speech literally made no sense. It was crazy drunken bar talk!...
...Islamic radicals are like COMMUNISM?! (gets speech on laptop) If we don't fight terrorists in Iraq they'll build a fundamentalist terrorist state stretching from Spain to Indonesia? What the fuck? Even assuming Spain, which last time I checked is 95% Roman Catholic, goes down, you gotta assume France, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, all eight hundred million Hindus in India, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore would be somewhat of an obstacle.
Tyrone: To be fair, you're going west-to-east. Maybe he meant a fundamentalist terrorist state stretching from Spain to Indonesia going east-to-west. Going that way, there's only the U.S. The President could be warning us that if we don't prevail in Iraq, the United States will become a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist state.
John: ... a little oblique, isn't it?
Tyrone: The man is nothing if not subtle.
John: (calling up map on laptop) You know, I guess if you start in Spain, swing hard south through northern Africa, you got Algeria, Libya there, Egypt, cross the Red Sea and you're in the Middle East ...
Tyrone: From there, if you spot him the Indian Ocean and India, you're in Indonesia.
John: I am not spotting him eight hundred million Hindus. I call shenanigans.
Tyrone: And again, I must point out Bush said "the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, allowing them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region." That's what the militants believe. They may just be delusional. He says that himself: "Some might be tempted to dismiss these goals as fanatical or extreme. Well, they are fanatical and extreme—and they should not be dismissed. Our enemy is utterly committed."
John: But he's citing that desire as a basis for our strategy. You can't cite your enemy's delusional hopes as a basis for a rational strategy. Goals don't exist in a vacuum, they're linked to capability. David Koresh was utterly committed to being Jesus Christ. See how far that got him.
Either Bush is making strategy based on a delusional goal of his opponent, which is idiotic; or he's saying he believes his opponent has the capability of achieving this delusional goal, which is idiotic. Neither bodes well for the republic.
Tyrone: Reading here, the speech boiled down to two points—
John: Who cares? The Spain-to-Indonesia thing should automatically invalidate the whole speech. I don't care how good your investment advisor is, he can spend three hours reviewing mutual funds, as soon as he says "And of course, we can put your money into the Easter Bunny's Egg Upgrades", he is out of—
Tyrone: —two points. First, Iraq is the keystone in the struggle between the West and Islamic Fundamentalism.
John: Which, if we accept the Administration's own argument, means that invading and destabilizing Iraq with insufficent post-war planning (and all that entails), not enough personnel, and shitty equipment for that personnel was the biggest screw-up in the War on Terror.
Tyrone: He's the President: if he says it, it must be true. Second, Bush says we have made a lot of progress in stopping al-Qaeda plots. Look: "Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted at least ten serious al-Qaeda terrorist plots since September the 11th, including three al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States. We've stopped at least five more al-Qaeda efforts to case targets in the United States, or infiltrate operatives into our country."
John: What are they counting for those wins? Are they counting guys like Padilla? This is all very gooey, like how we've killed like, nine of Osama Bin Laden's #3 guys.
Tyrone: Being #3 in Al-Qaeda is like being a "creative vice president" at a Hollywood studio. There are dozens of them ... and they are expendable. Listen, don't do this, you're just getting worked up. Have another mozzarella stick.
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is—
John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?
Tyrone: Hadn't thought about it. Let's split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification -- either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.
John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?
Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?
John: ... a bit low, actually.
Tyrone: (shrugs) Probably right, then. Speaking of Obama, I need to get t-shirts printed up to sell.
John: I can do that on the web. What do they say?
Tyrone: Don't You Dare Kill Obama
John: How about Don't You Dare Kill Obama (... and we know you're thinking about it)
John: Or You Kill Obama and WE WILL BURN SHIT DOWN
Tyrone: Even better. Nobody wants their shit burned down.
John: Glad to help.
Tyrone: I'm having you taken off the list for when the revolution comes.
John: ... there's really a list—
Tyrone: Oh yeah. Hell yeah.