November 14, 2004

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE

"[Is] Team America basically right-wing?" asks Andrew Sullivan. "That's what some on the left think. If right-wing means dreary, joyless puritanism, then no. If it means backing self-reliance, celebrating individual freedom and abhorring Hollywood leftism, then sure."

US troops in Fallujah might support that right-wing theory:

The soldiers shared laughs during the more surreal moments, such as when a psychological-operations truck rolled through the city blaring the theme song to the movie "Team America: World Police."

Surreal? It's perfect.

Posted by Tim Blair at November 14, 2004 06:31 PM
Comments

Check out the bad ass Foreign Minister, too.

Fuck yeah.


Posted by: the UNPOPULIST at November 14, 2004 at 06:54 PM

I Love It!

For you younger Tim Blair readers, try and view footage of the 1990 US invasion of Panama.

Our PsyOps teams played the ditties "Panama" by Van Halen and "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns n Roses via loudspeaker at the quivering dictator Noriega.

Heavy Metal is America's bagpipes.

Posted by: JDB at November 14, 2004 at 07:00 PM

Heh heh, I love it!

I am dying to see this movie, isn't it odd that the left doesn't know how to handle a movie that doesn't spew the usual propaganda?

Oh, wait, no its not...

Posted by: Matt T at November 14, 2004 at 08:35 PM

My favorite one they played at Noriega was "I Fought the Law and the Law Won". They also played "Indiana Wants Me".

I was supposed to go to San Francisco to sing with the DLI Russian choir, but the Light Infantry in Fort Ord took our bus to help shuttle guys to the planes for Panama. Noriega has a lot to answer for.

Posted by: Donnah at November 14, 2004 at 09:37 PM

If someone knows Trey Parker's email they should send that quote to him.

Posted by: Junkyard God at November 14, 2004 at 10:25 PM

I understand R. Lee Ermey is going to be our next ambassador to France.
Possibly one of George Patton's grandkids could be the next ambassador to Germany.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at November 14, 2004 at 10:58 PM

If you read the whole of the Chicago Times article, you'll find it's a bad attempt at a hit piece. It's just crying out for a parody to be made of it, set any time in WW2. The article headline : "Weary GIs endure relentless combat" gives you a clue. Also passages like :

So goes the battle for Fallujah as experienced Friday by the exhausted and bewildered soldiers of the 3rd Brigade of the Army's 1st Infantry Division.
It's a Quagmire I tell's ya! Exhausted - yes, it's in the nature of war to be like that. Bewildered? Judging on results, they seem to know exactly what they're doing.
Also:
When it rained, they trudged through mud that dried and turned to dust flecking skin, hair and gear. None of them had bathed or changed clothes in nearly five days. Sleep became impossible. Crammed six to a bench in the back of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, they were a sweat-soaked, blood-spattered stinking mess.
Sounds accurate to me, after a few days of battle. Every war is like that. If the journalist had reported this stuff straight, without the spin, it could have been a great article, reminding us all of the high price those guys are paying.
But the piece de resistance (if you'll pardon the pun) is the best piece of attack journalism in a combat zone I've ever seen.
Reporters embedded with the military are not allowed to report American deaths or injuries in much detail. But...
Of course as there have been remarkably few casualties, he has to stretch things out a bit after that.
Still, it's the Chicago Tribune after all. They were running stuff like this, only pro-Hitler and Anti-Churchill in 1940-41. Good to see that some traditions are being kept up.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at November 14, 2004 at 11:10 PM

That NY Observer link about the Incredibles and Team American is sickeningly hilarious. Ooo, gosh, these people have super powers and they use them for the common good. OMG, they are facists!

Of course superheroes are right wing psychos, they know the difference between right and wrong and are willing to fight for what's right.

My head is spinning so hard from that article it hurts. I wish this was the first time today I'd heard some dimwit lefty complain about all this ruthless... individuality as if it were a threat to them. Liberalism on the left is dead.

Posted by: Sortelli at November 14, 2004 at 11:37 PM

the Incredibles is Randian. haha you can't make this shit up

Posted by: drscroogmcduck at November 14, 2004 at 11:56 PM

Those troops are bone tired from kicking ass and taking casualties but still moving, and all that wanking reporter can do is spin the negative. Yet he is embedded with them. Clearly, he isn't trying very hard to reach out across the aisle.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 12:22 AM

It had to be posted...

America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Freedom is the only way yeah,
Terrorist your game is through cause now you have to answer too,
America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls,
America, FUCK YEAH!
What you going to do when we come for you now,
it's the dream that we all share; it's the hope for tomorrow...

FUCK YEAH!

McDonalds, FUCK YEAH!
Wal-Mart, FUCK YEAH!
The Gap, FUCK YEAH!
Baseball, FUCK YEAH!
NFL, FUCK, YEAH!
Rock and roll, FUCK YEAH!
The Internet, FUCK YEAH!
Slavery, FUCK YEAH!

FUCK YEAH!

Starbucks, FUCK YEAH!
Disney world, FUCK YEAH!
Porno, FUCK YEAH!
Valium, FUCK YEAH!
Reeboks, FUCK YEAH!
Fake Tits, FUCK YEAH!
Sushi, FUCK YEAH!
Taco Bell, FUCK YEAH!
Rodeos, FUCK YEAH!
Bed Bath And Beyond (fuck yeah... fuck yeah...)

Liberty, FUCK YEAH!
White Slips, FUCK YEAH!
The Alamo, FUCK YEAH!
Band-aids, FUCK YEAH!
Las Vegas, FUCK YEAH!
Christmas, FUCK YEAH!
Immigrants, FUCK YEAH!
Popeye, FUCK YEAH!
Demarcates, FUCK YEAH!
Republicans (fuck yeah... fuck yeah...)
Sportsmanship, ...
Books, ...

Posted by: Jamie at November 15, 2004 at 01:47 AM

I wondered what the reaction from the media would be after I saw it. Entertainment Weekly had this weird review where the author tried to make it sound like Team America was an indictment of The Bush Doctrine. When I read it, I was like, "did you see the same movie I did?" (Just found it online... the reviewer called it a: "hypercharged parody of the world according to the Bush administration.") Whatev. The vibe of Team America is definitely pro-America... I think he was just in denial.

Posted by: lexine at November 15, 2004 at 01:48 AM

"...a psychological-operations truck rolled through the city blaring the theme song to the movie "Team America: World Police.""

What good would that do? I mean, from a military point of view? I'm sure they know what they're doing, but what is the theory behind it?

Posted by: Harry Hutton at November 15, 2004 at 01:52 AM

If you think that this is a "hit piece" that undercuts our war effort by describing how troops in battle are dirty and weary, then consider this cartoon published in
Stars and Stripes in 1945.

Patton tried to silence Mauldin, but Eisenhower protected him: Ike thought that Mauldin built up morale by telling the truth about conditions at the front. I'm with Ike on this one.

As for the bigger picture about our victory, there's plenty of other sources that describe that. But we must remember that the victory, when it comes, will have been won by the dirty, weary, incredibly brave young men described here.

Posted by: Brown Line at November 15, 2004 at 01:55 AM

Best bit from the Observer piece:

"I would be in favor of Empathy Man," said Mr. Rall. "The man who plants the seeds of empathy into the cold, stony heart of the average red-state American."

Posted by: Jim Treacher at November 15, 2004 at 02:15 AM

All of Bill Mauldin's cartoons centered on the soldier in the field. Patton didn't like Maudlin at all, period. Especially when Mauldin lampooned officers. (including Patton, but indirectly).

Like you, I'm with Ike. But I wouldn't compare Bill Mauldin with the puke that wrote this latest article. If nothing else, Mauldin was a grunt himself. Mauldin exercised the soldier's ancient privilege of griping, except that he did it humorously for all to see.

At best, the article is a whining complaint that the reporter can't do things the way he wants to.

And I think that those weary, incredibly brave young men deserve better.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 02:23 AM

More on combat loudspeakers here.

Posted by: Donnah at November 15, 2004 at 02:25 AM

"I would be in favor of Empathy Man," said Mr. Rall. "The man who plants the seeds of empathy into the cold, stony heart of the average red-state American."

Ted Rall thinks that planting seeds of empathy means the Moron Red Staters Who Voted For Bush (TM) give him blowjobs gratis.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 02:26 AM

From the observer column:

"Itís kind of ironic that superheroes now have these fascist, right-wing connotations," said Ted Rall, [...] "The right has stolen the flag and our superheroes, too."

I guess everyone knows Superman and Batman were a couple of pinkos. And Wolverine? Well, he is Canadian after all.

The article goes on to say that Superman is in fact a liberal because he wants to help others, and that, had he been a conservative, he would have been more interested in self-gratification. If you believe that conservatives are all selfish fat-cats the message is: Republicans are arch-villains.

The funny thing is I think I'm more self reliant and personally resposible now precisely because I loved comic books when I was a kid (still do). That personal responsibility and self reliance are what make me more conservative. I refuse to stand by and wait for the government to solve my problems.

Posted by: SPY at November 15, 2004 at 02:27 AM

I agree that it was a hit piece, too. At the conclusion he talks about Team America blowing up Paris with its wild firepower, then adds how the US drops a 500-pound bomb in Fallujah.

My local newscast in CA yesterday reported on Fallujah: "American Action Causes Human Rights Catastrophe in Fallujah." That's the sum total of the operation! Straight out of Al Jazeera--I checked their article du jour and it's almost identical.

Phase Two of the War Against Bush has begun.

Posted by: PJ at November 15, 2004 at 02:34 AM

Everybody,

No big deal, but sorry about the link-whoring above.

Must not blog under influence, I don't know why I can never remember that.

Posted by: the UNPOPULIST at November 15, 2004 at 02:45 AM

John Cougar Mellencamp was one of the witless celebs who worked to defeat Bush. Too bad for him that he didn't remember "When I fight authority, authority always wins."

That's another song that could be put to good use in Fallujah (and the West Bank, for that matter.)

The film reviewer of our local lefty free rag (why does there seem to be one in every city? They're like noxious weeds which take root everywhere.)wrote, hilariously, that the film stars in "Team America" were "well-intentioned" peace activists who come to bad ends. Right.

Parker and Stone are hardly known for subtle satire, but apparently TA is too nuanced for some leftists.

Posted by: Donna V. at November 15, 2004 at 03:01 AM

THIS is what they should play:

U.S.A. for U.S.A.
by Carnivore http://www.angelfire.com/ri/typeoneg/carnivore.html

Listen to all this all you douchebags
it's time that we laid down the law
we're tired of taking your shit
and we ain't 'gonna take it no more
be prepared to fight and die
so that we may be free
and if you don't like it here
than pack your shit and leave
our forefathers died in war
so that you could live better
we at least owe it to them
to keep the stars and stripes forever

Planting bombs in planes
blowing up our ships
kill our kids and woman
find these dickless slobs
hang them by the scrotum
lets end the terrorism

You think yourself a god
would follow to the death
a spineless yellow faggot
a bunch of stinking slobs
hiding behind masks
show yourself 'ya maggot

United we stand
divided we fall
and that's the way it's gonna be
don't ever forget the soldiers
who died for liberty

All the bullshit countries
who think they'll beat the giant
world peace upheaval
we'll nuke 'em to the stone age
send the message clear
ya don't fuck with the eagle

Posted by: Dave Violence at November 15, 2004 at 03:09 AM

I recall that I can base my view of the UN on the fact that Arafat was allowed to wear a gun there. The Observer article, and more accuratly the left in general, can be best summarized in the same way - they quote Ted Rall. In the immortal words of Marvel - 'Nuff said.

Posted by: Axeman at November 15, 2004 at 03:17 AM

OK, now this is comedy gold:

I would be in favor of Empathy Man," said Mr. Rall. "The man who plants the seeds of empathy into the cold, stony heart of the average red-state American."

Ted, quite obviously, doesn't have a single empathy molecule in his bitter, stringy heart. The Poor and Downtrodden [TM] are just sticks with which to beat others. Ted is Antipathy Man, hating everyone and everything, and planting the seeds of antipathy in the hearts of his readers. Of course, frequently that antipathy is turned toward himself, but if Ted can get one person to hate Bush because k3wl indie cartoonist Ted Rall says he's ChimpHitler, then it's worth antagonizing ten sane people. Antipathy Man doesn't care where it's directed, as long as the holy cause of Antipathy is served.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at November 15, 2004 at 03:57 AM

It's Moonbatman and the Boy Wanker! We're saved!

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at November 15, 2004 at 03:59 AM

Empathy Man, Gosh Yeah!
/sarcasm

Posted by: mojo at November 15, 2004 at 05:41 AM

Yeah, I wrote about the whole Ted Rall empathy nonsense here: Nerf-Coated World

Posted by: Matt Howell at November 15, 2004 at 06:24 AM

Yeah, Ted Rall will show you lots of empathy. Unless you lost a spouse in 9/11 or lost your life fighting for the US in Afghanistan.

Posted by: dorkafork at November 15, 2004 at 06:39 AM

Not trying to get any blog love....but sample the new national anthem over here:

http://www.shenaniganz.org/archives/000774.html

second link from top.

Then go buy the CD.

And, yeah "Pearl Harbor sucked." Thanks Afleck.

Hit my good lefty friend, Godfather D, that he wasn't going to like the movie, about a month ago.
There is a reason SP rocks!!!

Posted by: gimpy at November 15, 2004 at 07:30 AM

According to the guys at Fort Bragg--who were the ones running the sound show in Panama--the purpose was not to drive Noriega batty, but to interfer with the ability of reporters to use their mikes to pick up stuff they the Army would rather they didn't. But those PsyOps guys are so good, they left an entire generation thinking the wrong thing.

Posted by: John at November 15, 2004 at 08:10 AM

Speaking of the Chicago Tribune and its, well, sort of subversive record when it comes to the American military, the newspaper published an article after the Battle of Midway trumpeting the fact it was based on intelligence intercepts (the famous Japanese Purple Code). FDR, Marshall and the rest of the military leadership were flabbergasted at this act. Many believed Colonel McCormick, the publisher, and his editor should be tried for treason. But when amazingly the Japanese didn't realize their top secret cable traffic had been compromised, the matter was dropped. The Tribune is up to its old tricks.

Posted by: Jerry at November 15, 2004 at 08:16 AM

I have LOADS of empathy for all those people without a sense of humor. It must suck.

Posted by: Maureen at November 15, 2004 at 08:38 AM

Empathy Man,One who,when defenceless and bound,can understand the pain of the man who is decapitating him.Oh,it's Robert Fisk.

Posted by: Peter at November 15, 2004 at 08:58 AM

Another jaunty tune to use in circumstances such as Fallujah is "Die MF Die" as used in this video.

Posted by: A Jackson at November 15, 2004 at 09:30 AM
What good would that do? I mean, from a military point of view? I'm sure they know what they're doing, but what is the theory behind it?
To many foreign cultures, American metal music has the same surreal, alienating effect as bagpipes did for Scottish mercenaries a couple hundred years ago. It's frightening if you're not used to it, and can actually cause a nervous breakdown after a few days if you're exposed to it intensively. Plus, if they speak English (and many of them do, just like people everywhere) the lyrics to the songs picked out make it 100x worse. It hurts morale *and* drives them crazy: A twofer, plus can be rallying for our guys.

In sieges, they'll also use high-power (by which I mean, "1 jillion candlepower") flood lights to make sure nobody sleeps inside. Interesting tidbit, at Waco (yes, I know) they tried blasting a telephone "busy signal" for a day or so, but realized it just wasn't having the same effect as metal music. I know they also tried playing the Barney "I love you, you love me" song very, very quietly echoed through the corridors of detention camps the nights before they'd interrogate captured Iraqi troops. Apparently, nobody could really sleep well listening to that.

Posted by: Aaron at November 15, 2004 at 10:02 AM

In Granada, one jeep boombox favorite was "Eye of Tiger"

Posted by: Cridland at November 15, 2004 at 10:09 AM

"We'll come in low, out of the rising sun, and about a mile out, we'll put on the music... Yeah, I use Wagner -- scares the hell out of the slopes! My boys love it !" --Lt Col Kilgore [Robert Duvall]

"In war the moral is to the material as three to one." Napoleon

Posted by: Cecil Turner at November 15, 2004 at 10:29 AM

Empathy man! Pfft! Ted Rall wouldn't know Empathy if it took a dump on his head.

Posted by: Rebecca at November 15, 2004 at 10:41 AM

Ted Rall wouldn't know Empathy if it took a dump on his head.

Demonstratably true, Rebecca, because Ted Rall is in fact a shithead.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 10:47 AM

John,
"But those PsyOps guys are so good, they left an entire generation thinking the wrong thing."

I hope you'll excuse me for hoping that phrase "are so good" is still operative.

Posted by: Kathy K at November 15, 2004 at 11:20 AM

[Spam removed and IP address 65.30.240.102 banned. The Management.]

Posted by: not cool at November 15, 2004 at 11:28 AM

Heh! Is Cool Ass a link whore, or just unusually to-the-point-but-still-vague-as-always troll?

This enquiring mind doesn't care!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 11:42 AM

LINK WHORE!

http://www.linkwhore.com

Posted by: mojo at November 15, 2004 at 11:45 AM

Rall's empathy was on prominent display when he pissed on Pat Tillman's grave.

Posted by: Nobody at November 15, 2004 at 12:14 PM

[Pointless post removed and IP address 65.30.240.102 banned. The Management.]

Posted by: not cool at November 15, 2004 at 01:03 PM

It's far from being a heavy-metal gig. "These Boots Are Made For Walking" is a big Psyops fave.

Posted by: Donnah at November 15, 2004 at 01:26 PM

How about "Veterans of the Pyschic Wars", by Blue Oyster Cult? That'll drive anyone nuts if they don't like rock-n-roll!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 02:02 PM

Ahem, "Psychic", not "Pyschic". My bad.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 15, 2004 at 02:03 PM

I bought the Team America and Incredibles DVD this past week (I'm in China presently). Great stuff. I watched Team America with a group of friends from Africa, Israel, and China. Pro-American, all. We loved it ... especially when the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre got taken out. Shades of Independence Day!! As for the theme song, "America! F*ck, yeah!" its the new anthem for my Israeli and Sierra Leonean friends.

Posted by: Helen at November 15, 2004 at 02:04 PM

lexine: that was Owen Gleiberman, I believe, the politically-moronic leftoid chief critic of that publication.

They are such frustrated political writers over there it's pathetic to read.

Posted by: JB at November 15, 2004 at 04:22 PM

PsyOps guys are fun. They always provided the soundtrack when we rolled on weapons raids/patrols in Haiti. The two I remember best were the theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", and the grand prize winner, "Hell's Bells". Imagine that cranked up to 11 as a convoy of well-armed hummers slowly starts to leave the compound and cruise the streets. The Haitians probably thought we were insane.

Posted by: TomK at November 15, 2004 at 04:39 PM

Muqtada don't like it
Rockin' Fallujah
Rock Fallujah

(with apologies to The Clash)

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at November 15, 2004 at 06:39 PM

I'm reminded of the scene from Kelly's Heros, where three Sherman tanks equipped with loudspeakers play "I've been working on the railroad" while blasting their way through a German occupied rail station!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 16, 2004 at 12:34 AM

I always find it fascinating that the people who want "empathy" in America are the most bitter, bile-filled empathy-challenged people. Simply amazing.

Elizabeth
Imperial Keeper
In Mourning for Trouble, 1996-November 9, 2004

Posted by: Elizabeth at November 16, 2004 at 12:38 AM

Anyone watching or reviewing Team America should be aware of this quote from an interview of Trey Parker (sorry, don't have link, and won't get this exact) "... we hate conservatives, but we really hate liberals."

Posted by: Ray_g at November 16, 2004 at 02:17 AM

The funny thing about those Psyops is I tink they hearten US troups more than they dishearten the enemy, who probably has :

A. Bigger things to worry about than a soundtrack he can't understand, or get the clever? pop-cult reference.

B. Likes hearing where you are.

Posted by: Fred at November 16, 2004 at 05:01 AM

The Psyops guys are doing just right. As a previous poster said, it has an effect like the bagpipes. Kind of eerie if you're not used to it.

Fred; they only can hear where the loudspeakers are, which is not the same place as the grunts that are looking to kill them.

If it's catchy, Like the Team America theme, pretty soon all the kids will be singing it.

How'd you like to come back to the mosque after a hard day of setting up IEDs and being chased by Marines, to hear some kid singing, "America, Fuck Yeah!

Posted by: John Dunshee at November 16, 2004 at 02:51 PM