Monday, August 21, 2006

This Just In!

Hello dear readers (and thanks for all your comments and cash of late)!

It's been a frantic day of painting -- er, I mean -- monitoring the news desk. I'll be getting to the best of the mail bag later but, until then, check out this letter I got from Paul Bremmer to Odum at Green Mountain Daily. Old Pauly clearly sent it to the wrong address and as many times as I try to post it to Odum's site, he keeps deleting it. Imagine that. Some people will never learn. But, as a public service, here's Bremmer's letter:

Letter to a Young Leader
By Paul Bremmer

Trust me, Odum, I know exactly what you’re going through in your attempts to bring calm and civility to your website. As you may remember, I was the first “ambassador” (it still feels funny using that term) to Iraq after the great liberation of that nation. Now, also like you, I live up here in Vermont, a place where we both can agree allows people to do stupid things but still live in a – well – certain bliss born from a kind of professionalized cognitive dissonance. I hope you get my drift.

At first blush, comparing the newly democratized Iraqi people I was trying to tame and the leftists verbal monsters you’re now facing may seem like quite the stretch but, trust me, we’ve got a lot in common. We both, for example, speak power to the powerless. Better yet, we’re not afraid to wield that power. Like the good father these people apparently never had, our role is to make ‘em bow to authority, no matter what the sissy-pant-liberals think about that kind of iron fist. Oops, did I say sissy-pant-liberals? Damn right, I did. Deal with it.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, praising ourselves. Never – ever – underestimate the well-practiced quality of speaking out of both sides of your mouth. I can’t help but think of my work in Iraq when I hear you declare your desire for an “open forum” but then keep pulling the plug on your most active participants. There’s nothing more frustrating than people actually believing in what you’re saying! That’s so 1950s!

The people I tried to support in Iraq and the ones you’re currently embattled with cannot be trusted. Why the hell do you think it took a billion dollars worth of security to keep me alive there? Likewise, it ain’t gonna be cheap for you to keep swatting away your leftists antagonists. But you must stay the course (Rummy taught me that line – and it really seems to work).

Like us, you need to throw wisdom (and ideals) to the wind. This isn’t, as you know, about any of that, anyway. Once you get yourself in a battle like this, the only thing that matters is your ego. I know it might sound crass, but it’s the truth, goddamn it.

I know it may seem lonely there at your site now that you’ve seemingly swatted away the trash but don’t get discouraged. Repeat after me: I am right. Power is always right. See? Doesn’t that feel better?

I can’t tell you how odd it felt sitting around in Saddam’s old digs all by myself for hour after hour, day after day, wondering: Am I doing the right thing? But then Rummy or Condi or GW himself would give me one of their lift-me-up talks and – damn it – I felt better. GW even told me this once: “Pauly, if there ain’t no need for a man on the front lines than there ain’t no need for the front lines to be protected against the people on the back lines who must not like what we’re doing for ‘em.”

I’ll admit, it seemed better at the time. In fact, it even seemed to make sense. But maybe it was just because the Prez was talking in my ear that it made me feel better. And that’s how you’ve got to keep feeling when your buddies talk in your ear. You’re all in this together and reason will not – repeat: will not! – get you out of this.

Besides – and I really didn’t want to bring this up – none of your blogging friends seem to be running to your defense anyway. But that’s neither here nor there. If they want to be pansies, let them be pansies. Baruth, for example, will never tire of talking about himself and you’re just NOT going to change that now.

The real issue here, Odum, is persistence. We must be persistent – no matter what. Cheap shots can’t stop us. Rumors can’t stop us. And, gosh darn it (I just realized your two-year-old kid might be reading this), logic can’t stop us. Because this is, after all, about us. And more than that, it’s about us being right.

I guess I just want to say: Stay the course, Odum. It’s worth it. I stayed the course for a year and now I’ve got a great abode in your state of Vermont. I’ve got all the security and protection I need and the money just keeps flowing in no matter how many walks I take. People up here seem to care for soldiers like you and me. In fact, the only people they seem to care more about are their elected officials who are NEVER voted out of office.

I know, I know, my soldiers ran the security state of the United States, but you’re not far behind, my friend. You keep busting ass on those silly leftists, propping up folks like Parker and Welch and, before you know it, you’ll be raking in the big bucks at a firm like Kimball, Sherman & Ellis before you know it. Trust me, they respect power like no one respects power – just look at their lifestyles, you fool!

I love your rhetoric of concern. It’s cute. But I really love how quickly you’ll shelve it to protect what really matters: your ass and the oh-so-non-confrontational website community you’re trying to create. It’s that new school/old school dichotomy that makes it so palatable.

Don’t mess it up. And don’t let reason get in your way.

Like my friend, Bill O’Reilly says (and I know you may have issues with him), at this point it’s about two things: You can finish the job you started or you can cut and run and let your enemies win. The simpler we make it, the simpler it’ll be.

Semper fi, baby. Semper fi.