RachelWatch: Afghanistravaganza


Today: A think tank that only thinks of tanks.

Strategy vs. Strategery

Obama spoke about his Afghaniplan on Friday, and Rachel started us off by noting that, yikes, sometimes he really does sound like George W., right down to the cadence of his speech at times.

Caution: the juxtaposed video clips may induce mild what-if-the-conspiracy-theorists-are-right panic.

On the other hand, Rachel pointed out that while the style may be similar at times, there are some changes to the substance, and I know which of the two I’d pick if I could only choose one.

After a quick dip into the wisdom of Vizzini, Rachel welcomed Zbigniew Brzezinski. And ZZ Top wept silently by the phone.

Rachel mentioned her concern that our drones are essentially serving as an air force for Pakistan, and Brzezinski said, “I think you have raised a very good issue!”

She’s very restrained. I would have taken a victory lap around the studio after that.

I was also impressed when Rachel asked Brzezinski if her own earlier distinction between combat troops and trainers was really meaningful. I’m trying to remember the time I saw the host of a political talk show question her own assumptions.

And she didn’t take a victory lap for that either. Maybe she does little touchdown dances during the commercials

Diplomacy Done Dirt Cheap

Rachel gave us the reassuring news that those of us who couldn’t stop humming “Highway to Hell” when the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic called Obama’s stimulus plan a “road to hell” were not just being childish.

Or at least we weren’t the only ones being childish: The Prime Minister had, in fact, been inspired by an AC/DC concert.

I guess we can all be glad he didn’t go see The Divinyls.

The Drone Wars

As Rachel has mentioned before, we’re kind of only pretending to not have a war going on in Pakistan. We don’t have any ground troops there, but we’ve made more than 30 drone missile attacks since early 2008. Because letting synthetics fight your wars is always a good idea!

Juan Cole, author of “Engaging the Muslim World,” dropped into clarify with whom we are and aren’t technically at war, and I’m hoping you did not do any heavy wagering on “people who will be really easy to identify and pursue.”

Ms. Information

The Red River broke a 112-year flooding record Friday, and had already breached one levy. (The water hit a peak and started to slowly recede on Saturday, but predictions of a coming snowstorm are not looking good.)

Rachel reported on the very few spots of joy in the situation: The amazing organization and heart of the sandbagging locals and the jets that Northwest Airlines sent to help evacuate hospitals.

As a distant third, I would like to point out this straight-faced headline I saw while researching this weekend: “Drought over in North Dakota” Um, yeah.


Hey, remember the Neocons? The guys who sold us on the Iraq war? You might be confused because back in February Richard Perle told us they never existed and we all believed him, because why would he ever lie to us?

Anyway, through some warp of the space-time continuum, they have winked back into existence and – Hooray! – have started up a new think tank. Which is totally different than their previous one that gave us a bunch of fake reasons to have a real war.

Matt Duss, national security editor for thinkprogress.org got the honor of fielding Rachel’s most exasperated question of the night: “Why is that people who are catastrophically wrong about foreign policy and war never flunk out?”

GOP in Exile

Oh, God. If you have friends who have C-SPAN that you haven’t heard from over the weekend, you might want to go check on them and see if you can stop the screaming.

Rachel reported that during Senate Budget Committee hearings, Senator Charles Grassley (R – Iowa) made a reply to Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D – North Dakota) that involved the phrase “Your wife said the same thing,” and WAIT, DON’T JAB OUT YOUR EYEBALLS!

Rachel promises that Conrad’s wife was complimenting Grassley on a speech. She promises. Please let me believe it.

Rachel Re:

As much as she had fun with the multiple rebrandings of the war on Thursday — and if you missed it, she gave us a delightfully vicious recap of the Bush rebrandings on Friday — Rachel found herself fully behind the new Office of Management and Budget term for it, the “overseas contingency operation.”

The bummer about this is that we’re being robbed of a mockable government euphemism for war. Here’s a little something to keep you warm at night: One of my military-industrial complex informants (I am soooooo connected, you guys) brought the term “kinetic action” to my attention. As in “If diplomacy doesn’t work, we may have to take kinetic action.”

What I love about it is that you could be talking about either the massive loss of human life or a junior varsity high school dance team.

Now watch the clip and savor the magical convergence of Maddovian logic and sarcastic fonts.


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