May 2008

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George W. Lucas

This is a test, please ignore

Adrian D.

"Adrian D, why is it so hard for *you* to believe that the war is a good thing done by bad people for bad reasons?"

Because I believe unprovoked invasion to be a *bad* thing. If any other nation launches such an unprovoked attack, we denounce it as evil. An act does not become good just because our nation is the perpetrator.

Real Live Girl

Creative thinking and deductive reasoning don't necessarily have to exclude the other. But it could also be the reason people tend to cross their eyes after failing to convince me that the lemmings are right.


Let's also point out that a) No one is going to allow anyone to interview soldiers who are in an area that they are losing, and b) those that are losing will not want to admit it, for fear of being the only ones losing.
No matter what, either the military leaders or the individual troops themselves will want to put the best face on things. Just because they might have the best info does not mean they will give it to us freely.


Most people are lazy and go with the majority view. Creativity, now that takes thought, and very few people actually think.


Adrian D, why is it so hard for *you* to believe that the war is a good thing done by bad people for bad reasons?


I like "1, 2, 3, 4, taupe" thinking. When I let my brain shift into me-as-a-five-year-old-kid mode, I get bombarded with thoughts like that. They are great for disarming any adults in the room into laughing--no embellishment needed.

Personally, I believe your assessment of the troops' opinions to be right on the nose. At best, the warfighter sees the war through his or her own personal soda straw. How often do they, and Bush's adherents here at home, become vociferously and obnoxiously defensive in extolling Bush, the invasion, and occupation because they simply can't bear to face the fact that America destroyed Iraq and murdered all those people for oil? I find it much easier to believe reports that present as many sides of the story as possible.


Clever, clever.

Indeed, we can never really know for sure what's going on in the rest of the world.

So now that we know that we'll never really know, what should we do? Well, I suggest that we stop wasting time worrying about what we DON'T know and start spending time doing things that we DO know will add good stuff to the world.

I mean, why waste time worrying when you can spend that time doing something good and healthy for yourself or others? We don't need to be political scientists or sociologists with three letter acronyms after our names to know that we can do all kinds of simple things that improve the lives of our friends, families, and communities. I mean, volunteering at a senior citizen center or daycare isn't rocket science. And neither is picking up some trash as we're walking around town, or lending a feel-good movie to a friend who's feeling stressed out lately. Improving the quality of life for the people around us will have domino effect for the rest of the world. And who knows, that person you help out may be the person who does actually know how to create peace in the Middle East, and your generosity may be just the thing they need to put their plan into action.

So yeah, do good stuff, and don't worry too much about the rest.

jerry w.

My humor train, please have your ticket ready.

One of the most common names in Southern California:


Pronounced "Hose-Ay"

Slow it down and in Canadian-speak it would seem like the answer to:

What is the tool that firemen put out fires with?

I flip it around into:

How come we never hear about his younger brother, Hose-"B"?

There, I've connected our neighbors to the North and the South.


And for using a soldier's perspective as to how things are going with the war...

Crap, I derailed again.

Josh Mock

You know, between your discussion about cognitive dissonance here and the handful of posts you've written about positive thinking and happiness and such, I bet you'd really enjoy reading psychologist Daniel Gilbert's book "Stumbling On Happiness." I think you'd find it a very intriguing and entertaining.


I am fell more +ve on Creating new things. In earth Man has only that have this much of Creative Mind.
A Docters & Expert say we not utilize our full Creativity in maay matters. If we use it " We Chage The World "

Adrian D.


I would suggest that your post is only an attempt to resolve cognitive dissonance. You find it painful to think that we could be doing wrong in Iraq. On what are you basing the claim that the insurgents are not representative of the desires of the populace? Because Bush says so? Because you're sure this country never does anything wrong? I know that if a foreign country was occupying us -- no matter how good its official policies were -- I would want the occupiers removed. That would even hold true if the occupiers had removed Bush and Cheney (whom I believe to be detrimental to the country). Why should we believe that the belief that occupiers should get out is not representative of the Iraqi population?

The idea of "we put him there, now we are responsible for fixing it" is not consistently applied. Another reason to believe the claim to be specious is the fact that it was not used at the onset. Remember? The claim was that he was developing WMDs.

Although I am not hopeful, I know we need a president who can admit "I messed up." I was not impressed with Clinton's "mistakes were made." If Bush really wanted me to take him seriously, he could have said "I truly believed Saddam was developing WMDs. I was wrong. I apologize for the harm that as resulted from this mistake."

John Marshall

That's a clever way to look at arguments; it reveals many other facets about it.

This process sounds kind of like Parliamentary government: there's an Opposition in Parliament that, no matter what the Majority Government says, the Opposition has to make a counter-argument, no matter what it is. I'm not sure if that makes it work better or not.


And now we know why you don't believe in God. You took what you already knew internally, flipped it around and now are spending the rest of your life looking for reasons why God does not exist. Hey that is creative...


People often ask me how I come up with ideas.

Why not just tell them the truth?

1 -- Your Dilbert ideas are emailed to you by people who actually work for a living.

2 -- Your political ideas come from whatever DNC talking points are being parroted on CNN that week.

Do not be ashamed.


How can one be creative by following a recipy?

Unless you hide the recipy. Some people say the secret of creativity is the art of hiding the source.


A magician should never reveal his secrets Scott. Coincidentally however your 1,2,3,4 pattern is exactly how I picture Fox News and to a lesser extent (but not much lesser) CNN coming up with their topics of discussion. As an illustration: How public healthcare systems lead to acts of terrorism.

SSG. Michael Hebron

Mr. Adams; I really love your blog, but a few of these comments have gotten me riled up, and I feel like I should respond.
First, to Borjan. I graduated high school with an 1140 SAT score, so i'm no genius, but I am certainly not stupid. My reasons for joining were smart as well as sincere. I joined out of a combination of my senses of patriotism, duty, and honor. I love this country and it's freedoms, and protecting them for a time was a small sacrifice. I also joined because the ARMY could provide me with a financial base to put myself through college with. This was important because, contrary to popular thought, not all conservatives are born rich. I joined, and it was an informed and well thought-out choice. My father is a double major from JMU with a Master's degree in theology (yes, he is a preacher) and my mother is also a JMU graduate. They did not brainwash me nor influence me in any way.
So, the fact that you can't think of a single "smart" reason to join tells me that you have never sat back and thought about how many men have died so that this country has freedom of religion, German is not the national language, and, of course, freedom of speech, which allows people like you to make blanket statements about the uneducated state of our armemd forces. Four of the nine men in my squad have college degrees, and several of the rest of us are steadily plugging away towards ours. Don't make statements about soldiers you know nothing about. In return, I won't presume that you are a bleeding-heart liberal absorbing all of the offal that the John Kerrys and the Tim Robbins of the world produce, and then puking it back up with a little of your personal invective to make it sound original.
Second, to Mr. Adams. Your statement and presumption about the "blind men-elephant" principle is, in many ways, probably true. A lot of soldiers don't get the big picture. But I have worked both as a squad leader in an infantry company and as a Battle NCO in a TOC (tactical operations center, where all the intel comes in), so I have seen the war from several levels.
It's a little early yet to say that the surge isn't working, don't you think? The last of five additional Army brigades didn't arrive until mid-june, less than a month ago. Sectarian violence in Baghdad has dropped dramatically (currently less than half of pre-surge levels), and Al-Qaeda operativees centered in Baghdad have fled for anywhere safe. Only time will truly tell, but why don't we wait until all of the facts are in before we start throwing around suppositions that the surge hasn't worked.
PS - Love the strip, love the blog. Your take on sunburn (especially the being raped by carrots bit) had me on the floor, in tears. Keep it up!


To Borjan

Your post reeks of self-satisfaction. As the old adage goes, ignorance is bliss.

Are you aware that members of the military are better educated than the average person in the USA? That every officer has a college degree (as do many NCOs), and many have advanced degree? That the MINIMUM IQ for an infantry man is over 110? That the average IQ of a special ops soldier is around 120?

Of course not. You are just stuck in the perception of soldiers being people with no other options in life - the old "go to war or go to jail", unaware that ended about 30 years ago. Perhaps if you opened your mind you would realize that people join the military for all kinds of reasons - and patriotism is one of the biggest one.

Sign Me
US Army Major


It is my considered opinion that you started with:

The troops fighting in Iraq are the ones who know the LEAST about whether or not we’re winning the war. Could I make that case?

...and created this post around it.

jerry w.

Mark wrote (perhaps with some assistance as most of the words are spelled correctly and the syntax is almost right):

"I also have an IQ of 156 as last test. I would love to hear Jerry's since all soldiers are not very bright."

Mark, I fall into a slightly lower but similar range (to avoid a pissing contest), but it's enough to understand that the signature line always follows ones post on typepad, it doesn't precede it. Have a look at yours to confirm this.

What you're talking about is someone else's posting.

And, from one (brighter than the average) veteran to another, peace out!

Scott Alan Miller

Don't forget that many soldiers are not allowed to divulge any facts about success rates. This generally applies to the most well informed soldiers. So the reliability rate drops again from military censorship (this isn't bad - just bad for reliability.)

And we have to evaluate what "going well" means to a soldier. Does it mean "Americans didn't die today" or does it mean "lots of Iraqis died today" or does it mean "we made real strides towards forming a stable, self-reliant government?" Chances are a soldier's idea of success has little to do with what the American public feels is the reason for having sent them there. So even a report of success or failure may be the opposite of what we hope that it would be.


I served for 8 years in the Army, and only got out to help my ailing mother. I also have an IQ of 156 as last test. I would love to hear Jerry's since all soldiers are not very bright. Maybe he can have an intelligent conversation with John Kerry. The search for "truth" is a wonderful pursuit, but i the context of Jerry's post, it sounds self centered. most philosophies expound of the ultimate truth be found in self sacrifice. Be glad that there are people who are willing to die to defend the freedoms you take fro granted. These same people will also fight to extend these freedoms to others. We helped keep Saddam in power, it was our responsibility to fix our mistake. At this point it doesn't matter if going into Iraq was right or wrong, what does matter is that at this point it would be criminal of us to just pull out and abandon them. Most Iraqi's are thankful for what we have done, the insurgents do not represent the majority. Yes the Iraqi's would like us to leave eventually, but not before they are ready to stand on their own. Jerry I would caution you against making blanket statements witout knowing the facts. I have served, and yes there are some soldiers that are dumber than a box of rocks, but most are intelligent, dedicate people doing something they believe in. Just because that belief differs from yours, or they chose a path for their lives that you would not choose for yourself, does not make them less intelligent.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell


What worries me more: if you poll "Did you die in Iraq" via anonamous questionares you will get somes "Yes" answers, and not all of them will be obtuse answers.


I enjoy how seemlessly you went from "People often ask me how I get my ideas" to "the war in Iraq is pointless and already lost" under the guise of being helpful.

I take it that this is part of your hypnosis "expertise."

Yeah, I'm sure the generals and soldiers in Iraq have no idea what is going on there. Better to get military insight from a cartoonist in California who works 45 minutes a day. It all makes sense now. You're a frickin' genius.

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