By BooMan — Visit his blog,

My father, who lived through World War Two, always thought Hogan’s Heroes was disrespectful and frivolous. It didn’t take the war seriously. But I have always had a soft spot for literature and film that makes light of war. Whether it was M*A*S*H, Dr. Strangelove, or Catch-22, I like to see war portrayed as absurd. Even when it is justified, it is absurd. Many Vietnam movies tackle the issue, none more poignantly than Apocalypse Now. I think we have a real life example that speaks volumes in today’s Washington Post. This could be straight out of Joseph Heller. It relates an incident that occurred during a congressional delegation consisting of Reps. Ellen Tauscher of California, Jim Moran of Virginia, and Jon Porter of Nevada.

At one point, the three were trying to discuss the state of Iraqi security forces with Iraq’s national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, but the large, flat-panel television set facing the official proved to be a distraction. Rubaie was watching children’s cartoons.

When Moran asked him to turn it off, Rubaie protested with a laugh and said, “But this is my favorite television show,” Moran recalled.

Porter confirmed the incident, although he tried to paint the scene in the best light, noting that at least they had electricity.

“I don’t disagree it was an odd moment, but I did take a deep breath and say, ‘Wait a minute, at least they are using the latest technology, and they are monitoring the world,’ ” Porter said. “But, yes, it was pretty annoying.”

Yesterday, I wrote about Porter’s assertion that a withdrawal from Iraq will cause $9/gallon gas. Rep. Porter seems intent on making a total fool out of himself. In fact, he’s quickly becoming as ridiculous as Major Major.

By BooMan — Visit his blog,

  • Cool…

  • Now we know what the military command takes seriously in Iraq: cartoons. Wonder if the cartoons had any tips on how the troops can avoid getting blown up?

  • At least if gas was $9 a gallon we’d learn to do with less of it after a while. Might be better all the way around, and it’s definitely not worth killing more people in a pointless war.

  • rjj

    Anybody know the Arabic word for wind-up aka chain jerkery?

  • JerryB

    I think I would have been tempted to pick up something heavy and smash the screen with it. It’s not like he han’t embezzeled enough money to go out and buy another one.

  • Keith Olbermann commented last night that the Bushies first told us oil had nothing to do with the war in Iraq. We invaded in order to disarm Saddam…uh…liberate….errr…invent something here….

    KO last night nominating his “worst person in the world”:

    “But our winner tonight, Nevada Congressman John Porter, returning from one of the administration‘s guided tours of Iraq. He met top U.S. and Iraqi officials. Porter then telling the newspaper the “Las Vegas Review Journal” that if the U.S. withdrew from Iraq prematurely, quote, to a person, they said there would be genocide, gas pries [sic] in the U.S. would rise to eight or nine dollars a gallon.

    “Does it bother anybody else that when we went into Iraq and protesters said this was a war about gas prices, the right wing fringe branded all of them as lunatics and traitors. Now the right wing fringe, including the president and this guy Porter, are using gas prices as a perfectly legitimate reason to get Americans killed in Iraq. Congressman John Porter of Nevada, today‘s Worst Person in the World!”

    By the way, speaking of Tauscher, Moran and Porter’s recent trip to Iraq…guess what type of bio information the Pentagon is distributing to anyone in the Green Zone about Democrats who visit? If you said Green Slime!—give yourself a pat on the back.

  • Cee

    Mowaffak al-Rubaie, but the large, flat-panel television set facing the official proved to be a distraction. Rubaie was watching children’s cartoons.


  • john reuyl

    I’d like to see this story spread far and wide…by the daily show, by KO, by TPM. It just might have the potential to break through the defenses of the knee-jerk chicken-hawk cheerleaders.

    • ramasan

      And why was he supposed to take these people seriously? When it’s 130 degrees and a couple of jokers from the country that destroyed one of the world’s great cities and your electric grid
      six years ago want to lay some more BS on you, why
      not watch cartoons?

      • Shirin

        Thank you, Ramasan. I have been trying to pull my mind together to say what you said.