We’re Winning


Marc Lynch writes:

I was surprised at the consensus on our panel yesterday… about where Iraq was heading: towards a warlord state, along a Basra model, with power devolved to local militias, gangs, tribes, and power-brokers, with a purely nominal central state.

I was talking to a friend about this the other day. He understandably laughed at me because I said that the best-case scenario for Iraq is that it turns into Somalia. In other words, an anarchistic mess of warlords who secure their might and wealth through hired militias.

Now, that’s a terrible, terrible thing. But compared to just about every other option there is (becoming an American colonial state, getting a Bush-appointed strong man to run it, being taken over by Iran) it’s really not too too bad.

Have I mentioned that our government should really be doing more to help Iraqis get the hell out of Iraq? No? Well, it should. (COUGH! DEMOCRATS! MAKE BUSH VETO IT! MAKE HIM LOOK STUPID! COUGH!)


Gavin adds:


Selections from the Norton Anthology of Iraqi Bear and Puma Poetry:

The bear weeps for his country’s shame
His axle’s squeaky: who’s to blame?
‘Tis YOU! Yanks like Michelles and Michaels
Care NOT for ursine unicycles!
Righteous Bubba

There once was a blogger named Mark
Whose support for the Surge was quite stark
“Thanks to Bush,” he declared
But we know it’s the bears
And the pumas that patrol after dark

Bears and Pumas arrived in Iraq
Just as things were looking black
As they ate al Quaeda, hope began to flicker
So go get another bumper sticker!

Bears and Pumas stalk the sands of Iraq
Steady on, lads, now there’s no turning back
With tooth and claw they tear and rend
They’ll see it through to the bloody end

No militia can stand, nor insurgency fight
While Bears and Pumas stalk the Baghdad night
We’ll see peace in our time in the middle east
Secured not by man, but rather by beast

The Clarks of New Hampshire are great.
They’ve pledged help for the bear surge, they state.
But if this is to work,
None of us can dare shirk.
Let’s stake Noonan in Basra, as bait.

What passing-bells for these bears and pumas who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle

Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of young bears and pumas, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of young girl bears’ and pumas’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

One world … One world
The cats of war won’t negotiate
The bears of war don’t capitulate,
They will take and you will give,
And you must die so that they may live
You can knock at any door,
But wherever you go, you know they’ve been there before
Well winners can lose and things can get strained
But whatever you change, you know the pumas remain.
One world, it’s a battleground

A grizzly recruited to save the Iraqis,
on catching insurgents, responded quite frankly,
“I swipe with my paw,
then I clamp down my maw.
It’s like fishing for salmon back home in Alaski.”

Quoth a Florida panther from down in the Glades,
found mauling a Baathist caught in a raid,
“The one thing I ask,
when I finish this task:
That my deed be recorded by Thomas Kinkade.”

A puma lies at roadside dead
His fearsome teeth stained Muslim red
He wouldn’t have been downed, ’tis sure
But for want of pawdicure.
Righteous Bubba

Somebody’s moggy at the side of the road
Somebody’s pussy who forgot his highway code

He’s nobody’s moggy
Just red and squashed and soggy
He’s nobody’s moggy naaaaooooowwww

Let us have a moment of silence for those who have given their furry lives to the cause of Freedom Fries.
-Qetesh the Abyssinian

Sniff his haunches, lick his face
Another casualty from the Bear race
He fought the good fight, right to the end
The sorrow in your soul will mend

Remember those who fought the fight
They did what they could, day or night
Bears and Pumas, freedom’s best hope
That last drop of devotion at the end of their rope

US resolve, once forged of steel
Has now become banana peel
On which the noble bear has slipped
And graceful puma sprawled and tripped

Must bear go hunt without clean fez?
“I don’t care a whit,” our congress says
Can puma pounce without fur support?
“Brushes cost too much” the pols all snort

Who cares enough to maul the worst?
Who serves by ripping neck out first?
Rending flesh and tearing tendon
Munching Muslims with abendon

These beasts deserve the best we offer
Buy your bear bonds! Ope your coffer!
Let honor show, entrepreneur,
That Yogi cycle, Pete puma purr
Righteous Bubba

What fate awaits the veteran bear,
Fresh from the front, blood-matted hair?
A tickertape parade and thanks?
Or spit upon his wounded flanks?

He’ll end up bitter, used and jaded
Working at a job much hated
Patrolling kids in shopping malls
Or rousting queers in bathroom stalls
Righteous Bubba

Onward, bears and pumas, marching as to war,
Boo-Boo bear and Yogi going on before.
Snagglepuss, the Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!


Onward, bears and pumas, marching as to war,
Boo-Boo bear and Yogi going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, bears and pumas, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.


Like a mighty army bears and pumas move;
Brothers, we are grooving where the saints have grooved.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.


What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believèd, that I believe too.
Long as earth endureth, bears the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, pumas, in destruction rolled.


Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the bears and pumas constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never ‘gainst pumas prevail;
We have bears’ own promise, and that cannot fail.


Onward then, ye pumas, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor unto bears shall bring,
This through countless ages bears and pumas sing.


Comments: 38


that cover will never get old.

the bear is so magestic.


I actually do volunteer work for an asylum program and I have worked with a few Iraqis, mostly students who came before the war and are afraid to go back.

One sticking point is the definition and function of asylum. In granting asylum to the citizens of another country, our government is literally saying that that a government either

1.) Persecutes its own people (on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political views, or membership in a social group) in complete violation of international law, or
2.) Is so inept that it can’t prevent others from persecuting its people.

Now if the Iraqi government is either illegally persecuting its citizens or non-functioning, the occupation has failed. And of course, the occupation has NOT failed, so there is no reason for asylees to fear anything other than free ponies and gumdrop forests.

PS: How much you wanna bet that if Congress did authorize mass resettlement of Iraqi refugees in the US, the Bushies would claim that we were “importing terrorists”? Starting at 10,000,000 Iraqi dinars.


Good god silly verse is fun. It’s a good thing the subject matter is so trivial or I’d be feeling really bad right now.


Wait. Is militia anarchy really worse than thralldom to Iran? Seriously.


Seriously? Is Somalia REALLY worse than the Congo? Yes.


How much you wanna bet that if Congress did authorize mass resettlement of Iraqi refugees in the US, the Bushies would claim that we were “importing terrorists”? Starting at 10,000,000 Iraqi dinars.

No bet. The stated rationale for our tardiness and general foot-dragging on the problem of Iraqi refugees is that we don’t have the time, manpower, or money to perform the requisite background checks.


Er, for “worse”, read “better”. Heh. I thought that’s what the Rocket was implying — that militia anarchy beats thralldom to Iran. I vote (so to speak) for thralldom.


That second photo looks like downtown Venice. Isn’t that the ice cream and smoothie place on the right?


Hey, I know! We can resettle the refugees in Puerto Rico! It’s already brown anyway.


I think that Norton Anthology link should go here, here, or to both.

Eternal gratitude for highlighting my oeuvre.


[I linked to the first one for context, will add linxx soon…]


Never mind me, then. I was going on where the poems are and where you first mentioned the anthology idea.


I can’t help it. The second photo, with the puma pouncing half out of frame, always reduces me to a puddle of wheezing, hysterical laughter. I laugh so hard I get a migraine… every time. But it’s worth it.


I, for one, appreciate the update on the Bear & Puma strategy, just in time for those Thanksgiving Dinner debates with my relatives.


D. S., I like the bear on the roof on the left too. Pseudo-Italiana in SoCal or Iraq, it’s pretty much the same thing, g.

The best probable outcome for Iraq, after hundreds of thousands of lives, arms, legs, eyes, fingers, hands, brains & minds lost, as well as billions (Over a trillion?) of buckaroos & most of the infrastructure, is to have turned a once (relatively) secular, literate, somewhat industrialized & civilized (Remember, the very cradle of Western/Judeo-Xtian civilization.) nation (granted, under the thumb of a fascist & his clan, but not an “Islamo-fascist”) into something approximating Afghanistan before we went in there?

Not that Afghanistan isn’t still fugged up. (Tribute to N. Mailer there.)


I like the bear on the roof on the left too.

Oh, I missed him until you pointed him out. He reminds me of Lenin on Houston St.


You people fucking rock.


I’d like to buy a signed copy, and am looking forward to the readings recorded on CD and set to music.


I want Sidhe and Jillian reading mine.

Thought I’d better get this in front of Bubba…



g, I didn’t notice him at first either, though I eventually did in the original posting. Suuuubtle. Is that the Houston St. in NYC south of which all is hip or whatever?


Guess were I truly hip I’d type “Manhattan” rather than NYC.


Let alone lose the Ann Althouse impersonation, were I even aware, let alone “hip.”


“… about where Iraq was heading: towards a warlord state, along a Basra model, with power devolved to local militias, gangs, tribes, and power-brokers, with a purely nominal central state”

Finally “States Rights”

Arky - Cthulusexual

OMFG. This post needs a “Pee first” warning.


I want Sidhe and Jillian reading mine.

I’d like Ann Althouse to read mine Righteous Bubba’s.


Thanks Ann, I accept this legally binding contract for you to read my bear and puma poems.


Witnessed this date, Thursday, November 15, 2007, by I.F. Thunder, Esq.

It’s good enough for me if it’s good enough for you, Bubba.

glorified jughound

undaunt sage feline
shed pause wise ursine
tangled claw taste tigris mud
incisor sup insurgent blood
mesopotamian heart what matter sect
trammel faith and so direct
descend the rose fly the petal
garland borne on beastly mettle
who strove the hand to paint a school
and not the paw was surely fool


We’re Winning again?
Ahh yeah, again and again!


I’m telling ya YOU CAN’T TRUST PUMAS!!!


I’d like to buy a signed copy, and am looking forward to the readings recorded on CD and set to music.

again, is it not time for the Sadly No calendar, Bears and Puma’s is defiantly March. If pammy can do it, so can we….


My favorite is Candy’s riff on the Laibach song. You rule!


We must be winning! Iraq only came second on the Failed States Index.


Being a shameless self-promotion hoor, I just want to make my pitch for the two Zevon tributes I put in late, at the end of the comment thread here.


Why send bears and pumas to do a panda’s work?

Everybody knows that pandas are nightmare creatures with black hearts and ravenous teeth that glow in the dark.


Bears and pumas, pumas and bears
Nobody mourns, nobody cares
Not in the Congresses, nor in the Dumas
Pumas and bears, bears and pumas

Pumas and bears, bears and Pumas
Golda Meirs and Kwame Nkrumahs
All they are asking is for their fair shares
Bears and pumas, pumas and bears


The bears and the pumas
What a wonderful phrase
The bears and the pumas
Ain’t no passing craze
It means no Iraqis
For the rest of our days
Its our trouble-free
The bears and the pumas


Yay! I’m so happy the bears and pumas are back.

Now maybe we’ll send them turrists runnin’!


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