I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Asked if the world would support a US bombing campaign against Iran, [UK Foreign Secretary] Straw said: “Not only is that inconceivable, but I think the prospect of it (US military action) happening is inconceivable.”

Get used to disappointment, Mr. Straw.

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59 Responses to “I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means”

  1. joe shropshire Says:

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…

  2. Fred McAuliffe Says:

    The US has thousands of underutilized Air Force and Navy pilots. If the US military is going to keep these people happy, they have to give them something to do.

    Otherwise, they’re just going to resign and go work for the airlines and corporations.

    Jack Straw has his own problems which he should probably deal with. Including how the UK will replace the oil it is presently getting from Iran.

  3. Jon Says:

    Have fun storming the castle boys!

  4. Jon Says:

    To the death!

    No to the pain?

    I don’t believe I’m familar with that phrase.

    Then I shall be sure to use small words so that you’ll understand, you warthog faced buffoon.

  5. MisplacedKeys Says:

    I declare today to be Princess Bride day…

    With Will Collier's apt rebuttal to Jack Straw's inconceivable and Kevin Aylward calling Arafat mostly dead it just seems apt.

  6. 2 Says:

    and this is how y’all treat your allies?? damn

  7. Mike M Says:

    And Vizzini thought it was “absolutely, totally, and in all other ways, inconceivable” that he was being followed by the Man in Black…

    I would have thought it was inconceivable that a thread on Iran would generate two Princess Bride references, but when some journalist goes around declaring that something is inconceivable, it’s probably likely that the opposite is true.

  8. Sigivald Says:

    2: Jack Straw isn’t our ally, as such. Great Britain is, thanks to Tony Blair.

    But mostly we’re just making fun of him for saying US strikes against Iran are inconceivable.

    I mean, I’m conceiving them right now. I just don’t think they’re likely to happen. Mr. Straw needs to remember that “inconceivable” does not mean “unlikely” or “unwise”.

  9. A Recovering Liberal Says:

    The world needs more Princess Bride. Thanks for the mirth!

  10. Julie Says:

    I don’t suppose that it is inconceivable, but I think that it is unlikely.

    However, opportunities for Princess Bride references are always a good thing. 🙂

  11. Spoons Says:

    Hell, even the U.K. isn’t our ally. We simply have congruent interests more often than not.

    That being said, I think Straw’s prediction is almost certainly correct. I wonder if Will could care to place any sort of wager on this?

  12. Brock Says:

    Doesn’t he realize that we’ve already committed the most famous classic blunder, and succeeded anyway?

    An Osirak-redux might happen, but in actual invasion seems less likely. More likely is that we will say to the Iranian youth “Tie up those Mullahs, and make it as tight as you like.”

    And then I will live like a king in Patagonia.

  13. Simon Says:

    Blair has his own election to win early next year so he is not going to rock the boat.

    Besides which the Brits and Americans play good cop bad cop quite well. Eg Libya.

  14. Daniel Says:

    Since we’re doing Princess Bride, how about Arafat being “mostly dead?”

  15. John Irving Says:

    Daniel, I think at this point all we can do for Arafat is go through his pockets for loose change.

  16. Daniel Says:

    Yes, Mr Irving! But hey, with all the sheckles he spirited of to Swiss banks, those pockets could issue forth great riches.

  17. paul a'barge Says:

    Sigivald: “Jack Straw isn’t our ally, as such. Great Britain is, thanks to Tony Blair”

    Sigi, Jack is one of the good guys. He’s been very staunch with Blair in supporting us.

    I’d love to see the film of the bombs dropping, but I’m afraid this guy is not exactly out of the loop.

  18. mdmhvonpa Says:

    Here is what I heard:
    Straw: “Not only is that inconceivable, but I think the prospect of it (US military action) happening is inconceivable.”

    Press Core: “What is that suitcase with the big red button for?”

    Straw: “It is inconceivable that is is the detonator for a multi-megaton nuclear bomb planted in the heart of Tehran. See, I push the button and -click- NOTHING. INCONCEIVABLE! What? Ummm, excuse me.”
    -Mr Straw leans over to listent to an aid as he mouths “I thought it was a prop!”-

  19. Easycure Says:

    The odds we do bomb Iran in the next four years are better than 2-to-1 in my book.

  20. Ted B. Says:

    Ahh, but you’ve missed the nuance. It’s not going to be a “boming campaign”, it’s just one massive raid…in and out. Or, in the case of massive cruise-missle volley…in your window, mullah.

  21. Ron Says:

    how about Arafat being “mostly dead?”

    Mostly dead is slightly alive, and while I’ve been taught to love my fellow man, there has to be an exception in this case.

  22. denise Says:

    Ted B.

    I agree there’s some nuance, even vagueness about the whole article.

    “Straw added that the international community was committed to resolving the situation ‘contructively’.”

    I bet he really said “constructively,” and the most constructive outcome is the nuclear facility gone. Anyway, with the references to “international community” and the irony of saying something is inconceivable, when the very fact of discussing it means it is conceivable to someone, it should give the Mullahs a little pause.

    I think it’s a good cop, bad cop game being played.

  23. D Says:

    OT but hasn’t New Mexico reported its returns yet? It’s still gray on the map.

  24. drew Says:

    Bush was asked point blank by Hannity was it? Will you allow Iran to acquire Nukes?

    He had a very serious look on his face and said….”no”.

    I believe him.

    Sorry Straw……it’s very concievable.

  25. hey Says:

    he was not asked whether a military strike against Iran would happen, but whether the US would do it.

    I’d hope that the US would do it, but one should remember that there are 1.5 countries nearby who just might take it upon themselves, making Straw right, but still eliminating Iranian nukes… free hint, they both start with I but don’t end in d or a…

    now, granted the new Iraqi government acquiring a fleet of 10 F-117s and 5 B2s (or some entrepreneurial pilots stealing them) is rather a low probability event, but stranger things have happened: the Red Sox did win the world series after all, and on an 8-0 run after being 2 outs away from elimination…

  26. Joel Says:

    Bill O’Reilly pinned him down on it in their interview. He had to ask him several different ways before Bush unequivocally said “Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons”. The Mullahs bettter come to a consensus with the EU negotiators, or else it is KA-BOOM!

  27. Chris S. Says:

    Arafat isn’t dead, he’s just pinin’ for the fjords! 😛

  28. Eric Morisset Says:

    Lets not forget the recent sale of arms to Israel…

    US to sell Bunker Busters to Israel

    If we don’t take out Irans program, we now have friends that can.

  29. Wonderdog Says:

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is: “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” But, only slightly less well known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!”

  30. bkw Says:

    Arafish : “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahaha-”

    *plonk*

  31. DVbulloch Says:

    Stephen,

    By the way great site, I’ve been following for a while. there is a mission here, I as a libertarion who is waning, says let’s get ’em. It’s 7:30, Arafat ain’t dead yet…let’s hope it happens quick…go dawgs!

  32. David Says:

    This thread makes me long for a nice MLT . . . mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich . . .

  33. rosignol Says:

    Since we’re doing Princess Bride, how about Arafat being “mostly dead?”

    I’m thinking Monty Python’s Parrot Sketch would be more apropos.

  34. Dishman Says:

    Regarding Iran, via rogerlsimon.com:
    http://www.daneshjoo.org/smccdinews/article/publish/article_4319.shtml

  35. duraduz Says:

    Uncle Sam to Jack Straw:
    “It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest, I don’t even exercise.”

  36. The Jawa Report Says:

    Blog Barfage….

    Since I’m sick, let me just heave some link droppage. I’m reading these posts on my sick bed, so why not refer them? I just can’t keep them down–stuff seems to be coming out every oraface! Crumpets get puked. Southern…

  37. mta Says:

    This quote from THE AUSTRIALIAN about Chaney—
    “You can imagine him shaking hands with an adversary, looking him straight in the eye, and whispering quietly: “I’m now gonna break both your legs.”
    It’s a good thing he’s on our side. ”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11289404%5E25377,00.html

  38. dorkafork Says:

    Good night, Iran. Sleep well. I’ll most likely bomb you in the morning.

  39. PacRim Jim Says:

    Let’s try an experiment in association, all you fans of Jack Straw. A jack is a male donkey and “Straw” is “warts” spelled backward. Imagine, if you will, a braying swayback donkey covered in oozing, pustulant warts. Now, see if you can hear his name in the future without associating that image. Good luck.

  40. babel Says:

    Stephen, you willing to bet on this? That the U.S. is going to make an attack on Iran without being directly provoked first (e.g. Iranian armed forces attacking US forces) in the next 4 years?

    Are you aware of the fact that the US already has barely enough troops to keep its commitments? That no country in the world, not the UK, not Australia, is going to join you on any kind of preemptive military adventure ever again?

    Haven’t learned your lesson on the whole “don’t attack without overwhelming force, including the troops you need to occupy the country” thing?

    I’d bet you any amount you whish that it’s not going to happen.

  41. OldWhig Says:

    You should probably delete this suggestion. Arafat’s mysterious illness: I suspect an ebola dart.

  42. Bobby2 Says:

    Hell, even the U.K. isn’t our ally. We simply have congruent interests more often than not…

    Posted by Spoons at November 4, 2004 01:08 PM

    I’m really beginning to wonder about the U.K. – I don’t know if it’s just their left winged press but they (and a lot of others) are really giving us a lot of crap for re-electing Bush. (Check out U.S. ELECTION DISASTER: THE WORLD MOURNS..)

    I’m already a bit of an isolationist. “Screw em all.” We should tell them that next time all these countries come begging for money or troops.

  43. Reid Says:

    The Mullahocracy is vulnerable to other means of regime change than full frontal assault. This election result alone is going to give a lot of encouragement to the forces of democracy in Iran. Sometime within the next four years, the terror regime will teeter and fall. It will be so exciting to watch it happen.

  44. Matt Says:

    It is inevitable, I suppose, that whenever someone gets quoted using the word “inconceivable”, there will be a flood of Princess Bride references. 🙂

  45. Bill Arnold Says:

    Ted B. re “Ahh, but you’ve missed the nuance. It’s not going to be a “boming campaign”, it’s just one massive raid…in and out. Or, in the case of massive cruise-missle volley…in your window, mullah.”
    I find it very (very) hard to conceive that it would be this easy.
    First, countries learned about the bombing approach back when Israel did it in 1981. One has to presume that nuclear proliferation programs are armored/dispersed/concealed/decoyed/etc to reduce the odd of success of this sort of attack.
    Second, is the intelligence good enough? Not good in the sense of justifying an attack, but in the harder sense of targeting *all* the important stuff.

    Another problem is that it would perilously close to declaring an all-out crusade on Islam, 1 billion strong. The Pakistani government is unpopular, and the Pakistani nuclear weapons are better.

    The problem is working out a peaceful alternative; the Iranians don’t seem to be very interested.

    An aside, a link describing what is know/conjectured about the Israeli arsenal at http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Israel/
    I’m not vouching for it, but it is fascinating.

  46. Robin Goodfellow Says:

    Maybe Iran’s nuclear plant will contract “definitely not leukemia” and die within the week.

  47. Cybrludite Says:

    Bable,

    By funding, equiping, training Muktard Al-Sadsack’s uprisings, not to mention the Iranian intel agents we’ve caught in Iraq, the Mullahs have provoked us quite enough.

  48. joe shropshire Says:

    ‘e’s not dead, ‘e’s just restin’ …

  49. John F Says:

    Bobby2:
    “Screw em all.” We should tell them that next time all these countries come begging for money or troops.
    Offhand I can’t recall the last time the UK asked for either.
    Try telling that, for instance, to the Black Watch in Iraq who lost another three men yesterday. Best of luck.

    BTW, I wouldn’t take the Mirror as a guide to public opinion here.
    For instance, one poll I noticed showed 29% favouring Bush over Kerry; not great but considering the anti-Bush barrage laid down by the BBC et al. hardly surprising. And of those who’d prefer Kerry, and still more the majority who don’t give a hoot one way or the other, most still regard the alliance as vital, no matter who is President.

  50. Clint Lockhart Says:

    Iran is already attacking the US, through its proxies in Iraq. No further provocation from Iran is necessary, to trigger the inevitable retaliation.
    US air power can achieve what is needed in Iran. To destroy nuclear facilities and weaken the underpinnings of the bloody mullahs.

  51. FreedomSight Says:

    Strangest Synchonicity Yet

    Stephen Greene draws on the script from The Princess Bride for his headline regarding a comment from UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that a military campaign against Iran would be “inconceivable”. To which Steve muses, I Do Not Think That Word Means Wh…

  52. Horst Graben Says:

    We don’t know if Mr. Straw’s comments are “reality-based” or not. Not all punches will be telegraphed.

    Flipping Iran is the big prize in the WOT. It is also the biggest potential quagmire. IMO, if US troops are involved, it will be more along the Afgan model with out occupation.

    Dissing the Brits is unseemly.

  53. err head Says:

    don’t base your opinion of brits on their liberal media, that’d be like them basing their opinion of america on cbs

  54. Sailorette Says:

    Someone mentioned that we’re low on military.

    BS.

    The Navy, Marines and AF (I don’t follow the Army) are turning folks away at recruiting stations and requiring that folks who are reenlisting be checked out by the group in charge of that entire branch– usually, only the command must check them out before reelistment.

    If I hadn’t made third on my first time up (a bit over a year ago; AT-I, for anyone who cares) I wouldn’t have been allowed to extend for my next set of orders.

    The military has been “force shaped” to a fairly low number, yes, but if restrictions on the number of personel were lifted we’d have a very large force in about two years. (Especially if you allowed folks who got out to return without losing rank or time in rate.)

  55. slushfundpuppy Says:

    “But mostly we’re just making fun of him for saying US strikes against Iran are inconceivable.

    I mean, I’m conceiving them right now. I just don’t think they’re likely to happen”

    Hmm, if you think about it, anything that you can say is inconceivable is actually conceivable.

    Whoa.

  56. tree hugging sister Says:

    Sounds left handed to me… maybe I know something you don’t know.

  57. Prakk Says:

    Holy Shreeking Eels.

  58. Coyote Blog Says:

    Princess Bride Day

    Two election-related Princess Bride posts in one day. From Vodkapundit –

  59. Joe Says:

    No more rhymes now, I mean it.
    Anybody want a peanut?

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