by Flint Driscoll on May 18th, 2011

It is with a heavy heart that I watch scenes of the “Queen of England”, Elizabeth Windsor, being shown around Dublin by fawning would-be courtiers from the bankrupt – morally and financially – Free State government. Was it for this that the Wild Geese spread the gray wing o’er every tide?

My own grandfather served in the Irish war of independence, and had to flee to the United States after it ended, hunted down by the treacherous Free State government. His crime? To act as a local scout and information-gatherer for a crack paramilitary unit that played a major role in the fight for Irish Freedom. Yes, my dear old Dad used to wake me up in the small hours of the morning, when he came in late from the bar, to tell me about the heroic work his father did for the bold Black and Tans. It is a phase of Irish history that I really must research some day. But time is always so short, when the wars of the present press in on one so…

I digress. If they have any pride left, the people of Ireland must rise as one and expel the hated Saxon monarch from their midst. I was heartened to see that a few, at least, of Eireann’s sons are still prepared to fight for her honor. How joyous it was to watch them on television, the flower of Irish youth on the lovely boreens of Dublin, proudly clad in their gaily-coloured track suits, throwing rocks and burning trash at the Free State police. Is there a pike yet in the thatch?

by Flint Driscoll on May 28th, 2011

My opinion of the French is well-known. I have a poor opinion of the French. As for socialists, I can only refer you to my recent work of political philosophy, Our Friends the Arachnids, and to the fact that ants (clue: ants represent socialists)  are not arachnids, but insects. And insects are gross.

And yet I, Flint Driscoll, am not ashamed to call Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French socialist, my friend.

How can this be, you ask?

Let me put it this way: my childhood confessor, Father Xavier Mularkey SJ, was the first to instruct me on the mysteries of morality and religion. Taking me on his lap, he would patiently explain the ineffability of the Godhead. Is God to be understood as the Jehovah of our folk religion, a personable if volatile father figure who watches from the sky, policing a check-list of silly taboos? Or is He the God of Aristotle and Plato and Aquinas: the prime mover, a creature of pure light and logic, who set the universe in motion and otherwise minds His own business – in other words, the deity as He is understood by the higher class of philosopher and clergyman? Only a very special boy would understand this sort of thing, he told me. It would be our secret. Dear old Father Mularkey… To this day, I cannot think of him without tasting a phantom Oh Henry bar… But why does the recollection also make me wince? Oh bitter-sweet mysteries of memory and loss… Of course, Proust was also a French man, but from what I have heard, I fear he may have been a homosexualist.

A Mandela for the gender wars

There is nothing funny, on the other hand, about Dominique Strauss-Kahn. I first met Dominique at a dinner party in Georgetown, and after I overcame my initial froideur I soon came to see that his understanding of socialism is, like Father Mularkey’s interpretation of the Book of Deuteronomy, of a higher, more cerebral order than that of the canaille in the Parisian street. I shall always recall him on one delightful balmy night on a palm-fringed beachside terrace in Antibes, proffering me a Cohiba Churchill with a wink of his eye. “Care for a socialist cigar?” he asked, with a tinkling laugh, and although I had to refuse – that bastard Castro is still somehow alive, damn him – I couldn’t help joining in the general merriment. Thereafter, whenever we bumped into each other in the corriders of power, I would salute him as “Dom Perignon”. He always took it in good part, and had his own pet name for me: I cannot print it here.

Dominique loves the good things of this life, and it fills me with sorrow to see him dragged through the gutter by the legal commissars of the People’s Republic of New York. The allegations against him are of course bunkum: why would a silver-haired charmer like Dominique need to force himself on some scrubber who would surely have got down on her knees for the merest chance to be of service to such a man as he? The whole charade smacks of entrapment: I note that the complainant is 1. a member of a labor union and 2. from Africa. Her motives for wanting to smear the courageous leader of the International Monetary Fund, the institutional vanguard of the free market crusade, are therefore clear. All she needed then was an opportunity. When it was presented to her in the Hotel Sofitel, she took it with both hands.

It is true that Dominque Strauss-Kahn is, as his French friends have freely admitted, a man who deeply loves women. A man with a twinkle in his eye. On my first visits to his homes in Washington and Paris  he was a kind and attentive host to both my former wives (I speak of separate occasions, naturellement), personally showing them around the apartments while I was dispatched to the store to buy milk, or rawl plugs. It was not without a pang of male jealousy that I noticed how thereafter they would turn silent and pale when in his presence. He had clearly make an animal impression on their tender female natures, so much so that, on one facile pretext or another, they both refused to trust themselves alone with him. Indeed, my continuing friendship with him contributed to the strains that, alas, finally ended both my marriages. As for female domestics, they were so in awe of Dominique’s masculine charisma that they couldn’t keep their eyes off him, even if this meant moving around the room with their backs to the wall.

So let me say this now: Dominique Strauss-Kahn is innocent. I am as sure of this as I have ever been of anything. Which is very sure indeed. Free him, in the name of all that is true, and decent, and honorable. Free him, lest he become another Mandela. Free him. Free him now.


by Flint Driscoll on June 3rd, 2011

Can it really be twenty years since I said farewell to arms? The calendar, alas, does not lie. Twenty long years, blowing in the cold, heartless, not-understanding winds of civvy street…

I guess I still have a lot of mental and spiritual baggage from my army service during Desert Storm. The Flint Driscoll who emerged from the VA hospital, still bruised by the accidental beating he received in a darkened store-room, was not the same naive and idealistic young reserve lieutentant who had landed in Ramstein Air Base only two months before. War made a man of me, but in ways that have scarred me until this very day. I still find it very difficult to talk about those times, apart those four novels I wrote, and the articles for The National Interest, and the biopic feature pitch that is currently still in Hallmark’s court.

If you weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand.

Now, though, after twenty long years, surely the time has come to purge myself of the psychic pain, and I fear that mere prose will not suffice. Only verse – blank or heroic – will bear the dreadful burden of my suffering, the profundity of my insights, the zen-like comprehension of the ying and yang of cruelty and kindness, life and death, loneliness and brotherhood, war and peace. I envisage a major and troubling retro-modernist verse cycle, analogous to Eliot’s The Waste Land, but without all the faggoty footnotes he added to explain the meaning. You wimped out, Eliot. Have the courage of your convictions. Besides, the kind of people who read poetry are happy when they don’t really get it.

It could take me a week, perhaps two, to knock-up an  Eliot/Pound-type epic, so in the meantime I’ll leave you with this. Okay, I didn’t write it myself, but I still can’t read it without crying.


by anonymous

I am Quartermaster
My story is enfolded in the history of this nation.
Sustainer of Armies…

My forges burned at Valley Forge.
Down frozen, rutted roads my oxen hauled
the meager foods a bankrupt Congress sent me…
Scant rations for the cold and starving troops,
Gunpowder, salt, and lead.

In 1812 we sailed to war in ships my boatwrights built.
I fought beside you in the deserts of our great Southwest.
My pack mules perished seeking water holes,
And I went on with camels.
I gave flags to serve.
The medals and crest you wear are my design.

Since 1862, I have sought our fallen brothers
from Private to President.
In war or peace I bring them home
And lay them gently down in fields of honor.

Provisioner, transporter.
In 1898 I took you to Havana Harbor and the Philippines.
I brought you tents, your khaki cloth for uniforms.
When yellow fever struck, I brought the mattresses you lay upon.

In 1918, soldier… like you.
Pearl harbor, too. Mine was the first blood spilled that day.
I jumped in darkness into Normandy, D-Day plus 1.
Bataan, North Africa, Sicily. I was there.
The ‘chutes that filled the gray Korean skies were mine;
I lead the endless trains across the beach in Vietnam.

By air and sea I supported the fight for Grenada.
Helicopters above the jungles of Panama carried my supplies.
In Desert Storm, I was there when we crossed the border into
Iraq…sustaining combat and paying the ultimate sacrifice as we liberated Kuwait.

I can shape the course of combat,
Change the outcome of battle.
Look to me: Sustainer of Armies…Since 1775.



by Flint Driscoll on June 14th, 2011

Until now I have resisted the mounting pressure for me to comment on the situation in Syria. I must admit that I have struggled to find a way to explain this highly complex problem in terms that you, the layman (and who knows, perhaps laylady) might understand. It is not sufficient to say, as we do of our Facebook relationship statii, that “it’s complicated”.

Fortunately, I have come up with an analogy that will serve to expose the anatomy of the crisis in terms that even a simpleton could not fail to understand.

I speak of the analogy of Schrödinger’s Cat. As everyone knows, Schrödinger was a physicist who dabbled on the side in veterinary science. He found that by locking a cat into a sealed, airless box for a defined period of time, he was able to induce in it a state of profound coma. The cat, in other words, was at once dead and alive, occupying two contradictory states at the same time. Even more remarkably, Schrödinger was able to demonstrate that the mere act of observing the cat’s state had the effect of changing that state. If he opened the box to observe the cat after, say, one minute, he found it to be in a highly agitated state. If he waited ten minutes, on the other hand, he would observe the cat to occupy a state of absolute inertia.

I simplify, of course, for your benefit: there is a lot of highly complex mathematics involved that need not trouble you. My point is this: 1. It is possible for a person to be two entirely contradictory things at the same time. And 2. It just depends how you look at things.

The person in question today is President Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s youthful dictator. I have never been to Syria – no doubt I am on a watch list at the airport, and then there’s the whole kidnapping risk, and the dangers of drinking non-domestic bottled water – but I have been blogging about the middle east for many years now, and few people outside the Center for Security Policy can have such a deep understanding and compassionate concern for the human tragedy now unfolding there.

Bashar al-Assad: Cat in a hot tin box

Because President Bashar al-Assad is a deeply tragic, conflicted figure. On the one hand he – like his father Hafez before him – is the leader of a corrupt and brutal minority regime, dependent for its survival on malign foreign interlopers: first, the Soviet empire; now, the fanatical, nuclear-armed ayatollahs of Iran, and their proxy Shia henchmen in Lebanon’s genocidal Hizbollah terror group. Together, they pose an existential threat to the very existence of America’s closest and dearest ally, plucky little Israel, which could at any moment be overrun by Syria’s massed tank legions, or incinerated by an Iranian first strike. Damascus also gives shelter to the exiled leadership of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which continues to resist Israeli rule despite all that Israel has done for its Arab immigrant population. Which is just plain nasty, if you ask me.

But seen another way, Bashar is a decent, reluctant leader, summoned to the throne only after his elder brother died in a car crash. A self-declared reformist, he has, like his father, proved very sporting down the years about Israel’s rightful annexation of the Golan Heights, dashingly seized from Syria in a defensive proactive surprise attack in 1967. While he still complains about the Golan in public, Assad has in practice let things slide. Moreover, as a minority Alawite, allied to Syria’s other minorities – Christians, Shiites, Alevis, whatever you’re having yourself – Assad is a stout bulwark in defense of religious tolerance; a stern but fair ruler who resists the machinations of Syria’s lumpen Sunni Muslim majority.

Without Assad, our strategic position in the region would be gravely weakened: the Sunnis must never be allowed to take over in Syria, as they have already done, disastrously, in Turkey. Israel is, and must remain, the only democracy in the middle east. Because democracies are hard for us to bomb.

So what can we in the US do to resolve this contradiction? Do we back Assad, or bomb him? The answer, naturally, is to do both. I haven’t quite worked out the details yet, but I know from my extensive on-line research – I hate that term, “drone porn” – that we in the US (and Israel, of course) now have weapons so precise that we can use them to micromanage any local or global problem.

I shall tweet my friend Henry, who does publicity work for the Skynet Corporation, to dig up some more specifics on the latest drone warfare capability upgrades, but in the meantime let me sketch out a possible scenario: Bashar al-Assad throws open the French windows of his presidential palace, high on a hillside overlooking Damascus, and squints westwards towards Israel’s Golan Heights. He sets out across the lawn towards them, and instantly a small, non-explosive kinetic anti-tank missile, fired from a circling drone, crashes into the ground at his feet. Thinking better of his chosen path, he turns to the east. Wrong again: thither lies Iran. Another missile firmly but unmistakably interdicts his path. Where can he go next? South, to invade loyal little moderate Jordan, as his father once tried? Wham! Another missile at his feet. Dance, Bashar, dance!  It won’t take long before he gets the message, and knuckles down to fighting Islamic extremism for us, in Jisr al-Shughour, and Deraa, and Homs.


by Flint Driscoll on July 3rd, 2011

How gratifying it is to hear that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez has fallen out with Noam Chomsky, arch-propagandist of the crypto-Islamic leftist global elite.

Chomsky, previously a supporter of the rabble-rousing coup-leader, has given an interview accusing Chávez of amassing power in his own hands, intimidating the judiciary, and making an assault on Venezuelan democracy (whatever the heck that is).

Noam and Hugo sitting in a tree... T-I-F-F-I-N-G

This denunciation comes at a particularly difficult time for Chávez whom – it was revealed this week – has just had a cancerous tumor removed by his Communist buddies in Cuba.

The rift in the Chávez-Chomskyite axis has interesting possibilities for those of us in Washington who favor a return to a more robust engagement with our less-developed Hispanic neighbors.

Could it be that, having finally seen through the “progressive” credentials of his erstwhile hero, the biggest critic of America’s role in the western hemisphere will now experience a change of heart?

For all his past insults to the country and beliefs I love, I would be glad to have him on board.

True, Lt Colonel Chávez has brutalized and imprisoned his opponents, socialized large swathes of Venezuelan industry, and incited global revolt against America’s benevolent oversight.

But now that Chomsky no longer has his hooks in him, is it too much to hope that Chávez will live up to his underlying potential, and become exactly the kind of no-nonsense and proactive Latin leader that we used to have in the good old days, before Carter and Clinton wimped out on our Manifest Destiny?

Pick up the phone, Hugo. It’s time you came in from the cold.

As for you, Chomsky, somewhere out there is an ice-pick with your name on it.

Just sayin’!