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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Implausible War Crimes Defense: America's Absurd Appeal to Phony Ambiguity

America's Leaders Feign Confusion Despite Clear Geneva Requirements

This government recklessly ignored the Geneva requirements they now want us to believe they're serious about. Get real. What non-sense. Suggesting, "American War Criminals Recklessly Ignore Geneva When Attempting to Meet Geneva" defies reason. It is impossible to say one was serious about meeting a standard that has been ignored. This defense fails.

Short of expanded combat operations by foreign fighters directed at the American government in the District of Columbia, it remains unclear what catalyst might awaken the American leadership to the problem they have: They are incompetently reckless in meeting their legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

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This kind of legal nonsense is utter trash: Ref

The US Geneva obligations existed in 2001. Today in 2007, we're being asked to believe that this requirement is a "process" that has to be measured.

This is utterly non-sense. The US Leadership is to blame: We need leaders who are going to call this what it is: War crimes, and get this issue on the table.

The discussion would have us believe that things were confusing, and they need more time. No, the US leadership has no plan to meet its Geneva obligations.

This kind of drivel is what inspires foreign fighters to expand combat operations. The thinking is convoluted, more of the Addington-Gonzalez drivel of pretending that things are fine, despite evidence what shows the US is not doing what it should.

They can talk all day long about "power" but they refuse to face reality: Abuse power, when it is not checked, will expand until it meets a constraint they cannot stop: Reality, the human desire to oppose this abuse, and the inevitable limit all abusive people reach when they extend themselves beyond what is lawfully or unlawfully sustainable. Power is finite and checkable when it reaches an opposing power than has more competence and can more credibly assert power. The error was to avoid this peaceful clash of faction in the Congress; and make the inevitable power clashes expose the defects in the American planning model and assumptions in meeting its clearly promulgated Geneva legal requirements.

What's more outrageous is that this is the work of someone on in the JAG; and this "process of planning" is muddling through as if the US still has a vote in the matter. What non-sense. The Iraqis have decided, through sheer force and combat, to oppose the US recklessness. Talking about peace doesn't mean anything; the results must be peaceful, not contemptible recklessness which defies the Geneva requirements.

This is utterly absurd that this kind of drivel is floating around. The bigger error is for the American leadership to not challenge this legal nonsense, and not put the light where it is needed: AT the failed leadership in the White House; and the recklessness he has with respect to overseeing Geneva requirements; and leading people to meet and exceed legal obligations.

The American legal community is just making excuses not to confront this President for his war crimes. This inaction is enabling more non-sense. The longer the US movement refuses to confront this President, the more entrenched this nonsense thinking is going to get. Hardly inspiring any reasonable confidence that the US is serous about its legal obligation or changing.

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This approach is flawed. It asks that we recalibrate and start new. This may be required, but "rule of law" was a requirement, not a "think about tit, maybe"-requirement.

We need not consider any other comment other than the fatal admission that Geneva was the controlling requirement which US war planners and leaders ignored:

the Fourth Geneva Convention would oblige the U.S-led coalition to advance rule of law in Iraq.

How the 4th Convention is or isn't met is a judicial matter to review; not for the President, despite the clearly promulgated requirement, to suggest (incorrectly) was unclear.

* * *

5100.77 makes it clear: Geneva requirements must be fully implemented.

It is incorrect to redraw the line in 2007, and focus only forward.

The remedy is to explore when the planned illegal activity was known to have breached Geneva; and why despite the breakdown of the planning, known combat losses and instability did not mobilize the American leadership to bring about rule of law in Iraq.

* * *

Fatal to the US governments' defense is that absurd notion that they need more time, or benchmarks.

No, the benchmarks are clear: Geneva. It’s too late to pretend these were unclear, or still debatable.

Part of pre-combat planning is to ensure all Geneva requirements are fully implemented as part of the plan; not, as is the case with Iraq, retroactively explained away, but then asserted going forward as a goal. They are requirements not "nice to haves maybe."

* * *

It's appropriate for the Congress and world community to review the nature of the legal discussions over Iraq stability.

There are reported many groups who have met, discussed legal issues. It’s time to open those deliberations to review, and explore to what extent, despite the known Geneva violations, the US legal community has recklessly pretended there was another standard.

* * *

From this perspective it appears the American government's legal "experts" have more than bungled, they're complicit with war crimes, and haven't timely removed themselves.

Iraq stability doesn't need to be rethought. The new focus should be exploring what failed in the legal community to end this non-sense earlier; not retroactively pretend that Geneva is a moving standard. It remains a requirement.

Effort is meaningless. Requirements matter. Discussing "rule of law" after it has broken down and been ignored, without a credible plan to examine what failed in America, is meaningless. Until examined, the same failures will reoccur.

The burden is not on the Iraqis to create what they have no power or resources; but on the occupying power.

It is irrelevant that the US leadership failed to plan, or made a mess of things. This is an excuse, not a defense.

Iraq is a mess. It's not time to recalibrate any standard or revisit anything. The original review -- which was not done -- needs to be done: What is the plan to fully implement Geneva.

Combat means including all resources to comply with all treaty requirements. It is not a free for all, nor a forum for the US government to delegate illegal activity to contractors.

* * *

It is contemptible for members of the legal community to suggest "there is no definition" of rule of law. This is meaningless.

Geneva imposes a standard. The "Definition" of Geneva is in the treaty itself, not something that may or may not be understood to the United Kingdom in 1215.

* * *

Pretending Geneva is debatable hardly inspires confidence in the American legal profession.

What the international community may "debate" as a legal term is less important than the clear requirement of a republic: To have an enforcement mechanism. This requirement attaches to the detaining power; and is not something the detaining power, on the back of a botched plan, can argue, "We had no clue."

This is not a defense, but more evidence that the illegal plan recklessly ignored the Geneva requirements. Nuremberg is precedent; where there is disorder, others may legally create conditions which impose the same disorder on the occupying army.

* * *

Whining that there is "no shared definition" means the American leadership, JAGs, and DOD counsel have not, as required, fully asserted their Geneva Article 82 obligations to fully assert the Conventions. This is codified as a requirement in 5100.77.

On issue of Geneva, what the department of state "testifies" to Congress is meaningless. We can hardly point to a clear leader in the State Department; and the continued illegal rendition of innocents hardly suggests State has a notion of what is or is not a reasonable standard.

Appeals to ignorance are not compelling. Lost on state is the application of their standard to the Untied States: Does there exist an enforcement mechanism. "Lack of clarity" is not an excuse, but evidence that the leadership and DoD JAGs were reckless in assenting to an illegal abuse of power, and did not timely act.

* * *

Rather than cite excuses of "where there is ambiguity," JAGs have a responsibly to point to Nuremberg precedents to clarify Geneva. Claiming that the US government "cannot" be compared to Nazi Germany asks that we accept a canard: That the world cannot define what we have; and any comparison to unfavorable situations is invalid. This is ridiculously a circular argument to ignore relevant Nuremberg precedents which the US legal community continues to ignore.

* * *

The notion of the "rule of law" is in the Constitution. The legal requirements are attached to American military personnel. Whether they understand their oath is or isn't connected to the Constitution and Geneva requirements is irrelevant: They have signed their names to that effect, and agreed in writing that they understand and have no mental reservation. They are required to go through training, given the chance to ask any question about the words in their oath of office. The feigned confusion is not real, nor present when they took their oath. Their problem is that they are stuck with this war crimes problem, and have no defense.

It is a problem when the American leadership violates Geneva; compounded by stupidity in the legal profession.

The appeals to ignorance are uncompelling. The US in re Yugoslavia cited the breakdown of order as the basis for NATO's intervention. To suggest that this standard is "unclear" would ask that we embrace another fiction: An inability to call a breakdown of civil society what it is: Disorder. It is irrelevant that the US cannot define order; lawless genocide can be measured by dead bodies.

* * *

"Rule of law" was the basis for American expansion, and war in Europe: To bring what did not exist to Europe during WWII. Suggesting is "unclear" would have us believe another fiction -- that piles of dead civilians is a questionable conclusion. Thos who are not clear of what must be done to fully assert lawful order are not fit to be in the legal profession or in government; they should be sent home to let those who are willing to lawfully fight for the rule of law prevail and defend this Constitution. Outrageous! Young children lost their lives at the hands of this barbarity -- they were mercilessly abused, attacked, and treated as no civilian should ever be treated. That is not ambiguous or unclear. Suggesting that this "rule of law" concept is mysterious would ask that we sit by, arguing over definitions, while Hitler cranked up the next phase of the Holocaust.

Rule of law can be measured in terms of legal compliance. Auditors have clear standards. That lawyers ignore these standards or explain them away doesn't mean the standard is ambiguous, only the lawyer less relevant in defending the Constitution.

* * *

Congress alone has the power to define the rules and standards. What DoD may have written in a field manual is irrelevant. Congress, through the Geneva Conventions, defined what was expected; and the consequences for not brining that stability and rule of law.

The only reason for this "confusion" about rule of law was that the requirement as defined in Geneva was ignored. That is not confusion, but recklessness.

This President says that eh needs "Discretion" to comply with the law. Fine. He "should have" provided a plan to meet the requirements. He did not provide plan to manage his power. He was reckless. This is a subsequent war crime to which he alone, along with he likes of Addington and Gonzalez are allegedly complicit. This is another failure of the unitary theory: Claming one has total control is meaningless when there is no control; and the "big leader" doesn't provide the guidance to fully meet the Geneva requirements.

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One sign of a violation of the "rule of law" is when the legal community fails to discipline the leadership for having violated the law; or having used illegal means t wage warfare. This appears lost on the American legal community. Rather than focus on the illegal warfare, the would rather spend time pretending they should focus on the "confusion" of something. With lawyers like these, there is no basis to have confidence in the legal profession.

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One of the Geneva Conventions was signed in 1949, well after what did or didn't happen in 1750 BC. Historical trivia is interesting, but hardly a basis to say that confusion exists. Since 1750BC the world has endured the ravages of WWII and the Holocaust. Geneva was enforced at Nuremberg. It has been enforced through the ICC.

The US can hardly argue it is a solution when, by its results, it does not deliver. Talking about what Saddam did or didn't do is meaningless in 2007: The US is still not doing it.

Nobody said the US had to remove the stabilizing forces. The US did.

The time to have discussed these solutions and challenges was before the invasion: How will the US implement abroad what it refuses to practice at home: The rule of law.

Contrary to some in the JAG who claim that "confusion" is an excuse for disorder; the opposite is true: Combat operations, when they are lawful, correctly plan for a resolution of combat, and a transition to non-combat.

* * *

The contracting efforts are excuses to explain away what was not done.

The problem for the legal community is explaining why, in October 2001, they were talking about Iraq, but there was never a connection between the vents of Sept 2001; nor a plan to fully implement Geneva. It's not as though there was an error, but many groups involved with the review before a war of choice.

Goals, when they are outlined, show the American leadership had the means to ensure the standards were communicated, fully met. The problem is when, despite the known problems relative to the standards, the US leadership did not adjust.

Predicting that something might be required is meaningless. They are requirement and shall be fully met. The US leadership was reckless in not ensuring that the Geneva requirements were exceeded with all resources required to meet the US legal obligations.

* **

Journalists are not in a position to advise the leadership. The question is why, despite the openly reported chaos, did US military commanders not immediately go to Congress and explain the problem:

A. There is a mess;

B. We have a requirement to meet legal standards;

C. There were insufficient resources to meet our legal requirements;

D. Continued failure to meet our legal requirements can be adjudicated as a war crime.

* * *

Yes, Geneva was ignored; and the US not only violated the laws of war when it illegal invaded; but permitted subsequent violations to occur despite well known evidence of the original illegalities and violations.

To suggest in 2007 that something was "uncertain" as a standard is absurd. The standard was well known, discussed and actively ignored. One can only ignore information and evidence when they are reckless in ignoring reality and certain standards. The GOP is making excuses for war crimes.

it is incorrect to jump between 2001 planning then to 2005. Many things weren't done, namely Congressional oversight.

* * *

Policy statements of goals is different than a legal requirement in Geneva. It doesn't matter how the President achieve his legal objectives; the issue is whether he met his legal objectives. He did not. The error was for him to pretend he was, while failing to develop a plan with the GOP and Senate to fully meet the clearly promulgated Geneva requirements.

___ What were we getting for the money spent?

___ Despite Geneva, is the US leadership effectively managing the finite resources only Congress can provide, to meet all legal requirements?

___ Once evidence of war crimes was known, did this trigger a broader Congressional review of whether other legal requirements were ignored?

___ Once it was known the legal requirements were not being met, and the plans were failing, when did the Members of Congress plan to compel compliance?

* * *

The Attorney General fatally admitted he is related to the law. This binds him to those requirements. Legal theory is not a goal; Geneva requirements are the standard.

Geneva does not permit the leadership to simply "promote security"-- the requirement is security.

Claiming "lack of consensus" in 2006 is meaningless. Geneva is clearly promulgated as a standard. The real "lack of consensus" was how to explain way the illegal war crimes, and pretend that the "bad plan" as the same as "bad standards."

No, war criminals shift attention from clear standards, and pretend their war crimes are justified; and that the standard is unclear.

It's legal non-sense to debate "rule of law" when the requirement is there in Geneva. The Debate is over. Time for war crimes tribunals.

The phony "confusion" of a definition is a retroactive attempt to redefine reality, and pretend that it may or may not have meet the standard. No, the correct approach is to start with the requirement, develop a plan, then adjust to meet that standard.

This American legal community and reckless leadership did the opposite: Decided on a bad plan; then pretended that "whatever happened" met their shifting standard. That is backwards.

* * *

Increasing attacks, mounting deaths, and lack of civilian control are self-evident. This does not need to be endless measured. Prosecutors are needed.

It is not a "job" to bring security and order. It is a requirement. All planning shall meet that requirement. When units do not have the equipment, and are in short supply, the US has chosen to fail to meet its Geneva obligations: To provide all the resources needed to meet all legal obligations. A resource, planning, and equipment problem is a symptom a legal problem -- failing to conduct only lawful activity while effectively using the finite resources.

It is irrelevant whether civilians have or have not done their job. The requirement remains.

When plans fail, there need to be adjustments. The US cannot argue it is "making a new plan": when Geneva i getting ignored.

There was nothing stopping the US Congress from calling this what it was: War crimes. Threats to shut down funding to prevent illegal activity were an option.

The President and his lackeys in the JAGs cannot agree how to comply with their Geneva requirements. SecDef failed to fully implement and enforce 5100.77 as required.

Congress is silent. Creating a new office doesn’t create a new line in the sand to start; the reverse is true: What is the plan to prosecute the American leadership for their reckless defiance of Geneva.

* * *

The American legal community is wasting its time pretending that rule of law in Iraq is uncertain. IT does not exist.

New baselines do not heed to be started. Geneva is the requirement.

Unity of command is a military term which has no relevance to whether the civilian planning was or was not lawful and sufficient. It was not.

Talking about the future does not focus on the reckless defiance of the known requirements.

* * *

The American leadership is attempting to repackage a war crimes problem as a planning issue. No, the issue is violations of Geneva; with a required plan to prosecute or enforce the standards. The US should not be confused why the rule of law doe snot exist in Iraq -- the American example is lawlessness, as enabled by this reckless buffoon in the Oval Office.

The US leadership is focusing on the "stabilization" effort as an excuse to suggest this is debatable or needs more time. No, it needs a prosecutor.

American commanders have failed. Letting them manage "one more program" is not the answer. International actors need to be invited; the problem is they are not required to save the US. This is a mess the US created.

* * *

talking about an independent judiciary in Iraq -- as an excuse to distract attention from the failed rule of law in the US -- is meaningless. As with Pakistan, the US goal is to shift the burden to the Iraqis for what the US has failed to do at home: Fully assert the rule of law.

Talking about non-sense process is meaningless when the enemy refuses to cooperate with the original illegal activity. Process action teams cannot "repurpose" a war to make it sellable. It is folly to assert that a desirable goal is achievable by putting it after the first activity. The activity hasn't worked. Asserting a goal and mission statement is not the same as ensuring the legal requirements are met. Management objectives, when devoid of a legal foundation, cannot be expected to achieve what remains outside the law.

The US leadership cannot readily complain about organization when the real problem is the recklessness of the US government. Stating that a standard has not been met is not a defense, but an admission tat the known requirements were not met.

* * *

The error is for the JAGS to say that they had a job to train. No, this job of supporting is on Congress.

___ When the US government did not have the required resources, why didn't the President go to Congress to ask for more support in getting the required training?

The burden is not on the Iraqis to meet this goal.

* **

It was known things would take time. The US failed to ensure the required assistance was well supported. The President’s decision to lie to Congress is no excuse; Congress had the duty to find out. It did not.

DOJ Staff counsel’s non-sense drivel that something is "difficult to assess" is meaningless: We need only look at the dead bodies to know there is problem; we don't need to do more studies on data system. Dead bodies means the infrastructure needed to take care of basis requirements is not there; there’s little to believe the necessary requirements for a civil society are anywhere near the horizon.

* * *

The DOJ under Gonzalez ha recklessly failed to ensure the Geneva requirements were fully met. it is a bungling excuse for anyone in the JAGs to argue that there existed a "lack of data collecting system" that "got in the way" of meeting the Geneva requirements.

This is backwards and excuse. The time to have planned and ensured these requirements were in place was before the first shots were fired.

DoJ cannot credibly point their fingers at the Iraqis and say, "They haven' t done their job." NO, the US failed to ensure it had an effective team in place to meet Geneva. Talking about "lack of measurement systems" is a reckless excuse.

* * *

Military commanders lead. They solve problems. Talking bout "Harmony" and "Unity" is meaningless. You either comply with the law or you do not. All other shades of planning are meaningless. The issue is to focus on Geneva; and whether the conditions on the ground are or not meeting that security standard. Talking about whether a failed plan will or will not "support the troops" is meaningless -- this planning does not fully enforce nor implement the Geneva conventions. We need not consider whether the planning does or does not support the troops; illegal plans are not supportable, and no one should be deluded that an illegal plan support anyone, most of all American civilians.

Talking about the process, and metrics is an excuse to avoid the obvious.

* * *

It is an insult for anyone in the Department of Defense to suggest that the rule of law is debatable, confusing, or something that is unclear. Iraqis and Americans can see the dead bodies and instability. That does not require analysis. It requires leadership that will compel a solution.

This leadership has failed. Despite recklessly ignoring Geneva, the US Senate, GOP, and President do not want to comply with Geneva. These are war crimes.

Pretending the President "cannot have his hands tied" is non-sense: He has no choice but to comply with Geneva. He freely agreed to be bound by oath to the Geneva requirements. Congress didn’t make him; the Constitution and We the People did. This President has with complicity of the DOJ Staff recklessly ignored Geneva and wants to pretend the issue is debatable. How absurd. Foreign fighters can see this no-sense and are enraged. This US government continues with this nonsense. Its absurd for Americans to be pretend that they are competent. Their results belie this assertion. They are buffoons.

* * *

What people suggested during the planning process is meaningless. The issue is two things: [1] What was the requirement; and [2] What is reality. Everything else is an excuse.

The discussion about what did or didn't occur in planning is secondary: To what extent these known violations of Geneva were not managed by competent people knowledgeable of the requirements; and who got in the way of fully implementing the Geneva requirements: Which DOJ Staff counsel, and who in the Joint Staff assented to this illegal warfare and recklessness. 5100.77 is a tool to implement Geneva, not feign ignorance,

What the US believes, thought, should happen, or hoped for is meaningless.

* * *

The solution to Iraq's "rule of law problem" is the insurgency: It is lawfully exploiting the weaknesses in the United States governance system. The error is to ignore this feedback, not adjust, and not correct what has failed in the system of American governance: This President. Disorder is not desired; what is hoped for is a clear message: Something needs to e fixed. Making people comply with what is disorder, chaos, and non-sense is not a defense, but an excuse to endorse and not stop war crimes.

* * *

DoD and the President should cut their clap trap about "provision Reconstruction Teams." The only issue is: What did Geneva require; and whether the US did or didn’t meet that.

How the S achieves that goal is, as long as it is lawful, is secondary. indeed, this President has whined, "Let me decide how to do things." We did that, and it didn’t work. He ignored the law.

Nobody in DoD can say that these teams were successful when they did not have the support needed to continue the success. Creating a process is not success; achieving Geneva requirements is. The US should stop talking about what is or isn’t moving chairs on the deck chairs and focus on whether the US is or is not fully meeting its legal obligations. It is not.

* * *

The time for transition talk is absurd. This should have been talked about in 2002; but rather than focus on reality and lack of an imminent threat, the same "planning" team that spewed forth non-sense on reality did the same with the law: Non-sense.

One cannot "transition" to something when the starting point is chaos, and the plan to proceed is chaotic. That which continues what is undesirable will bring more chaos. Promoting something as an ideal is different than achieving and meeting Geneva requirements. Providing something, without effect, is different than fully meeting the legal standards.

* * *

This President is a buffoon. He doesn’t believe his plans. More teams in 2007 doesn't address the 2001-2007 Geneva violations.

Talking about the 2005 strategies is meaningless. They didn't work to meet Geneva. What is or isn’t emphasized, helped, or hoped for is meaningless: The US failed to deal with reality, and adjust.

* * *

The US has been recklessly focused on doing more of what isn’t' work. Talking about a "long term" plan for Iraq is meaningless when the near term Geneva violations are not addressed.

The rest of the story in the GAO reports: The continuing chaos. It's meaningless to talk about incremental changes, when the status remains well below what Geneva requires. Incremental adjustments are meaningless – the standard is a requirement, not something that is “gradually improving.” The US didn’t have the right leadership, troops, plan or legal authority to mobilize to do what Geneva requires. Members of Congress and DoD JAGs have been complicit with this recklessness. They are delusional.

* * *

Claiming to be a leader is different than leading a nation to fully met its legal obligations. This President ignores the law. He cannot lead any credible effort to do what is required under Geneva.

What nice kudos the US leadership hopes to provide to Iraqi is meaningless: The primary responsibly lies with the occupying force. The US cannot "hand over" something which does not exist: Security, stability, and the requirement to enforce the law. That which does not exist -- stability -- cannot be imposed as a requirement on those who have been forced to ensure the abuses.

* * *

The US "partnership" system has failed to meet the legal requirements. Half measures are non-starters. Talking about things using nice words -- supporting, promoting, improving, increasing, and building -- is meaningless: The US does not "try" to meet Geneva; it either does or does not. Nobody is interested in plans that aren't working. The end result is whether there is or isn’t security, not whether the US "really tried hard."

* * *

Buried, unanswered questions are not part of the new debate, but evidence of the US leadership recklessness in meeting their obligations.

The responsibility for rule of law lies with the occupying power It is incorrect to talk about who is going to "help" Iraq do what the US refuses to do: Provide security.

Talking about what "may" happen is meaningless; we have a problem today with no plan.

Talking about success criteria is too late, especially when the requirements in Geneva are bantered about as if they were uncertain or debatable.

It is not correct to delegate this legal requirement to clueless contractors who are not committee teams. The error is to approach this combat as if it were a community get together. People don't "talk" about things; this is combat -- you either win, or you don't. The US is losing.

* * *

It is a red herring to talk about the insurgency as being "for or against" something the US refuses to demonstrate: The rule of law. This is combat, not a vote. The US is illegally doing things; the insurgents are against the US illegal, abusive, reckless imposition of power.

It is a flawed government approach to change the argument from [a] "who is meting Geneva requirements" to [b] "who is for or against phony solutions to ignore requirements"

The time to have discussed the "risks of failure" should ache been completed before the first shots were fired. That real of law "might not occur" in Iraq is not a debatable point: It doesn't exist, as required; the required security situation does not meet the Geneva Convention requirements; there is no plan to get there; not to mention the requirement that it does exist, and the plan to "maybe get there” is irrelevant.

* * *

The discussion was non-sense. It is a red herring.

There is no basis to rethink the rule of law anywhere based on this analysis. Geneva is the standard. Talking about teams is meaningless. Lawful results are overdue. Need war crimes prosecutors to provide some leadership; and some leadership in Congress to face the war crimes.

The way ahead is Geneva: Persecute the US leadership, go after the JAGs, and compel to them to appear before war rimes tribunals.

The US is deluding itself if it wants to "measure" rule of law. That is an excuse to avoid facing its' requirement, which does not exist in Iraq.

* *

It is wrong to say that Security and development must be symbiotic, Security is a requirement. The US failed. Talking about what the US has failed to do doesn't solve it; the US leadership has no plan. America’s leaders are criminals. They have recklessly ignored legal requirements, and pretended the issue is someone else's problem.

Nice quotes are meaningless unless they have leaders willing to do what it takes to meet the full legal requirements of Geneva.

America’s problem is that it has incompetent leaders. We need only look at the war of choice in Iraq: They bungled it, despite choosing the time, place, and matter to wage a conflict that could have been avoided. Utterly contemptible buffoonery.