Home / Robert Farley / You Knew this Was Coming…

You Knew this Was Coming…


Call me crazy, but I suspect that it’s probably possible to make a case against intervention in Libya without referring to Rice, Clinton, and Power as “the Three Harpies.”

UPDATE [SL]: See also.

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  • rea

    How the hell do people get paid to write crap like the linked article?

  • Bill Murray

    The Three Amigos was already taken. Maybe they should have thrown in Madeleine Albright and gone with the 4 Horsewomen of the Apocalypse

    • hv


  • Anonymous

    You know say what you want about “imperialism” or “neo-cons” but as someone whose read most of her work, the characterization of Dr. Powers as some sort of warmonger is so off base its offensive- I mean I don’t see how one could do what she did regarding Rwanda and not argue for Humanitarian Intervention where possible.

  • wengler

    You’re Crazy!

    Though it is interesting how terribly women in US politics are treated simply for being women.

    • You know, this is one of those times that I think we ought to reclaim words. If I were Secretary Clinton, I might look down my nose at that poor journalist and, absolutely deadpan, say, “And? What’s your point?” Really, is that all they’ve got?

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    This post should have been titled:

    “I got ninety-nine problems….”

  • Darth Revan

    I’d like to defend Dr Bacevich on this one – I have a great deal of respect for the man and his views. But linking to a libertarian screwball like Raimondo, and then repeatedly using his sexist language (even with the halfway-exculpatory ‘purportedly’) is a bit beyond my powers.

    The sad part is that his use of such an epithet is the only part of his article that will henceforth be considered; particularly since Dr Bacevich’s overall argument about the Obama Administration’s foreign-policy trajectory is quite sound, though it is really the same argument he made against Bush in The limits of power.

    • Joe

      Yes. Does he use such kneejerk sexism elsewhere?

      • joejoejoe

        “Harpy” the flipside of the “valkyrie” talk that is already in circulation. It’s bad form and only detracts from Bacevich’s critique of the Libya intervention but the original sin was the ‘Hey, women are for war!’ novelty BS from a ton of widely read media outlets. Bacevich is giving a critique repeating stupid biased language but that stupidity isn’t original to Bacevich.

  • Slaughter must feel terrible not being the fourth harpy, or one of the three.

    • Hogan

      I know, right? And with that name. She’s practically a horsewoman of the Apocalypse already.

  • rea

    Mythologically illiterate, too, since by most accounts there were only two harpies. He has them confused with the three Fates, or the three Furies.

    • Mr. Chris

      I also thought that a reference to the three Furies would be more appropriate than a reference to three harpies; if Wikipedia is to be believed, though, later writings posit three harpies instead of the original two, so the number isn’t entirely inappropriate.

      On the other hand, the fact that, according to Bacevich’s article, certain unnamed individuals gave Clinton, Rice, and Power an appellation which references a trio of monster best known for stealing food rather than one which references the trio of goddesses who avenge murder, or the trio of goddesses who possess the power over life and death (either of which would be more approrpiate in this case), seems to imply that they weren’t thinking through the mythological connotations very thoroughly.

      All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I’m pretty sure that Bacevich’s unnamed sources were using the term “harpy” in its colloquial definition, i.e. “a synonym for ‘bitch’ used by men who are under the mistaken impression that it sets them apart from the uneducated cads who would actually call a woman a bitch.”

      • rea

        Maybe they just like the idea of Chelsea, as daughter of a harpy, being one of the horses of Achilles . . .

        • ajay

          The Three Norns, maybe? At least the Norns have dignity, and a reasonable choice of music.
          Or possibly the Valkyries? Though that nowadays tends to imply blondeness and large size as well as “chooser of the slain” so maybe not.
          If I was looking for a mythological trope for “three irresponsible women who cause a massive and destructive war” you couldn’t really go any better than the Rhine Maidens.

          • Hogan

            Let’s just go with the threefold goddess: the maiden, the mother and the . . . other one.

            • rea

              No, those are Pratchett’s 3 witches

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