BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
ASTRONAUT AND AMERICAN HERO NEIL ARMSTRONG HAS JOINED WITH PEERS JAMES LOVELL AND EUGENE CERNAN TO EXPRESS DISMAY AND OUTRAGE OVER CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O'S DECISION TO DRASTICALLY CUT THE SPACE PROGRAM.
IN ADDITION TO SETTING SCIENCE BACK, BARRY O'S PROPOSALS COULD SERIOUSLY HARM THE ECONOMY.
DECLARED NEIL ARMSTRONG TO THESE REPORTERS, "I THOUGHT BARRY WOULD STAND WITH US. I MEAN, LOOK AT THE GUY. HE'S A TOTAL SPACE CADET."
REACHED BY PHONE, BARRY O STATED HE COULDN'T COMMENT AT PRESENT BECAUSE "I'M TOO BUSY TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW BARBARELLA DID THAT STRIP TEASE IN SPACE."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of an assault in Iraq. At The Nation today, Robert Dreyfuss weighs in and apparently, by his judgment, the worst offender in the assault is . . . Washington Post reporter David Finkel. For unknown reasons, he steers to PolitFact which quotes from Finkel but doesn't note where the conversation took place. Dreyfuss characterizes Finekl's comments as "blase defense of the slaughter" and states he "cavelierly dismisses the deaths of a dozen Iraqis as something that happens in the 'real-time blurriness of those moments'." First off, the online chat took place at the Washington Post April 6th. Second of all, comments by participants are left out in PolitFact's version. Third of all, Dreyfuss, where were you?
It's a little late to be wading in, isn't it? April 6th is when the online chat took place and we ignored it because we had an audio link to note instead: "Today, Neal Conan spoke to the Washington Post's David Finkel (who's written about the incident in The Good Soldiers and link has an exerpt of the book) on NPR's Talk of the Nation." If you read the chat in full or listen to Talk of the Nation, you find (as noted in that day's snapshot), "Finkel did not weigh in on responsibility and noted specifically that he was not villifying anyone or justifying anyone. He repeated this point more than once." That also comes through in the full online chat. Possibly if PolitFact had linked to it or noted where it took place, Dreyfuss would be less focused on Finkel? Maybe not. A right-wing talking point -- one Diane Rehm shamefully refused to counter and let stand as "the last word" -- is that the Reuters reporters killed in the assault -- Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh -- were with the 'terrorists' or "embedded" with them or some other nonsense. Again, on NPR, Diane Rehm allowed that false charge to stand. Maybe Dreyfuss can take on Diane Rehm?
During the online chat, this talking point was repeated constantly and Finkel repeatedly refuted it. One example:
Washington DC: I don't think anyone has done anything wrong here. I think Reuters had every right to embed their reporters with an enemy unit.
Do you think that Reuters should have let the US know specifically which insurgent group it had reportes with? Should US forces have withheld shooting at enemy units known to be accompanied by hostile reporters?
David Finkel: There's an assumption here I'm concerned about -- that Reuters embedded its staff with "an enemy unit." I know of no basis for that. What I was told that day, and subsequently, is that the two heard of something going on and went to check it out. That's just journalists being journalists.
Mike Lahaye (Collegiate Times) weighs in:
Before the video was secretly leaked, a request by Reuters for it to be released was unfulfilled for two and a half years. Now the military is refusing to investigate the matter to determine whether or not any wrongdoing did occur in either the event or its aftermath.
Twelve innocent civilians died because of bullets that came out of guns fired by members of the U.S. Military. The soldiers acted with a casualness that is shocking to someone who does not regularly see images of war. They refer to the victims as "dead bastards." Clearly, effective soldiers cannot mourn the lives of those they kill in the midst of battle. Still, these "dead bastards" were posing no immediate threat.
Those soldiers represent me. They represent most of you.
We sent them to war.
It is on our behalf that they killed those 12 people.
It is on our behalf that 4,386 U.S. service members and 244 U.S. contractors have died.
Really terrible things happen in war, like a soldier shooting and killing a journalist because he mistook a camera for a rocket-propelled grenade. What is unfortunate to me is that our military was unwilling to admit to you, me and the families of the fallen how they died.
As noted in yesterday's snapshot, when Jake Tapper raised the issue with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (who was Secretary of Defense when the assault took place in 2007), Gates offered no apology, offered no remorse, offered no consoliation to the families who lost loved ones. He could have made such a statement. He could have made it without admitting to guilt (which is a fear of some) but he chose not to. He chose to disrespect the dead and now what generally happens to someone like that is happening to Gates: He's lashing out. Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) reports, "Gates insisted it was "irresponsible" of Wikileaks to release the classified video and that it showed only a "soda straw" view of the overall war. He also lamented that Wikileaks 'can put out anything they want and not be held accountable'." Grasp that Gates can "lament" WIkiLeaks' actions -- which killed no one -- but can express no regrets (not even by terming it a "horrible accident") for the assault. KPFK's Leo Paz filed a report (LA Indymedia has text and audio) where he spoke with Iraq War veteran Cameron Wood about the Rules of Engagement:
Leo Paz: Marine Corporal Cameron Woods, from Minnesota, was part of a tank unit in the invasion in 2003 and took part in the siege of Falluja in 2004. He talked about how US army Officers gave orders to fire on any Iraq opposing the invasion.
Cameron Woods: As part of the invasion there would be a lot of times when they would have what they called a free-fire zone when we were told to shoot at anybody that we saw, whether they were shooting at us or not, they were supposed to be considered enemies because apparently they had been told to go inside or whatever. And on the second deployment, because a lot of incidents had happened and they were trying to keep things under wraps they were trying to implement what they called rules of engagement, was what they call 'em, but it was basically if you see someone firing at you or what you think is a gun then we engaged them.
Leo Paz: Corporal Woods also spoke of the nightmare soldiers have to live with after firing on civilians.
Cameron Woods: What I experienced was seeing civilinas that had been fired upon mostly in vehicles.
Leo Paz: Tell me more about that.
Cameron Woods: Set up checkpoints and you see vehicles approaching, and the vehicles don't stop and so they would fire on vehicles, we fired on buses, buses full of civilians and -- and I think part of the reason that happens is because you're essentially sending teenagers to go fight in a war, and these kids are scared and they will indiscriminately fire their weapons.. . . so you see the aftermath of that and those are the kind of images that you carry with you and those are the kind of things that haunt you. It's those types of situations that cause post traumatic stress.
Monday, the Kansas City Star editorialized on the topic:
But the real horror from the 2007 incident should come from the policy that led to that moment. It's clear in the video those in the helicopter arrived with a mind-set, amid a highly dangerous insurgency, that Iraqis were enemies. They did not come to this conclusion on their own. In fact, it reflects both U.S. policy and the incredible difficulty of successfully even defining, much less carrying out, a mission such as the one this nation faced in Iraq, and now faces in Afghanistan.
Given the attitude these men had when their helicopters arrived on the scene, in fact, the outcome was inevitable. Beyond mourning American involvement in a truly horrible moment, beyond what has to be a shared and deep regret for those who died and their families, lessons must be drawn from this video. They must be applied in Afghanistan, and beyond (if the United States is to continue nation-building).
Why is "continue nation-building" assumed and not questioned? Why, after all that's gone on and gone wrong in Iraq, does a McClatchy Newspaper accept the premise of the 'goodness' behind the illegal war? A McClatchy Newspaper?
You couldn't wait for answers
You just had to try those wings
And all your happy-ever-afters . . .
They didn't mean a thing
So I'm not gonna try at all
To keep you from the flame
Just remember not to call . . . my name . . .
When you cry wolf
Once too often
You cry wolf
No, I won't come knockin'
You cry wolf
I won't hear you anymore
-- "Cry Wolf," written by Jude Johnstone, recorded by Stevie Nicks on her album The Other Side of the Mirror
Walter Rodgers (Christian Science Monitor) is puzzled that "a major architect of the wra in Iraq," Douglas Feith, would argue that Washington (the administration) was tricked. Hmm. That is a shocker, isn't it? And no one could have seen that coming . . . if they were comatose. Matt Damon is a bad actor with buch teeth, no neck and some of the worst skin (it takes a lot of foundation to get him 'camera ready'). But damned if a number of idiots on the left didn't treat him as if he were The Widow Zinn and rush to prop up his offensive and appalling movie Green Zone. A number of idiots did. The whole left didn't. Ava and I pointed out last month of that bad, bad movie:
The argument the (fictional) film makes is that an Iraqi exile General Al-Rawi is the bad guy and the reason for the illegal war. He is the cause of the Iraq War because he tricked people in DC. Do you get how offensive to history that is? Karl Rove may dispute "Bush lied and people died" (as he did last week on NPR's Fresh Air) but that's reality. (See Ann's post for how Terry Gross avoided one of the best known examples of Bush lying.) And it's really distressing to see some lefties rush to applaud this film. D-cup celeb Michael Moore gushes but he's not a man known for taste or intellect. Others are supposed to be a little smarter -- including a critic we'll be kind and not name but who sees the film as having a "message" that neocons were responsible. Did he miss the scene where General Al-Rawi brags to Matt Damon's character about tricking Washington?
At the Socialist Worker, Richard Seymour also caught on to the revisionary bulls**t in Green Zone and called it out ("Here neocon trickery took the US to war while the occupation failed due to bad planning, ideological zealotry, and an over-emphasis on democracy."). Excuse me, Seymour did that at Great Britain's Socialist Worker. At the US Socialist Worker, they were too busy eating Matt Damon's ass out and let's just hope it was as good for them as it was for Matt.
The Widow Zinn made a bad, bad movie that trafficked in revisionary history. And too many idiots on the left applauded that crap. Feith's now doing a variation on it? Not a damn surprise. The left set itself up for this when they decided that some punk ass actor who never did a damn thing for anyone was more important than the truth about the Iraq War. Actions have consequences and some people on the left better start grasping that and damn well better start owning their actions. They are encouraging revisionary history and there is no excuse for it. Some of the same idiots applauded the 'documentary' -- which I disclosed in real time I campaigned against and voted against and loved it when it didn't win Best Documentary -- which argued the problem with the Iraq War -- THE PROBLEM -- was that there wasn't better planning. People were applauding that s**t even though the 'film maker' was a War Hawk who not only advocated strongly for the Iraq War before it started but still advocated for it while promoting that piece of filth film. Maybe film criticism is just beyond the abilities of, for example, the US Socialist Worker? Maybe those idiots who don't know a damn thing but somehow seem to repeatedly endorse Iraq films that contain revisionary 'lessons' should do the world a favor and find another way to ply their bad writing? I'm not in the mood. Or as Stevie sings in "Cry Wolf:"
You can try but you can't get me . . .
Into the fire
'Cause I'm all out of sympathy . . .
And, baby, I can't walk this wire
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Nouri doesn't want to leave, Chris Hill can't count"
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"the supreme court"
"The ones who get it right"
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"THIS JUST IN! DANCE, FOOL, DANCE!"