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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


bombing the messenger

members of the british government have leaked to the daily mirror portions of a memo which details the expressed intention of president bush to bomb the facilities of television outlet al-jazeera in its home country of qatar during the american military destruction of fallujah. british prime minister, according to the memo, sensibly talked bush out of implementing the plan as a potential public relations disaster.

the madness of this administration grows clearer by the day, and this is a shining example of the mindset of amoral imperial impunity that infects the white house sinking ever deeper into the mire of spartanism.

but what concerns me now is the apparent ease with which the administration equated their physical enemies on the ground in iraq and around the world in al-qaeda with the media that reported on misguided american efforts to dispatch them. as american politics sinks to new lows of polarizing propaganda daily, as america broadly takes sides against itself, one may ask: how long will it be until those in power transfer the field of conflict that is the mideast back home and start reproducing these perverse decision chains domestically? after all, in a political world where the antagonist is no longer an opponent but an enemy and a traitor -- not to be reasoned with as a fellow human being with a differing view but prosecuted and eliminated with prejudice -- how far off is political violence? and where those who would freely report on the abuses of power in seeking its ends are equally deserving of the violence accorded to those enemies, could a free press -- or any equivalent articulated right -- survive?

with the meme of an incorrigible liberal media firmly ensconced in the heads of all the suburban armchair warriors that make up the republican militia, i seriously doubt it.

I don't think this administration is exhibiting madness at all. I think we're seeing a significant setback in what has been a dogged, methodical plan.

It saddens me to be saying this, but it clearly is in the best interests of the US and the world that the Bush Administration be humbled and its aims discredited. The Iraq war is -- disastrously and humiliatingly -- lost. If this causes Americans to swing away from identifying with the apocalytic vision of the Religious Right elements that Bush represents and with whom the war's aims are closely identified, then there is something to be gained from our losing the war. A harsh reality, not expressed lightly, but a reality.


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"how far off is political violence?"

Well, someone threw a grenade at Bush, someone else was arrested to plotting to kill him, shots were fired into Bush/Cheney offices, Dems slashed GOP tires on election eve, and someone tried to run over Katherine Harris. All the violence seems to be going against the people you delusionally claim are fascists.

Meanwhile your comrade-in-ignorance above seems utterly unaware that our military makes more progress in Iraq every day, and generally believes the endeavour is succeeding.

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BTW, Bush was joking. Like we would seriously consider bombing Qatar. Good Lord you people are paranoid. Have you considered that prescription for lithium I recommended?

Oh, and if the liberal media is just a "meme" please explain the Rathergate and Easongate debacles, and also why journalists self-describe as overwhelmingly liberal.

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Well, someone threw a grenade at Bush, someone else was arrested to plotting to kill him, shots were fired into Bush/Cheney offices, Dems slashed GOP tires on election eve, and someone tried to run over Katherine Harris.

fwiw, i agree -- both sides are ready and perhaps eager to contribute to civil unrest.

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"...our military makes more progress in Iraq every day, and generally believes the endeavour is succeeding."

It depends on who you take to represent "our military" when you process news like this. another perspective, from a field officer who wrote to Iraq Veteran Paul Rieckhoff from Ramadi recently:

"I wish I had the time or energy or memory capacity to describe to you how wrong this whole thing has gone. It's just as you described it a couple years ago. We *can* make a difference here, and i believe in the mission as it looks on paper. But your president and his brain-dead colleagues aren't even trying to give us what we need to do it. the add-on armor HMMWVs are a joke. The terrorists target them b/c they know they offer no protection. The M1114s have good armor, but every time we lose one (i had one blown up monday, driver had his femoral artery cut -- will recover fully -- b/c there apparently is no armor or very weak armor under the pedals) it's impossible to replace them. So now I have to send yet another add-on armored vehicle outside the wire daily. The M1114s also have certain mechanical defects, known to the manufacturer, for which there is apparently no known fix. For example, on some of them (like mine) if it stalls or you turn it off, you cannot restart it if the engine is hot. We have to dump 3 liters of cold water on a solenoid in order to start it again. Not that much fun when your vehicle won't start in indian country. I wonder if DoD is getting a refund for the contract. Speaking of contracts, KBR is a joke. I can't even enumerate the problems with their service, but I guarantee they do not receive less money based on how many of the showers don't work, or how many of us won't eat in the chow hall often because we get sick every time we do.

"There is so much. I could go on forever. the worst thing, which we have discussed, is that they are playing these bullshit numbers games to fool America about troop strength. If they stopped paying KBR employees $100,000 to do the job of a $28,000 soldier, maybe they'd have enough money to send us enough soldiers to do the job. As it stands we have no offensive capability in the most dangerous city on earth. General Shinseki should write an Op/Ed that basically says, 'I told you so.' Idiots.

"Where are the AC-130s? The apaches? They have them in FAR less active AOs (areas of operations). All we ever get is a single Huey and Cobra team, both of which are older than I am. it's such a joke. They're not even trying. At all. They have apaches in Tikrit but Hueys in Ramadi.

"I wish every american could see this for him/herself. Registering your frustration at the ballot box isn't nearly enough. There should be jail terms for this."

We've all heard these stories from the field, marvel that the grunts still have the morale they somehow retain, and hold this testimony in the backs of our minds when we listen to the Rumsfeld/Cheney perspective on the "progress" we're making every day in Iraq. You're saying, Dave, that Rummy has a better vantage point?


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i rather think as well that john murtha speaks for the military to a far greater extent than donald rumsfeld, whose mutual antipathy shared with the military brass is the stuff of legend. as was pointed out by many washington observers, murtha speaks for the military leadership -- he would never have come out with these views if they were not shared by american military leadership.

rummy, on the other hand, has seen fit to lie to the troops who know better. the problems outlined in that ramadi letter are old news and remain unresolved, costing american troops their lives as rummy remains dedicated to building a flexible imperial army designed for frequent use. it's no wonder that rumsfeld is an object of great contempt.

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