Monday, June 20, 2005

Editorial: "Illegal" boming raids? When will the domestic press note this? (Third Estate Sunday Review)

First off, Beth's e-mailed about the scheduled Tuesday "Beth's Interview" and will have to push it back to Friday due to a heavy schedule. That's more than fine than fine with me after this weekend. See Kat's entry, Rebecca's entry and The Third Estate Sunday Review's "A note to our readers" for comments on the Blogger problems this weekend.

Next, Martha e-mails to note this at Daily Kos, Stop George's "DSM BLITZ!! 5 stories on DSM -- by AP!!!" which is a series of screen captures and links of coverage on the Downing Street Memo.

Editorial: "Illegal" bombing raids? When will the domestic press note this?

A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war "to put pressure on the regime" was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.
The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later RAF and USAF jets began "spikes of activity" designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.
The Foreign Office advice shows military action to pressurise the regime was "not consistent with" UN law, despite American claims that it was.
The decision to provoke the Iraqis emerged in leaked minutes of a meeting between Tony Blair and his most senior advisers -- the so-called Downing Street memo published by The Sunday Times shortly before the general election.It's Sunday, it's the editorial, we're highlighting a report, so of course it's Michael Smith's. Of course we have to look overseas to find "British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office" in The Sunday Times of London."
Illegal under international law?" That's a chage, a strong one. We're confused as to why it's received so little attention. "Spikes of activity," as we've noted here and C.I.'s noted at The Common Ills, mean the increased bombings that took place before Congress authorized the Bully Boy to act. "Spikes of activity" also refer to the attacks on a country supposedly run by a madman possessing WMDs that he was looney enough to use. That was the public commentary from the Bully Boy and the Boy-ettes, right?
As C.I. wrote, you can't have it both ways. You can't claim "Saddam has WMDs! We're all at risk!" and increase the bombings. If you really believe the WMD lie (we all know it was a lie now, right?) you don't attempt to start a war before you're ready. You don't put your country at risk. If you really believe there's a risk, to invite an attack when you're unprepared, a WMD attack, may border on derelicition of duty for the one who wanted the whole nation (military and civilian) to call him "commander-in-chief." (Note to Diane Sawyer, unless you enlisted, he wasn't YOUR commander-in-chief, nor was he the Dixie Chicks' "commnader-in-chief.")
Now if you feel there's no risk, then that means you were lying. You were lying to the people, you were lying to Congress.
We're prepared to argue either way, just let us know which lie you intend to stick to this time.
Did you believe Saddam Hussein had WMDs and that the nation was risk? If so, you put everyone at risk by increasing the bombings to invite an attack.Did you not believe in the WMD myth? If that's the case, you lied us into war.We're betting it was the second one but we're aware that the only one who has more of problem than our mainstream press with applying the term "liar" to you is . . . well, you.
So do you want to stick to the "I told the truth!" defense?
We think it's a loser. (We think both are losing positions for you.)
Sticking to the "I'm another George who can never tell a lie" defense leaves you wide open for charges of recklessly endangering the citizens and the nation you swore to protect. Sometimes, it seems like the Bully Boy really forgets his job duties.
Again, tell us which story you're going to stick to so we can make our case. We'll take either option: lying us into an illegal war or risking the lives of many Americans.
As for the press, one Scott Shane article does not a paper of record make. Possibly The Timid's been limbering up for a limbo contest? If so, trust us, you'll surely come in first. Now how about getting back into the business of news?
The nation needs to know what's going on and what is at stake. Citizens have depended upon one another because the press didn't do their job. Publicity releases do not a news article make.But we think, deep inside, there's a part of you that's itching to prove what you can do. Somewhere inside, you want to strut your stuff if only to prove to the country that the bloggers (making up Bill Keller's fantasy "circle jerk") are full of crap.
Have at it, big boys & girls. Pimp slap us around by showing just what you can do when you marshall all the reporters you have on staff and use the full weight of your paper to get behind a story.But until that day comes, lose terms like "circler jerks," or "arm chair media critics" (another one Keller's fond of) and drop the attacks on web sites and bloggers because the reality is we've done the reporting you've refused to do."
Reporting!" we can hear the snort coming down from Mount Keller.
Yeah, the same kind of brave reporting you run on Monday where a Timid reporter "reports" from the safety of his or her arm chair on who said what on the Sunday Chat & Chews.
The Associated Press is getting behind this story. A few regional papers have already run their opinion pieces. Rumblings all around, probably not a good time for The Timid to take a pass.As we said in last week's editorial, "Mainstream press, do your damn job."
Hats off to C.I. who got two mentions of the latest from The Sunday Times of London up last night (while on a break from helping us). We're sure that what C.I. could do in fifteen minutes, you with your large staff can do in five. If you apply yourselves. We'll be handing out grades next week.
posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @
Sunday, June 19, 2005