Saturday, December 03, 2005

NYT: Iraq

In this morning's New York Times, Micah feels that Richard W. Stevenson has "the article on Iraq today" -- "Bush Did Not Mention Attacks in Rose Garden Appearance." From the article:

As he went before the cameras in the Rose Garden on Friday morning, President Bush was aware of bad news that had not yet been made public: that 10 marines had been killed by a bomb in Iraq. But he made no mention of the attack, sticking to the sunny White Houses message of the day that the economy is strong and the outlook "as bright as it's been in a long time."

Micah notes that it's just like Bully Boy sitting in a classroom instead of addressing reality. On Bully Boy's latest attempt at Operation Happy Talk, Micah asked that we note this from Stevenson's article:

The intensity of the public relations effort was especially striking given the news that the White House was citing. The gain of 215,000 jobs in November was certainly healthy and signaled that the hurricanes had not dented the economy much, but would not typically be the kind of development that would lead to a Rose Garden appearance by Mr. Bush. During the eight years of the Clinton administration, the economy generated an average of 240,000 jobs a month.
Moreover, Mr. Bush and his allies ignored or glossed over statistics suggesting that the economy, in the short run as well as the long run, faced big challenges. Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, used a speech on Friday to warn of the dangers from the budget deficit. And while job growth has picked up over the last two years, wages have continued to lag behind inflation, leaving many families struggling to keep up with the cost of living.

On the attack that resulted in the death of ten American troops and eleven more wounded, Rachel asks that we note this from David M. Halbfinger's "For Some Marines, Deaths of Comrades Fuel Doubts:"

"I have no problem going over there, doing what my country asks," said Matt, who asked that his name not be used because he was afraid of retaliation from his superiors. "But sometimes it seems like there's no point any more. We've gone, we did what we needed to do, but we're still there. That country's always going to be fighting. That's their history. If we were to stay till we're finished, we'd probably never leave."

If either article seems stronger than the actual reporting from Iraq, there's probably a reason for that.

Zach feels Edward Wong's trying to become Edward Wrong with "U.S. Goals for Iraqi Forces Meet Success and Challenges in Najaf." Zach refs an interview Randi Rhodes did with a Time magazine reporter this week (Zach doesn't give the date but it was either Wednesday or Thursday, I believe. Air America Place archives broadcasts.) The reporter pointed out that US forces were leading, not Iraqi forces. Wong uses qualifiers like "for the most part." Was Wong there? Who knows. Sometimes, Times reporters do venture out of the Green Zone with military escorts. Possibly this was one of those times. Or possibly the unnamed Iraqi mentioned in the "end credits" is responible for the observations?

New topic: Like Ian Fisher, I spread out these entires, inserting here, there and everywhere. (Fisher caused a stir during the death watch for a draft of an article, that shouldn't have been available online, which stated something along the lines of "insert ___ here." I forget whether it was supposed to be the voice of the "right" or the voice of the "center." It's the Times, they rarely have left voices.) Point, I never thought it was the great tragedy of our lives. And I do that here all the time when I realize a quote from an e-mail or a highlight will fit somewhere in an entry.

Zach had a point to make re: Wong's article and the Times reporter. But for the last hour and a half, I've been shut out of both e-mail accounts (private and That effects not only Zach's quote but the highlights for this post. That includes The Nation's book offerings. The plan was to include the books from The Nation as well as from an organization that e-mailed the public site. Hopefully those can be included no later than tomorrow.

With regards to Fisher, if anything came from that article (anything truly revealing) it was the paper's "on the one hand" and "on the other hand style." I don't believe I commented on that at the time here (though I think I have at The Third Estate Sunday Review). That's how I write. If I know a paragraph or sentence that I think works, I slap it down. I then come back and write around it. I did that in college as well. I'd grab my research, write a paragraph on each sub-point from a loose outline (each subpoint got it's own page), then I'd figure out the order and work on my transitions. After the body was in order, I'd write my conclusion and then my introduction.

Not everyone writes from opening sentence to final sentence. (A more common approach is that people write to a stopping point, then begin rewriting what they've already written, going a little further with each rewrite.) It works for me. Except when I'm shut out of the e-mail accounts.

When you read below, you'll see that the highlights were going to be books. There was no plot to push BuzzFlash over any other outlet. We will note The Nation's books as well as the other organizations. And if any member has additional book outlets they want to note, e-mail and, provided I can get into the accounts, we'll note those as well. Ruth's entry was already pulled out of the e-mails and passed on to Dallas who hunted down links (thank you, Dallas). Martha e-mailed on Laura Flander's guests tonight and that information is saved in a draft for me to write around it. I'd copied Maria's entry before I started on the Times' entries so that will go up as well.

But if you had a highlight and it's not here, that's why. If there's something you need to pass on ASAP, use the third e-mail address listed in the gina & krista round-robin. (Labeled "backup.")

Someone (I think it was Kylie) e-mailed on Dahr Jamail's "'Pacified' Fallujah" (Iraq Dispatches):

Yesterday morning on NPR (National Pentagon Radio) their reporter in Baghdad was asked if he felt what Mr. Bush said in a recent speech was true-was the US military strategy in Iraq working? He replied that he felt what Mr. Bush said was true in some cases, like in Fallujah. The NPR reporter referred to Fallujah as "pacified."
"Pacified" Fallujah looks like a dead six year-old child in that city, shot by a US sniper in the Al-Dubbat neighborhood on December 1st, according to Al-Sharqiyah.
"Pacified" Fallujah looks like "two US soldiers were killed by sniper fire on Wednesday [30 November] in the city of Al-Fallujah, [60 kilometers] west of Baghdad, according to eyewitnesses. A tense atmosphere prevailed in the city after the US forces besieged some of its quarters and blocked the main street, while National Guard forces closed shops and asked the residents to stay in their homes." Again according to Al-Sharqiyah.
"Pacified" Fallujah looks like 10 Marines killed and 11 wounded by a roadside bomb while on a "foot patrol near Fallujah" on Thursday December 1st, which was the deadliest attack on American troops in nearly four months.
So if you want to keep thinking there is peace in Fallujah, you’d better ignore the facts on the ground and keep listening to NPR "presstitutes" talking on the radio from their hotel rooms in Baghdad.
Surprised to hear this about NPR? Don’t be.
According to Robert McChesney, president of Free Press, a national, non-profit, media reform group in the US which works to support a diverse and independent media, our public broadcasting outlets are already infiltrated by Bush Administration ideologues.

On the Before You Click onto a Commercial Site, Give the Gift of Democracy by Supporting Progressive Books, DVDs and CDs. These Authors, Actors, Directors and Musicians Need Your Financial Support, As Does BuzzFlash. Vote with Your Dollars. There's No Excuse Not to. Think of a World Without BuzzFlash -- Not That We're Going Anywhere -- and Then Buy from BuzzFlash on Holiday Gift Day, Saturday, December 3.

BuzzFlash doesn't accept advertising so that it can remain an independent voice. Eddie note this book this week:

Molly Ivins Loved this Book, So Did We: "An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas," by Diane Wilson
Clueless George Goes to War. Read All About It.

In addition (Denise fowarded her e-mail from BuzzFlash and asked that we note the selections):

Robert Greenwald's "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" for $12.95 on Wal-Mart Uses Public Relations to Create an Image Completely At Odds with the Ugly Reality of Its Corporate Practices and Disregard for Employees and Customers. It's Kind of a Corporate Version of the Bush Administration. Now Shipping.

"Punishment Park": You Know Cheney Must Have Seen This Film. See What He Has Planned for You.

I'll also note that the new issue of The Progressive has a feature entitled 'Our Favorite Books of 2005" which has book suggestions from Kate Clinton, Ruth Conniff, Anne-Marie Cusac, Elizabeth DiNovella, Susan J. Douglas, Andrea Lewis (a favorite of Ruth's and her latest Ruth's Morning Edition Report is ready and will be posting later this morning), John Nichols, Adolph L. Reed, Jr. and Matthew Rothschild. This feature covers ten pages in print but isn't available online. However, by clicking here for the current issue, you can see The Wizard of Oz inspired cover (drawn by Tomer Hanuka).

Starting with "Now book notes" was the first section written for this entry. Again my apologies for not having the other two book outlets noted.

The e-mail address for this site is There is one more Times entry and it contains at least one highlight e-mailed by a member (I'm only remembering one).