Friday, March 24, 2006

NYT: Edward Wong: fluffer or stand up comedian?

The blindfolded detainees in the dingy hallway line up in groups of five for their turn to see a judge, like schoolchildren outside the principal's office.
Each meeting lasts a few minutes. The judge rules whether the detainee will go free, face trial or be held longer at this Iraqi base in northern Baghdad. But Firas Sabri Ali, squeezed into a fetid cell just hundreds of yards from the judge's office, has watched the inmates come and go for four months without his name ever being called.
He is jailed, along with two brothers and his father, solely as collateral, he says. The Iraqi forces are hunting another brother, suspected of being an insurgent. The chief American medic here says that he believes Mr. Ali to be innocent but that it is up to the Iraqi police to decide whether to free him. The Iraqis acknowledged that they were holding Mr. Ali until they captured his brother.

The above is from Edward Wong's "Challenge for U.S.: Iraq's Handling of Detainees" in this morning's New York Times. From the patronizing headline (which Wong's not reponsible for) through the entire article (which he may or may not be), the article is laughable.

While playing it off as an 'American burden,' Wong gets in lip service/shout out to Abu Ghraib. But don't they get news papers in the Green Zone? (We know they don't receive actual news in the Green Zone judging by the "reports" that hail from there.)

Read this and try not to, oh hell, chuckle. Read it and chuckle. When someone makes a laughingstock out of themselves, go ahead and laugh. From Wong's article:

Such is the challenge facing the American military as it tries to train the Iraqi security forces to respect the rule of law. Three years after the invasion of Iraq, American troops are no longer simply teaching counterinsurgency techniques; they are trying to school the Iraqis in battling a Sunni-led rebellion without resorting to the tactics of a "dirty war," involving abductions, torture and murder.

Does Wong know nothing of what's gone in the last few years? Or take it back even further and ask exactly who was fighting "dirty war"s in Central America? How igonorant of history and current events is he?

"American troops" are attempting to "to school the Iraqis in battling a Sunni-led rebellion without resorting to . . . abudctions, torture and murder." Has Wong not heard of "extraordinary rendention" (fancy term for kidnapping)? Has he not followed the news out of Guantanamo? As to "respect the rule of law" -- he wants to high horse it about rule of law considering the illegal NSA spying on American citizens? (To cite but one example.)

Read it for laughs because there's no reality to the article. It seems built upon the notion of American exceptionalism and Wong stakes out a moral high ground that only someone grossly uninformed of current events (forget history) would feel comfortable standing upon.

For reality, check out Cindy's highlight, Norman Solomon's "Blaming the Media for Bad War News" (Common Dreams):

Unlike progressive media critics, who scarcely have a toehold in mainstream media, the political right has both feet firmly planted inside the dominant corporate media structures.
The myth of the liberal media is an umbrella canard that shelters the corollary myth of anti-war media. From the time that the New York Times splashed stories about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction on front pages before the invasion of Iraq, a cross-section of the U.S. media has remained way behind the curve of what could be credibly reported about gaping holes in White House claims. But even a lapdog press corps is apt to start growling when it has been leashed to lies too many times.
With its war policies unraveling in Iraq -- and in the domestic political arena of the United States -- the administration may continue to avoid directly attacking the press. But, with winks and nods from the White House, some of the president's boosters will be eager to blame news media for Republican difficulties as the midterm congressional elections loom larger on the horizon.

Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today and that Amy Goodman has two events today:

* Amy Goodman in Charlottesville, VA:
Fri, Mar 24
7 PM
Virginia Festival of the Book
McLeod Hall Auditorium
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Free and open to the public.
For more information:
For more information, visit

* Amy Goodman in Atlanta, GA:
Fri, Mar 31
8 PM
Fundraiser for Damu Smith
Hillside Chapel and Truth Center
2450 Cascade Road, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Reception from 6-8 PM.
Guest speakers include:
Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Rev. Timothy McDonald.

I believe there's an upcoming event with Howard Zinn (and others) (tomorrow?); however, no one's e-mailed on it. I'll try to find out about that. If you know about it, e-mail in so we can note it.

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