Monday, March 20, 2006

NYT: "Oakland Nears Final Payouts for Protesters Hurt by Police" (Carolyn Marshall)

A clash between the police and antiwar protesters here nearly three years ago will cost the City of Oakland more than $2 million, including dozens of payouts to people injured when officers fired wooden dowels, bean bags and rubber pellets.
The Oakland City Council is scheduled Tuesday to approve the final payments related to the incident, which was the most violent of many protests nationwide in the early weeks of the Iraq war. At least 58 people were injured, including nine longshoremen who were caught in the crossfire on their way to work.

The above is from Carolyn Marshall's "Oakland Nears Final Payouts for Protesters Hurt by Police" in this morning's New York Times.

"Which was the most violent on many protests nationwide . . ." The protest was violent? Or the response? Because there's nothing to support Marshall's assertion that the "protest" was violent. Oh she tosses out the nonsense about the rock throwing that most people gave up on after the city decided to settle. She also notes some other things and makes comments to the effect of "No one can ever know." Well if no one can ever know, why is she labeling the protest itself violent?

The "protest" isn't paying the police department damages. The city government is paying out ("more than $2 million") so let's be a little more precise in our reporting.

And yes, this continues the New York Times' pattern of ignoring protests. There were protests around the world against the invasion of Iraq yesterday, the day before, and there's not been a story on that. Today? We get a story about police response (which was violent) to a protest three years ago and Marshall wants to dub the protest (and not the response by police) "the most violent."

The paper can only wet dream about officials. That's really all they can do in print. While pretending to cover the nation, the world. It doesn't cut it, it never has.

But Bumiller pens another floating op-ed (White House Letter). When we'll ever get a National Letter is anyone's guess. But "reporters" for the paper will always be allowed to drool over "officials." They get to do so again twice today. In Marshall's article as well as in David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker's "On Anniversary, Bush and Cheney See Iraq Success:"

On the third anniversary of a war that they once expected to be over by now, President Bush and senior officials argued Sunday that their strategy was working despite escalating violence in Iraq, even as a former Iraqi prime minister once favored by the White House declared that a civil war had already started.
Displaying a carefully calibrated mix of optimism about eventual victory and caution about how long American troops would be involved, the officials who marked the day -- including Mr. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld -- sounded much as they had on the first anniversary of the invasion. At that time, the rebuilding effort had just begun, the insurgency was far less fierce, and the American occupation had suppressed, temporarily, the sectarian violence scarring Iraq today.

And the only "Casey" mentioned in the reporting of the paper in the last few days is General George W. Casey Jr. so we'll note Mia's highlight, Cindy Sheehan's "Third Anniversary" (Common Dreams):

As the country of Iraq disintegrates more everyday, and we know that the bodies are piling up in the morgues faster than they can be buried, it is time to honor the sacrifices of our young people who were misused, ill-used and killed in Iraq by bringing their still living buddies home immediately. The Iraqi people know that the violence won't stop until the occupiers leave. The insurgency cannot go on without targets. It is time to realize that no matter how hard the Pentagon works at its propaganda machine, terrorism cannot be stopped by killing innocent people. Terrorism can only be stopped by analyzing what is causing the terrorism and changing behavior accordingly.
Buddhists say that everyone dies twice. Once when his/her body dies and once when the last person who remember him/her dies. I want Casey and his buddies to live forever. I want the memories of our children who have been tragically killed in this war to be honored by remembering them as the last casualties of the military industrial complex not as pawns used in an evil game of corporate greed run amok and governmental corruption and cold-heartedness gone unchecked.
Finally, today George said that the temptation to abandon "our" commitments is strong. Did he have a mouse in his pocket? I never made a commitment to preemptive war. I didn't authorize Congress to abrogate their responsibilities to declare war. I didn't give the orders to invade a country that was absolutely no threat to the USA. I also didn't give the orders to use depleted uranium and wmd in Iraq. I wasn't the one who devoted myself to torture and imprisoning people without due process. I didn't lie to the world about the reasons for the invasion. I have no commitments to honor in Iraq but I believe George's commitments are criminal and they should be abandoned as swiftly as humanly possible.
I am not a war criminal: Most of us are not. These are not my commitments. It is time for all of us who don't want to be linked or identified with the criminal cabal in DC to stand up loudly and repudiate the behavior of the ones who would lead the world to disaster. It is time to declare stridently that these crimes against humanity are not being done in our names, or with our consent or approval.
Instead of a 4th anniversary of shock and awe next year, we need to strive together everyday to bring our troops home and turn our mourning into celebration and our depression into joy.
Honor the dead. Protect the living. End the war.

Sheehan and every other voice that isn't an "official" was shut out by the Times this weekend and today. But when war is nothing but a "policy decision" there's no need for the paper of record to offer anything but "officials" apparently. If you missed Democracy Now! Friday, be sure to check out the segement where war pornographer and New York Times "reporter" Michael Gordon attempts to rewrite history and public record: "New York Times Chief Military Correspondent Michael Gordon Defends Pre-WarReporting on WMDs" and be sure to listen, watch or read (transcripts) of today's Democracy Now!

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