Saturday, April 01, 2006

NYT: Edward Wong tells you that questions about Carroll were raised by a video (as opposed to, say, the press?)

The video had raised questions about whether Ms. Carroll was suffering from Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages become sympathetic to their captors, or had made the statements either out of fear or as a practical matter, to facilitate her release.

Get ready for another attempt to smear Carroll. The above is from Edward Wong's "Freed Reporter in Recovery in U.S. Zone in Baghdad" in this morning's New York Times. Let's be clear here, the video didn't raise questions. A video can't raise questions. It's a video. It's not interactive. The press raised questions. Coming under some deserved criticism for their portrayals, they now want to pin the blame on a video. That's how the press works. When applause fills the auditorium, "We did it." When boos and hisses are the greeting, we learn that a video raises questions.

Elaine's got a wonderful piece on the way Carroll's been portrayed in the media: "The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation." Note that, as Elaine points out, they don't do that with the male hostages or male journalists. It's only the women that they question and smear. And yesterday's article by Dexter Filkins and Kirk Semple was a smear. It was also a sexist smear. A woman says something you don't agree with and she must be suffering from a "syndrome." Had she not been held hostage, would Dexy and Semple have proffered that Carroll must have been getting her period? Would PMS have gone down as the cause?

Semple receives an end credit but not Dexy. That surprised me at first and then I realized that Filkins couldn't work on the eve of what is, no doubt, for him a religious holiday -- today is, after all, April Fool's Day.

The Associated Press has an article, Matt Moore's "Freed U.S. Journalist Lands in Germany." And, unlike the Times, they just move on. They don't try to justify or minimize their actions. (The AP also popularized the diagnose-medical-conditions-via-press-reports.) Maybe the Times should have done likewise? Martha noted the AP article. She also notes that along with Democracy Now!'s "EXCLUSIVE...Noam Chomsky on Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy" (which is the first half of a two part interview with Chomsky), the Washington Post has "Chat With Chomsky" which is a transcript of an online session:

Washington, D.C.: Do you believe that Latin America can be successful in developing alternatives to Washington Consensus neoliberal policy and do you believe that Globalization is a real thing as often portrayed by writers like Thomas Friedman?
Noam Chomsky: The term "globalization," like most terms of public discourse, has two meanings: its literal meaning, and a technical sense used for doctrinal purposes. In its literal sense, "globalization" means international integration. Its strongest proponents since its origins have been the workers movements and the left (which is why unions are called "internationals"), and the strongest proponents today are those who meet annually in the World Social Forum and its many regional offshoots. In the technical sense defined by the powerful, they are described as "anti-globalization," which means that they favor globalization directed to the needs and concerns of people, not investors,financial institutions and other sectors of power, with the interests of people incidental. That's "globalization" in the technical doctrinal sense. Latin America is now exploring new and often promising paths in rejecting the doctrinal notions of "globalization," and also in the remarkable growth of popular movements and authentic participation in the political systems. How successful this will be is more a matter for action than for speculation.

Billie notes David D. Kirkpatrick's "Call to Censure Bush Is Answered by a Mostly Empty Echo" and she focuses in on John Cornyn (who is one of the senators from her state):

"This hearing, I think, is beyond the pale," said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.
Mr. Cornyn argued that the censure proposal could send a "perverse and false message" of presidential weakness to terrorists around the world and thus "make the jobs of our soldiers and diplomats harder and place them at greater risk."

Billie writes that "If open debate on any issue can 'hurt' the Bully Boy, perhaps Cornyn should make a motion for Congress to shut its doors, go home and stay home until Januaray of 2009?"
Stand up wanna be John Cornyn continues to spout his Cornyisms and, heads up, if John Dean wasn't joking, Corny will get play in Dean's upcoming book.

What did Dean say at the hearings? You won't find it in Kirkpatrick's reporting. He's taking, apparently, a humorous look at the proceedings. Not necessarily a bad way to tackle anything Corny participates in but for those wanting something a bit more substanative can check out (Martha's recommendation) Charles Babington's "Senators Debate Move to Censure Bush
Democrats Bring In Nixon Nemesis, but GOP Defends Chief Executive's Powers
" (Washington Post) which also includes many more laugh lines such as this:

"I can only hope that this constitutionally suspect and, I believe, inflammatory attempt to punish the president for leading this war on terror will not weaken his ability to do so," he said.

Here's your clue, it echoes Corny's statement but is better constructed. Corny and Santorum are boy-toys for who? That's right Miss Priss Instant Cuckoo. But it was a chance for all the wacky right to flaunt their loose grasp of the facts and their estrangement from reality. (I believe the estrangement has led many Republicans to file for divorce.) Here's a section featuring a Republican, the one Rebecca has noted acts as though he's "the heroine to a tennessee williams play that he never had time to write: the mint julup exploded on my best dress!":

The harshest exchange involved Dean and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who rejected the comparison of Bush's surveillance operations to Watergate. Nixon tried to cover up the burglary of Democratic Party offices "for national security reasons," Dean said, because he feared it would lead to evidence of an earlier White House-sponsored burglary related to Vietnam War protester Daniel Ellsberg.
"Give me a break," Graham interjected. "He covered it up to save his hide."

For those interested in the debate (or "debate"), please note that Laura Flanders will be addressing it on today's RadioNation with Laura Flanders. And Eddie notes that BuzzFlash has a news analysis of the debate (or "debate") as well.

Martha notes this from Jonathan Finer's "U.S. Troop Fatalities Hit A Low; Iraqi Deaths Soar" (Washington Post):

But recent weeks have also been among the most lethal of the war for Iraqi civilians, police officers and soldiers, who were killed and wounded at a rate of about 75 a day, a rate three times as high as at the start of 2004. The U.S. military's count of Iraqi civilian casualties is likely far lower than the actual total, because many attacks go unreported.

A visitor's e-mail asks why "no one blogged yesterday!" I don't "blog." The Common Ills is a resource/review. There are many great bloggers (including within this community) but this is a resource/review. (Were it a blog, we'd be focusing on water resources, among other issues. And heads up, next year on or around World Water Day, I inted to make at least one entry about that topic. It's something I thought I'd be able to write about when this site started and an issue that's really important to me. But what goes up here are topics members want addressed and highlights they note. It's not a blog. Unless you consider it a community blog.)

We did have entries up yesterday here. Wally posted "THIS JUST IN! CONDI SLAMS BULLY!" at his site yesterday. Rebecca, Mike and Elaine (and Trina as well but she usually only posts on Saturday) all attended the same play last night and didn't post anything at their usual times. However, Elaine did post early this morning (noted above) as did Mike with "Good morning. We're going to dive right in with D..." (that's the first line from Mike's post which means he was very tired when he posted around 2:54 this morning). Rebecca often skips Fridays and grabs Saturday and I'll assume that's likely today. The e-mail doesn't note Cedric's "Afghanistan the forgotten 'liberation'" ; Betty's "Thomas Friedman's Frostings and Facials" or Kat's "The downward spiral of democracy under the Bully Boy" all of which went up Thursday night. I do know that Ruth's almost done writing her Ruth's Public Radio report so that will be up in the hour (Dallas and I will hunt down tags and links). She's focusing on fewer shows this entry because she's noting a magazine. Two shows that will be focused on by others are Flashpoints which Rebecca's adopting as her public radio program to note and Guns and Butter which Kat is adopting as the one for her site. (Flanders show, which airs on some public radio, community and college radio stations, will continue to be a weekly focus at The Third Estate Sunday Review.)

As Rebecca noted:

now this week, elaine's written about home fries, kat's written about guns and butter and i've written about flashpoints. don't ask ruth to cover those in her report because they've been covered. there are hours and hours and hours of programming each week, each day, and there's only so much 1 person can even try to cover. if it ever looks like i'm going a week without covering flashpoints, drop me an e-mail to remind me. there was a feature with some 1 (i think his name was kyle) that i really enjoyed but i'm learning the regulars' names still so, until i do learn their names, i'll probably just focus on the guests.

It's about helping out Ruth and it's also about utilizing independent media and not just following what the big broadcast and cable networks yammer on about. You saw Mike noting CounterSpin twice this week and that's part of the same thing. The mainstream media failed to seriously question the claims (false ones) put foward by the administration in the lead up to the illegal war. We can, and should, critique them and hold them accountable but, in this community, we should also do our part to get the word out on independent and alternative media.

Which brings us to our last highlight. If you counted on the mainstream media to provide you with your news, you probably didn't register Cindy Sheehan until Camp Casey. If you counted on alternative media (such as Democracy Now!), you were already familiar with Sheehan. Brady notes her "Casey Austin Sheehan: May 29, 1979 - April 04, 2004" (Common Dreams):

As far as we can piece things together, March 31st, two years ago is the day that the First Cavalry arrived in Sadr City, a slum in Baghdad, formerly named "Saddam City," Iraq. I say "as far as we can piece together" because we have heard many different stories, but this date seems to be the one that we have heard most often.
Casey began a letter to us, his family, on April 1, 2004, telling us that he finally had an address where we could send letters and packages, and most of all, calling cards. The one and only time he called home from Kuwait, it had cost him 400 minutes just to connect the call and he didn't have much time to talk. That was the last we heard from him. He called about 12:30 one morning and said it was "hot" he was on his way to mass, and they should be convoying to Iraq at the end of that week. In his letter he mentioned that he had talked to me that morning, but I probably wouldn't remember it, because he had awakened me. Little did he know, I will never forget that call and I pray fervently that I never forget the sound of his voice.
In his letter he also expressed regret that he wouldn't be home for his baby sister, Janey's, high school graduation that June. Little did he know that he would be home. He also told us that the First Cav was expecting a pretty "smooth year" because the unit that they were replacing had only 2 casualties for the entire year before. Maybe he knew, maybe he didn't know that the day he arrived in Baghdad, four mercenary soldiers from Blackwater Security Company were hanging off of a bridge in Falluja and the proverbial doo-doo was about to hit the fan in Iraq and less than 5 days later he would draw his last breath in an alley thousands of miles away from home, shot dead by a rebel who didn't welcome him with "flowers and chocolates." I wonder what his last thought was as he lay dying for George and the other Chickenhawks.
I would beg Casey not to go to Iraq before he left because we both knew it was wrong. He would say: "I wish I didn't have to, Mom, but the sooner I get there the sooner I will be home." Little did Casey know that not even 4 weeks after the First Cavalry left Ft. Hood, that he would be coming home in a cardboard box in the freight area of a United Airlines 747.

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