It's official, Dexter Filkins was born trash and he'll die trash. There's no hope for him.
Instead of continuing to fight for the downtown, or rebuild it, they are going to get rid of it, or at least a very large part of it.
They say they are planning to bulldoze about three blocks in the middle of the city, part of which has been reduced to ruins by the fighting, and convert them into a Green Zone, a version of the fortified and largely stable area that houses the Iraqi and American leadership in Baghdad.
That's what he writes today in "In Ramadi, Fetid Quarters and Unrelenting Battles" (New York Times). Bully Boy really needs the 'award winning' Dexy. You'd think there'd be fall out for Dexy after he was outed (by the Washington Post) as the go-to-guy when the military needs to spread propaganda but it didn't happen. The same crowd that screamed for the head of Judith Miller took a pass on nailing Dexy to the wall. They'll probably continue to do so. A) He's not a woman and b) they're apparently caught up in the lies of the war as well. (Which might be why they offer so much cover to war crimes even when the courts find that, yes, they did happen.)
"Reduced to ruins by the fighting"? That's a nice way to "cover" what's gone on in Ramadi, kind of like the way Dexy was at Falluja in November of 2004 and didn't see anything there either, right? In the pages of the Times, Scott Shane sneered, mocked and trashed those who were raising the issue of white phosphorus being used in Falluja ("The mainstream American news media, whose reporters had witnessed the fighting and apparently seen no evidence of this, largely ignored the claim."). Of course, he had to show up a few days later with his hat in his hand, begging. Because white phosphorus was used in Falluja. Dexy didn't tell you, Dexy didn't seem to notice anything that went down.
So it makes sense that the military would see him as their ideal plant for all propaganda and it makes sense that they'd see their guy in Falluja as just the one they'd need in Ramadi as well.
Let's review the Geneva Conventions because it's doubtful Dexy has:
Article 18: Civilian hospitals organized to care to the wounded and sick, infrim and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
Why does that matter? Though Dexy doesn't tell you (what does he ever tell the readers except his own brand of propaganda and soft porn?), the Associated Press does:
U.S. and Iraqi forces on Wednesday raided a hospital in Ramadi that they suspect is a base for insurgents.
Want to review Article 18 again? Want to pretend Dexy didn't hear rumblings?
Though most remain unaware, this happened in Falluja as well. (Those late to the party can read Dahr Jamail's "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" which is in PDF format, a summary of it is here for those who don't have Abdobe.)
It's amazing that the paper of record can ridicule the claims of what happened in Falluja and use, as their defense, their own 'mainstream' reporters but when the claims are validated, there's no harm, no foul for their own 'mainstream' reporters. It's equally amazing that when even the Supreme Court rules (last week in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld) that the Genevea Conventions are neither "quaint" nor "outdated" (Alberto sobs in the halls of justice) that it appears the sob-sister of the war set is going to again keep the heavily made up mouth shut about what goes down -- just as he did in Ramadi.
The war drags on and, again, it's reporters like Go-Go-Boy in the Green Zone Dexy (who must be thrilled that the big boys in the military are building a private Green Zone in Ramadi for little old him) that allow to drag on. They lie day after day in print. Some lies hurt more than others (Falluja for instance) but they're all lies and as long as they're accepted as truth, the war drags on.
We need some reality. Tom notes Dahr Jamail's "Orwell in Iraq: Snow Jobs, Zarqawi and Bogus Peace Plans" (Truth Out):
My personal opinion is that the only way we will lose this war is if we pull out prematurely," said Colonel Jeffrey Snow, who commands a brigade of soldiers in Iraq. Snow, as reported by AFP on June 30th, fears losing public support in the US for the ongoing occupation of Iraq because of "negative perceptions" at home due to news that is "always bad."
Reuters reported, also on June 30th, Snow admitting that resistance attacks in Baghdad have risen despite the recent security crackdown that brought tens of thousands of American and Iraqi soldiers, new checkpoints and curfews in the capital city.
The same Col. Snow, unable (or more likely, unwilling) to provide statistics on the increased number of attacks, instead used the excuse that the steps the US military took to tell the Iraqi people about the new security measures kept resistance fighters informed of the military's plans. On that note, it couldn't be more obvious that someone in his position is there for his ability to follow orders, rather than his aptitude toward the application of logic.
In another dazzling flash of brain activity, Snow, who obviously thinks "war" is a suitable term for the illegal occupation of Iraq, commented, "We expected there would be an increase in attacks, and that is precisely what's happened." He also added, "I believe that these attacks are going to go down over time. So I remain optimistic."
Snow is obviously annoyed with the fact that select media outlets continue to report the increasing violence, ongoing deaths of Iraqi civilians and US soldiers, and that the country is, at this point, essentially as devastated as it was when Hulagu Khan's Mongols sacked Baghdad 748 years ago.
Mia notes Medea Benjamin's "A Troops Home Fast" (CounterPunch):
The invasion of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the September 11 tragedy, is indeed a war of interest and intrigue that has usurped the standard of freedom. While the invasion morphed from a war against Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction to a war to free the Iraqi people, the Iraqis increasingly came to view the U.S. forces as occupiers, not liberators. The abuses at Abu Ghraib, the destruction of Fallujah, the Marine rampage in Haditha-all are reflections of how, in our search for "monsters to destroy," we have found them in ourselves. And the refusal of our elected officials to put a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops-despite the call to do so from both the American and Iraqi people-shows how our involvement has entrapped us "beyond the power of extrication."Many peace-loving Americans have been trying to extricate our nation from this war of conquest by pushing for our troops to come home. We have organized massive rallies, lobbied Congress, held month-long vigils outside the White House and gone to jail for committing acts of civil disobedience. But it's obviously not enough, for the war rages on.
Even with the combined cleansing effect of Jamail and Benjamin, Dexy still stinks up the place. Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today. The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the new york times