Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It takes a War Pornographer II

A group of Iraqi soldiers recently refused to go to Baghdad, Iraq's capital, to help restore order there, a senior American military officer said Monday.
[. . .]
The refusal of some Iraqi soldiers in Maysan Province to serve in Baghdad was reported late last week in The Daily Telegraph of London and The Washington Post. General Pittard's comments, however, appear to be the first time that a senior American officer involved in training the Iraqi military has explained the episode and discussed the investigation.

General what? As in hosted on? The above is from War Pornographer Michael R. Gordon, entitled "Iraqi Soldiers Refuse to Go to Baghdad, Defying Order" (New York Times), trying real hard to hit the ground running and praying everyone will forget about Sunday's front page article real quick (see "It takes a War Pornographer"). We won't.

What we will do is note his stats at the end because a War Pornographer tends to know his readiness stats (reviews them at night in bed?):

An additional 12,000 troops have been sent to Baghdad to carry out the operation, 7,000 of whom are Americans. Some of the American troops have been diverted from other parts of Iraq. The Iraqi soldiers who refused to deploy from the Maysan areas were to have been part of the Iraqi reinforcements.

If a war pornographer starts telling you they know how to achieve world peace, run like hell. But when they start spitting out their combats stats and figures, just stand as far away as possible (remember what happened to Jodie Foster's Clarice in Silence of the Lambs) and listen -- they know their war porn.

"7,000 of whom are Americans." We're not a John McCain site, we're not even adjecent to John- McCain-friendly, but we're dropping back to note the "whack-a-mole" conversation of August 3rd:

Senator John McCain: So, General Abizaid, we're moving 7,500 troops into Baghdad, is that correct?
General John Abizaid: The number is closer to 3,500.

It would appear Abizaid's "closer to" a lie.

Zach notes Sean Barry's "Military Officer’s Refusal to Serve in Iraq May Gain City’s Support" (The Daily Californian) on Ehren Watada:

An Army officer facing up to seven years in prison for refusing to deploy to Iraq may receive the symbolic support of the Berkeley City Council early next month.
Council members said they will likely sponsor a resolution in support of Hawaii native 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, stationed at the U.S. Army base in Fort Lewis, Wash., after meeting with the man's father, Bob Watada, on Saturday.
Military investigators have filed preliminary charges of missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming of an officer against Ehren Watada. Watada defied military orders to go to Iraq in June, calling the war illegal and criticizing President George W. Bush's conduct.
He faces a possible court martial pending further review.
"He said 'I'm making a decision' and he made a decision," said Bob Watada in an interview yesterday. "I stand by him and I'm proud of him."
Councilmember Dona Spring is sponsoring the city resolution in defense of Ehren Watada. Spring said the measure is consistent with the council's persistent opposition to the war in Iraq.
"I doubt there will be any objection," she said.

Zach notes: "Ehren Watada, Ehren, not Bob." An allusion to confusion outside the community. From "Editorial: If what Watada's standing up for matters, treat it like it matters" (The Third Estate Sunday Review):

Ehren Watada, the story independent media bungled. For instance, right now, online, you can find a link to a San Francisco Chronicle article. The link reads: "War refuser Bob Watada faces seven years in prison -- and his dad couldn't be prouder 8/27."
You catch the problem, right? Bob Watada isn't facing up to seven years in prison. We're not aware that Bob Watada's father is even alive (though he may be). Bob Watada is the father of Ehren Watada and it's a sign of how bad the coverage of Ehren Watada has been that a biggie of a site could offer a headline about "War refuser Bob Watada".

Lord knows I have typos and mispellings but Zach's really bothered that "War refuser Bob Watada" on Monday night ("at midnight") stood still uncorrected at another site. (The San Francisco Chronicle didn't get Bob Watada and Ehren Watada confused, the confusion came from a website that provides links.) But, Zach, it just proves (see first sentence of editorial) how BADLY, how POORLY independent media has bungled the Ehren Watada story. On a Sunday, someone can read a story about Bob Watada's efforts to get the word out on his son Ehren and get the names mixed up and allow it to stand all day Sunday and all day Monday.

That's not to point the finger at that (unnamed) site. At least they tried, most didn't. And that's been the real story behind the Ehren Watada story for independent media. (And if mixing up father and son's name was the biggest mistake independent media made . . . Last Tuesdays e-mails weren't about an innocent mistake. They were about what members saw as a programmer's attempt to rush in coverage that was a week old and sneak it by an audience.)

Zach wondered why the site was unnamed or we didn't just at least use Mike's nickname for them? Again, they were trying. That's more than a lot did. (Although honestly, we did assume they would fix it by Sunday evening.)

ADDED: Page A16 of this morning's New York Times, "National Briefing," under "Washington:"

FORMER SENATOR GETS TREATMENT Former Senator Max Cleland, who has battled bouts of depression since losing three limbs in Vietnam, is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr. Cleland, a Democrat who represented Georgia in the Senate from 1997 to 2003, said he believed the condition was in part caused by the continuing violence in Iraq. He said he felt depressed, had developed a sense of hyper-vigilance about his security and had difficulty sleeping, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported. Mr. Cleland is receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, an aide said. Mr. Cleland was unseated in 2002 by Saxby Chambliss, a Republican.

Stands to figure, one of the few Senators "Living With War" is an ex-senator. The bulk of the those currently serving in the Senate? They're busy playing Skip-To-My-Lu -- not unlike the majority of the media (big and small).

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.