Sunday, August 20, 2006

NYT: Wong and Adham report, Gordo gets all itchy in the crotch

Edward Wong and Yerevan Adham's "Iranian Shells Land in Kurdish Villages in Northern Iraq, Killing 2" attempst to make some sense of an ongoing issue the predates the Bully Boy's illegal invasion of Iraq. How well they fare, I'll leave to others to decide. The border skirmishes have been going on for some time. Since the invasion, there have been charges and counter-charges. The story that they're reporting on today hit the wires late last week. It could be argued that they're not noting what Turkey and Iran claim were attacks on them (and have said they are responding to). But it's a complicated, historical issue and I believe this is the first article addressing it. As a starting point, I won't fault it. But I will note again that Turkey and Iran have stated the attacks from Northern Iraq have been ongoing and that their actions are in response. (They're saying that doesn't make it true.) (Doesn't make it false either.) If the Times is going to follow this story in the future, it's incumbent upon them to visit the areas that the other two countries say have been attacked. The accusation against Iran (training forces to fight in Iraq) is repeated, the reporters also note that this accusation has been denied by military flack William B. Caldwell (which doesn't make the denial false necessarily) (that last parenthetical was a joke). (If I'm going "easy," I'm dead tired and not, as one reporter e-mailed, "Giving Wong a free pass day after day." Wong's been taken to task here before and will be, law of averages, again.)

That's it for Iraq in the news. War pornographer Michael Gordon has an article in the Sunday Magazine that was read over the phone to me awhile back. I wasn't in the mood for it then and I'm not this morning. Short review: Gordon loves his war machine. If he enlisted and the drill sgt. barked, "You love you some military, don't you, boy? You love you some military so much you want to drop to your knees and lick its hairy balls!" -- Gordon's response of "Sir! Yes, sir!" would be completely believable to all observing. In the article, the man who can't weigh in on the lies that led to war finds time to sob and sniffle for the Iraqi army. There's "manly" and then there's "man crush," Gordo crossed the line long ago.

Devon notes Trina's commentary on the NSA ruling and wonders if I'd read it? Not yesterday when we noted all the sites that had posted. I called Trina and she said she was almost finished with that so I noted it as a site that was posting. I have read it (it's highlighted at The Third Estate Sunday Review and, in fact, we spent last night making several batches of fudge from the recipe Trina shares in the post) and think she has captured it wonderfully. What you're seeing is another right-wing echo chamber moment where they get together and share the same talking points, create a mini-explosion, amplify it via the internet and the news industry comes along and picks it up as though it were a genuine story (when it's just an echo). Very similar to what happened with the 60 Minutes II story that was never proven wrong but the 'traditional' media wasn't interested in right or wrong, they were interested in a frenzy. To front page that froth yesterday, as the Times did, one would think the ABA had come out and held a conference slamming the decision. Trina took an equally (if not more) valid approach, mine was to note that in contrast to Anne Diggs Taylor decision in ACLU v. NSA (and isn't it funny how the mainstream, the Times, Time, CNN, AP, have all rendered it a decision without a case name, as though it appeared on the docket as Anne Diggs Taylor Will Butt In For No Reason) the way it was questioned (not covered) in contrast to T.S. Ellis III's decision which will hurt tax payers and should actually be examined. There was no talk of who appointed Ellis or how he'd ruled in the past, no discussion of opinions of his ruling. How much of that has to do with the Diggs Taylor's race and gender would be a worthy angle to pursue.

Devon assumed I did agree with Trina and thought it would be a nice way to note her post again. (Trina posts once a week and her site doesn't always get the attention from me that it should -- my opinion and my apologies for that.) And on posts, Blogger Seth posted his latest ("The Saga Continues") last night.

New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Iraq: This is what failure looks like
TV: Kyle XY -- SEE!
Whack-a-mole (Recipe for Disaster)
Iraq, the war independent media forgot
Recuriters struggle to meet lowered targets but gays and lesbians are still 'unfit'
Cindy Sheehan (again) Ups the Ante
8 Films Taking an Indepth Look At Life Today
Challenged? We respond
Recommended Read: Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse
"three times as many people were probably killed in Iraq in the same period"

Somewhere in the above is noted that 16 people are dead today in Baghdad and 230 wounded from a sniper attack on pilgrims. The chaos and violence continue, even under the beefed up, super beefed up, so-called 'crackdown' (with its traffic ban, curfew, body searches, et al).
On the topic of Iraq, Keesha noted Eli Sander's "Putting the Iraq War on Trial" (Time):

In a packed hearing room on this Army base south of Seattle Thursday, lawyers for Lt. Watada used the opportunity to put the war itself on trial, trying to prove he was right to see the war as "manifestly illegal," and as a result, to refuse to participate. "A soldier has an obligation to disobey illegal orders," said Francis Boyle, a Harvard-trained professor of international law who testified on behalf of Lt. Watada and whose mentor wrote the Army's field manual for land warfare. "Under the circumstances of this war, if he had deployed, he would have been facilitating a Nuremberg crime against peace."
Boyle, along with a former United Nations Undersecretary-General and a retired army colonel, argued that the U.S. decision to attack Iraq in 2003 without U.N. authorization made the war illegal from the beginning. He went further, arguing that the failure of the Bush Administration to find either weapons of mass destruction or a provable link between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks showed that Congress was persuaded "by means of fraud" when it voted to authorize the war.
Lt. Watada, 28, is from Honolulu and was part of a Stryker unit that deployed to Iraq on June 22 -- without him. He joined the Army after Sept. 11 and initially served in South Korea, where he received stellar marks from his superiors. As recently as last summer he was willing to go to Iraq. But the more he learned about the war, the more doubts he had, according to his public statements.
In January, after he became convinced that the war was illegal, he tried to resign rather than go to Iraq, but the Army wouldn't let him do so. As a compromise, he asked to be sent instead to Afghanistan, a war he supports. His request was not granted.

Keesha also wanted this noted: "I find it very sad that a story even Time magazine can find the time to cover doesn't rate from most of the independent media." Agreed. (See "Iraq, the war independent media forgot.")

On the attack in Baghdad, I just read Martha's e-mail. Here's Amit R. Paley's "Shiite Pilgrims Attacked in Baghdad" (Washington Post):

Gunmen attacked a group of pilgrims attending one of Shiite Islam's most sacred religious holidays Sunday , killing 16 pilgrims and wounding more than 230 others, authorities said.
The attacks occurred despite a weekend-long ban on vehicle traffic in Baghdad, which the government imposed to prevent violence as millions of expected pilgrims converged on the city.

And Carl had a question about an article in the Times but didn't include a link (I'm trying to get to bed and not going to go hunt it down -- or so I say before hunting it down). I believe it's a typo and that the word intended was "self-referential" and not "self-reverential" although the latter certainly applies to Brian Williams, Jaques Steinberg is generally far kinder than I am. (To which many reply, "Who isn't?")

The e-mail address for this site is Isaiah goes up after this.