Thursday, December 28, 2006

NYT: A joke, a dirty, old joke

Here is Mark Santora's article in this morning's New York Times, "Sectarian Ties Weaken Duty’s Call for Iraq Forces," in full:

Blah, blah, blah Shi'ites.
Blah, blah, blah Sunnis.
Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah.
What will Bush doe?
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah.

How he managed to type the above with one thumb up his ass, I'll never know. But Little Man Marcs churns out another tale in today's paper and it's the usual crap -- Saddam, Saddam, Saddam -- that breaks for a moment to note that a US marine was announced dead by the US military on Wednesday -- and the two soldiers who were also announced? Apparently Little Man Marcs only cares about the marine and can't bother to note the two US soldiers -- nor the Latvian soldiers who died yesterday. But for funniest passage, note this:

Americans handed control of security in Najaf Province to the Iraqis in an elaborate ceremony last week, but local leaders questioned the significance of the transfer if Americans could still direct raids there.

We're apparently all supposed to be stupid -- Najaf (as we noted last week -- even walking visitors through it slowly) was only 'turned over' in an attempt to get Shi'ites to side against al-Sadr. It didn't work. And it wasn't 'turned over' because that's where the US military shot dead Sahib al-Amiri, a member of Sadr's bloc. Marc's telling of it is priceless for all it omits.

Let's leave Little Man Marcs and the New York Times and turn to the land of reality -- Nancy Trejos and Sudarsan Raghavan's "Close Adviser to Sadr Dies in U.S.-Iraqi Raid" (Washington Post) reports on Najaf and manages to include all that Little Man Marcs can't tell and much, much more. For instance this "Iraqi" raid that the US was just providing support for (it was the US that shot the dead), if that's really the case, if Iraqis were in charge of that raid and calling the shots for it, then wouldn't Nouri al-Maliki, if he had any questions at all, be asking them of the Iraqi army which he supposedly commands? From the Post:

On Wednesday, Maliki asked senior U.S. commanders to explain the motive for Wednesday's raid, advisers to the prime minister said. One adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Maliki has set up a committee to investigate the incident, underscoring his concern that the raid could trigger further violence and dissuade Sadr from political engagement.

He's asked the US military "to explain the motive for Wednesday's raid". Translation, the Iraqi military was not leading the raid, the US military was. Also from the story:

Amiri's 19-year-old son, Karrar Sahib al-Amiri, said Iraqi and U.S. troops knocked on the family's door at 6 a.m. When he answered it, he asked the soldiers what they wanted, he recalled. They pushed him aside and stormed into the house, he said. His mother shouted at them while his father ran to the roof. Amiri said his father tried jumping to the roof of the next house but could not.
The soldiers followed him upstairs, the son said. He said his mother asked an Iraqi soldier why they were there. "We want to question him," Amiri recalled the soldier saying.
A few minutes later, the son heard four gunshots. He found his father on the roof with a bullet in his head and three bullets in his chest, he said.

Not surprisingly, the Times wasn't able to find a statement from the family -- or at least to run one. Yesterday, the fatality count for US troops who have died in Iraq this month was 94 and today it's 98. The worst month for US troops deaths this year was October with 106. That's eight less than the total for December currently stands at. But you'd never grasp that from the New York Times. Little Man Marcs has now twice mentioned fatalities as an aside in a report and twice undercounted what the US military had announced. More often than not, the deaths don't even get included as an aside in the article and, as anyone who's suffered through the Times this month knows, the deaths aren't cause for an article from the paper of no record.

Today the US military announced: "An improvised explosive device detonated near a dismounted Multi-National Division - Baghdad patrol, killing two Soldiers southwest of the Iraqi capital Dec. 27. " And the US military announced: "An improvised explosive device detonated near a Multi-National Division - Baghdad patrol, killing one Soldier in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital Dec. 27." Don't expect to read about that or the mounting toll for US troops this month in the Times anytime soon -- they've got a war to sell. The latest deaths move the total since the start of the illegal war to 2987 -- thirteen short of the 3,000 mark.

Yesterday's Democracy Now! (noted here) resulted in at least 87 e-mails complaining that the program didn't address Gerald Ford's role in the Warren Commission and at least 210 questioning Barbara Ehrenreich's judgement (it's quite simple -- she believes anything the Times tells her -- despite stating otherwise, she obviously read the Idiot Bellafonte's hatchet job and common sense didn't dictate to her that she should question that piece as she would any other piece at the hideous paper). Micah e-mailed to note that 'importantly' was mispelled by him in his e-mail "before anyone asks." I didn't notice, I just copied and pasted the line he noted that could be used. I'll go an fix it today. Brandon notes Elaine's post last night and yes, I did tell her that Democracy Now! also couldn't bother to note the US fatalities or, for that matter, the fact that at least 100 deaths were recorded on Tuesday. I had a line about that in the snapshot but pulled it because I was still angry over dime-store wisdom. (Should that read "nickle and dimed-store wisdom"?)

After this posts, the year-in-review goes up. I'm going to do a quick read of it before posting which shouldn't delay it since it takes at least 25 minutes for it to post. For those concerned that independent media won't get the 'attention' it deserves, fear not, those who goofed off are called out.

The e-mail address for this site is And I'm working all the accounts myself until January (and have been since last week) so expect me to be slow in replying (to members) and please note the topic of your e-mails in the heading (such as "Highlight") to be sure I see it in time. P.S., I'm not interested in Woody's tales from the beyond. Saying something in 2004 -- if it mattered -- needed to be reported in 2004. I also have no interest in noting the week long Ford hysteria.