Saturday, April 28, 2007

NYT revises recent history

Resisting War
The council voted 8-0-1 to support a resolution from the Peace and Justice Commission declaring May 15 of every year Conscientious Objector and War Resister's Day. Councilmember Gordon Wozniak abstained.

The above is from Judith Scherr's "Council Says No to Chicks in Cages and Yes to Draft Resisters" (Berkeley Daily Planet). I'm uploading somethings for Kat's upcoming reviews (she announced what she was planning to review in her Thursday post -- but she forgot one) and that's taken about an hour. Which was fine because the New York Times, ay-yi-yi. Kat's got one review 99% ready to post (it's written, she wants to do a quick read of it later today), and I was looking for anything to avoid the Times.

So let's jump in. Edward Wong. The article's headlined "4 Iraqis Held On Supiscion Of Smuggling Iranian Arms" and it's better written than anything Gordo could do -- "The military did not provide any evidence against the men" ends the third paragraph, for instance. (Though it should probably be in the first paragraph.) But what about this:

American military officials have been saying for months that groups in Iran have supplied Shiite militias in Iraq with the bombs, which are responsible for a growing number of American fatalities.

Wong quickly notes no evidence has been presented. That's not the problem. But are we all supposed to have lost our short term memories?

That's not what the US military has been doing for months. First it attempted, repeatedly (and the paper ran Gordo's nonsense on this) to say that the Iranian government was providing bombs and training. When that laughable claim wouldn't sell (after much time and energy trying to push it), they dropped back to the default position of, "Oh yeah! Well all I know is someone in Iran is doing it!"

And that really does need to be noted for several reasons.

First off, that original, false claim was supposed to get the war drums really beating and give Americans the night sweats as they tossed and turned as if it was 2002 all over again. The administration (and make no mistake that the administration is in charge of the majority of what the military says to the press and to Congress -- though an op-ed yesterday tried to pin the blame -- laughably -- on Congress) had to back off because that claim was so unsourced and so laughable and, mainly, because the people are no longer as likely to give Bully Boy the lying room he so needs to scare the nation. Note "the people."

The paper? They were perfectly happy to run with that unsourced, unsupported nonsense. As though the mini-culpa never happened (and, let's face, it never really did -- there was never the promised follow up exploring the lies the paper printed in the lead up to war). The biggest mistake may have been going with Michael Gordon who went back into his hole when the spotlight zoomed in on Judith Miller. But War Pornographer Gordo was her partner in crime -- and his solo stories didn't bear out all that well either -- so, though he thought he was one of the many who wouldn't be called on his own Iraq lies, reality smacked him in this self-satisfied, smirking face. The administration may, at some point, grasp that Gordo's no longer a good go-to-boy. He comes with far too much baggage. There are tons of other flunkies they can go with and when the day comes that they stop outsourcing their plans to Gordo he'll fade at the Times because he didn't become a 'star reporter' based on his reporting or his research abilities.

But the first lie pushed was that the Iranian government was behind arming and training 'insurgents' in Iraq. And they (and Gordo) didn't give up that claim easily. Gordo had to be swatted on the snout repeatedly before the claim of "groups in Iran" started being advanced.

I don't think that's minor and I don't think you leave out the fact that the original claim by the US government-military was that the Iranian government was supplying and training.

Saturday. Meaning? RadioNation with Laura Flanders which airs Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm EST on Air America Radio stations, XM satellite radio and live online. This weekend's lineup:

Progressives are gearing up for action at this year's California Democratic Party Convention. We'll hear from RICK JACOBS from the Courage Campaign and SUE BROIDY and JAMIE BEUTLER from the Vote Blue Committee. Then, Karl Rove's missing emails could reveal fundamental GOP election fraud -- STEVE ROSENFELD & BOB FITRAKIS, (co-authors of "What Happened in Ohio?" explain how. Finally, in a week that saw more attention go to Rosie O'Donnell than to the Supreme Court savaging of Roe, MELODY BERGER & STACEYANN CHIN tell us why, in their view, the women's movement doesn't need "another wave." Editor and contributor of "We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists," Chin and Berger will be live in studio.

Congress is headed for a showdown with President Bush over Iraq War funding, I'll get the lowdown from Democratic Congresswoman SHEILA JACKSON LEE. The Nation's WILLIAM GREIDER and blogger BILL SCHER, (Campaign for America's Future & Liberal Oasis) review the coverage of the week. [. . .] Finally, HARVEY WASSERMAN looks into the future in his new book "Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030." We're live and left on the weekends... Call in and join the blog.

Saturday's guest, StacyAnn Chin will be participating in an event Wednesday, May 2nd at 6:30 pm, in The Great Hall, Cooper Union (NYC) where Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove will be presenting readings from their Voices of a People's History of the United States featuring music performed by Allison Moorer and Steve Earle and readings and vocal performances by Ally Sheedy, Brian Jones, Danny Glover, Deepa Fernandes, Erin Cherry, Harris Yulin, Kathleen Chalfant, Kerry Washington, Opal Alladin, Stanley Tucci and, yes, Staceyann Chin. Zinn and Arnove will provide both the introduction and the narration.

Trina, who is supporting Dennis Kucinich's presidential bid, asked that something be noted because Kucinich's website was down last night. This is "Kucinich Challenges Obama Assertion during S.C. Debate that Iran is Developing Nuclear Weapon Technology:"

Washington, DC - - Presidential candidate and US Congressman Dennis Kucinich Friday challenged Senator Barack Obama's assertion, made in an exchange with Kucinich in Thursday's Democratic Presidential Debate in Orangeburg, South Carolina, that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons.
"In last night's debate, Senator Obama revealed that he has fallen into the same trap which wrongly took us into war against Iraq. In one breath he conjured Iran as a threat: ('But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region.')
"And in the next breath he asserted that according to experts, Iran is developing nuclear weapons. : ' . . . but they're in the process of developing it. And I don't think that's disputed by any expert.' "Where is Senator Obama's proof for such a provocative statement?" Kucinich asked.
Kucinich said that in the exchange with Senator Obama he tried to interject the fact that Mohammed El Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently asserted " . the difference between acquiring knowledge and having a bomb is at least five to ten years away. And that's why I said the intelligence, the British, intelligence, the American intelligence, is saying that Iran is still years, five to ten years away from developing a weapon. "
Senator Obama's assertion is eerily reminiscent of the statements of President George Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top ranking members of the Bush Administration, who, back in 2002 and 2003 falsely claimed Iraq was a threat to the United States and our allies, that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons capability.
Kucinich at the time wrote and circulated an analysis of all false claims made by the Bush Administration. "Clearly all other Senators running for President failed to read the easily accessible intelligence reports, hence their alleged 'mistaken' vote to invade Iraq," said Kucinich, the only Democratic Presidential candidate to vote against both the authorization for war and any funding of the war.
"While Iran has taken steps to develop nuclear power, which is the right of all signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever they are developing nuclear weapons," explained Kucinich.
"Senator Obama's doctrine with respect to Iran is 'All options are on the table,' which is unmistakably a euphemism for the consideration of a preemptive attack against Iran, including the use of nuclear weapons, which the Administration has shipped to the region. Senator Obama's rhetoric parrots speeches given by both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards regarding Iran."
"When you consider that last month the Congress took out of the Iraq Supplemental appropriation a provision that would have required congressional approval of a military attack on Iran, Senator Obama's faulty analysis and his mischaracterizations license an attack. This is the same kind of disastrous, faulty thinking that led us into war against Iraq and raises serious questions about Senator Obama's judgement on matters of national security."
Kucinich has long advocated reestablishing diplomatic ties with Iran as a means of deescalating tensions, opening up full diplomatic relations, resuming meaningful inspections of Iran's nuclear power program, and enlisting Iran's support in helping to end the war in Iraq.

From one presidential contender to another. Carl was the first to note Margaret Kimberley's "Cho and John McCain" (Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report):

"Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" - Senator John McCain
We usually hear little about shooting deaths unless enough people die in the same place at the same time. Every day 32 Americans are killed by gun violence. It is the act of terror most likely to be inflicted upon us all. Ironically, 32 was the number of fatalities inflicted by a gunman at Virginia Tech University.

Just as they did eight years ago at Columbine High School, the media descended upon Blacksburg, Virginia. They spoke to students about their dead classmates, about desperate efforts to save lives, and the horror of the bloodshed they witnessed. They spoke lovingly of their friends who died and painstakingly enumerated their special qualities. The corporate media have never profiled Iraqis killed by American bombs, gunfire and prisons. We never know how much they were loved and how they fought to stay alive while violent people sought to take their lives. We never hear the story of the destruction of Iraq's medical system, infrastructure and water supply. Iraqis aren't Americans, they aren't white and they were killed by our government. Those factors add up to a ho-hum attitude surrounding their deaths.
As the week wore on the enormity of America's addiction to violence against the rest of the world became painfully clear. Senator John McCain is a presidential candidate, an allegedly sane man and an influential politician. He and many other respectable Americans are also worse than Seung-Hi Cho. McCain sang his horrific little ditty about killing Iranians among a group of like minded folks, who think they have a right to bomb human beings into oblivion and to laugh while they do it.

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