Sunday, October 07, 2007

Forget your history, cries Tavernise

In today's New York Times, Sabrina Tavernise offers up "In Life of Lies, Iraqis Council Work for U.S." proving only that the Times of New York can pick up the right-wing cause the Times of London spent the bulk of last month trying to drum up support for. Strangely, Tavernise seems unaware that it's a problem for the British as well.

In fourth grade, we learned about Benedict Arnold and it was boos and hisses all around. I asked, if we were in England, would he be considered a traitor? That caused some discomfort for the teacher. (That wasn't then or now a position I was advocating: "Redeem Ben Arnold!" It was a question.) The Iraq War is a war, an illegal war, but still a war. Maybe some can work up support for those who colloborate with occupying forces, but I think it will be a tough sell. Media workers are one thing, those working with US military and other foreign militaries are, in fact, "turncoats." They may have done it for the money, they may have done it out of some belief system. But the reality is, as we all learned in grade school, when you work in secret with another government you are a turncoat. Tavernise goes to great lengths to sketch out their pain as they go about each day in their "elaborte balancing act of small, memorized untruths." "Small"?

Call it turncoat, call it collaborator. They turned on their own people -- paid for it and in secret, qualifies as "turned on." The fact that the ones they worked with were US forces will not make them appear any more "heroic" in the eyes of most Americans. We're instilled with the notion that a turncoat is a turncoat. Possibly the education system can drop that out since, while it was in the interest of a country to teach that lesson, it is not in the interest of empire?

In other tales in the Times, Andrew E. Kramer delivers "Two Shiite Leaders in Iraq Reach a Peace Agreement" which might strike you as a positive if the year were 2003 and not 2004 and you were unaware of the targeting of Sunnis. Mike noted, "It's as if the Packers and the Eagles agreed to double up on the Cowboys in a single game." The two groups are Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc and Abdul Aziz Hakim's and neither are known as "peaceful" groups. Spin it while you can, before it blows up in your face.

Hugh Naylor offers the apparently alarming news "Syria Is Said to Be Strengthening Ties to Opponents of Iraq's Government." What's next! The United States having relations with Mexico! (Syria borders Iraq, for those who don't know their geography.)

AP's Kim Curtis reports:

Sunday's attacks in Baghdad started with an early morning explosion near a minibus carrying workers into central Baghdad. Three people were killed in the roadside bombing, which apparently targeted a police patrol, according to a police official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The inside of the mangled minibus was soaked in blood, the metal hulk was pummeled by shrapnel and the windows were shattered, according to AP Television News footage.
A half-hour later, in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora in southern Baghdad, a second roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol missed its target, killing three Iraqi civilians, police said.
And in the downtown commercial area of Salihiyah, a bomb planted in the back of a car parked near the Iranian Embassy exploded about 8:30 a.m., killing three Iraqi passers-by, according to police.

New content from The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: No Court-Martial of Watada
TV: Diveristy Network Style
Another war resister arrested in Canada
Question for the week
Faux or real?
Goodman's announcement
Susan Blake
No book discussion this week

The last item explains the long delay at that site and this. The e-mail address for this site is