Saturday, October 20, 2007

NYT headline writer is lost

A7 of this morning's New York Times provides a groaner in their only story filed from Iraq. The article is by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Qais Mizher. The headline writer goes unbilled but what an ambitious piece of writing -- even if it doesn't reflect truth or the article -- has been turned in: "Militans Aim Attacks at Kirku Region: Chased Out of Central Iraq, Insurgents Hit Tense Northern Area." Oppel and Mizher tell you that, "The violence on Friday underscored the continued instability of the area surrounding Kirkuk, where some Sunni insurgents fled earlier this year from strongholds in Baghdad and Baquba . . ." Some. But the headline writing was ambitious.

A liar? Probably not. The headline writer probably reads the same New York Times everyone else does and one benefit in their repeated, nearly daily silence on the continued violence (round ups of daily violence rarely even make the paper these days) is that they can continue to sell the illegal war without lying -- these days they're too underinformed to be accused of lying.

And only an idiot could ignore the daily pile up of corpses (which, idiot that it is, the paper does) and proclaim "Chased Out of Central Iraq".

So what was the violence in Kirkuk? They "blew up an oil pipeline, battled a convoy carrying bodyguards of a deputy prime minister, and ambushed a police chief" -- now, they're interested in pipelines? In the summer of 2006 when a pipeline was attacked and burned for days, the Times never reported a single word of it. Possibly the sky rocketing price of oil captured their interest now?

Barham Salih is the deputy prime minister and his convoy was attacked but he wasn't in the convoy. Read on in vain for anythng about the attacks on officials which have been a significant trend since last month (and, after it started, Alissa J. Rubin did file one report on the trend)

Mewnwhile Zachary Coile (San Francisco Chronicle) reports on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's latest backdown:

The 18-term lawmaker stirred the pot again Thursday when he attacked President Bush and congressional Republicans for backing hundreds of billions of dollars for the Iraq war, but blocking a $35 billion expansion of a children's health insurance program.
"You're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement," Stark told Republicans on the floor of the House.
The remarks during the debate over Bush's veto of the children's health bill drew howls of outrage from House Republicans and conservative commentators. His words were replayed endlessly on cable news and talk radio. By Friday, even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- who praised Stark for his leadership on the children's health bill a day earlier -- was distancing herself from his comments.
"While members of Congress are passionate about their views, what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand -- providing health care for America's children," Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said.

Pelosi does the cower dance quite well (never grasping that it only fuels GOP attacks), it's courage she continues to have a problem with. With Bully Boy having long ago announced that the illegal war would continue after he left office and Congressional Dems buying into the illegal war, with the three media favorites in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination -- Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama -- refusing to pledge that, if elected president, they would end the illegal war by 2013, obviously many more people will die in Iraq. That five years now and the deaths -- if the illegal war continues to drag on -- will include some who are not yet 18 now. That's reality. But leave it Fancy Nancy to backdown. Had Pelosi stated, "I have no problem with the remarks," there wouldn't be a story today. Instead she does what so much Democratic leadership does today, provide the opening for each attempted attack from the GOP to get a leg to stand on and then the GOP hits on them again and again. Pelosi is not fit to be Speaker of the House. She may be fit to be leader of the Democrats in the House but, if so, that's only due to the fact that the bulk of them are weaklings.

In yesterday's snapshot and in "Kyle Knight explores the draft, Michael Espinal goes public"
we noted Denis St. Pierre's "'I decided I wasn't going to jail'; U.S. Army deserter comes to Sudbury as conscientious objector" (The Sudbury Star). Espinal is the first known war resister of the hundreds going to Canada to make Sudbury home and the story has gotten a great deal of attention hence the pushback. Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star) reports on the statements issued by John Nay, United States Counsul General to Canada, who insists that there's nothing any war resister needs to fear about America. He also attempts to weigh in on CO's noting, "Nobody is in the US military who didn't sign up voluntarily to join. To sign up for the military and take the benefits, take the salaries, is a little hard to then say 'I'm a conscientious objector'."
Nay is correct in that it is hard to say you're a CO and it is even harder to be granted CO status; however, the CO status officially (if not in practice) recognizes that beliefs can be deepened or gained through experience so Nay's actual meaning of "hard" -- that you can't sign up and then rightly claim CO status -- actually demonstrates how the US government refuses to grasp the policies in the place.

That a graduate of the National War College can be so uninformed on the US' official CO policies and regulations goes a long way towards explaining why war resisters go to Canada. Nay moved to his current post after serving in the State Department and, there, he served as Senior Inspector of the departments Office of the Inspector General. Considering all the shame that Office of the Inspector General has brought to State Department (and continues to), that's hardly a slug line you want on the resume. Nay-Nay should stick to writing his belabored "if . . ." articles ("Canada and the United States are a bit like fraternal twins . . .") for journals no one reads -- he lacks the facts, wit and looks to be a pundit -- and considering the teeth on Robert Novak, that's really saying something.

The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;

Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;

Kat's Kat's Korner;

Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;

Mike's Mikey Likes It!;

Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz;

Wally's The Daily Jot;

Trina's Trina's Kitchen;

and Ruth's Ruth's Report

Yes, Ruth's Report. Ruth has started her own site. She'll still be doing her reports here and plans a brief one this weekend. Ruth's Report is where she'll note a program. She expects to do that two to three times a week but would like to be able to do it five times a week. It'll be a heads up to something she caught that she thinks is of interest. She's written an introduction post and also a post that's more typical of what she plans to do. Many sites last night were guest posts due to a number of us going to Tori Amos' concert. Tracey (Ruth's granddaughter) wanted it noted that the entire concert was "great but my favorite was either 'A Sort of Fairytale' or 'Cornflake Girl'."

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