Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dexy, still working it for the military

Not surprisingly, M-NF (Multi-National Forces) issued a press release on the 'handover' of Al Anbar Province that glossed over reality and left out numerous details. They managed to do that in five paragraphs. The Real Judy Miller gets 23 paragraphs in the New York Times (and starts on the front page) and manages to gloss over all realities throughout. That's because the Real Judy Miller was always Dexy Filkins, the 'reporter' whose work never stood up (if anyone bothered to examine it -- but why bother, he was a man) including his 'award winning' 'reporting' which no one ever thought to count the days on -- count the days it took to be written before it could be published (military vetting is a very slow process). Dexy's back in Iraq and there's no indication that we're not about to see exactly what he did before which should trouble the few that bothered to pay attention in real time.

On the plus, when Dexy does another US speaking tour, we will (if pattern holds) learn all the things (facts and opinions) he left out of his reporting and his 'analysis' (analysis requires opinion) and he will get applause from college audiences -- ones unfamiliar with his work and believing the man telling them the illegal war is lost is also bringing that reality to his own reporting and 'analysis' for the paper.

The reality, as Christian Parenti long ago noted in early 2005, is that Dexy of the paper and Dexy in person bear no recognizable relationship to one another. Parenti gave Dexy the benefit of the doubt. We won't. We're not concerned with the person, we're concerned with the byline that was the most damaging throughout the illegal war, the one that sold the illegal war day after day. Judy Miller (along with others) may have helped sell the start of the illegal war. Once it started, it required a lot of selling to keep the realities from the American people and on-the-gound and under-US-military-control Dexy did more to repeatedly sell the ongoing, illegal war to the American people than anyone else.

His latest nonsense is entitled "U.S. Hands Off Pacified Anbar, Once Heart of Iraq Insurgency." Nowher in that overly long article does he even acknowledge that the 'handover' was repeatedly announced and repeatedly postponed. It's all rah-rah from Dexy. Reality, the US military long ago realized that they couldn't have any impact on Anbar. Which is why the "Awakening" Councils (Sunni thugs placed on the US payroll) were originally created. If the US couldn't scare the hell of out of the inhabitants, lets put thugs on the payroll, put them in charge and let that scare the hell out of the inhabitants.

It's not a 'success' strategy but, hey, Dexy got to attend a parade and who knows how much praise he'll get from the US military for his 'reporting' this go-round. He certainly got plenty last time and, as Thomas E. Ricks revealed in the Washington Post (after Dexy left Iraq the first time), the US military considered Dexy to be their go-to-guy.

An election will change the presidency in November, but Dexy will continue selling the illegal war on the pages of the New York Times.

Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate who is calling for a real end to the illegal war, not after a first term, not "combat" troops only. Jonah notes this from Team Nader:

Gustav, Iraq and New Orleans


Gustav, Iraq and New Orleans .

We, like the rest of the country, are glued to the developments of Hurricane Gustav.

On August 27, 2005 I had just completed my initial week as a first year law student at Tulane in New Orleans. I woke up that morning to my roommate telling me she was evacuating due to Katrina.

Without a car and not knowing many people, I tried to buy either a plane, bus or train ticket to evacuate, but nothing was available. I ended up waiting four hours at a Hertz counter and getting one of the last few dozen rental cars in the city just before midnight. I left thinking I would be gone for days and ended up not returning for five months.

Like everyone who evacuated, I knew nothing for months on the fate of everything I had left behind.

Watching Gustav coverage on the cable news networks has given me a sick sense of deja vu over the last few hours. Countless talking heads from both political parties keep saying that the evacuation is "going well" and how prepared the state and federal governments are as they safely sit on the floor of the Minneapolis RNC convention floor.

Talking with friends in New Orleans and Nader/Gonzalez Louisiana State Coordinator Ramy Mousa, I'm left with a growing sense that New Orleans is not prepared for this storm.

The Army Corps of engineers say levees are at "pre-Katrina strength" but if there is a 12-15 foot storm surge as New Orleans Mayor Nagin is predicting, 10 foot levees equal massive flooding.

Nagin is once again calling for a mandatory evacuation, but it's not being physically enforced and 25% of the city's residents don't own a vehicle. As of this morning only 30,000 had requested evacuation assistance. Nagin is telling people who stay to "make sure they have an ax" to cut holes in their roofs if the water rises.

Meanwhile, three years after Katrina, the $15 billion hurricane protection system designed to protect New Orleans has only barely started, and serious vulnerabilities remain, particularly in the eastern part of the city. We spend $15 billion in Iraq every three weeks, and we haven't been able to muster this amount to protect one of Americas historic cities.

As I watch Gustav coverage, it's clear to me that the fall campaign needs Ralph Nader's voice to be part of the debate.

More than 14,000 Army National Guard troops have been alerted for deployment to Iraq in 2009, and just a little over two weeks ago, another 140 engineers from the Louisiana National Guard were assigned to deploy to Iraq.

We need a voice calling for our soldiers and National Guard troops to immediately start returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to protect Americans from natural disasters like Gustav.

We need a strong voice calling for alternative energy development and against offshore oil drilling in the Gulf.

We need a voice calling for a Marshall-like Plan to rebuild our clinics, our schools, and our cities.

Let's take a moment today to hope that the federal government really has prepared for what Nagin described as "the storm of the century" hitting New Orleans. Let's hope the levees really are higher and stronger, and that people will safely evacuate.

While we wait, let's keep pushing our message of opening up the debates and demanding that Ralph Nader be included. This is even more reason for Google to support the local Women of the Storm organizers who wanted to hold a Presidential Debate on these issues in New Orleans on September 18th.

Let's demand that Obama and McCain agree to participate in this debate.

Jason Kafoury
National Campaign Coordinator


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