Thursday, December 25, 2008

I Hate The War

Today, the US military announced: "A U.S. Soldier died of wounds as a result of an indirect fire attack near Mosul, Iraq Dec. 25." December 25th didn't result in an end to the violence.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 4 lives and left twenty-five people injured, a Muqdadiyah car bombing that claimed the lives of 3 people (plus the driver of the car) and left another fourteen injured, a Mosul roadside bombing that left five people (four of them Iraqi soldiers) wounded, a Mosul car bombing that left two people wounded and, dropping back to Wednesday, a Mosul car bombing that left seven people wounded.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 workers for the INA news outlet were shot dead in Baghdad, an assassination attempt on Abdul Ameer Al-Musawi ("one of the Fadhila party candidates" in Basra) that claimed the life of his brother-in-law and a Mosul shooting that wounded a police officer.

The violence never ends. In fact, that should read: "The violence, like the stupidity, never ends." Two Saturdays ago, Saturday Night Live did a sketch bit about New York Governor David Paterson. It was during Amy's last Weekend Update -- which Ava and I noted -- and we planned to explore that skit last Sunday (Ava and I); however, a funny thing happened: A protest of the skit. Outrage over the skit. Which made our thoughts on the skit more appropritate for this Sunday (when we do a year-in-review on TV). But what I can say right now is that the skit was rooted in the perception that Paterson is an idiot.

For those who want to doubt that Paterson is perceived as an idiot, grasp that the governor of Illinois was not railroaded into appointing a Kennedy. Paterson returned (from where, we'll get to) this week and declared he'd decide who was appointed senator and that there was no lock on the position. If true, and if he appoints someone other than Caroline Kennedy, he'll go a long way towards dispelling so many opinions of himself as a weak and foolish.

Why is he perceived as such a weakling? Because he so often makes so many foolish remarks. And he's done many stupid things in public that we ignore here because it has no bearing at this site. However, Dumb Ass Paterson decided he would weigh in on Iraq -- which he just had a for-show visit to. WYNC quotes him declaring -- citing US generals -- that Iraq is 90% a democracy: "And the other 10 percent will not as much be a physical military battle, but a persuasion, getting the Iraqi citizens to see, the great wealth of their country, and the great opportunities they may have at this particular time." His exact words.

What a dumb ass.

It was mere weeks ago that Iraqi Christians were fleeing Mosul. Is Dumb Ass Paterson aware of that? Would he like to campaign in upstate New York for re-election making the claim that despite that well publicized persecution of Iraqi Christians, the country is 90% a democracy? He should actually try that . . . if he wants to be a one-term governor.

Who makes those idiotic claims today? Outside the White House, you have to search high and low for anyone in elected office willing to make such a claim. But there's Pateron -- allegedly a Democrat -- making the claim. Maybe he's back on the drugs he's bragged of using in the past?

You can think whatever you want of the SNL skit and you can be offended by it or not, but pretending that Paterson being seen as a Dumb Ass was not part of the portrayal is being dishonest. Paterson's made a fool out of himself in public. Here, we ignore it not because he's disabled, we ignore it because our focus is Iraq, not New York. When he brings his mountain of dumb ass-ness to the topic of Iraq, we will gladly call him out.

The United Nations is not making the ridiculous claim that Paterson makes. The Red Cross doesn't make the claim. No organization that studies migration makes that ridiculous claim. But Paterson has a fly-over visit to Iraq and wants to declare that it's 90% a democracy. The man's reputation is for being an idiot which is one point the SNL skit was lampooning.

Iraq has still not implemented a de-de-Baathification process. The law they passed was always a joke since there was no oversight written in. By providing no check, the law was meaningless and that's why the de-de-Baathification has never started. We can go down the list of 18 benchmarks the White House established and demonstrate how they've not been achieved. Under no informed judgment would anyone judge Iraq to be 90% democracy.

His little lie, his little self-stroking, is exactly the b.s. that results in SNL skits. A lot of people rushed to defend the idiot and they would have been better served paying attention to the actual skit and attempting to figure out what the points were. And before SNL's accused of anything, real critics might want to try establishing a pattern. Without a pattern, it's a skit in passing, no matter how offensive it may or may not be. There was a pattern to SNL skits throughout 2008. No surprise everyone chose to ignore that.

And in case you're not really getting what an idiot Paterson comes off as, note the opening of Alissa J. Rubin's "Political Power Plays Unsettle Iraq" (New York Times):

With provincial elections scheduled for the end of January, Iraq appears to be plagued by political troubles that seem closer to Shakespearean drama than to nascent democracy.
There is talk of a coup to oust the prime minister. The speaker of the Parliament has abruptly resigned, making angry accusations on his way out the door. And there have been sweeping arrests of people believed to be conspiring against the government, both in Baghdad and Diyala Province.

People can be offended by the SNL skit and for any number of reasons. But for those missing the element of the skit where Paterson's is portrayed as a complete fool or who are wrongly assuming he's portrayed as such due to a disability, he's portrayed as a fool because he makes foolish statements such as today regarding Iraq.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4209. Tonight? 4217. Eight deaths since last Thursday but you really wouldn't know it to read the media coverage. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,297,997 as the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal war, the same as the number they gave last week and the week before.

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