Monday, December 29, 2008

Iraq, the networks jilted lover

Joseph Angotti, a former vice president of NBC News, said he could not recall any other time when all three major broadcast networks lacked correspondents in an active war zone that involved United States forces.

The above is from Brian Stelter's "TV News Winds Down Operations on Iraq War" (New York Times, front page of the Business section) which informs that the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) have down rated Iraq further and are instead assigning reporters (about one per network) to Afghanistan and Pakistan because of remarks by Barack and his team. One thing Stelter doesn't point out is that predictions aren't always accurate. For example, several news outlets pulled Iraq staffers and sent them to cover Iran for the big war that, as yet, never came. Some very talented reporters were more or less benched as a result.

Stelter does note independent reporter Michael Yon (who goes back and forth between Iraq and Afghanistan) and he notes Mike Boettcher's No Ignoring which is where the former NBC correspondent and his son Carlos report as embeds from Iraq. Stelter notes that as usual when there are cutbacks, the talk is that partnerships will emerge. A decade ago the term "synergy" would be tossed around. Today it's too laughable (due to it never taking place at any of the big corporations). But so is the idea of partnerships emerging -- a point Stelter makes in a kinder manner than I just did. Stelter also notes it's not just broadcast TV:

The staff cuts appear to be the latest evidence of budget pressures at the networks. And those pressures are not unique to television: many newspapers and magazines have also curtailed their presence in Baghdad. As a consequence, the war is gradually fading from television screens, newspapers and, some worry, the consciousness of the American public.

Though we noted it at Third yesterday, it fits with the above so here's Workers World's "Iraq now, Vietnam then:"

Iraq now, Vietnam then
Published Dec 22, 2008 6:02 PM
The news from Iraq is starting to remind veteran political analysts of the events four decades ago in South Vietnam as successive U.S. puppet governments disintegrated under the weight of tremendous popular sentiment, with a liberation war knocking at the door.
The U.S. secret services then hatched and executed coups to remove some discredited, inept and well-hated puppet leaders. Their replacements had not yet exposed to the world their own corruption, favoritism and brutality that would soon make them just as inept and well-hated. Only 500,000-plus U.S. troops could keep them in power for more than a week.
Now in Iraq, with the continued U.S. occupation up for debate, cracks are exposed in the puppet regime. Bush's surprise visit humiliates him, the occupation and the puppet leader, Nuri al-Maliki. Within days, the Maliki faction arrests 24 high-level military security figures.
Al-Maliki's regime leaks charges to the New York Times that those arrested are secret Ba'athists--the ruling party in Iraq before the U.S. invasion--who were plotting a coup.
It’s true that enough agents of the Iraqi resistance have infiltrated the regime to track military maneuvers. But the Ba'athists, who are part of the resistance, have said they don’t believe a coup could succeed against the will of the U.S. occupation forces. They expect the resistance to wear down the U.S. until its forces leave. The "plot" story, then, is far-fetched.
Sure enough, two days after the Times story ran, the Iraqi military dropped the charges against the 24, calling them "patriotic officers." It turns out a Maliki-appointed security agency had charged and arrested the "patriotic officers."

Instead, al-Maliki himself is now under suspicion.
Because of his friendly relations with Iran, al-Maliki has lost favor in Washington. If there is a "coup plot," maybe the U.S. is behind it.
Speculation aside, there are some points--which were also true in South Vietnam--that these events have underlined:
The puppet regime is unstable, even more than it appeared up to now, and is torn apart by internal contradictions.
Despite all the propaganda about the U.S. "surge" working, there is no feasible pro-imperialist government than can run Iraq without large numbers of U.S. troops as an occupation army.
One way or another, Iraqi sovereignty will assert itself. There is no way the Iraqi people, even though horribly damaged by the U.S. invasion and occupation, will submit.
It is impossible for the U.S. to find an Iraqi political leader who is honest, courageous and capable to direct the puppet government. Any Iraqis with those characteristics joined the resistance long ago.
For the U.S. anti-war movement, it is time to move more forcefully into action. There is no way out except for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces, the recognition of the Iraqi resistance and payment of adequate reparations to the Iraqi people.

Articles copyright 1995-2008 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved. Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
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Meanwhile although the presidency council signed off on the legislation the Parliament passed to allow the UK, Australia, Romania and Estonia to remain in Iraq after January 1st, Reuters reports: "Britain and Iraq have yet to finalise a deal permitting 4,100 British troops to stay in Iraq but hope it can be done before their U.N. mandate expires in two days, a British embassy spokesman said on Monday."

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Princess Brat Speaks" went up Sunday.

We're a site/community for the left. Net Right Daily is a site for the right. The Daily Grind is a news mailing you can sign up for from ALG News which is also right-wing. On the latter, BW with ALG News has been especially persistent (and nice) in e-mailing all community sites various ALG News items. Various people have mailed Net Right Daily items to community sites. Trina and I were discussing this and wondering about it? We've gotten some very rude e-mailings from on our side (the left) asking for help (try demanding it) and when we discussed it, others weighed in. The feeling is that the two outlets have been very polite and we're going to toss out a link. So this will appear (word for word) in the snapshot and we wish the outlets all the best but we are a site for the left. Their persistance and their politeness (and professionalism) means they get the links in this paragraph. If you're looking for what the other side's saying, we would recommend those two. If you're looking to be enraged by what the right's up to, we would recommend those two.

In music news, I AM THREE:

I Am Three Manchester, UK

Alternative / Accoustic / Rap
Members: Irving, Hughes

Hi and Seasons Greatings!

We'd like to say thank you for all the support we've received over 2008, thanks for visiting the website and listening to our songs, and to those who have made it to our gigs!

As promised, we have a Bootleg from the European tour, which we have made available completely free!!

Please visit this site and click on the widget "I Am Three European tour" to download now! (or use the widget on our myspace page )

We hope you enjoy the music!

And have a great Christmas and Happy New Year


Irving and Andy

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Press Releases for I Am Three
"A TRIP into the world of I Am Three can be disorientating. Their songs, with their diverse tempo's, timbre and poetry, usually leave listeners with more questions than answers, as the music revolves around a playful mix of fiction and reality." - MEN, Manchester Evening News (Nov 01, 2008)
"RECENTLY formed acoustic duo I Am Three brought the atmosphere of a smoky jazz club combined with alt-country blues to Night and Day, performing a low key gig last night. " - Amy Glendinning, City Life (Aug 22, 2008)

And the tracks can also be found here.

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