Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ABC News serves up Iraq War propaganda

They just tell what ever lie they want to. That became obvious last night on ABC's World News Tonight. See this is what happens when you make someone an anchor who should have been fired long ago for falling asleep on air. Charlie Gibson was jizzing over "Dramatic changes, no where more dramatic than in Baghdad" in his frenzied rush to set up Terry McCarthy for another "I was in Baghdad [with three bodyguards] I'm not now. I will proclaim it safe now that I am out of Baghdad and no one should wonder why ABC and I have refused to do live reports from Iraq."

Terry opened last night's 'report' with, "Snapshots of a city reborn. Speed. Light. Style. This is Baghdad today. Where car bombs give way to car races. Where a once looted museum has been restored and reopened. Where --"

Stop the tape. Damn liars everyone of them. But let's zoom in on Terry McCarthy's last lie. Baghdad's museum -- the "looted museum" -- has been restored and reopened? In what world?

These liars think they can get away with anything. Baghdad's museum is not restored and it is not reopened. It's not even open. It is in the (long) process of (hopefully) being restored. It has not been restored. Nor is it open. In a 'report' on what Iraqis do now -- they shop! they race! they go to the musuem! -- it needs to be noted that the Iraqi National Museum WAS NEVER open to the public this year. It was open for one day, invitation only -- press and dignitaries. Those late to the party can see "The for-show, one-day opening" (Feb. 24th).

Terry's a liar and a bad reporter. And he should be called out for flat out lying. Charlie Gibson is a world class fool (and a man who benefitted from ABC tossing aside federal law to install him -- you can't fire a woman because she's pregnant. In a function media environment, Charlie and Terry's little adventure last night never would have taken place. In a semi-functional media environment, it would be loudly called out by our so-called media 'watchdogs,' 'dissectors' and 'critics.'

But they're not interested in hard work. They're interested in their jibber-jabber about the economy -- their uninformed jibber-jabber. And if you've missed that the economy is the equivalent of the missing blond, you missed the network coverage (on TV and the web) yesterday and just how often Ultimate Gas Bag Thomas Friedman popped up as an 'expert.' He really is the expert on everything, isn't he? Or that's what they'd have you believe. When My Ass Is Fat author Thomas Friedman is gas bagging the economy it's past time for all the would-be economists to start grasping that they look as foolish as he does. But it's the story that doesn't require any work. You just -- as one 'media watchdog' does -- watch a newscast or two and assemble some words. No need to footnote because you don't understand what you're talking about.

(To be clear, there are people who know what they're talking about when they speak or write of the economy. Among the few on the left who do is Left Business Observer's Doug Henwood. Paul Krugman, of course, knows what he's talking about, to name another. Those who have a jounalism background, however, probably need to hold their tongues. The all purpose general major studies idiots who never covered the economy until Bully Boy? They don't know what they're talking about and they do more damage than good. But to cover anything else would require actual work and they're not built for working, which is why they're in beggar media always asking you to "Send money!")

So Terry and Charlie will get away with another bit of broadcast propaganda. It won't be called out despite it being non-stop lies.

Though not on Iraq itself, you can consider Katie Couric's report (here for text, here for video) on sexual assault on the media, Iraq related. On yesterday's CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,
a report was filed on sexual assault and the only real complaint is that Katie skirted over (and praised) one aspect that needs to be explored. We've called out the so-called 'privacy' option here. Since doing so, I've not only spoken to more people working in the sexual assault recovery field, there have been non-stop e-mails to the public account on this topic. This little stunt that the military's getting away with does not have the support of the thereapeutic community. It needs to not be tossed as a 'good' thing.

In brief, if you are raped, the military will 'allow' you to come forward without 'fear' of a trial following ("restricted reporting"). Part of recovery for many victims is seeing the assailant confronted. Hopefully sentenced, but a day in court. And the military can use their 'privacy' option to steer victims away from that. The military controls the 'counseling' and that's where the victim would be making the decision of whether or not to proceed with charges. So the military -- their laughable, largely non-clinical, untrained 'sexual assault' staff -- will be determining whether you're advised to proceed or not all the while knowing that if you proceed, the statistic rate goes up. If you proceed, the base and its command better be prepared to answer questions. The program needs to be turned over to civilian hands. As it stands, it's as if you're asking Walter Reed Army Medical Center to report on itself, to disclose its own problems, with no oversight.

From the text version of the report (you have to watch the video to catch the aside on 'privacy'):

One in three female soldiers will experience sexual assault while serving in the military, compared to one in six women in the civilian world. The Pentagon released a disturbing report Tuesday on sexual abuse in the military, saying that more than 2,900 sexual assaults were reported last year, up nearly 9 percent from the year before. Nearly two-thirds of the cases involved rape or aggravated assault.
Couric asked Michael Dominguez, principal under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, how big a problem sexual assault is in the military.
"Sexual assault injures troops," he said. "Injures readiness. So regardless of the numbers we have, it is by definition too much.
But how often does it happen?
The Pentagon only started a comprehensive program to track incidents in 2006, and only after Congress mandated it do so.
That year there were 2,974 cases of rape and sexual assault across the services. And of those, only 292 cases resulted in a military trial.
And in 2007 there were even fewer prosecutions.
"Of more than 2,200 servicemen investigated for sexual assault, only 181 were prosecuted?" Couric asked Dominguez.

NBC Nightly News also offered (video only) a look at sexual assault in the military. Jim Miklaszewski filed the report and started with Angela Peacock who was sexually assaulted while serving.

Angela Peacock: You want to stay in the army keep your mouth shut, suck it up and drive on.

Jim Miklaszewski: Angela did drive on and later deployed to Iraq but under the lingering trauma of the sexual assault and the horrors of war she cracked.

Angela Peacock: I started having panic attacks and like sleepless nights. I was spiraling down pretty fast.

Jim Miklaszewski: She was diagnosed with post traumatic stress and discharged from the army. A Pentagon report on sexual assaults released today shows Angela is not alone. In 2008 there were more than 2900 sexual assaults in the military -- an 8% jump over the previous year. Perhaps more alarming, the number of sexual assaults in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan spiked by 26%. Pentagon officials insist they're taking the disturbing trend seriously.

That intros more garbage from Dr. Kaye Whitley who either needs to step down or needs to be fired. She is incompentent, she has served as part of the cover up, when victims have come foward this decade and offered their testimony to Congress, she has followed them and undercut them with her own remarks.

He notes US House Rep Jane Harman smells a cover-up and Harmen explains, "And anyone in the chain of command who covers up the act, and says 'Oh, it's just boys will be boys,' which is what has been happening, also should be prosecuted."

MSNBC carries The's report on a deployment:

Nearly 3,200 Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers will mobilize in May and begin their final training for a deployment to Iraq.
This will be the second deployment for hundreds of members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which is made up of soldiers from 49 communities in the state, from north Mississippi to the Gulf Coast.

Wow. They're still sending soldiers to Iraq. Must mean the illegal war hasn't ended. Someone tell the broadcast networks. I think Betty summed it up perfectly last night in "Our childish press."

Meanwhile People's Weekly World reports on labor and oil in "Iraqi unions announce new confederation:"

At the first International Labor Conference ever held in Iraq, three of the country's major labor organizations announced the formation of a new labor confederation.
At the close of the two day meeting of Iraqi unions with their international allies, Iraq's powerful Federation of Oil Unions, the nationwide Electricity Association and the General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions signed an agreement to create a new labor confederation, a step toward unifying the Iraqi labor movement as an advocate for the interests of Iraqi workers.
The conference, held on March 13-14 in Erbil in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, drew more than 200 delegates from unions and federations across Iraq and solidarity delegations from the U.S., the United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan, Australia, and Iran.
More than a year in the making, the conference drew representatives from Iraq's oil and gas industry, its port union, the electrical generation and distribution industry, construction, public sector, transportation, communications, education, rail roads, service and health care industries, machinists and metal working sector, the petro-chemical industry, civil engineers, writers and journalists, food oil workers, tailors and students. Workers attended from fifteen of Iraq's eighteen provinces.
The U.S. delegation of six was organized by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), a network of 186 local, regional, state and national labor organizations that together represent more than five million union members. It included USLAW National Organizer Michael Eisenscher; USLAW Steering Committee Member Michael Zweig (a leader of United University Professions/AFT Local 2190); Bill Shortell, President of the Central Connecticut Labor Council; Jim Norris, President of United Steel Workers Local 675, representing oil industry workers in Southern California; and two members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, T.J. Buonomo from Philadelphia, and Aaron Hughes of Chicago.
In his address to the conference on behalf of USLAW, Michael Eisenscher said, "We recognize that the Iraqi people and labor movement have paid a terrible price to regain your freedom, to establish democratic control over your own government and over the fate and future of the Iraqi nation. We are painfully aware that it has been the government of the United States that is responsible for so much of the death, destruction, dislocation and suffering that the Iraqi people have endured. It was our government that provided the dictator Saddam Hussein with the means by which he waged war on his own people, as well as other nations of the region. And the working people of our own country have also paid dearly in both blood and money for the transgressions of our government. This conference marks an important step toward full restoration of Iraqi sovereignty, which can only be achieved when all foreign military and mercenary forces depart Iraqi soil, all foreign military bases are closed, and the territorial integrity of Iraq is fully respected by all the nations of the world."

And an action will take place in NYC today. The Grannies Peace Brigade announces:

CONTACT: Joan Wile, 917-441-0651
Their Theme: Pack up Iraq, and Afghanistan Not Againistan
The indefatigable GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE is again in the forefront of the peace movement. They will hold the FIRST public anti-war protest of the Obama Administration on Wednesday, March 18, 12 o'clock p.m. at the Times Square recruiting center, 44th St. and Broadway. Their mission is to urge President Obama to re-think his policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan. Supporters of the President, they nevertheless feel he is making a mistake by proposing to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq after the official withdrawal and his order to deploy 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. "He has requested that we let him know when we think he's on the wrong track, and we are taking him at his word," said 94-year-old former NYS Assemblywoman Marie Runyon, the oldest of the peace grannies.
To express their concerns, the grannies plan to symbolically wrap up the wars by wrapping police CRIME SCENE tape around the recruitment station. Prior to doing so, they will hold a press conference, beginning at noon, to which many actors and local officials have been invited. Among those who have agreed to speak are mayoral candidate Rev. Billy; actress Kim Weston-Moran, a star of the new off-Broadway hit, The Lonely Soldier Monologues (Women at War in Iraq); civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel; Broadway and off-Broadway legendary actress Vinie Burrows, and chaplain and Vietnam vet Hugh Bruce, a leader of the local Veterans for Peace chapter.
The GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE has chosen the Times Square location because of its historical importance to them. Eighteen of them were arrested there on Oct. 17, 2005, when they tried to enlist to replace America's grandchildren in harm's way and later were on trial for six days in criminal court at the end of which they were acquitted of all charges. Since then, they have acted as missionaries of peace, traveling in the United States and abroad speaking, performing, protesting and writing of their desire to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The grandmothers will be joined by other granny peace groups -- Grandmothers Against the War, who have held a weekly vigil at Rockefeller Center for over five years, and the Raging Grannies, who will sing a couple of their original anti-war songs. Members of Veterans for Peace will serve as a color guard for the event.
GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE jailbird Eva-Lee Baird explained, "The merchants of war are putting tremendous pressure on President Obama to lead the country down a path of destruction. We the people must pressure him to choose the path of peace."
DATE: Wed., March 18, RAIN OR SHINE
TIME: 12 o'clock noon
PLACE: Times Square recruiting center, 44th St. and Broadway

The illegal war hits the six year mark this Thursday and World Can't Wait offers a list of other cities holding demonstrations. Saturday, those wanting to call out the illegal war can join with groups such as The National Assembly to End the Wars, the ANSWER coalition, World Can't Wait and Iraq Veterans Against the War -- all are taking part in a real action. Iraq Veterans Against the War explains:

IVAW's Afghanistan Resolution and National Mobilization March 21st
As an organization of service men and women who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, stateside, and around the world, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War have seen the impact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on the people of these occupied countries and our fellow service members and veterans, as well as the cost of the wars at home and abroad. In recognition that our struggle to withdraw troops from Iraq and demand reparations for the Iraqi people is only part of the struggle to right the wrongs being committed in our name, Iraq Veterans Against the War has voted to adopt an official resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people. (To read the full resolution, click here.)
To that end, Iraq Veterans Against the War will be joining a national coalition which is being mobilized to march on the Pentagon, March 21st, to demand the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and further our mission and goals in solidarity with the national anti-war movement. This demonstration will be the first opportunity to show President Obama and the new administration that our struggle was not only against the Bush administration - and that we will not sit around and hope that troops are removed under his rule, but that we will demand they be removed immediately.
For more information on the March 21st March on the Pentagon, and additional events being organized in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orlando, to include transportation, meetings, and how you can get involved, please visit: or

Iraq's Foreign Ministry announces:

17 March, 2009

Mr. Labeed Abbawi Meets Czech Ambassador in Baghdad

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Political Planning and Bilateral Relations Mr. Labeed Abbawi met in his office on Monday, 16/3/2009 the Czech ambassador in Baghdad Mr. Peter Vosnetsp.

The meeting dealt with bilateral relations between Iraq and the Czech Republic and ways of enhancing them as well as Iraq's relations with the European Union under the presidency of Czech Republic.

Mr. Labeed Abbawi expressed Iraq's keenness on the importance of exchanging visits between officials of the two countries and the need for continued support from the Czech Republic for the democratic process in Iraq and the participation of Czech companies in Iraq's reconstruction and to contribution to stability.

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thomas friedman is a great man