Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Hate The War

Last Thursday, we were noting Zachary Abrahamson and Eamon Javers' "Barack Obama's words downplay wars" (Politico) which detailed how Barack rarley brought up the Iraq War when speaking to the press (or Afghanistan, but our focus is Iraq). And we noted that Abrahamson and Javers did a wonderful thing by documenting that; however, there was another side to explore: the press.

The press doesn't ask about Iraq. And yesterday Baghdad was rocked by a series of bombs and the death toll is over 100 and the injured number over 560. The Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry were targeted in what is being seen as an attack on the central government itself. No one knows who is responsible. At first the central government -- the Shi'ite dominated and controlled central government --tried to blame a polyblend of al Qaeda in Iraq and former Ba'athists. However, no one really bought that because al Qaeda in Iraq is a fundmentalist entity and the Ba'athist were a secular political party.

But the security forces had to issue an apology for the massive failure. And Nouri al-Maliki has asked the US military for help with technical aspects (such as forensics).

And violence continued with 17 deaths reported today (71 reported injured).

And outlets such as Bloomberg News, McClatchy Newspapers and ABC News raised issues of what does this mean in terms of the US remaining in Iraq? And a US Lt Gen asked about it said that would be up to the governments of the US and Iraq.

And though they couldn't have known in this afternoon, turns out the 71 wounded? Actually 216 injured. And that 17 dead? 40 dead.

The snapshot included: "Sami al-Jumaili, Michael Christie and Richard Williams (Reuters) report Babel bombings and possible mortar attacks which claimed 7 lives and left fifty-five people injured based on police reports and they note 'there appeared to have been at least three blasts'." Those numbers have risen. Sahar Issa and Adam Ashton (McClatchy Newspapers) report the death toll is 30 and the wounded over two-hundred.

So violence claimed over 100 lives yesterday and at least 40 today.

And you might think Iraq would be on the minds of the press. You'd think wrong.

Click here for the White House press briefing and click here for the State Dept press briefing.

At the White House, Robert Gibbs and the press wasted everyone's time on ObamaInsuranceCare. (Remember to add in the "insurance" now that the White House has made clear that it's "health insurance reform" and not "health care reform.") You really have to watch and see what little whores the press is. They will lie and they will lie again. They will pretend that there is some amazing plan when there's no plan and the details of the meetings that took place at the White House (the few details known) indicate what most always knew, Barack's killing health care. Barack is the death panel. Every 15 years or so, like a political comet, there's a chance for real reform. But it needs to be steered and it needs to be clear what it is and it needs to benefit the people. Barack skipped all three steps. Because the White House was never serious about helping the people.

This is nothing but a big money give-away to Big Pharma and the insurance company.

And the press whores itself out because it will enrich Big Business. Please, GE's going to get on board with something that helps the people and limits Big Business? No. So the MSNBC monkeys whore it out night after night. And Bob Somberby (at The Daily Howler) talks about how the network isn't run by anyone with news experience but equally true is MSNBC sold the Iraq War. MSNBC tried to outFox 'Fox' News. This is the network that hired Michael Savage. There has been no change. Some of the faces changed but it's the same network with the same executives. They're whoring just like they did with right-wing faces. They're whoring and they're lying to you.

If they wanted real conversations about health care, as Stan pointed out last night, they wouldn't invite a comic on. If they wanted real conversations about the issues, they wouldn't invite Janeane Garofalo on. To be clear, Janeane spoke out against the illegal war and that was brave. That was also six years ago and she hasn't done a damn thing since. I meant politically but it's true of her failed career as well. She was going to be a poker player, remember? A sitcom? Don't protest ABC!! Don't do it! She's got another sitcom offer!

Reality, if people had protested ABC for dumping her planned sitcom, she was afraid she'd lose the one where she was a poker player. So she lied to you then and she was willing to lie for her career and what did it get her. She finally got a role on a show that promotes torture (24), one she used to call out and make fun of Rush Limbaugh for (he's friends with the producers). But she's so desperate for anything resembling a career that she grabs a minor role on that show. She's not second banana. That's the actress who plays Chloe. She's not third-string, that's characters like Renee. She's bottom of the barrel, she's last of the speaking roles. Her career is over.

And other than the Iraq War, what is she known for politically? Health care? Janeane's discussing health care? Janeane who fell in with the wackjobs of Scientology and, when called on it, said it was no different than being Jewish?

One's likened to a cult (Scientology, for many, many reasons) and the other's a recognized religion. And the Jewish faith does not believe space ships came down to earth after the space war. Now Scientology isn't a minor thing, she was promoting -- on air -- their 'health care' plans. For fire workers traumatized by 9-11.

And that idiot's going to be brought on MSNBC to talk about health care? That fool? That faded and failed actress?

MSNBC is insulting you everytime they book guests like Bill Maher and Janeane Garofalo. They're clowning and they're doing it because you don't matter to them, Big Business does.

Early on when Janeane -- who never calls out the Iraq War today -- was still semi-functioning in public, she interviewed an actress. She asked a valid question (it was about the 9-11 Truth movement -- Janeane's publicly sympathetic to it, privately she's a follower of it and too damn bad if she didn't mean for that to get out). And the actress sputtered and gasped for air and immediately began insisting that just the question was an insult. The actress was also a member of the 9-11 Truth Movement which is why Janeane asked her the question in the first place. But that actress had seen her career suffer for politics. For years. And it was a slow and difficult climb back. One that few others made. And the actress wasn't about to even play the "Okay, let's be devil's advocate on this, even though I don't believe . . ." Why? She wasn't going to risk politics once again harming her career.

That matters because? Bill Maher doesn't challenge. Bill Maher goes as far his leash allows him to. The same with Janeane. Which is why the two of them appear on MSNBC as 'experts.' When they're not experts on anything. But they know to stay within the lines because they tested the bounds once and it wasn't pretty.

Maher's show was cancelled by ABC and Janeane's career was completely in the toilet. Maher's got HBO, Janeane hopes she has a future somewhere.

They're like the actress Janeane interviewed when she first started on Air America Radio. After the interview, Janeane was trashing the woman and talking about how ridiculous it was that she couldn't even admit that she was a 9-11 Truther. (Which is why I don't feel bad exposing Janeane as one.) She ripped her apart and blah, blah, blah. She'd never be like that. She spoke out against the Iraq War and it hurt her and she would never ever stop being brave and outspoken!


Like that actress, Janeane doesn't have the guts. Bill Maher doesn't either. They risked something once, they won't do it again. Their type never does. They're so damn thrilled there's a semi-respectable club they can belong to that they will never risk anything again. You can watch and you will see it. Bill Maher will be offensive when the topic is women -- as he always has been. But he won't really challenge a White House ever again. Not unless they're tanking in the polls, not a real challenge. Not a 'hey, you're calling people cowards but the reality is it does take bravery to fly a plane into a building.' (And Bill was right there. I don't care for him, I don't like him. But what he said was true -- if you believe planes flew into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and I do -- and it was brave of Bill Maher because the White House and the press were spinning as something completely different.) They will do the acceptable means of leftness and that's all they'll do. Janeane is a 9-11 Truther. Do you get what that means?

I'm not making fun of her for that. I have friends who believe 9-11 was staged. My opinion has always been, "I don't know, I wasn't there." And when I speak about Iraq there often is someone who wants to bring up 9-11. I'm not hostile to them and I have never had a problem with them. I think the ones who always whine about 'those people' are the ones who take attitudes with the people who showed up for the discussion, with people who wanted to weigh in with their own thoughts and not just sit there passively and nod and applaud. There have been many wonderful exchanges in the last years with 9-11 Truth Movement people. They're not crazy, they're not insane, they're not stupid. They believe something I don't happen to believe but I could be (and often am) wrong. They have their hypothesis of what happened and I have mine. Mine is, as noted here many times, when information is not forthcoming freely, people will create a narrative based on things they believe in and things they have learned. That's what humans do. We are story-tellers. And "story-teller" isn't an insult. Some of the stories we tell are true. But it our natural instinct to take any incident and turn it into a story. All the more so when information is kept from us and information was kept from us regarding 9-11. That shouldn't be debatable to anyone who followed and is able to be honest. My own opinion is that the government doesn't want to be shown to be even more incompentent than they appeared so that's why the clampdown took place. My opinion, I could be wrong. I'm not saying I am right and I'm not insulting the Truth Movement.

But if you're part of the Truth Movement you believe that someone (who depends upon what section of the movement you belong to) engineered 9-11 to start the Afghanistan War. (And depending upon what section of the movement you belong to, that's either your end point or the starting point where you see other things being connected to that.)

Do you not get the point?

Janeane's 9-11 Truth. She can lie and claim she believes Barack's ending the Iraq War. (She knows better.) But Afghanistan? No, there's no way to deny that Barack's beefing up the Afghanistan War, based on his own statements. And not a peep from Janeane. No sitting down with Bill O'Reilly to rage the way she would in 2003 over the Iraq War. No nothing. Not a peep.
And the reason is because she nearly lost it all and she's not going to risk what little she has and come out against the Afghanistan War and hit the arm chair circuit to demand that it end.

Now her career's over. She doesn't seem to grasp that, but it's over. And when she finally does grasp it, she make a move towards honesty. But she's not a talented actress, she plays the same persona (don't call it a character) over and over. She's aging in an industry that doesn't reward maturity in a woman. She's covered herself with freakish tattoos that require make up or clothing to cover in the few roles she could actually land (small roles, character roles). She might suddenly grasp all of that and decide to speak out. But right now, the ruler came down hard on her and as long as she thinks that the big role is just a few months away, she's not risking it.

And that's why she's invited on MSNBC. She will launch into one of her hateful tirades that tells you the entire problem is the Republicans. The entire problem with the country today is . . . the party that does not occupy the White House, the party that does not control the House, the party that does not control the Senate. That party with no power in Congress (the Dems, if they stick together, can ram through anything) is the problem right now.

It's nothing but lies but she feeds you those easy lies and that's why MSNBC loves to have her on. It's not because she's funny. She's not funny. Even when she's not launching a hateful tirade, she's not funny. She's lost her sense of timing (too bad because a one-woman show would be a smart move for her). So much so, that she's not even aware of it -- just like she's not aware that she no longer has the breath to make it to the end of her run-on, random association sentences.

She's not funny, she's not an expert, so why is she on? Because she knows the lines she's allowed to dance in and won't step out of the box. She did once. It was scary. She won't do it again, not while she still thinks there's a chance at fame.

And, let's be honest, riches. You really have to either not give a ___ about money or be independently wealthy (what DG calls your "___ you money") to speak your mind. Janeane's neither nor is Bill Maher. So they come on and do their trained seal act. And everyone pretends that you were informed.

Janeane rants that everyone who disagrees with her is a racist. And somehow you're not supposed to notice that the segment failed to tell you what was in any of the House proposals or the Senate or what the White House has said it wants.

They are a distraction and you need to grasp that the 'health care' coverage has been nothing but a distraction. You need to grasp that you're being lied to over over. Well, the left and the center need to grasp that. The right wing has sensed, rightly so, that there is an attempt to put something over on them. The same Cult of St. Barack that told you that one of the reasons they couldn't support Hillary was because they didn't want a replay of the "Clinton Wars" are encouraging you to replay them.

Bill Clinton wasn't a monster. He wasn't inept. Neither was or is Hillary. (Bill's in private life now so we'll stick with "was" for him.) The attacks on Bill were about discrediting him and removing his power. About boxing him in. And Bob Somerby focuses on the right wing and wonders why the mainstream didn't call it out. But Bob knows why, he's written about it before. It's because they wanted the summer home or some other status symbol or just to be in the club. So they danced for their corporate masters.

The press did not change. It does not change, if the press is famous for anything, it is famous for its own inertia. That's why Robert Novak can get only a mixed report card and why he could remain respectable for so many years. They never clean house unless publicly forced to and then they try to minimize the house cleaning (which is how Judith Miller gets fired but Michael Gordon remains at the New York Times).

So the question should have always been, "Why does the press love Barack?" That wasn't asked in 2008. In 2009, people should be aware enough to ask, "Why does the press keep selling Barack's 'plan' for health insurance reform?"

It's not popular. Less than half of Americans support it.

And he's fallen in the polls.

Normally, when that happens, the knives come out. Now the press is going to sharpen their knives shortly on Obama. But right now, they need to sell that give-away of the public money to Big Business. So right now they don't challenge Barack the way they would another president with the same poll numbers. Right now, they continue giving him a pass.

You need to grasp what's happening because the big money give-away to insurance companies isn't the only thing Barack campaigned on when he surrounded himself with his DLC peers. (Barack was DLC, Glenn Ford and Bruce Dixon admit it and admit that they sugar coated their article for The Black Commentator.) What sent shudders repeatedly during the campaign? What had the Cult of St. Barack saying, "He doesn't realize . . ." NO, he realizes. Social Security.

You better grasp that the press' efforts to sell ObamaInsuranceCare is the trial run for selling the privatization of Social Security. Barack's not just the fresh face of empire, he's the fresh face of all George W. Bush couldn't accomplish. The mainstream pimped him over and over. Why? Because their masters holding the leash told them to. You're seeing the same thing with ObamaInsuranceCare and, if it passes the Congress, prepare to see a similar press response when it's time to privatize Social Security.

I was not planning on saying that much. Two things. 1) When ObamaInsuranceCare passes or fails, at Third, I will be suggesting and advocating for a serious discussion of the issue of health care. We didn't have it and what MSNBC and the others offered was damn embarrassing. I am for single-payer, I am for Medicare For All. But I'm also for the truth and I don't think you trick the people to sell your plan. I think you need to be honest with them about what a single-payer plan would mean and there's been damn little honesty on Barack's minuscule "public option" plan. Second, I'm told Politico often has audio to their stories. I'll try to check that out. I don't care for Politico but if audio is a regular option to at least some of their text stories, we will put them on the permalinks because we serve all members of the community and that does include some of our oldest community members who are couples where one of them has poor eye sight or no eye sight. That's why we include audio links and note that there is an audio option. We started doing that a long time ago and I'm glad it's become popular at sites that are not part of this community. I have no idea why they ran with it but the reason we started it -- yes, we did start it -- was because of a diverse community. And "we started it" is not a brag for me. Community members pushed it. Community members raised the issue of how one of them reads the entry here to the other and then the interesting link or two is something that gets checked out and sometimes the one reading has to get some water because of all the reading out loud. Community members made it clear that in their situation, a link that had audio meant they could enjoy listening together. If Politico includes audio for just some stories, my own personal distaste for it doesn't matter, it'll be on the permalinks to the left. Bob Somerby's mentioned twice (at least twice) in this. I don't have time to find it (I've still got to do three columns tonight for the community newsletters), so click here for The Daily Howler.

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 4331. Tonight? 4332.

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