But that's us. Mark Steel and the US Socialist Worker want to have their titters and guffaws and who are we to deny them?
They really shame themselves. They've done a half-assed job covering the Iraq Inquiry and now they bring on the 'jokes.' The only joke? The US Socialist Worker today.
Comedy is supposed to be pain-plus-time. "Time" doesn't mean while the tragedy continues.
And considering that the comedian hails from a paper that's allowed the Inquiry to be covered by a friend of Alastair Campbell's, by a friend whom Alastair has bragged is in his "pocket," it probably wasn't a good idea for the Socialist Worker to have used an Independent of London employee for Inquiry coverage to start with.
It's really amazing who dismisses what the Inquiry's produced and who doesn't. Chris Ames has found a goldmine of information. Others? They just can't seem to find anything. You better believe that makes Alastair very, very happy.
And let's grasp as well what the article really is: Crap. Lazy crap.
If you read the nonsense, you quickly grasp that the comedian's paid no attention to the Iraq Inquiry. There's nothing from the Inquiry in the column. He's pieced together a bunch of things that have been known since 2003 to dismiss the Inquiry. In other words, he wants to do jokes without doing the work. In other words, we have another gas bag offering 'opinions' on things he knows nothing about.
The article's so insulting it makes Hillary's response on Iraq today in Qatar look rational and reasonable (or at least almost):
QUESTION: Hello, Madam Secretary. My name is Kasi Irae. I am from Iran. But I was born and raised in Dubai. My question is about the war in Iraq. So, ever since -- throughout high school and subsequently in my university years, I have been watching the Iraq war. People are dying, you know, bombs are going off, and there are several (inaudible). And something I just -- I wonder if America were -- if Iraq didn't have any oil. And my question is, would America be in Iraq if Iraq didn't have any oil?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that what is happening in Iraq is very important on a number of fronts. And we are going to be leaving Iraq, and when we leave Iraq, as has been agreed to with our military -- and we are on schedule to do that -- we will, hopefully, have a relationship with Iraq as we would have with any other country. We hope to have a strong civilian partnership.
And I think that the short answer to your question is we will be in Iraq as we would be in any country, whether or not they have natural resources. And the Iraqis themselves are making the decision about the future of their oil industry. You may have followed the recent bidding that has been done, giving contracts to countries from all over the world, companies from China to Europe to the United States to the Middle East.
That's the way it should be. The people of Iraq, through their democratically elected government -- something they did not have in the past -- should be making those decisions for themselves. That is really what the United States hopes will be the future of Iraq, that it will remain democratic, a strong democracy, a pluralistic society, where every part of the country gets to participate, that there isn't any tilting of power for or against any group within Iraq, and that, as part of their democratic future, the Iraqi people will have the benefit of their oil revenues. Not one group, not any individual, but the Iraqi people.
And it is my hope that that becomes the reality for the Iraqis, that they benefit from their own natural resources, that they invest in education cities, that they build great health care facilities and housing for people. That is what we hope for them, and that is the direction that the Iraqi Government seems to be headed, themselves.
So, the United States is very pleased at the progress that Iraq is making. And the oil industry is broadly dispersed among many different companies and countries, at the decision of the Iraqis themselves. That is the way it should be, in our view.
We'll note this from Jim Frederick's "The Threat from Within: Stopping Soldiers from Becoming Murderers" (Time magazine):
For the past three years, I have been researching the story of one unit's deployment to Iraq -- a story that turns on the lack of accountability for the failure to properly handle a murderous, dysfunctional soldier. In late 2005, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division took control of a stretch of land just south of Baghdad that had come to be known as the Triangle of Death. Experiencing some form of combat nearly every day, suffering from a high casualty rate and enduring chronic breakdowns in leadership, one of the battalion's platoons -- 1st Platoon, Bravo Company -- fell into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse and brutality. In March 2006, four 1st Platoon soldiers -- Specialist Paul Cortez, Specialist James Barker, Private First Class Jesse Spielman and Private First Class Steven Green -- perpetrated one of the most heinous war crimes known to have been committed by U.S. forces during the Iraq War: the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded murders of her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister.
Jim Frederick's book Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death hit book stores last Tuesday. "One of the most heinous war crimes"? Check the Democracy Now! archives for their segment on it. They never did one. They never judged Abeer important enough. Not when the Article 32 hearing took place, not when the courts-martial took place, not when Steven D. Green faced a civilian court. It was never worth discussing, never worth devoting time to. That's very telling.
And we'll note this about Carly Simon: