Friday, December 23, 2011

I Hate The War

Sirens wailed, smoke billowed and blood pooled on the pavement.
The scenes of devastation were all too familiar after more than a dozen explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing at least 60 people and injuring nearly 200, just days after the last U.S. troops left the country.
[. . .]
By nightfall, fear gripped the city and some residents were already talking about the need to arm themselves again.

That is from Raheem Salman and Alexandra Zavis' "Iraq bombings kill 60, revive old fears" (Los Angeles Times) and a powerful piece of writing from one of the stronger correspondents covering Iraq in the last few years and one of the stronger correspondents covering Iraq when Bush was occupying the White House.

As the US repostures (the Defense Dept's term) in the latest phase of the Iraq War, it'll be interesting to see what US outlets continue to cover Iraq. Post-2008 election, the US commercial networks began pulling their correspondents out. With so many saying the war is over (it's not), how many outlets plan to leave in the next few weeks or might have already left had the political crisis -- punctuated with Thursday's Baghdad bombings -- not taken place?

I know Joe Biden and think the world of him but his interview with Rachel Maddow was a very stupid thing. You never make those pronouncements about Iraq. Every time you do, Iraq reminds you just how unsettled things remain. It has happened every year of the war. It's like you're begging fate to slap you in the face and, worse, giving your political opponents -- as you head into an election year -- video of you looking very foolish.

And we'll be heading into an election year which we'll consume even more of the press' limited attention. A candidate for the GOP presidential nomination made some remarks about Iraq yesterday. If Ron Paul makes remarks and I'm aware of them, we will note him because his position is and has been consistent on the Iraq War. But as for the rest? Yesterday, someone was formulating a stance and I'm sure they'll get better at it. But I ignored it because I didn't find anything of value in it. I also don't want to take part in an ugly process of knocking people I'm not going to vote for.

Yesterday's candidate will most likely get called out by me many times over Iraq or other wars in the coming months and that's fine and it should happen. And it won't be high brown when I do or worded sweetly and nicely. But for months and months now, it's been highly fashionable to trash the people running for the GOP presidential nomination. I'm not talking about taking on their positions but just sneering at them because they're Republicans. It's cheap, easy and trashy. I'm not Gail Collins and would never want to be -- that unibrow alone makes me shudder. She thinks she's cute in print (and I guess if I looked like that, I'd delude myself as well) as she wastes everyone's time with her junior high slambook entries passed off as adult columns for the New York Times. She's far from the only one thinking she's a comedy writer whose snark somehow cures the world's ills and justifies her inability to address any serious issue but she's one of the more prominent ones. And certainly she's recycled the same basic column for ten months now.

I have no idea why she's allowed to waste everyone's time in that matter. It's not mature, it's not informative and it adds nothing to the discourse.

We get stuck covering death and dying every damn day due to the scope (the Iraq War). I really don't have the stomach for women who think being 'girlish' in print makes up for their obvious physical defects. They need to grow the hell up. And if they did, there'd still be a large number of men out there who are just as obsessed with distractions and gossip as opposed to issues that actually matter.

And there's nothing I've said here about the nonsensical drooling in print of Gail Collins (or others, male or female, who waste the nation's time) that has been better said by Bob Somerby. If you're unaware of the damage Collins specifically is doing, refer to his work on the topic.

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 week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4487. Tonight it's [PDF format warning] 4487. Here's the screen snap:


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