Tuesday, September 12, 2006

NYT: Gordo ought to come in brown wrapper

The political and security situation in western Iraq is grim and will continue to deteriorate unless the region receives a major infusion of aid and a division is sent to reinforce the American troops operating there, according to the senior Marine intelligence officer in Iraq.
[. . .]
A separate report, titled "Stabilizing Iraq," issued Monday by the Government Accountability Office, says that, although the solution to securing the country is not entirely military, there is an important relationship between security conditions and efforts to strengthen the economy.

The above is from War Pornographer Michael Gordon's "Grim Outlook Seen in West Iraq Without More Troops and Aid" in this morning's New York Times. And those two paragraphs of the overly long article were selected because they're really the only ones, in twenty-one paragraphs of war porn, where Gordo appears to remember that the original report spoke of problems beyond military. Otherwise, Gordo's all hot & bothered and sticky in his drawers, letting his naughty fantasies run wild while he gets all leaky in his shorts.

Let's go back to Thomas E. Ricks' "Situation Called Dire in West Iraq: Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine Analyst Says" (Washington Post) from yesterday:

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.
The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

Now anyone who's not a War Pornographer quickly grasped that there were issues beyond "troops on the ground." Were Gordo not pleasuring himself publicly in print, he might grasp that as well. But he's got to beat the . . . drum. Reading Gordo's work (today or any other), you're left with the impression that his idea of "hot talk" is cluster bombs, D.U., and napalm. You also get the impression that his 'sources' know that as well.

Which is why, though Gordo's not seen the report, every source he has drops their voice to a husky whisper and pants phrases calling for 'more troops' and 'war deployment.' They do their best to make sure Gordo gets his Ya-Yas and there's something really pathetic, though not surprising, about a paper (New York Times) that just passes his Penthouse Letter on up the chain and never sends it back to him with questions about 'hearts & minds' or what about the whole point that al Anbar is lost politically?

In this society, the true deviants are the ones who cheerleaded this illegal war when they should have been asking questions. Don't kid yourself that because Judith Miller got flogged in the town square (or drowned -- it really was a witch dunking where, if she drowned, the paper was supposed to be seen as blameless for its lies that led to war -- lies that didn't just come from Miller's articles) that the paper has somehow purified itself. It hasn't. It'll offer one of its striving-for-better-nature editorials from time to time but, more often than not, it just demonstrates how blood thirsty and juvenile it is (often enough that you grasp that is the paper's true nature and that the Bullies are not in Belfast but on West 43rd). (And if that seems harsh, take a moment to grasp how the paper -- from 'reporting' to editorializing -- got behind the failed coup against Hugo Chavez and portrayed it -- even two years later with documents available to the public about the CIA funding -- as something that just happened and was truly 'democratic.')

A war pornographer has their uses. For instance, no one can pant numbers better than Gordo. But when it comes to issues beyond the numbers on the ground (which, Gordo, are a "policy issue"), their mouths have gone slack and their blood has left their brains. So Gordo (who famoulsy stated he didn't deal with policy decisions and makes a similar claim in the paper today that he tries to push off as the intent -- "not make policy recommendations") gets his jollies and readers get more war porn from the paper that should come in a brown wrapper.

No doubt, there are some who will get excited by this (those into voyeurism and other fetishes) but you'll probably also see some supposed 'thinking' persons get excited. Probably this passage is what will do it for them:

The Sunnis' suspicion of the government makes the task of forging a political reconciliation more difficult, and has also complicated one policy option that some critics of Bush administration's strategy have proposed as an alternative means of stabilizing Iraq: dividing the country into Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni enclaves. Such a plan would not be welcomed by Sunnis, since they would not trust the central government to share proceeds from oil sales, the assessment says.

You should have serious doubts about any 'thinking' person who praises that passage. That was always the policy option/aim of the administration. So if you see or hear someone who's praised Greg Palast's new book (a great one), you might wonder if they've bothered to read it. (I can picture one program zooming in on the passage and talking about how some 'truth' got into the paper in Gordo's filth today). It's not a policy option coming from outside the Bully Boy's circle, it's a policy option that's long been on the administration's wish list. (And Palast is only one of the writers who has pointed that out. Either Dahr Jamail or Naomi Klein has as well -- I'm sick this morning and can't recall which pointed out. It may have been both.) So all these months after
to present it as an outside option is a bit of a joke (not unlike Gordo). Greg Palast's book had a link in this entry but Rebecca pointed out that it must have ran (it must have been an open tag) into other things. So Armed Madhouse, worth reading, read it. But no link. This morning. I'm just trying to fix what was lost (about two paragraphs) as a result of the open tag.

Erika notes that the paper carries no correction to Bill Carter's article yesterday. No, and they probably won't. They like to think they can write about entertainment, report on it, and yet when they get facts wrong, they fall back on their excuse of "It's just entertainment!" They're the ones deciding to report on it and if Bill Carter had done any kind of research (to cite just one error -- which was the one that bothered my friend yesterday), they wouldn't have printed the lie that Amanda Peet was about to make her TV series debut. How stupid do you have to be for that to make it into print, honestly?

I'm not just talking about Carter, an editor should have caught that and said, "No, Amanda Peet's done TV guest work, starred in Jack & Jill, done One Life to Live. This new series will not be 'her first television role.'" I can see how Carter could make the mistake (and most believe he was fed that by Sorkin) and, if a correction had been run, it wouldn't be an issue. But they don't want to correct it because it's a mistake an editor should have caught (the paper has no fact checkers, that's the role of the editor -- and the entertainment section has editors). It's entertainment but it goes to all that is wrong with the paper, a feeling of we don't need to do any work, we just need to print it and no one can challenge us. (Shades of their reporting of the coup against Hugo Chavez.)

I never expect the Docker Boys (Carter and David Carr) to have the basics about what they write (not because they're stupid but because they're really too out of it to write about entertainment -- they're the parents of your friends saying, "So rap. How about that MC Hammer, huh?"). I do think readers can expect that when the paper's dealing with facts in their entertainment reporting that the facts should be accurate and, when they're not, that they should be corrected. But they aren't.

Their most recent war, on Tom Cruise, has made me avoid the paper of no record's entertainment section but supposedly, on Sunday, they dealt with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's upcoming releases and Justy's just a good little boy but Janet exposed her breast at the Superbowl. One more example of how they don't know ___ and should honestly just pack up that entertainment 'reporting' at this point. Their writers are, with few exceptions (Stephen Holden is one), oblivous. They are the joke of the entertainment industry and it's because their "reporting" is so laughable and so wrong and corrections only come (to basic facts they got wrong) when an attorney phones the paper.

The fact that they think they can get away with that (and, in fact, usually do) in the entertainment section should make everyone question the 'reporting' that appears in the rest of the paper. (And to clarify, I'm speaking of the arts 'reporting' -- not the reviews -- they have many fine reviewers at the paper -- Holden sometimes wear both hats and he's one of the few qualified to do so.)

Lastly, I have no idea why Rebecca's site isn't showing up. I'll call her after this goes up and see if she needs to index it (she's been getting a lot of e-mails from visitors so we'll assume 'traffic' is up -- when that happens, if you don't index it, or republish the whole site, it can stop showing up). She and Fly Boy were staying over at Mike's so he (Fly Boy) could do the party and not have the long commute to work today and I've avoided calling earlier because I've assumed everyone would be rushing around but it's almost nine there now so things should have calmed down by now.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.