Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Koppel ponders how an attack gets handled after Jan. 1st

Last night Ted Koppel presented an important report on Rock Center with Brian Williams (NBC).
Here's an excerpt where they are discussing the US consulate in Basra.

Ted Koppel: If those Iranian backed militias were to launch a full scale attack on this consulate, would the US calvary ride to the rescue?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: We depend upon the Iraqis and if we need security support, we will turn to them and we will tell them, "I've got a problem in Basra and you need to help us.

Ted Koppel: The question is will they?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: I believe they will.

Ted Koppel: That's what an ambassador has to say about his hosts. This is the man who might actually have to deal with that nightmare, Lt Gen Robert Caslan. General, how are you going to get 1320 people out of there? I mean if you've 24 hours notice that something like this was going to happen, you're telling me the Iraqi government would evacuate immediately? Would get them all out of there?

Lt Gen Robert Caslan: I would argue that we do have, in theater, whether it's in Kuwait or elsewhere in theater, that we fall under the central command, Centcom, and I feel confident that Centcom has the necessary assets to take whatever measures they need to to counter that attack.

To the site's credit, The Huffington Post has posted a video this morning (there are more video options at Rock Center). But the most important thing the site may have done was to allow their users -- including "superusers" -- to post inane comments that explain just how stupid and degraded the discourse has become.

The last comment currently is by jrfunkenstein who does the usual move of the stupid: play the nostalgia game. Peter Jennings was the last good one! When he died . . . In death, they're always better, aren't they? He is whining in response to ALiberalKidd who either didn't pursue a liberal arts education or failed to master critical thinking if s/he did pursue it. 'Ted Koppel, Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush, Katie Couric, Harry Smith, Diana Sawyer -- it's all the same. And why America is broken!' America might be broken -- if it is -- by people who choose to write about Diane Sawyer but don't know her name all these decades later.


Not Diana.

The fool laments that there's not one "openly straight liberal" in the networks news media. (As opposed to how many openly gay ones?) If there were one, would the fool recognize him or her? I'm not sure I'm ready to bet the farm on the insights of someone who thinks Sawyer's first name is "Diana." A Ron Paul supporter weighs in as does someone who dismisses Ron Paul as "an aging crank." That is the level of discourse that HuffPuff posters can handle, apparently. Nothing more.

Then there's the attack on the State Dept workers: "If Mr. Koppel is correct, and 16,000 civilian Americans choose to stay and work in Iraq without the protection of the military, I wonder about the mental stability, the intelligen­ce, and the motives for those 16,000." That's a HuffPuff "super user." You'll notice, as is always the case at Huff Puff, you blame the State Dept workers, you don't blame the president. You never question Barack's sanity for setting the mission, you just insult those tasked with performing it. It's criticism for the weak knees and spine lacking.

Then there's Kiranitisme, another HuffPuff "super user." And struggling with the world and recognition which apparently is a common ailment for Huff Puff "super users." Kiranitisme wants the world to know, "The article forgot about how many Iraqis were killed, displaced and forced to flee to other countries as refugees!. Iraq should be forgotten as the worst foreign policy disaster since Vietnam. Should never have happened."

Kiranitisme went to IHop, ate the Bisquits & Gravy combo and now wants to whine that it didn't include a grilled chicken ceasar salad.

Meaning: Ted Koppel's report was specifically about the US in Iraq beyond December 31st. I'm sure the little priss felt like s/he accomplished with their whine, "What about Iraqis!" But the reality is s/he just flaunted their own stupidity. Next up, Kiranitisme trashes Moby Dick for it's failure to include any details of the romance between Daisy Buchanan and Gatsby.

And, had they bothered to watch, the thing to glom on was Brian Williams opening remarks:

A lot of Americans will forever believe that the war in Iraq was an elective war. The United States chose to attack, there was never any connection proven to the terrorist attack we have suffered. But there's no sense in refighting it either. It was nasty enough for those who did it the further time around.

Seriously? There's no point in addressing now whether the Iraq War was right or wrong? Really? Then what's the point in even talking about it? Again, if you want to take on the report, there are many ways to do so and I'd suggest you start with Brian Williams 'fact' that there is no point in debating the merits of the war. That's a stupid remark that's an insult to news, to history and public affairs. It's an insult to an open society and democracy. I'm willing to allow it's a remark Williams would alter if he had thought it through but it was a very stupid remark to make. (But please note, see "Katie Was A Cheerleader," it fits in with Ava and my criticism of Brian Williams becoming an anchor -- a Jay Leno interview that we raised alarms over but everyone else was too busy attacking Katie Couric.) If there's no point in addressing whether a "terrorist attack" was done by Iraq (he's referring to 9-11) then exactly what is the point of the news industry? Exactly what is the point of the US self-describing as a democracy?

It had no place in the opening. After that, you could take on Ted Koppel's fears/assertions re: Iran if you wanted to take something on. (I disagree with him on those. I've noted that disagreement before -- such as when he was on Talk of the Nation. They were presented here as his opinion. He's entitled to them, I'm entitled to disagree and Americans are entitled to get more than one opinion on a news magazine. But, of course, when a network news program tried to offer a forum for opinions, the program was slammed by the faux left because allowing all opinions did indeed mean allowing right wingers the right to express their opinions as well.)

At some point, you might want to grow the hell up and deal with what the report covered.

Elaine noted Barack's similarities to Jimmy Carter back in 2007, long before anyone else she was pointing it out. She owns that comparison. I'm not sure I agree with that comparison fully. I actually see him as similar to another president but I'll save that ammo for 2012 when Team Obama will have to struggle to recalibrate the machine. Still a lot of people repeat Elaine's comparison. Take Ted's report and factor in the Jimmy comparison.

How's the Cult of St. Barack going to respond in 2012, an election year, if a group of Americans are taken hostage in Iraq? How's that going to effect his re-election efforts?

Since Iraq isn't apparently worthy of serious exploration on its own, maybe if we tack Barack's re-election to it, the topic might be seen as water cooler ready?

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, Jane Fonda, Antiwar.com and Adam Kokesh -- updated last night and this morning:

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