Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stand up

Stand up.

As you go through the morning newspapers and outlets, the answer (to "What the hell is going on?") becomes clear: A lot of reporters wish they could do stand up.

Which is how you get Anna Mulrine's "As Iraq war ends, strange hush descends on US bases" (Christian Science Monitor). Rita Rudner, look out.

The "strange hush" is especially hilarious because, as Ann noted last night, Press TV reported:

Unknown gunmen have attacked a US military base in the southern Iraq city of Basra with several mortar shells, military sources say.
Possible casualties or damages are yet to be reported.
The outpost is located in Basra International Airport, the second largest international airport in Iraq.

See, that's not a "strange hush." Mulrine builds the premise of her joke on saying the opposite of what is true and then (falsely) labels it "irony."

Or take Shields and Yarnell wannabes, Liz Sly and Craig Whitlock who contribute "Iraq war draws to a quiet close" (Washington Post). Again, they work from the premise that they'll take reality and then say the opposite thing which not only is not "irony" but also begs that someone explain to them that Shields and Yarnell were mimes. They never spoke. Sly and Whitlock might want to consider following suit.

Look for the threesome to be underwhelming audiences at Tommy T's Comedy Steakhouse unless NBC snatches Anna, Liz and Craig up for 21st century reboot of Pink Lady and Jeff.

Meanwhile Tom Vanden Brook (USA Today) notes 4,000 US troops are still in Iraq. And the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey is left to remind, "The exit from Iraq is not an exit from the region." And on that we'll drop back to the November 15th Senate Armed Services Committee -- covered in the November 15th "Iraq snapshot," November 16th "Iraq snapshot," November 17th "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)," Kat's "Who wanted what?" and Third's "Gen Dempsey talks '10 enduring' US bases in Iraq" -- and the excerpt above is from the November 16th snapshot.

Senator Joe Lieberman: My question, Mr. Secretary, is if you could just develop the statement that you made a little earlier, that we will have 40,000 troops in the region, does that include the 24,000 now in Iraq? Or have we made a decision to increase the number based on the failure to have more troops in Iraq after January of next year, have we made a decision to increase the number of the troops in the region outside of Iraq for some of those what-ifs I just talked about?
Secretary Leon Panetta: No, Senator, that did not include Iraq. What we have now is in Kuwait we have almost 29,000; Saudi Arabi we've got 258; Bahrain over 6,000 -- close to 7,000 --
Senator Joe Lieberman: Right.
Secretary Leon Panetta: UAE about 3,000, Qatar 7,000 if you go through the region and add up all those numbers, that's the 40,000.

The following community sites -- plus the Center for Constitutional Rights and -- updated last night and this morning:

Joan Wile is the founder of Grandmothers Against the War and has written the book Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace. She has been participating with Occupy Wall Street's NYC chapter.

Joan Wile sings I Am Just A 99 YouTube
Joan Wile performs at the piano, "I Am Just A 99." Joan wrote both the lyrics and music. She is a member of ASCAP and founder of Grandmothers Against the War.

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