BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O HAS BEEN DESPERATE FOR A CAUSE.
"LIZ TAYLOR," HE COMPLAINED TO THESE REPORTERS, "HAS THE AIDS MARKET CORNERED AND WHAT LITTLE'S LEFT IS OCCUPIED BY SHARON STONE WHO'LL GET REALLY NASTY IF YOU TRY TO CROWD HER. SO I LOOKED AROUND AND WENT FOR SOMETHING I THOUGHT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT: UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS. YOU KNOW THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH STUDENTS AND STUDENTS ARE JUST PAINS IN THE ASSES -- LIKE THE PRESS CORPS. SO PROFESSORS ARE VICTIMS. SO I JUST WANTED TO TAKE A STAND AND FRIDAY I EXPLAINED THAT I TOOK THE WRONG STAND AND SO ALL'S WELL AND I'M THINKING OF STARTING A GREEN RIBBON CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT OR SOMETHING."
BUT BARRY O NEVER SAID HE WAS SORRY.
"SILLY PRESS," LAUGHED BARRY, "BEING AN ASSHOLE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today the US military announced: "BAGHDAD – A Multi-National Division–Baghdad Soldier died, July 24, of non-combat related injuries in eastern Baghdad. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of the service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense Official Website at http://www.defenselink.mil/ . The announcements are made on the Website no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. MND-B will not release any additional details prior to notification of next of kin and official release by the DoD. The incident is currently under investigation." The announcement brings to 4328 the number of US service members killed in the Iraq War.That number is not a complete count. Trejo Rivas just passed away and he was a veteran of the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. It was in Iraq that a mortart attack October 12, 2006. As Sig Christenson (San Antonio-Express) explained Tuesday, "Retired Army Reserve Lt. Col. Raymond Trejo Rivas died Wednesday in San Antonio after battling to recover from head injuries suffered nearly three years ago. He was 53." Meanwhile John Hacker (Carthage Press) speaks with Isaac "Jerry" Conway who explains "his grandson, U.S. Army Spec. David Conway II, was injured in the Iraqi city of Sharqat when an improvised explosive device exploded near him while he was leaving a meeting with local officials. Also injured were six other American soldiers and two Iraqi civilians working with the soldiers." Conway says the incident took place July 12th. I'm not doubting Conway, but I am noting M-NF never noted it. They did have time, however, the day after, to issue a release about "Facebook, [and] other social media." Priorities. Yesterday Nouri al-Maliki announced US forces might stay in Iraq past 2011. And who noted it? Margaret Talev's "Iraq's Maliki raises possibility of asking U.S. to stay on" (McClatchy Newspapers) may shock some readers since McClatchy is the only newspaper outlet covering it. It's not because it just emerged or emerged late. The comments are noted in yesterday's snapshot. It's not ignored because it's not newsworthy. Three outlets rushed to print articles yesterday morning on the topic . . . when they claimed all US troops would be out in 2011. (See yesterday's entry.) It's only not news when it doesn't agree with their outlets spin purposes.To recap, when you can pimp the lie that all US troops will be out of Iraq in 2011 (and, apparently, pimp yourself as a psychic who can tell the future), you run with it and call it news. When Nouri al-Maliki publicly, in front of a crowd, declares not-so-fast, you duck your head and pretend it didn't happen. Anne Gearan covers al-Maliki's remarks for AP.
Though most of the broadcast media ignores the Iraq War (and much of the print media), there are many news items related to and coming out of Iraq. It's Friday, so smart news consumers knew there was a good chance The Diane Rehm Show would cover the Iraq War -- the only program to do so regularly. Diane's on vacation. Steve Roberts filled in for her today. The panelists for the second (international news) hour were: The Financial Times' Daniel Dombey, Washington Post's David Hoffman and CNN's Elise Labott.
Steve Roberts: Let's talk about a neighboring country, Iraq, and, David Hoffman, Prime Minister Maliki in Washington this week. Interestingly, not only in talks with President Obama but also talking a lot about the economy of Iraq -- an issue we don't hear a lot about, but trying to drum up interest among American investors and entrepreneurs. Give us your take on his visit.
David Hoffman: Well I actually thought the most interesting thing was the president pledged to help get rid of these UN sanctions. You know, Iraq still has to pay billions of dollars to Kuwait in reparations. If they get some of that money back, that will help them and, you know, I think when Mal-Maliki goes home from Washington, it's going to look grimmer on the ground there. There's a big election coming in Kurdistan, it's very important. The parties that have led Kurdistan are being challenged by an upstart party. I think Kurdistan is the real new frontline, the real flashpoint, in potential sectarian tensions in Iraq so Maliki's country's not all together yet.
Steve Roberts: Uh, well you mentioned, there are several issue here including, in his conversation with President Obama, the whole issue of the deadline of withdrawal of American troops. What did we learn?
David Hoffman: Well, I think, you know, we're committed to the deadline but what's going to happen is the deadline is going to be tested and it was just tested this morning. There's going be firefights and there are going to be military conflicts involving all these rules and deadlines and those things, you know, they're very, very sensitive and volatile.
Steve Roberts: Uh, talk Daniel, about this sense of national unity. David raises this issue of Kurdistan. Over weeks now, there's been increasing assertions of independence on the part of Kurdistan leaders, there's a huge fight over the status of Kirkuk, an oil-rich area. Is Iraq holding together? Is-is there a real threat to its national unity hear.
Daniel Dombey: I think both are true. Iraqi is holding-holding together to the moment but the Kirkuk is-is the biggest unsolved problem of-of Iraq -- not least because of the oil revenue but also because of Kurds who have come in and Turkmens who were there before. But I think just to look at Maliki's visit, I think that you need to bear two things in mind. This is a cold relationship rather like the relationship with [Hamid] Karzai and if you looked at some of President Obama's comments where he talked about wanting an Iraq where everyone could thrive -- Shia, Sunni and Kurds -- it didn't take a genius, it didn't take a Sherlock Holmes, to see that the US worries that Maliki could be a bit more of a narrow sectarian than it would like. There's that tension there. There's also a little bit of tension about how much freedom of maneuver the US military has following the June the 30th pull-out. And I wonder Iraq's economic situation is hard. There biggest thing is oil. They had a big auction to-to sell out rights to eight big oil fields uh in, near Basra. Only one of those went through that seems to be renegotiated -- it still -- the British are kind of less keen than they were. They're not getting the investors they need at a time that the oil price is going down. They need oil and money to grease the wheels to make Iraq a more coherent place.
Elise Labot: Part of the issue has been that there hasn't been enough national reconciliation in the country and the issue is part of the reason for the surge was not just -- in 2007 -- was not just to improve security but it was to give the political space for more reconciliation and that never happened. And the kind of grand constitutional bargain and the concessions that were necessary to make that were never completed. So what President Obama was saying to Maliki: "You need to do this, you need to not only include Sunnis into the political process but you need to, uhm, settle some of these issues with the Kurds." And Maliki said to him: "We need your help on doing this. We understand that there will be a military disengagement but it can't be a political disengagement because Iraq has a lot more challenges that not only are of sectarian nature but go to the whole future of the country. Is the power going to be in the central government? Is it going to be in the provinces? Who's going to be in control over the oil and the natural resources? I mean, these are major issues that the Iraqis are going to have to resolve and they are looking for the United States in many ways to help mediate these.
Steve Roberts: Well there were stories this week about this pact or protocol that was apparently signed with Sunnis in Turkey, what was that all about?
David Hoffman: It's not really clear. But there were two meetings between Americans and representatives of the Sunni insurgency that were held in Turkey. It's really -- the third meeting is the mystery. Why didn't it happen? It was scheduled. The Americans didn't come. There's some signs of some disenchantment maybe, that this wasn't really a very good channel or it wasn't working. But I do think it's at least an indicator that reconciliation's got to be the goal.
During listener feedback, a panelist completely blew it. He had no idea what he was speaking of.
Steve Roberts: Let me read some e-mails from some of our listeners. This is Randall in Cincinatti: "With the death toll rising in Afghanistan, I want to know where the anti-war groups that were protesting during the Bush administration -- the anti-war movement was seen and heard daily during the few years but they seem to have disappeared in mainstream media since Obama was elected. Could it be these were just anti-Bush groups posing as anti-war groups?" What do you think?
David Hoffman: Well I think, also, you know Obama did endorse deadlines, troops have pulled back, violence has gone down in Iraq, that may play a big part.
When we noted the Iraq portion of The Diane Rehm Show on Fridays, there are things said by panelists I disagree with. If it's not called out by another guest, the issue is, can the person's remarks be seen? Could someone look at the facts and conclude as the panelist did? If it's an opinion, it can go in. But if someone is just factually wrong, we need to call it out. So we will. David didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Obama endorsed deadlines? You mean the June 30th 'pull-out'? You mean the draw down? You mean the supposed 2011 departure? If that's what you mean, you mean Obama "endrosed" Bush's "deadlines" because those 'deadlines' are Bush's. Those are from the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement which replaced the UN mandate (that Bush didn't want to renew) and which required a full-on push from the US government to pass through Parliament (with a huge number of Iraqi MPs skipping the vote) on Thanksgivng day in 2008. What was being asked was a fair question. More than fair.
And the honest answer, which Randall wasn't given, was that a large number of the 'anti-war' groups were nothing but anti-Bush groups -- and, more importantly, anti-Bush groups who existed to put Democrats into office. They weren't about ending the Iraq War. Look at MoveOn, for example. These were not real peace groups -- which is why they preferred the title "anti-war." These were not groups concerned with ending the illegal war. Their answer, over and over, check those stupid MoveOn e-mails from that time period, were: Stop the Iraq War by voting Democrats into office! That was all they had to offer. That and a few pathetic 'candle light vigils.' Randall asked a fair question and he didn't get a fair answer.
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