Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bully Boo gets booed, adminstration never listens (especially about Iraq)

Good evening. It's hump day. We're half-way to the weekend! Let's get things started with Democracy Now!

Over 100,000 Protest President Bush in India
In other news, tens of thousands of people gathered in New Delhi today to protest a visit by President Bush to India. A police spokesperson said the crowd exceeded 100,000 people. Abdul Hussain, a spokesperson for one of the protest organizers, said: "Welcoming a person like him is like welcoming a murderer and he has become a militant and a war monger... he is a war president. So welcoming a person like him does not make any sense or meaning in a country like India. And welcoming him in the country of the Mahatma will desecrate our land."
Dozens of protests have been planned ahead of President Bush’s three-day visit. During his stay, Bush is expected to sign a controversial deal to sell India nuclear fuel from the US.

My comment here is: "Go read Wally!" Read his "THIS JUST IN! THE BULLYING THE GLOBE WORLD TOUR!" It is hilarious. (Wally says C.I. gave him "The bullying the globe world tour" phrase and asked me to note that.) While I'm suggesting, read C.I.'s "NYT: Republicans seek a 'bridge' (Brooklyn, so they can sell it to you?)" and I'll talk about that later in this post.

Study: One in Three Iraq Vets Seek Mental Health Treatment
Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting an Army study has found that more than one in three US troops who served in Iraq later sought help for mental health problems. According to the report, soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq reported more distress than those returning from Afghanistan and other countries. More than half of all service members returning from Iraq reported that they had "felt in great danger of being killed" there, and over 2,400 reported having suicidal thoughts. Steve Robinson, head of the National Gulf War Resource Center, said: "In Vietnam, there were safe areas where people could go to rest and recuperate. That doesn't happen in Iraq; every place is a war zone."

"Every place is a war zone." And maybe if the embedded corporate press hadn't hid out for almost three years in the Green Zone while "reporting" like everything was fine and dandy, the American people would have caught on a long time. We have a media failure. (I feel like Danny Schechter saying that! :D He may have said it. We all read and reviewed The Death of Media at The Third Estate Sunday Review for "1 Book, 10 Minutes (Danny Schechter, The Death of Media) " so that might be in The Death of Media. If Schechter said it, give him the credit.) Isn't it amazing how the reporting on the health of the troops always comes not from the embeds but from reporters stationed stateside?

The embeds can tell you what the general or major says. They can give you lots of happy talk. They just can't give you any reality. The only leashes in Iraq weren't at Abu Ghraib, obviously many of the embeds decided to put on collars and hand their leashes over to the military higher ups.

Troops coming home will be dealing with side effects for years and watch the big media stop caring the way they did with the the first Gulf war.

Former Intel Officials Say White House Ignored Insurgency Warnings
In other news, Knight Ridder is reporting the White House repeatedly ignored early intelligence warnings that the armed insurgency in Iraq was almost entirely local and growing in size. A National Intelligence Estimate as early as October 2003 said the insurgency was fueled mostly by local conditions, such as the presence of US troops in Iraq. It also said outside forces were playing almost no role in the insurgency. Robert Hutchings, the former chair of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to 2005 said: "Frankly, senior officials simply weren't ready to pay attention to analysis that didn't conform to their own optimistic scenarios." Another former high-ranking intelligence official said: "This was stuff the White House and the Pentagon did not want to hear. They were constantly grumbling that the people who were writing these kind of downbeat assessments 'needed to get on the team,' 'were not team players' and were `sitting up there (at CIA headquarters) in Langley sucking their thumbs.'"

Anybody else sensing a Condi Rice "No one could have guessed" moment on the horizon? Anyone else going to snort when she says it?

Okay, C.I. wrote about the NSA hearing yesterday in "NYT: Republicans seek a 'bridge' (Brooklyn, so they can sell it to you?)" which went up this morning. Tony said, "Man, that's incredible." It is. I know C.I. has had no more than 2 to 3 hours sleep every night this week and can't believe this entry was done this morning. (It was, it happened. It went up.)
But Tony wondered why yesterday C.I. only took on Orrin Hatch?

Kat was going to write about the hearings. She had some ideas and since she's finished both CD reviews (one is up already, "Kat's Korner: Cat Power's Greatness"), she thought she'd have some time. She worked and worked on a post last night. Then she goes to post her post and loses the whole thing. She called Betty who was working on a chapter for Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man to warn her, "Don't post without at least a handwritten copy." But it was too late because Betty had already tried and lost her chapter right before Kat called. C.I. and Kat both wrote about this last night.

But C.I. was stepping aside to let Kat explore the hearings and just focusing on Hatch Tuesday. (And had checked with Kat to make sure she wasn't going to write about Hatch.) Kat's attitude is that it's gone and that must have been meant to be. So when she said that last night to C.I. she urged C.I. to write something on it.

That's how you got the most amazing "NYT: Republicans seek a 'bridge' (Brooklyn, so they can sell it to you?)" today. You got to read it. When we had nothing but problems at The Third Estate Sunday Review and had to work forever, we were all dragging. By the editorial, we were on empty. Almost everyone. Like Elaine noted Monday:

For the editorial, the main points had been outlined (by Jess) with pen and paper. But even that was rough. That was the last thing that those of us still helping out were participating on. The basics are from Jim and C.I. with the rest of us modifying them. We were all wiped out and saying things like, "I have nothing else to give." So Jim would grab a point and go with it and then get C.I. to speak on the next point. "Just pretend it's a speech," Jim would say and C.I. would give a five to ten minute speech which we'd boil down to a paragraph. Jim can go on forever and actually thrives on it. C.I. doesn't thrive on it but can pull out second, third, fourth, fifth . . . winds.

The entry on the hearings is like the speeches C.I. would give when Jim would toss. Those two came up with the text. We all worked on what the points should be (the outline) and we had done the editorial and lost it. By five p.m. (that's what it almost was when the editorial was finished), none of us could even remember what the original said before it was lost. But Jim would grab a point and talk on it and from that, we'd reshape it into a paragraph, then Jim would toss the next point to C.I. and go, "Come on, you know you could give a speech on this!" So C.I. would just speak, off the top of the head, for five minutes and we'd take that and reshape it. Jim loves all nighters and thinks it proves something or forces you to "really go to the wall." C.I. can handle an all nighter but not an all nighter and an all dayer. (That edition took over 24 hours straight.) Now I hear C.I. toss out ideas and contribute all the time. And I read The Common Ills always. So I know what C.I. is capable of. Or I thought I did. It was really amazing to hear C.I. sigh or yawn when Jim tossed, take a deep breath and then just take off on whatever point in the outline we were at. It was like an All Stars game. Really, I'd just be listening and thinking, "No way, not again" and BAM! out of the park. So read "NYT: Republicans seek a 'bridge' (Brooklyn, so they can sell it to you?)" because it's BAM! out of the park.

I think Kat would have done an amazing job herself. It would have been different because she was going to examine it (she had a chart and all ready this weekend) on different aspects and levels. But why I brought this up was because: Isn't Kat amazing? She worked like crazy and wrote something that Betty says was amazing (Betty heard it over the phone because they were calling each other while they were writing). And where was her focus when she lost it? On Betty. Betty e-mailed me and asked me to please point that out. I have no problem doing that (or anything else Betty wants pointed out ever). Kat's really a special and amazing person. I would have been banging my head against the wall until it was bloody. Kat was focused on what Betty lost.

And let me say one more time that her latest review went up last night ("Kat's Korner: Cat Power's Greatness") and you should check it out. She's got another one that should go up tonight but Ava and C.I. have had something dumped in their laps and are trying to figure out how to address it. (That's all I'll say because they haven't been able to speak to everyone yet. They're trying to decide if this waits until Sunday or if it doesn't? And if it doesn't, where does it go up?)