C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
The daily life continues to be marred by chaos and violence. And apparently role playing Geoffrey Miller, Donald Rumsfeld went from Afghanistan to Iraq with violence following in his wake as he apparently pulled the strings of Nouri al-Maliki, US puppet of the illegal occupation.
As noted this morning: "AP is reporting that a bus station in Baghdad was stormed by 'gunmen' and at least 24 people were seized with at least 20 of those 24 being killed."
The AFP reports that 22 corpses were discovered ("Blindfolded, hands tied behind them, and most shot in the head") and that the number kidnapped was much larger than 24, "up to 80." For those who question that number, the AFP quotes "Senior Shiite MP Jaladdin al-Saghir" saying: "There was a very serious breach of security in Diyala province today when 60-80 Shiites were kidnapped from the bus station".
The AP reports, on the corpses discovered from the mass kidnapping, "Relatives wept over loved ones, with one man leaning over an open coffin and kissing the hand of a victim."
The AFP notes. of the continued violence in the the city where the "crackdown" is ongoing. "Violence in Baghdad has raged despite the fact that more than 50,000 troops, mostly Iraqi, have been patrolling the capital's streets since last month."
Other shootings? Reuters reports: "clashes . . . between Iraqi policemen and gunmen" in Baghdad that left a civilian and a police officer dead as well as two patrol cars burned; in Tikrit, a police officer was shot dead; in Kirkuk, a police officer was shot dead; and, in Baghdad, a "Baghdad University professor" was shot dead.
CBS and the AP report a car bomb exploding "near an Iraqi army base in Haswa" leaving eight wounded. Reuters notes that a civilian died in the blast (and spells it "Hasswa") and notes two bombs in Baghdad. One "suicide bomber" entered a restaurant, engaged the bomb killing himself and seven people while leaving twenty more wounded. Reuters also notes a roadside bomb that wounded three ("including a child").
Reuters reports that two corpses were found (carpenters) in Tikrit, while another corpse ("gunshot wounds and signs of torture") was discovered in Kirkuk.As Dahr Jamail and others have noted, Iraqis are fleeing the country. The BBC offers the stories of three who have left (in their own words). The fleeing continues though the AP notes that "flyers circulated in a predominately Sunni area north of Baghdad, uring Shi'ite families no tto flee and warning people not to hurt members of the majority sect."
Meanwhile the AFP is reporting that 150 women "protested at Baghdad's Yamuk club and demanded that the former soldier Steven Green be tried as a 'war criminal.'" The former 101st Airborne Division Green was the first person arrested in the alleged rape and murder of 14 year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi as well as the murder of three of her family members. (That arrest, FOR THE RECORD, took place on Friday June 30th and not "last week" as too many keep misreporting.)
The Associated Press reports that following all the scandals, Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton has lost a "multibillion contract" and that the Army will "rebid" it which seems strange wording since, as the article notes, Halliburton's Iraq contracts with the US have included "no-bid contracts" with Halliburton. Can you re-bid what was a no-bid? Does the AP know more than they're telling?
Meanwhile, the AFP is reporting that Parsons Global Services has also had its US military contract cancelled "due to cost overruns and incompetency".
Shh. Can you hear that? The sound of hundred War Hawks sobbing.
And the US administration's walking scandal, Secretary of Defense Donnie Rumsfeld visited Iraq where he pompously declared, "I don't talk deadlines." Of course Tommy Franks infamously said "we don't do body counts" at the start of the illegal war and we now know that was a lie. (We know that. Big media and indymedia failed on that, but here we know the truth.) On June 26th, Nancy A. Youssef broke the story that the US was keeping a body count on Iraqi civilians. Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli went on the record and confirmed it, saying that it was a form of 'measurement' by the US and the US has been doing that since at least "last summer."
CNN reports that Rumsfeld, speaking inside a heavily guarded military base, declared,""Each time I come to Iraq, I see progress" -- revealing he is both a liar and blind.
Rumsfeld breezed through to pull the puppet's strings and Nouri al-Maliki stated, according to Reuters, that this was the Iraq's 'last chance for peace' -- which no doubt struck many in Iraq as strange since nothing resembling "peace" has been seen since the start of the illegal occupation.
But apparently feeling stand-up might be his next profession, after the US government tires of him and replaces with yet another prime minister, al-Maliki stated: "We all have a last chance to reconcile and agree among ourselves on avoiding conflict and blood. If we fail, God forbid, I don't know what the fate of Iraq will be" (CBS and AP).
The dire warning was in direct contrast to his stated remarks yesterday: "I don't see the country falling into a civil war despite the regrettable activities of certain people who ignore that Iraq is united . . . The security services are still in control of the situation and we would like to see matters move towards political (compromise) rather than resort to force" (AFP).
Possibly Rumsfeld pulled the strings too tight or else he's cracking up during the crackdown, but al-Maliki is also now threatening TV stations with being shut down. That move would be neither democratic nor smart. On the latter, Paul L. Bremer could explain to him the probable reaction when you try to shut down the press.
If you noticed yesterday, I deleted a sentence from yesterday's report. I will do that anytime that program pops up in the snapshot. Hopefully, that won't be necessary. C.I. put together an amazing snapshot . . . without even noting that program.
The most depressing thing about last week was realizing that the brave program wasn't just unaware about the Nancy A. Youssef story but that they were choosing to ignore it. That's what happens when you're aware of it and you don't do anything about it.
"War as an After Thought" addressed my feelings on those who wasted time and that includes the so-called "war and peace report." Israel is now fighting war, real war, they say on Nightline right now. And on "the war and peace report"? Not a word.
And there shouldn't be a word on it if you can't cover it fairly. The show can't. I thought Rebecca was really nice to take that approach instead of saying, "Quit lying!"
When I realized that they were sitting on the Youssef report instead of announcing it, I was very sad. I still am a little. The actions this week make it easy not to be too sad anymore.
C.I.'s been working on things with metaphors and stuff like for the talk that's being given these days. (Dona said this morning's talk went so well, C.I. ended up speaking to two more groups.)
The point of the metaphor is that we need to increase awareness.
Doing what you did in 2003 or 2004 in 2006 isn't increasing awareness.
I am firmly against the war in Iraq.
I assume the show is still against it. I find the coverage lacking. The rushed segments on Ehren Watada last week were embarrassing. That was a major story. Instead of getting coverage, we got the last part of the show and repeated comments of, "We only have five seconds" when someone was attempting to answer.
That's not good enough.
Nor was it good enough that they didn't cover the call to action on the day they took place. They also didn't cover them. And the March demonstrations were reduced to a tiny segment where they shared time with Darfur. That wasn't doing the job needed.
This week, after people were fasting for six or seven days, the show finally got around to discussing the fast. They didn't do it really last week when they had a guest on who was participating in that and had been arrested. Again, that was a last of the show segment, a "we only have X number of minutes, so quickly."
Rebecca's has many good points in her post and one that stands out is about Michael Gordon. Juan did do the heavy lifting. Where was the challenging there? It came only from Juan for the longest. Why was the man even on?
And I started thinking about all the "Judy Miller" nonsense. It's nonsense when you forget Warren Hoge and Michael Gordon and her other co-writers.
Jim said that we were too busy cheerleading for too long and that's true. It took Dona pointing that out to get us thinking about it. It's not good enough that you mentioned the war if you did it badly. That might have been good when the country was on the fence or for the war, now that it's against the war, it's not good enough.
All last week, I would delete paragraphs. One night (Weds?) I had a long post and just deleted it all. I was hoping things would get better. If you'd read my columns, you knew what was going on but even if you just saw what was here, you knew that I wasn't following the show when I was talking about music instead of the show.
I'm done with the show.
It may be part of the "net roots" revolution but I don't. That site is against everything I believe in. (One example, shining it on for War Hawks or anti-choice candidates.)
What Rebecca wrote made me feel a lot better. When Wally called today and he told me he'd talked to Rebecca, I was so happy. :D
She is the warrior woman.
C.I. is the cheerleader and I love that about C.I.
But the issue wasn't going to be dealt with by being nice or cheerleading.
C.I. has worked really hard to promote the left (even people C.I. hates) because the left needs building up.
I understand that and I know I learned a lot.
But I also think when someone breaks the faith with you, as that show did, you don't promote them.
They had also started to get sloppy with the facts. I thought, one day last week when they actually did an on air correction, that things would get better. But, like Rebecca points out, they still can't get the date of Steven Green's arrest right.
Why does that matter?
I could hold the show up against the New York Times and talk about what an amazing job the show did. But when even the paper of no record issues a correction on the date Green was arrested and the show still gets it wrong (as they did with Tuesday's headline), they don't have a grasp of the facts.
It's not a small thing.
And when the Times can correct it, that show should be able to. That they didn't and that they continue to get it wrong are as distressing to me as the shout out to the "net roots" blog.
It embarrasses all of us when they are so loose and careless with the facts.
On July 4th, we did headlines together that went up at all of our sites. We were all against noting the "special" programs of that show. C.I. told us to think of what it had offered in the past so we played good sports and agreed.
But my feelings then were two days of special programming?
I thought you were a news show?
The network news doesn't take Thanksgiving off. You don't sit down in front of the TV, turn on the TV and find that the anchor's gone and no one's filling in. If your a news program, you're a news program. July 4th was one day. That's how long I was off from my job.
But they took two days off. While two wars are raging.
While Baghdad was already non-stop violence.
I didn't need to hear or watch two special programs. I didn't promote them here except in the headlines. I usually talk about how I get everyone to watch when they come over for a gathering. I didn't do that on the Fourth.
"Come on, we'll learn about what's going on in the world . . . with Pete Seeger's career." (I think Seeger was the Monday show. No offense to him, but he's not why I watch a news program.)
I wasn't playing on the Fourth. I was fasting. I was talking about the war. I was making others think and talk about it. I didn't need Storycorps or whatever they showed Tuesday.
I didn't break my promise with them. They broke their promise with the audience.
They treated war as an after thought. Despite the best selling book, despite the many speeches, they treated it as an after thought.
I don't have time for that.
I had a lot more fun listening to CDs than I had the previous weeks listening to the show. I did try to listen Tuesday but noticed that a segment we were supposed to get didn't come, the interview with Suzanne Swift's grandfather. They said it would come the next day. I get that crappy "Daily Digest." They didn't air it today. Another broken promise.
I thought it was "the war and peace report." Instead, it's the around the world report. That's fine. But the war isn't going away and I don't have time to play.
I'm looking for a program that covers the war every day. If you know a program like that, pass it on. I'm not listening or watching that show again. They broke the trust I had with them.
I was talking to Dad about this and he pointe d out that Laura Flanders doesn't say "This is the war and the peace report." She's got a wide slate of things to cover and is upfront about it. So why call your show the war and peace report if war becomes an after thought.
Rebecca talks about how the protests could hurt the immigrants rights issue. I hope that doesn't happen but if it does, probably dedicating your entire show to the topic last week wasn't a smart thing to do.
Elaine's back and will be posting tonight. I hope to interview Sunny when she's back subbing next time. I had planned to interview her Tuesday but that's when we all learned the show was "net roots" and I wasn't in the mood and Sunny wasn't in the mood.
Nobody was in the mood. When you're already treating war as an after thought, it's not a good idea to turn around and repeatedly promote a website that's happy to get behind war mongers.
I learned a lot from the show. Maybe I just outgrew it? If so, that's sad because there's not a show I'm aware of that's willing to get serious about the war and give it the kind of coverage it needs. No wonder the war drags on.
I didn't get to talk to C.I. today (because of all the speeches) and I'm not going to call now. Knowing C.I., the whole thing is resulting in a sick stomach. If C.I. reads this, I am truly sorry for hammering you on this. From the e-mails I've gotten, others are saying the same thing. So let me apologize for me. Your concern was with getting the word out and you didn't need my yelling.
I know C.I. works hard on the site and the community and I know that with the fast the last thing needed is some screaming guy yelling, "That show sold out!" So I really regret that and I apologize for it.
If it's any consolation, it won't happen again because I'll never be as disappointed as I was. No one will ever again let me down the way that show did.
I was young, I was gullible. I believed if someone always talked about the war, they really would cover it. But when Iraq's going to shit and you're taking days off and on the days when you work you're covering everything but the war, you're not taking it seriously.
I woke up. And some of my anger was at being tricked into believing I'd found something that would seriously address the war and treat it as a real issue, not an after thought.
What's saddest is that I now have more respect for the mainstream media than I do for that show. They really have upped their coverage. (I'm sure that will change.) And the little brave show I trusted so much thought the most pressing issue to America last week was the elections in Mexico. I wasn't aware we were at war with Mexico. Apparently we must be. If the war can be forgotten for several days, it must be because we have another war going on.
Dad said maybe the show and the host were people who take you to one level and then you graduate and need a higher level. Maybe that's what's going on. Maybe when I was searching for answers, it served a purpose but I'm done with first grade and need something that takes the war more seriously now?
I delinked. Everyone has except C.I. I don't think C.I. will and that's cool. I know how C.I. feels about delinking. Whatever C.I. chooses to do now, I'm cool with. I know the breather period that was 24 hours got extended, Dona told me, because the "Daily Digest" promoted net roots again. I also know people are calmer who are writing me. They haven't changed their mind, they're done with the show. But it's a calmer done with.
Leigh Ann wrote that she couldn't believe how desperate for attention the host was to promote herself at another site that is against what she supposedly believes in. I agree with that.
I'm disappointed right now. I hope some day soon to be able to think, "Well thank you for what you did do." Not in a, I'll watch again! way. But in a, "You helped once. Thank you." kind of way.
I got tricked and the part that's my fault is that I let myself get tricked. I saw the coverage sag and drop. I saw the useless interviews with Thomas Friedman (what was THAT about?) and Bill Richardson. I kept hoping and deluding until I found out that they didn't miss Youssef's story they just, apparently, didn't care.
The troops have been in Iraq for over three years now, there's got to be a show somewhere, even if it's only a half-hour a week, that just follows that. If you know that show, let me know. Ruth knows a lot of radio and even she couldn't find enough to do a real report last weekend. So I'm not the only one missing it. Tracey said she's thinking about returning to covering Morning Edition because the public radio programs she's been listening to have a million stories to run after and too little time for Iraq. She said her grandmother doesn't want to insult the other programs so she might just move back to covering NPR.
You need a focus. And sometimes, the smartest thing you can do is say, "I can't cover everything. So I'll focus on one thing." A lot of shows think they're giving a lot more value than they are. Law and Disorder focuses on the law. I have no problems with that show. If you're wondering why I'm not noting it this week, it's a repeat of a show I already noted.
It's not an issue of the show, the show I'm disappointed with, not being able to cover it. There are indy journalists in Iraq that never get on the show. There are topics that never get covered.
The host is obviously interested in the world and that's a great thing. But if you're promoting yourself as the war and peace report, the issue of elections (anywhere) shouldn't push war out of the coverage.
Tomorrow, I'll be apologizing to C.I. Otherwise, I don't intend to raise the issue with C.I. again.
If you're one of the members who've written me or one of the ones who've written C.I. (Jess has told me all about those e-mails), remember that it's not C.I. that you're mad at. C.I.'s doing the Iraq coverage. C.I.'s not playing. When I spoke to C.I. yesterday, I was so mad at the show that I just yelled like crazy. That wasn't fair and I feel so bad about that. So don't make the same mistake I did. And if you think you did the same in an e-mail, you should probably follow my lead and do an apology.
I'll be back tomorrow. I'm not stopping blogging. But I won't be noting that show again. Elaine said we should grab wire reports at night so we may do that. But we won't be noting that show. We won't be promoting it. "Net roots" to enshrine a cult leader isn't our thing. And we've never felt the need to kiss his ass out of an effort to promote our sites. It's probably only a matter of time before she does a sit down with him anyway so it's good to get while the getting's good.
I never got how much she self-promoted. I know C.I. disagreed with some of the judgements about Tom Brokaw in the book. (And discussed that online.) That didn't stop C.I. from promoting the hell out of the site. C.I. tries to focus on the good and what it is worth noting. That might mean the show gets noted there and if that happens, cool. That's who C.I. is. That's what built up the community. And that's why we've had, there, coverage of Iraq that's only been beefed up month after month.
When Falluja was going on, C.I. was doing "Here Come The Madmen." Others still can't utter the words "Dexter Filkins." That tells you C.I.'s committed. Others are too worried about what someone might think or say about them. It influences their coverage. C.I. doesn't give a damn about self-promotion so we don't have to fear a "net roots" promo coming from The Common Ills.
If I contrasted the two, I'd say C.I.'s digging a grave with the dedication to the issue of the war and the host is too busy self-promoting with interviews and speeches and spreading herself too thin to be effective on the show. Rebecca asks if she's got a price tag on her ass, if she's uninformed or if she's just tired. Hopefully, at some point, I'll be able to look back and say, "She just got tired from doing all the interviews and all the speeches and couldn't focus on what mattered." But right now, I feel like that show prolongs the war by spreading itself too thin and trying to do "Korea!", "Mexico!", "India!" etc. Maybe if those countries were my primary topic, I'd feel short changed by that coverage. Rebecca was short changed by the coverage of Gaza. As it is, they're trying to cover too much and not covering anything in depth. It's become as bad as network news. (And I agree the 'debates' are a joke and a bad copy of network and cable TV.)
In 2008, if the war's still dragging on, I want to be like C.I. and able to look back and say, "I did everything I could." I don't want to feel like more Iraqis and Americans died because I was trying to cover everything.
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