Iraq War

lying liars (thanks al)

i came across an article today on salon about some documents from the now extinct Coalition Provisional Authority.  while the article is interesting insofar as it makes readers aware of the wealth of information available on the CPA website, i found myself skimming through it looking for the pearls, of which there are a few.

on pearl in particular i want to discuss here, if only briefly.  in the article, the author talks about a document he found giving various explanations for a decrease in violence in the Anbar province:

Microsoft Word’s “Mark up” feature shows the time and date of the deletion and the identity of the person doing the deleting, but it doesn’t give the original author of the passage or when it was written. The title and hints in the text point to a memo written by one person in December 2003 or January 2004, when daily attacks on coalition forces in Anbar, the heavily Sunni province west of Baghdad that is the heartland of the insurgency, were the lowest in many months. These were the CPA’s salad days. Prior to the al-Sadr uprising and the Abu Ghraib scandal and the failed siege of Fallujah later in 2004, the CPA believed that it was succeeding in reshaping Iraq. In his book “The Assassins’ Gate,” George Packer depicts late 2003 and early 2004 as the last phase of quiet isolation for the CPA, before the facts on the ground began to impinge on its Green Zone idyll. “Why Are the Attacks Down” shows the CPA on the cusp, as the author gives a half-dozen different theories for the short-term decline in violence.

i have to admit i find the fact that they have several theories amusing, though i understand that any or all (or none) of their guesses could have contributed to the downswing in violence.  however, the one i find particularly interesting (and amusing) is the one which refers to the notion that insurgents may be quieting down because they thought we were leaving:

“What they” — meaning the Iraqis — “have gotten wrong,” says the memo’s author, “is the idea that the military will be leaving Iraq in June, which one individual said he was sure was a major factor in the diminishing attacks. Oh well, this is one time it might be best that folks don’t fully understand things.”

i’ve read this bit a few times now, and i chuckle every time.  ‘why,’ you ask?  well, i chuckle because nowadays any notion that we should leave iraq is countered by the administration with (among may reasons) the insistence that, if we were to in fact leave, violence would erupt (the author of the article points this out, as well).  apparently bush hasn’t read this (or probably any) document from the CPA.  the man doesn’t read.

this could mean one of three things. one, the nature of the conflict and violence in iraq has changed since this document was printed (i can’t see how). two, either bush isn’t aware this document exists, or just hasn’t read it (given his record, this is completely plausible). three, he is aware of this document (though i still doubt he actually read it) and is simply has no intention of leaving and is trying to scare the American public into staying in iraq.

the point is this: you can’t believe a single word that comes out of the mouth of that man.  the same goes for any and all the cronies in his administration.  so, if the US were to withdraw from iraq, the violence would probably decline.

while i haven’t tested it to great extent, i think it is safe practice to believe the exact opposite of whatever idea or policy on which the bush administration is trying to sell you.

Environment Media

liberal media?

while flipping channels this evening, looking for something worth watching (i found nothing), i came across the glenn beck show on cnn headline news. i enjoy the news, so i watched for a minute or two. what i heard was quite disturbing.

mr. beck (ass) was interviewing someone about global warming and the report that ipcc has (will be?) publishing. like i said, i only watched for a minute and caught the end of the interview, but the gist of it was that the ipcc report could not be considered accurate given the manner in which it was produced. the guest suggested that the ipcc directed the authors with regard to the contents of the report. his evidence for this is that the summary was released before the final version. i didn’t hear the whole interview and don’t know enough about the ipcc or its process to comment, in the short time i was tuned in i got the very clear impression that the implication was the report was ‘doctored’ to present results that support the notion of global warming, which it seemed the guess believed to be at best inconclusive, at worst a hoax.

as the glenn beck show led out to a commercial, mr. beck (ass) previewed the next section by saying something along the lines of ‘innovation, not regulation is the solution to the environmental question.’ something like that. i’d like to talk to the conservative jackass that says this is ‘liberal media bias.’ in the three minutes that i watched (which i admit isn’t very long) i didn’t hear one shred of discussion or commentary that led me to think anything other than i already do; the major news media, whether it be fox, cnn, or msnbc, is nothing more than the mouth piece for big business. i don’t say the administration, because the bush administration (as well as congress) is little more than a mechanism functioning for the benefit of big business.

liberal media bias? please! if either mr. beck (ass) or his guest has suggested raising cafe standards, placing higher carbon regulations on manufacturers, or replacing the spr with renewable fuels (like biodiesel), maybe they could be called liberal. that didn’t happen and i don’t expect any major media outlet to do so anytime soon. in the meantime, we’ll continue to be told that things aren’t that bad, or that all the evidence isn’t in yet, or that we can continue to live the way we do. that’s the role of major media. does that sound liberal to you?