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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

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Can’t even leave the base to get laid


The Salt Lake Tribune reports on 'a fact of life' among U.S. troops in Iraq, quoting one soldier as saying that "in past wars, you know, they could go into town and there would be girls there or boys or whatever you want. Here, you can't really leave the base, because you'll get killed."


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Even Experts say this war is going no where

(CBS) Public support for U.S. involvement in Iraq continues to fall. By two to one, Americans reject financing the war through an increased federal deficit, and 62% would finance paying for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast by cutting spending in Iraq.

More than half of Americans think Iraq is not secure enough to hold its constitutional referendum in just under a week, and many doubt that country will ever become a stable democracy.

Most people don’t think Iraq is going to work out at all

Washington -- As Iraq heads for its Saturday referendum on its disputed constitution, conservative analysts in Washington and Iraqi supporters of President Bush's decision to go to war in 2003 are in a somber mood, reflecting their current view that a long, hard slog remains ahead.

Unlike confident predictions before last January's election for an interim Iraqi national assembly that a democratic turning point had been reached, now there are admissions that things may get worse before they get better. With polls showing a majority of the American public favors partial or complete withdrawal from Iraq, the question for Bush now seems to be whether his goal of training enough Iraqis to defend their own country can be reached before public support for the war crumbles.

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Keller doesn’t think much of bloggers

Well I do know this: No bloggers has ever told the new York Times that they have proof there there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"JOURNALISM OF VERIFICATION." "Most of what you know, you know because of the mainstream media," Keller said. "Bloggers recycle and chew on the news. That's not bad. But it's not enough."

Keller pointed out that it cost the Times around $1.5 million to maintain a Baghdad bureau in 2004. (It cost one Times freelancer much more last month: He was murdered.) "This kind of civic labor can't be replaced by bloggers." The Times' assets: "A worldwide network of trained, skilled [observers] to witness events" and write about them, and "a rigorous set of standards. A journalism of verification," rather than of "assertion," and maintaining an "agnosticism" as to where any story may lead. And, borrowing a key buzzword of the day, he said the Times practiced "transparency," or, in math-teacher terms, "we show our work."

Keller made repeated references to the extreme partisan nature of current discourse, and cited voices that he said urged the Times to "give it up. Embrace your biases," and write about them "openly." To this, he said "I object. It's like saying since genetics account for so much, we should abandon being parents." Still, he conceded that "a lot of people want journalism that thrills them by telling them what they believe."
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