Tuesday, January 03, 2006

asshats and dolts 

Seymour Hersh's latest article in the New Yorker is over a month old by now, and therefore would seem a little like old news. But like so much of his reporting, Hersh's article contains at least a few nuggets that ripen with time and take on more importance as events play out in Iraq. Two of his key points – one central to the article, the other almost an afterthought – are of particular importance, and worth reviewing as the Iraqis endure yet another chapter in the American effort to crush the resistance…

… Second, this change in strategy is an attempt to find a better way to fight the resistance, since the search-and-destroy operations have failed miserably, even as they have inflicted incredible destruction and carnage in the cities under attack. But it also means a more explicit use of state terror. The U.S. cannot occupy a city with air power. As a military officer told Hersh: "Can you put a lid on the insurgency with bombing? No. You can concentrate in one area, but the guys will spring up in another town." The logic of air power (since Guernica in the Spanish Civil War) has always involved a predominant element of "bombing the population into submission." The U.S. military leadership hopes to so injure the population that it cries "uncle," delivers resistance fighters to the occupation, and begins cooperating with the occupation – all in order to stop the punishment. With 500- and 2,000-pound bombs that destroy everything – buildings and people – within a 700-ft. diameter, air power does have a powerful terrorizing effect, and it is altogether plausible that such a strategy could work. Even U.S. military reports of recent air attacks give a sense of the brutality involved, as independent reporter Dahr Jamail recently documented. And Washington Post reporter Ellen Knickmeyer recounted chilling accusations from medical personnel and local civilians as a result of the American offensive in early November, including 97 civilians killed in Husaybah, 40 in Qaimone, 18 children in Ramadi, with uncounted others in numerous other cities and towns in western Anbar province.

Bombing Campaign

Major news organizations were equally solicitous of Bush and Cheney during the run-up to war in Iraq. While Fox News and other right-wing outlets were unabashed cheerleaders for the Iraq War, the mainstream media often picked up the pom-poms, too.

It took more than a year after the invasion and the failure to find WMD caches for the New York Times and the Washington Post to run self-critical articles about their lack of skepticism over Bush's war claims.

Nevertheless, the Times’ top editors were still willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt in fall 2004 when his aides offered more false assurances about the legal certainty surrounding Bush’s warrantless wiretap program.

Now Bush's latest comments in San Antonio suggest that he still feels he has the magic, that he still can convince the U.S. press corps and the American people that whatever he says is true no matter how much it diverges from the well-known facts.

One might also presume – given the continued deceptions in his San Antonio remarks – that Bush did not make a New Year’s resolution to stop lying.

Bush Lies- The media allowed it


The Sago Mine in Tallmansville, WV, reportedly "received 208 citations from MSHA during 2005, up from 68 citations in 2004," following what is described as "one of the 'unnecessary' proposals canceled by the mining executive Bush appointed to head the MSHA."

The Mine? Bush’s Crony’s Fault


The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.

In other words, Bush didn’t sign the McCain Amendment


'US planning strike against Iran'

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