17 March 2008

Our Men in Baghdad

In a photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Vice President Dick Cheney,
center, is seen at Baghdad's Sather Air Base visiting U.S. commander
in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, Monday, March 17, 2008.
(AP Photo/U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)*

A short while ago Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a much publicized official visit to Baghdad. At the time, I posted on the irony that, while Ahmaninejad was visiting with great fanfare, U.S. officials had to sneak in and out of the country. I also noted the idiocy of claims that "the surge" is working. John McCain, who currently is making a campaign, ... er 'fact finding' trip to Baghdad, repeated the latter claim in interviews today. As I noted in my earlier post such assertions would be comical but for the death and destruction and mayhem and predictably counter-productive strategies trailing "the surge's" wake. I have mentioned here too that it is crucially important not to lose sight of McCain's dangerously hawkish views. McCain's remarks today will hopefully make this especially clear.

That is hardly the worst of it though. Today we also have Dick Cheney sneaking into Iraq for a visit. (In this instance too, the supine U.S. media too frequently accept Bush Administration euphemisms , referring to this sort of trip as a "surprise" or "unannounced" visit. If things on the ground in Iraq are so good why all the sneaking in and out?) This morning I was listening to the news while heading to work and almost drove off the rode when I heard the V.P.O.T.U.S. declare, seemingly without the slightest hint of irony, that the BushCo invasion of Iraq has been a "successful endeavour." What I don't get is why, when the F.C.C. punishes stations for broadcasting anything resembling profanity on grounds that someone (anyone!) in the listening audience might be offended, they do not similarly sanction stations for broadcasting offensive bullshit like these inane utterances from Cheney absent an advisory warning. At the very least the F.C.C. should require stations to offer a candid caveat stating that the "news" need not contain any truth. Cheney is quoted in news reports as insisting that American forces have made great progress toward achieving "victory" and "completing the mission" in Iraq. Unfortunately, neither he nor any hawk I have hear, offer any clue as to what that might mean.

As if to punctuate the absurd assertions McCain and Cheney were making, a suicide bomber blew herself up in a Karbala cafe, killing another 40 plus people, while in Baghdad itself today apparently only 10 people (including six children) were killed by bombs and mortars (we can leave aside the nearly 100 people reported to have been wounded in all this mayhem). Read some of the news reports here and here. Our right-wingers seem to have lost whatever sense of reality they ever may have had.
* I apologize for using the propaganda photo, but I thought using one showing the aftermath of the Karbala bombing would be gratuitous.

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