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November 27, 2006


And doesn't that sort of contradict the original, rather feeble criticism?
In normal world (tm)? Yes

In bizzaro land, where we still argue with the right-wing about evolution and global warming being "real"? No. Logic need not apply.

In normal world, those who claim journalists are just "making stuff up" or "uncritically accepting what the Iraqis say" would read what Roberts wrote (and remember the experience of people like Jim Carroll & Brian Williams) and retract their claims. Here's more on-point from Roberts about how the media is choosing to not even present the rawest, most real, form of what's going on:

When you get there and you see it on a personal level, when you watch somebody die before your eyes, it gives you a much different perspective on it than it does being a half a world away, reading about it or watching it on television. Also, you know, the pictures on television are sanitized compared to what they are on the ground.

For example, when we came across that IED attack, we did not shoot pictures that we would show on television of the carnage. We showed pictures of people carrying litters, et cetera, because it's, A...

KURTZ: Too raw?

ROBERTS: ... it's too raw for television. B, it's too personal for the families who were involved, because the fellow who I saw on the ground, Howie, he was ripped apart. And that's just not the sort of thing that you want a family to know.

If a loved one died in Iraq, they died in Iraq. You don't need to show them the graphic pictures of it.

So, to some degree, what we're seeing is sanitized.

So the media is choosing to censor itself because the American public can't handle reality; out of deference to the loved ones of those killed; or sometimes out of deference to the military (same as in Vietnam) - regardless, nearly every reporter on the ground says that Iraq is more awful, in every way, than you can see or even imagine.

Day after day the atrocities and death tolls mount, but that's obviously not giving us an accurate picture. Instead, let's quibble over an individual report here or there as a way to effectively get at the reality being reported out of Iraq. Surely it wasn't 6 people burned alive. It was only 5. So Iraq's not that bad right? Lazy Reporters, Iraq's obviously getting better every day...

Makes my head hurt that this is the way people avoid reality these days.

I'm not going to rehash something the New York Times spent an extensive Editor's Note covering. [in re Judith Miller's prewar sources]

Ok, then. I'm going to give this matter just as much attention that you have.

You know, Slarti, that's awfully damned pissy for someone who threw a minor tantrum over nobody getting his stupid Okinawa jokes. I realize that "Judith Miller Times Editor's Note" is more characters to type than "Murtha Okinawa," but Google will give one results just as quickly as t'other.

Perhaps if you were willing to meet people halfway, this stuff wouldn't happen every damned time. If nine Russians tell you you're drunk, you probably should lie down.

Can I just say that I find the conduct of this thread particularly amusing considering the title of the post it's in response to?

Interesting that it's fine for others can get pissy with me for doing X, but if I get pissy when they do X, it's bad.

Ah, well.

but Google will give one results just as quickly as t'other

Google had a hard time reading Jon's mind to see what he meant by the reference, so I thought it just might be easier to ask someone who knew what Jon was talking about. Risky, I know, and a highly controversial approach it was.

I found that amusing, too, Josh.

Shining Raven: Thanks for that info. Can you tell me though what USAREUR’s mission is these days? I have not kept up for many years, so it may be simple ignorance when I ask why most units in Germany could not be redeployed if needed elsewhere. A quick web search didn’t shed much light. In my (years old) experience it was a cold-war organization. I’m not sure how it may have transformed since.

Thanks, Josh: I was going to copy the title into a comment. In caps.

Iraq is in a civil war: even the MSM says so, though of course Bush & Co. are still rummaging through the poop pile looking for a cuddly quadruped.

The only "good" thing about this - and that's for a value of "good" in the nano range - is that it might render moot the latest variation of Stay The Course, and even persuade the zombies in the White House to get our troops out before they have to claw their way out through a general conflagration.

Josh: I have been silently amused for a while.

Wanted: Grown-Ups

Personally, I have never claimed to be grown up. I hope to make it well into my 50’s or even 60’s before I have to face that prospect :) Call me immature for a middle aged type. How middle-aged is classified until reported by the NYT or unclassified by Bush or Cheney. Oh yeah, Jes: Election Fraud!!!!

JT – help me out here.

OK – I now return you to your serious programming.

Uri: If we do not sacrifice an entire high school to Yog-Sothoth, the terrorists will have won.

Couldn't we just sacrifice ponies?

I believe it is traditional in these circumstances to sacrifice beautiful noble-born virgins.

Has anyone asked George about Barbara and Jenna's social life recently?

If nine Russians tell you you're drunk, you probably should lie down.

Of course if nine Russians are telling you you're drunk, there's probably only three Russians in the room, and you've already fallen over anyway.

Couldn't we just sacrifice ponies?

If we did that, we would be going back to our Indo-European roots. The Irish antecedent is the most lurid (go down to Ekwona), but there is linguistic evidence for it in Vedic myth, among others. It seems wishing for ponies has a deeper meaning...


I'm not an expert on the US military, and I get most of my information on the current deployment of the US Army from globalsecurity. Model 62 provided a link above to the Order of Battle at globalsecurity. From there you will find that numerous units from Germany have been deployed to Iraq over the past years. I believe there is hardly a unit in Germany that has not already been in Iraq. As I said, the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry division currently have units there or are scheduled to go, and are part of the ongoing rotation.
Even the Headquarters units from Heidelberg have already been there.

My understanding is that the mission of the US Army in Europe is mainly to provide a forward-deployed support base for operations in the Balkans, also in Africa, but most of all in the Middle East. So they are already bearing a good deal of the burden. Since they rely on the infrastructure that is in place on these bases, I don't think there would be much use in moving them even closer to the theater

A very large part of the logistical support for Iraq passes through Germany. Ramstein Air Base is a crucial transportation hub. The Army hospital in Landstuhl near Kaiserslautern is the primary gateway for wounded from Iraq, and most casualties pass through there.

As an aside: When you fly to the US from Frankfurt Airport on an American carrier, you can be sure to be in the company of American soldiers returning from Iraq. The last time I went I had a long talk with a young artilleryman who was standing next in line at the check-in counter (our flight was delayed by two hours). He took out his Nintendo gameboy from his pack and he told me that that was the main thing keeping him sane in Iraq. Kind of brought home to me how young many of these guys are...

My interest in the units from Germany is mainly in the 3rd and 1st Infantry Divisions, since I used to pass by their headquarters in Leighton barracks every day on my way to work when living in Wuerzburg. I thus feel somewhat attached to them and tend to notice their unit designations in casualty reports from Iraq. As I said, I'm no expert, but I wanted to correct your impression that the units in Germany are not yet fully engaged in Iraq.

Nope, sorry. Pretty much wrong all the way through, including the spelling. I shouldn't pick on that, though, because that was the part you did best on.

Uh, no, ace. I went back and looked at your "logic", and my capsule summary was pretty much correct. But I don't blame you for wanting to wriggle away when your fuckwittery is made plain.

"I do wish, however, that people would stop saying things about Iraq that are just stupid. This means you, John McCain. McCain says that we need to put more troops in Iraq, and yet he must know as well as I do that we don't have more troops to put there."

Argh. Why didn't we raise recruiting levels in 2001? Or at the very least 2002? The US could easily have returned to 75% or 100% of Reagan-era troop levels with Congressional authorization and a pay increase. The answer is that Bush apparently wanted the trappings of a war-time president without bothering to actually work at doing things right.


Seb: I suppose it would be rubbing salt in the wound to say something like:

But that would have prevented people from responding to 9/11 in the official, Bush-approved way, namely by going shopping!

"Couldn't we just sacrifice ponies?"

I understand it's traditional to inter a body, perhaps while alive, in the foundation of important new construction.

I'd like to see some neocons installed in our fabulous, overpriced, soon-to-be vacant, embassy in Iraq.

Or perhaps in the Iraq War memorial, whenever it gets installed on the Mall in DC.

"But that would have prevented people from responding to 9/11 in the official, Bush-approved way, namely by going shopping!"

The problem with Bush's shopping comment is not that it is ridiculosly stupid--as an immediate reaction it wasn't bad advice to tell people to go on with their lives--until we came up with something constructive and useful for our citizens to do. We didn't need overreacting neighborhood watch programs prying into the lives of every Muslim in the US.

Bush's problem was he didn't do anything afterwards.

I actually agree with Sebastian here - the message "don't let your lives stop because of this" is a very worthwhile one. It just should have been followed with "To protect everyone's ability to do that, here are steps you can take with us", with a major recruiting push for the armed forces, huge incentives for language mastery there and elsewhere in the government, and like that.

"It just should have been followed with "To protect everyone's ability to do that, here are steps you can take with us", with a major recruiting push for the armed forces, huge incentives for language mastery there and elsewhere in the government, and like that."

And for proposals to increase taxes and cut spending elsewhere to provide the means to pay for it. And for other divisive issues to be swept under the rug for the duration of the crisis.

Hm. Apparently Chait wasn't being ironic.

Good lord. I too assumed he was making a (very blunt) Swiftian point.

Chait is (apparently) a buffoon with a perverted notion of what constitutes 'liberalism'.

(Hint: Installing strongman dictators is, by definition, illiberal.)

An update from AP about Capt. Jamil Hussein.

Interesting to contrast this paragraph of the AP story:

However, the U.S. military said in a letter to the AP late Monday, three days after the incident, that it had checked with the Iraqi Interior Ministry and was told that no one by the name of Jamil Hussein works for the ministry or as a Baghdad police officer. Lt. Michael B. Dean, a public affairs officer of the U.S. Navy Multi-National Corps-Iraq Joint Operations Center, signed the letter, a text of which was published subsequently on several Internet blogs. The letter also reiterated an earlier statement from the U.S. military that it had been unable to confirm the report of mmolation.
with this paragraph:
On Tuesday, two AP reporters also went back to the Hurriyah neighborhood around the Mustafa mosque and found three witnesses who independently gave accounts of the attack.
and this:
The witnesses refused to allow the use of their names because they feared retribution either from the original attackers or the police, whose ranks are infiltrated by Mahdi Army members or its associated death squads.
Quite possibly "Jamil Hussein" is not the police captain's real name - but that evidently doesn't mean that he's an unreliable witness.

Nice to know Orson Scott Card is still certifiable (and Glenn Reynolds is still a shameless hypocrite).

Shameless hypocrisy here.

PITOR: Has anyone asked George about Barbara and Jenna's social life recently?

According to the Daily Show, they've been visiting Argentina for their 25th birthday and, um, apparently their visit has been so... traumatic? that both the Argentine government and the American consulate there have suggested that perhaps they should curtail their visit...

Given Mr. Flopping Aces seeming direct line to Centcom, one wonders if he and others were simply dupes, willing dupes...or something a bit more formalized.

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