,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Saturday, December 03, 2005


"Planted reports" Par for the Course

The War Was Sold on Lies
Smoke and mirror. Doing what they best. Josh White and Bradley Graham writes in the Washington Post "Military says it paid Iraq papers for news". "In a statement, the command said the program included efforts, "customary in Iraq," to purchase advertising and place clearly labeled opinion pieces in Iraqi newspapers. But the statement suggested that the "information operations" program may have veered into a gray area where government contractors paid to have articles placed in Iraqi newspapers without explaining that the material came from the U.S. military and that Iraqi journalists were paid to write positive accounts." And pigs have wings. This administration has a record of planting stories and embedding reporters. It has done so here in the U.S. and it is doing so in Iraq and elsewhere; all part of the P.R. on which it exists.

Stop the Slaughter - Democrats, Stand up and be Counted

Ten more American soldiers died in Iraq on December 2nd, 11 Iraqi soldiers on December 3rd. Civilian deaths mostly go unreported. The insurgents, whoever they are,keep coming and are relentless in their attacks. The Republicans in Congress are publicly standing behind the president. Some Democrats,too, are dithering about the pullout from Iraq. They let the president pull a snow job before the war began. Today they have no excuse for propping him up. Support John Murtha's suggestion for an early exit. Stop offering the soldiers as sacrifcial goats.

In "Up In The Air", current online edition of The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh describes plans for increasing use of airpower in an effort to minimize army casualties at the risk of more civilian deaths. Excerpts:

  • One person with whom the Pentagon’s top commanders have shared their private views for decades is Representative John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, the senior Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The President and his key aides were enraged when, on November 17th, Murtha gave a speech in the House calling for a withdrawal of troops within six months. The speech was filled with devastating information. For example, Murtha reported that the number of attacks in Iraq has increased from a hundred and fifty a week to more than seven hundred a week in the past year. He said that an estimated fifty thousand American soldiers will suffer “from what I call battle fatigue” in the war, and he said that the Americans were seen as “the common enemy” in Iraq. He also took issue with one of the White House’s claims—that foreign fighters were playing the major role in the insurgency. Murtha said that American soldiers “haven’t captured any in this latest activity”—the continuing battle in western Anbar province, near the border with Syria.So this idea that they’re coming in from outside, we still think there’s only seven per cent.
  • Robert Pape, a political-science professor at the University of Chicago, who has written widely on American airpower, and who taught for three years at the Air Force’s School of Advanced Airpower Studies, in Alabama, predicted that the air war “will get very ugly” if targeting is turned over to the Iraqis. This would be especially true, he said, if the Iraqis continued to operate as the U.S. Army and Marines have done—plowing through Sunni strongholds on search-and-destroy missions. “If we encourage the Iraqis to clear and hold their own areas, and use airpower to stop the insurgents from penetrating the cleared areas, it could be useful,” Pape said. “The risk is that we will encourage the Iraqis to do search-and-destroy, and they would be less judicious about using airpower—and the violence would go up. More civilians will be killed, which means more insurgents will be created.”

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