Mercenaries

Awhile back Kos caught an enormous amount of flak because of a harsh remark he made about the four mercenaries who were killed outside Fallujah.

Rather than backing down or pretending it didn’t happen, he’s stayed on the mercenary question. He’s got a bunch of stuff up right now (April 29 and 30).

Using mercenaries is the standard kind of corner-cutting contracting-out that Republicans like to do so much in everything. The mercenaries in Iraq are as well-armed as the troops, at least as well-trained, and much better-paid. They’re not under military discipline, but the U.S. is ultimately responsible for everything they do. This is certainly an issue to follow.

Kalamazoo has its doubts about Bush-Cheney 9/11 testimony

Sounds like the simple folk in Kalamazoo haven’t learned how to regurgitate the received wisdom yet:

“Still, we continue to be troubled by a number of conditions set by the White House before Bush and Cheney would testify.

It was troubling that Bush and Cheney insisted on being questioned together. What did the White House fear about the two men being questioned separately? That they wouldn’t get their stories straight separately? That Bush might go off the reservation and say something Cheney didn’t want him to?

We also are troubled by the fact that neither Bush nor Cheney were under oath when they answered questions. Granted, it is precedent-setting that a president and vice president would testify before a legislatively created body, but the refusal to answer questions under oath certainly must leave the public wondering.

Finally, we are very troubled by the White House’s demand that no recording, no official transcript, of the interview be made. Certainly we in the media live and die by the official record. Video, audiotapes, transcripts are what those who report the proceedings go on. Ditto for historians a generation from now. Even if today the testimony were classified and sealed from the public, someday an accurate record of what was said at Thursday’s meeting would be invaluable for writers of history trying to understand this era.

Why would the White House make such a demand?……..

And their testimony, which we hope was totally truthful, may do much to help the commission, Congress and the White House reach some concrete conclusions about how to prevent another attack on American soil.”

(My emphasis).

The Kalamazoo Gazette

Republican Pedophiles, etc.

Over at my other site I sometimes try to beat the Republican creeps at their own game, for example on my Republican Sex Criminals page. I just received a link to an even better page which specializes in Republican Child Molesters — 26 of them.

I’ve always wanted to do a piece on my home state’s indigenous brand of Republican sex criminals, adulterers, drug abusers, and scofflaws, but I’ve never gotten around to it. The list starts with the well-known Sen. Bob Packwood and includes Joe Lutz of the Moral Majority (serial adultery), Multnomah County Commissioner Gordon Shadburne (a homophobe who put his boyfriend on the country payroll), Drew Davis (drugs, porn, Jesus), Kelly Clark (legislator, stalker) and Wes Cooley (no known sex or drugs, but lied under oath too often even for the Republicans).

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Accusing Nightline of TREASON!

If you think for a MINUTE that the owners of the media are not far-far-far right wing, read this. Sinclair Broadcast Group owns a bunch of TV stations. They are ordering them not to show Nightline, because Nightline is paying tribute to the soliers who have died. Here’s what they say about it: Sinclair to Preempt `Nightline’ on ABC Stations, Cites Politics :

“…the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.”

Is this extreme enough for you? Accusing Nightline of TREASON for showing the names of dead soldiers?

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I missed something

[NOT POSTED BY DAVE]

So what’s up with Atrios? I missed something.

He’s talking about Nader voters as “greenshirts”. Wonder what that is supposed to mean? We’re going to be storming through the streets breaking the windows of Democrat-owned shops? Or what?

And his passionate commitment to free expression on blogs didn’t last very long. He’s back linking to Kerry’s campaign cash register already. I assume he made some statement about the undelinking of the Kerry campaign from his site. But I can’t find it. He was right the first time — the Kerry campaign’s caving to the wingnuts’ false outrage in l’affaire Kos was cowardly and contemptible. (Not untypical for Democrats. Ooops, better change my shirt before I say stuff like that!)

Didn’t They Use This Smear On Clinton?

Yes, they did, and it worked. So they’re dragging it out and using it on Kerry, too.

$1000 HAIRCUT? KERRY FLIES IN HAIRDRESSER FOR TOUCH-UP BEFORE ‘MEET THE PRESS’:

“On the Friday before his MEET THE PRESS appearance, Dem presidential hopeful John Kerry flew his Washington, DC hairdresser to Pittsburgh for a touch-up, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Cristophe stylist Isabelle Goetz, who handles Kerry’s hair issues, made the trek to Pittsburgh, campaign sources reveal.

‘Her entire schedule had to be rearranged,’ a top source explains.

A Kerry campaign spokesman refuses to clarify if Goetz flew by private jet on April 16 or on the official Kerry For President campaign plane.

The total expense for the hair touch-up is estimated to be more than $1000, insiders tell DRUDGE.”

Expect another lie in an hour. It’s what they do. They lie. They just lie.

Red-Baiting

Clicking through the channels (I’m male) I landed on MSNBC for a few minutes where they were having a discussion about Senator Hillary Clinton bad-mouthing Bush “in the Arab press.” Since these things usually come in orchestrated patterns, I checked, and sure enough the same story is running at Scaife’s NewsMax, “Hillary Blasts Bush in Arab Press“. They’re implying she committed treason for saying bad things about Bush to Arabs. (Remember how they accused Clinton of “protesting against his government on foreign soil”?)

This is the kind of Red-baiting that Republicans are known for, except it isn’t Reds now, it’s Arabs.

“Sen. Clinton delivered the unprecedented attack in an interview with the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Monday, with newspapers from Tehran to Islamabad picking up her harsh words almost immediately.”

This “news report” concludes with

“In comments that could only encourage the Iraqi insurgency, the top Democrat complained that “the United States was in trouble because it could not abandon Iraq, nor provide enough manpower to run the country, nor gather world allies willing to provide the necessary assistance for the gigantic task,” according to Mehr’s translation.”

OK, I’ll go after some Trees for a minute, as long as we remember the Forest: They lie. They just lie. Never forget.

Trees:

1) The interview was with a London-based news organization.

2) Arabs are not our enemies. Arab newspapers are not enemy organizations. (In fact, we’re “helping” the Iraqis by “freeing” them, remember?) (No, don’t look a the pre-9/11 plans to seize the Iraqi oil fields, look over THERE!)

3) Arabs are completely capable of reading American newspapers, and they even have the Internet in the Middle East, too. Newspapers “from Tehran to Islamabad” can even pick up stories from the Washington Times. And Islamabad might SOUND like an enemy if you’re as ignorant as the Republicans clearly expect the consumers of their lies to be — (Islam Bad) — but it’s actually on our side. And Iran has been helping against al-Queda as well.

4) It does not “encourage the Iraqi insurgency” to state the obvious. They have eyes. They can see the mess Bush has gotten us into.

I know better, but I just can’t stop myself…

More viewing pleasure

Here’s another archived stream at C-SPAN you might enjoy watching. (If that direct link fails for you, go here and follow the first “WATCH” link.)

It’s a panel discussion (really a debate) from last weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books:


Panel: U.S. and Iraq One Year Later: Right to Get In? Wrong to Get Out?

Watch 2 hrs.

* Christopher Hitchens, “A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq”

* Mark Danner, “The Massacre at El Mozote”

* Michael Ignatieff, “The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror”

* Robert Scheer, co-author, The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq”

* Steve Wasserman, Los Angeles Times Book Review editor—Moderator

Hitchens is looking much more prosperous (and sober even) since his Big Right Turn. But of course.

Wasserman is as always somewhere between a weasel and a blowhard, but, except for some extremely long-winded (I did say it was Wasserman, right?) questions, is mercifully quiet.

Hitchens makes you want to scream and throw things at the screen. Ignatieff always reminds me of the worst sort of self-promoting academic smart-fool, and he does not disappoint here. Danner is good on our side, but Scheer simply hands Hitchens his head on several occasions, especially during the last few minutes when he suckers both Hitchens and Ignatieff into some faux outrage and then raises the stakes to such a level that they are left literally breathless and staggered. It is one of the best moments I’ve seen on television in years. Watch the last ten minutes or so, or watch the whole thing if such discussions appeal to you.

What America Knows III

A letter to the editor in today’s San Jose Mercury News show a lot of what is going on in this election, and in America today:

“The Democrats and their sycophants in the media criticized George W. Bush for using pictures of 9/11 in his campaign ads. However, they seem to have no problem with using the issue of photographs of coffins of American soldiers in their attempt to damage the president politically for the war in Iraq. Look up hypocrite in the dictionary, and it will say, ‘See Democrat, also Media.’ “

The news runs pictures of coffins coming back from Iraq — that’s news, no way around it. But to this Republican, those pictures make Bush look bad, and therefore news outlets showing such pictures must be biased against Bush.

Let’s go a bit deeper into what he is saying. I think this letter reflects the thinking of a typical “movement conservative.” He’s probably a Rush listener. Maybe he reads National Review, or visits Free Republic. To him, news is entirely about the political images that are projected to the public – entirely about whether the things told to the public help or hurt the right-wing movement. This Republican lives in a world engaged in an ideological war, so it is beyond comprehension that a news outlet would show something just because it is “news.” The reality factor – the “news” – is not an issue, nor is it supposed to be, for him. Whether what is shown helps or hurts the movement is the only issue that matters. Everything is about helping move the cause forward. Anything that does not move the cause forward is an enemy.

So look at what this means for traditional news outlets. An honest news outlet is going to report, on occasion, things that do not help the cause of the Republican Party. So to these committed conservatives, this means that regular news outlets are, by definition, “against” them! If an image is shown that hurts Bush, the outlet must be “liberal,” or else they wouldn’t show it. (This is why we are all so surprised when a “news” outlet like Fox discusses news that might be seen as unfavorable to Bush.)

This writer KNOWS that the Republicans are lying when they say it is out of respect for the families of the soldiers that they refuse to let the media take photos and is complicit. To him it is clearly about images that harm Bush. He respects them for lying, because it furthers the movement. He understands the need to provide a cover story. He does not see it as lying and certainly there is no respect lost for those telling the cover story. He knows that it is part of the way things are done.

THIS is what is going on now in America. The “conservatives” see themselves as part of a “movement” and understand their part. Listen to Rush, as they phone in and discuss the nuances of PR strategies. It is all about furthering the cause, defeating the enemy — which, by the way, is you and me. Watch your back.