The current New Yorker story on the political problem that Barack Obama faces now that Iraq has turned the corner and victory is within our grasp grossly misleads readers about the role of "the surge" in that growing success:
At the start of 2007, no one in Baghdad would have predicted that blood-soaked neighborhoods would begin returning to life within a year. The improved conditions can be attributed, in increasing order of importance, to President Bush’s surge, the change in military strategy under General David Petraeus, the turning of Sunni tribes against Al Qaeda, the Sadr militia’s unilateral ceasefire, and the great historical luck that brought them all together at the same moment.
Did you get that? Luck — not the efforts of the American military and its coalition partners — was the main cause for our success in stabilizing Iraq, according to the liberal magazine.
The New Yorker writer intentionally separates the "surge" from the change in miltary strategy, and separates both of those from the turning of the Sunni tribes against al Qaeda, in order to downplay any success that might be ascribed to President Bush's (and Sen. John McCain's) stalwart support for the surge, and the appointment of Gen. Petreaus to run the war.
The Armed Forces Press Service issued a press release on Thursday morning, July 10, in celebration of the fact that the U.S. military has had 13 consecutive months of meeting and/or exceeding recruitment goals. Sadly, the media stayed sullenly quite all day, taking no notice of the success of our military on OR off the field.
Regardless of the fact that the media ignored the good news, there is good news, indeed.
Although the term isn't used, it's clear that the Obama campaign sees itself and their candidate as victims of a vast conspiracy of right-wingers.
Going all the way back to the 1988 presidential election, Obama's "Fight the Smears" chart (featuring the campaign's new sort-of "presidential seal," replacing the one that was "dropped," at the top left) purports to tell us "Who's Behind These Lies."
If the page's historical starting points are any indication, to paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis, there may not be "a whole lotta smearin' goin' on" among the current "smearing" parties it identifies:
More anti-war figures are voicing their opinions about contradictory and confusing statements regarding Iraq made Thursday by presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama, and the news is clearly not good for his campaign.
One such concerned party is Tom Hayden, the famed ex-husband of Jane Fonda who, along with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, was part of the Chicago Seven that incited riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Forty years later, Hayden wrote a strong rebuke of Obama's suddenly fluctuating position on the Iraq war that should garner a lot of media attention given its publication at the left-leaning Huffington Post; the title alone should give folks a sense of the tightrope the junior senator from Illinois is walking concerning this issue -- "No Retreat: If you Want to Win, Stop the War! Barack at Risk" (emphasis added throughout):
One of the more astounding post-9/11 liberal media affectations has been the extraordinary concern press members have for how terrorists looking to kill innocent Americans are treated at detention centers.
A fine example of this occurred on Thursday's "Hannity & Colmes" when the left-leaning part of Fox News's successful duo debated former White House adviser Karl Rove about the recent Supreme Court decision granting habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Readers are advised to get a big bag of popcorn for this barnburner (video embedded right):
Boeing pretends to be a good corporate citizen supporting Chicago arts groups and community organizations with grants. The company is listed prominently in playbills and annual reports.
But Boeing also abets torture. It is, after all, a defense contractor as well as a provider of civilian passenger jets. It is locked at the hip and the bottom line with the U.S. government.
Despite our pride in Boeing as a global corporation, it is as amoral as the German corporations that aided Hitler. Only money and contracts count with Boeing.
And what has Boeing done to warrant such withering criticism? Why, a Boeing subsidiary "since 2001 has provided flight and logistical support for at least 15 aircraft making 70 clandestine flights for the CIA. Jeppesen allows the CIA to transport prisoners such as ACLU plaintiffs Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, and Ahmed Agiza to secret locations where they were tortured as part of our government's 'war on terror.'"
You know, I was wondering when this was going to happen, when someone in the MSM would say Bush has ruined July Fourth? The Philadelphia Inquirer didn't disappoint by wallowing in the worst example of blame-America-above-all as well as the most extreme case of BDS that I've seen outside the kind of nutroot sites like Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground. A mainstream paper has now gone that extra mile to let us all know that America does not deserve a July Fourth celebration this year because of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA secret prisons, and, lest you imagine otherwise, the fact that we have made George W. Bush our president. "Cancel the parade" because America is evil. It's all there in all it's anti-American splendor in A not-so-glorious Fourth, U.S. atrocities are unworthy of our heritage.
Inquirer columnist Chris Satullo thinks that America is fraught with sin and that we don't deserve a Fourth celebration. "This year, America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday," he whines. "This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement."
We've taken notice that Iraq is suddenly out of the news now that things are consistently going so well for U.S. forces there. Well, since CNN can't find much bad to talk about in Iraq they've finally found some "bad" news they can use as a needle to stick in the Bush Administration's collective eye. In Coalition troop deaths in Afghanistan surpass Iraq, CNN has discovered that they can make a body bag contest out of casualties between Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh, joy!
For the second month in a row, U.S. and allied troop deaths in the Afghan war have surpassed those in Iraq, according to official figures tallied by CNN... In June, 46 foreign troops died in Afghanistan and 31 troops died in Iraq. In May, 23 foreign troops died in Afghanistan and 21 died in Iraq.
Stop the presses! And, did you notice that now they are adding foreign troops up because they can't get enough American deaths to report? Can you remember the last time the American press was worried about the casualties among our foreign coalition?
Yesterday, charges against another Marine officer accused of involvement in the Haditha "massacre" were dismissed. Today's Washington Post printed a story, but it was from Los Angeles Times writer Tony Perry, not a Post staffer. What's more, Perry's 10-paragraph story was printed on page A10 below-the-fold. [Check here for Perry's article* at the Times Web site.]
At least that was nine paragraphs longer than the "Around the Nation" brief that the June 5 print edition of the Post ran to relay news of the acquittal of another Haditha Marine:
Marine Acquitted in Iraq Case
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A military jury acquitted Marine intelligence officer 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani is the latest Marine to turn out not to be a "cold-blooded killer" that the media and Democratic politicians painted Marines charged with the Haditha "massacre" to be. This two weeks after another Marine was acquitted in a Haditha court martial.
FoxNews.com has the AP story about the dismissal of charges against him here.:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A military judge dismissed charges Tuesday against a Marine officer accused of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis.
Col. Steven Folsom dismissed charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani after finding that a four-star general overseeing the case was improperly influenced by an investigator probing the November 2005 shootings by a Marine squad in Haditha.
As you might have guessed, this story is not exactly commanding the airwaves of the cable news networks this afternoon, although the media obsessed about the "massacre" in 2005.
John McCain's first major television ad of the general election campaign is an apparent attempt to inoculate himself from criticism of his support of the Iraq War by underlining the fact that War Is Hell. New York Times reporter Julie Bosman used the opportunity (in the paper's regular Ad Campaign feature on Saturday) to suggest from out of nowhere that McCain had a "warmonger" reputation to live down.
Another day and another Marine acquitted of charges from the so-called "Haditha massacre" that left-leaning journalists (doing the bidding of Democrat Jack Murtha) insisted actually happened.
Bob Owens has the story you won't be seeing on tonight's ABCNNBCBSMSNBC shows:
A military jury has acquitted 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of all charges that he helped cover up the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha following the IED ambush of a Marine patrol.
Grayson, a Marine intelligence officer, had been accused of having a military photographer erase digital photos of the dead Iraqis. Grayson had turned down a plea deal to face charges on five counts that could have led to a maximum of 20 years in prison. An obstruction-of-justice charge against Grayson had been dismissed by the judge earlier in the week. [...]
I guess out on Lake Blowbegone, patriotism isn't kosher? Keillor just seems, nose in the air, to find all that lowborn patriotism so woefully gauche. At least, one might get that impression by reading the attack penned by Garrison Keillor against the patriotism evinced by the folks who don their red, white and blue, along with their leather jackets and hop on their Hogs to join the long line of motorcycle riders at "Rolling Thunder" on Memorial Day in Washington D.C. This year, Keillor was so put off by the patriotic bikers that he was driven to his keyboard to regale us all with his bad metaphors and surly disposition.
With "The roar of hollow patriotism," Keillor found that he just couldn't stomach the loud patriotism expressed by the Harley riders in D.C. He also seemed to say that if you are a "fat man with a ponytail" you shouldn't be allowed to express that patriotism in a manner you so wish to express it.
On the weekend when America finds her citizens taking just a little time out of their cluttered and busy lives to pause and memorialize the sacrifice of those who have served and protected us all, the media always sees fit to make their observance of Memorial Day the issuance of stories about how bad our solders are, how bad they have it, or how bad they deserve to be treated. This year is no different, at least for the New York Times News Service, as we find a story about how a soldier was caught stealing money from a stash of U.S. cash found in one of Saddam Hussein’s captured palaces and how this theft ruined the soldier’s life.
This report has it all as far as the news media are concerned. It has a soldier that turned bad. It has the presumed injustice of the military and the war. It also has the excuse making where that soldier turned thief was somehow driven to his thievery because he came from a poor Kentucky town. It also has the "benefit" of being a tale used to denigrate our military on Memorial Day. In the warped estimation of the MSM it has every aspect of how bad it is for our military all rolled up in one. Yes, this is the perfect story as far as the MSM are concerned.
Actress Jessica Lange launched another assault on the Iraq War and the Bush administration on Friday as a speaker at her daughter Hannah Shepard’s commencement from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. "We are living in an America that, in the last seven and a half years, has waged an unnecessary war, established prison camps, condoned torture, employed corporate armies, eliminated the right of habeas corpus, practiced extraordinary rendition, and believe me, this is only a partial list," Lange said, before she launched into more personal observations about the joy of eating sun-warmed strawberries.
Lange has repeatedly launched public attacks on President Bush as a man who "has no heart," who runs a "regime of deceit, hypocrisy, and belligerence," and his tenure has been "an embarrassing time to be an American."
First, here is a larger chunk of Lange’s remarks at Sarah Lawrence, as transcribed and posted by the college:
I look out at your faces and guess most of you graduates are about 22 years old. I think of the world I was living in at that age. Very different from yours and yet, ominously similar.
Ah, Memorial Day in Ithaca, NY, a town that looks upon Berkeley, CA as suspiciously conservative. OK, perhaps not quite, but Ithaca is so liberal than in her 2006 Senate primary [bet you didn't know there even was one], Hillary lost the City of Ithaca to a [very] little-known far-lefty named Jonathan Tasini. So liberal that a certain NewsBuster lost a 1990s mayoral bid to the then incumbent, a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
So how does our hometown newspaper celebrate Memorial Day? What does it choose as its biggest headline on the front page? "Military Faces Growing Need for Therapists: Private pyschiatrists offer free services for returning troops." You get the idea, but here are the opening paragraphs to the AP story [emphasis added]:
It's a happy Memorial Day from the Associated Press as they inform that nation that a few Marines involved themselves in a "shooting spree" in Afghanistan. Yes, the AP makes it seem as if our Marines began "firing indiscriminately at vehicles and civilians" during a March 4th altercation near Nangarhar province. But, a closer read finds a far murkier story and one that seems to say that our Marines didn't go wild but that they thought they were under attack. Whether the Marines were right or wrong about being attacked is the real question at the end of the day. But whatever the case, right at the outset the AP presented the incident as if the Marines were in the wrong.
Even the headline casts the Marines actions in the negative: "Afghans appalled Marines not charged in killings." No benefit of the doubt there. In fact, the whole first half of the story explores the charges against the Marines before a single word in their defense appears.
Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, guest hosted by Laura Ingraham, showed a pre-recorded interview between FNC host Bill O'Reilly and Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq and author of Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story. During the interview, Sanchez conveyed his disapproval at the mainstream media's coverage of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. When O'Reilly contended that the "New York Times and the liberal media" "went wild over Abu Ghraib" to "humiliate the Bush administration," Sanchez agreed: "To a large extent, you're absolutely right, because that is reflected in some of the questioning and some, obviously, in the press reports that occurred ... I believe that, in fact, we create the strategic defeat for America to a large extent by the way that we cover it in the press." (Transcript follows)
It appears three times isn't a charm for horror author Stephen King, who in his third attempt at explaining his peculiar remarks about people who can't read ending up in the Army still couldn't muster the strength to apologize to those he's offended.
I guess in his world, literacy means never having to say you're sorry.
On the upside, at least this time he didn't tell anybody to shut up, or blame the outrage on "Guys like [Noel Sheppard who] take their cues from [conservative commentators Rush] Limbaugh and [Bill] O'Reilly."
So, we've got that going for us...which is nice.
But before we get there, let's look at King's strike three as posted at his website Wednesday (emphasis added):
Here is a sad example of the subtle anti-war bias that the MSM constantly hides in stories even when they are heartwarming tales of the great things our soldiers do for the people of Iraq. In this case, it is the Sacramento Bee putting in some almost subliminal anti-war sentiments in the mouth of Staff Sgt. Luis Falcon who worked his heart out to get some prosthetic legs for an 11-year-old Iraqi girl who lost her legs to a road side bomb. This is a wonderful story that is marred by the SacBee's attempt to interject into the story doubt about the war effort in Iraq.
As it happened, Staff Sgt. Falcon made friends with little Shahad Abbas who had been the victim of a road side bomb that was detonated as she was walking to school. Her little brother was killed in the blast. Falcon had been visiting the girl and was bringing her gifts of toys and medical supplies when at last she asked him for new legs so that she might again walk to school.
To his credit, Sgt. Falcon worked his heart out to get the poor girl those prosthetic legs and he succeeded in his goals. It is a heartwarming tale and highlights just one of the thousands and thousands of similar stories being lived out by our soldiers on a daily basis throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.
Don't you just love the MSM? They can't even report good news without interjecting their doom and gloom, agenda driven verbiage into any report. This time it is the Associated Press with the good news that the Marines and the rest of America's armed forces have reached their recruiting goals. In fact, many branches of the service exceeded them. All good news, right? Well, naturally the AP had to throw some cold water on the good tidings. You see, according to the AP the Marines fulfilled their recruiting goals because of a "slow economy" and despite Iraq being an "unpopular war." They just can't let it go, can they?
After giving us the details that the Marines surpassed their recruiting goals the AP had to remind us that U.S. forces were "stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan" and that those joining the service are doing so because -- and here is that old canard again -- "other job possibilities" are limited for them.
Horror author Stephen King's comments regarding illiteracy and the military have drawn criticism from the United States Army according to a report by CBS-TV affiliate in Washington, DC, WUSA channel 9.
As NewsBusters reported Monday, King recently told a group of high school students at the Library of Congress, "If you don't [read], then you've got, the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that."
According to WUSA, Paul Boyce of Army Public Affairs issued the following statement (video embedded right):
The battle between NewsBusters and horror novelist Stephen King went national Tuesday when the Associated Press picked up the story.
For those that haven't been following this, on Monday, NewsBusters reported King's disgraceful comments -- made in front of a group of high school students at the Library of Congress in April -- about people who can't read having few options other than to enlist in the Army.
This surprisingly prompted King to post a blurb at his website encouraging readers to send a message to me stating, "Hi, Noel—Stephen King says to shut up and I agree."
Now, the AP has expressed its view of this squabble, of course, with no mention of King's sorry call-to-arms (emphasis added):
It seems to matter little whether the location is Gaza or Baghdad. If there is a way to spin a story, Associated Press reporters will find it.
Today, American forces called in an AC-130 for support when they came under fire in the Kazimiyah district of Baghdad.
The Associated Press editorializes:
The AC-130, a lethal tool used by the military since the Vietnam War, can slowly circle over a target for long periods.
Human rights groups have criticized their use in urban settings where militants may be among crowded populations of noncombatants. The four-engine gunships were also used to support the U.S. attack that took the western city of Fallujah from insurgents in November 2004.
What the Associated Press does not mention is that the modern AC-130U is the most complex aircraft weapons system on the planet, and the reason for its complexity is that the aircraft's sensors, navigation, and fire control systems are calibrated to conduct exceedingly accurate surgical strikes. It is likely because of their precision strike capabilities that the AC-130U was chosen for this mission over other available means of attack.
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," anchor Bob Simon talked to members of the Israeli Air Force and asked one pilot, Captain Omri, about air strikes in the Gaza strip in which civilians occasionally are killed:
It's a classic guerilla war. Fifty dollar rockets made in the back alleys of Gaza against Israel's $50,000 missiles. The Israelis will tell you that kind of expense buys precise weapons which limit collateral damage. But it also gives the air force the capability of assassinating their enemy's leadership. The Israelis call this "targeted killings"; the Palestinians call it murder. Have you hit any targets?
Simon then went on to say to Omri: "But I must tell you, your face, your manners, your demeanor, you don't look like a killer. And yet what you do a lot of the time when you're over Gaza, you're killing." The pilot responded: "I agree. I don't think I'm a killer. When I look at my face in the mirror, I don't see a killer."
How bad was Reverend Wright's appearance before the National Press Club this morning? Bad enough that even CNN contributor Roland Martin—who yesterday enthused about Wright's address to the Detroit NAACP, who gave Wright's chat with Bill Moyers an 'A'—flunked it with an 'F.' Bad enough that David Gergen condemned it as "narcissistic almost beyond belief." Bad enough that, introducing a panel discussion of the speech, the palpably distressed CNN Newsroom host Tony Harris let out an audible groan of "ah, boy," and later wondered how much damage had been done.
Last February, NewsBusters reported the resignation of retired Col. Ken Allard from NBC News as a result of the military analyst's view the network was undergoing a "precipitous retreat from journalistic and ethical standards."
On Sunday, Allard was more specific, claiming, "I thought they really had moved very slowly to the left, and I also thought that when they had the chance to clarify to the fact that they were not moving to the left, they didn't do so."
CNN's Howard Kurtz set this up on "Reliable Sources":