At his site Mullings.com, former Gingrich aide Rich Galen is mocking the tendency of the pundits to lack humility on their qualifications to pass judgment on the potential of the Bush surge strategy:
On Canadian television, yesterday, I was asked whether I thought the plan presented by President Bush would work in Iraq. I said (and this is pretty close):
"I am not an expert in military tactics or strategy - neither, by the way, is almost anyone else who has weighed in on this. Asking me whether 20,000 additional troops is enough, is like asking me how much more power we should add to an particle accelerator." [Laughter by the anchor]
I have been listening to people in elected office from US Senators down to who-knows-what; to people who were once in appointed office; people who were once in the military; people who have never been closer to a military unit than standing in front of the gate at a military base with their make-up on and their hair sprayed in place; reporters who evaded the draft (when there was a draft); reporters who are too young to have needed to evade the draft; and cable hosts pontificating on the status of the US military who wouldn't know an FM22-5 from the menu at McDonalds.
Is it not outrageous that Senator Barbara Boxer (Dem, Cal) verbally attacked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for not having children as Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday to discuss the Administrations position on Bush's Iraq military "surge" plans? Is this an acceptable criticism of a political official? Is the fact that an official might not have children reason to doubt their capacity for policy making or ability to advise an administration?
Is this the Democrat's new era of niceness, their less rancorous way of governing?
I was shocked to see this intemperate verbal assault by Boxer in the New York Post, but I became curious to see how other MSM sources treated the outrageous comments of the unbalanced Boxer. So, I did a little search of the reactions of the press.
(Full excerpts of the sections in each story that detailed Boxer's outrageous behavior follows)
By the time President Bush delivered his Iraq speech Wednesday night, the news media had spent several days engaged in what the military calls "preparing the battlefield." The media's air war against the plan to try to actually win the Iraq war assured that most of Bush's audience would have already heard journalists claiming the new mission is wrong-headed and doomed to failure. A few examples:
"Like a folly." Last Tuesday on NBC's Today, anchor emeritus Tom Brokaw argued that the way Saddam Hussein was executed revealed Iraq as "a deeply divided country along tribal lines," and that sending more troops would "seem to most people...like a folly." Brokaw added: "I think a lot of people who are raising their hands to join the armed services are wondering, ‘I'm giving my life for that?'"
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin appeared on Thursday’s "Early Show" to discuss President Bush’s new strategy for Iraq, and, as one would expect, Senator Durbin was highly critical of the plan. However, it wasn’t anything that Durbin or "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith said that was attention grabbing, but the information CBS provided under Mr. Durbin’s name that was perplexing. For example, CBS informed viewers that the senior Senator from Illinois supports the presidential ambitions of his junior colleague, Barack Obama. Other tidbits of information provided by CBS included that Mr. Durbin is in his second term in the Senate and that "Time" rated him as one of the Senate’s ten most effective members.
On the Tuesday edition of "Situation Room," host Wolf Blitzer asked Ted Kennedy whether Iraq and U.S. interests would be better off with Saddam Hussein still in power. The CNN anchor spent much of his interview wondering how the Massachusetts Senator would stop President Bush from increasing troop levels in Iraq. However, he only briefly challenged Kennedy on what should be done in Iraq, preferring questions such as, "So, is this Vietnam?" Another example is his query on whether the world's interests would be better served if a dictator such as Hussein were still in power:
Wolf Blitzer:"You voted against that original resolution way back. And you say that was the best vote in your 42 years in the United States Senate. Saddam Hussein was executed, as you know, in the last few weeks. Was the country better off, was the U.S. interests in that part of the world better off under Saddam Hussein?"
Chronicle staff writer, Robert Collier, wants the US to "negotiate" with the radical, Islamist, terrorists and the old guard Saddamists that are vexing Iraq's attempts to move into the 21st century preventing them in their laudable attempt to build a nation answerable to Iraqis of every stripe.
"U.S. must negotiate with insurgents and militias, experts say", Collier breathlessly informs us. His "experts", though, leave much to be desired for reliability.
Collier seems to think the insurgents and terror outfits should be treated as if they are merely interested parties, as if they were the same kind of political party or faction we are used to in the west. Someone has not taken the time to inform Mr. Collier about exactly what these factions want in the Middle East, sadly.
No, of course the Democratic Party in Washington doesn't have a problem with the real or perceived masculinity of its male senators and congressmen.
Absolutely not. What in the world are you talking about?
You're all excited just because Maureen Dowd calls Barack Obama "Obambi," had to listen to him complain to her because she wrote that his ears are big (he's sennnnnnsitive about them, y'know), and told him that she's trying to "toughen him up."
Oh, and you still remember Al Gore bringing in Naomi Wolf in to help him during the early stages of his 2000 presidential campaign because:
..... he is a beta male, a subordinate figure, and must learn to become an alpha male, or leader of the pack, before the public can accept him as President .....
Your point is?
And I'll just bet you're going to try to make hay out of that Sunday New York Times Week in Review feature (requires registration) about the new Democratic Alpha Males:
With President Bush presumably about to announce a surge of troops into Iraq, what better time for CNN to run a segment . . . likely to put a damper on recruiting? In theory, there was nothing wrong with a segment aired at 10:30 ET this morning, geared to providing useful information to potential recruits. As discussed during CNN host TJ Holmes' interview of Gina Cavallaro of the Military Times [owned by Gannett, the folks who bring you the liberal USA Today], recruits do need to understand that they are entering into a contract with the military, that they have bargaining power, that it's possible to negotiate, that it's wise to get things in writing, etc.
Well and good. But all that information was provided against the backdrop of a recurring theme: that recruiters are likely to distort or even lie to potential recruits.
Holmes introduced the segment this way: "Between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military recruiters are feeling more pressure to meet their goals. They are overstating the benefits of enlisting right now, is the word. What should you know before your son or daughter signs on the dotted line?"
Holmes' first question to Cavallaro: "The [recruits] you talk to who were just getting into it or have been in for a little bit, do you hear much saying they didn't really know what they were getting to? Did their impressions turn out to be true once they were enlisted?"
Cavallaro took it from there: "I hear people saying, 'my recruiter lied to me. I'm not where I said I would be. I didn't know I would be in Korea for a year.' You definitely hear those things."
A groundbreaking study of 1,946 male veterans of World War II and Korea suggests that vets with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are at greater risk of heart attacks as they age.
The conclusion: war is bad for your health.
Wow. Wonder how much taxpayer money was wasted on THAT study!?
At least our veteran's aren't so stupid that they wouldn't have been able to know it all upfront, without a "study".
"It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out," said John Oliveira of New Bedford, Mass., a former Navy public affairs officer and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, I certainly don't want to make light of the problems of coping that our veterans confront upon returning from war. Robert E. Lee once said that it is good that war is so horrible or we'd get too fond of it and he knew whereof he spoke.
People are vastly different and, whereas some may never experience much discomfort or anguish from their war service, others are bothered with the mental images for the rest of their lives. And we, as a society, should be observant and responsive to the needs of our returning heroes even as they advance into old age.
One does not need to look much farther than the Newspapers in the USA to understand why we may lose this war against Islamist fascism and terrorism. At the very least, the Kansas City Star's Mary Sanchez displays her desire to condemn everything American and to make excuses for Muslim terrorists.
Using the "six imams expelled from an airplane" story as a springboard to wag a finger in the face of we ignorant Americans, Sanchez warns that we just don't get it where it concerns distinguishing between "Muslims who are a threat, and those who are not."
Naturally, it isn't the fault of any Muslim, either. No, it's all the fault of those uninformed American Christians.
Don't look for Tom Brokaw to turn up in an "Army Strong" ad anytime soon . . .
Brokaw will praise President Ford in the eulogy he will deliver later today. But it was the former NBC anchor in a much more familiar role -- that of criticizing a Republican administration -- on this morning's "Today." Along the way, he did his best to dampen enthusiasm among potential military recruits.
Discussing the execution of Saddam and the possibility of a surge, Brokaw opined:
"The manner in which Saddam Hussein was executed reveals the essential truths about Iraq: that this is a deeply divided country along tribal lines. Andthe idea that we're going to impose the rule of law and democracy there by putting in more troops now will seem to most people,especially those families that may be sending somebody there, like a folly. And a lot of families, and I think a lot of people who are raising their hands to join the armed services are wondering 'I'm giving my life for that?'"
The passing of President Ford has New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fantasizing about the ignominy that President Bush's obituary will heap on him for his handling of Iraq. In what Kristof claims to be "the holiday spirit," he offers W ten suggestions to rescue his legacy. After all, what says "holiday spirit" more than dreaming about someone's death?
You can read all ten suggestions here if you've anted up to the Times, but for those loath to lard the Times' coffers, let me focus on two of Kristof's recommendations:
"Seriously engage Iraq’s nastier neighbors, including Iran and Syria, and renounce permanent military bases in Iraq. None of that will solve the mess in Iraq. But these steps will suggest that you are belatedly trying to listen and are willing to give diplomacy a chance."
We haven't listened to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Sure we have: he wants to develop nuclear weapons and erase Israel from the map. For starters. And just why should we renounce the prospect of bases giving us the ability to defend American interests in the most volatile region of the world?
As if political tradeoffs and deal-making isn't how politics works every day in the nation's capital, on Wednesday night NBC News Pentagon reporter Jim Miklaszewski delivered a nefarious take on President Bush's willingness to increase the size of the military, at least the Army and Marine Corps. Picking up on Bush's comments during his morning news conference, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams noted how “a lot of Generals have been asking for this for a long time, as recently as last week on Capitol Hill."
Miklaszewski, however, stressed how “some military officials are highly suspicious of the President's sudden turnaround on the issue” since “they believe that he's dangling that offer out there in an effort to buy the military's support for the option to surge additional American troops into Iraq -- as if it's some kind of tradeoff.” Those military leaders “that we're talking to,” Miklaszewski relayed, “still oppose a surge, they still believe it won't work and will put more Americans at risk.” He concluded: “As one senior military official put it today, it'll be like throwing kerosene on a fire." It may be unwise to “surge” troops, but a President giving in one area to get what he wants in another is hardly unusual. Normally the press corps laud such “compromise.”
Now that times are difficult in Iraq, it’s easy for the media to claim they are simply reporting the bad news that is obvious to everyone. But how did networks such as CNN and MSNBC report more positive events? According to a new study by the MRC, overall, Fox News generated the most balanced coverage of news on the ground, while the other two cable networks consistently emphasized negative stories. FNC also displayed the highest enthusiasm on days such as June 8, when U.S. air strikes killed al-Qaeda in Iraq mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Over on MSNBC, while the anchors generally reported the event as good news, the network also chose that day to broadcast four stories on military deserters. On this seemingly happy occasion, CNN aired two reports on the already heavily hyped Haditha case.
During a presidential news conference on Wednesday, members of the media made it very clear to President Bush that they do not support increasing troop levels in Iraq. Although no such plan has been officially announced, several print and television reporters appeared to be launching a preemptive strike against the idea and in support of a quick withdrawal. During the hour long question and answer session, a "New York Times" reporter made comparisons to Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam. CBS correspondent Jim Axelrod asked how much longer the President will continue to defy the polls, and NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell tried to trap Bush into a game of criticizing Donald Rumsfeld. Early in the news conference, Reuters reporter Caren Bohan commenced the media attack on any plan that would increase troop strength in Iraq:
Caren Bohan: "If you conclude that a surge in troop levels in Iraq is needed, would you overrule your military commanders if they felt it was not a good idea?"
Bush: "That’s a dangerous hypothetical question. I am not condemning you, you are allowed to ask what you want. Let, let me wait and gather all the recommendations from Bob Gates, from our military, from diplomats on the ground. I’m interested in the Iraqis point of view, and then I will report back to you as to whether or not I support a surge or not. Nice try."
On this afternoon's Hardball, the old lawyer's adage rose up and bit Chris Matthews hard: never ask a witness a question to which you don't know the answer. Matthews's guest was retired Marine Corps Major General Arnold Punaro, Chairman of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves. Matthews's substance and tone left no doubt that he wanted his questions as to the availability of sufficient troops to pacify Baghdad, and the advisability of using Guard and Reserve troops as part of such a "surge," answered in the negative.
Matthews: "Do we have the troops to dramatically increase our complement of troops in Iraq, sir?"
Punaro: "Absolutely. Between our active military and the number of troops we have in the Guard and Reserve, should the Commander-in-Chief, on the advice of the combatant commanders in the field and with the concurrence of the Congress make the decision that we want to increase the size of the force in Iraq, we certainly have the ability to surge those forces."
Well, it seems that such statements do indeed have an impact on how others view things, for in an interview that is going to be aired on “Hardball” Monday, “Saving Private Ryan” actor Matt Damon says that people only enlist for financial reasons. Damon also takes a shot at the President’s daughters for not volunteering themselves (must-see video available here).
What follows is a brief segment of Damon's statement that host Chris Matthews showed during his Friday installment to advertise next week’s show, and an update that includes insults of Vice President Cheney by the actor:
The Pentagon announced that all four major branches of the military met or exceeded their recruiting goals for the month on November. Normally the media glosses over these stories and relegates them to the rarely read deep recesses of the B section. That is unless the news can be used to embed a story within a story – the sort that poisons the main message with a carefully crafted sub-context that is related to any one of a number of liberal agenda items that are being tossed about in the latest news cycle.
This is the case with the AP’s coverage of the pentagon announcement
ANSWER: Nothing satisfactory, as far as the company is concerned. Google has responded, but generically, and poorly. Meanwhile, press releases that verge on being pure pap are routinely displayed in Google News results.
Background: This post is the latest relating to attempts that began here to get to the bottom of why all but a very small portion of news items published at Centcom.mil and its affliated sites are NOT being found or displayed by the Google News search engine. More background is here, here, here, and here, but this post should stand on its own for those who are new to the issue.
I received this e-mail from Google News early Thursday evening (link supplied by Google News was made clickable for this post):
Thank you for your note about Google News. We apologize for our delayed response. Dan passed your email on to our User Support team so we can assist you. Please be assured that Google News currently includes the news site you mention. You can find articles from this publication in our results at the following link:
Additionally, please be aware that Google News doesn't currently include multimedia content, such as audio or video files. Google News offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. There aren't human editors at Google selecting or grouping the headlines, and no individual decides which stories get top placement. While our news sources vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology.
While we aim to include as many sources as possible in Google News, we can’t guarantee the addition of all articles and sources that are submitted to us. We appreciate your taking the time to send us your suggestions for how we can improve this service.
How is it journalism is supposed to go: "Who, What, Where, When"?
Isn't that the purported standard for "reporting" on a story? So, should that be true, the just-the-facts-ma'am style of reporting, informing the reader so that he may decide, is obviously as rare as a white Unicorn appearing every 13th month on a blue moon in the newsroom of the Washington Post -- or the Washington comPost as it is lovingly referred to by so many.
Today's ridiculously biased and overly emotive "report" took two people to pen, apparently. Robin Wright and Peter Baker held each other's hands and cried their way through their latest Bush slapping they titled "Bush gropes for new Iraq plan".
Even the headline screams girly "feelings" as opposed to just the facts. Who likes to be groaped, anyway, Robin? Kicking off the report we are treated to overly emotive phrases fit only for an editorial page as opposed to a reporting of facts that one should expect in the news section... and need we say that all the emotions are negative? Since the report is talking about Bush's Iraq policy, could it be any other way for good little robotic denizens of the MSM enclave in Washington?
Guest hosting this afternoon's Hardball, Mike Barnicle claimed to decry the politics surrounding the Iraq Study Group's report. But when it comes to political cheap shots, does it get much lower than this comment by Barnicle himself?
"Since the report was issued, I think 19 Americans have been killed in Iraq. Does anybody really think about that at the top level here today in terms of the report? Is it all just the politics of it?"
Appearing on Tuesday’s "Larry King Live," comedienne Kathy Griffin claimed to be so liberal that she refers to herself as a Sandinista and not a Democrat. On the same program, Griffin took delight in the downfall of Christian evangelical leader Ted Haggard, telling CNN’s Larry King that she "love[s] it." It’s unclear why King asked the D-list star about the scandal, perhaps he hoped to bate her into another hateful rant. Later in the program, Griffin offered a clue as to why she would be so effusive over a reverend’s fall from grace. Regarding religion, she claimed to not "believe in any of that crap." King led Griffin into the discussion with his ususal odd segue :
Larry King: "Before we talk about your folks and freebies, what do you make of Ted Haggard, the minister and the choir boy?"
Kathy Griffin: "I love it. I think it's hysterical because it's always, like, the ultra-right-wing conservatives that are banging the kids and the prostitutes and doing the crystal meth. Foley, delicious. Did you read those e-mails? ‘Do I make you horny?’ ‘No, grandpa, back off. And I'm changing the lock to the dorm.’ I mean, you know, if you're doing that stuff, don't be on the ethics committees, don't be a preacher. I saw that documentary, ‘Jesus Camp’ because you guys showed a clip of it on the show. He's kind of busted on that. He's all freaky."
Jawa Report: Main Insurgent Group, Ansar al Sunna, Decapitated in Iraq
Here they aren't:
Google News Search, sorted by Date, Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, on *Baghdad sniper captured* (NOT in quotes) -- Jawa Report's are the only relevant listings (darn, how did he get into Google News?).
Google News Search, sorted by Date, Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, on "Ansar al Sunna" (in quotes) -- Jawa Report is there. There is a Washington Post report that has the Ansar al Sunna news at the ninth paragraph of a story that is not only primarily about the possible finding of the remains of a downed F-16 pilot, but that also gives no clue in the headline that any additional news is in the article. As of when the search was done (3 PM on Saturday), all other articles listed were either foreign publications or smaller US web sites that track military matters.
It may surprise conservatives, but CNN reporter Bob Franken alleged on Thursday’s "American Morning" that Democrats are eager to label Iraq a civil war in order to undercut U.S. support for remaining in the country. Considering the cable network’s cheerleading for the Democratic Party in the recently completed midterm elections, this plainspoken statement must have been unintentional. Franken’s comment came in the midst of an otherwise typical CNN report. The segment highlighted how all respectable individuals and organizations call the conflict a civil war, so why can’t President Bush? Remarking on the popularity of the civil war terminology, Franken offered an explanation for the Democrats embrace of the phrase:
Bob Franken: "But many experts say that designating this a civil war will undermine U.S. support even more, which might explain why so many Democrats are jumping on the bandwagon."
On November 27, 2006, the media stepped up their demands for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq by officially naming the incursion a civil war. While questioning their motives, Americans must also be extremely concerned with how quickly these same voices will demand our military be sent back in a humanitarian effort to halt the inevitable post-retreat genocide.
Amid all the seemingly principled antiwar discussions that have transpired the past several years, one issue has been shamelessly and immorally absent: if American troops leave Iraq too soon, one of the largest mass-murders of innocent people in history might ensue.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts" the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, something Congressman Charles Rangel seemingly never picked up. In the Fox News Sunday segment which featured Barney Frank attacking Fox News, host Chris Wallace presented to Congressman Rangel findings from a Heritage Foundation Study that the military are in fact from a healthier economic background and better educated than the general American public. Rangel, with the facts in front of him, reverted to his original talking points disputing those very facts. He even made a John Kerry-like claim implying those serving in the military are not particularly patriotic or even very smart. The question is, will the mainstream media pick up on it?
On Sunday’s "60 Minutes," CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan insisted the US had been defeated in Iraq. During an interview with General John Abizaid, the top US Commander in Iraq, Logan asserted, "We hear very little about victory in Iraq these days. We hear a lot about how to manage the defeat." It appears Ms. Logan suffers from selective hearing. While many Democrats and some Republicans talk about Iraq as a lost cause, sources such as Senator John McCain and White House officials still insist victory is not only possible, it is imperative.
General Abizaid dismissed Logan’s claims, and maintained that "defeat" was her word not his. However, Logan persisted in proclaiming that the United States had been beaten.
A man poured gasoline on himself on November 3rd and on the side of the road on Chicago's Kennedy Expressway he lit himself on fire. It caused a traffic jam, but little else. In fact, no one even knew who the suicide was for several days until a friend of his got a letter sent him by the dead man just before his final day.
And still, few cared.
It turns out this was supposed to be some kind of anti-war statement akin to a Buddhist monk's self-immolation in Saigon during Vietnam. Sadly, this protester didn't seem to know that statements don't mean very much unless someone actually hears them.
The man, an activist named Mark David "Malachi" Ritscher, left a rambling manifesto-like web page purportedly explaining his actions that does little but show his rather unbalanced mental state. As Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper put it, the web message "comes across as intelligent, passionate, bitter, angry, disoriented -- and disturbed".
From Allah at Hot Air, who has the Fox News video at his site -- New York Congressman Charlie Rangel spouts off (HT LGF) on why soldiers in our all-volunteer army sign up:
I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.