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January 29, 2007

NY TimesWatch: The Times Discovers Bullets!

5 a.m. we step outside to retrieve the daily fishwrap but to our utter surprise, it's dark outside. And cold.

Very cold. This is just another thing for which we can thank the stupid Chimp. Since he refused to ratify Kyoto, the weather seems prone to ever more alarming and unpredictable fluctuations.

Yesterday white stuff was actually falling from the sky. Who knows what it will be like outside our front door six months from now? Probably hotter than Hades.

giant_duck_of_peace.jpgThis would never have happened under a Kedwards administration... But there is no point in grieving over might-have-beens. Sadly, there seems little chance now that the Giant Duck of Peace will spread its wings over our wounded nation, salving the harsh realities of war with the comforting wingbeat of Truthiness:

At the rally, 12-year-old Moriah Arnold stood on her toes to reach the microphone and tell the crowd: “Now we know our leaders either lied to us or hid the truth. Because of our actions, the rest of the world sees us as a bully and a liar.”

And a little child shall lead them. Everybody knows you can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake! Just ask Senator Warner! He and other Republican stalwarts in the Senate are falling all over themselves in their eagerness to help the Democrats support General Petraeus by sending fewer troops than he needs to get the job done! This new, bipartisan spirit of cooperation that has seized Washington is truly inspiring.

Meanwhile, as our elected representatives busily badmouth the Iraqis and undercut support our armed forces, the Iraqis continue to delude themselves that our brave, murdering troops can somehow win their illegal and immoral war of occupation:

The head of one of the two city councils in Sadr city told AFP that he's ready to cooperate with the Iraqi forces in implementing the security plan. In the statement that appeared on al-Mada Kareem Hassan said "The presence of popular armed committees [Sadr militias] will end automatically when Iraqi forces enter the city because the need for the committees will cease to exist"

We talked earlier about insurgents and terrorists fleeing Baghdad to Diyala, and today there's another report about a similar migration, from al-Sabah:

Eyewitnesses in some volatile areas said that large numbers of militants have fled to Syria to avoid being trapped in the incoming security operations.

According to those witnesses, residents and shopkeepers are no longer concerned about militants whose existence in public used to bring on clashes that put the lives of civilians in danger.

A shopkeeper in al-Karkh [western Baghdad] said that many of them [militants] packed their stuff and headed to Syria to wait and see what the operations are going to be like.

While experts consider this a failure in protecting the plan's secrecy which might lead to the loss of the surprise factor, they also say it indicates the seriousness and resolve in this plan that is already scaring away the militants. PM Maliki pointed out that seeing them run away is a good thing but he returned and said the security forces would chase them down everywhere after Baghdad is clear.

As we said in the last update, Maliki won unanimous support for his plan in the parliament and despite some opposition from the radical factions the major blocs are expressing their support and approval of the plan:

Spokesman of the Accord front Saleem Abdullah said after the session that the principles of the security plan have the approval of the front and "constitutes a quality leap toward serving Iraq's people".

Hussein al-Sha'lan of the Iraqi bloc stressed on the importance of cooperation among political powers to ensure the success of the plan which he called "realistic and well-thought".

Abdul Khaliq Zangana of the Kurdish alliance said the plan would deal a heavy blow to Iraq's enemies and put an end to the crimes of outlaws and their backers.

On the other hand citizens we talked to after the prime minister made his speech before the parliament say that there's no place for mistakes or weakness this time but they also seemed confident that Maliki has prepared the right tools for success.

If only they read the New York Times they would realize that even a battle where we kill 250 to 300 insurgents, foil an assassination attempt on Ali al-Sistani, and suffer only minimal casualties in return (great video by CNN anchor Arwa Damon) was rendered utterly meaningless by the tragic death, last Wednesday, of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija:

The joint military effort has been billed as the first step toward an Iraqi takeover of security. But this morning, in the two dark, third-floor apartments on Haifa Street, that promise seemed distant. What was close, and painfully real, was the cost of an escalating street fight that had trapped American soldiers and Iraqi bystanders between warring sects.

And as with so many days here, a bullet changed everything.

Yes folks, there may be a larger war here, but we need to keep things in perspective.

There was a miserable failure here. And we lost another one of our own. What was that body count again?

Is this what he fought for? So that a mostly negative account of his death would be used to counterbalance a battle we won, his life reduced to a headline: "When One Bullet Alters Everything"?

What about everything Staff Sergeant Leija did up to that point?

Didn't that alter anything? Apparently not. For the New York Times it was not the life of Staff Sergeant Leija that mattered but his death.

Not what he stood for, what he loved, what he cared about, what he fought for that they bring to their readers. The Times has discovered the astonishing fact that in war, bullets kill and we are all so much better informed for their in-depth, on the scene investigative report.

The Times: keeping the war in perspective, on Page One.

Posted by Cassandra at January 29, 2007 06:44 AM

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Today was the first day of the rest of my life.

Today was the first day that I was not greeted with a newspaper at the end of my driveway. Today was the first day that my dollars did not fund, not even in a miniscule way, the liars of the Associated Press. Today was the first day that my dollars did not contribute to the wealth of Jeff Stahler, the Dispatch editorial cartoonist that has a penchant for distilling the most complex issues of our times down to a 100% wrong viewpoint, a viewpoint that will inevitably be negative to our country. Today was the first day that I wouldn't have to roll my eyes at the insipid rantings of Ann Fisher, our metro-page Lib that can even find a way to insert an anti-American statement into a story about peanut butter cookies. Today I was not confronted with the insane ramblings that populate the Reader Letters page. Today I made my stand against anonymously sourced stories, anonymous primarily because they are completely fabricated, or they violate national security laws.

Today, I let my subscription to the Columbus Dispatch lapse, and I'm convinced that I'm the better for it.

Posted by: daveg at January 29, 2007 10:25 AM

Gee Dave, how will you get by without Mike Harden and Joe Blundo? :)

(to the tune of "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens, now a Muslim)

Peace Duck flapping closer

Let's all fly like the Peace Duck

Ooh ahh, Ooh ahh, Ohh ahh, Ooh ahh,

Let's all flap like the Peace Duck.

Relief is coming. When Senator Clinton is elected president in 2008, we won't have any more wars, because "women know better", according to an interview I heard last week.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 29, 2007 10:35 AM

Don -

No Harden/Blundo? No problemo! Harden, who is so ridiculously biased, is such a self-parody that he's unintentionally funny.

Blundo, whose job it is to be funny, is not.

I did like Tim May, though. Great sports writer.

OT - Still waiting on some decent weather for your plane ride.

Posted by: daveg at January 29, 2007 10:39 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 01/29/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by: David M at January 29, 2007 11:18 AM

Look buddy, you may think this is any easy job, but it ain't as simple as it looks.


Posted by: The Peace Duck at January 29, 2007 07:08 PM

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