Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Now this is just getting ridiculous

Okay, so Chimpy wanted to bomb the headquarters of a television network in a friendly country because he didn't like the coverage he was getting, but he let his poodle talk him out of it. That's not surprising, of course it's the sort of thing the big baby would think he could do. By an odd coincidence, although the U.S. never did bomb al Jazeera HQ in Doha, we did bomb their offices in Kabul and Baghdad -- purely by accident of course.

So, the networks in the U.S. cover the story - with understandable, err, delicacy. NBC even covers it! At the end of a long story focusing on how the Brits are busily prosecuting the leaker, we get this throwaway:

Meantime, NBC News analyst Bill Arkin says that while there is no military order to bomb any media outlet, the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha has been given responsibility for exploiting and disrupting the communications and computer systems of news media outlets worldwide. Arkin says the center of this effort is the Network Attack Support Staff, which while assigned to Stratcom, is headquartered at Ft. Meade, Md.

Meanwhile, I checked the NYWT, the Boston Globule, and all the major networks to see how they're playing the story of Iraq's political leadership in Cairo agreeing that a) there has to be a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, and b) Iraqis have a legitimate right of resistance to foreign occupation, i.e. it's okay to attack U.S. troops. The Globe buried the story in the back pages. Although Salah Nasrawi's AP story leads with the "legitimate right of resistance," the headline was about the timetable. The NYWT ran the timetable story as its front page lead, but didn't get to the right of resistance until after the jump, and then added, gratuitously and on no evidentiary ground, that the statement "stopped short" of condoning attacks on U.S. troops. No it didn't. ABC ran the AP story, and even teased the right of resistance on their front page! But CBS buried it and as far as I can tell, CNN didn't even cover it.

So let me spell it out. The sovereign Iraqi government says its okay for Iraqis to attack U.S. forces, and that those forces should establish a timetable to leave the country. On the first point, they apparently agree with the preznit -- Bring 'em on! -- but it does kind of make the definition of "victory" in Iraq seem all the more mysterious. Essentially, we seem to be fighting in Iraq in order to stop people from attacking U.S. troops, even though it's perfectly okay with the Iraqi government for them to be doing it. It seems to me that the easiest way to stop that from happening is to leave. Then we will have won, because Iraqis won't be attacking our troops any more. Also, we wouldn't have to bomb any TV networks.

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