Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hosmer is overhauling a vast heap of manure in the back of his barn, turning the ice within it up to the light.

Yet he asks despairingly what life is for..... H. D. Thoreau
Posted by olvlzl
Clearly the “ success of the Surge” in Iraq wasn’t what made George W. Bush’s 2007 so special. I read the tripe which supplies the cover story for today’s Parade Magazine in an act of supreme dedication to the readers of this blog. The word “Iraq”, never mind “surge” doesn’t appear to have survived the cut though “Afghanistan” is no longer a non-war and is once again mentioned. One suspects a movie tie-in. “

Knowing that the eldest scion of George H. W., out of Babbs, isn’t so good at the attention-span thing you might suspect that this, held by our media to be the greatest success in the history of war science, just slipped his mind. But knowing this, we also know that he didn’t write the thing. He might not even know it was written or published. This Parade Magazine ready garbage has the signs of a minor branch of the Bush PR operation written all over it.

One suspects that Parade noticed the unseemly omission of the “I” word in this fiction, get this:

It’s been a tumultuous year for President Bush. So when PARADE asked him to share his thoughts on the best and worst moments of 2007, we didn’t know what to expect. Would he talk about the war in Iraq, the housing crisis or the California wildfires? The President told us right away that he is “an optimist”

So you can safely go on to essential reading, Juan Cole’s “Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2007". Though they are all worth considering, I’ll post only three of them.

2. Myth: Iraq has been "calm" in fall of 2007 and the Iraqi public, despite some grumbling, is not eager for the US to depart.

Fact: in the past 6 weeks, there have been an average of 600 attacks a month, or 20 a day, which has held steady since the beginning of November. About 600 civilians are being killed in direct political violence per month, but that number excludes deaths of soldiers and police. Across the board, Iraqis believe that their conflicts are mainly caused by the US military presence and they are eager for it to end.

1. Myth: The reduction in violence in Iraq is mostly because of the escalation in the number of US troops, or "surge."

Fact: Although violence has been reduced in Iraq, much of the reduction did not take place because of US troop activity. Guerrilla attacks in al-Anbar Province were reduced from 400 a week to 100 a week between July, 2006 and July, 2007. But there was no significant US troop escalation in al-Anbar. Likewise, attacks on British troops in Basra have declined precipitously since they were moved out to the airport away from population centers. But this change had nothing to do with US troops.

I’ll interject that I am with those who believe the various sides are just saving themselves for the all out civil war that is bound to come are correct. Why should they waste themselves on the Americans who will eventually leave when they've got to stay. All they’ve got to do is pretend for a while to have seen the light to get military supplies and training from them*. Americans generally have been brainwashed into thinking it’s all about us and our pretendedly idealistic goals but people in their own country are primarily concerned with themselves, not us. Until Americans learn this lesson we will be susceptible to the lies of the oligarchs who have repeatedly led us into one disaster after another.

10. Myth: The US public no longer sees Iraq as a central issue in the 2008 presidential campaign.

In a recent ABC News/ Washington Post poll, Iraq and the economy were virtually tied among voters nationally, with nearly a quarter of voters in each case saying it was their number one issue. The economy had become more important to them than in previous months (in November only 14% said it was their most pressing concern), but Iraq still rivals it as an issue!

As in the run up to the illegal war, The People have shown themselves to be more serious and more interested in reality than the corporate media. That is a remarkable fact, maybe even an encouraging, fact. Despite the constant lies and deletions of the American media The People show more interest in the disastrous occupation of Iraq than they are supposed to. Perhaps that’s due in part to the fact that The People here are the ones who know those who are getting killed whereas the elite are mostly wearing their white feather shields for this one too.

The media, who will be doing everything in their power to ignore what’s really coming in Iraq next year, aren’t keeping the lid securely on it. The Surge is going to be ending, the pretense that Baghdad has been pacified, and that it represents what is happening in the rest of the country is an ever thinner veil over what is really happening. I predict that before long you will hear Cokie Roberts talking about “Iraq fatigue” in the general public, she is a reliable bell weather of official election year themes. But the elite media is what increasing numbers of us are done with.

The American Enterprise Institute and the other oligarchic PR firms might come up with a successor to The Surge, another tactic of dragging out the inevitable conclusion until the election is over so it can be blamed, if their worse nightmares happen, on a Democrat. Look for members of the putrid Kagan clan on C-Span and NPR shows as an early sign of this, Diane Rehm has already started.

Read the rest of Juan Cole’s list. He’s got a far better track record in predicting what’s going to be coming in the mid-east than anything you will hear from the predictable stable of DC based news-liars and guess-pool experts.

* I’ve mentioned before the time I heard William Sloane Coffin talking about the possible problems that Reagan’s arming the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan could lead to. A callow young conservative in the audience chided him for not realizing that we were making friends with the “freedom-fighters” and they’d take our side now. Coffin predicted, with a 100% accuracy rate not enjoyed by the media consulted “experts” of the time, that they didn’t have to choose us or the Soviets, they could hate us both.

America’s establishment is again arming people who are going to hate us even more than those in Afghanistan because George Bush has given them so much more to hate us for.

But will Tom Hanks “be able to deal with” the role without a major revision?