cretins who gave us the Iraq war aren't content that our
soldiers are sitting ducks for terrorists
throughout the Middle East now they're using them as props
in a propaganda campaign designed to convince the American
people that "progress" is being made. As the [Washington]
from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding
Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country
as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.
all the letters are the same.
Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different
soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry
Regiment, also known as 'The Rock,' in 11 newspapers, including
a few minutes of googling brings forth at least two identical
letters attributed to two different
soldiers: Oh, and here's
another. Gannett News counts at least 11. Capitol Hill
"some say they were ordered by their superiors to sign their
to the phony letter, everything is hunky-dory over in "liberated"
is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The
majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms.
After nearly five months here, the people still come running
from their homes into the 110-degree heat, waving to us as
our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. "
figures that these fake letters appeared in newspapers just
as relatively trouble-free Kirkuk appears to be going
the deep end,
along with the entire northern
part of the country. Is this the kind of war propaganda we're
paying for? I demand a congressional investigation! Why don't
they hire Glenn Reynolds if they already haven't, that is.
Here is the Pontifcating
Professor as he tries to explain that the bogus letter
isn't a bogus letter, you see, because it's a "form letter."
Only a law professor could argue that so labeling it ameliorates
the essential fraud of misrepresenting both the author and
those who did agree to sign (when asked to do so by their
military superiors) had no idea that their names would soon
be in print. When one proud father congratulated his son on
getting a letter published in the local newspaper, the soldier
said: "What letter?"
Official Story is that some anonymous GI wrote the letter,
the military public relations team had nothing to do with
it, the high command had nothing to do with it, and somebody
nobody knows who mailed it out to all the hometown papers
of the unit. Whoever did it had access to the soldiers' records,
because in at least one case a letter was sent to the Olympian,
published in Washington state, when the soldier and his family
had long since moved to Idaho.
from that, however, there is the problem of implied coercion.
on Capitol Hill Blue:
soldier, who asked not to be identified, said he was reluctant
to sign the letter because he did not agree with the comments
in the letter but said he was ordered by a superior officer
to sign. 'When I'm given an order, I obey it,' he said."
Olympian quotes Sgt. Christopher Shelton, signer of a
letter that was published in the Snohomish Herald,
saying "his platoon sergeant had distributed the letter and
asked soldiers for the names of their hometown newspapers.
Soldiers were asked to sign the letter if they agreed with
it appears, did agree with it, but can anyone honestly imagine
a soldier refusing to sign it when asked to do so by a superior
isn't enough that our soldiers are being put in harm's way
in an increasingly ugly and pointless war: now they are being
used as political pawns, forced to lie on behalf of the Liar-in-chief
and his fellow fibbers in the War Party.
story that this was a spontaneous campaign initiated by an
anonymous soldier just doesn't wash. This has all the earmarks
of a more than typically clumsy effort by some government
agency or other to fight the "war on terrorism" on the home
front. As such, it underscores the character of those who
lied about the real reasons
we went into Iraq, and are lying as hard as they
often as they can, to keep us there.
suppose there are some good aspects of the U.S. invasion
and conquest of Iraq. Someone in Iraq, somehow
if only by accident is going to benefit from the infusion
that money. And we are not just talking about material
benefits. the proliferation of newly-minted
Iraqi newspapers is proof enough of that.
great irony, however, is that the Coalition "Provisional"
Authority is unsettled by all this ideological diversity,
and has responded by banning
two television outlets, including Al Jazeera, and a number
of newspapers, for
"incitement." An even greater irony is that we, the American
people, derive no benefits from this "liberation."
Lives are lost, bodies maimed, but who gains, aside from politically-connected
government contractors and lobbyists?
Americans will have their tax dollars "liberated" from their
wallets and transferred overseas, along with all too many
of their sons and daughters more than a few of whom will
be making a one-way trip. Now I think I fully understand why
Ayn Rand hated altruism. If that's what this is, then
so do I.
matter what briefly enduring short-term good comes of the
American occupation of Iraq, I'm sure the professional apologists
for U.S. policy would be incapable of discovering it, or even
of telling anyone about it. These people are incapable
of telling the truth, even if it is to their advantage.
They prefer prevarication. That's why the art of lying
has attained cult status among the more exalted neocon intellectuals,
who celebrate Leo Strauss's concept of the "noble lie"
fibs fed to the masses for their own good by geniuses like
a depressing scenario, alright, but let's try to end this
on a lighter note. Hey, I hear that the USO is sending a group of
comedians to entertain the troops in Iraq: I'm sure, at
this point, they could use a few laughs. But, uh, look who
they're sending over there
not exactly an encyclopedia of popular culture, but this was
the first I'd heard of Ralphie May. Judging
from his website, however, I'm not sure I want to know
much more. And what about Butch
Bradley? Oh wait, you mean this guy?
I never even heard of the people he's opened for, never mind
him. I'm suuuuuure the troops will be thrilled to know
that, along with these worthies, Lahna Turner will be paying them
a visit no, not that one this one.
from being Ralphie's
main squeeze, I'm not sure why she'd be better than, say,
Janeane Garofalo. Can
anyone speculate as to why Robin Williams
was passed over (after he was a
big hit in Afghanistan) for a bunch of nobodies? Hey,
what about Whoopi Goldberg? I'd love to hear
the Pentagon explain why not. If our vocally antiwar Hollywood
celebs had any political or PR sense, they'd volunteer
for the Iraq gig and offer to donate the money to the families
of the dead and wounded.
yet, why not fire Donald
Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle the whole
neocon gang that lied us into war and send
them over there as a comedy act. They could specialize in
goofball slapstick, and bill themselves as the Gang that Couldn't Keep Their
my solution to the Iraq disaster: send in the
IN THE MARGIN
it's been at least a few weeks since Stephen Schwartz, the Trotskyite-turned-neocon Muslim
wrote a screed for Frontpage charging Antiwar.com with
and me with being an agent of
the Mikado. I was beginning to feel
neglected. I mean,
where is this relationship going? You never call anymore!
But then oh glory be! my feeling of abandonment was
lifted by a
missive in the Letters column of the New York Review
of Books (October 9, 2003), which reads, in part:
a violent diatribe drawing on a disreputable source, the www.antiwar.com Web site, Clifford
Gertz described [Stephen] Schwartz as 'a strange and outlandish
character.' However, he cites nothing about Mr. Schwartz that
could fit such a description."
can one say about a writer who goes to all the trouble to
get over 200 others including the entire staff of
to sign a letter protesting a bad
review of his book? Strange and outlandish? That's an
understatement. No wonder all sign of his employment at the
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he was listed
as a "senior
fellow," has been scrubbed
from their website.
of Don't Say We Didn't Warn You:
imperial project of the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-neoconservative
cabal is the Israeli occupation of Palestine writ large."
Antiwar.com, April 14, 2003
soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers,
have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange
and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of
collective punishment of farmers who do not give information
about guerrillas attacking US troops."
soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops,"
The Independent, October 12, 2003
Barganier has been traveling this week, and won't be filing
his usual Monday column, drat, but, hey psssst! I
know where you can get your Barganier fix. He's been blogging for dear life on the Antiwar.com blog. That boy
sure can write and he does it a lot. He's joined by several
of our regular columnists: Nebojsa Malic,
whose mordant sense of irony is a great addition to the blog
mix: the acerbic Anthony Gancarski,
scourge of the neocons, and our
very own Sam Koritz, editor of the "Backtalk" page, whose
informed commentary always enlightens and clarifies (complete
with photos!). But I laughed out loud when I saw the headline
of this Ran Hacohen blog item on Israel's acquisition of nuclear
armed submarines: "Doomsday is Already
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