Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday

50 die in Iraq

Bombings and shootings killed up to 55 people on Tuesday, including at least 23 Iraqi soldiers, undermining the new government's attempts to convince Iraqis it could improve security.
Iraqi policemen inspect the wreckage of a bus containing the remains of killed soldiers near Tikrit.

But it's not on teevee because the Israeli-Hezbollah bloodletting is the war de jour. It has a plot that's easier to follow and we Americans must think we're winning this one, because that's what Faux and CNN are dishing out.

Frank Rich:
. . . . CNN will surely remind us today that it is Day 19 of the Israel-Hezbollah war — now branded as Crisis in the Middle East — but you won’t catch anyone saying it’s Day 1,229 of the war in Iraq. On the Big Three networks’ evening newscasts, the time devoted to Iraq has fallen 60 percent between 2003 and this spring, as clocked by the television monitor, the Tyndall Report.

This is happening even as the casualties in Iraq, averaging more than 100 a day, easily surpass those in Israel and Lebanon combined.

The steady falloff in Iraq coverage isn’t happenstance. It’s a barometer of the scope of the tragedy. For reporters, the already apocalyptic security situation in Baghdad keeps getting worse, simply making the war more difficult to cover than ever. The audience has its own phobia: Iraq is a bummer. “It is depressing to pay attention to this war on terror,” said Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly on July 18. “I mean, it’s summertime.” Americans don’t like to lose, whatever the season. They know defeat when they see it, no matter how many new plans for victory are trotted out to obscure that reality.
Booksellers report that there have been an explosion of works published on Iraq, but the American people are not buying them. They have become curiously incurious about Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI).

Photo:REUTERS/Sabah al-Bazee


  1. Vigilante, You are 100% correct.

    It's been speculated by many that Iran ginned up this Hezbollah, Lebanon, Israel war to distract the world from the UN demands that Iran give up it's nuclear program.

    But, in reality, the Israel wars simply knocked Iraq (UULUIUOI) off the front page (or out of the entire newspaper) and allowed the devastation to go unnoticed. This is tragic.

    In other words, Iran was able to accomplish something Karl Rove could not: Give Bush political cover and improve his poll numbers and actually increase the chances the Republicans will hold Congress in November.

    Is there any chance that Jack Abramoff is paying off Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

  2. I have felt for a long time that one of the reasons that more Americans are not up in arms over this disaster is that the average American has no physical stake in the UULUIOI. To them the death of a service man or woman in Iraq is something that happens to some poor family that could not afford to send their special offspring to college. Are there exceptions to my very broad statement, sure but during my conservative neocon days I talked with too many that were gung-ho as hell until I asked whether they had any family members in the service. Their attitude was that none of their family members were dumb enough to put themselves in harms way, no that was for other people.

  3. beach bum You make an interesting comment and I'm sure what you see is reflective of your area or community..

    But, I've never, ever, met anyone with that sentiment. We've had two major deployments of the national guard from our small community and a large number of enlistees who have now served two (or more) tours in Iraq.

    Curiously, our local National Guard is overwhelmingly middle and upper class (income levels), well educated (many, many college graduates) and involved, politically active, citizens.

    The vast majority are Democrats, but that isn't unusual for the deep south where a "Democrat" more closely resembles a "Republican" in philosophy. Most are what I would consider "conservative."

    Our community (and our state) is 50% black. Our National Guard is about 30% to 40% black, so it is not over represented with minorities (as we might fear).

    Our local enlisted community (full time Army, Marines, etc) also follows this pattern, except younger. Here, even a large percentage are white and come from middle class or better families. Many elist for training or the college education benefits. Because this is the south, patriotism and "defending our country" are also high motivating factors in enlisting.

    This is tight community (only about 10,000 people) so we all know each other. I've had dinners and fund raisers with the local guard troops. [Being in the deep south I'm lucky they welcome this pro-gay rights, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage radical into their midst.]

    The stereotype you portray seems to me to be more reminiscent of the Viet Nam DRAFT era, than of today's troops. At least in our community.

    You pointed out there are exceptions to your comment. I'm merely emphasizing there, indeed, are many exceptions.

    the Wizard.......

  4. Wizard you may be right be I do stand behind my post. Both co-workers at my current job, at my last job, and many in the church I used to attend were less than interested in joining the Bush crusade to fight "terror" but were very gung-ho to see others head out to battle. Whether my area is the exception or that you live around a bunch of good people I don't know. But until very recently recruitment for both the National Guard and Active Army were at rock bottom. It was not until standards had been lowered and big bucks for enlistment were given out that recruitment has picked up. I retired from the Guard in early 2005 and talking with several recruiters back then the war in Iraq was the major reason they were being told by young Americans why they would not join. Supporting the guys and gals who are in the service is one thing, that is easy. Signing up and heading out is another.

  5. At work so I had to pause.
    No where near the numbers of families have a son or daughter serving over in Iraq as compared to earlier wars. For them the war is something they see in episodes on the nightly news. Seeing a family on the news that had recently lost a loved one is sad. Having it happen to you is tragic. My point is that these people with no relatives serving in Iraq are disconnected to a extent on the suffering. Once again supporting the troop going into combat is one thing. Having a family member in the fighting over there is another. A whole lot of questions run through your mind about whether this whole affair was worth it. I can't help but wonder if more people had a stake in the fighting whether this road would have been traveled in the first place.

  6. Boy, did I come in late with this one! Vigil, this is one of your best postings and I should have verbalized it a long time ago.

    Bum, your last comment is so bang on! This is the biggest difference around the subject between you and us, Europeans. Our wars tend to be felt by the whole society mainly due to the fact that they take place where we live and work. There is no separation such as is the case with your wars which without exception happen some where elese. Yours might be the only army in the world these days that suffers more war causualties than their civilian population. This fact goes a long way explaining why an average Yank tends to be more hawkish.