Bastardized Bush Bombs

Nearly all news news outlets of record repeated Bush’s claim of 30,000 Iraqi’s killed as if it is no big deal.

“He was citing what he has read in media reports,” said spokesman Scott McClellan.

Another Iraqi Civilian Death The 30,000 figure isn’t inaccurate by any count — but isn’t it downright shocking? The media should elaborate instead of chuckling along with cute Georgie, perhaps providing figures from the Oxford Research Group’s thorough “A Dossier on Civilian Casualties in Iraq, 2003-2005.” (.pdf here). Among other things, the report clarifies that:

Post-invasion, the number of civilians killed was almost twice as high in year two (11,351) as in year one (6,215).

David Sirota delivers a poignant post this morning, admonishing the shamefully distant reactions of the media and the public to Bush’s speech in Philadelphia yesterday.

Sirota writes:

His comments, the media’s reflexive complicity, and the audience’s laughter, is an incredible, if silent, commentary on just how callous our society has become to the real consequences of our government’s behavior.

Sirota is referring to this grotesquely absurd exchange during Bush’s Q & A yesterday:

QUESTION: Since the inception of the Iraqi war, I’d like to know the approximate total of Iraqis who have been killed. And by Iraqis I include civilians, military, police, insurgents, translators.

THE PRESIDENT: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We’ve lost about 2,140 of our own troops in Iraq. Yes.

QUESTION: Mr. President, thank you —

THE PRESIDENT: I’ll repeat the question. If I don’t like it, I’ll make it up. (Laughter and applause.)

Laughter??? Applause?!?!?

Well, chuckle on – no worries, because as an AFP wire story has it today, the White House is distancing itself from the 30,000-killed figure, “blaming terrorists for ‘a significant number’ of the dead and saying the figure is not official.”

If the terrorists are to blame for most of these deaths, how then did they increase during the so-called “last throes” of the insurgency?

And if the MSM can’t pick it up from here… perhaps Howard Fineman’s fingernails-to-the-blackboard portrayal of the real Bob Woodward last night (via Atrios) can serve as inspiration:

“He’s a great reporter, but he’s become a great reporter of official history.” Fineman, Newsweek’s chief political correspondent, concluded his uplifting lecture with this: “The news about news is really bad.” AP Photo

The Heretik spots, and outlines a new four-point narrative being revealed in Bush’s speeches leading up to Thursday’s elections in Iraq…. check it out.

After the jump, a word from our bold leaders, followed by a little story outrage regarding our fallen soldiers’ wooden box homecoming…
Continue reading “Bastardized Bush Bombs”

Convoluted Condoleezza

This Condi breakdown begins courtesy of John H. Brown, former member of the U.S. Foreign Service circa 1981 until the invasion of Iraq (similar gems posted daily in Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press Review):

?SOON AFTER ARRIVING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT EARLIER THIS YEAR, I HUNG A PORTRAIT OF DEAN ACHESON IN MY OFFICE.?

— “The Promise of Democratic Peace…” Condoleezza Rice, Washington Post Dec. 11, 2005
——–

… At any event, a country half slave — or all slave — to foreign criticism cannot stand, except as a mental institution. We cannot gird ourselves for the war against poverty or in Vietnam until we exorcise image worship.

“The American Image will Take Care of Itself,” by Dean Acheson, New York Times Magazine, February 28, 1965

Acheson, despite his contradictions, maintained the type of grounding in reality that has always been expected of Condi. Many credit Acheson, as Truman’s Sec of State, with navigating the U.S. out of Korea, however…. Vietnam, etc. Others say Acheson’s men had a role in turning the tide against McCarthy and overturning the “communists war on christmas”-type philosophy that hindered the progress of the Cold War. Ohhhh for a semblance of a reality check (or does Rumsfeld have to tender his resignation a couple more times first)?

The mixed messages in Rice’s editorial not only poke at her reticence to separate action v. inaction and progress v. hallucination but can also be read reassurance that her boss is in fact doing the right thing, or so time will tell. Just read this five times front and back:

In times of extraordinary change such as ours, when the costs of inaction outweigh the risks of action, doing nothing is not an option. If the school of thought called “realism” is to be truly realistic, it must recognize that stability without democracy will prove to be false stability, and that fear of change is not a positive prescription for policy.

Continue reading “Convoluted Condoleezza”

Tookie Williams: The Death Penalty lives on

Stanley Tookie Williams / LA TimesCalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency Monday to convicted murder Stanley “Tookie” Williams.

“I can find no justification for granting clemency.” “The facts of the case do not warrant overturning the jury’s verdict or court decisions.”

Read the Governor’s Announcement (.pdf).

Tookie Williams’ guilt was never in doubt. In fact, he has never denied responsibility for the cold-blooded murder of four helpless robbery victims in 1979.

But the death penalty is an antiquated and barbaric practice that is rarely if ever endorsed in Western civilization (outside of Texas, that is). In fact, “more than half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice,” according to Amnesty International’s figures.

TalkLeft sums it up best in regard to the future of humanity:

Clemency is about mercy. It is an act of grace. You have the opportunity to stop a needless killing. Tookie’s execution will not bring the victims back. It will not heal. The welfare of the people of California is best served by the message clemency would send — one of hope to the tens of thousands of disadvantaged young people your administration has professed to care so deeply about. A denial of clemency will send a message of despair.

Unfortunately, it seems, Schwarzenegger lacked the political capital to commute Williams’ sentence to life in prison.

Marc Cooper put it in perspective in last week’s LA Weekly, and placed the accidental governor’s odds at 2:5 for granting Williams clemency.

Mahablog points to data revealing that homicide rates are actually HIGHER in death penalty states.

All the stars came out to rally for Williams, but nobody ever asked for his release. It seemed a simple enough cause to ask for a six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated death row inmate’s sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

Mr. M from Left Field
wonders why American society insists that vengeance, not redemption, is the ultimate justice.

Dust my Broom speculates on the irony of a possible violent fallout in response to the denial of clemency based on a supposedly changed man’s peaceful mission.

Abolish the Death Penalty / Tookie / Nbc 4 TV