Friday, August 26, 2005

August 25, 2005

Sons of Baghdad Bob

Remember Baghdad Bob? We all laughed when, in the final days of the assault on Baghdad, he stood before TV cameras denying that US troops were anywhere near the city. Meanwhile, just behind him, in camera view, the fighting could be seen and heard. Bob set a new standard for stubborn denial.

But Iraq is not unique. Governments are full of Baghdad Bobs. In fact governments and corporations have something in common in that regard. Baghdad Bobs thrive in both. It's a symbionic relationship. The organization provides them status they could never have attained on their own, and in return they unconditionally believe.

I saw this in action during my 4-year stint in dot-com land. Millions upon millions of dollars where invested in ventures unable to figure out how to make money. Nevertheless those company's Baghdad Bob dudes, and their Wall Street enablers, issued non-stop glowing predictions right up to the day a bankruptcy trustee sold their desk and ergonomic chair right out from under them.

While Saddam had only one Baghdad Bob the Bush administration houses dozens of the little buggers. I watched one of them, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's news conference yesterday. I thought I was having a flashback to that scene when the original Baghdad Bob had to shout over exploding US bombs and shells to declare victory. (Bob should sue for copyright infringement. God knows, he has a case!)

The gap between what is really happening in Iraq and what Bush & Co. claim is happening have diverged to such an extent now that it makes one wonder. Are they just still lying to us, or is it worse than that? Are they no longer just politically invested in the myth, but become one with it?

After listening to Rumsfeld's upbeat assessment yesterday I awoke this morning to news that dozens of insurgents had launched an audacious attack on a main Iraqi police headquarters. That fight was still going on at this writing and, of course, US troops had been called in to pull the Iraqi's chestnuts out of the fire, again.

But today's attack may be just a prelude to a Tet-style offensive being planned for later this week when Iraqi leaders approve a draft constitution. If that happens, trust me, Rumsfeld Bob and Bush Bob will confidently describe the carnage that results as just further proof the insurgents are "desperate," and in their "last throes."

In order to get a raw and unfiltered version of what's really afoot in Iraq you have to read the international press. This story the UK's Guardian caught my attention. It is a remarkable piece of reporting. Compare this story to Rumsfeld's upbeat assessment on same day:

Under US noses, brutal insurgents rule Sunni citadel
Guardian gains rare access to Iraqi town and finds it fully in control of 'mujahideen'

Omer Mahdi in Haditha and Rory Carroll in Baghdad
Monday August 22, 2005
The Guardian

The executions are carried out at dawn on Haqlania bridge, the entrance to Haditha. A small crowd usually turns up to watch even though the killings are filmed and made available on DVD in the market the same afternoon.

One of last week's victims was a young man in a black tracksuit. Like the others he was left on his belly by the blue iron railings at the bridge's southern end. His severed head rested on his back, facing Baghdad. Children cheered when they heard that the next day's spectacle would be a double bill: two decapitations. A man named Watban and his brother had been found guilty of spying.

With so many alleged American agents dying here Haqlania bridge was renamed Agents' bridge. Then a local wag dubbed it Agents' fridge, evoking a mortuary, and that name has stuck.

A three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week established what neither the Iraqi government nor the US military has admitted: Haditha, a farming town of 90,000 people by the Euphrates river, is an insurgent citadel.

That Islamist guerrillas were active in the area was no secret but only now has the extent of their control been revealed. They are the sole authority, running the town's security, administration and communications. (Full Story)

Please read the whole story. These reporters risked their lives to get it.

Memo to American reporters holed up in the Green Zone:
Be ashamed.

Memo to Rumsfeld: Look behind you. You're losing. And, we know it.

Christian Taliban Leader's Fataawa
This is too easy. I feel guilty even mentioning it:

Pat Robertson, the television evangelist and Christian Coalition founder, has set off a diplomatic fracas with Venezuela by calling for the assassination of its populist president, Hugo Chavez...."We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on his Christian Broadcasting Network. "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with." (Full Story)

What you may not understand is that the reverend was simply following the lead of Jesus who, at the last supper, put a hit out on Punctus Pilot. You may not have known this because King James, fearing for his own safety, had that part of the gospels sanitized. But recently translated Dead Sea scrolls reveal that Rev. Robertson was in fact following the lead of his savior.

From the lost scrolls:
Jesus whispering to Peter:
"We haveth ways to taketh him out, and I thinketh the time is uponest us to doeth it. Now Peter, passeth the wine. Jesus needeth another drink."

Of course, Jesus didn't know Judas was on Pilot's payroll, the plot was foiled and Jesus got nailed instead. The rest is history.

Rev. Robertson's Judas is the media, which ruined his plot by telling. Damn you, liberal media!

Just In: Women Have Balls
I need to make a brief observation about the American anti-war movement. It took a handful of middle-aged women to finally kick start real opposition to this disgraceful war. And it's women keeping that opposition alive.

They are stalking the President. Yesterday Bush thought he could escape the Gold Star Moms camped outside his Texas ranch by heading off to conservative Idaho.

DONNELLY, Idaho - President Bush spent Tuesday at a resort in the Idaho Rockies, mountain biking around a rugged trail circuit before going fishing in a small pontoon boat on a wind-whipped lake... "I'm kind of hanging loose, as they say," Bush said earlier outside of his lodge at the Tamarack Resort, where he was spending two nights away from his Texas ranch.

But "they" were waiting for him in Idaho too. Women inspired by Cindy Sheehan's Crawford protest had replicated it for Bush's visit.

“Everywhere he goes, there’s going to be a Cindy Sheehan in every community,” said one woman, whose son is stationed in Iraq.

This reminds me of the Edgar Allen Poe story, "The Telltale Heart," where a murderer tries to hide his victim, not just from others but from himself, only to be followed everywhere he goes by the sound of a beating heart. These Moms are Bush's Telltale Heart, from which there will be no escape. Because, as they say, "Hell hath no furry...."

Memo to Men: Be ashamed.

NOTICE: I have things to do tomorrow. Real things. So I am taking the day off. See you Friday. Oh, and one more thing – click on the link to the full Guardian article. I know you skipped over it above and I have to warn you, there will be quiz. So here's that link again. Then email it to your elected Rep. (Full Story),2763,1553969,00.html

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