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    02 December 2005

    Friday news dump: More US propaganda

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    I've writing a term paper and preparing for finals next week so I've missed some things recently. I'll begin to address them below

    - 10 US Marines have been killed in an insurgent attack in the still hot and not pacified (as stated by some) city of Fallujah. Kos nails this one
    I have a Marine family member over there right now. My heart skips a beat every time a Marine gets killed. Not a problem for Wittmann, Lieberman, or Bush. Their social and family circles doesn't bother themselves with such niceties as "national service".

    In the article I noticed this paragraph
    In Baghdad, some Shiites joined hundreds of Sunni Muslims to denounce widespread arrests of suspected insurgents. They prayed together before a joint demonstration in a show of unity ahead of the potentially divisive elections.

    First off, the coming together of disparate Islamic religions is promising. However, the common assertion that the coming election may bring peace to Iraq at long last is totally utopian. As laid out here, Iraq is split. An insurgent state may and often exists within government, even strong and oppressive ones. The election will not change anything in the short- to mid-term except make the stakes that much higher.

    - It was revealed this week that the US Military has been paying for and planting favorable stories in the Iraqi press. This is part of war I guess, though I'd say it is a little later in the game for forced propaganda. It also says a lot about the freedom of Iraq as maintained by the administration. If the Iraqis really believed that "[t]he Sands Are Blowing Toward a Democratic Iraq," they would write about it.

    - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace said that the military hasn't done a good enough job of explaining to the American people what is going on in Iraq and the political and military progress there. So I guess we'll be seeing a lot of propaganda directed at us in the coming week or so to support the Presidents attempt to increase support for Iraq with PowerPoint presentations and speeches, and short fluff pieces hinting at a plan. On the topic of propaganda, in the speech earlier this week (the first of four to plead for public support), Bush has been caught in a lie of sorts re. the recent operations in Tal Afar and the performance of the Iraqi military.

    - Corruption seems to be the way Washington operates recently; I know there is always corruption but I'm young and it is the worst I've seen it. Most of this falls into the hands of the Republicans, but the Dems are participating as well. It needs to stop.

    - When will the second phase of the Intelligence Committee’s investigation into pre-war intelligence on Iraq start?

    - Treason Gate continues, could Rove's lawyer be next?

    - NYT writes about some (totaling 100) of the insurgent/irredentist/terrorist groups in Iraq.

    - Another ally of ours has questionable democratic practices.
    The leading opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, won no seats in the final round of Egypt's parliamentary elections after police barred thousands of its supporters from casting ballots, according to official results announced today.

    no surprise there.

    - Two members of the coalition of the coerced are leaving Iraq. More may bontont the way. I guess we'll all be pulling out together. Of course it can't affect US elections.

    - I'll let Dr. Cole take this last one
    The US military said that suicide bombings fell to their lowest level in seven months in November and pointed to this statistic as a sign of progress in the war.

    But November saw 87 US troops killed, among the highest death tolls for a 30-day period since the war began, and one wonders about the rate of severely wounded. Moreover, in one two-week period in November, bombers (suiciders or not) killed hundreds of Iraqis, spreading insecurity, fear and anger.

    It raises the question of whether the guerrillas are depending more heavily on roadside bombs and remotely detonated bombs rather than on kamikazes. Whatever the case, the mere decline in the latter seems to have little or nothing to do with the level of security in the country, which is generally poor, and, indeed, among the worst of any country in the world.

    That's it for now.

    Posted by Geoff

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