Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Who's in Charge, Here?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who's in Charge, Here?

A lot of ink is being spilled over John Kerry's bumbling delivery of a lame joke, and it's given the Repubs an excuse to divert attention from their own culpability on the war in Iraq. Kerry went on Imus this morning to apologize, but in the meantime we've got a real example of disrespecting the troops that's not getting near the same exposure.

A U.S. soldier was kidnaped last week in Baghdad, and U.S. forces had instituted a blockade and checkpoints in the Sadr City area to help search for him. That's caused some inconvenience for the Shiites who live there, and yesterday Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki demanded that the checkpoints be dismantled. According to The New York Times, American commanders were caught off guard by the demand, but they soon acquiesced. The Washington Post describes Sadr City as "the base of the country's most feared militia, the Mahdi Army, which answers to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Sadr's strongly anti-American bloc is the largest in the Shiite governing coalition and was instrumental in making Maliki prime minister five months ago." So it shouldn't be hard to guess where the pressure on Maliki might've come from.

This seems like a huge story, the American military being told how they can keep order and search for their missing soldiers by Iraqi insurgents. And I've already linked to two major newspaper sources, but how is this being covered on TV? After searching, I found a story at CNN blandly headlined " Iraq's Prime Minister Eases Security Around Sadr City." I had a hard time finding the story on FOX's site, too, but at least when I did they had an accurate headline: "U.S. Forces Dismantle Baghdad Checkpoints on PM Al-Maliki's Orders." But where's the wall-to-wall coverage to match that for Kerry's gaffe? Is Bush aware that the Iraqi PM is issuing orders to his troops? If not, why not? If so, is he complicit--does this have his OK?

If they want to focus their time on charges of disrespecting the troops, they're ignoring a prime example.


At 2:00 PM, November 01, 2006, Anonymous mike a said...

The current administration does not 'disrespect' our troops. Neither does John Kerry, but he is a pompous out-of-touch wanker who needs to learn how to talk like a normal person. If he wasn't trying so hard to sound clever he might not say stuff so stupid.

That being said, I'd have to say I agree with Kerry (assuming I can correctly parse his overspeak) in that W and the bunch are both criminal and incompetent, and don't really give a rats ass about the soldiers.

It's times like these that make people wonder why they even vote at all. Two rich assholes arguing over who is more troop supportive. The troops support us. As citizens who are not bound to follow orders without question it is up to us to make sure they don't waste their time, and possibly health and lives.

At 5:37 PM, November 01, 2006, Blogger Don said...

i dunno - sounds like disrespect to me.

At 8:23 PM, November 01, 2006, Anonymous mike a said...

I honestly mean you no disrespect, don, but please allow me to disagree.

To use an analogy, what Kerry inadvertently did was akin to someone insulting your dog for not being a purebred. Disrespect. What Bush and company are doing is more like a guy telling you your dog is really interesting and cool, that hybrids are generally healthier, etc. Later on you find its head bashed in with a ball bat. That is not disrespect, its a sign one is dealing with a sick fuck.

Also, I can only imagine that from the point of view of actual service men and women, many of them view their job as to execute the will of the people as represented by the president. By volunteering they gave up a bit of the freedom one has here to question authority. If I were one of them I'm not sure I would appreciate being told whether or not I'm being 'disrespected' by my commander. In a way, its a bit disrespectful. I may be presuming too much here about what soldiers think, but in any case I'm feeling a bit disrepected by W, the way he and the rest have dragged my country into a war that seems to create more problems the longer it goes on.

At 12:57 PM, November 02, 2006, Blogger Don said...

i see your point more clearly now. we certainly agree more than we disagree...just think: if we weren't being led by that "sick" person from your analogy we could actually have the luxury of civilly debating the nature and definition of respect and disrespect. As it is now it's hard enough for me to keep up with all of Bush's offenses, much less have the heart leftover to classify them correctly.

At 1:41 PM, November 02, 2006, Anonymous mike a said...

The ultra righties will do what they can to paint our sympathies in the worst possible light. I suppose my point is that care must be taken to avoid in the heat of debate alienating the focus of our sympathy. These people are in a crappy place they don't like and under tremendous stress. I don't think they want to be turned into political chips.


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