We are the most powerful nation in the world. There is no excuse, only corruption.
by John Tully
The New York Herald Sun
July 26, 2009
Whether it was Michael Wolff’s “piece” in Vanity Fair on Politico or the Paris tap water that produced the explosive diarrhea on a hot sweaty July night in the City of Lights, we’ll never know…
Time moves both slow and fast in these Dog Days of Summer and the memory hole of the past eight bloody years is fading and digging deeper.
I take you back to the city of D.C.
A few years ago…
A quaint city, soon to written about like Rome, gilded on their own lily and pathetic to boot.
Sucked in to television, watching the camera moves, editing, and heavy music to a story about a mom and a dad and a wife who lose their little/big man to a fiery explosion in Iraq. The soldier leaves a “just in case” final video for his bride, tells her of his deep love, and urges her to go on with life: “get married, have kids” It’s a noble gesture from a brave young man and the camera cuts to the weeping widow watching the tape.
The evening news comes on and the 80 year-old man who marched against Iraq in a February freeze watches a report on two dead Marines and 17 Iraqi dead civilians . Remember seeing that look on the face of the Marines’ mother or the site of yet another widow with two babies that finally punches the gut.
At this point in the war, President Bush hadn’t been to one funeral service for them.
Remember banned television cameras at the arrival of the bodies from Germany, at the base in Delaware .
The cowering, obedient press corpse giving the President a free pass after 9/11 and the Administration using it to make the United States less safe, less secure, and spoil environmental and geopolitical progress for years to come.
Remembering Television and Freedom Fries and Terror Alerts here in Paris 6 years later, the mind once again boggles and crunches the serious, sad, mistaken war of choice that ignored all plans and warnings of consequences.
Powered by arrogance and breathtaking hubris and television’s Meet The Press and This Week With Will for the latest talking points of the day.
MR. RUSSERT: All right, this way: Should the blogs, talk radio, cable TV—should people lower their voices, and, and, and control their rhetoric?
Remember that very same week when the Vice-President poked a fat finger in the eye of Russia while the Bush Administration reflexively rejected the first written communication from Iran in seventeen years. Neither Vice President Cheney’s speech or the letter was ever mentioned on either program.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had blown the cover of longtime C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame who it turns out was working on nuclear proliferation. Her contacts through front company Brewster Jennings were actively working the underground nukes world. That intel might have been helpful that very same week in dealing with Iran.
Instead, the latest Cool-Kids Media Club Memes emerged: “Anger on the Blogs”
That’s right. Three different allusions to blogs and anger on both Meet The Press and This Week complete with an obligatory question from Tim Russert to new/old ham Newt Gingrich.
Schmuck David Brooks, perpetual mealy-mouthed defender of the Bush administration throwing out his shoulder shrugging off the incident at Haditha in front of two shocked Marines: Mark Shields and Jim Lehrer.
Remember when columnist Tony Blankley said the war protests were organized by the communist party and the Press corps labeled Al Gore as Crazy for his pre-war criticism about invading Iraq.
How about when war hero Max Cleland was derisively compared to both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in a television advertisement by his republican opponent, Saxby Chambliss during their Senate race? Mr. Cleland lost his legs and an arm during Vietnam but the republican claimed the democrat was soft on National Security. Mr. Chambliss sat out the war with a bad knee.
Go back in time and recall when Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz had no idea how many Americans had been killed in Iraq and called the idea of two hundred thousand troops needed in Iraq as “wildly off the mark”
It’s apparent that there Was Not a massive intelligence failure and the administration indeed was warned about the vagueness of the information about Iraq.
Remember that classic “Everybody thought-even-France and Germany” song about W.M.D.’s.
The Memory-Hole pieces together the events of the past six years but can never illuminate fully how one of the most brilliant countries in history could now be cowardly defending war atrocities and blaming, as Mr. Blankley said that very same week about the incident at Haditha: “Over reporting by a gleeful media is more damaging than any single fact”
Come to think of it-maybe that gleeful, fluffy, Politico piece that completely failed to mention the publication’s Reagan connection was responsible for that gut bomb the other night.
Either way, I’m still sick as a dog.
Street Protests Continue in Downtown Tehran
By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
8:05 AM PDT, July 9, 2009
Reporting from Tehran and Beirut — Violent clashes erupted today in downtown Tehran between more than a thousand determined young men and women chanting, “Death to the dictator” and “God is great” and security forces wielding truncheons.
The screams of a woman being beaten could be heard from nearby buildings, a witness said. Business owners could be seen hustling protesters into their buildings to shield them from plainclothes officers and anti-riot police who fired tear gas canisters.
Passing drivers and motorcyclists honked their horns and flashed the “V” sign in support of the clumps of demonstrators. At least one trash bin was set afire, a witness said, sending a plume of black smoke rising as dusk approached.
Many of the demonstrators wore surgical masks to protect their identities from cameras stationed at adjacent buildings. They could be seen escaping into side streets and regrouping as shops quickly were shuttered.
Some witnesses said pro-government Basiji militiamen also could be seen wearing masks to hide their faces from digital cameras.
Protesters chanted in support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was defeated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in disputed elections last month, and urged the security forces to join them.
Uniformed security forces on motorcycles wearing black helmets and plainclothes officers had blocked off streets around Revolution Square, near the Tehran University epicenter of the protest. The Basiji militiamen could be seen fanning out throughout side streets to block demonstrators trying to flee. Armored police vans to haul away protesters could be seen parked along the roadways.
But as the militiamen tried to drag away demonstrators, one witness said, protesters joined together to overpower them and rescue their comrades. The witness also said he saw some women with their headscarves pulled off being forced into police vans. Another woman taking pictures with her cellphone camera was dragged away.
Despite the lack of formal organization and leadership, thousands of people in cities across Iran were determined to march today in unauthorized demonstrations to show their discontent over Ahmadinejad’s reelection and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of a violent confrontation between students and security forces.
Tehran Gov. Gen. Morteza Tamaddon said earlier today that any protesters would receive a “crushing” response, and security forces appeared to be responding brutally at times to the attempt at a public demonstration. One witness described how five Basiji militiamen pummeled an elderly lady who loudly warned them that they would receive their comeuppance on Judgment Day.
Tammadon said, “The enemies of the Iranian nation are angry with the postelection calm in Iran and try to damage it through their TV channels.”
Ahmadinejad’s June 12 reelection, marred by opposition allegations of massive vote-rigging, has created the biggest political rift within the nation since the first years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A movement built on Mousavi’s campaign continues to challenge authorities, who have attempted to crush dissent by beating and jailing demonstrators.
The Guardian Council, which oversaw the vote and a limited recount, announced Wednesday that it would publish an 80-page report addressing complaints about the election to submit to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian people, according to the pro-government Fars news agency.
Iranian hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami publicly denied reports that some clergy were gathering signatures to remove or reduce the power of Khamenei, according to Fars, an unusual comment that some analysts said only served to heighten rumors that such a move was afoot.
The Assembly of Experts, which oversees the office of the supreme leader, is led by Khamenei’s rival, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, within Iran’s unique political system, which grants the clergy absolute rule under a theological concept known as Velayat Faqih, or the guardianship of jurisprudence.
“I reassure the great Iranian nation that the Assembly of Experts will protect Velayat Faqih and will carry out its duty, which is safeguarding Velayat Faqih,” said Khatami.
Mostaghim is a special correspondent.
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