Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Time Magazine, two-page photo spread of soldiers helping wounded buddy, and a harrowing account of the daily Marine grind in Ramadi:
"Lance Corporal Phillip Tussey pauses on the edge of a small alley. With another Marine covering him, he makes a dash to cross the five yards of open ground. He doesn't get more than a couple of steps when a shot rings out. He's cut down mid-stride, hit in the thigh..."

The word "impeachment" is mentioned prominently no fewer than twice in blurbs about rock stars opposed to Bush (Springsteen and Neil Young.) The combat photos are most important since people don't seem to get how ugly, demeaning, and futile war is until it hits them in the face in full color. The soldier being dragged off the battlefield is limp, helpless-looking. Somehow his boots make a sad image.

The biggest difference between this and Vietnam, (besides that Vietnam may have been vaguely necessary IF you take the view that we needed to check a Russian-Chinese communist expansion; no such forgiveness this time, why Studs Terkel calls it "this incredibly obscene war") is that Vietnam came with a Six O'Clock News reality check to help us balance, on a regular basis, what we were fighting for against whether it was worth it. I can check Time Magazine for weeks and not see a single photo reminder that real soldiers are getting really killed in Iraq. That has been banned by the Defense Department.

Time even printed the Green Day lyric "Sieg heil to the president gasman."

Is there some agreement high up among those who print these magazines that it's time to hint that it's ok to think this way? I wonder if you can draw a graph showing the number of times the word "impeachment" comes up in the popular press, no matter what the context, and the correlation to the likelihood of it happening. A sort of subliminal conditioning, like the word "Pepsi" spliced into a movie in milliseconds, leading to Pepsi sales at the snack counter shooting up due to unexplained sudden urges for carbonated water (this was actually done, and supposedly outlawed.)

Have the media finally decided that the Bushies are not just coming after US, but THEM too? After Bush's military takeover of the CIA with the coming confirmation of General Hayden, and with Alberto Gonzales openly declaring that they will prosecute reporters who use "classified information" which harms the "national security?" This is what is breath-taking. Usually a president tries to keep that kind of repression under wraps, to do it quietly and not until he has to. But Bush struck pre-emptively against the First Amendment, came out and picked a fight with reporters they weren't even looking for. Like shoving a guy in a bar then turning your back on him to show he is a ball-less eunuch who won't do anything about it. The point is to humiliate so people lose respect. So far the press hasn't said a word to Gonzalez's challenge, so it stands. The time to howl bloody murder and impeachment is now. Later doesn't matter. Once a woman always a woman.

Today's elephant in the room: as long as Hayden is active duty he is directly under the chain-of-command beneath the commander-in-chief. And when push comes to shove, a 30 year Air Force man in uniform does not disobey a direct order. He should at least resign his commission.

"National security?" That's what Nixon called the Pentagon Papers, and it turned out they only showed that the Vietnam War was being run by a bunch of incompetent fools.

Quote of the day:

"Think about it if you wake up Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, and George Bush is our president because you voted for Nader. Is that what you want to happen?"
--Joe Lieberman in 2000. Lieberman is threatening a third-party candidacy which would insure the election of a Republican in response to a Democratic primary challenge by Ned Lamont


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