Friday, November 24, 2006

A Great Work Of Art

On Monday, the Pentagon put out this news release, which was trumpeted dutifully by the usual suspects in the toadysphere:
As expected, violence in Iraq has dropped following the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a coalition spokesman said in Baghdad today.

Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said civilian and Iraqi security force casualties were at the lowest levels since the government was formed in May.

So far this month, the civilian casualty count is well below the casualty count in October and below the six-month average. The security force casualties reduced 21 percent over the past four weeks, and are at the lowest level in 25 weeks, he said.

"In Baghdad, there was a 22 percentage drop in casualties related to sectarian violence and executions," Caldwell said during a televised news conference. "Coalition forces will continue to work closely with the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces to control the sectarian violence and terrorist attacks."
That was the latest purple-finger-moment spin. Three days later, reality:
In the deadliest sectarian attack in Baghdad since the American-led invasion, explosions from five powerful car bombs and a mortar shell tore through crowded intersections and marketplaces in the teeming Shiite district of Sadr City on Thursday afternoon, killing at least 144 people and wounding 206, the police said.
We probably shouldn't be surprised by anything that comes from Maj. Gen. Caldwell after this bit of shamelessness just a few weeks ago:
A senior U.S. general compared Iraq on Thursday to a work of art in progress and played down incessant violence and friction with Iraqi leaders as "speed bumps" on the road to stability.

The chief military spokesman in Iraq, Major General William Caldwell, used a weekly briefing in Baghdad to urge patience.

"Every great work of art goes through messy phases while it is in transition. A lump of clay can become a sculpture, blobs of paint become paintings which inspire," he said.
Unfortunately, "lumps" and "blobs" probably have a different meaning for most Iraqis right now.

Remember, this is the military leadership to which President Bush assures us he defers on tactics and strategy. For those who say that this leadership -- manifestly afflicted by poor judgment at best, and hubris and sheer idiocy at worst -- should be trusted with even more in-theater troops to command, something to think about.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

11/24/2006 5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is very difficult to spin lies, I always stick to the truth because I am not smart enough to spin all the time.

The folks you quote are not allowed to tell the public what the real mission is, and so it becomes hard not to sound like a buffoon as they "spin" up a story for the press. The real mission was to destroy Iraq as a functioning middle east power; and that job the USA did very well.

Ask yourself if any country in the middle east is happy about the current state of affairs in Iraq. Then ask if the real mission was not accomplished.

11/24/2006 6:34 AM  
Blogger wendyo said...

If you guys haven't read the Mark Danner article which will be in the New York Review of Books in the 12/21 issue, part one is up on Salon today and I found part II on TomDispatch. It's a pretty devestating dissection of the plan for war and the lack of the post war plan. Unbelieveable.

11/24/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Bush "assures us" of anything, run for the hills.

11/24/2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger OrganicGeorge said...

So which one of these military toadies will be crowned the Westmorland of his generation ?

11/24/2006 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Bucky.

Partly on results...which couldn't be anything but planned.

party on there anything the Bushies haven't screwed up on purpose?
1. Katrina...ignored so that they could condemn FEMA to a point of dimantling it. Then they praise the faith-based groups and give them more money
2. Economy...make the financial state of the government so bad that the DEMOCRATS have to raise taxes and still can't bolster social programs.

partly on history...everything is divide, divide, divide. Divide the voters, divide the country, divide the world. While we all fight with each other, they steal what they can.


11/25/2006 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is there left to say about Iraq.
Iraq has been utterly broken and it will be many years before the different faction will realize that they have to come together again if they want Iraq to survive as a nation.

I was surprised to read the following article by a REPUBLICAN senator, that states most plainly and painfully that the only option we have is to leave, and the sooner the better.

It just makes you wonder why he did not states things as clearly earlier, and made Bush face reality.

11/25/2006 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

" of art..."

Yea, a work of art inspired by Picasso's 'Guernica'

11/26/2006 3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...,2763,940250,00.html

11/26/2006 5:08 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

I watched the documentary Why We Fight today. I knew all of the people involved and found it interesting. Jarecki did a good job exposing the system rather than any one group of politicians. Although we did demonize Cheney a bit. If it is true...Iraqi chaos could very well have been the plan all along. He implies that Cheney, while defense secratary, started the private company taking over work from the military trend. He pushed legislation that allowed KBR (Halliburton subsidiary) to get cooking, food, transporation, construction, and security contracts that the military used to do itself. When he left office during the Clinton administration Jareki states that Cheney had a net worth around one million dollars. After working as a halliburton executive and CEO Cheney left Halliburton with a net worth of 60 million dollars. That is not chicken feed! Could the chaos in Iraq be planned? As payback for the wealth that made Cheney rich? I would like to see verification (cheney's tax and financial records) that show what made him a rich man. Do I believe that 60 million dollars could buy a man's conscience? Yes I do. It would be nice to see some verification of what the filmmaker is implying.

11/26/2006 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree the whole situation is beond our control and the people who ca control it are not dong a very good job to put it lightly.

Peter from

11/26/2006 2:30 PM  
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12/10/2006 2:12 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9/12/2007 4:43 AM  

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