Thursday, September 22, 2005

The News Magazine of the Mysteries 2

Hat tip commenter Taumarunui. Excerpts from a television interview with Michael Ware provide an excellent background to his Time article, Chasing the Ghosts in which he depicted what he saw as the futility and apparent failure of the Tal-Afar operation; and indeed, of the whole war. The interview was on ABC Television (in Australia). The interviewer is Tony Jones on January 2004 (Hat tip: Cosmo)Erratum. The Michael Ware interview is actually dated July 2004. The Australian way of writing dates is day/month/year.

TONY JONES: Michael, why are they letting you get behind this curtain? Is there a message they are wanting you to get out through Time magazine to the rest of the world?

MICHAEL WARE: Clearly, these men, just like the American military I deal with and the public affairs officers who stick to me like glue and only let me see what they want me to see when I'm with them, so it is with the Jihadis. They're showing me what they want me to see, which is, to be truthful, quite a lot, but they know anything I see or hear is public record. It's their responsibility to confine their information.

This is what I do. Yeah, they do want to get a message out. 

They're so media savvy. If they weren't before, they've learnt it, they've polished it.

Even a year ago when I was meeting these nationalist guerrillas who then were ill formed, not yet in clear command and control organisations, even then they were saying to me, "This war is not going to be won on the battlefield. We can't hope to defeat the Americans. It's going to be won in the living rooms of Iraq and Middle America, it's going to be won on television." 

They were saying, "We can maintain this, we can, we have, we can sustain this longer than your political will will last. Before your people call you home." Again, that's a part of it now, they're saying, "We're here and we're not going away," and they want to say that to the West. They can tell Arabic channels this until the cows come home, but to have it coming through an American iconic publication like Time magazine, people will listen.

And look, the fact is it's true.


Blogger Cosmo said...

Notice the date of the interview: January 2004, a year and a half into the insurgency and more than a year and a half ago.

He's nothing if not consistent.

Notice also the language, seemingly right out of the 60's, romanticizing those who've turned to violence because they have no place in the new Iraq.

And from the details of his descriptions of various elements within the insurgency, he's clearly imposing his narrative -- a tale of former regime-to-nationalist fighter-to-holy warrior-conversion.

Question: Why are there not more people on the ground countering this narrative, save people like Michael Yon and the MilBlogs?

9/22/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger AcademicElephant said...

How any thinking person could opt to believe the disingenuous Ware and not to believe the Secretary of Defense mystifies me, but Cosmo, I think you're really on to something with the 60s generation thing--this is all about Ware, not about Iraq, and for his ilk, it is self-affirming dogma to believe that SecDef speaks with forked tongue while the "radical" press (remember Al Gore was in the Vietnam press) is revealing all the secrets and lies. Fortunately, there ARE good people like Yon out there who are getting increasing attention. And as crass as it sounds, if they can find a way to make such work pay, there will only be more of them, especially as the "me" generation begins to move out of the spotlight.

9/22/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Since Vietnam/Watergate, the media has tried -- and has often succeeded -- in wielding power on a par with major political parties, perhaps even on a par with branches of government or corporate America.

It did this by setting the terms of the debate and determining what was debated. More important, it cast itself as watchdog of business and government and as the voice of people speaking truth to power. It had advantages over both, in terms of unaccountability -- no elections or shareholders -- and no natural predators.

Only media had the power to focus limelight on corporate malfeasance (remember ambush interviews?) in a way a subpoena could not, or create scandal out of political peccadilos (remember Bob Packwood?).

More recently, in league with like-minded NGO's, think tanks and university faculties, media had nearly eclipsed or subordinated a major U.S. political party.

Unfortunately, that party was coming to the end of its half-century domination of American politics. As a consequence, since well before the 2000 election it has engaged in a non-stop effort to destroy the opposition.

The advent of new media has complicated this rear-guard effort immensely.

9/22/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This guy is BRAGGING about being a willing propagandist for the murdering Islamofascists.

How bad do you have to hate George Bush to be this delusional? If this hasn't crossed the line from Bush-hating to America-hating, I don't know what has.

And how could you even consider yourself a liberal or any kind of idealist when you are knowingly, willingly, puposely helping Islamofascists? The only answer can be that he thinks the Iraqis deserve to under the thumb of murdering 7th century dictatorship. The supreme, ignoble bigotry of Left on bold display.

9/22/2005 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

And look, the fact is it's true.

It is true because people like Michael Ware choose to make it true.

9/22/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger tim maguire said...

What Tony said.

So the jihadists go to the media and say "we can't win without your help" and the media proceeds to help them, to give them what they say they cannot win without.

But journalists aren't traitors, they're just neutral.

9/22/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Thanks for the information. But it's confusing. The bad guys like to ram a car bomb into groups of children and detonate it. In what way is that "media savvy"?

I mean, even though I don't like reporters, there's no reporter in the world who can hear about something like that and not decide that these animals have to be defeated at any cost? Right?

9/22/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger AcademicElephant said...

Cosmo: Interesting point--I was wondering if it was historically disingenuous of me to rail against the politicization of the press--look at Thomas Jefferson after all--but it does seem different to have a press that is its own political movement beyond being bought off by one politician or another. And has there ever been a "new" media that is so politically opposed to the old? It's not as if tv news was ideologically out of step with print in the beginning.

I do know about the collusion betweeen university faculties and the press--I see my "expert" colleagues quoted and interviewed all the time and they spout their opinions with all the weight of intellectual authority.

Is what I do any different? Who knows.

9/22/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

To the Ware types, the glass is either empty or full of air.

9/22/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Enigma said...

So obviously the insurgents know that the US center of gravity is US public opinion. Now my question is: did they figure this out all by themselves, or did they get a little help from a willing media?

9/22/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Tony/Dave: Hey, anything to 'win' an argument with his political opponents -- even if it means playing Walter Duranty.

It's the same reason some people label blowing up day laborers an act of 'insurgency.' Doesn't matter what 'insurgents' actually do -- counterproductive or not -- as long as the media and the insurgents' supporters in the West can construe it as 'battling' against the 'occupation.'

9/22/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Precisely -- and said much better than my wordy posts.

9/22/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


I've often wondered how virulent the insurgency would have been, absent saturation (and often sympathetic) media coverage.

9/22/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Zeno said...

I'm not American, so forgive me if I make a stupid comment...
I mean, this journalist guy KNOWS that he is being used as a pawn, he knows that "the war will be won in the media"... and he plays KNOWINGLY for the other camp? For the Jihadis that want to destroy America?!?
I always thought, silly me, that the portrayal of terrorists as "insurgents" had more to do with political correctness or ignorance than plain bad faith... And the fact that there were so many terrorist atrocities shown instead of reconstruction news was due simply to the nature of television (death is more newsworthy than life).
But it baffles me that a person can be so articulate in understanding how the terrorists use the media, and still play their game...
I mean, what would anyone gain with this? Ok, they hate Bush, and of course, we see it all the time in Palestine, journalists playing the media for terrorists, but then it's another country's business (the permanently hated by journalists Israel), the "opressed palestines", etc...
But what's the point of American journalists supporting people that kidnap or kill American journalists (as Steven Vincent's case sadly shows)?

9/22/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Interesting point about the oppositional stance of today's new media. It certainly seems novel.

As for the press being a power unto themselves, press muscle-flexing isn't new (e.g.: yellow journaism).

What makes the last quarter century's power grab so interesting is the ability of the media's message, in a networked world, to be echoed and amplified by politically, culturally and intellectually homogeonous counterparts thoughout the media/industrial complex, in entertainment (television and movies riddled with PC homilies), in the educational establishment and among global elites.

Hurst could only dream of this kind of power.

9/22/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

In order to have Vietnam redux a Watergate redux is a necessity. That and control of the House by the Copperheads. In order for the Copperheads to take control of the House they have to win 15 of the 30 seats which are actually in play in '06. Currently, the probability of that occurence is very low.

Additionally, Watergate only reached its true depths because of:

a)Nixon's misplaced loyalty to misbehaving subordinates and

b)a rather overweening belief in his own intelligence and

c)an oath and law breaking Feeb ready, willing and able to spoon feed pap to Woodstein and

d)a publisher with no ethical standards at the WaPo and

e)a Stuck on Stupid Media that actually did 'control the news' and

f)Comrade Uncle Walty speaking to the credulous from his perch at Sauron's Eye.

Ain't gonna happen.

Watch the news on the commie anti-war protests this weekend. ANSWER's "Days of Whine and Poses" isn't cutting it.

9/22/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

mr x:

Seems counterinuitive, doesn't it? The answer is a blend of all you suggest, and more.

In the media's narrative, blame for dead journalists and for the the very existence of head-hacking terrorists lay squarely with the 'oppressors.'

P.S. Sorry to all for so many posts in this thread.

9/22/2005 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


"ANSWER's "Days of Whine and Poses" isn't cutting it."

Amen. Neither are the race-baiting, Rodney King-style attemptsat re-creating the racial strife of the 60's.

9/22/2005 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

The only thing the Jihadi's need to do, is the same thing Ho Chi Minh did, convince the American public that the war is unwinnable, or so that is what they believe.

The problem they have is that they don't have an acceptable vision to sell to the Iraqi people.

1960's Vietnam was a choice between Western Capitalist exploitation or Communist Utopia.

The world has changed a bit...pretty much the entire functioning world is now "Free Markets" with some level of "social safety net"

The Iraqi population has too many sattelite dishes, cell phones and cars to be interested in living some 7th century idealogy.

Afghanistan was always somewhere in the 14th or 15th century. AlQueda and the Taliban only set back the lifestyle a few hundred years.

The Iraqi's are used to living a 20th century lifestyle.

Functionally, the race is different, the US was going to have to hold Vietnam until the "Communist Myth" collapsed.

In Iraq, we only have to hold things together until some sort of government and security force is functioning.

9/22/2005 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"But what's the point of American journalists supporting people that kidnap or kill American journalists (as Steven Vincent's case sadly shows)?"

They are not Americans. Patriotism is an anachronism in transnational news. They'll scream to death when you say it, but they're serving a higher power. Obstensively it is "neutral" journalism, but it really is sensationalism, self-righteous harping, and enough moral equivalence to soothe their egos and fill their wallets with euros and dollars.

9/22/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"...fill their wallets with euros and dollars..."

Meaning both foreign and American dollars. Even besides ideological reasons, when the entire world's nuts, there's a bigger market in yankee bashing.

9/22/2005 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


It is a simple and verifiable fact that the black bloc no longer has any electoral influence. Pols of both parties may pay lip service to them but they are irrelevant to electoral politics because of the creation of 'black' safe seats. There was some thought that Gore could pull off FL in '00 due to a heavy purchase of influence with black pastors coupled with a high intensity knock and drag campaign. They fell short and Magic Hat didn't make any atempt to name even one black to his campaign staff at a level much above chauffeur.

They now (and for the forseeable future) get to shout "tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Sometimes, getting what you asked for is a bitch.

9/22/2005 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Cutler writes: "they're serving a higher power"

You're right -- it's their egos.

They're also striking the pose of virtue, absent morality. They, and their intellectual apologists throughout the West, are little more than modern-day sophists and pharisees, glib and clever enough to intellectualize their laziness and cowardice.

9/22/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Black voters are following a path blazed by ethnic, labor and middle class voters -- drifting away from a political party they no longer need, can no longer deliver for them, and now, holds values antithetical to their own.

9/22/2005 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Seems to me that this unlikely alliance between the posuer darlings in the old media and the terror brokers is a sign of desperation. Both see their world slipping away and neither have the wherewithall to deal with their loss in new inventive ways. They just keep on chopping wood - or whatever - the same old way but with more urgency and less and less rationality.
Somehow they still have simpatico from the pop culture crowd. How long can they hold out?

9/22/2005 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

A CNN poll says "Fewer than half think U.S. will win in Iraq.
More than half say country should speed up withdrawal"

9/22/2005 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Who did they poll? The CNN/USA Today staff?

9/22/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger T J Olson said...

The "power" leveraged here is all an illusion, based on an obsolete historical precedent.

The US won in Vietnam but lost at home not just because the media thought so, but because the army was conscripted. Today's professional army removes that necessary link.

Thus, the vulnerability they believe they're exploiting doesn't exist. Instead, a disconnect between the home-front and the war's success could last a very long time. All that's needed is good laedership and morale - in other words, a mission the military believes in.

Ware and the terrorist's power to win doesn't exist.

9/22/2005 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Enscout: I hope you're right. Could the CNN poll Wretchard sites immediately after your post, timed to coincide with the saturation coverage of whoever turns up for this weekend's protests, be part of this all out effort. I've never been one for polls, but the last election demonstrated how fraudulent they can be.

9/22/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

"The survey of 818 adults was conducted Friday through Sunday"


You do realize the utility of an "adult" poll, right? If printed on absorbent paper they are useful when toilet paper is in short supply. An "adults" poll includes the 40% of the VAP who never vote due to their ignorance being matched by their sloth. I'm unsurprised that a poll with a heavy "stupid" weighting would have such a result - particularly one taken over a weekend.

Come up with a poll taken of voters in the '04 election, appropriately weighted by party and we would have something to discuss. This is just trash.

9/22/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


You're description is accurate.

Unfortunately, our spineless political classes and fickle public can be bludgeoned by our intellectual classes into a loss of political will which will (once again) turn victory into defeat.

I hope I'm wrong.

9/22/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

The success of the series, Chrenkoff told me, took him by surprise. ‘‘I couldn’t believe that no one had done it before,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m usually not a pioneer. ... But there was obviously a niche there that needed filling.’’

Above excerpt from today's Boston Globe article about Aussie Arthur Chrenkoffs succusseful "Good News form Iraq' blog written by Jeff Jacoby.

We have work to do. There is an eager market for this kind of stuff.

Nothing resonates like the truth.

9/22/2005 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Gallup did the poll as per the article.

9/22/2005 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger MK said...

The jihadists are appealing to the weak will of a section of the american people, those that watch the left influenced media, they believe what a child murdering, shoot you in the back terrorist says before they believe what George Bush, the democratically elected president of the US has to say.

The ones that believe the terrorists are fighting a noble cause by murdering little children and ordinary Iraqis, don't need any convincing, they hate George Bush and what America stands for in Iraq, its irrational and they will not listen. If bush says the sky is blue, they will recieve it with cynicism. The terroritsts are preaching to the choir.

They were defeated in the last election and hopefully will be in the next, lest they grow weak at the knees and decide to appease the terrorists in Iraq.

9/22/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

No matter what the polls say, and it's a crying shame that a major part to the American electorate "thinks" with their feelings and imagined memories, Bush is POTUS until 01.20.09.

I don't think it's going to be necessary, but from now til then, I want the USAF fighting our wars, any new offensives that become necessary.

What's the press going to do, play Slim Pickens' role in "Dr. Strangelove"?

I really resent the fact that they are always arguing from the negative - you shoulda done this, you shoulda done that, look at what happened -without any vague understanding of history or current events.

The Left never argues - you shoulda done THIS! What are they gonna say - Stalin was right? Cuba's a great example of our theory? We should have let Iraq off the hook and them and the Iranians DESERVE to have nuclear weapons because we do?

Arguing with liberals is like playing football against girls. They're not equipped for it, you feel guilty if you do it, but there they are, standing out on the field, pretending it's a fair game.

9/22/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

one thing is different now that we have talk radio and the blogosphere: those of us who believe in staying the course cannot be silenced -- even if we do become a minority.
and our professional military know we are here.

9/22/2005 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger djs said...

If we actually do win, a majority of people polled will think we won. The MSM is that powerful! If they were, Bush wouldn't be president and the house and senate wouldn't be controlled by Republicans - not even close. Cheer up everyone. This is the most depressing Belmont Club thread I've ever read.

9/22/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger djs said...

Meant to say "the MSM isn't that powerful!".

9/22/2005 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

A CNN poll says "Fewer than half think U.S. will win in Iraq.
More than half say country should speed up withdrawal"

I was fortunate enough to Google a couple of the questions used in the CNN Poll.

Question 1. Given the beleaguered US mission and the unwinnable military fight in Iraq, as well as the US military's series of failures against an elusive and inexhaustible enemy, do you think that the U.S. will win in Iraq?

Question 2. Considering the shaken and embittered US officers and the dangers, dilemmas and frustrations that still haunt the US in Iraq with regard to the inability to prevent atrocities by hardened local fighters, do think that the US should speed up its withdrawal or extend the occupation for an additional 10 years?

Here's my smiley face to let you know I just attempted a funny. :^)

I agree with Rick. This is not 1968. The onus is on the anti-war demonstators this weekend in Washington to come up with any thing close to the 100,000 protestors that they are predicting. I predict that they will fall well short and will look more like a rally of 'Moderate Muslims' than the demonstration where Forrest Gump spoke. Those that do show up will have to face harassment from Protest warrior. Also there are few student radicals on the college campuses. In '68 there were admirers of the SDS everywhere. Today there are a handfull of Hamas supporters at Berkeley, Columbia and a few other Universities, but by and large students are not tuned into to the war.

Time Magazine, NPR, Mullah Galloway, and Al-Zarqawi are all getting desperate at their lack of traction in moving their cause. They know, like Tony said, Bush will be President until January 6, 2008, regardless of the polls. And the President says that he is not budging .

9/22/2005 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


The American electorate was last polled on Nov. 2, 2004 and will next be polled on Nov. 7, 2006. In the interim we will see many polls of the American public, some which will actually be accurate. They will all be meaningless except for the information developed to shape particular messages. The situation in Iraq will not be a high priority issue in '06. The Iraqi elections and planned drawdown insure that it will become a secondary issue.

The only potential threat to Republican control of all branches is a severe economic downturn that has to begin no later than the end of the 1st quarter of '06. There is no one on the Rep side quite as dumb as Miz Hilary was with her privatization scheme. Midterms are not actually national elections and never have been. They are statewide at the Senate level and district wide at the House level. No new "party platform" and and little likelihood of a "Contract with America" proposed by either side. If the economy doesn't tank, the turnout will be lucky to hit 50%. There are just too many seats that are locks.

9/22/2005 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

I think there is a point coming up where the fact we are winning will become undeniable even in the MSM.

US casualty rate is way down, while we conduct offensives all over Al Anbar. Successful elections just keep happening. Bush should be able to make these points to the American public and make them stick.

9/22/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Rush made a great point today about the '08 elections. The idiot-fringe left that now controls the Democratic party is still campaining & railing against Bush.
There's still lots of time for them to realize he won't be running in that year but, as a lame duck with big cojones, he's sure to keep their attention.

9/22/2005 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

That bastard. If I was a millionaire I'd take a full page ad out in TIME and let him explain his bias to the nation.

Michael Ware was just a journo who knows nothing about complex military operations. Now he is officially on my shit list.

9/22/2005 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger USMC_Vet said...

This has me grinding my teeth again.

The Time Mag bit left me shaking my head at another fool who simply doesn't get it.

But he does get it. He's a tool. He knows he's a tool. And he likes it.

They're just freedom fighters, after all. Ramming car bombs into crowds of children in Baghdad...severing the heads of people with dull Gerber hunting knives before cameras as if for sport...and welcoming willfully ignorant journalists with open arms.

For his next interview with his friends, why not prove they are as honorable but simply misunderstood by entering their company with a nice shiny star of David or a crucifix around his neck. Then we'll know for sure what's understood and what is not, who is reasonable and who is not.

I wish I could view the interview, because the transcript reads with a pompous tone.

9/22/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger sf said...

Great observations from many.

Several commenters accused Ware (and by extension, similar members of the press) of being a willing tool. I think this is incorrect, and I believe we make a grave mistake if we fail to understand the true motives and motivation of people like Ware.

I think they truly believe that the U.S. is wrong to fight the WOT. To people who believe that, nothing is more important than righting the 'wrong' we've supposedly done.

People who have this worldview can easily overlook/disregard things like beheadings and driving car-bombs into crowds of civilians because they view such acts as insignificant compared to our own sins.

While it may be amusing to characterize journos as being too stupid to breathe (i.e. that they're dupes of the terrorists), such a characterization gravely underestimates their tenacity and dedication.

Yes, they also clearly hate Bush, but I'm pretty sure they see themselves as the true conscience of America. Scary stuff...!

9/23/2005 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cave Bear said...

"A CNN poll says "Fewer than half think U.S. will win in Iraq.
More than half say country should speed up withdrawal""

Ooooh, I'm impressed. CNN, such a paragon of "journalistic ethics"...NOT. And Gallup? Give me a break. Their biggest stock in trade is push polls (that is, producing "results" that their customers, like CNN, want to hear), and I'd bet the questions they asked were actually not that far off the mark of what stoutfellow quoted as a joke.

Yes, most of the LSM actually believe the drivel they spout. But that does not change the fact that they (like this moron Ware) are "stuck on stupid".

But what is really having an effect on the LSM, and is the reason why they are falling on such hard times, is that the truth about them is out. And the beginning of this truth being revealed happened on 9/11.

On that day, nearly all of the US population was stuck somewhere in front of a TV. And what did they see? "Press conferences", uncut, unedited; something that, until then, only the small minority who watch C-SPAN regularly ever got to see.

And in so doing, they got to see just how the LSM actually operates. The sort of idiotic questions they ask (of people like Rumsfeld, for example), in that smarmy "are you still beating your wife" manner they love so much, was finally laid bare and this was a big eye-opener for a lot of people in this country.

From that day onward is where you start to see a really significant change in people's attitudes towards the media, "CNN/Gallup polls" notwithstanding.

9/23/2005 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Taumarunui said...

In my view, any journalist who consorts with terrorists and plugs their cause is a traitor and deserves the same fate as William Joyce, otherwise known as Lord Haw Haw. Their reporting is not neutral; it aids the enemy and encourages them to kill American soldiers and innocent civilians. The blood on their hands comes from the bodies of the children killed by Michael Moore's freedom fighters.

9/23/2005 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Chester said: If I was a millionaire I'd take a full page ad out in TIME and let him explain his bias to the nation.

Why subsidize Time/CNN with ad dollars and patronage? Why not contribute a cash donation to The Belmont Club instead?

9/23/2005 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger gbaikie said...

"They were saying, "We can maintain this, we can, we have, we can sustain this longer than your political will will last. Before your people call you home." "

They don't win in the wait game. Of course the Coalition will leave Iraq at some point and they can act like Saddam- get their asses totally defeated, but declare they won the war. So, they can maintain some fantasy, but the reality is they have already lost this war. Iraq is their killing fields, also the likely result of the continuing the war in Iraq, is they strengthening the possibility that Iraqi govt will not stop at the point maintaining their internal security, but will pursue these nuts outside of Iraq. In other words they pursuing a policy which may lead to such a through defeat of their cause that for America it would be impossible to bring this about. The Jews hunted down the nazis, Iraqis may also hunt down these extremists. It's plain simple human vengeance- and of course they will go after the leadership not the peons. I think it's likely that already this likely to happenned on a individual type level, but there is some tipping point in which this will become a national cause- and of course, there is the danger that action against extremist, could itself become extremist in nature- a witch hunt. But I don't see this as likely, I think Iraqi in general just want to pick up the pieces and get on with improving the conditions in their country.

9/23/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

New York, N.Y. - Like the corpses that lazily bob along in the nearby East River, life obeys its own pace... It is an ancient pace, its cadence dictated by the steady whirr and click-a-clack of word processors, plied by the gnarled hands of skilled opinion craftsmen who once supplied nearly eighty percent of the world's refined punditry output.... To some ears, the din from the mighty opinion mills of this gritty Ink Belt town may be grating... it has served as a siren call for generations of hungry immigrant OpEd workers... Each year they come here... eager social critics seeking nothing more than an honest day's wage for an honest day's condescension, and perhaps a decent squab pate in white wine reduction.... Most of the mills have long fallen silent, tragic victims of cheap foreign radio talk shows and the growing monopoly of multinational corporate blogs.

Now, even the grandest of the old mills - the venerated New York Times 43rd Street Opinion Works - stands at risk. A recent spate of quality control problems, product recalls, management turmoil and a painful round of layoffs is leading many here to worry if the plant is destined to go the way of automats... Under Sulzberger's leadership the [New York] Times branched out internationally, sending famed ace reporter Walter Duranty to the Soviet Union to chronicle the annual record wheat harvests from the Ukraine... The younger Sulzberger quickly put his strategic imprimatur on the Times , hiring Howell Raines as head of the Editorial Division and Gerald Boyd as his second in command. Raines, a hard-charging Alabaman, was given his orders: increase productivity, by any means necessary...."Howell really went postal on that," says one line worker... there's only so many column inches you can squeeze out of a minor story... says a longtime foreman in the paste-up room. "So we started shoving it on the front page, just to get the boss off our backs. Plus, that OpEd stuff really starts to smell if it lays around too long." ... Managers were shocked to discover that one worker, 26-year old Jayson Blair, was single handedly responsible for nearly 40% of the corrections reported from February through April... "Everyone knew that Jayson was Howell's favorite and a really fantastic reporter," said one plant insider. "He was so dedicated that he would sometimes fly to France, Australia and Kentucky on the same day to get a good story." ... Blair departed on May 1, the result of gross journalistic fraud, plagiarism, and failure to chip in for the office coffee fund... mounting financial and production troubles will spell an end to the New York Times, and with it a way of life. For many younger pundits, though, the idea of the hard and gritty work of the mills holds little appeal, even if the Times survives. "To tell you the truth, I don't know if I want to end up like my old man - punching the clock down on 43rd, chained to an iMac, pushing out another 4000-word whine about tax cuts or Ariel Sharon or looting Baghdad's museums," says Ethan Moran, 19. "Pretty soon you're 50, and all you have to show for it is carpal tunnel syndrome, a permanent sneer and extensive wine vocabulary.

Read the whole thing. It's quite interesting.

In New York, Scrappy Newspaper Struggles to Survive

9/23/2005 10:33:00 PM  

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