As I say in the comments below, of course, I cringed when I saw this. But on the internet, one’s life is an open blog. I said it. It was full of shit.
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One that can be candid in regard to oneself, that is a good quality and good to see.
Good for you being honest. I prefer silence when things like that happen; I just hope my audience realizes that thinking out loud has its consequences.
As ashok says above, “Thinking out loud has its consequences.” Yes – and don’t forget the consequences on the upside are huge! Consequences aren’t all just negative.
So does one just not “think out loud?” Hell no, you do exactly what Jarvis did and move on and keep on.
Hindsight is always 20/20, Jeff. People thought Nixon was a great foreign policy president, too…until it came to light that the carpet-bombing of Cambodia was a far-east equivelent of Guernica, and that Kissinger and Nixon basically hadn’t consulted or asked permission from anybody, thereby making Henry Kissinger one of the greatest war criminals since Franco. When I heard Bush was bringing him in as a consultant on Iraq, I was outraged…and made a point of emailing ‘the proper authorities’ promptly. He backed out a few weeks later from accepting the appointment…hopefully dismayed that there were actually people who REMEMBERED his flagrant skull-duggery and were CALLING him on it.
Was it really full of shit? It was not a foregone conclusion, four years ago, that destroying the Iraqi army and overthrowing the government could be done in a week.
Apparently the new conventional wisdom is that things are much worse in Iraq now that tens of thousands are being killed by insurgents, vs. before, when hundreds of thousands were being killed by the state. Why? I don’t know – maybe people can really relate to tragedy only if their country is somehow involved in it.
No need for shame. My guess is one day you’ll look back at a post like this and be puzzled by the gloom, much as now you’re puzzled by the euphoria of four years ago.
It was not a foregone conclusion, four years ago, that destroying the Iraqi army and overthrowing the government could be done in a week.
Where does this come from?
I am both a former soldier and a working journalist, and these media-generated “facts” about military knowledge are driving me mad.
Just yesterday morning I gagged my way through listening to the first minute or two of a report (NPR?) about some class on counter-insurgency operations. According to the know-all voice reporting it no competent military officers had any idea they’d end up fighting such a war in Iraq.
Absolute nonsense. Why is anyone still listening to the horde of stuff-shirt Ivy League farts reporting this tripe, from both sides? It galls me how this useless ‘leadership class’ has taken over national journalism, and is calmly and confidently perpetuating an insidious lie.
There were junior enlisted soldiers who could have predicted the course of the war months before it began.
There are those who steered the state to war through policy. And then there are those who played shuttle-and-jog with the facts in telling its story.
It astonishes me to realize it, but I have more sympathy now for the former than the latter.
If you reconsider previous views on Iraq, would you look again at the Daily Mirror reports on possible discussion of bombing Al Jazeera? There is a trial in UK at the moment about a leaked memo. I notice very little comment about the issues involved for journalism etc.
So far, Associated Press mentions Al Jazeera as context for the trial. Except for the Daily Mirror, UK media do not. Apparently the UK government is concerned not to offend other governments. The result seems to be that UK newspapers are more pro Bush than any in the US.
“Apparently the new conventional wisdom is that things are much worse in Iraq now that tens of thousands are being killed by insurgents, vs. before, when hundreds of thousands were being killed by the state.”
What hundred thousands? I don’t think Saddam – for all his being a tyrannical despot – killed that many of his own people total, and it’s highly doubtful that he killed even a hundred people between Gulf Wars 1 and 2. He was sitting in his opulent palaces writing romance novels, for God’s sake. Yes, he was a dictator tyrant, but *far* from the worst and definitely about as much an imminent threat as Simon Cowell.
No, anyone who didn’t sneer “bullshit” at the Mission Accomplished speech at the time it happened does not deserve any kind of free pass now. Apologies can be accepted, but only once it is shown that any kind of lesson has been learned. Seriously.
For Floyd: The initiation of this war was based on hyped-up, flawed intelligence. That alone, by definition, qualifies the ‘mission accomplished’ banner speech as being ‘full of shit.’
Things aren’t necessarily ‘worse’ in Iraq now than they were under Saddam – just less controlled. More innocent people are being taken-out by suicide bombers. Saddam’s culling was more selective, usually reserved for political dissidents…of which there were many. What IS worse is that the United States has now become the ‘bad boy.’ THAT is BAD, for us. In general, Americans still pursue an isolationist mentality, in that they are, largely, grossly lazy when it comes to keeping up with the real facts of international news and sifting through the dross and propoganda. And the influence of the Religious Right in the country makes the ignorant fans of such pompous windbags as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity…from which the ignorant derive the thoughts and opinions these corporate mouthpieces fob off on them.
Jeff’s regret at endorsing a fool is hardly inappropriate, given the circumstances.
The story you are referring to WAS, indeed, on NPR – I heard the same report myself. You should be aware that, despite right-wing claims to the contrary, NPR and PBS strive to actually provide ‘fair and balanced’ reporting of both national and international news: they try to tell BOTH sides of the story, which usually ends up making them popular with some and unpopular with others. That’s how the news is, when it’s done correctly. That particular story was merely another such effort at covering the full story. Yes, that class is really going on – and the news reporters repeat what they are told by the people they interview. The fact that it might happen to be CRAP…well, that’s hardly the fault of the REPORTER…
If you want to get more deeply into exposure of the political flumdummery often used by modern propogandists, I’d suggest you try watching NOW, on PBS, Friday evening after The News Hour. The republicans were doing their level-best to torpedo that show just a few months ago. It was started by Bill Moyers, continues under David Brancaccio, and is some of the best expose reporting to ever hit the screen…MILES ahead of SIXTY MINUTES.
The canary in the coalmine is when you hear almost everybody raving the praises of this or that news source – and little dissention…that’s when it’s time to start sniffing for RATS…
For Jay T:
Splitting hairs over body counts is rather petty and distasteful of you. The mass graves are being excavated, the trial evidence is in, and we probably will never know how many skeletons are buried out in the desert from Saddam’s political house-cleaning.
He may have spent his last months sitting at home penning Romance Novels, but who knows how many writs of execution he may have signed? Ink is cheap. And his kids, Uday and Qusay, were keeping busy making people run for their lives. The film footage on Uday, in particular, was rather damning. If HE had come to power after Saddam, he would have made his father’s executions look like the work of a PIKER… He was an animal.
Jeff’s apology indicates he’s had a change of mind/heart. Leave him be. We were ALL lied to EQUALLY.
Some of us in other parts of the world have been thinking that your President was “full of shit” for a long time, as were your media for letting him (and his administration) proceed on and on and on into the abyss.
I appreciate the confession and I trust your soul is feeling better now.
But I still think your country is full of shit. You have an impeachable President who won’t be. You have gun ownership policies from the pit of hell. You have an arrogance towards the rest of the world (coupled with an astonishing ignorance of it) that is painful to have to deal with over and over again.
Could the rest of the world ever hope that your personal confession is expressed nationally in a way that meant something to the rest of us?
If Americans feel lied to and angry then call your leaders to account in a way that means something.
Meanwhile we’re all watching a nation descend futher and further into farce.
(PS. Maybe it’s a rush of blood. Maybe I’m just a loose canon. I love everything the USA stands for, in principle… and I detest so much of what its successive administrations do in practice.)
History speaks for itself. Much of the 19th, 20th and 21st Century’s trouble in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, trouble which is still being sorted out today, can be traced to the outlandish and arrogant behavior of the English. I presume Mr. Cameron is not English or he would’ve held his tongue lest his grandmother and grandfather, who recall America’s ability to handle guns, slap it out of his head.
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