December 6, 2004

when I reached she began to pray

* US media ignoring Iraqi civilan death count. excerpt:

"Evidence is mounting that America's war in Iraq has killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and perhaps well over 100,000. Yet this carnage is systematically ignored in the United States, where the media and government portray a war in which there are no civilian deaths, because there are no Iraqi civilians, only insurgents.

"American behavior and self-perceptions reveal the ease with which a civilized country can engage in large-scale killing of civilians without public discussion. In late October, the British medical journal Lancet published a study of civilian deaths in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion began. The sample survey documented an extra 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths compared to the death rate in the preceding year, when Saddam Hussein was still in power - and this estimate did not even count excess deaths in Fallujah, which was deemed too dangerous to include."
"Recent reporting on the bombing of Fallujah has also been an exercise in self-denial. On Nov. 6, The New York Times wrote that 'warplanes pounded rebel positions' in Fallujah, without noting that "rebel positions" were actually in civilian neighborhoods. Another story in The Times on Nov. 12, citing 'military officials,' dutifully reported: 'Since the assault began on Monday, about 600 rebels have been killed, along with 18 American and 5 Iraqi soldiers.' The issue of civilian deaths was not even raised."
"The U.S. is killing massive numbers of Iraqi civilians, embittering the population and many in the Islamic world, and laying the ground for escalating violence and death. No number of slaughtered Iraqis will bring peace. The American fantasy of a final battle, in Fallujah or elsewhere, or the capture of some terrorist mastermind, perpetuates a cycle of bloodletting that puts the world in peril.

"Worse still, American public opinion, media, and the recent election victory of the Bush administration have left the world's most powerful military without practical restraint."

* The Top 10 Conservative Idiots. excerpt:

"4. Hearts and Minds
The UK's Sunday Herald reported last week that 'The Pentagon has admitted that the war on terror and the invasion and occupation of Iraq have increased support for al-Qaeda, made ordinary Muslims hate the US and caused a global backlash against America because of the 'self-serving hypocrisy' of George W Bush’s administration over the Middle East.'

"Want more? 'Referring to the repeated mantra from the White House that those who oppose the US in the Middle East 'hate our freedoms,' the report says: 'Muslims do not 'hate our freedoms', but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing support, for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states.''

"Should I continue? 'Muslims see Americans as strangely narcissistic,' the report goes on, adding that to the Arab world the war is 'no more than an extension of American domestic politics'. The US has zero credibility among Muslims which means that 'whatever Americans do and say only serves ... the enemy'. The report says that the US is now engaged in a 'global and generational struggle of ideas' which it is rapidly losing.

"Still not enough for ya? 'There is no yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-US groundswell among Muslim societies ... The perception of intimate US support of tyrannies in the Muslim world is perhaps the critical vulnerability in American strategy. It strongly undercuts our message, while strongly promoting that of the enemy.

"Hey, these aren't my words - this report came from the Pentagon. I'm just sayin'..."

* Travelersdiagram has his top records of the year posted, with John Vanderslice's excellent Cellar Door topping the list.


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