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May 22, 2005


it's clear the news from iraq is bad this week... Condi's hurried trip, etc. shows that the non-government in Iraq is bringing them closer to civil war.

I was watching Tom Friedman on Chris Matthews today. He and Joe Klein aren't anywhere where they need to be yet. As weather vanes, that tells us about segments of the population ("liberals' who really aren't and technocrats) and where their heads are at.

For weathervanes, I've been looking for retired generals. I don't know if the press isn't calling on them, or if they've just been quiet, but I haven't heard much from the likes of Zinni, McCaffery and others who were outspoken during the lead-up and the "hot" part of the war in Iraq. I'm waiting for some of those guys to start talking about recognizing that the occupation in Iraq has failed, and either something radically different needs to be pursued, or we need to get out. I'm sure some of these guys are thinking it, now I wonder how long it will take for them to get attention for saying it.

btw, the Times (UK) is covering this:

SENIOR American congressmen are considering sending a delegation to London to investigate Britain’s role in preparations for the war in Iraq.

Democratic opponents of President George W Bush have seized on a leaked Downing Street memo, first published three weeks ago by The Sunday Times, as evidence that American lawmakers were misled about Bush’s intentions in Iraq.

A group of 89 Democrats from the House of Representatives has written to Bush to ask whether the memo is accurate.

It recounts a discussion between Tony Blair and his military and intelligence advisers about the Bush administration’s views in July 2002, three months before Congress authorised the White House to go to war with Iraq.

The Democrat letter, drafted by Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, said that the memo raised “troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own administration”.

more from the Times:

“I deplore the fact that our media have been so reticent on the question of whether there was a secret planning of a war for which neither the Congress nor the American people had given permission,” Conyers said.

“We have The Sunday Times to thank for this very important activity. It reminds me of Watergate, which started off as a tiny little incident reported in The Washington Post. I think that the interest of many citizens is picking up.”

Another Democrat who signed the letter said that the affair could have repercussions on mid-term elections next year. “People are beginning to understand that those crying in the wilderness (opposing the war in Iraq) were not without rationale,” said Congressman Danny Davis of Illinois.

“If we had a plan which people believed was going to take us out (of Iraq) they would feel much better. But the fact is there has not been a real strategy to get us out.”

maybe the Dems quoted here are right... this is going to take more time to seep in (the point of my story) but seep in it will... if the American press does its job this time.

if the American press does its job this time.

Here's their chance for penance. Instead of mea culpas six months or a year from now about how they failed to get the story right, I want the NYT and WaPo and the rest of them on this now when it might actually make a bit of a difference.

Minutes!!! Downing Street Minutes. Memos are trivia, minutes mean something. Use minutes and maybe the msm will eventually catch on.

The truth is that they are minutes. The "reality based community" is buying into bushspeak when they minimize the importance of the minutes by calling them "memo" Leave that to McCain and McClellan, and George himself.

The only explanation I can find for the American fondness for this word, is that after a year of looking at Bybee's "memorandum" (which Ted Kennedy, during the Gonzales hearings kept calling the "Bybee Ammendment" they connect the dirty truth with "memo"

In Kennedy's case he was exagerrating the importance of Bybee, and in the public's case they are minimizing the importance of the Downing Street Minutes. It would take a psychoanalyst to figure this one out. Are American people that stupid? Or are they that illiterate? Are they blind on purpose? Is their guilt killing their perception?

Makes me wonder if Kennedy was not so doddering after all! Up with Ted! Down with Bushspeak!!

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