Sunday, September 21, 2003

Today in History: In his weekly radio address, Bush uses Homeland Security legislation to attack collective bargaining rights for Federal workers. “…the Senate bill would weaken my existing authority to prohibit collective bargaining when national security is at stake…I need this authority in the war on terror.” FLASH TRAFFIC: If you are a retired military member (or if you know one) the Military Officers Association of America – formerly The Retired Officers Association – advises you not to answer questions about your personal finances in a new Defense Department survey. “It’s no secret that some DoD officials hold that retiree compensation should be ‘means tested,’ “ the MOAA newsletter says. MOAA insists financial information from the new survey “could be used at some point to build the case that certain military entitlements should be ‘means-tested.’” Concurrent receipt of full retirement pay and veterans’ disability benefits “is likely the first target of opportunity,” the group said. Army Times story here. (Link fixed.) War News for September 21, 2003 Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded in two separate RPG ambushes in Mosul. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in ambush near Ramadi. Two US soldiers killed, thirteen wounded in mortar attack at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. Palace issues statement from His Excellency, Proconsul Bremer of Baghdad US troops resume patrols in Fallujah. US troops open fire on car approaching Halliburton headquarters in Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. Iraqi resistance: united by piety. "The American people should realize they're going to start receiving coffins," Kirtani said. "We're not their slaves." He stopped to catch his breath, shaking his head as if uttering a self-evident truth. "We accept death as easily as we drink water." Iraqis angry at slow pace of US reconstruction. Don't these people read Proconsul Bremer's palace statements about how swimmingly the treconstruction effort is proceeding? US confirms story that an American soldier shoots a caged tiger at Baghdad zoo. “It was impossible to reach the U.S. military spokesman's office because the telephones have not worked for three days, Associated Press said.” Help is on the way: Bush’s War is creating a hollow Army. But there’s not enough money to increase the force. General Shinseki: America's fight in Iraq and Afghanistan "didn't have to be this difficult." So why are the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan so difficult? Because our Defense Department is run by a bunch incompetent Heritage Foundation ideologues who refuse to listen to the professional soldiers. I expect to hear many more uniformed officers start to sound off about the Bush debacles that have weakened our defenses, drained our treasury and cost the lives of so many American soldiers. Local story: Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: West Virginia soldier wounded in Iraq. Rant of the Day The story about the soldiers shooting the tiger really pisses me off. It pisses me off because that goddam tiger is getting more attention in the American media than the three soldiers who got killed today and the sixteen others who got their asses shot off. It’s not that I’m not pissed off at the idiot who shot the tiger. I even feel some sympathy for the moron who fed his own finger to the animal. But I just spent an hour searching Google News for stories about Iraq and the dead tiger is more popular with the American media than the dead soldiers by about five to one. Worse, many of the dead soldier stories are really stories about something else while the dead tiger always gets his own headline. But I shouldn’t be surprised. Ever since the shock and awe wore off, the American media has ignored the debacle in Iraq. We’ve got an administration that slick-talked its way into an aggressive war, screwed it up, and is now having all the success of a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. We have corruption and cronyism on a grand scale. Bremer’s miserable Baghdad satrapy is broke, incompetent and everybody in the whole world wide knows it except us. This should be the biggest story of the Bush administration, but the American media is content to report about that dead tiger. Somebody ought to name a journalism school after that poor beast, because American journalism is a dead tiger.


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