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April 21, 2004

17,000 Pounds of Irony

Looking over old news, I see that Al Hawza (the newspaper associated with Muqtada al-Sadr) was officially shut down for "printing lies that incited violence."

I hope this isn't an old, tired joke that everyone on Earth has been telling... but by that standard, shouldn't we also shut down EVERY SINGLE NEWS OUTLET IN THE US?

Also on this subject, I'm pleased to read of this exchange on the April 7 Lehrer Newshour:

COL. SAM GARDINER: The immediate problem we have to remember is we started this... with the aggressive policies towards Sadr that came from us, shutting down his press.

JIM LEHRER: The reason we shut down his press is because it was calling for violence and anti-American --


LEHRER: I just want to get that on the record.

Let's leave aside whether or not Lehrer was even correct to say the paper was calling for violence, rather than just "printing lies." (Norman Solomon, a valued friend of ATR, says all indications are that Lehrer was wrong.) Instead, let's focus on the teacher's pet quality of Lehrer's eagerness to "get that on the record" that the paper was calling for violence. Because it just seems particularly... ironic... given this:

Lehrer Newshour, February 5, 2003

JACK STRAW, UK FOREIGN SECRETARY: It is clear that Iraq has failed this test. These briefings have confirmed our worst fears that Iraq has no intention of relinquishing its weapons of mass destruction, no intention of following the path of peaceful disarmament set out in Security Council Resolution 1441. Instead of open admissions and transparency we have a charade where a veneer of superficial corporation masks willful concealment. If non-cooperation continues, the council must meets its responsibility.

Or this:

Lehrer Newshour, February 7, 2003

SIR JEREMY GREENSTOCK, UK AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: You can always put off war in these circumstances by a week or a month or two or three months. But it's 600 weeks since we started the business of asking Iraq to disarm. And now it's time to cut the knot and take action.

Or this:

Lehrer Newshour, March 6, 2003

JAMES SCHLESINGER, FORMER US DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think that the die is cast. Unless Saddam Hussein disarms or abdicates which is very doubtful, he will be removed from power... I want to emphasize that if this process of procrastination goes on indefinitely, it will be a debacle for American foreign policy. Osama bin Laden, who has pointed to the American capacity to retreat repeatedly, will be overjoyed. There will be chortling in the French foreign ministry. We will be seen once again to have retreated... Our credibility is at risk. We will not have 250,000 troops sitting endlessly in the desert. We are not going to back down on this one for the reasons that [Samuel Berger] mentioned, and he is quite right.

Or, etc., etc., etc., etc.

There is a parallel universe in which Iraq invaded the United States on March 19, 2003. And in that parallel universe, Jim Lehrer is Iraqi and, just like here, has his own TV show. On that show the following exchange just occurred:

COL. OSAMA AL-GARDINER: The immediate problem we have to remember is we started this... with the aggressive policies towards PBS that came from us, shutting down the network.

ASSAD AL-LEHRER: The reason we shut down the network is because it was calling for violence and anti-Iraqi --


AL-LEHRER: I just want to get that on the record.

Posted at April 21, 2004 03:30 AM

I love you forever for finally saying, out loud, what I've been wishing I had a teachest in Hyde Park for. Whenever anyone has the courage to say something's not right, it's always the guy who brings it out into the open in order to clean up the mess who gets blamed for dirtying the doorway.
'Nother thing. I realise it's the most unpopular idea ever, but do you know who first publicly, openly said that if you want to tell lies successfully, make them such enormous whoppers they're bound to believed, because "Nobody would tell a lie that big"? Actually he was Austrian by birth, (and a quarter Jew,although he stole power in Germany by getting a whole lot of cemeteries to count their inhabitants several times over (Hot Tip for November, Please don't pass it on to those stunted trees.) The Austrians disowned him later in the game, but not before they'd cashed in on the deportations . . .
I have to go, but please may I say what I think again some time? Born Brit I've lived in Germany for thirty years and my stomach turns when I see how close is the resemblance between the patterns.
Quote from a teen I teach, "It's obvious that Bush doesn't give a damn about bombing civillians, but must the terrorists take him for their role model?"
Now THAT made me think!
Thankyou for enriching my day,
Faith Voigt.

Posted by: Faith Voigt at April 28, 2004 11:50 AM