You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

March 30, 2006

Front Page News Three Days Ago Already Lost In Mists Of Time

So in a speech yesterday Bush said this:

Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein. He is a tyrant who exacerbated sectarian divisions to keep himself in power.

I actually have some sympathy for this perspective. But it does contrast starkly with Bush's pre-war views, as recorded in the January 31, 2003 "White House Memo":

The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups." Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

Again, Bush's speech was yesterday (Wednesday). This memo story was on the front page of the New York Times two days before (Monday). So...would it be too much to ask for some enterprising reporter to repeat both instances of Bush's words back to him, and politely ask when between January 31, 2003 and March 29, 2006 HE MANAGED TO FIGURE THIS OUT?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess: yes, it is too much to ask.

Posted at March 30, 2006 01:41 AM | TrackBack

According to my calculations Jon, Bush's new "Blame our mess in Iraq on Saddam" plan *must* have occurred to him some time *after* April, 2005.

See, a week or so after Cheney and Rummy and Tony and Condie finally accepted the fact they WEREN'T going to find WMD's (and/or those hordes of children with flowers) they promised everybody would greet Western troops--a year or so after the invasion of March 2003--they decided to send (in June 2004) John Negroponte--

--to Iraq to do a little "exacerbating of sectarian divisions" FOR THEM: the "Salvador Option" they called it--

--which (if you can believe what you read in the papers anymore) was still very much on the table as late as January 2005.

April 2005 is when Negroponte left Iraq for his (then new) job in Washington. So, they *must* have realized *that* "plan" (too) really wasn't working FOR THEM within the last 12 months or so...

Does that help?

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2006 06:07 AM

I find it interesting how often bloggers pick up on such things that go completely unnoticed or unreported by the MSM. Makes ya kinda wonder how much was also missed or never mentioned pre-blogs.

Posted by: spiiderweb at March 30, 2006 07:56 AM

Vast majority of MSM readers don't want "uncomfortable" news or opinion. They want "facts" that will help them improve their jobs/careers, relationships, diet, and financial situation. One nation under self-help. The rest, they just want to go away. Iraq? It didn't work, so bring the troops home. Not--why and how did we sign on for this evil and greedy grab, and why did we elect--twice--a bunch of corporate scumbags? In most of the news pages, no history and hardly any investigative reporting. In the editorials, Beltway cliches and think-tank rhetoric.

Posted by: donescobar at March 30, 2006 08:16 AM

Well, I think it's a mistake to blame "the vast majority" for stuff THEY have no (real day-to-day) control over, AND/OR to pretend (to know) "they" (really don't) "want" to know (the truth), donescobar.

I think "the vast majority" get what they get from their elected (and unelected) leaders AND from their 'professional' proxies in the corporate media for reasons which have MUCH more to do with the not-so-enlightened self-interest(s) of the 'hot air' SUPPLIERS to the system--NOT its 'consumers'...

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2006 11:04 AM

I'd like to be able to agree with you, but PEOPLE did not become the most popular magazine only because the elitists running the "corporate media" want to feed crap to the good folks out there. The good folks love the crap. Maybe, if it were easily available, some might opt for serious or challenging stuff. But when and where was that ever the case in numbers that mattered?
A juicy piece of gossip about Jennifer Aniston will attract far more readers or watchers than an investigative report on the war profiteering by Halliburton anytime. At least, that's my take.

Posted by: donescobar at March 30, 2006 02:12 PM

The Declararion of Independence and The Conatitution are both built upon the concept of Citizen control and Responsibility for their government. If we don't control our government it's our own fault. Besides who will, who else is there?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 30, 2006 06:37 PM


The people who own (and operate) Conglomerated Media Company (CMC) like to make money. They like slick pseudo-controversies about Jennifer Anniston.

Their (advertising) *friends* at the church, temple, synagogue and/or country club like slick pseudo-controversies about Jennifer Anniston too. They DON'T LIKE *unpartiotic* context-rich, far-sighted stories about corrupt judges, politicians and former politicians, drug smugglers working out of the White House basement and their old (and new) *friends* in high (and low) places.

The *smart* people who work for CMC like to make their bosses happy. They like getting promoted AND making their mortgage payments on time too.

That's my take.

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2006 07:11 PM


Sure, but what makes you think the people whom they feed the slick stuff might prefer the thought-provoking or investigative stuff on their leaders and pillars of their communities?
Not here, not in 1932 in Vienna whem my (Social Democrat) grandfather tried to get the "workers" to listen to and watch serious issues stuff in an auditorium especially built for that purpose? They went, instead, to the wrestling matches, where the blond Austrian hero beat the bald, Turkish villain with the big mustache.
The more things change...

Posted by: donescobar at March 30, 2006 08:06 PM


What makes you think those people in Vienna in 1932 (or here today) were (or are) being "fed" much (or any) of that thought provoking stuff YOU keep insisting "they" didn't (and don't) "want"?

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2006 09:42 PM


Please allow me to try to expedite this discussion a little. The way I see it, our disagreement comes down to this--

I say: "The vast majority" of people REALLY DO want to better understand the world around them.

You say: No they don't.

You say: If "the vast majority" of people REALLY DID want to understand the world, there would be a market for that and the (corporate) media serve it.

I say: If the (corporate) media did a better job of serving that market, "the vast majority" of people WOULD better understand the world around them, (and they WOULD hold their leaders accountable), and THAT'S precisely why the (corporate) media DOESN'T do a very good job of representing the world for and/or to them.

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2006 10:55 PM

My good men, I sense a duel may be imminent… and, given that Jennifer Aniston's honor is being impugned, I am sure we can enlist our contacts at 'Entertainment Tonight' to cover these sobering developments!

Posted by: mk at March 30, 2006 11:00 PM


I suppose if the corporate media did a better job of representing or exposing what's going on in the world and how such events affect people's well-being, the "market" for such information might grow--with undesired consequences for the owners and sponsors of slick crap.
No way of knowing (or proving) this. You think it might work that way. I'm inclined to doubt it.
Maybe there is an untapped hunger out there for thought-provoking news and understanding. Earl Shorris, who has taught in prisons and "slums" (can you still use that word?), has found some evidence supporting your point of view. Apart from Shorris, I've seen or read very little. The college scene is as dismal as the coporate media one. Maybe if the country experiences an economic collapse, people will ask why? Who will tell them?

Posted by: donescobar at March 31, 2006 06:46 AM