Sunday, April 11, 2004

Less casualty, except among the military age males

One of the world’s best writer/directors, Jirí Weiss, has just died. You’ve never heard of him or seen one of his movies. I’ve only been able to see 4 myself, none alike. During the Prague Spring, some incredible movies were made in Czechoslovakia, and then the tanks rolled in. The directors that stayed mostly did no work again (Jirí Menzel); those that left did better (Milos Foreman). Weiss left, but Hollywood never gave him a job. 3 of his movies that I’ve seen were in LA, and every time, he was there to introduce them. He had nothing better to do.

Yesterday I mentioned that the US forces were allowing women and children to escape the siege of Fallujah, but not the males. Here’s the result: in a story the Guardian mistakenly headlines “Defiant US Says Falluja Dead Were Rebels,” a Marine colonel is quoted as saying, "What I think you will find is 95% of those were military age males that were killed in the fighting. The marines are trained to be precise in their firepower ... The fact that there are 600 goes back to the fact that the marines are very good at what they do." The rather large distinction between actual rebels and “military age males” will not have escaped you, I’m sure. And that’s if you accept the 95% number, which is contradicted by hospital officials. The Guardian does give a figure I’ve been looking for: the population of Fallujah is 200,000. Lots more military age males to shoot. Propaganda-wise, the Bushies are having a little problem trying to claim at the same time that there are only a handful of rebels (“gangs,” Bush called them today--When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dyin' day.), and that the hundreds of Iraqis we’re killing are in fact rebels.

Iraqi soldiers are refusing to participate in the bloodbath.

Shrub, who has a way with worms, said today: “Obviously I pray every day there’s less casualty. But I know what we're doing in Iraq is right.”

That wasn’t a typo. He certainly doesn’t have a way with words, now does he? Less casualty, indeed. (Even the White House transcript has “less casualty.” The WaPo decided to clean it up.)

He also claimed today that the 8/6/01 PDB “said nothing about an attack on America.” Maybe no one told him the PDB was released and everyone can read it now, or else why is he so blatantly lying about its contents? AND he claimed to have asked for the briefing (“Did I see it? Of course I saw it; I asked for it.”), when in fact the CIA compiled it on its own authority, even giving it that title, which they incorrectly thought would get Bush’s attention. AND he claimed this: “And you might recall the hijacking that was referred to in the PDB. It was not a hijacking of an airplane to fly into a building, it was hijacking of airplanes in order to free somebody that was being held as a prisoner in the United States.” How does that make any difference? If you’d stopped the hijackings, you’d have stopped the planes being flown into buildings. And the line the Post uses as a headline to the transcript, “Had I Known, We Would Have Acted.”

COMMENT IN ATROCIOUS TASTE ALERT: Asked whether the violence would ebb soon, Bush replied: "It's hard to tell. I just know this: that we're plenty tough and we'll remain tough." Especially those 4 mercenaries. We asked for medium-rare!

An American hostage was released after 3 days in Iraq. Thomas Hamill was a truck driver for Kellogg, Brown and Root (aka Halliburton) after having had to sell his dairy farm because of debts. Who says Bush hasn’t created any jobs?

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