Friday, July 15, 2005

The Teflon Terminator tarnished

Edward Wong begins his NYT story about the continuing strength of insurgency in Fallujah with this excellent first sentence: “Transformed into a police state after last winter’s siege, this should be the safest city in all of Iraq.” He then treats the fact that Fallujah is still being run by the Americans as a police state slash prison camp as unproblematic. In fact, you get the sense that it’s the damned foreigners who keep mucking it up. The Iraqi regime, for example, has only disbursed 1/5 of the money that was supposed to go to rebuild the city, and none for the last several months. And the very last paragraph of the long article quotes a Fallujan sheik accusing the Iraqi army of killing people: “They’re killing people. They’re shooting people in the head. You’re not in the street. You don’t see what’s happening.” And neither is the NYT, which is why that charge goes completely uninvestigated.

Bush, responding to a question about whether he still planned to fire whoever leaked Valerie Plame’s name: “Yes, and that’s up to the US attorney to find the facts.” I always thought an employer had some responsibility to supervise the actions of his employees. No reporter seems to have asked Bush if he has ever asked Rove whether he did it or not.

Although Schwarzenegger’s many acts of sexual assault didn’t much damage his reputation, he does seem to be in some trouble for his little magazine deal. His handlers are having to explain that he’s still primarily focused on the people’s business, that he was really expected to do very little actual work for the $8m they were paying him. The problem, of course, is that that just makes it look more like a bribe.

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