Friday, August 31, 2007



File this under “amusing’:

Lawmakers Describe 'Being Slimed in the Green Zone'

“In the soldier's hand was a thumbnail biography, distributed before each of the congressmen's meetings in Baghdad, which let meeting participants such as that soldier know where each of the lawmakers stands on the war.”

One way they do that is by quoting the congressmen. To wit, James Moran (D-VA):

"This has been the worst foreign policy fiasco in American history."

Now I can understand a certain awkwardness when you have your criticisms relayed to those who may not know that that’s how Democrats have to talk if they don’t want to get ‘slimed’ by the crowds at Daily Kos and But I sense that Post writer Jonathan Weisman somehow thinks this a bit unfair:

“For one, the quotations appeared to be selected to divide the visitors into those who are with the war effort and those who are against. For another, they were not exactly accurate.”

He then points out that the most recent Iraq vote by Rep. Tauscher was on a bill that would allow troops time away from combat at least as long as the previous combat tour. That vote came on August 2nd. The bio instead pointed to a May vote for withdrawal within 120 days.

Okay…but that doesn’t obviate the May vote nor does it in any way show that the quotations used were “not exactly accurate”. And guessing on why the quotations were selected is analysis, not reporting. I'd guess instead that they were used because they were on point about Iraq and more informative than some fluff verbage about how the congressman supports the troops.

Side Note: Interesting that a Congresswoman would describe the use of apparently accurate quotations as “being slimed in the Green Zone”...wonder how she would describe the reporting of the Washington Post.

…and who wouldn’t want to read John Murtha’s bio.

The issue here is the Bush administration's use of every single piece of the government as a policy hit machine.

The military should be in the business of prosecuting this (in my highly debatable view, hopeless) military occupation as effectively as possible, not gaming the Congressional representatives who have come for fact finding. Their story should not change according to the party and policies of the representatives who have arrived unless the role of the military is in fact political, not military.

I think the White House should indeed have on hand hired political hacks to help it accomplish its political goals. They should be doing 24-hour desk duty in the OEOB, not patrol duty in Mesopotamia. Unfortunately for the White House, $168,000 per annum is simply not enough money to feed Tony Snow's family, so he is gone, undoubtedly to make 5 times as much and probably eat 5 times as well as previously. Snow will probably eat 50 times as well as the poor grunts getting shot at and hit with bottles in Sadr City and getting drafted into serving as deputy political directors for spin.
Not sure what any of this has to do with Tony Snpw's decision to leave the WH - he gave up a lucrative career in broadcast and presumably will return thence.

As to the Bush policy hit machine, I doubt this type of Bio drafting was as a result of a WH edict. Rather, it probably reflects local curiousity as to whee the visitors stand. I know I'd wanna know if I could trust the person I'm speaking to not to blow something I said out of context - I don't feel the likes of John Murtha could be so trusted.

Besides, couldn't this work against the military if the unhappy, demoralized grunts so reading can now easier identify the kindred spirits visiting?
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