Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Delaying Dealing With Iraq, Joe Darby Is A Hero, Bugging Diana, Bad Breaking News, And Blood Diamonds (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. The show was all over the place tonight, but I still thought it was a significant improvement over what we've had the last couple shows. We begin tonight with the announcement that Bush has decided to wait to change course in Iraq (if that is in fact what he's going to do) until after the new year. What's the hurry, right? We'll probably only lose, what, 30 or so soldiers between now and then. I'm sure their families won't mind. Did I mention how much our leaders suck? Ed Henry breaks it all down for us in a piece and we learn that Bush won't even discuss the reason for the postponing, though there is speculation he's waiting for the Baker/Hamilton report to just fade away. Ed then joins us live and states that the word in the beltway is Bush is actively considering actually sending more troops to the region. Apparently there's still a question of whether or not he's broken our military and he wants to make sure he completes the mission.

On now to a Nic Robertson piece on the violence that went down today. A suicide bomber collected a bunch of innocent people just looking for work and blew them up. 71 are dead and 220 wounded. Just another day in Iraq. In the piece we learn that unemployment is a huge problem in Iraq with anywhere from 20% to over 50% of people without jobs. Creating jobs is believed to be the key to fighting the insurgency. One of the people in the piece talks about economic areas and states that most people at home don't understand the economic situation in Iraq. I totally agree with that. Remember when I said that what has economically been done to Iraq is one of the most underreported stories of the war?

Next we have Nic and Michael Gordon ("Cobra II") live to discuss the situation. Michael states that it's actually not the commanders in Iraq that are pushing for more troops, but the civilians. Anderson wants to know if a small amount of extra troops would even be enough and Michael replies that troops by themselves are not the answer. Plus the Iraq government might not even want them. Nic points out the irony that now that Sunnis are under attack they actually are buddying up to the Americans. Michael thinks the ISG's proposal to pull out by 2008 is very unrealistic. So, what, we just stay forever? Oh, right.

The next piece is the piece Anderson just did for 60 Minutes on Joe Darby, the soldier that came across the pictures that launched the Abu Ghraib scandal. It was a really good piece, so I didn't mind watching it again. Joe tried to remain anonymous and took the pictures to the criminal investigation division, but he quickly found himself in a situation where the suspects were freely living in the same place he was. And they were armed. Fearing for his life, Joe slept with a pistol under his pillow. Soon however, the suspects were removed and Joe felt a little relief. It didn't last long though. Rumsfeld, living up to his reputation as a complete idiot and douchebag, totally outed Joe on television. Soon everyone knew and he once again felt fearful. The army quickly got him out of the situation, but he couldn't go home because the army determined that he wouldn't be safe there. Home for Joe was Cumberland, Maryland and it will now join Gretna, Louisiana on my list of cities that are dead to me.

One of Cumberland's residents and a member of Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW) felt it was wrong for Joe to put the enemy above his buddies. This man clearly has no idea what being patriotic is all about. Newsflash, we can't call ourselves the greatest country in the world if we stoop to that kind of level. If your child is acting out and being a brat do you just put up with it? No, you discipline your child because you love him/her and want him/her to grow up to be a happy and productive person. Joe Darby loves America and the military and he proved it. Unfortunately, members of his own family don't agree. Anderson plays devil's advocate, stating that some would say that Saddam did things that were worse. "We're Americans," Joe replies. Amen, brother. At the end of the piece Anderson reads a comment from VFW that states the guy in the piece was only stating his own personal views and not the views of VFW. Oh, I think that was a diss on false patriot man. This whole thing reminds me of Justin Watt, who I blogged about in late September.

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on a report that is suppose to come out that says the US was bugging Princess Diana. The NSA denies the charges. Honestly it seems like the whole report might turn out to be crap. Who knows? Oh, but I'm sure 360 will tell us. On now to BREAKING NEWS! Does anybody else go "Oh God, what now?" everytime you hear the breaking news music? The New York Times is reporting that Saudia Arabia has given the US a warning that if we pull out of Iraq, they might back the Sunni insurgency. Oh...crap. If Iraq is in trouble, it must be Tuesday. That was my really lame attempt at another Buffy reference ("Once More With Feeling") for my pal cstkitten. She got so excited after the reference yesterday and I like to keep my readers happy.

Anyway, back to the incredibly crappy news. Up until this point the Saudis have been loath to support the insurgency since it has ties to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda targets the Saudi royal family. John Roberts then joins us on the phone and explains that a lot of the Sunni majority countries around Iraq fear that they might fall prey to newly empowered Shiites, so hence the Saudi support. You know, everything I hear about Iraq I keep thinking it can't possible get worse, but it always does. Every day. We can't leave. We can't stay. We're living in a Clash song. Should we stay or should we go now? Should we stay or should we go now? If we go there will be trouble. And if we stay it will be double. So come on and let us know...when the time machine will be ready because that's the only way we're getting out of this mess. Where's Doc Brown when you need him? Great Scott!

On now to a snippet of a Warner Brothers documentary on blood diamonds. It should be noted that Time Warner owns Warner Brothers and CNN. It should also be noted that the major studio release, Blood Diamond (referenced during the broadcast) is also a Warner Brothers film. Don't you just love synergy? Before the clip, Anderson explains that diamonds are now put through what is known as Kimberly Process Certification to ensure that they are not blood or conflict diamonds. However, in the documentary a man goes undercover and finds many sellers willing to sell him diamonds that are not Kimberly certified. I'm happy I don't own any diamonds because I already feel guilty enough about my cell phone. One more thing about the piece, WTF was up with that skeleton on the corner of the screen? Way to make a serious story tacky. Tonights show was good. B+

Do you think Bush will really send more troops? What's your take on Joe Darby? Will this new Saudi news just be a blip or is this going to have major ramifications?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder who leaked the information about the Saudis? Could this have been done by Bush just to muster up support for him to stay longer in Iraq?
I always love Jeff's pieces. I wish he would do more reporting for the show. I'm heading to Africa soon. I wonder if he does full time reporting for CNN in Africa.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Joe Darby did the right thing, but what I want to know is did he contact 60 minutes to do this story? If he is living where supposly no one knows where he lives, than how did Anderson and 60 minutes find him?


8:16 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Gissou-Where in Africa are you heading? For work or leisure?

@Jan-60 Minutes could have contacted the military and I think Anderson did a story on him before (though I'm not positive on that), so he might have already had his contact info.

9:23 PM  

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