Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Deconstructing Bush’s Iraq Speech

Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has done in the New York Times website a fine job of deconstructing and refuting President George W. Bush’s manipulative and propagandistic Iraq speech of January 10, 2007.

Bush’s Iraq Plan, Between the Lines
Iraq Plan, Between the Lines (interactive)
Anthony Cordesman profile
Center for Strategic and International Studies
President’s Address to the Nation

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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19 January, 2007 Posted by | Bush, intelligence, Iraq, law, media, news, politics, scanlyze, war | 1 Comment

“Control Room” Delivers Some Bitterly Ironic Retrospection

Control Room
Delivers Some Bitterly Ironic Retrospection

by Henry Edward Hardy

If 2004 was The Year of the Documentary, then Control Room, Jehane Noujaim’s film on the independent Arab News channel, Al-Jazeera, ranks among the best. Control Room tells the story of the network and the early days of the Iraq War through the eyes of Jazeera reporter Hassan Ibrahim, senior producer Samir Khader and U.S. spokesperson Lieutenant Josh Rushing.

Khader makes penetrating points about the climate of fear perpetuated inside the U.S. by the Administration, and both he and Ibrahim express substantial (and warranted) skepticism about Iraq’s mythical weapons of mass destruction.

“Pulverized. Dead bodies en masse — and why? We get these pictures and we show them. Unfortunately we get grief from the Americans who say we are inciting rebellion, instigating anti-American sentiments. They cannot have their cake and eat it,” says Ibrahim.

Lt. Rushing is a surprisingly appealing figure in the film, genuinely troubled by many of the inconsistencies between the war as he is told to present it and the feedback and questions presented by foreign press such as Jazeera.

The film shows powerfully how both Al-Jazeera and western coverage are manipulated by reporters, producers, governments and public opinion. We see how the iconic footage of the statue of Saddam being toppled was the result of a U.S. “Psyops” (psychological operations) battalion’s efforts and not a spontaneous uprising of the Iraqi people.

We see civilian casualties, simple homes of simple people. A woman stands in front of a house with its front blown off and shouts, “Welcome to my house, Mr. Bush. Look at this! Don’t you have any humanity? How can you accept a little girl crying for her mom and dad?”

We then cut to U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, explaining, “What they do is when a bomb goes down, they grab some children, and some women, and pretend that the bomb hit the women and the children,” Rumsfeld continues with a death’s-head, rictus-like grin. “To the extent that people lie, ultimately they are caught lying. They lose their credibility. And one would think that that wouldn’t take long dealing with people like this.”

Viewing the film now is informed by subsequent revelations. One cannot help a bitter smile at the irony and self-serving hypocrisy of Bush when he says he expects Iraq to treat U.S. captives humanely and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, as he asserts, the U.S. treats its captives.

Control Room is available on DVD and VHS and for rental from local video stores.

A version of this article was previously published in Current Magazine and on Electric Current, http://www.eCurrent.com .

Control Room (IMDB)
Control Room (Rotten Tomatoes)
Control Room (wikipedia)

Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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19 January, 2007 Posted by | archives, Bush, covert operations, intelligence, Iraq, movies, news, politics, reviews, Rumsfeld, scanlyze, war | 2 Comments

Anthem for Doomed Youth

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

–Wilfred Owen, KIA, 1918

http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/jtap/warpoems.htm#7

Wilfred Owen (wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfred_Owen

WOMDA The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive: http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/jtap/

Copyright © Henry Edward Hardy 2007

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17 January, 2007 Posted by | archives, poetry, scanlyze, war, WWI | Leave a comment