SURGEONS must be very careful

The ‘Peculiar’ Disappearance of Iraq Coverage

“This is happening even as the casualties in Iraq, averaging more than 100 a day, easily surpass those in Israel and Lebanon combined.

“The steady falloff in Iraq coverage isn’t happenstance. It’s a barometer of the scope of the tragedy. For reporters, the already apocalyptic security situation in Baghdad keeps getting worse, simply making the war more difficult to cover than ever. The audience has its own phobia: Iraq is a bummer…. They know defeat when they see it, no matter how many new plans for victory are trotted out to obscure that reality.

Reporters can’t say it, politicians can’t say it, and even the average Joe at the diner can’t give voice to the notion Iraq is a been there done that situation. Except for the bloggers for war porn who keep a handy list of trite hysterical reasons, no one knows why we’re still there. maybe we’ve moved on to a new subset of rationales like have a force nearby in case the administration decides to invade Iran. The Peking Duck also has some thoughts on the same article Collapse of the final rationale

Skip this if you don’t have a strong stomach, “I came over here because I wanted to kill people.”

“Then I heard him stop breathing,” Green said. “We got back and everyone was like, ‘Oh [expletive], get him off the truck.’ But I knew he was dead. You could look in his eyes and there wasn’t nothing in his eyes. I knew what was going on there.”

He paused and looked away. “He was the nicest man I ever met,” he said. “I never saw him yell at anybody. That was the worst time, that was my worst time since I’ve been in Iraq.”

Green had been in country only four months at that point, a volunteer in a war he now saw as pointless.

“I gotta be here for a year and there ain’t [expletive] I can do about it,” he said. “I just want to go home alive. I don’t give a [expletive] about the whole Iraq thing. I don’t care.

“See, this war is different from all the ones that our fathers and grandfathers fought. Those wars were for something. This war is for nothing.”

Many of the right-wing blogs were all over Rep. John Murtha for being outraged at the murders at Haditha

The reason we’ve lost the hearts and mind is these troops are under tremendous stress. Day after day these explosive devices go off, and if they don’t kill them that day, they hurt somebody, they wound somebody. And I see them at the hospitals. I see – they don’t know who the enemy is, they don’t know who they’re fighting, Iraq – and then they kill innocent people.

Why does the Green story have resonance, Conservatives attack Murtha and not the wrong doing or the circumstances which lead to Haditha,

Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto, among others, accused Murtha of “bomb-throwing” and “bashing” the military. In fact, Murtha, who had been briefed on the matter, limited his criticisms to those allegedly involved in the incident and the reported cover-up.

If these conservatives want to have a rose colored acid laced kool-aid view of the world I don’t especially mind, but when day after day they take a tight hold on that utterly delusional view of reality and then act as though they have something serious to contribute to national policy debates its like watching a cat trying to play with the other cat in the mirror. Comical behavior in a cat, but despicable behavior for an American citizen.

Difficult to switch gears, but necessary to avoid outrage burnout, continuing yesterday’s look at the movies. I think that Bruce Dern deserves credit for jeopardizing his career by being the bad guy that kills John Wayne in The Cowboys, but at the same time I hope that movie is not considered his lasting legacy. He costarred with the late great Walter Matthau in one of many classic crime dramas from the seventies called The Laughing Policeman . If you like gritty cop movies and gallows humor it belongs on your to see list. Dern also turned in an amazing performance as a low level huckster in a frequently overlooked Jack Nicholson film called The King of Marvin Gardens directed by Bob Rafelson. Jack and Bruce are brothers only by accident of birth. If you think that the American dream is always about acquiring more money as somehow related to virtue then skip it. The radio monologues are a little disturbing and disorienting since you’re left not quite sure where realty starts and fantasy ends. Finally the film-noir of the day, The Blue Dahlia (1946 just keep in mind watching the interactions between the opposite sex that it was released in 1946. The screenplay was written by Raymond Chandler.

SURGEONS must be very careful
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions
Stirs the culprit,—Life!

Part One: Life by Emily Dickinson