In the last two or three months, you could squeeze the NYT as hard as you like but you wouldn’t produce a tenth of the news about Iraq that you get from, say, one visit to the daily war news blog. The new propaganda phase re America’s loveable situation comedy version of the Chechnya war, set in a Mesopotamia far, far away, where darling women show their little purple smudged fingers and are surely preparing to embrace Jesus if we only let them, is not to report it at all. So, for instance, where is the report that the British transport plane that was shot out of the sky in December might have been brought down from a height of 15,000 feet? –the first example of the use of the shoulder mounted anti-aircraft missiles that we all know are out there, distributed like popcorn to various jihadists by the CIA in the Afghan liberation thing (remember how we were all for Islam back in the day? ah, our sweet semi alliance with Osama, before islamo-anticommunism – so good, and good for you, unless you happen to be a woman without a burkha -- became islamofascism – so bad, and unliberty lovin’), and surely available for the taking from weapons dumps that the American soldiery was too understaffed to guard – getting more understaffed as the weapons so looted were turned upon that soldiery.

Well, who cares? Three soldiers one day, four the next – the best way to support the troops is to forget about em, let em die anonymously, fuck em, remember not to clutter up good newsprint with their names when you have to devote as much time as possible to faux news such as Martha Stewart’s transition into a parole officer’s problem, take every lie and misstatement doled out by the Central Command and treat it like holy writ if you write anything until the time limit is up on journalistic brown-nosing – oh, some hardhitting report on what really happened might be in order in a decade or two, or in somebody’s book – tie that yellow ribbon round the family credit card that the widows will have to pay off, maybe a little on your back work, with the hearty support of the Republican congress, now brought to you by Visa, as the country goes back to the ownership society ideals exemplified by Jim Crow and our founding father’s willingness to treat that labor problem with the overseer’s whip. Which is, apparently, the new meaning of the conservative fondness for original intent.