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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

the always awesome media cogito

There are two news stories I’d recommend to LI readers today – one is by James Glanz, of all people, in the NYT. Emboldened by the Waxman committee’s timid display of intransigence – there’s even a threat that the Democrats might try to regulate the mercenaries in Iraq, heavens! the Dems play so rough! – the establishment American press has actually gone out and collected information, instead of letting information, in the form of faxes from the State department composed by Blackwater, come to them – and of course, in the latter case, be distributed by them to the public at large, which must be cretinized every day if the system is to roll lustily forward.

So, after persistently reporting on the death toll settled on by the State department at 11, the NYT story raises the stakes a bit – to 17 dead, 24 wounded. In a nice ass covering move, this is attributed to Iraqi officials and called a ‘higher toll than previously thought.’ You will notice the function of thought, here. ‘Thought’ isn’t Descartes’ thought, animate and animating in all human beings, the kingly cogito, but NYT’s thought, where it is the intellectual property of a small and elite group of serious people, which include Blackwater, Democratic party consultants, the Pentagon, and of course the White House, which does the thinking around here – that is, in these here states.

Then we get the grisly account:

“The new details include these:
A deadly cascade of events began when a single bullet apparently fired by a Blackwater guard killed an Iraqi man whose weight probably remained on the accelerator and propelled the car forward as the passenger, the man’s mother, clutched him and screamed.
The car continued to roll toward the convoy, which responded with an intense barrage of gunfire in several directions, striking Iraqis who were desperately trying to flee.
Minutes after that shooting stopped, a Blackwater convoy — possibly the same one — moved north from the square and opened fire on another line of traffic a few hundred yards away, in a previously unreported separate shooting, investigators and several witnesses say.
But questions emerge from accounts of the earliest moments of the shooting in Nisour Square.

The car in which the first people were killed did not begin to closely approach the Blackwater convoy until the Iraqi driver had been shot in the head and lost control of his vehicle. Not one witness heard or saw any gunfire coming from Iraqis around the square. And following a short initial burst of bullets, the Blackwater guards unleashed an overwhelming barrage of gunfire even as Iraqis were turning their cars around and attempting to flee.

As the gunfire continued, at least one of the Blackwater guards began screaming, “No! No! No!” and gesturing to his colleagues to stop shooting, according to an Iraqi lawyer who was stuck in traffic and was shot in the back as he tried to flee. The account of the struggle among the Blackwater guards corroborates preliminary findings of the American investigation.

Still, while the series of events pieced together by the Iraqis may be correct, important elements could still be missing from that account, according to the American official familiar with the continuing American investigation into the shootings.

Among the questions still to be answered, the official said, is whether at any time nearby Iraqi security forces began firing, possibly leading the Blackwater convoy to believe it was under attack and therefore justified in returning fire. It is also possible that as the car kept rolling toward the intersection, the Blackwater guards believed it posed a threat and intensified their shooting.”

Yes, when we ‘think’, we have to remember we are on sufferance. What American officials think will, of course, be treated as the word of God – and like God, these American officials must not be named. To name them would be a form of blasphemy, although on the other hand, it just might lead to idolatry – so wise are they, so successful, so tough, so mission accomplished, that it is possible we, en masse, would fall down and worship at their feet. Worried by both things, the NYT has taken thought to prevent it.

Then we have the ‘spot report’ from the Washington Post, which gives us a chuckleworthy picture of our brave mercenaries in Iraq and their firin’ ways. Seems like Prince’s citation of the number of firearm discharges against the number of missions is probably skewed by, oh, 80 percent. But not to worry! The mercs are regulated by the toughest of the tough, such as one Lightener. A man whose thoughts are as the toughened, ultra tough, tough tough tough thoughts of the Weekly Standard editorial board, which are thoughts indeed.

“Procedures for reporting shooting incidents also often varied, according to current and former guards. "It's almost like a case of cover your ass," the former Blackwater guard said. "It's like, 'These guys did this, they filled out this report, we have documentation on it, and unless anybody else says anything, it's in this file here.' "
Lightner, the Army major who monitors shooting incidents, said he thought the number of reported incidents was in some ways insignificant. "Other than entertainment value, I don't see why I need to be all that worried about the number of incidents, as long as they were legitimate," he said. "If they were incidents of wrongdoing, then that's a different story."
Lightner said he usually accepted the company's version of events. "If they're reporting firing a weapon, and there's no wrongdoing, and they operated according to the law, then God bless 'em, drive on," he said. "If Aegis sends me a report and says, 'Bad guys shot at us, we shot back and dropped two of them,' I'm not going to investigate. I'm not going to worry about it, unless somebody comes back and says, 'Yeah, they dropped two children, or they dropped a woman.' "

Yup, its funner than a shootin’ gallery…

The important thing here is not to let the Democrats get away with ‘regulating’ the mercenaries. The mercenaries have to go. And the problem with them being used by the Pentagon at all is that the use is bi-partisan. Clinton used Dyncorps, remember, as a substitute for American troops in Bosnia because – he didn’t want to be constrained by the popular impulse not to commit American troops. For which he was lauded by the liberal interventionists like the Roman senate used to laud Nero. Plant a wicked seed, grow a wicked tree, bearing poison fruit.


Roger Gathmann said...

Oh, and more on the "the cancer has become the body, sir' front. Via TPM:

"When a team of FBI agents lands in Baghdad this week to probe Blackwater security contractors for murder, it will be protected by bodyguards from the very same firm, the Daily News has learned.

Half a dozen FBI criminal investigators based in Washington are scheduled to travel to Iraq to gather evidence and interview witnesses about a Sept. 16 shooting spree that left at least 11 Iraqi civilians dead.

The agents plan to interview witnesses within the relative safety of the fortified Green Zone, but they will be transported outside the compound by Blackwater armored convoys, a source briefed on the FBI mission said."

It's not a cold war, it's just an old war...

northanger said...

Plant a wicked seed, grow a wicked tree, bearing poison fruit


northanger said...

that broken link is primo perfecto.