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Archive for December 3rd, 2005

Abu Propaganda

The Times is running their 2nd story on the front of their website on the US engaging in the information war in Iraq.
The military acknowledged Friday in a briefing for a ranking Senate Republican that news articles written by American troops had been placed as paid advertisements in the Iraqi news media and not always properly identified.

Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters after receiving a 25-minute briefing from officials at the Pentagon that senior commanders in Iraq were trying to get to the bottom of a program that apparently also paid monthly stipends to friendly Iraqi journalists.

Mr. Warner said there had been no indications yet that the paid propaganda had been false. But he said that disclosures that an American company, under contract to the Pentagon, was making secret payments to plant articles with positive messages about the United States military mission could undermine the Bush administration’s goals in Iraq and jeopardize Iraq’s developing democratic institutions. "I remain gravely concerned about the situation," he said.

He said he had been told that the articles or advertisements were intended to counter disinformation in the Iraqi news media that was hurting the American military’s efforts to stabilize the country.

So what’s the problem? What’s the next Times headline?

US Admits Military Uses Real Bullets

Detainees File Grievance Over "No Do-Over" Rule

10 Baby Killing Capitalists Dead After Martyr Sacrifices Self

Their media have been killing us for decades. If we fought back like this before we might not ever have had to send soldiers. This is a war. Somebody should tell that to the Times.

(linked to Wizbang! )

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Sabotage

When I was fresh out of college I worked for a publisher that dealt with Catholic schools. I was, even then, a good BS artist so I advanced to management (code word for more work, less money; see "manager, retail") from sales rather quickly. Being single, I was a natural choice for frequent travel and annual relocation. Ever the dutiful soldier, I drank the corporate Kool Aid, moving from Philadelphia to College Park, Md. to Philly to New Orleans to Boston to Philly and then, finally, the corporate headquarters in New Jersey.
Where I found out, in short order, that the emporer had no clothes. It took maybe two weeks from my shiny new corner office to see that the guy who owned the thing never turned the calender past December of 1969. The details are unimportant. I resigned within 90 days and started working with my friend from college in real estate. My only regret was not leaving sooner. But looking back I am struck at how different things would have been if the owner who assigned me to all that travel and relocation had a clue how things were outside his office.
Which is kind of how I feel about the Republican party in New York State in light of their flip flop on Jeanine Pirro’s doomed run for Senate.

Gov. George E. Pataki today asked Jeanine F. Pirro to consider ending her troubled campaign to unseat Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a suggestion that Mrs. Pirro is mulling even as she said after their two-hour meeting, "Right now, I am a candidate for the United States Senate."

That hedged declaration added to the swirl of intrigue surrounding her political future, capping a week that saw a public rift in the state’s Republican Party, with leaders openly bucking the lame-duck governor by opposing the state party’s favored candidates for the Senate and governor’s race.

After the meeting with Governor Pataki today, Ms. Pirro tried to put a positive spin on why members of her own party have called for her to drop her Senate candidacy.

"What’s happened in the last several days is that there are people who are complimenting my abilities to run for other offices as well, and I am grateful for their belief that I can run for any office in this state," she said.

As Ms. Pirro emerged from the meeting to talk with reporters, the governor remained holed up upstairs in his midtown Manhattan office.

Officials said that in their meeting, the governor told her that she had a far better shot at winning the attorney general’s race than beating the popular Mrs. Clinton, according to Republicans who were briefed on the meeting.

Please don’t mistake the Republican party in New York for the (hopefully) conservative Republicans you might see elsewhere in the country. No, New York Republicans are more aptly named "not Democrats." Which is why my enthusiasm for people like Pataki and Pirro is tempered. They are liberal, they just aren’t as liberal as the Democrats they oppose, so I view them more as the lesser of two evils.

At any rate, it is clear that the reason Republicans in New York are slipping is because they are a group of unorganized, infighting bunch of morons who are squandering their best talent, namely Mrs. Pirro. When Pirro first announced her senate candidacy I blogged that she was a long shot and that there must have been a larger strategy from Republican leadership for her pass up a run for governor or attorney general. I was wrong. There was no plan, and Pirro is now a pawn in a battle between disgruntled Republican leadership and a lame duck Governor. That’s what mismanagement does- it sabotages your best talent. It’s hard to win on the field when there is disarray in the booth.

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