A US audit says that at least $8.8 billion given to Iraqi ministries by the former occupation authority in Baghdad has not been accounted for.
For some reason, these Aljazeera links you mention don't work on my computer, but I think I get the basic idea from your summary.But come on, Ryan!!! What's $8,800,000,000 to rich folks like us? I don't know about you, but I almost have a $100 in my bank account. :-) $8.8 bill. is pocket change, and we all know it. What could possibly have been done with $8,800,000,000?On the other hand, as long as it is pocket change, maybe I should take up buskering outside the Pentagon or White House. I bet Bush would throw a megabuck or two into my hat for my lovely tribute to him. Or maybe I should drive to Houston and busker outside Halliburton. They probably have more control over the federal budget.Hey, speaking of music, that song I mentioned liking from your band was in one of my dreams last night!!! Honest! They were playing it at a small chinese snack food bar while a group of us ate their delicious crab rangoons (full with crab meat, I might add.) :-)Which brings this full circle--why should I need $8.8 billion when I l enjoy such a good life in my dreams? :-)
By the way, J, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but quoting Aljazeera sources is stupid. It's like quoting AlFoxeera as being "fair and balanced."
See Control Room, Radical Moderate. I think you'll trust Al-J more than CBS afterward. "Wherever he wants me to line up, tell me where," Dan Rather, re: President Bush (9/18/01)
To throw my weight into this new debate here, I don't mind Ryan referring to any sources (including AlFoxeera), because the more sources sited, the easier it is to see through manipulation (irregardless of the source.)I think it is important to acknowledge that just because one side of a debate is biased does not preclude that possibility of even likliness that the other side will be biased. On the contrary, the rules of politics suggest that usually if one side is playing dirty, the other side usually also plays dirty in order to not lose ground. But whereas two lies don't make a truth, the crafty propagandist will often interlace truth alongside his lies in order to make his lies more believable. If you read enough sources from a variety of directions, you start to see the overlap.I have a friend who refuses to use the word believe. Even though I think he is being somewhat pretentious about it, I think his point is legitimate that faith is a weakness that can be exploited. Whether that be faith in the supernatural, or faith in things like the media or government, etc.Just the other day, I was talking to someone and he reminded me what Thomas Jefferson said on the subject. I'm paraphrasing--if you can question the existence of God, then you can question anything, and you should definitely question the existence of God. So certainly CBS, Dan Rather, and Aljazeera can be questioned. But then you can hardly question what they say if you don't read it first.
For some reason Blogger doesn't like me today. It doesn't seem to be posting my comments....Sometimes if you post a followup, then it goes ahead and posts the backed up ones. Must be some flaw in their code. C'est la vie!!!
PS One other thought. Reading Aljazeera makes it possible to evaluate FOX and CBS and vice versa, because occassionally they site each other. If you have read or seen the original of something, then seeing the write-up about it shows you just how much is being left out or distorted. I have almost never participated in a political event that was covered accurately by the mainstream media. I don't trust any large papers. That's why I am advocate for smart zoning laws that make it possible for people to get places by foot and bicycle. Because when people get places by foot, they are willing to spend a little more at their neighborhood Mom and Pop shop, and those are the folks who pay for the small presses of the world. Consequently, you will see better information in places like San Francisco or Austin, Texas than you will in places like Dallas, Texas, where you have to drive long distances to get anywhere and are therefore stuck with the bigger companies.
Aljazeera is actually a highly-respected news outlet--outside of the United States. In fact it's one of the only places to get in-depth coverage on Iraq, as middle east scholars (e.g., Juan Cole) regularly point out. But it's true: they don't have the same perspective as the US State Department.I want to see Control Room.
I will check out Control Room also BUT in my CORRECT opinion (grrr, snap, snap) Al-jerkzeera, I mean al-J is way too anti-American to be considered valid. They do nothing but promote anti-semitism and anti-westernism.
I just retried the link, and it worked this time. Yea!!!For what it's worth, this particular article at least is in line with articles I was reading from Britain on this subject, as well as the Congressional Record. I think Ryan does an outstanding job hunting down interesting articles. If I wonder about the facts or want to know more, I have been known to cross reference what he posts. I then post alternative links as followups in the comments section. That seems to work well. :-) In other words, the advantage to the blog format is that if facts are incorrect, we can counterpost and hammer the original source. If you have access to the Proquest newspaper database at your local library (if you do it will be online), you can search zillions of newspapers daily by keywords. That makes it very easy to prove or disprove any claims being posted.
I don't always try to get the last word in every conversation. I just like continuity.
sheryl,That's a cute comment by the way. I don't think one should worry about whether one posts first or last as long as one treats blogs like camping - leave it a better place than you found it. Your comments are always thoughtful and insightful so feel free to always have the last word.
"I mean [Aljazeera] is way too anti-American to be considered valid. They do nothing but promote anti-semitism and anti-westernism."And if what they report also happens to be true, should we write it off because it doesn't meet our political requirements? What is "anti-Americanism" anyway?
Ryan, I know your question is meant for The Radical Moderate, but I have strong opinions about the "anti-Americanism" question from having lived abroad for nearly 4 years.For starters, I think people in the media tend to focus their reports on exceptions rather than rules. For example, I live in a city of 1.5 million people. If someone gets murdered, then that is news. So whereas 1.5 million people minus one person were not murdering on that day,but that one person is what we are told about as a sign of what's going on. How does that affect how people view reality? Some people have warned me against "driving on the Southside," because it's "dangerous." Now move to the international scale.When I was in New Zealand, I was talking to a girl from Israel. I said to her that coming from America and watching the images from the Middle East on tv, everyone always seemed super emotional. She replied, "that's funny, because that is the same impressions we get of America in the Middle East." Now turning this around, how many times do you turn on the news and hear newscasters discussing what the Iraqis think or what the Saudis think or what what the Israelis think? Kind of like asking what the Americans think, right?When I was in New Zealand, people would apologize to me before bad mouthing Bush policy, because they assumed that I supported whatever policies my country was engaged in. But then how many times have I worried about insulting someone from another country when I disagreed with the policies of their government?Some people can see past labels, and some can't. I haven't read the newspaper in question enough to have ideas on its bias, but I promise you that anti-americanism is every bit as real as anti-iraqiism is. :-( Sigh.
Hey Ryan,I was looking around at Iraqi web sites, and I stumbled into a arabic newspaper. I can't read a word of it, but I noticed it had a political cartoon. There didn't seem to be an index or archive, but if you change the dates, you can see all the old cartoon. :-) It's so interesting. I'm working on a link of it for my blog, but I thought before I went to bed I would send you one. They are distinctly "anti-american." That doesn't bother me though. It all seems perfectly understandable and earned.Cheers, SherylDoes laughing at that cartoon make me "anti-American?" I think the term is nonsense. I wouldn't be surprised if Americans are the only people who use it. Does criticism towards N. Korea's nuclear program make us "anti-Korean"? Of course not, which is why nobody in this country uses the term when discussing the subject. The same is true for "anti-Iraqi." Did you ever hear the administration, media, pundits, ordinary people, etc., ever use that term to describe our position in the build-up to war? Yet we use "anti-American" all the time to describe others, including other Americans--Michael Moore, for example. These are propaganda terms used by governments against their own people to limit debate, discourage dissent, and get people thinking within acceptable boundaries. They cloak the violence that characterizes the relationship between government and the governed in all societies--with government erring on the side of the wealthy and powerful--in a language of nationalism, with "national interest" defined by the state. So, to take Aljazeera as an example, news reporting that does not tread within the realm of "acceptable debate" can be summarily dismissed as "invalid," irrespective of whether it's actually true.
I couldn't think of a better term than "anti-Americanism". Hmm, maybe I'll get a listing in a dictionary somewhere!IMO, any so-called news source which intentionally lies cannot be trusted. It's the whole "Boy who cried wolf" scenario. I looked at the stuff about Control Room, not the movie itself mind you, and it just reinforced my opinion.I am reminded of a conversation I had with a fundamentalist Muslim from Bahrain. He informed me that Israel routinely murdered whole villages of Palestinians and that it is never reported in the Western press. When I pointed out this couldn't be true, he said it was because American media is run by Jews and that the Jewish bosses wouldn't allow anything negative to be said about Israel. This is the type of nonsense that AlJazeera fosters. 'News' organizations such as AlJazeera cannot be trusted and only harm the world. I will not say anymore because anything I added would be very, very uncivil.
RM, I would be the first to agree with you if there was some evidence that this is the case. I've certainly seen that type of nonsense on the internet. But I've never seen anything that outlandish from Aljazeera, so I'm skeptical of the claim.
Hey Ryan, I agree that terms like "anti-Americanism" can clearly be abused. While I was writing a reply to this, I was thinking about it. I think you are right. Calling someone or something anti-american is a little like calling someone a racist. Even when it's true, it's probably not productive to make an issue of it. Sheryl
PS In terms of anti-Americanism by Bush, I think that has to do with his scapegoatism tactics. Here's a URL to a good cartoon about that:http://cagle.slate.msn.com/working/040811/morin.gif
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