Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Partytime in Iraq with Crocker and Montagne

"Residents were welcoming the New Year...celebrations...big parties at Baghdad hotels." - Renee Montagne, ME 1/1/2008.
Too bad I missed the festivities in Iraq; 2007 was such a promising year. To ring in the New Year NPR had Renee Montagne chatting with Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq. Montagne begins with "As he looks back at the year just ended, Ryan Crocker says that some signs of progress in 2007, could make for new challenges in 2008." Uh oh, there's that Progress in Iraq ™ spin again - but new challenges, who knows - maybe she'll ask about the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad, the non-assistance for the 4 million plus refugees, the simmering conflicts in Kurdistan, the danger of arming the "Awakening" Sunnis, the failure of the British in Basra and the extremism there, etc. etc.

Consider how the exchange actually went:

Crocker: "The reduction in violence has led to refugee and displaced persons returned; this is clearly a good thing but it is also a process that has to be carefully managed."

"As young men get out of the militia business, as they have been doing, they need to have another business to get into. There will be a need for further efforts at political reconciliation."

Montagne : "Let's break down those positives and those challenges, starting with political reconciliation."

I assumed Montagne would, at least meekly, challenge this complete lie that refugee and displaced persons have returned. It never came up again, which is typical for NPR's disgraceful coverage of the US-created Iraqi refugee disaster. And then "further...reconciliation." She might have asked how you can have "further" when there hasn't been any!

Montagne does briefly challenge the "Awakening" strategy, asking Crocker if the arming of Sunni groups might "be a threat to reconciliation itself." But she lets Crocker off the hook as he claims that all the arming of groups is being done in a highly organized, systemic manner with "full coordination with the Iraqi central government." As if the US has done one thing in Iraq in such a way!

You have to wonder, as always, what preparation, if any, is done before these interviews. Do the hosts read any independent/dissenting assessments of the Iraq War (Juan Cole, AlterNet, IPS news)? Apparently not. You have to envy these professional liars like Crocker who can go on a news show interview and get away with saying anything they want, no matter how remote from reality it is.

1 comment:

Porter Melmoth said...

Oh, Mytwords, you're just being negative! (Heh-heh.)

Indeed, Crocker has made a whole career out of that fake self-effacing modesty act. He's a major player who's deeply committed to the sham - what other role could he possibly play? To me, NPR is absolutely complicit in the PR machine that Crocker & Corp needs to promote, especially now with the supposed 'lull' in Iraq. It's a no-brainer that part of the Surge deal with the media was that coverage of the daily death in Iraq would be drastically reduced. The Surge has been like a black hole as far as journalistic documentation is concerned. Who knows what the actual reality has been? Objective reporting has been downright banned.

And NPR's breezing along, glad that they stuck by Bush Doctrine while others fell by the wayside. They held steady, like, you know, Bill Kristol has, and now Bill's gettin' his place in the sun at the New York Times. Thus are patience and loyalty rewarded. And NPR wants a piece of that action. Their audience, weary of 'scary' stories out of I-rak, is getting a well-deserved break. Garrels is fuming with self-pity in DC ('Why do they hate me at NPR Check? Why? But I'll show THEM - I shall return!') and Tarabay is shopping in Dubai (sounds boring; not even funny). I guess we won in Iraq, huh?

We can well imagine that NPR gets these plum interviews like Crock-up and other big players, only on the conditions that complete cooperation is assured, with no controversial lines of questioning allowed, and certainly, with final approval rights built in. Another violation of Smith-Mundt. Sure, they let NPR toss in a few token and timid 'probing' questions, just to make them sound credible, but we all know what a joke that is. I think it's controlled to that extent, certainly. No conspiracy theory necessary. BushCorp/Cheney Industries would tolerate nothing less. Nothing can be left to chance.

When Ry Crock appears on Democracy Now!, then maybe I'll pay the slightest attention to his empty life insurance salesman's banter.

Last night at our modest NY's Eve party, we heard some gunshot-sounding fireworks going off down the street. A friend commented, in mock-Petraeus style, 'The Surge is working.' We about fell off our chairs laughing.

Happy New Year, gang. It's the home stretch.