Monday, December 22, 2003

So, who actually caught Saddam?

There has been a lot of discussion about the media's handling of the invasion of Iraq. Specifically, most of the big stories have been broken by the foreign press and then slowly - if ever - trickled out into the American press. This is surprising but not so when you think about how controlled the American press is, especially television - which has become a mind-numbing tool, drugging Americans with celebrity, sports, and crime nonsense.
Recently, another writer friend of mine was in Montreal on vacation. He emailed me - and others - about a newcast he saw on the CBC showing American soldiers shooting into a pro-Saddam rally. The majority of the people in the rally were women and children. He was shocked by the footage and wondered how the American press covered the event. When he returned to the states a few days later, he emailed some of us about the incident and was shocked that there was nothing in the print media about the incident. We didn't see any of this on American television either, as many of us mentioned to him. All we have seen are anti-Saddam men shooting their AKs into the sky in jubilation.
Then, there are these reports that the Kurds actually caught Saddam Hussein and may have been holding him until the American soldiers could come and get him:
["We got him: Kurds say they caught Saddam"]
["Saddam was held by Kurdish forces, drugged and left for US troops"]
["Revealed: Who really found Saddam?"].
I find the last post interesting, especially in light of what we have seen and heard. Hussein reportedly told American soldiers that he was willing to negotiate a release. The American soldiers reportedly told him that they had a message from George W. Bush. Then there is the issue of the bunker which really was more like a jail when you look at it. Unless you weren't looking at it as a jail cell. So, was he being held or was he hiding? In the end, we may never know. As Winston Churchill once said, "The first casualty of War is always Truth."

Another timely quote ...
"The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain." - John Adams
I wonder when - if ever - that our children will be able to perfect the art of music, art, and peace, instead of being paid to to perfect the art of war and death. Maybe it will be my children. Maybe yours. But I do know that Americans really have to start thinking - and working - towards a higher level.

Nice Kucinich piece
Once again, Yvonne Abraham proves why she is one of Boston's best political reporters: ["Undeterred, Kucinich keeps on"]. She puts you right into the moment. Abraham even quotes local musician Laurie Sargaent, whose The Twinemen, is one of Boston's hottest new trios. Nice stuff.

New Hampshire voter is anything but typical
The Sunday Concord Monitor did a great analysis of the voters of New Hampshire and how much they have changed over the years. Unfortunately, it isn't posted online yet so I will have to post it later.

It's about time ...
America Coming Together is starting to target blue-collar voters in a number of states: ["Democratic-linked group targets blue-collar voters"]. It is about time. However, if the Democrats nominate a free trader, it won't work.

Latest poll numbers
The Concord Monitor Sunday released a poll showing Howard Dean way ahead of everyone in New Hampshire: Dean with 41 percent, John Kerry with 17 percent, Wesley Clark with 13 percent, and both John Edwards and Joe Lieberman at 6 percent. It should be noted also that President Bush would clobber the entire field in the general election. Kerry had the best numbers against Bush - 55 to 40. As an aside, the Monitor also published an overview of polls by Research 2000 from March until now. In March, Kerry had 38 percent, Lieberman had 20 percent, and Dean had 11 percent. It is amazing what a military invasion can do to a presidential campaign. In June, Kerry was still leading - with 30 percent, with Dean at 21 percent, Dick Gephardt at 11 percent, and Lieberman at 10 percent. By October though, Dean was way out in front: Dean at 33 percent, Kerry down to 18 percent, and Clark at 14 percent.