December 7, 2006

No Wonder Daddy's Crying

By Mary Lyon

No wonder Daddy's crying, and no wonder I'm still shaking my head. I've looked at this Iraq Study Group, listened to the coverage, read the analysis, and I'm still - well - underwhelmed. I guess one might feel that way if the most strenuous exercise one gets these days is trying to keep the "I Told You So's" sucked in along with one's expanding holiday gut.

So what is it I'm really seeing here? The report itself (yawn.) is a nicely-bound book of fig leaves. WE could have told George W. Bush - AND the rest of the American people who bought the BS - ALL of this, and quite some time ago, too. I guess George never did bother to listen to his dad, with his experience and insights about Iraq and its neighborhood. He certainly wasn't listening to any of us on the anti-war front, nor to any of the experts who spoke as loudly as they could from their state of burial way down in the back of the front sections of our nation's great newspapers. I doubt he really was listening to his "higher father," unless it was some case of mistaken identity about who was really speaking to him. Frankly, I doubt if Dubya's going to listen to his other "higher father," James Baker, now, either. The last time he paid attention to Baker was when he stood to profit from it - as Baker undoubtedly told him how he was going to work certain Supreme Court justices to win a favorable vote over the Florida recount. I'm guessing he doesn't like what Baker has to say to him now.

So let's see - the Iraq Exercise in Futility Group has spoken. (Yawn.) Sorry, I'm just really underwhelmed. Sometimes it makes me feel as though I'd get more out of going to George-the-41 st and having a good cry with him than to hold out much realistic hope for any progress here. If I were you, Poppy, I'd be sobbing in public, too, knowing what my miscreant spawn has done to Iraq, AND to America, and, let's not forget good ol' Afghanistan. I'd have another good cry over the coverage - and how almost every news report and commentary about the ISG's verdicts seems to end by questioning whether Junior is going to pay any attention to it. Perhaps if you don't like to read, anyway, you're not apt to be all that interested in reading the writing on the wall, either.

As we look into the Iraq Study Group's efforts, it's like the proverbial onion being slowly peeled layer by layer. The initial reports about the findings were annoyingly predictable: try diplomacy (especially with the folks you've been dissing in public), regroup the troops, start bringing some of 'em home, pressure the Iraqi government to start walking on its own because, like a manipulative toddler, it's grown much too heavy for Mom or Dad to keep carrying around all the time anymore. The ISG report says the present policies aren't working, and we need to make changes. No DUH! And how much money did we spend for the group members to find this out? I could have told you myself for a whole lot cheaper. Yeah, yeah. Heard it. Seen it. Already got it from a whole bunch of those dumb ol' "cut and run" Democrats - for months, and even a year or so in some cases. Even yelled it at my TV whenever some White House jerk or republi-CON excuse-maker showed up to press the old "stay the course" crapola. Heck, I've even heard it from the disgraced-and-replaced Donald Rumsfeld by now.

What's more intriguing will be the second-day and third-day leads (and beyond) that are bound to come out from here on, as the media settles in with the report and takes more time to read and digest it. Now that the initial deadlines have been met, we're starting to see stories that emphasize a bit more of the fine print: the Bush administration repeatedly cooked the books on the facts coming out of Iraq, which, according to Editor & Publisher , is pointed out near the end of the report - specifically page 93. "Underreporting," they're calling it. NOW we're starting to hit pay-dirt. We're now told, albeit still in semi-uncertain terms, that we've been lied to. The truth about how much violence and chaos really occurs over there, just in one random sample day, has been downplayed by "more than 1000 percent." ONE THOUSAND PERCENT.

"Iraq Study Group Settles Debate Over 'Negative' War Coverage" -

Well, Bush-fans, that must be why "we never hear about all the good stuff that's happening in Iraq " anymore. BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ANY, THAT'S WHY!!! Hello? You listening? Or are you just waiting for the White House cherry-picking to resume? After all, that's how they found the "intelligence" they needed to justify the war to begin with. Let's see them pan for the nuggets they need here, to cover what I'd bet is Young George's preference for digging in and never admitting mistakes - let alone atoning for them. There's gotta be something in there to make it okay to stay the course. Far more important to save face than to save lives. Even growing numbers of mainstream media people can't avoid use of the term "civil war" anymore. At least they don't' have the stomach for glossing over that part of it, any longer. "Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals," we're now told. Intelligence manipulated to fit the policy and decisions that were already made - 2.0. Isn't it time we stopped the tip-toeing altogether and say it straight out? We've been lied to. No wonder Daddy's crying - over there next to the latest batch of nice, fresh Iraq war widows.

George-the-43 rd is supposed to present a brand new serving of - no, not plastic turkey on a photo-friendly platter, this time. Now, it's gonna be slightly-adjusted policies on Iraq , new and improved, of course - and maybe by the end of the year. Yeah. Sure. Tony Snow says they hope to "announce a new way forward." I'll believe that when I see it. I'm surprised Tony hasn't fallen back, yet again, on that pathetic stalling tactic in which we're told we have to wait and see what happens over the next six months. Yes. The next six months will tell it. We've been getting that "next six months" garbage for six-month multiples. How many troops, on average, are killed or horribly maimed, during even one of those "next six months" intervals? How many innocent Iraqis are slaughtered in one of those timeframes?

This is really getting old. However it's packaged - in a big-ticket, big-name "study group" with all its gravitas and its many marquee-value names on the letterhead, the message is the same. This is a royal botch job. A BUSH botch job. It is his war, after all, the one he just had to have, over the objections of the many millions of us who now have to point to these fancy-schmancy blue-ribbon panels to tell us what we already knew. Go ahead and cry, Daddy. It's about time you saw it the way we did.

Visualize IMPEACHMENT!!!
Then go DO something about it.


Mary Lyon is a veteran broadcaster and five-time Golden Mike Award winner who has anchored, reported, and written for the Associated Press Radio Network, NBC Radio "The Source," and many Los Angeles-area stations including KRTH-FM/AM, KLOS-FM, KFWB-AM, and KTLA-TV, and occasional media analyst for ABC Radio News.  Mary began her career as a liberal activist with the Student Coalition for Humphrey / Muskie in 1968 and helped spearhead a regional campaign, The Power 18, to win the right to vote for 18-year-olds. She remains an advocate for liberal causes, responsibility and accountability in media, environmental education and support of the arts for children, and green living. Mary writes for,, World News Trust, and's We! Magazine. Mary is also a parenting expert, having written and illustrated the book "The Frazzled Working Woman's Practical Guide to Motherhood."

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