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Bummed. . .


is what Kate and I are that we have not yet been subjected to the wartime discomforts of our NR colleagues: the dankness, the insomnia, the unfixed gutters. We too would like to make our sacrifice. So. . . no microwave popcorn as we watch Peter Jennings—a clear twofer. And, we’re undertaking the tiresome task of updating our rolodexes with the HUGE distraction of the televised war. Let no one say that we haven’t given at the office.

Operation Iraqi


Best comment yet on this, from a reader: “As you have probably guessed,
this clunky name was not the Pentagon’s first choice for the Iraqi war. It
is my understanding that the DOD brass wanted to call it ‘Operation Zionist
Infidel Crusader,’ but for some reason the State Department objected.
Meanwhile, Tom Daschle wanted to call it ‘Operation Failed Diplomacy,’ but
the administration was cool to that suggestion. Karl Rove, I am told,
pushed hard for ‘Operation Aren’t You Glad Gore Isn’t President,’ but at the
last minute, saner heads prevailed.” I believe that in Pyongyang they are
calling it “Operation Better Get that Uranium Processed PDQ”….


My Favorite...


…TV moment from last night. Shep says that he’s about to cut to Al-Jazeera video of tank movements. I’m thinking, “Wait, a minute–they must be with the Iraqi tanks!” Turns out that al-Jazeera was–I’m guessing, because Shep just dropped the whole thing–using CNN video (which was, I hate to say, pretty compelling last night).

Web Briefing: July 13, 2014

What The Surrender Looks Like



Report: Turks Will Allow Overflights


ANKARA, March 21, 2003
Turkey has agreed to allow U.S. aircraft to fly over its territory for a
war with Iraq, a Turkish military official said.
Two air corridors will be opened for the U.S. aircraft, the official
said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
The U.S. flights will begin immediately, a private Turkish television
station reported. A Turkish military official said two air corridors
will be opened for the U-S aircraft.
There was no confirmation at the State Department or by other U.S.
[But here's where it gets interesting--emphasis mine.]
Turkey had delayed opening its airspace to U.S. warplanes, insisting the
United States agree to its demands to move troops into northern Iraq.
Secretary of State Colin Powell chided Turkey for dragging its feet on
the issue, saying “we don’t see any need for any Turkish incursions into
northern Iraq.”
It was not immediately known if the U.S. had granted Turkey this

Allowing Turkish troops in northern Iraq would bring them into conflict
with Kurdish guerillas there
, reports CBS News Correspondent Allen
Pizzey. The Kurds say they would welcome U.S. troops, but Turks would
only be welcome if they were also under U.S. Control….”



Military expert and occasional NR contributor John Hillen’s quick take:
“We took about 48 hours, because we thought maybe we could end it by
decapitating them. We looked around for someone to bargain with,
something we’ll read about in the next Woodward book. That experimental
stage to see if we could get peace with one bullet has ended, and now
we’re doing what would, in the original plan, done on the first night.
It was a risk worth taking, and who knows, we might have gotten Saddam

U.S.-Turkey Stand-Off?


Just talked to a very keen observer of the Turks.
Here’s his take: “It’s very, very bad. We either let them do it, and
carve the north up w/ them, or you say, `There’s no doubt about this,
you can’t go in.’ We’ve more or less extended our protection n to the
Kurds. Which means that there could be a US-Turk battle. I don’t think
so, but it could happen. It would be very bad.
There was a meeting between the Turks and the Iranians last week, and
I’m sure the Iranians said, `Let’s divide up the north.’ You either let
them do it, or you have to stop them, there’s no halfway house.
I always argued, `Why don’t we just a deal with the Turks?’ But we
didn’t do that. I blame the diplomacy here—the administration doesn’t
seem to have really done their homework.
The good news is that it hasn’t happened yet. So, the Turks are
obviously nervous about it. I think the Turks can still be frightened
off. We would have to tell them, `If you want to go in, you’ve got to
let us through and go in with us.’”

Why Why Why?


Does Ari Fleischer let Helen Thomas ask questions all the time, nevermind THE FIRST ONE.



I shouldn’t have published the last line of that CNN post…who knows if it was deliberate or biased or not. I seasoned ex-tv journalist sends this:

I really am emailing to respond to your corner posting “CNN’s Rumsfeld Treatment” about the audio levels of the bombing being raised during a particular portion of Rumsfeld’s speech. While it is possible that was done on purpose and for the effect you claim, it is entirely more likely that it was completely unintentional and due to any number of factors:
1) the tape was cut with no audio off the top for whatever reason and then when it ran past a specific point, audio was left on and the control room was caught by surprise.
2) some crazy producer was screaming at the director/a.d. because there were these beautiful silent pictures dying for some audio, and the tech boys just pumped it up at an inopportune moment
3) the audio guy just slipped

Many, many things happen at CNN by mistake. That’s the nature of 24-7 t.v. As a former employee, the only time I automatically assume bias is when Judy Woodruff (or her husband) happen to be speaking. Outside of that, I generally (I said generally) give them the benefit of the doubt.

The Dow


is up 135 points right now, btw.

Yes But...


We all know who runs Wall Street.

Basra Seems to Be Falling


Wall Street


seems to be getting this war.

G-File Up, Btw G-File Up, Btw




Another reader e-mails:

I just overheard a colleague, who is the wife of a
soldier in the Gulf, say “I can’t wait for him to come
home so I can give him a big Freedom kiss”!

Another reason why I should’ve joined the Service.

Cnn’s Rumsfeld Treatment


I only caught part of this because I was flipping, but a reader caught the whole thing, sounds like I thought I caught:

CNN is using a split screen to show the Rumsfeld press conference, and also replay the most spectacular Baghdad footage. The sound on the replay footage was off. But when Rumsfeld began advising that the bombing was discriminate and controlled, they turned up the sound. Turned it up so much, in fact, it came close to drowning out Rumsfeld’s remarks.

The effect was to make Rumsfeld’s statements appear laughable.

Someone at CNN made a deliberate and very suspicious decision.

Well Said


From a reader:

Mr. Goldberg,
I’m 50 with no military experience.
Does anyone else get lulled into complacency? Our soldiers only die in accidents! The Iraqis will surrender en masse! We’ll go to Baghdad in a cakewalk! The TV images reinforce that.

But that complacency disparages the dedication and discipline of these young
soldiers; from time to time, I realize that wherever they are in this war,
whatever they are doing, they are doing their jobs with a degree of courage
I’m unfamiliar with.



Who is this guy at the Rumsfeld briefing?

Rubbing It In


I’ve been trying to finish a book proposal in the time you guys have nearly finished a book.

Not Over


“Several hundred military targets will be hit in the coming hours.” –Gen. Meyers, just now.


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