Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney,
You have no complaints.
You are what you are
And you ain’t what you ain’t.
So, listen up Dickie and
Listen up good.
Stop knocking down bad news
And puffin up good…
Vast heartfelt apologies to John Pryne and Dear Abby
As sad eyes read the morning paper’s and view unedited video streamed out of Reuter’s, I see a war growing deeper and more complex while our brave young soldiers continue to resiliently cope with bureaucratically exasperated privation among their other torments. Washington, meanwhile, is beset by the usual cast of characters who look for forests but see only trees amidst the bobbing of the large political heads.
The cell phone shutdown and the resulting loss of picture to the voracious newscorps has the functional leadership regrouping while “The Plan” is either success or shambles. One hears doubt in the raspy voices of the right wing smokers calling to C-SPAN.
In a recently concluded Pentagon briefing, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tried to cast doubt on some of the excellent field reporting we are all reading and watching.
I really doubt whether any of us dwell on the “big picture”stuff that the big heads seem so fixated upon when riveted to these reports.
Is everyone always doomed in a crisis to forget that TV is at its soul-stripping best when passively recording reality? I know that for myself, when watching these men actually performing their duty, I watch their eyes. What I see in their brave eyes I feel is more adequately expressed by these more or less unfettered field reports by men and women, at present, unconcerned with Washington’s real and disinformational media priorities.
It is important to remember that Washington started this present Iraqi War on a hubristic “timetable of our own choosing”. General Myers and Secretary Rumsfeld should have, more than most of us, realized that all soldiers talk and gripe and that men in combat bond emotionally together. It is hard for me to fathom how the Army (which is really one huge resupply machine) could screw up the supply of blankets and food. This is material usually, with typical Army zeal, oversupplied by thousands of units….
Meanwhile, in the north, remember the Airborne parachuting into that beautiful green valley and being met by some CNN whatis? Well, according to David Rohde of The New York Times, “the roughly 2,000 paratroopers and several hundred special operations soldiers on the ground here do not appear to be a large enough force to launch an attack.” The soldiers said “the biggest surprise of their parachute jump, during a miserable night of freezing rain, was the sea of mud they landed in. One paratrooper hit the ground like a spear, soldiers said. Hip-deep in mud, he had to be pulled out by other paratroopers. "It's the muddiest drop zone I've ever landed in," said Captain Eric Baus, 30 of Collingswood, NJ…Four sunny days have allowed the soldiers to dry out, to a certain extent. But those who parachuted in can still be easily identified by uniforms that are caked in dried mud. At night, temperatures are dropping well below freezing, and the soldiers have few tents and sleeping bags and are sleeping in the open. Beneath the luminous stars of northern Iraq, they curl up under their poncho liners and shiver. "The poncho liner helps," Specialist Tuttle said. "But it's pretty thin…’I didn't expect it be so green,’ said Captain Baus, who joked that the Americans tan desert camouflage uniforms were out of place. ‘I kind of feel like it's a black tie affair and we showed up wearing red.’”
Photo: White House/Susan Sterner