As I read up from other sites today and received the latest news on Cindy Sheehan and her brave vigil with everyone who supports her (including, I would suspect, anyone who may be reading this), I recalled reading the Smirking Chimp column today by Bill Berkowitz on the film that Michael Moore is preparing and the drug companies’ apoplexy over it because Berkowitz mentioned the “Truth Tour to Iraq” in his column.
You remember that, right? This was the stunt organized by a bunch of conservative loudmouths and funded by the usual suspects (Move America Forward, Free Republic, the PR firm Russo, Marks and Rogers, which had ties to the Gray Davis Recall campaign – and with Ahh-nold’s popularity sinking, doesn’t that look smart now?) in an effort to show, once and for all, that everything is just peachy in Iraq and it is all the fault of that dreaded liberal media for reporting otherwise.
Well, I did some investigation to find out who the people were who went over to Iraq (in response to the tour Sean Penn organized a little while back), and here they are: Melanie Morgan, Howard Kaloogian, Mark Williams, LT. Col. Buzz Patterson, Martha Zoller, Michael Graham, Brad Maaske, and Dan Hare.
Most of these people are right-wing shouters in the San Francisco area, and Kaloogian is a failed ultra-conservative candidate for the Senate, among other activities. I know about Williams personally because he spent time on WWDB, the former talk show radio station in this area, in the late 90s. During that time, we were served the requisite dose of anti-Clinton bile, which played well with some because Williams gave a younger, fresher face to conservative intolerance.
Brad Maaske wrote something on a message board somewhere and noted that, golly, he was actually a half mile away from a suicide bomber! Wonder how our people who were a hell of a lot closer to that made out?
As for Graham, he wrote a column during his visit which I will link to here (if you read it, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you toss cookies). Please note that none of his quotes are attributed to our service people by name, and he admits to his pro-Bush bias in the course of writing something he fancies as a “news” report.
I’m not going to highlight every one of these shills, but I’ll just add this item and this item from the good people at Media Matters for America to show Melanie Morgan’s lack of credibility, and leave it at that.
(Oh, one more thing – Itsez has a quote from Newt Gingrich about Iraq today which is unusually informed for such an obnoxious blowhard. The participants in the “Truth Tour” should read what he has to say.)
Oh, I can hear some people now – “He’s just so negative and against everything our people are trying to do in Iraq.”
That’s wrong of course. If people want to fly over to Iraq and have a bunch of publicity visits with our people and take photos with them in friendly locations, that’s fine. I’m all for anything that helps build morale. Only DON’T pass it off as the real story of what’s going on. Bob Hope used to put on great shows for our people overseas and made great personal sacrifices for them, but he didn’t pretend for a minute that he was a politician or anything approximating a media correspondent sent there to report on a story (he was conservative to be sure, but he had the right to be that way, even though I definitely did not agree with him).
I respectfully ask that you consider all of this as you read the item from this link posted to The Daily Kos. It is a truly wonderful Email by a man named Perry Jeffries to that alleged human being named Larry Northern who mowed down the crosses at Camp Casey with his pickup truck. It is one of the finest correspondences that I have ever read. THIS is about genuine human life and death depicted with true eloquence, not some arranged, approved, orchestrated media show.
Finally, never forget what Bushco and their sycophants had to say about Northern’s disgusting, contemptible actions. Nothing. And I don’t want to hear a word from them about it now. Bushco had another “gut check” regarding the war in Iraq they started, and they failed again.
Update 8/19: Support Democratic Senator Russ Feingold as he calls on Bushco to do something they probably will do anyway before the elections next year.