PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

March 30, 2008

Let’s Go to the Tape

I feel like I’m beating up on George Bush tonight, so I’m going to start this one off with Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.  But I will get to W soon enough.

My friends and family know me as something of a gadget guy.  Though I don’t usually have the disposable income to get the latest and greatest (I’ve been known to lead the kids past a big-screen tv at Best Buy and say “I could have one of those if I didn’t have to feed and clothe you.”), I’m usually at least passingly knowledgeable on the trends.

So it’s my great pleasure to introduce to you, the loyal readers of PCMS (or people just passing through; I’ll spread the seeds of knowledge willy-nilly) to a fascinating new technology.  I know you’ll find it hard to believe, but our scientists have now made it possible to point a box with a glass lense on it at one or more subjects and — make sure you’re sitting down — record what they do and say!!!

What’s that you say?    You’ve heard of this technology before?  Well, apparently Barack Obama’s former pastor, Hilary Clinton, and White House Spokesperson Dana Perino haven’t. 

By now, you’ve heard and read about the controversies surrounding recordings of the Reverand Jeremiah Wright’s sermons, some of which (Obama would say a very few of which) contained some fairly strident, anti-white (or anti-rich white) comments.  Obama gave ahat was IMHO a brilliant speech to try to not-so-much diffuse the issue, but to take the discussion to a new level.  I commented on the speech in a previous post, and St. Louis columnist Kevin Horrigan has an interesting column on the Post Dispatch website wondering if the speech wasn’t too intellectual for the general public. So I’m not going to rehash that.

On a number of occasions this campaign season, Senator Clinton has attempted to boost her foreign-policy cred by recalling a particularly harrowing trip she took to Bosnia back when she was First Lady. As she recalled it in a number of speeches, a welcoming ceremony on the airstrip was canceled due to heavy sniper fire, and the delegation had to run to their vehicles with their heads down. Then that nasty technology popped up, and video surfaced of Clinton emerging from the plane, daughter Chelsea by her side. They distinctly did not run, heads down, to their armored vehicles. Instead, they crossed to a waiting group, listened as a young girl read a poem she had composed for them, and accepted something from her.

“Well, what was I going to do,” Clinton asked, when confronted with the tale of the tape, “walk past this poor little girl? We ran to the vehicles after that.” More tape, more not running. Much handshaking and smiling and talking with soldiers, but no running and ducking, no sense of danger. Confronted with this additional evidence, she copped only to “misspeaking”, and blamed it on being overtired. Hopefully when she gets that 3 a.m. phone call, she won’t be misspeak and tell them to “attack” instead of “read poetry”.

At least Senator Clinton admitted to saying what she was quoted as saying. On his blog last week, reporter Eric Brewer recounted an exchange with White House Press Secretary Dana Perino regarding a speech the President had given on the anniversary of the beginning of the war. In the speech, the President warned that Al Qaeda might seize Iraq’s oil reserves and use them to damage the world economy.

There’s that fictional Al-Qaeda/Iraq connection again (yes, I know, he meant Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but that’s not what he said, and let’s face it, most of the public just isn’t hip enough on the difference to let the statement pass with a “well, everyone knows what he meant” shrug, like when he uses the non-existent word “nucular”), but that’s not what made me sit up and take note. Actually, that was because I think Ms Perino is kindof cute, and respect her for appearing on Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me, an NPR current events quiz show that regularly makes fun of her boss, but that’s neither here nor there in this discussion. What is important is that the President is now using Iraqi oil as a threat.

Remember when the war started, and the cynics pointed out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and that the U.N. inspectors had determined that Saddam Hussein didn’t have WMD, and that the only reasons to attack Iraq would be to avenge Hussein’s attempted assassination of George H. W. Bush and to control Iraq’s oil reserves? And remember when those cynics were branded as unpatriotic, and we were assured that we weren’t in Iraq for the oil? Well, now, 5 years and 4000 deaths later, we’re finally getting indications that, well, maybe the administration might have misspoken when they said we weren’t interested in the oil.

And Ms Perino’s explanation for the administration’s change of objective? Well, she didn’t really have one. She just denied that that’s what the President said and accused Brewer of taking the comments out of context.

Video of both the Perino/Brewer exchange and Bush’s comments are available at ThinkProgress.org. The text of the full speech is available at the White House web site.

The 300 Project: 18/59

An ONYDer Double-Header

Filed under: Entertainment — CPav @ 10:51 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Both of these ONYD quotes occurred a couple weeks ago, but I’m running late on clearing through some of my “I have to comment on that” notes, so I figured rather than roll up my post count, I’d combine them in a two-for-one deal.

On March 13, according to Reuters, President Bush called the Iraq war “romantic”, and said that he “env[ied]” the soldiers serving there.  This from the man who, in the best light, enlisted in the National Guard to avoid going to Vietnam (back in those days, there was a draft, so the National Guard stayed home to…well, guard the nation).  The full quote from Reuters’ article:

“I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

“It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

A couple weeks later, in an interview with Martha Radditz, the same interviewer to whom he uttered his previous ONYDer, Vice-President Cheney told us who the true victim in the whole Iraq mess was:

“The president carries the biggest burden, obviously…He’s the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm’s way for the rest of us.”

Cheney also makes reference to the fact that many of the brave men and women who are currently serving in the military signed up in a surge of patriotism following 9/11, an interesting statement which, while factual (enlistments did increase after the terrorist attacks), once again draws the false tie between Iraq and 9/11 that the administration so loves, and totally ignores the fact that many of them are being forced to stay on in Iraq or Afghanistan, or return there following the end of their originally agreed upon enlistment period due to the military’s “stop loss” policy.

And that doesn’t even include the folks who joined the National Guard (as Bush did in the 60s) to defend the country, only to find themselves fighting abroad (as Bush didn’t), and forced to stay there after their enlistment. Be honest. Prior to Iraq, did anyone really associate the National Guard with armed combat overseas?

But at least they’re living the romance.

The 300 Project: 17/58

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