Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Letter to John Tierney

Here's an email I wrote to NY Times columnist John Tierney in response to today's column in which he laments the plethora of news stories covering the spate of suicide bombings in Iraq. Mr. Tierney believes the military shouldn't tell the press when these bombings happen so that Americans won't be so bummed out by all of the "bad news" coming out Iraq.

Mr. Tierney,

Are the odds of a person in Iraq being blown up on any one day pretty miniscule? Surely. Are the odds that they will be blown up in post-war Iraq better than the odds they would have been blown up in pre-war Iraq, even with Saddam in power? Surely. Are the odds they will be killed in a violent attack better because the Bush Administration screwed up the post-war phase by trying to make the place into a free market playground called Bremerland rather than a safe country with much of its nationalized political structures left intact from the Saddam era. Surely.

That's why these suicide bombings need to be covered, Mr. Tierney. Because they wouldn't be happening as much, or at all, if the Bushies had sufficiently planned for the post-war phase (see General Shinseki). Because the Bush Administration believed its own bullshit (see Rummy and Wolfie), we have the current situation in Iraq and the spate of suicide bombings.

But let's take your "If you've seen one suicide bomber, you've seen them all" attitude and extrapolate it a bit. Let's say a couple of suicide bombers walk into Penn Station and Grand Central next Thanksgiving Wednesday wearing heavy overcoats and lots of explosive. Let's say they blow a bunch of people to smithereens, along with themselves, and short circuit the Christmas shopping season in NYC and states all across the country, costing the U.S. economy millions of dollars. Let's say this act triggers an economic slowdow or a recession, a distinct possibility since the only thing keeping the American economic house of cards afloat is consumer spending (and credit card debt). Let's say several more suicide bombers find there way into a few other cities across the nation directly after the first domestic bombings, further panicking an already crazed public.

Would those suicide bomber stories be worth covering? Surely there wouldn't be anything new in slaughtered innocents or an anxious public, even if it was occuring domestically rather than overseas. After all, haven't the Israelis dealt with these problems for years? Didn't the Brits have to duck IRA boms every time they went to Harrods in the 70's? So let's put the NYC suicide bomber stories on B6 and cover the really important stories, like Social Security privatization and tax code "reform", on A1.

Sorry, Mr. Tierney, I don't buy your argument. And judging from the turn in polls on the Iraq situation, most Americans wouldn't buy it either. You and the rest of the Bush media toadies sold Americans a quick and cheap war where they could kick some Arab ass after 9/11 and make themselves feel better. Instead, jihadis and regime elements have derailed the Bush plan to bring free market "democracy" to Bremerland and have instead sowed discord and possibly civil war. All at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of Iraqi and American lives.

Well done, Mr. Tierney. I hope you send some condolence cards to the families of the 1607 American military personnel killed in this stupid war.

PS: If you are in such favor of the war, why don't you join up? You and Jonah Goldberg and David Brooks and Ann Coulter and all of the rest of the toadies should put your money where your mouths are and carry some of the burden for the war. I bet the Reserves would take you, Mr. Tierney, despite your age. Then you could cover the suicide bombings first hand from Iraq as an Army reservist instead of a domestic newspaper columnist!

Amazing. Where do these sons of bitches get their nerve.

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