PEACE IN IRAQ : "IN SIX MONTHS...SIX TO NINE MONTHS...THE NEXT FEW MONTHS...WEEKS TO MONTHS"
AMERICA'S HIGHEST PAID COLUMNIST EXPOSED AS MAJOR 'IRAQ DEADLINE SHIFTER'
UPDATE ON IRAQ GOVERNMENT FORMATION : The new Iraq government is expected to finalise the last two key cabinet posts tonight and make some big announcements over the weekend. Hopefully some sense of staibility of government will help bring the calvacade of bombings, executions and deaths from malnutrition to an end.
Germany and Japan, after the end of World War II, were used as reference points in 2004 by Donald Rumsfeld to show it can take a few years for a country to stabilise and "find its legs" once the old regime has been overthrown. But Germany and Japan were looking pretty calm compared to Iraq, by mid-1948.
The civilian death toll is ratcheting up to an utterly appalling 1500 to 2000 civilians per month and the middle classes are evacuating not only their homes in the more upscale areas of Baghdad, but numerous other cities as well. They're the lucky ones. They can afford to get out. The rest have to stay, they have nowhere to go.
By Monday, we should know something of what the new government is planning to do for its people, and how this will effect the length of time Australian, British and US forces will remain in the country.
Thomas Friedman has been one of the biggest War On Iraq cheerleaders in the US media.
He's also a big fan of globalisation, free trade and something akin to a New World Order, with the US at the head of the table. He writes for the New York Times as one of the high profile columnists you have to pay to read, and he's easily now one of the highest paid columnists/commentators in the world.
But just how much is his punditry actually worth?
If you look at his comments from the start of the Iraq War up to today on just how long the US will need to stay in Iraq, "to get the job done" then it's clear his words of wisdom are worth very little at all.
So how much longer will the US need to stay in Iraq, Thomas?
"The next six months in Iraq -- which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there -- are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time." (The New York Times, Nov. 30, 2003)
"What we're gonna find out, Bob, in the next six to nine months is whether we have liberated a country or uncorked a civil war." (CBS's Face the Nation, Oct. 3, 2004)
"Improv time is over. This is crunch time. Iraq will be won or lost in the next few months. But it won't be won with high rhetoric. It will be won on the ground in a war over the last mile." (The New York Times, Nov. 28, 2004)
"I think we're in the end game now…. I think we're in a six-month window here where it's going to become very clear and this is all going to pre-empt I think the next congressional election -- that's my own feeling -- let alone the presidential one." (NBC's Meet the Press, Sept. 25, 2005)
"We've teed up this situation for Iraqis, and I think the next six months really are going to determine whether this country is going to collapse into three parts or more or whether it's going to come together." (Face the Nation, Dec. 18, 2005)
"The only thing I am certain of is that in the wake of this election, Iraq will be what Iraqis make of it -- and the next six months will tell us a lot. I remain guardedly hopeful." (The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2005)
"I think that we're going to know after six to nine months whether this project has any chance of succeeding. In which case, I think the American people as a whole will want to play it out or whether it really is a fool's errand." (Oprah Winfrey Show, Jan. 23, 2006)
"I think we are in the end game. The next six to nine months are going to tell whether we can produce a decent outcome in Iraq." (NBC's Today, March 2, 2006)
"Can Iraqis get this government together? If they do, I think the American public will continue to want to support the effort there to try to produce a decent, stable Iraq. But if they don't, then I think the bottom is going to fall out of public support here for the whole Iraq endeavor. So one way or another, I think we're in the end game in the sense it's going to be decided in the next weeks or months whether there's an Iraq there worth investing in. And that is something only Iraqis can tell us." (CNN, April 23, 2006)
"Well, I think that we're going to find out, Chris, in the next year to six months -- probably sooner -- whether a decent outcome is possible there, and I think we're going to have to just let this play out." (MSNBC's Hardball, May 11, 2006)
Another stunning set of examples of just how blind Iraq War cheerleaders can be to the events on the ground, and it also raises some serious questions about just what the role of a columnist/commentator like Friedman actually is when it comes to events like an American led attack on (and invasion of) an unarmed country.
Unbiased commentator? Or government PR flake/hack?
This would be hilarious, if the deaths of thousands of Americans, dozens of Fijians and Italians, more than a hundred Brits, at least one Australian and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians were not involved.
(Source for quotes : Editor And Publisher)
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