Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday

50 die in Iraq

Bombings and shootings killed up to 55 people on Tuesday, including at least 23 Iraqi soldiers, undermining the new government's attempts to convince Iraqis it could improve security.
Iraqi policemen inspect the wreckage of a bus containing the remains of killed soldiers near Tikrit.

But it's not on teevee because the Israeli-Hezbollah bloodletting is the war de jour. It has a plot that's easier to follow and we Americans must think we're winning this one, because that's what Faux and CNN are dishing out.

Frank Rich:
. . . . CNN will surely remind us today that it is Day 19 of the Israel-Hezbollah war — now branded as Crisis in the Middle East — but you won’t catch anyone saying it’s Day 1,229 of the war in Iraq. On the Big Three networks’ evening newscasts, the time devoted to Iraq has fallen 60 percent between 2003 and this spring, as clocked by the television monitor, the Tyndall Report.

This is happening even as the casualties in Iraq, averaging more than 100 a day, easily surpass those in Israel and Lebanon combined.

The steady falloff in Iraq coverage isn’t happenstance. It’s a barometer of the scope of the tragedy. For reporters, the already apocalyptic security situation in Baghdad keeps getting worse, simply making the war more difficult to cover than ever. The audience has its own phobia: Iraq is a bummer. “It is depressing to pay attention to this war on terror,” said Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly on July 18. “I mean, it’s summertime.” Americans don’t like to lose, whatever the season. They know defeat when they see it, no matter how many new plans for victory are trotted out to obscure that reality.
Booksellers report that there have been an explosion of works published on Iraq, but the American people are not buying them. They have become curiously incurious about Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI).

Photo:REUTERS/Sabah al-Bazee