September 25, 2004

Pay No Attention To The Bomb Behind The Curtain

As Bush continues a sunny residence in his fantasy world of spin, foreigners living in Iraq are seeing a different picture. This Newsweek article opens with a description of a carbomb killing 18 people that barely made the news, coming as it did on a day when the beheaded corpse of an American kidnap victim was found:

...Much of that media, ourselves included, were in virtual hiding last week, as were nearly all foreign civilians ...Heavily armed convoys of contractors' SUVs, once a common sight, have all but disappeared from busy roads. "The only serious reconstruction going on now," says one Western businessman, "is inside the Green Zone," the heavily fortified area that houses Iraqi government and American Embassy offices, and is guarded by an entire U.S. Army brigade.

...Many foreign companies have suspended operations. Their staffs are staying off the streets, and others are refusing to come in to replace those rotating out. ...Even major news organizations are finding it difficult to staff the story: "We just can't find senior correspondents who will come to Iraq now," says the bureau chief for one major American newspaper.

...U.S. officials deny speculation that many embassy staffers have been leaving Iraq recently. However, the State Department has had a hard time staffing the embassy in Baghdad, which is only at 50 to 60 percent of authorized strength, one official says, despite pay bonuses of 50 percent and more. "The only thing that will get people there is money," says an official in Washington. ...

Better to have your head than send home one last, extra big paycheck, I guess.

Where's the television ad with Bush spouting off some silliness about how things are on the right track in Iraq, or that democracy is on the march, interspersed with selected readings from an article like this one? Make the contrast clear. You can't just say he's lying, even though that's readily apparent, you've got to show it.

Posted by natasha at September 25, 2004 09:28 PM | Iraq | Technorati links |