How many new schools were opened in Iraq today? How much extra crude oil was pumped into the tankers leaving Basra this week? How many more local and regional councils were, for the first time in the country's history, freely elected all across Iraq last month? Where did the terrorists get the VX nerve gas they planned to attack Amman, Jordan with in March? What's the home state of the young woman seen in a photograph that was taken last year and, until now, was being used as untainted evidence in a criminal investigation?
est Virginia. That's the only answer you've got if you were trying to get some from AOL News
to any of those questions. But it wasn't about the source of that much more real and deadly form of gas:
Updated: 08:19 PM EDT
More Bad News May Be on the Way for Bush
By TERENCE HUNT, AP
"For Bush." Not for the six or seven actual abusers of Iraqi detainees. Not for Rumsfeld. Not for the Department of Defense. Not for any generals. Not for our military. Not for the United States of America. Just Bush.
WASHINGTON (May 8) - In one of the darkest weeks of his administration,
Just like those that began with this:
President Bush saw America's reputation sullied, the U.S. effort in Iraq damaged and his own campaign for re-election clouded. And more bad news may be on the way.
"For him" and "I hope" you forgot to scribble in there, Hunt. As far as sullying our reputation, that's only in the eyes of those who already hate America's guts, including the Asshaturated Press. Had Saddam Hussein ordered leashes tied on the men, women and children he was about to send off to their mass graves, his reputation might have been as sullied as it should have been in those exact same eyes—that is, before America and her real friends "unilaterally" put a permanent end to his own special brand of prisoner humiliation—but I doubt it.
Ask the relatives of the "abused" we're still digging out of those graves, as well as the survivors of the true torture chambers he set up throughout Iraq (at least those survivors whose tongues he didn't order cut out), whether the effort of freeing them from all that forever has been "damaged" by the criminal acts of an unrepresentative few. Was AP ever as concerned about the effect of letting Saddam and his battalions of sadists and brutes remain unaccountable for their very real torture of millions over a period of decades, as it is now about the "bad news" that, on one night, some unfit individuals in one MP unit humiliated a dozen or so bad guys we caught? The MPs will be punished without AP's insistence. Unfortunately for the people of Iraq, AP failed to demonstrate any such insistence over Saddam Hussein's constant, widespread brutalities before our coalition removed him from power.
While the world already has been horrified by pictures of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, the Pentagon warns there are many more photos and videos that have not been disclosed.
[AFP/Getty photo; caption:] Iraqis sit in the lobby of a local hotel in Baghdad as they watch President Bush during his apology to Muslims for prison abuse.
They show "acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman," embattled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress.
From the White House to Capitol Hill, policy-makers are worried that the United States faces lasting damage abroad - particularly in the Middle East - from the pictures of naked Arab men being tortured and humiliated by American soldiers, the same forces sent to Iraq to liberate the country from Saddam Hussein's torture and repression.
Nice of you to mention Saddam's leash-tying, and naked pile-on activities, Hunt. Except Hussein had a cigar hanging out of his mouth, not a ciggie. So the pictures of "naked Arab men being tortured[!]" by the Ghraib Seven—all of whom are being now brought to justice—are undoubtedly much worse than the result of SH Torture & Landscaping® services pictured above, courtesy of the Fedayeen Forty-Thousand—none of whom AP gives a flip about when publishing reports about Horrors in Iraq.
Analysts describe the pictures as great recruiting tools for al-Qaida and other extremist groups and said they undermine America's claims to a moral high ground. Rumsfeld said the impact was "radioactive."
Let's see, we're already the Great Satan™, our troops are Satan's Occupiers, our civilian contract workers are Satan's Mercenaries, and the American people are Satan's Zionist Crusaders & Conspirators. Gosh, I'd hate to think this might cause us to lose that "moral high ground." Terrorists are using the pics, all right—but not as recruiting material. More likely they're now part of an addendum to al-Qaida's terrorist training manual showing how to treat innocent captives before you slice their throats.
Bush, in his weekly radio address Saturday, said, "They are a stain on our country's honor and reputation." He said the abuses were the work of a few and do not reflect the overall character of the 200,000 members of the U.S. military who have served in Iraq in the past year.
A stain we have every intention of removing by bringing the perpetrators to justice and continuing our mission to help the Iraqi people build a strong, democratic country for themselves in the heart of the Middle East. The blood stains left by terrorists in the rubble of mosques and market squares which they blew up, killing hundreds of women and children in the process, will however never be removed from their minds.
Six months from the November elections, Iraq weighs heavily on the president.
Excuse us while we politicize the war now, folks. We'll be back to our unbiased reporting of just the facts
in a minute never.
April was the deadliest month yet for American soldiers in Iraq and May is off to a bloody start.
Doncha just love it, A Pee? But these are stains on just the reputation of our cowardly enemies, who hide behind children and inside holy places, or plant bombs along roadsides which have killed more Iraqi woman than American troops. Those we have no intention of ever running from or forgetting.
On the diplomatic front, the administration does not know who will take power in Iraq from the United States in a June 30 handover.
Costs are soaring. The administration has sent Congress an unexpected $25 billion request for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Day after day, the extraordinary apologies from the president and his top deputies dominated the news.
Bad News 3, Good News 26,298,900. So which side does AP go to bat for in its stories?
|More on This Story
|· Rumsfeld Says Scandal May Worsen
· Female Soldier Charged in Iraqi Abuse
· West Virginia Women Symbolize War's Glory, Shame
· Shiite Gunmen Attack British Troops in Basra
|· AOL Search: News From Iraq
Pollsters and presidential experts are scratching their heads over how the prisoner scandal will affect Bush's re-election hopes.
"There's such a big question mark there, it's unlike anything we've seen before," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center.
"The public is very critical of (Bush's) management of Iraq. They don't think he has a clear plan for bringing it to a successful conclusion, but a thin majority of the public has been hanging in with that it was the right decision to go to war," Kohut said. "This could be the event which makes people say 'Oh, we did make a mistake.'"
As much as you hope for that, Hunt, Kohut, AP, et al., it's just not going to happen. Not while we know any loss means a terrorist win, and that every retreat brings the terrorists closer again to attacking this country. Once more the American people show how much elitists like yourselves really don't have any clue.
Political scientist James Thurber of American University likened the Iraq images to the infamous Vietnam pictures of a naked young girl fleeing a napalm attack and a Viet Cong prisoner being executed on a Saigon street.
"Oh, don't ever compare what went on for decades in Abu Ghraib under Saddam's management with what went on one night there under ours." But it's perfectly okay to compare the latter to Viet Nam's most infamous images. (Thurber omitted saying that then 9-year-old Kim Phuc, who was photographed by Nick Ut, was promptly given "first-class medical attention" by us and is now free and a Canadian citizen, as well as that Bay Lop, the Viet Cong prisoner who was executed by Vietnamese National Police chief Gen. Nguyen Loc Loan, had committed the war atrocity of "wiping out" the entire family of one of Loan's officers. But don't let facts like these throw you. They might get in the way of AP's politicizing the war as Another Vietnam™.)
Referring to the new pictures, Thurber said, "That's what we're going to remember about Iraq. It's just not going to go away. That may have a lasting and negative effect on his campaign. It certainly does right now and I think you'll see it in the polls immediately."
"I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope," Thurber also omitted.
Support for Bush's handling of foreign policy and terrorism, usually his strongest issue, was at 50 percent in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Friday. That compares with 55 percent a month ago.
Notice no comparison here to "Americans' Support for Vietnam" (44.2 percent in 1971). Just more of them pesky facts AP won't bother considering.
Kurt Campbell, a former Pentagon official during the Clinton administration, said it was too early to tell whether Rumsfeld would be able to keep his job.
"The real issue is there's more stuff that's going to come out that is troubling, beyond humiliation and torture. Deaths I think," said Campbell, director of international security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Unfortunately for AP, no pictures included; so it won't be giving those issues as much ink. Also, CSIS used to have credibility when Sam Nunn was in charge, before Klinton's Kronies & Krackheads engineered a regime change there.
|"This has been a difficult few weeks. Yet our forces will stay on the offensive, finding and confronting the killers and terrorists."
"And there's going to be quite a long record of warnings that were either ignore [sic] or dismissed. And that I think is going to be problematic," Campbell said.
Lawmakers worried the pictures would harm U.S. credibility for years, perhaps decades. While the United States champions freedom and democracy in Iraq, the pictures show vivid scenes of cruelty and insensitivity.
Problematic is how far liberals will stoop to use this in their sad attempts to politicize the war even more, before they realize the American people have long moved on to something else.
Splashed across front pages across the Middle East and around the world, the pictures may undermine "the substantial gains toward the goal of peace and freedom in various operation areas of the world, most particularly Iraq," said Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Hardly that, Senator. Not when the Iraqi people are reading their papers next to newly built schools and out from under the all-peering eyes of Bathist Party secret policemen who would kill each one's whole family if he forgot to fill in S-A-D-D-A-M for the answer to the crossword-puzzle clue "Who you're going to vote for in the next 'election.'"
Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, the committee's top Democrat, said the abuses "dishonored our military and our nation and they made the prospects for success in Iraq even more difficult than they already are."
Added Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.: "This was a political and public relations Pearl Harbor."
Golly, ya'll think so? Well, heck, let's just bug out now since it's all that bad. That'll show the terrorists "these colors don't run."
Bush pledged in his radio address that the United States would not be thrown into retreat.
"This has been a difficult few weeks," Bush said. "Yet our forces will stay on the offensive, finding and confronting the killers and terrorists who are trying to undermine the progress of democracy in Iraq."
05/08/04 20:02 EDT
Thank you, Mr. President. At least the American people know you're not going to let something like this stop us from actually winning World War IV.
One more question that wasn't answered by AOL News either: Was AP around during WWII? Must not have been because we suffered more casualties in any of Roosevelt's "darkest weeks" fighting Nazis than we have or ever will fighting Islamofascists, yet still somehow managed to achieve a stunning victory for Freedom.