We are the 99%

December 15, 2008

"I don't know what his beef is"

By now, I'll assume you've all seen the video of an Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Iraq, but did you catch Bush's interview afterwards with ABC News' Martha Raddatz following the incident?




Here's a transcript of part of it:
Raddatz: It's also considered a huge insult in this world, the sole of a shoe, throwing a shoe.

Bush: I guess. Look they were humiliated. The press corps, the rest of the Iraqi press corps was humiliated. These guys were just besides themselves about, they felt like he had disgraced their entire press corps and I frankly, I didn't view it as, I thought it was interesting, I thought it was unusual to have a guy throw his show at you. But I'm not insulted. I don't hold it against the government. I don't think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is. But whatever it is I'm sure somebody will hear it.
Ignoring Bush's ridiculous attempt to try to spin the humiliation part, it's this bit that's the real insanity (and it came after the heat of the moment):

"I don't know what his beef is."

Oh, I don't know, off the top of my head I can come up with one or two or a million or so reasons:


  • Iraqi war death estimates range from 151, 000 to over one million. And, who knows how many more wounded and mutilated.

  • At a bare minimum, ...at least one out of every seven Iraqis has had to flee his or her home due to the violence and chaos set off by the Bush administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq.

  • A new report on the American-led reconstruction of Iraq that depicts "a $100 billion failure" characterized by "bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure" and which was crippled by Pentagon planners before the war even started as they were "were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country."
  • You can see the interview here. It starts around the two minute mark (after the truly stupid CNN post game style coverage:


    He really can't leave soon enough.
    .

    37 comments:

    John K. said...

    John K: Bush really handled this well. Both his comments and actions. But, as indictated by this blog and the threats I have received, there is a crazy liberal in every crowd. And as long as liberals are metting out the violence, according to Dayvoe, that is just fine. LOL

    Sherry said...

    o.k. i'll ask-

    what threats have YOU received?

    (and i hope everyone took note that the dead baby and the facts seem not to have bothered john k. in the slightest)

    Bob said...

    I hope sombody got insurance for that baby sent through the mail. It looks damaged.

    Bob said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Maria said...

    The last comment was deleted because it was over the top -- even for this blog -- in multiple ways.

    Bob said...

    wuss
    :/

    John K. said...

    John K: So selective memory Sherry did not read Ol' Froth's posts. Typical lefty.

    John K. said...

    John K: Now this type of behavior of throwing stuff at conservative and Republicans is typical for the left. They have thrown stuff at Coulter, Ingraham, Horowitz and a few others. Not to mention denying them the right to speak. But it pails in comparison to someone burning Palin's church in Alaska. Too bad left wingers have to resort to this type of behavior. And too bad the administers of this blog allow threat to be made. But it is typical.

    EdHeath said...

    I think ol’ Froth’s statement was more of a challenge, but if you feel unsafe because of it, I guess as long as you don’t go to the point you should be ok. But, fair enough to complain if you see a threat.

    I don’t think the Iraqi journalist who threw the shoe(s) is a liberal, or supports liberal American politics. Try again, Homer.

    Meanwhile, its funny to say that liberals don’t let conservatives speak. The maybe three times I have seen snippets of an O’Reilly interview he is always shouting down the person he interviews. He doesn’t want to let other people respond. Since I am sure that is typical of conservatives, clearly they are the ones who don’t want to let people speak.

    Sherry said...

    yes, i thought froth's comments were a challenge not a threat.

    you try. you really go to absurd lengths john k. but your comments are becoming just more of the same old same old.

    Maria said...

    We used to have only one rule in comments: Don't swear directly at someone.

    I never thought that we'd need to spell out:
    Don't threaten anyone here with physical violence.

    David and I are both sorry that we didn't catch that earlier and two comments have now been removed from that thread.

    Don't make us start banning people.

    jaywillie said...

    What the hell, John K.?

    The comments were removed. Personally, I have no idea what they were as I didn't read them, but don't lump all of us in there.

    And now this Iraqi reporter is a "liberal"?

    And liberals are apparently behind Palin's church?

    Look, no one should threaten anyone.

    But how about you get a grip as well and maybe not blame all of us for something someone else did and that none of us condone???

    Frankly, I could say that that's something typical of people of your political persuasion.

    But about you get a handle on your histrionics and start responding to people with cogent comments, hmm?

    Bob said...

    Please realize that my comment that was removed, was not threatening towards anyone.

    It was a reference to the FBI & SS and Obama regarding death threats made against Obama. (Oh, and JohnK may have been mentioned, too)

    Sounds like Maria has an overinflated belief of the "power" of this blog.
    RUN, THE FBI IS GOING TO SHUT US DOWN!!!!

    jaywillie said...

    In Maria and Dayvoe's defense, Bob, they do have a responsiblity to moderate what is posted here and if they feel a comment is inappropriate and should be removed, well, it's their blog.

    C.H. said...

    One of my Iraqi friends I talked to this morning defined this guy's behavior as being stupid and rude, which it was. He has every right to express his views, but he went over the top.

    Iraqis are not dumb--they know who has destroyed their country and made daily life difficult. The media blames Bush for everything...the so-called "antiwar" movement does the same, but those responsible are the terrorists, who many of you believe came to Iraq because of Abu Ghraib to "avenge" it. The reality is, they traveled thousands of miles across rugged mountains and scorching deserts to join forces with the Baathist "resistance" and mass murder innocent Iraqis.

    I'm surprised the left has the courage to bring up Iraq lately...the Democrats dropped the so-called antiwar movement like an infectious disease during the election campaign, and needed to use the economy instead. Iraq has suceeded...if this guy Al-Zaid had thrown a shoe at Saddam, he would be in the process of having his feet chopped off right now, with Uday and Qusay blazing up cigars and laughing over his broken body.

    C.H. said...

    As for the "new report" that came out, its just another attempt to drag Iraq down, just like Bob Woodward's one-year-too-late book criticising Bush for implementing the surge.

    For the last year, there has been amazing progress achieved in Iraq. If you talk to a student living in the country, you might hear that there is hope for a better tomorrow, more than there has ever been...but the media has zero interest in any of this. They black out the news coverage, until a brave fighter from the "resistance" manages to strap on a bomb vest and murder innocent people. Then it becomes news again...and when another one of these hatchet-job "reports" comes out, Iraq is suddenly newsworthy.

    This is indeed the eptitome of shame.

    Sherry said...

    " They black out the news coverage, until a brave fighter from the "resistance" manages to strap on a bomb vest and murder innocent people. Then it becomes news again...and when another one of these hatchet-job "reports" comes out, Iraq is suddenly newsworthy.

    This is indeed the eptitome of shame."




    get a grip here c.h. no one that i have ever heard or read has EVER said that sort of thing or even hinted at it!

    C.H. said...

    Sherry, how much news coverage have you seen about the good things that are being accomplished in Iraq lately?

    When's the last time the Today Show sent a reporter into Southern Iraq to cover the progress that has been made there? Progress like electricity, building schools, building a capable army, etc. I have heard nothing...perhaps you've been watching a different news channel than I have.

    My point was, every time something bad happens, it is news worthy, which to me is very sad.

    C.H. said...

    Supporting the people of Iraq and their struggle for democracy is not a democrat or republican issue...its something we should all agree on :)

    Sherry said...

    oh, i agree. i also agree that saddam was a brutal man(a man that we propped up not so long ago)


    i know that some good is being done, but i also know that we tore a country into pieces with a "preemptive war" that was based on lies. lies, not faulty intel. lies.

    i support our troops. i'm getting a little tired of telling people here that i have friends and people that are almost family(like my grandaughter's godfather) in the military that have been there, some, more than once so i know what is going on there. the good and the bad, as much as those people choose or are allowed to say.

    but i still say, no one NO ONE here
    that i have read or listened to, has said what you wrote.

    this administration has much to answer for. in all areas, they have much to answer for.

    i think that no matter how they try to spin it, they will go down in history as a true stain on this country.

    that is a shame.

    i do not know when the republican party lost sight of what they used to stand for but they should try to find their way back.


    i think many of them should read some of eisenhour's writings again.

    Bob said...

    Personally, I'm offended by the picture of the dead baby.
    THAT is what should have been removed.
    But Maria always did have a fixation with death and the macabre.

    In Bush's defense, what does he have to do with the pic of a dead baby?
    Whether it's Bush's war, or soon to be Obama's (where a simiilar pic reference could just as well be used against him), its use is unjustified.

    Maria, you should be ashamed.

    Maria said...

    CH,

    I guess you know more than "A former special intelligence operations officer who led an interrogations team in Iraq" and who "conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than a thousand and was awarded a Bronze Star for his achievements in Iraq" and who said:

    "He goes on to say that the number of Americans killed in Iraq because of the US military’s use of torture is more than 3,000. He writes, “It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in [Iraq] have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse."

    And, you forgot a couple of things regarding the effectiveness of the surge:

    1) We paid off the insurgents:

    Some 70,000 former insurgents are now being paid $10 a day by the U.S. military. It costs about a quarter billion dollars a year. It's a controversial strategy, and Macgregor warns that it's creating a parallel military force in Iraq that is made up almost entirely of Sunni Muslims."We need to understand that buying off your enemy is a good short-term solution to gain a respite from violence," he says, "but it's not a long-term solution to creating a legitimate political order inside a country that, quite frankly, is recovering from the worst sort of civil war."

    2) Neighborhood after neighborhood was wiped out either through ethnic cleansing by insurgents or by people fleeing to places where they were in the majority:

    That civil war has subsided, for now. It's diminished because of massive, internal migration, a movement of populations that has created de-facto ethnic cantons."Segregation works is effectively what the U.S. military is telling you," Macgregor says. "We have facilitated, whether on purpose or inadvertently, the division of the country. We are capitalizing on that now, and we are creating new militias out of Sunni insurgents. We're calling them concerned citizens and guardians. These people are not our friends, they do not like us, they do not want us in the country. Their goal is unchanged."

    Maria said...

    Bob,

    You've got to be kidding.

    1) If you were offended by the picture of the baby, then why did you make a tasteless joke about it?

    2) It was Bush's actions that led directly to the death of that baby by starting a war based on lies.

    3) It will never be Obama's war in the same way that it's Bush's war because Obama did not start the war and he spoke out against it before it began.

    4) Bush said "I don't know what his beef is" and that picture is the answer to that question. The reporter who threw the shoes covers Iraqi casualties. We talk about "war" but we whitewash it by never showing the real human cost and too often just try to score debating points. If instead of showing cool-looking antiseptic night-vision shots of war on the TV, the MSM showed more pictures like the one I put up, maybe the American public would not have given Bush such high approval during the first few years of the war. But the MSM doesn't want to offend anyone who may be eating dinner during their broadcasts or to upset their advertisers who don't want to be associated with pictures like that. It's just as wrong as Bush censoring pictures of flag-draped coffins of soldiers returning from Iraq.

    The obsenity is that the baby was killed, not that I posted that picture. The shame lies with our desire to close our eyes to the truth.

    C.H. said...

    I guess you know more than "A former special intelligence operations officer who led an interrogations team in Iraq" and who "conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than a thousand and was awarded a Bronze Star for his achievements in Iraq"

    No, I wouldn't. I would however, say that the former special intelligence officer does not know nearly enough as the people who are on the ground--the Iraqis who are resisting the forces of terrorism. I would take their word any day over someone from the US government, I don't care how decorated they may be. Recently, I had the honor of speaking with an Iraqi exile in London, who traveled to southern Iraq to see for himself what was happening in a country he was forced to flee back in 1991. He pointed out specifically that the situation is not being properly covered--the media only looks for the bad news, and ignores the prosperity many of the holy cities have enjoyed since Saddam's ouster.

    We paid off the insurgents

    Yes, we DID pay former insurgents, who had already begun resisting AQ in the first place. Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the founder of the awakening, took on AQ back in 2006, before he had formerly aligned his movement with the US forces in the region...and it was necessary, especially with all this talk about engaging our enemies. Some on the left (and the right as well) claim that these people are working with us for money, when in fact the primary reason is that they got tired of seeing their friends and family members blown up by the so-called "resistance". Muslims and Arabs don't look too kindly on people who claim to fight in their name by blowing up their mosques, houses, and neighborhoods. You can bet that the Sahwa will fight these monsters tooth and nail with or without a US military presence. After his brother's death, Ahmed Abu Risha declared that Anabaris would fight down to the last man, woman, and child, to keep Al-Qaeda and their supporters out of their cities. Its a slap in the face to them to suggest that they are doing this for a mere ten dollars a day.

    The most amazing thing about all of this is that Al-Anbar was declared lost less than two years ago, and was the epicenter for the insurgency and the antiwar movement hellbent on failure.

    Now, the latest attempt is "ethnic cleansing" is really responsible for the drop in violence, which is also incorrect. What happened was that the people responsible for such violence, like Al-Sadr's militia, were chased back to Tehran after the Lions of the Iraqi Army engaged them. The "resistance" re-aligned Baghdad like never before by exploiting religious differences that were excacerbated by Saddam Hussein, but the success we are seeing today would not have happen if the Iraqi people had not said "Enough".

    Need more evidence? How about the fact that AQ has literally run out of bad guys to strap with explosives and send into cafes and markets filled with innocent civilians. Violence is down 90% in Iraq, yet there has been a dramatic increase in female suicide bombers, some of whom are drugged or tricked into carrying out the attacks.

    Bram Reichbaum said...

    I've been meaning to comment somewhere -- that was a GREAT dodge.

    The man whizzed those shoes like an expert -- are there training camps? -- and the first one was dead on but head weave! POW! Dodged. And then President Bush steps forward and was like, "Is that all you got?"

    And then another one and POW! Head weave! Bush gets right back and sticks his chest out from the podium before that Secret Service guy went to ease him back.

    I wouldn't have thought I'd say this, what with the basketball and the gym habit, but in terms of agility, Barack Obama has his work cut out for him.

    C.H. said...

    2) It was Bush's actions that led directly to the death of that baby by starting a war based on lies.

    You can't blame everything on Bush. When the Baathists choose to destroy Iraq by abducting mentally ill patients from hospitals, strapping them with explosives, and detonating them by remote, you cannot blame that on Bush. The only people responsible for that are the sadistic murderers themselves.

    Bill Clinton advocated the sanctions policy against Iraq, which Saddam used to further his campaign of genocide against his own people. By your logic, Clinton would be indirectly responsible for this because he supported it, even though it was Saddam Hussein's fault that he was lying and misusing the oil for food program while his people were starving.

    Infinonymous said...

    Iraq has been a screaming failure. From the cherry-picked "evidence" marching toward a pre-ordained decision to the revelation that we had attacked the wrong country; from the failure to use enough troops to the decisions to employ inadequate equipment; from the loss of billions in cash to the use of mercenaries; from the premature celebration to the torture; from the botched attempted occupation to the decisions to award medals to those who had botched it; from the counterproductive actions that created more enemies (and understandably so) to the blatant corruption and incompetence; from using the 23-year-old children of wingnuts to oversee the occupation to the reliance on the neocons' pals (such as Chalabi) who turned out to be intensely unreliable.

    We squandered thousands of American lives and tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraq lives. We squandered our moral standing and shamed ourselves. We blew trillions on dollars on plans hatched by morons who thought it would "six months, tops" and that it was "crazy" to expect that we would spend a billion dollars.

    We should be thankful that those primarily responsible for this
    disaster have been sent to a political wilderness they are likely to occupy, and deservedly so, for many years.

    They shouldn't wander too far, though. If Cheney, Feith, Gonzalez, Yoo, Bybee, etc. stray outside U.S. jurisdiction, they are liable to be apprehended and tried as war criminals.

    jaywillie said...

    It's odd C.H. that you claim to have superior sources provided you with all this great news coming out of Iraq, when, in fact, nearly everything you say is reminiscent of the mindless, overly general dribble unsourced and delivered by rote among the blithering blowhards of the rightwing Echo Chamber. You mimic them expertly.

    I think the fundamental problem for someone such as yourself who, it appears, continues to support Bush and his disastrous policies, and who, apparently, has supported the war from the beginning, is an underlying lack of any hint of credibility.

    The gross failure on the part of those who initiated, promoted and led the war in its first several years is of a magnitude comparable to the absolute failure of Chamberlain to accurately assess the aggressive nature of Nazi Germany. Each has led to calamity; one for blind inaction, the other for acting blindly.

    Credibility also becomes a problem for you when those that argued for the forceful removal of the Butcher of Baghdad supplanted him with Blackwater mercenaries and Abu-Ghraib. Perhaps you should do more to appreciate exactly why Iraqi's are not, despite your wishes, kowtowing before us, kissing the feet of their liberators.

    As to this act by this Iraqi reported, I do not condone such displays; however, I cannot begrude this man for letting his emotions get the better of him.

    Your claim that Iraqi's do not support this is simply not true. By all accounts, the man has become somewhat of a folk hero. His act has become a symbol for the frustrations, anger, despondency that many Iraqi's feel with regards to our occupation of their country.

    In the Bible, Jesus said, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me." It is also said that you are only as strong as your weakest link. I would encourage you to apply both of these when examining the situation in Iraq.

    C.H. said...

    Your claim that Iraqi's do not support this is simply not true. By all accounts, the man has become somewhat of a folk hero. His act has become a symbol for the frustrations, anger, despondency that many Iraqi's feel with regards to our occupation of their country

    What accounts? An AP hatchet-job story? I suggest you actually speak to an Iraqi yourself...I have come to a conclusion based on such a discussion. My friend said what this mad did was stupid, although I'm sure there are many others who would disagree. Iraqis can form their own beliefs.

    Credibility also becomes a problem for you when those that argued for the forceful removal of the Butcher of Baghdad supplanted him with Blackwater mercenaries and Abu-Ghraib

    I have never advocated the use of Blackwater contractors. Please don't put words in my mouth. Abu Ghraib was an incident that occurred back in 2003...since then, think of how many brave "warriors" have traveled to Iraq from as far away as the Atlantic coast of Morocco to mass murder Iraqis who have nothing to do with American soldiers. Who has done the most harm to Iraq?

    Perhaps you should do more to appreciate exactly why Iraqi's are not, despite your wishes, kowtowing before us, kissing the feet of their liberators.

    There's a reason the media has not put much effort into covering Northern Iraq--the cities of Irbil, Dahuk, and Zakho--or the South, where the Shiite Arabs are free of oppression. There are many Iraqis who will be eternally greatful for what the United States did.

    Maria said...

    CH,

    By all means, basing your opinions on anecdotal evidence -- a talk you had with exactly one person -- is the way to go!

    It makes so much more sense than anything scientific like polls, say, the one by ORB this year showing that "70 percent of Iraqis wanting occupation forces to leave. Within this group, 65 percent wanted them to leave “immediately or as soon as possible" or the one "by D3/KA for ABC News and other media outlets (2/12–20/08) similarly found that 73 percent of Iraqis either “somewhat” or “strongly” opposed the ongoing foreign troop presence in their country, with 38 percent in favor of immediate withdrawal. Only 7 percent of Iraqis—primarily Kurds—“strongly” supported the presence of occupation forces."

    By all means, go with the Right-wing meme that claims that ethnic cleansing is some new excuse the Left just came up with despite the fact that it was being reported on contemporaneously when the surge started.

    And, that both are very own government and the UN agree that it happened or that:

    Satellite images taken at night show heavily Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Baghdad began emptying before a U.S. troop surge in 2007, graphic evidence of ethnic cleansing that preceded a drop in violence, according to a report published on Friday.

    The images support the view of international refugee organizations and Iraq experts that a major population shift was a key factor in the decline in sectarian violence, particularly in the Iraqi capital, the epicenter of the bloodletting in which hundreds of thousands were killed.


    I mean after all, you had a discussion! with a guy! That obviously trumps all expert opinion/facts on the ground/opinion by other Iraqis that:

    It’s a very simple concept: Baghdad has been divided; segregated into Sunni and Shia enclaves. The days of mixed neighborhoods are gone. They are literally protected by either Iranian backed or U.S. backed militias, who night and day guard those neighborhoods to prevent rival death squads, be they in government uniforms or be they under al-Qaeda banners - coming in and taking victims. They are also walled off — LITERALLY — by massive concrete blast barriers that the U.S. forces put in place. So, what’s happened is that the cleansing of Baghdad means there’s simply less people to kill and of those who remain, they are much harder for a death squads to get to - it’s as plain as that.

    Sherry said...

    gee, you talked to 1 iraqi! that's like taking the opinion of 1 american or even just 1 commentor on here.

    Bob said...

    Maria-"The shame lies with our desire to close our eyes to the truth."

    How much truth do you want before you close your eyes?

    I don't desire omniscience.

    ********
    My "tasteless" joke? I didn't post it to imply Bush is a murderer. You did.

    Bush did not start the war. He intervened a war.

    I never stated or inferred that the war will be "Obama's war in the same way that it's Bush's war "

    I want to know are you going to post the pictures of graphic civilian deaths when Obama goes into Afghanistan?

    Get your head on the wall instead of always looking on one side of it.

    Bob said...

    Also, Maria, don't try to make your posting of an individual atrocity as some sort of effort in highlighting the "truth".

    The truth is that you likely posted it for shock value or your own personal gratification.

    Otherwise you would have posted dozens or hundreds or more pictures of war atrocities.
    Or at the very least included information regarding the baby in the picture, i.e. it's name, where it's from, and the cricumstances of it's death.

    But I suspect you just scrounged the net and found a "good" picture.

    Ol' Froth said...

    'Twas meant as a challenge, not a threat, and if I offended, sorry. But I find John K offensive on so many levels I just don't know where to begin.

    Maria said...

    Froth,

    I'm sure you meant it as a challenge but it could easily be seen as a threat so down it came. We really try not to delete comments but sometimes it gets a little too heated in these threads.

    Thanks,
    Maria

    Maria said...

    Bob,

    ...don't try to make your posting of an individual atrocity as some sort of effort in highlighting the "truth"."

    The point is that war is made up of hundreds of thousands of individual atrocities. That it is more than just statistics. That each individual death affects dozens of friends and family members personally. That by now, every single Iraqi must have experienced firsthand an "individual atrocity."

    "your own personal gratification"

    Nice.

    "Otherwise you would have posted dozens or hundreds or more pictures of war atrocities."

    I have in the past, especially at the Honsberger is a Liar blog when the war began, but also on this blog. I would go find the links to the posts, but AOL shut down their FTP site where my pictures were hosted before blogger let you post pictures for free so they simply aren't there anymore. Go back and click on the archives here if you don't believe me. I downloaded most of the pictures before they closed up shop, but I don't have the time to go back through a year or two worth of our earliest posts to reinsert them.

    "Or at the very least included information regarding the baby in the picture, i.e. it's name, where it's from, and the cricumstances of it's death."

    You can blog the way you want to on your blogs and I'll choose to express my opinions the way I want to on mine and that picture was powerful enough to stand on its own. Besides, if you look at pictures of war victims or even Katrina victims, nobody was taking names and addresses. That does not happen in the heat of battle or a national emergency.

    "But I suspect you just scrounged the net and found a "good" picture."

    I found the picture by googling "Iraqi war casualties"/"Iraqi war deaths."

    Ol' Froth said...

    No problamo Maria! Like I said, my intent wasn't to offened, and I recognize that you need to maintain a level of decorum...I'll endevour to choose my words more judiciously in the future. (But I still find John K to be hugely offensive!)