Thursday, December 09, 2004

A voice says 'Cry!'

"Brace yourself, Jeremiah;
stand up and speak to them."
--Jeremiah 1:17(a)

God, of course, was telling Jeremiah to prophesy; to, in current parlance, "speak truth to power." Never been an easy thing to do; but at least it's getting some recognition.
We're used to hearing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld answer questions about things that went wrong in Iraq by saying they went right. When he does that to reporters, it's annoying. When he does it to troops risking their lives in his failed test of bargain-basement warfare, it's outrageous.
"You go to war with the Army you have," Mr. Rumsfeld fumed, "not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." He may have forgotten that the timetable for invading Iraq was dictated by politics, not military necessity. The armor shortage was also an outgrowth of his zeal to prove that a country can be invaded and occupied by a small and lightly armed force. A spokesman for the questioner's unit told reporters that 95 percent of its 300 trucks were not sufficiently armored.

And then there's this (both reasons why people read blogs, rather than slog through news reports. These are found on the NYT Op-Ed page, and some of it likely wouldn't be found in the NYT at all.)

As Joe Biden told Aaron Brown of CNN about his visit to Falluja, "They got the biggest hornets' nest, but the hornets have gone up and set up nests other places." He said that a general had run up to him as he was getting into his helicopter to confide, "Senator, anybody who tells you we don't need forces here is a G.D. liar."

It could make you angry. Or it could make Advent more compelling. Or it could do both.

It occurs to me that the NYT editorial unintentionally points out the weakness of "embedded" reporters. Three years in, as the soldier pointed out, and the NYT can only get this information from a public question to Rumsfeld? And from the wife of another soldier, who is only questioned because this incident gives her the opportunity to speak up? Does it occur to the "press" that this is a serious problem, and not just one of callousness on the part of the SOD?

As I said: it could make you angry. Or make Advent more compelling. Or both.

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