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 Post subject: Political theater
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:34 pm 
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"I find this to be an appalling act of profiteering," Mr. Frist said. As for Mr. Clarke's dramatic apology to the nation for not having prevented the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Frist dismissed it as "theatrical" and an act of "supreme arrogance and manipulation."<p>*Offering an apology to the nation is an act of "supreme arrogance and manipulation." And leading the nation into war on false pretexts is ... ?*


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:44 pm 
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*... staying the course.*


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:25 pm 
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Frist would do well to focus more on Clarke's dissembling and self-contradictions than on his apology.<p>Oh, wait. He did.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:01 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
And leading the nation into war on false pretexts is ... ?*<hr></blockquote><p>A baseless charge of Democratic partisans who still are upset that we offended the French by robbing them of their lucrative Iraqi oil contracts.<p>(Hey, you asked.)


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:45 pm 
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Regardless of whether you believe that the war's overall effect was positive or negative, Gary, it's rather vain to assert at this point that the pretexts were not false.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:39 pm 
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So the White House gave a phony excuse to go to war based on the whopper that Iraq had WMDs. <p>Sounds good. But the administration surely was aware that if the U.S. invaded on that phony pretext it would become known — that there were no WMDs and that the excuse to go to war was trumped up.<p>Which makes me wonder: Why didn't the administration then plant WMDs for the troops to "discover," justifying the pretext? In other words, if the White House is demoniac and canny enough to con its way into war, why is it not capable of securing an alibi?<p>Occam's razor, anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:52 pm 
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No need for razors ... all you need to do is blame faulty intelligence, a perfectly practical excuse because it cannot be disproven.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:00 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
Regardless of whether you believe that the war's overall effect was positive or negative, Gary, it's rather vain to assert at this point that the pretexts were not false.<hr></blockquote><p>"False pretext" is redundant. But more to the point, it's presumptious to assert that Gulf War II began under pretexts. Even if the United States invaded Iraq solely on the basis of intelligence failures dating back to the Clinton administration, those failures weren't a pretext.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:39 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
<p>"False pretext" is redundant. But more to the point, it's presumptious to assert that Gulf War II began under pretexts. Even if the United States invaded Iraq solely on the basis of intelligence failures dating back to the Clinton administration, those failures weren't a pretext.<hr></blockquote><p>Can we not call it Gulf War II? Let's not forget the Iran-Iraq war, which at the time was reported as the Gulf War.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:18 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
<p>"False pretext" is redundant. But more to the point, it's presumptious to assert that Gulf War II began under pretexts. Even if the United States invaded Iraq solely on the basis of intelligence failures dating back to the Clinton administration, those failures weren't a pretext.<hr></blockquote><p>Clinton is in no way responsible for Bush's single-minded obsession with Iraq since before he took office. Intelligence data is irrelevant to Bush's pretexts.<p>The Bush Administration is a regime that reaches conclusions and then looks for facts to support them, so the presence or absence of carryover intelligence from the Clinton years was never going to mean anything.<p>[ March 28, 2004: Message edited by: Matthew Grieco ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:58 pm 
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I need to be more careful about this "going to war" phrase. There is, and was, no abstentionist position. There had been regular Allied bombings of Iraqi targets for more than a decade leading up to March 19.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:10 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tom mangan:
No need for razors ... all you need to do is blame faulty intelligence, a perfectly practical excuse because it cannot be disproven.<hr></blockquote><p>Which of course is the application of the razor principle. The administration, Congress, and the U.N. could be said to have acted on faulty intelligence. No need for a byzantine, sub-Brechtian explanation.<p>And the removal of a gangsterish dictatorship could be considered serendipitous. I have no problem with that.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:04 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Paul Wiggins:
Can we not call it Gulf War II? Let's not forget the Iran-Iraq war, which at the time was reported as the Gulf War.<hr></blockquote><p>It was? I'm fairly sure that on this side of the Pacific, at least, the Iran-Iraq war was called just that. Newspapers here wouldn't have started calling Operation Desert Storm "the Gulf War" if that name had already been taken.<p>That aside, what's wrong with Gulf War II? Gulf War I and II are certainly less ambiguous and more logical than "the Gulf War" and "the war with Iraq" respectively. As far as I'm concerned, this is just another issue in which AP is behind the curve.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:41 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
<p>It was? I'm fairly sure that on this side of the Pacific, at least, the Iran-Iraq war was called just that. .<hr></blockquote>
It was called the Gulf War, though also Iran-Iraq war, I was editing copy syndicated from New York Times and the Wall Street Journal at the time. I's be imterested to know what AP suggests, our style book and the Guardian's (usually an excellent source for starting to think about such matters) says have yet to be updated. We usually say the 1991 Gulf war or last year's war against Iraq.<p>[ March 28, 2004: Message edited by: Paul Wiggins ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:59 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
<p>That aside, what's wrong with Gulf War II? <hr></blockquote><p>Two reasons I've heard people cite:<p>1) Except for the city of Al Faw and a little surrounding territory, Iraq is not on the Persian Gulf. However, Kuwait, which was invaded by Iraq in 1991 and in the line of fire in the previous fighting, is all along the Persian Gulf.<p>2) The Persian Gulf War denotes the broad regional coalition that fought the war, unlike this, which was/is mostly an American endeavor.<p>I look more to the first reason myself. The Coalition of the Willing is an endless source of debate. (Of course after the bombings in Spain, perhaps the Coalition of the Willing is the most accurate name...)


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:46 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Vince Tuss:
<p>after Spain<hr></blockquote>
or after Bali<p>[ March 29, 2004: Message edited by: Paul Wiggins ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:48 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Paul Wiggins:
<p>Can we not call it Gulf War II? Let's not forget the Iran-Iraq war, which at the time was reported as the Gulf War.<hr></blockquote><p>Agreed. The US/UK invasion of Iraq was just that. "Gulf War" implies that more than one gulf nation was involved. In the case of the Iraq-Iran war, more than one gulf state was involved in the hostilities. In the invasion of Kuwait and subsequent expulsion of Iraqi invaders, more than one gulf state was involved. In this latest military engagement, only one gulf nation was involved in the hositilities (hosting foreign bases is not being militarily involved, IMHO). So Gulf War II (or III or Return of the Gulf War or whatever) is misleading if not plain old wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:35 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Peter Sibley:
So the White House gave a phony excuse to go to war based on the whopper that Iraq had WMDs. <p>Sounds good. But the administration surely was aware that if the U.S. invaded on that phony pretext it would become known — that there were no WMDs and that the excuse to go to war was trumped up.<hr></blockquote><p>Pete, I think you're oversimplifying. Yes, there was intelligence that Iraq was trying to acquire or build WMD, but there also was ample evidence--before the war--that the administration was exaggerating the threat. (Rice even raised the specter of a "mushroom cloud.") Also, the administration misled the public into thinking that Saddam was connected to 9/11. So there is a strong case that Bush led the nation into war under false pretexts (or just pretexts, if you prefer).


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:46 pm 
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ADKBrown, you've hit on the most reprehensible thing of all. The administration was fully aware that the American people were associating Iraq and 9-11 in their minds, and eagerly encouraged the spread of this utter falsehood.<p>If only the media had the guts to expose all of Bush's lies, he would stand no chance of re-election.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 1:04 am 
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Making your arguments more frequent and more shrill still doesn't make them right, Matthew.<p>Blanp, would you please consider creating a special section on this board for political debate?


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:56 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:

Blanp, would you please consider creating a special section on this board for political debate?
<hr></blockquote><p>I would rather hope that we could engage in political debate much less often than we discuss baseball.
In the example that started this thread, Frist's reaction to Clarke's apology is noted. That's pretty much all that was required in a news story. For haggling over the purity of motivations for war, please turn to the op-ed page, over which I have no influence.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:06 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
Making your arguments more frequent and more shrill still doesn't make them right, Matthew.<p>Blanp, would you please consider creating a special section on this board for political debate?<hr></blockquote><p>You go first, Gary. We'll join you later.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:18 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
Making your arguments more frequent and more shrill still doesn't make them right, Matthew.<p>Blanp, would you please consider creating a special section on this board for political debate?<hr></blockquote><p>What's the big deal if we have a political debate or express political opinions now and then?


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:34 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
<p>What's the big deal if we have a political debate or express political opinions now and then?<hr></blockquote><p>No big deal, but I think it sometimes diverts attention from our true mission.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 6:06 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by blanp:
.... I think it sometimes diverts attention from our true mission.<hr></blockquote><p>Yeah, it takes a lot of time and effort to be savagely snarky, after all. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:15 pm 
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suggesting we have a "true mission" is as savagely snarky as it gets.


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:12 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
Making your arguments more frequent and more shrill still doesn't make them right, Matthew.<p>Blanp, would you please consider creating a special section on this board for political debate?<hr></blockquote><p>I was neither off-topic nor shrill.<p>On the contrary, I'm demanding that professional journalists cease treating this administration with kid gloves and confront its crimes.<p>Let's face it. We are not scrutinizing the Bush administration with the same fervor that we scrutinized previous administrations. This has to change, and I won't be one of those who pretends it isn't happening (or, as seems to be your position, is glad it's happening).<p>Objective journalism only works in one of two forms: totally apolitical coverage, or aggressively confrontational coverage directed at all sides. The former is impossible, and the latter has been unfulfilled. And I stand by my comments: If the mainstream media would fulfill their obligations in this regard, the idea of Bush being re-elected would be an absurdity.<p>"Shrill" is a good word for the right, which has chosen as its spokesbeings people such as O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter whose favored method of discourse is shouting down any of the president's detractors and labeling them "shrill," "bitter" or "unpatriotic." Demanding accountability -- both of the government and of journalists -- is none of those things.<p>[ April 01, 2004: Message edited by: Matthew Grieco ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:05 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
<p>I was neither off-topic nor shrill.<p>On the contrary, I'm demanding that professional journalists cease treating this administration with kid gloves and confront its crimes.<p>Let's face it. We are not scrutinizing the Bush administration with the same fervor that we scrutinized previous administrations. This has to change, and I won't be one of those who pretends it isn't happening (or, as seems to be your position, is glad it's happening). [Etc. etc. etc.]
<hr></blockquote><p>The idea that the media is giving a pass to Bush is laughably absurd. So is the claim that your posts are in reality a discourse on journalists' responsibility. The post I'm responding to certainly seems less interested in discussing media responsibility than it is in advancing your political opinions.<p>I doubt anyone who posts here finds wrong with an occasional political opinion popping up here. But that doesn't mean you can make this forum your soapbox.<p>If I were interested in your opinions on the war in Iraq, or the "bigots" who oppose gay marriage, or any of your other savvy insights, I'd read your political blog. The fact that you were a copy editor once doesn't give you the right to transform this forum into another one.<p>[ April 01, 2004: Message edited by: Gary Kirchherr ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Political theater
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:45 pm 
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OK.
I blame ADKBrown for starting this.


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