BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday, October 16th


THE story today - from the Guardian UK:

Bush told Blair of 'going beyond Iraq'


Saudi Arabia.

No joke.
George Bush told Tony Blair shortly BEFORE THE INVASION OF IRAQ that he intended to target other countries, including SAUDI ARABIA, which, he implied, planned to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
Hello? McFly? Hello, McFly?!

Mr Bush said he "wanted to go beyond Iraq in dealing with WMD proliferation, mentioning in particular Saudi Arabia, IRAN, North Korea, and PAKISTAN," according to a note of a telephone conversation between the two men on January 30 2003.

The note is quoted in the US edition, published next week, of "Lawless World, America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules," by the British international lawyer Philippe Sands.

The memo was drawn up by one of the prime minister's foreign policy advisers in Downing Street and passed to the Foreign Office, according to Mr Sands.
Jesus, I mean - where do I - you know - I mean...

It is not surprising that Mr Bush referred to Iran and North Korea, or even Pakistan - at the time suspected of spreading nuclear know-how, but now one of America's closest allies in the "war on terror".
What is significant is the mention of Saudi Arabia.

In Washington, the neo-cons in particular were hostile to the Saudi royal family and did not think they were doing enough to quell Islamist extremists - 15 of the 19 September 11 attackers were Saudis.

But the Bush administration did not in public express concern about any Saudi nuclear ambitions.
Read the whole piece, people.

This story should be on the front page of every paper in the country.

But it's not.

So I'm gonna fuck right off.


Again, (re: Thursday's staged telconference with the soldiers) quick lesson in dealing with "talent."

You gotta go over the answers ahead of time...


Here's how it goes down:

PRODUCER: Okay. I'm gonna ask you guys some questions. Answer me as quickly as possible. I'm just looking for the first thing that pops into your head. Okay?

BACHELOR #1: 'Kay.

PRODUCER: Bachelor #1, complete this sentence. 'This might sound funny but...'"

BACHELOR #1: Uh...uh...USC is gonna crush Notre Dame this weekend.

PRODUCER: Okay. Okay, that's good.

BACHELOR #1: Cool.

PRODUCERL: Good. I can tell by your answer that you like football, right?

BACHELOR #1: Yeah.

PRODUCER: Okay. So I'm guessing that a fun date would for you would be a football game followed by a good dinner. That's...paradise, right?

BACHELOR #1: Yeah. I guess.

PRODUCER: Okay. Great. So when the Bachelorette asks you to complete that sentence, why don't you say, 'I've got two tickets to paradise, pack your bags...we'll leave tonight." Okay?

BACHLEOR #1: What?

PRODUCER: Great. Here we go. "Bachelor #1, complete this sentence. 'This might sound funny but...'"

BACHELOR #1: Uh, I've got two tickets to paradise?


BACHELOR #1: Um --

PRODUCER: "Pack your bags...we'll leave tonight." Don't forget that last part. Okay?

BACHELOR #1: Yeah.


BACHELOR #1: I've got two tickets to paradise, pack your bags...we'll leave tonight.

PRODUCER: Great. She's gonna love that. You're really funny.

BACHELOR #1: Can I use the bathroom?

PRODUCER: Not yet.


From yesterday.

1. Great new bit on Wal-Mart from the JIB JAB people. You can watch their new short here.

2. By now, y'all know that Our Kid's teleconference on Thursday (with "soldiers" in Tikrit) was staged.

But what you might not know - is that one of the day players - was a RINGER:
The soldier in question is MASTER SGT. CORINE LOMBARDO; she works in PUBLIC AFFAIRS for the military as SPOKESPERSON TO THE MEDIA.
She was sitting in the front row...bottom left.
While she's emerged elsewhere in mainstream reports on Iraq, she hasn't always been identified in her role.

A New York Times' story from April correctly cited Lombardo as a "military spokesperson."

Another report in the Albany Times-Union merely cited her as a "24-year Guard veteran."

In his report, Times-Union scribe Tim O'Brien quoted Lombardo extensively as she praised the hard work of her division and drew special attention to their successful cooperation with local forces to "rebuild Iraqi infrastructure."

"I enjoy what I'm doing over there and enjoy getting to know the Iraqi people," Lombardo tells the Times-Union stenographer. "The support of my family has been tremendous."

It tugs at the heart, but there are likely more insidious forces at play. Lombardo's job is to make the handover to Iraqi forces look good.

During yesterday's PR stunt, she got into a pre-scripted back and forth with the president:

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: I can tell you over the past 10 months we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. We've been working side-by-side, training and equipping 18 Iraqi army battalions. Since we began our partnership, they have improved greatly, and they continue to develop and grow into sustainable forces. Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations.

THE PRESIDENT: That's important. The American people have got to know — and I appreciate you bringing that up, Sergeant Major, about how — what the progress is like. In other words, we've got a measurement system —

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Well, together —

THE PRESIDENT: I'm sorry, go ahead.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: I'm sorry, just, together with our coalition forces, we've captured over 50 terrorists, as well as detained thousands of others that have ties to the insurgency. And I believe it is these accomplishments and the numerous accomplishments from our task force that will provide a safe and secure environment for the referendum vote.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that. There's no question that we need to stay on the offense, and we need to stay on the offense with well-trained Iraqi forces, side-by-side the finest military ever — ever to exist, and that's the United States military.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: That it is, Mr. President. Thank you.
You might also remember that "Sgt. Lomabardo" was the one who thanked the President for showing up in New York after 9/11, to which Our Kid replied, "Were you there?"

Brilliant move - bringing 9/11 into a teleconference about Iraq.

Sgt. Lombardo's job, methinks.

"It's an important message."


You can read the full story of Sgt. Lomabrdo on a blog called Mediacitizen.

Good stuff.

Moving on -- to FRIDAY'S WH PRESS CONFERENCE with Scott "My Scotty"McClellan.

The corp started off with questions about Rove -- and the atmosphere in the WH.
Q: What do you say to reports that the White House is very jittery about everything that's been happening, and that the President is under a GREAT STRAIN?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you've been covering the President today. The President has been having a pretty full day here at the White House. Like I said, we've got a lot of important work on the plate, and we are moving forward on the President's agenda.

Q: Where do these reports come from, that they -- do they have any validity?

MR. McCLELLAN: From your colleagues, who write them.

Q: Pardon?

MR. McCLELLAN: From your colleagues, who write them.

Q: I mean, do they have any basis?

MR. McCLELLAN: What do you mean, "do they have any basis"?

Q: That's what I'm asking.

MR. McCLELLAN: Ask those colleagues.


MR. McCLELLAN: I told you what we're doing.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, we're focused on the priorities of the American people.

Q: Come on, Scott, have you got a case of the shakes, or not? Come on. (Laughter.) Hold up the hands, let's see (Laughter.)

Q: That's a very stock answer. Is there concern about all of these things that are happening?

MR. McCLELLAN: "All these things that are happening?"

Q: The grand jury and the --

MR. McCLELLAN: I just mentioned a lot of things that are happening, and that we're getting done for the American people. We've got a lot of big challenges facing this country, and the President is focused on addressing those challenges. That's where he's keeping his focus.
"I knew that. Yeah, I knew that."

"Do you think I didn't know that?"

"I'm not being defensive. You're the one who's being defensive."

"I didn't say that. You said it."
Q: When the President meets with his commanders, is there a more vigorous give-and-take, or what we saw yesterday --

MR. McCLELLAN: Of course there is. I don't even know why you're making such a suggestion.

Q: Just asking.

Scott then took the opportunity to push the WH Iraq story:
MR. McCLELLAN: I THINK YOU'RE MISSING THE LARGER POINT OF THE EVENT YESTERDAY, which was to highlight the historic milestone that is taking place in Iraq tomorrow and the preparations for that election.

This is a country that just three years ago was living in tyranny, under the brutal rule of a dictator.

And look where they are today.
Hmm. Good point.

Where are they today?

Voters said to hunt for polling sites in west Iraq

Well, it worked in Ohio:
RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Hours before a crucial REFERENDUM on a new constitution, voters in western Iraq, where many are expected to say "NO," were asking themselves a troubling question: where are the polling stations?

"There are NO VOTING CENTERS in cities like Haditha, Hit, Rawa, Qaim, Ana, Baghdadi and the villages around them," Mahmoud Salman al-Ani, a human rights activist in Ramadi, said on Friday, listing locations across western Anbar province.

"There aren't actually any voting centers or even voting sheets in these cities ... Nobody knows how and where to vote if they decide to," he said of the predominantly SUNNI ARAB REGION.
Anything else?

AP: 3,663 Iraqis Killed in Past 6 Months


Um...back to Scott:
MR. MCCLELLAN: And this is going to make the world a safer place for our children and grandchildren, because spreading freedom in the broader Middle East will bring hope to a region that is in need of it.
Got it.

More later...

Please read yesterday's post if you haven't already.


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