Thursday, June 22, 2006

Don't forget Da Memo ! ! !

I mentioned it the other day.
I waited to see if anyone would notice, but it seems to be slipping into obscurity under an avalanche of more sensational news.

Now Cernig takes note...but even there it is just one tick on a list of other items. It is, however, the first item on his list.

Don't let it go unmentioned. This is newsworthy. It is newsworthy because it breaks a few balloons. Big, overblown, shiny public relations balloons that need to be popped.

The Washington Post has obtained a cable, marked "sensitive," that it says shows that just before President Bush left on a surprise trip last Monday to the Green Zone in Baghdad for an upbeat assessment of the situation there, "the U.S. Embassy in Iraq painted a starkly different portrait of increasing danger and hardship faced by its Iraqi employees."

This cable outlines, the Post reported Sunday, "the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees' constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government."

It's actually far worse than that, as the details published below indicate, which include references to abductions, threats to women's rights, and "ethnic cleansing."

The subject of the memo is: "Snapshots from the Office -- Public Affairs Staff Show Strains of Social Discord."As a footnote in one of the 23 sections, the embassy relates, "An Arab newspaper editor told us he is preparing an extensive survey of ethnic cleansing, which he said is taking place in almost every Iraqi province, as political parties and their militiast are seemingly engaged in tit-for-tat reprisals all over Iraq."

I'm waiting for some smart investigative journalist to blow a hole in this thing. Tell me it's all a made-up bunch of foolishness with some kind of untoward ulterior motive. Please tell me it's just a smear campaign based on nothing.

I need someone to discredit this thing before I log it into my own memory hole. At this point I have a pretty bad attitude about what's unfolding in Iraq and the public fantasy that it's all good.

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