(Apologies to Spanish-speakers everywhere, if only for probable bad grammar.)
Shooting down the mainstream media’s tactical attempts to ensure that John Kerry is elected next week is becoming a full-time job for right-of-center bloggers. The latest lob, flea-flickered to the Democrat candidate for president, has become a forced fumble. (I love football metaphors!)
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations [Al Qaqaa]. [SNIP]380 tons missing; out of 400,000 tons destroyed or secured.
However, the mainstream media entities apparently aren’t sending out their memos in a timely fashion:
NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.
While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC. [SNIP]
Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. According to NBC, troops from the 101st Airborne arrived the next day and could not [find] the material. [SNIP]
Prior to the Iraq war, the high-grade explosives at Al Qaqaa had been under the control of IAEA inspectors because the material could be used as a component in a nuclear weapon, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said. IAEA and other U.N. inspectors left the country in March 2003 before the fighting began on March 19.(Emphasis mine.)
March 19 and April 9: a lot of time to transport any number of things. (It would be nice if our military were capable of covering hundreds of miles between point A and point B in fifteen minutes, but certainly some would find fault with that. “Why not ten minutes??!!!)
And it’s doubtful that 400 tons of explosives were stuffed into thousands of Iraqi pockets and simply carried out by hand. Does the IAEA and the NY Times have such a low opinion of the military that they think commanders would simply not notice trucks backing up to the Al Qaqaa bunker and being loaded with this stuff?
No. They would tell us that it’s George Bush for whom they have a low opinion, not our sainted boys and girls in uniform. “See how incompetently he has executed this war!” As if the most mainstream media have ever advocated any combat action in the first place (Clinton-lead efforts being the exception). As if it were a president’s job to micromanage every single detail of all military operations. (Anyone in the military—or any other hierarchical organization—can tell you that one of the most efficient ways for a supervisor/executive to throw a monkey wrench in any project/mission is to attempt to control every aspect of it. See Carter, James Earl.)
In spite of this, the Times has most certainly denigrated the competence of the military (yet again). I suspect that even they know this. That’s not going to do much to eat into that 70% approval rating that President Bush enjoys among military members and veterans. They know this as well, but they don't care.
Why not? Here's why: no matter how much the mainstream media lies about supporting the troops, most despise us; as misguided children at best, as dangerous tools who deserve to die at worst. That they think we wouldn’t notice is further proof.
Anything's fair toward the stated goal.
NBC former imbedded reporter disputes its prior assertion:
NEW YORK - An NBC News reporter embedded with a U.S. army unit that seized an Iraqi installation three weeks into the war said Tuesday that she saw no signs that the Americans searched for the powerful explosives that are now missing from the site.
Reporter Lai Ling Jew, who was embedded with the Army's 101st Airborne, Second Brigade, said her news team stayed at the Al-Qaqaa base for about 24 hours.
"There wasn't a search," she told MSNBC, an NBC cable news channel. "The mission that the brigade had was to get to Baghdad. That was more of a pit stop there for us. And, you know, the searching, I mean certainly some of the soldiers head off on their own, looked through the bunkers just to look at the vast amount of ordnance lying around.But then she says:
… the roads were cut off "so it would have been very difficult, I believe, for the looters to get there."Guess that late arriving memo just wasn’t clear enough.
MORE: With mathematical precision, a retired Army logistics officer breaks down the...er...logistics of looting 380 tons of explosives right under the military's proverbial nose. Short answer: not bloody likely.