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June 06, 2006



It's hard to take seriously all the happy talk about Iraq's progress when the Iraqi government can't even organize a trade fair on its own soil because of the violence and insecurity.

What "happy talk" is that? The big story yesterday out of Iraq was a dozen men dressed as police officers kidnapped 50 Iraiqs in broad daylight, apparrently selected at random. The big story two days ago, was shia students being pulled off a bus and executed, while the sunni students were spared.

Could you please direct me to your source of good news? I'd really like to hear some about now.

When an American journalist gets kidnapped in broad daylight in front of an Iraqi minister's office, during her attempt to get an interview with him... well... are you REALLY so surprised that Iraq has to ahve a trade show in a neighboring country? Or maybe not so surprised? You did have a reason for stating the obvious, right? Weren't you the one who was just commenting about the importance of integrity and trust in the media? You tilted this blog post, and I assume you would also tilt a news story. You think people don't see it? You do a post on the Iraqi International Fair without even talking about the Iraqi International Fair. Instead you use it as an opportunity to praise Al Jazeera and express negative sentiments about the state of affirs in Iraq. That's called a pretext... I'm sure you've written many stories about people using pretexts, haven't you? I bet I could even find examples on your blog if I looked.


craig, i think the father of aardvarks is right--how can we spread democracy if we are not democratic?
let al-jazheera cover iraq. ;)


jinnilyyah, the US has a pretty good record of "spreading democracy" - but not in the middle east. If Iraq ends up with a stable and functional democracy, it won't be due to US efforts. In my opinion.

As far as Al Jazeera, I don't care if they cover Iraq or not. If they are allowed back into Iraq, I hope they can manage to cover stories without interfering with government and military operations. They weren't able to do that last time. At least, that's the allegation, and based on their obvious close ties with various insurgent groups in Iraq, and their clear loyalties, I believe those allegations were probably true. If any person wa kidnapped or killed because of an Al Jazeera employee, then they do NOT have a right to be in Iraq. They could be charged (and convicted) with espionage for that.

Hell with it. I hope Iraq does let Al Jazeera in, keeps close tabs on them, and trails them to Zarqawi. I think that's a helluva idea actually. I can almost see Zarqawi Mugging for the Camera as a 500 pounder drops towards him in the background. I'd freaking SUBSCRIBE to AL Jazeera if they could pull that off for us.

Gag Halfrunt

Assuming that the list of exhibitors is up to date, only one Iraqi company has signed up for the Iraq International Fair. There are, on the other hand, no less than 508 Turkish companies.


Where exactly has the U.S. "spread democracy"? Guatemala? Chile? Haiti? I think a Mssr. Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, wherever he is, would be thrilled to learn about our shining legacy.

In point of fact, the supposition that wherever more representative government seems to be emerging at any given moment (e.g. Lebanon), official U.S. rhetoric giving lip service to democracy is ipso facto responsible, is incredibly offensive. We are not the brand name of all "democratic" forms of government. Rather, we are a society that for the last two hundred years has been engaged, along with many others, in an experiment in popular sovereignty--an experiment that is at the moment, quite troubled.

As for the Aardvark's comment, the idea that it's "pretextual" strikes me as absurd. The blog form isn't (necessarily) journalistic. Holding the Iraqi trade fair in Turkey is, indeed, a sad commentary on the state of Iraq's security forty months into the "slam-dunk" American occupation. This bitter irony may not rank with Mary Queen of Scots's lap dog emerging from the bloody skirts of her decapitated corpse as an (apocryphal?) emblem of death and destruction, but Craig's claim that pointing it out somehow makes one a vulture is overheated, irresponsible and wrong.


Moloch, your commentary about the US and democracy speaks volumes, and I'll let it stand on it's own.

A pretext is a pretext, no matter the forum. If I tell my boss I want to meet with him to give him a status report, and I instead spend an hour trying to get him to fire my ^%$#head co-worker, that's a pretext.

I just found it a little odd, given the sequence of topics in Abu Aardvark's posts, this past week.


I can almost see Zarqawi Mugging for the Camera as a 500 pounder drops towards him in the background.

He got *two* 500 pounders!! Lucky him :P


Accusatory rhetoric followed by dainty hauteur is a fairly transparent rhetorical strategy. But it does speak for itself.


Is this the part where I stick out my tongue?


Trying to remember teenage etiquette.

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