Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just another day in the life and death of Iraq LXXXII

By Michael J.W. Stickings

American media attention was focused briefly, very briefly, on Iraq during and around the recent Petraeus-Crocker hearings on Capitol Hill, but, otherwise, the media are too busy sensationalizing every little development in the Obama-Clinton race to pay any sustained attention to the ongoing war and occupation, one that, according to the Republicans' choice for warmongerer-in-chief, could go on for, oh, another hundred years or so.

Blood is shed and people are dying, but -- by Zeus! -- there's Obama bowling! -- there's Clinton chugging a beer!

The war, you see, is just too complicated for the media. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. The initial shock 'n' awe, they got, but the nuances of religious sectarianism, well, not so much. It was fine when the U.S. was kicking ass, sure, back when victory was at hand, or so it seemed, but it's so hard to keep score now, and how can you follow a war, how can you know who's winning and by how much, without a scoreboard in The Situation Room? Just imagine John King with a magic map of Iraq, zooming in and out to give us all the latest death toll updates in real time. Ah, but there's that attention span, too -- and the media just don't have one, much like so many of their consumers.

But you know all this already, right? So let me just give you the latest -- from the BBC:

More than 70 people have been killed in blasts at three cities in Iraq, in one of the deadliest days there for weeks.

At least 53 died and another 90 were injured when explosives packed in a bus detonated outside a restaurant near a court in Baquba, north of the capital.

And 13 more were killed in a suicide bombing at a kebab restaurant where policemen were eating in Ramadi, which had seen a sharp decline in violence.

Three people were also killed in Mosul in the north, and another in Baghdad.

Of course, the media would prefer to wave the flag -- the American media, that is. They just don't know what to do with a war that has already been lost.

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