I’m not sure we will ever recover from the public-relations damage that has been done by the mistreatment of the Iraqi prisoners by American (and now, British) troops.
We all believe that these were isolated incidents perpetrated by renegade soldiers whose actions do not reflect the values or intentions of their nations at large. But the Arab street doesn’t believe that, and it’s hard to imagine that they ever will. Every anti-American diatribe and every conspiracy theory has just been proven right, in their eyes. And can you blame them? Why should they trust us, now?
We cannot win the war in Iraq — nor, more broadly, the war on terrorism — unless we win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi and Arab people. That was always an uphill battle, and I fear this may be the last straw that makes it utterly impossible.
And it’s our own soldiers’ damn fault. Just a handful of soldiers, yes. But ours.
The fallen soldiers’ names and faces were not presented in alphabetical order — I’m not sure how they were sorted — and for me, this had the peculiar effect of making the list seem really long. Without the familiar sequencing of alphabetization, a viewer couldn’t get a handle on how “far along” we were in the list. This is in contrast to Sept. 11 last year, when they read the names of the 9/11 victims in alphabetical order, and you could say to yourself, “Oh, they’re on the ‘C’s now” or “They’re almost to ‘F’,” and somehow this made the list seem less interminable. But last night’s reading of names just seemed to go on and on, because there was no built-in way to “keep time.”
Not a criticism or a compliment, just an observation.
At the end, as he defended the broadcast and argued that it wasn’t politically motivated, Ted Koppel stated flatly that he is not opposed to the war. I believe his exact words were, “Some of you don’t believe that. You are convinced I am opposed to the war. I am not.” I thought that was interesting.
UPDATE: Drudge reports: ‘NIGHTLINE’ WINS TIMESLOT WITH READING OF IRAQ WAR CASUALTIES… 9 SHARE IN NYC [OVER 7 SHARE LENO, LETTERMAN]; 14 SHARE IN L.A.; 11 SHARE CHICAGO…
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Er, now Drudge’s spin on the ratings news has done a 180… apparently the ratings were bad: ‘NIGHTLINE’ RATINGS DOWN IN MAJOR CITIES WITH DEATH LIST; LOSES AUDIENCE FROM PREVIOUS FRIDAY WITH READING OF IRAQ WAR CASUALTIES… ABCNEWS SPECIAL HITS 9 SHARE IN NYC [FLAT FROM PREVIOUS WEEK]; 14 SHARE IN L.A.; 11 SHARE CHICAGO [DOWN FROM 15 SHARE PREVIOUS FRIDAY ]; 8 SHARE IN PHILLY [OFF FROM 11 SHARE]…
Having officially completed his first semester of law school and begun a weeklong break, ChrisTheBear doesn’t quite know what to do with his newfound freedom:
Ah, sweet freedom. I can do anything I want–go home, read a book, see a movie, anything. And it’s already driving me crazy. Don’t I need to be making flashcards or something, maybe working on my outline or doing hypotheticals? For some reason, it seems like the day’s just not real if I haven’t been to the law school at least once.
Heh. After complaning that “something just doesn’t feel right,” Chris very rationally concludes: “I blame the communists.” LOL! Normally, I would disagree and say that he should blame John Ashcroft instead, but it being May Day and all, blaming communists is even better than blaming Ashcroft.
Speaking of May Day, I meant to (but forgot to) include in my earlier May Day post the following change-of-pace photo from my mom in Connecticut:
The first of May isn’t just about commies and labor movements, you know! :)
The Kentucky Derby is just over an hour away. Becky and I are heading over to her parents’ house to watch it on the big TV, so no live-blogging. But here’s a relevant Fark photoshop contest to tide you over.
Go Imperialism, Tapit and Minister Eric!
UPDATE: Smarty Jones wins! He’s 7-for-7 — can he make it 9-for-9 and win the Triple Crown?
Rutgers scientists plan to dye the ocean red off the coast of New Jersey, in an effort to study what happens to the Hudson River’s fresh water, pollution, and mobster bodies when the river meets the ocean. (Okay, so the article doesn’t specifically mention the mobster bodies, but c’mon. This is the Hudson River we’re talking out.)
You can watch the action live online. The experiment will begin either tomorrow or Monday, depending on the weather.
Really, though, I’d like to move up two spots and become an Adorable Rodent. Is that so much to ask?
ChrisTheBear is a Slimy Mollusk, three steps below me, while Boi From Troy is a Large Mammal (well, dude, don’t brag about it), four steps above. I can’t find any other Brendansphere blogs at the moment…
My ecosystem rank is #2676. That’s down nine spots from yesterday, when I was #2667, but much better than earlier in the week, when I was above #3000. Oh, but look, I actually cracked the Top 2000 in late March… and I was #1823 on February 12… man oh man, this is going to give me something new to obsess over! Woohoo!! :)
BrendanLoy.com: your #2676 source for bloggy goodness, but still your undisputed #1 source for self-referential BrendanLoy.com-related news.
On Easter, I put an MP3 of Jesus Christ is Risen Today on my blog, so it seems only appropriate that on May Day, I make the Soviet National Anthem available for download. (Turn your volume down; it’s a rather loud MP3.)
Heh. Mr. Lombardi, are you out there? [inside reference alert]
Oh, hey, and make sure to check out the Politburo Diktat blog. In honor of the occasion, you know.
P.S. I’m not really a communist. Honest!
Happy May Day, everybody! In addition to being a communist holiday, May 1 also marks a milestone on the calendar: with four months down and eight to do, we’re now one-third done with the year.
To mark the occasion, I just posted an album of my Top 40 photos of the year so far. Peruse the pics at your leisure, then vote for your favorites!
After you’ve done that, you can also check out my honorable mention photos, and vote for any pictures that you think should have been in the Top 40.
BrendanLoy.com: your #1 source for self-referential BrendanLoy.com-related news. :)