As I walked to Bondi Beach yesterday in a severe effort of exercise vanity (roughly a 40km round trip and boy do the hips feel it today) I listened to the ABC quality radio live feed of the Bush tv speech (evening time USA).
I mused about this image from 2003 and the courage of Greenpeace against this war:
The Bush speech is here apparently at pro war News Ltd The Australian broadsheet (of relatively low circulation):
I notice Murdoch's cronies also ask their readers: "Your Say: Is it enough? " Meaning enough dead Iraqi? Or perhaps enough Abu Graib style torture? Enough hatred of the occupation? Enough imperial agenda against Iran/pro Israel? Enough pro puppet govt death squads?
As I marched still fresh at 1.15 pm to this historic speech, the public in the height of the holiday summer season, on King St Newtown were oblivious. Later the beach was crowded still at 5 till 7 pm or so when most tv news services were broadcasting their reports last night. Perhaps people in the biggest city here of 4 million didn't want to know? Nor did I for awhile there fully 100m offshore with flippers body surfing the 4 footer.
I will go soon and check the morning press (paper version) at the corner shop (run by minority Lebanese folks) to see the editorial decision of the high circulation press here regarding front page coverge.
The electronic version of the Sydney Morning Herald have it low on their web world section, unlike low circulation 'The Oz' above. [The paper version SMH has it front page top left as a serious paper of record should.]
Similarly News Ltd sister paper, the high circulation web version of the Sydney Daily Telegraph, have run a classic diversion story Sex fiends' job scandal . I know it's a relegaton tactic because they publish their paper version page 1 on the web [paper version has Bush speech p2]: Shock horror but not a candle to roughly 500,000 dead Iraqis in arguably the biggest foreign policy stuff up in the history of the USA.
The SDT has always been a cartoon book 'mind f*ck' in common Murdoch tradition. In true manipulative form they run an image of charming innocent child Bindi Irwin next to the 'sex fiend' headline. Significantly the SDT is also PM John Howard's "favourite" newspaper with open access for their chief spinner/hack Piers Ackerman many in Sydney regard as a thinly disguised white supremacist.
The truth is the SDT have buried the Bush speech, running second on their web page and paper. Howard will want it buried too this election year to put distance between him and loser Bush.
The serious news people here know Bush's speech is the most important of the day, week and likely the month: ABC tv to a minimal audience ran this first last night:
"TRACY BOWDEN: In what is considered one of the most important speeches of his Presidency, George W. Bush made it clear he may have steered away from the term "stay the course", but he's still focussed on victory in Iraq.
GEORGE W BUSH, US PRESIDENT: The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq and help us succeed in the fight against terror." http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2006/s1825434.htm
Indeed there were some shockers in the speech:
- 'Joe Lieberman' the pro war Democrat turncoat,
- 'bipartisanship' after the mid term election rout,
- no mention of the death toll,
- sanitised mention of the huge credibility gap with the USA electorate starved of social budget into the military industrial complex.
This was a very hard ball, recalcitrant, very polished speech I thought. It was surprisingly humble in style but deeply arrogant in content. Not so much a State of the Union, rather State of the War speech and every bit as critical after the mid term elections: A president's response from the imperative of the negative vote and in this sense a conversation with those voters direct.
Indeed the ABC govt broadcaster radio this morning in Australia has led the 7 am and 7.45 am main bulletins with the earlier one of senior Democrat opposition to Bush's 'surge' of 20k plus USA soldiers, and UK govt sympathetic reaction.
As I write AM's Peter Cave
(a gutsy gifted journalist who I recall once sent me an email from Baghdad calling me "a loon" for suggesting he blended into the 'Arabic' population)
announces their lead story 'is this about attacking Iran?'
similar to the UK The Times comment recently. We carry the Times report in full on SAM here at:
UK The Times online weighs 'Middle Eastern War' plan by White House
at the 10 January 2007 button top right, with original link there:
All very worrying.
This ostensible 'she'll be right' reaction in Sydney to the pivotal Bush speech has one big problem as exemplified by the earlier blanket press coverage of home grown rocket terrorism this last several weeks: It won't be right, and no one really believes it. Kevin Rudd, Opposition Leader, like senior Democrats is on AM now referring indeed to this war "folly".
This email came through from the USA peace movement late last night:
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 22:57:27 -0800
Just when we thought the war in Iraq couldn't get any worse - it has. Last
night, President Bush rejected reality, spurned the American people's
verdict, and announced his new policy: MILITARY ESCALATION IN IRAQ.
The good news is that the newly elected United States Congress can stop
this madness. We're launching an immediate campaign to let the Congress
hear from global voices - placing an ad with the number of signatures to
our petition in "Roll Call", an influential political paper sent to every
member of the US Congress. Click below to visit our new campaign site at
Avaaz.org, see the ad, and sign the petition:
The US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi government are part of the
problem, and sending tens of thousands more American troops will only fan
the flames of this war. But the US Congress can demand a real diplomatic
plan to end the war - if they feel enough pressure to do it.
This new Congress has real power to stop Bush in his tracks. The Democrats
were elected to end the war. If enough people speak up now, they might just
have the guts to do it.
The vast majority of Americans oppose escalation, and opposition is
growing. They need our help before the week is out.
Add your name to the petition. Spread the word to your friends. The Iraq
crisis is a global problem - and it will take global pressure to change its
Ricken, Paul, Tom, Rachel, Galit, Lee-Sean and the rest of the Ceasefire
Campaign (now Avaaz.org!) Team.
PS - In an online poll last year, nearly a thousand of you helped choose a
compelling new name for our global campaigning effort - www.Avaaz.org.
Avaaz means "voice" or "song" in many Asian languages. The new site is up,
so check it out! www.Avaaz.org.