ALERT: A Television COUP D'ETAT...THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...stay tuned for further information.

coup d'état
- n. (kü-dA-'tä)-a sudden and decisive exercise of force in politics;
especially the overthrow of a government by a small group of persons
in positions of authority. [French - literally, a "blow to the state"]

Happy VD! here's an anti-VD site to send e-cards to all your loved ones....

Now I'm going to describe to you what I call a "Public TV Coup D'etat"...There's this program that I respect very much that PBS (Public Broadcast Service) produces called Frontline. Normally, it is broadcast first on Television (all public TV stations across the US), then sometimes they move it to an online version. An archive of all the former Frontline programs that are now online can be found here.

Now, I know today is Valentine's Day and Al Hurra was just launched in Virginia and the Prez is in alotta hot water over his poor performance on the Oval Office interview with Tim Russert...but this program, Beyond Baghdad, went straight to the internet. That's like a big Hollywood movie going straight to video as far as I'm concerned. Now let me explain why.

This program that had producers Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria risking their lives visiting Mosul, Hawija, Suleimaniya, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Baquba, Baghdad, Fallujah, Kufa, Najaf, Shatrah, and finally Nasiriyah did not get the public screening it deserved. And I'm upset about it. They were in Iraq traveling for five weeks from November 12th until the day of Saddam's capture. I think they found out a couple of interesting things about Iraq and its people that certain people in positions of power in the US didn't want to be broadcast on Public TV. Many americans cannot afford cable TV anymore, so this was a dangerous program. Bush would have lost a few votes if this program saw TV-time. Check it out yourself and be the judge. Luckily, those who have internet connections (low or high band) can see it from anywhere. I recommend checking it out if you don't believe me. You will see it in six segments of 5-10 min (in either Real Video or Windows Media).

Damage control are the key words in the oval office these days. The last thing they need is the de facto governor of Baquba, a woman US commander, Leitentant S.G., saying...we "ran out" of money.

(From a segment of the show, Beyond Baghdad, below.)
Martin Smith, one producer notes in this section. "We had come here at a critical time. It has not been widely reported, but in October reconstruction money, so important to winning hearts and minds, dried up."

Click here for a low-bandwidth version of that... (Approximately, 2:03 minutes into this 12:47 minute clip)

" 'Hello, hi there,' Lt. SG says she ran out of money (Martin Smith speaking) while trying to set up a police force. 'What happened was initially (Lt. SG speaking) when we arrived here we used coalition money, and then, you know at some point, you know, it ran out. And honestly, for a few months, we were really at a stand-still. I couldn't get weapons. I couldn't get uniforms. Patrol cars...I have a couple of police stations that only had one patrol car. ...we cannot really work on public works if we don't have the security to protect the workers that are there. We can ask all the contractors in the world to come out and build a sewege line and everything else, but you know what, someone can come right behind them throw a couple RPGs at it, and what'ayou have? We need the security first in order to allow the civilian contractors to get out and do their job." (Aproximately, 3:36 into 12:47 min. clip)

LOW BAND, click.

And the "mayor" of Fallujah, who "says he is pro-American," (according to Martin Smith) says (in translation from Arabic) "Most Americans have a military mindset. They don't bother to know or learn about our culture or customs. They have a misinterpretation of Iraqis. When somebody kicks down a door to search a house, does he expect to be loved? (the mayor smiling...). (approximately, 7:54 into 12:47 minute clip)

I checked and re-checked our local public TV website for the time they would show Frontline: Beyond Baghdad...but there was no sign of it on the schedule. I wondered why because, again, it is not usual for the program to go directly to the internet. Then I quickly used deductive reasoning and figured there could be only a few reasons why they are not broadcasting this to over 100 million (probably closer to 200 million) homes. 1) It is negative news about Iraq during the months of November and December, which were supposidly high times, esp. after Saddam was caught. So this would basically confirm things were NOT doing well in Iraq, when they were in fact NOT doing well...while the likes of, (insert one White House or Pentagon high cabinet official's name here), in the Bush Administration continued to say they were making great progress as they were fighting off Howard Dean's position (who in turn woke up the Democratic party with the unfortunate help of REAL tragedies occuring in Iraq). Facts and reality are tough pills for most Americans to swallow. But I believe that once swallowed, there is a great chance of swaying an enormously powerful sleeping giant in the spirit of what is good: American Public Thought.

Then Saddam was caught. And the Bush administration's position was saved. But only temporarily. Honestly, I was initially shocked and melancholic. Unbelievable. "Arrested" ??? Yet I was happy in the strangest possible way and uniquely affected when I first believed it was true. I don't even think "happy" is the right word, because I knew it would have no bearing on the terrible ground situation. Even so, I wanted to share the moment with my father. It was a historical water-shed moment.

Let me tell you how I found out. I was online (it was early early in the morning) when I saw what I thought were rumors on a Iranian Kurdish news web site...I translated it into english. (I first saw it as "Breaking News" on the BBC...u know, when there's no story. So I Googled it, found the exact news site it derived from. I can even supply you with these initial discoveries, because being Iraqi and a organisational and information freak...I've kept records of them) So, I first sat back and thought, this is most probably a double. Then I double checked another Kurdish site...and it starting to sink in...it seemed to be real. I was beside myself, pacing back and forth. I assumed I woke up my father because I was making more noise than usual...and Iraqis can be very suggestive when they get over-excited. (It's a personality trait of mine.) Besides, I was being loud in the middle of the morning, and that's not too respectable in my family. Anyway, I approached my parents' bedroom...and he was snoring so LOUD!!! OMG! (FACT: My Dad snores so loud...it is like an airplane in the room.) I thought to myself...he shouldn't lose any of this excellent sleeping over such a trifle. So, I left a note at the foor of his doorway for him saying "They arrested him. -son" I did not sleep that night. A few hours later my dad comes up to me in a daze. I was glad I didn't wake him. He rested so well. (U know, I admire people who sleep well...so so much. I'm a terrible insomniac.) We hugged and made some extremely funny jokes that I will not mention. Meanwhile, BBC streamed on the internet while the Arabic whispers of a female Al-Jazeera anchor floated in audibly from the other room. My dad was shocked and asking me ten questions a minute. I responded like a robot. My mom slept. We remained in this state of shock-question-response-internet/Tv-media-absorption until we smelled the "gah'weh"...(coffee) My dad and I drank "Chai"...(tea)

Basically, this was the Coup the Bush Administration needed (and I'm not saying it wasn't a good thing in and of itself), but this was the event that I thought--at that point in time--was enough for Bush to ride-out on and win re-election. And so, while I was so oddly and violently happy (not like bjork tho). To be completely frank, I was perversely freaked out. I was weary of Howard Dean very early on...but I commend him for waking up half the country. Now, bye bye baby. Wisconsin, Shminsconson.

So it helped Bush and co. tremendously at the time...Bush's approval rating shot up and suddenly the war was justified. And Dean looked like a hippy. This powerful symbol of "rogue-state," "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud," "WMD," "spit-in-the-face-of-American" (though invented by America) was wrapped in American justice and even given both a medical exam and clean shave (and let him hold onto what little bit of manhood he had left, the moustache). How kind. (This was actually one of the most humiliating things to do to this person...and it satisfied many people, while it left many Arabs, even Iraqis, kind of astonishingly impotent. While many would not admit it...it was a clear slap in the face of Arab pride, whatever that is. So, it was an odd event that I felt very oddly about...because immediately I knew what the reactions would be. And that is the capture of Saddam, while intrinsically good, was going to be an event representing nothing that is close to reality and make matters seem peachy-keen on the surface in Iraq (to the American populous) while they are actually get much worse (underneath the surface). We all have to look underneath the surface at some point.

BTW, Mr. Bremer, when you said "We got em!" that was a phrase that completely backfired on you. I must be blunt. Very unintelligent...and directed at an American audience. You would have made things better for American troops and the Iraqi people if you had let an Iraqi announce his capture. That's my opinion. And it is pretty much a no-brainer.

What would have happened if this program Frontline: Beyond Baghdad had aired on public TV, as it was meant to have been? That is my question. You tell me. Email me, right now. Click the orange writing here.

I think once you lie, you have to cover it with another lie, then that lie gets bigger and bigger but nobody notices or cares because they are too comfortable with their narrow minds. Until somebody has the backbone to reveal the truth, like Daniel Ellsberg did during Vietnam, there will be one huge lie that is backed up by consistent white-washing and continued, sometimes self-inflicted, delusion to facts.

America Today = "Brain-wash....then, Brain-rinse." -KRS-ONE said it.




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