Tom Tomorrow has the transcript of yesterday's, Meet the Press, which I haven't been able to watch since Thune debated Daschle. But yesterday, it seems that at the same time the press (and Bill Maher, the traitor) declares that Iraq is much safer, you hear (if you watched it) this:
MR. FILKINS: Well, The New York Times has a huge operation there. It's very expensive. But it's...The ride to the airport is 6 miles. Later on:
MR. RUSSERT: Heavily guard?
MR. FILKINS: Very heavily guarded. We've got a couple of houses, we've got 20-foot-high concrete blast walls topped with barbed wire. There's armed guards, there's armored cars, searchlights, the whole thing.
MR. FILKINS: Yeah. There's actually a company in Baghdad that does nothing except offer rides to the airport and back. They've got an armored cars and some guards. And they charge $35,000 for a ride to the airport. And I think you know, if you miss your plane and you have to come back, it's another $35,000. ...
MR. MIKLASZEWSKI: ... Nine thousand homes and buildings in Fallujah were destroyed when the Marines went in in November. There have been 32,000 claims against the government by homeowners and business owners. Of those 32,000 claims, only 2,400 have been paid off so far. ... They will only give you 20 percent of the amount of your claim for now. ... And as I stood next to the line of those claimants, all you have to do is ask them what their complaint is, and within seconds, their rage surfaces, so badly at one point the cameraman said to me, "Mik, we're about to start a riot here. I think we'd better leave." ...Now how, praytell does this scenario lead one to believe that things are moving along well in the democratization of Iraq? Seems like same old, same old to me. 35% of our $18 billion is going for security. I'm sorry, Fallujah.
MR. FILKINS: If I could just jump in there--I mean, I think what's happened here--you know, Congress allocated $18 billion for reconstruction. And what's happened is, you know, it's a lot easier to kick a barn down than it is to build one. And so, so much of this money has had to be diverted for security training, for just security on the projects. I mean, on any given construction project, as much as 35 percent of the money goes to protecting the workers who are working on it. So the problem is just--has been the violence, and it's basically overwhelmed every attempt or most of the attempts to rebuild the country.
Another intrepid man who watches TV for me, so I don't have to is Crooks and Liars. I am concerned that our dear C&L may positively lose his mind from this activity. He is suffering from Wingnut Disorder and may destroy his TV at any minute. Keeping tabs on the Liberal Media™ is a full time job. Watching Tom DeLay deconstruct is entertaining, for sure, but too much of it is hazardous to your health. BTW, C&L is now blogging at Pinstripe Alley with Kos to cheer up a bit. Too bad the Yankees are sucking so much lately. ahem.