It's completely understandable that they'd prefer to regress to their 2004 campaign mode, which didn't require any actual reporting on the major issues of the day -- which are, of course, booooooorrrrrrringgggg -- and only required a mastery of junior high school gossip skills. Who gives a shit about Iraq or the economy or national security, when John Kerry is on the loose mangling the English language? Won't someone please think of the children?!?!
Even though you wouldn't know it from the nonstop coverage of the willfully ignorant outrage of the White House, there is actual, disturbing news out there. Andrew Sullivan has the scoop:
The commander-in-chief has abandoned an American soldier to the tender mercies of a Shiite militia. Yes, there are nuances here, and the NYT fleshes out the story today. But the essential fact is clear. In a showdown for control of Baghdad, the Iraqi prime minister took orders from Moqtada al-Sadr, and instructed the U.S. military to withdraw from Sadr City. The American forces were trying both to stabilize the city but also to find a missing American serviceman. He is still missing. Money quote from the WaPo:Yep, that about covers it. While Bush is out there complaining that the Democrats are denigrating the troops, his administration is literally abandoning an American soldier in the field. Which is worse?The move lifted a near siege that had stood at least since last Wednesday. U.S. military police imposed the blockade after the kidnapping of an American soldier of Iraqi descent. The soldier's Iraqi in-laws said they believed he had been abducted by the Mahdi Army as he visited his wife at her home in the Karrada area of Baghdad, where U.S. military checkpoints were also removed as a result of Maliki's action.The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.
The crackdown on Sadr City had a second motive, U.S. officers said: the search for Abu Deraa, a man considered one of the most notorious death squad leaders. The soldier and Abu Deraa both were believed by the U.S. military to be in Sadr City.