Friday, December 16, 2005

Iraqi Election - Press Club News Release

BAGHDAD – It’s official; it’s a Quagmire. The voting is over however the despair and sense of loss is just beginning in European and American newsrooms and bureaus around the world.

The defeat, so hoped for by the media only hours ago is now nothing more than the ramblings of so many unconfirmed sources, leaving in their wake the frightening and misplaced cheers of an Iraqi populace.

Stunned Reuters News service men stagger across the cheerful cityscapes, some barely able to complain about their hotel rooms let alone Israel.

AP reported losing two headline writers and an entire cadre of stringers after they wandered off through the curiously functioning society in search of bad news, never to return.

CNN camera crews forced to detoxify by drinking mineral water heavily laden with both minerals and water, sit waiting for script approval from Saddam’s media office; approval that never comes.

But the real story of this election tragedy is told back in the livingrooms of America where the parents of both high profile and famous media personalities sit in stunned silence as they watch what’s left of their children's hopes and dreams being shattered by verifiable stories of Iraqi election success and citizen optimism.

The truly tragic impact this loss is nowhere more evident as it is outside the gates of the President's Crawford Texas ranch, where one woman sits alone among twenty or so uplink trailers. She is camped outside the Presidents home in the hope of asking the president just one small but impossibly rhetorical question on camera. Her quiet dignity protecting her like a beach umbrella protects sun bathers from damaging UV rays; her name is Momma Rather.

[Note: find better metaphor]

She lost her son Dan in the fall of 2004 and correctly blames her loss on the policies of the Bush administration.

Forty years ago Joanne Michelle wrote, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Ooooooh la, la, la, la. Ooooooh la, la, la, la."

The last two lines don’t really apply here, but if you are in the media li9ke I am, the first line says it all. And if I may quote from another famous writer of verse; “There’s a kind of hush all over the world tonight. All over the world there’s the sound of people . . . ", well the last lines of that one don’t really work either.

[Can someone back in New York give this thing the once over and clean it up?]

Elliot Stonecphincter - Baghdad

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