Schwarzeneggers False Liability - August 27, 2003

Times Watch for August 27, 2003

Schwarzeneggers False Liability

Reporter Charlie LeDuff grades how former Gov. Pete Wilsons team is doing in advising California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger. In Tuesdays An Outsider Candidate Who Favors Insider Advice, LeDuff writes: But the Wilson team is not without liabilities. It pushed the energy deregulation that lead to rolling blackouts in 2000 that some blame Mr. Davis for. And it was Mr. Wilson who let slip on a Sunday morning talk show that Mr. Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria, had supported Proposition 187, a successful ballot initiative that Mr. Wilson sponsored, barring illegal immigrants from state services.

LeDuff refers to Schwarzeneggers native Austria presumably to make the actor-candidate look hypocritical for his support of Prop 187. But Schwarzenegger (who left Austria in 1968) was a legal immigrant to the United States; Prop 187 targeted illegal immigrants. So whats the problem? (In fact, the difference between legal and illegal immigration is a point the Times often glosses over.)

For the rest of LeDuffs story on Schwarzeneggers team of advisors, click here.

California | Immigration | Recall | Proposition 187 | Arnold Schwarzenegger | Pete Wilson

Quagmire Watch

The Times rediscovers the Q word. David Halbfingers Tuesday report on presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (who served in Vietnam, in case he hasnt told you) brings up the spectre of a Vietnam-style quagmire.

Halbfinger notes: [Advisors] say his constant recitation of his wartime experience is only natural in the world after Sept. 11, where national security has become a threshold issue and where some say the problems and perils of rebuilding Iraq are reminiscent of the quagmire that Vietnam became.

For the full report on Sen. Kerry, click here.

Campaign 2004 | David Halbfinger | Sen. John Kerry | Quagmire | Vietnam

Another Iraqi for Saddam

Wednesdays front-page story by John Tierney, How and Why Did Iraqi Die? 2 Tales of Anger and Denial, is on the shooting death of 17-year-old Baghdad resident Ali Muhsin by U.S. soldiers. U.S. soldiers say he threw grenades at them; his family and relatives say he was working at a tire-repair shop at the time.

The conflicting tales leave Tierney to shrug and split the credibility difference between U.S. soldiers under attack and the civilians who may or may not be violently opposing them: Stories about murderous civilians and brutal soldiers are becoming endemic. The truth is generally impossible to ascertain because many incidents are not even formally reported, much less investigated. The death of Ali Muhsin, 17, two weeks ago made no news outside the neighborhood, but the scene was recorded by a passing photographer, and subsequently more than a dozen participants and witnesses were tracked down in an effort to reconcile the two versions of events. Did the soldiers shoot a grenade-thrower or an innocent teenager? Did they then try to save his life or let him die?

During his search for the truth, Tierney uncovers another vote for Saddam Hussein: Ali's uncle, Khadim Herz, said the experience made him nostalgic for Saddam Hussein. We were very happy with the Americans, but we are not friends anymore, he said. We heard about Saddam's mass graves, and now we are seeing the Americans' graves.

For the rest of John Tierneys story from Baghdad, click here.

Saddam Hussein | Iraq War | John Tierney