27 September 2003

20 Questions

[source, source]
# Where is all the money from the UN’s Oil for Food Program? # How many people have now lived at least six months longer than they would have under Saddam? # How many civilians were really killed in the major combat portion of the war? # How many civilians have been killed since the end of major combat? # How unreliable is the Iraqi electric distribution system in comparison to, say, the Washington, D.C., area system? # How many people (estimates allowed) are crossing into Iraq from its neighbors each month? # How many people entering Iraq are Iraqis returning after escaping Saddam in the past? # How many Iraqis are suffering for lack of health care, lack of food, lack of potable water, etc.? (Not individual hard luck cases - good figures.) # How many Iraqis are directly involved in the “guerilla war” campaign against coalition forces? # How many non-Iraqis are directly involved in the “guerilla war” campaign against coalition forces? # What precisely has Bremer’s administration been spending billions of dollars on? (Show us the buildings, bridges, factories, power plants, oil fields, etc., assuming they exist.) # What was the average Iraqi’s income prior to the war, and what is it now? # What did Saddam do with his weapons of mass destruction and the component programs? (Don’t ask what “people” think; go find out!) # How many American and British service men and women in Iraq believe the cause of Iraqi democracy is hopeless? # Was the “looting” of the National Museum and Library an inside job? # How would international troops change the minds of the “guerilla” fighters? # How would additional American troops be useful in the 15 or so attacks and firefights now experienced by the 150,000 troops (10,000 per attack) in Iraq? # Is Saddam Hussein actually dead, and the tapes and such are all a hoax? # What is an average day in Iraq like for an America soldier? (Remember, the ratio of attacks to soldiers is 1:10,000, so a bloody firefight is clearly NOT average.) # What would Iraq be like if the coalition pulled out early and left things to the U.N. and Iraqi players? (Explore this with examples and a wide range of experts, please.) NOTE: Some answers might validate my opinions on Iraq; some might blow them to pieces. Either way, I need to know, and so do Americans in general. Why won’t the media ask these questions?
Well, asking those questions would require * Understanding the big picture * Accepting that the USA is not the ultimate source of all evil * Work That last is the real killer.
Posted by orbital at 8:45 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Lack of scale

There's been lots of fun with the ongoing "scandal at EuroStat":http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/09/25/weu25.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/09/25/ixworld.html. It's typically EU:
In a damning conclusion, the chief auditor wrote: "It is apparent that the commission is ill-equipped to protect itself further against the risk of collusion on third parties, where little controls, if any, are in place".
After all, it was that kind of accountability that the EU-lite have striven so hard to surmount. However, despite all the furour, the latest estimate for the amount of money lost is £2.1 million. Where is the sense of scale? Random accountants and con-men steal that kind of money all the time in the US - as a _government_ scandal it would hardly rate third page coverage over here. Pettiness, the defining characteristic of the EU-lite.
Posted by orbital at 8:06 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL