03 January 2004

Of course you should wait until they start shooting

[source, source]

Soon after [the helicopter crashed], five men “wearing black press jackets with ‘press’ clearly written in English” fired on U.S. paratroopers guarding the crash site, Kimmitt said. He said it was the first time he had heard of assailants in Iraq posing as journalists.

Of course, any reaction based on this by the Coalition will be the fault of the USA, never those who post as journalists while fighting against the USA or its allies. (Of course, posing as a journalist to aid the USA is completely unacceptable).

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Solipsism, not bias

[source, source]

With over a hundred thousand Iraqis armed and performing security duties, the crime rate had rapidly come down, and most American troops are now concentrating on operations against terrorist and pro-Saddam Iraqis who are still fighting. A data collection system for crimes has also been installed, and it showed that Baghdad’s murder rate in October was lower than New York City’s (which has the lowest rate of any major city in the United States). Baghdad had six murders per 100,000 population, while New York had seven. This, however, does not count the deaths from American military operations, or terrorist acts, which would increase the Baghdad “murder rate” by at least fifty percent. That would still put it below many large American cities. The murders per 100,000 are 17 in Los Angeles, 19 in Philadelphia, 22 in Chicago and 46 in Washington, D.C. American journalists have no problem getting English speaking Baghdad residents to complain bitterly about “high crime rates.” This is because many of the victims are Sunni Arabs who grew rich working for Saddam. These people still occupy nice homes in fancy neighborhoods. The criminals go where the money is, obtaining an additional satisfaction in sticking it to someone who worked for Saddam. [emphasis added]

It’s kind of the flip side of the American situation where the violence is almost all among the “lower” classes. Based on the sqawking of the journalist class, it seems that Baghdad seems more dangerous because the victims are far more likely to be associates of the journalists. Once again, it’s all about them.

It’s also particularly interesting to compare Baghdad and Washington D.C.

Posted by orbital at 11:53 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

They just need a little re-education

[source, source]

Like most analysts who say they see no polarization, [Robert} Samuelson cites America’s great improvement in racial attitudes and increased tolerance for homosexuals. True, but left unsaid is that a fierce and apparently growing majority of Americans oppose gay marriage (up 6 points to 59 percent, according to Pew) and an even larger percentage of the public opposes racial preferences. ([Alan] Wolfe found that 76 percent of blacks and 83 percent of whites oppose [racial] preferences even when the euphemism “priority” is used in the question).

I must be missing something here, but how is polarized is it when over three quarters of the population on both sides oppose something? Does this mean that 76% of blacks are anti-black?

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Rules are for others

[source, source]

A very distinguished New York Times writer once told me that if the Times ballet critic, heading home after assessing the day’s offerings of pliés and glissades, happens to witness a murder on her way to the Times Square subway, she has a First Amendment right and obligation to refuse to testify about what she saw.

So put it all together and you get: (1) the anonymity of Novak’s sources must be protected at all costs for the sake of the First Amendment, and (2) The White House leakers must be exposed and punished at all costs for the sake of national security. Unfortunately for the striking of heroic poses, these two groups are the same people. Either we think they should be named, or we think they should not be named. Which is it?

It’s always the stunning hypocrisy of Big Media that gets me, where the rules apply to every one except them. No wonder they bonded with Hillary Clinton so well. Also, as many others have pointed out, we can have a years long, bitter and divisive investigation or Novak and the other five journalists can just speak up.

Posted by orbital at 11:29 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Another failure of American power

[source, source]

Four French soldiers are accused of robbing a bank in Ivory Coast they were supposed to be guarding, sources say. The men have been placed under judicial investigation, one step short of formal charges, say judicial and military officials in Paris.

They are accused of taking 58,000 euros from the bank in the northern rebel-held town of Bouake.

I blame Paul Wolfowitz, and the unmitigated greed that marks American culture.

No wonder France is trying to restrict the importation of American culture.

Posted by orbital at 11:21 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Judging some by their priorities


A Syrian trading company with close ties to the ruling regime smuggled weapons and military hardware to Saddam Hussein between 2000 and 2003, helping Syria become the main channel for illicit arms transfers to Iraq despite a stringent U.N. embargo […]

Iraqi records […] reveal Iraq’s increasingly desperate search in at least a dozen countries for ballistic missiles, antiaircraft missiles, artillery, spare parts for MIG fighter jets and battle tanks, gunpowder, radar systems, nerve agent antidotes and more. [emphasis added]

Pejman asks

Any particular reason why Iraq was so “desperate” for things like “nerve agent antidotes”?

Uh, they were worried that the President Bush, who likes nothing better than killing dark skinned third worlders, might use chemical weapons on Iraqi civilian populations just to see if they worked? (Expect to see this theory on Democratic Underground in the near future).

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