30 May 2006

Maybe Jaynes was right

[source, source]

AN Australian military commander has tried to ensure truth does not become a casualty of conflict in East Timor, but has embarrassed a TV network in the process.

Australian commander in East Timor Brigadier Michael Slater appeared this morning in a live cross from Dili to Channel 9’s Today show, with helmeted and heavily armed Australian soldiers standing behind him.

He was pressed by Today host Jessica Rowe about whether Dili really was as safe as the Australian military claimed, given the presence of armed soldiers at his shoulder.

Pausing briefly, Brig Slater replied: “Jessica I feel quite safe, yes, but not because I’ve got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good.

“I don’t need these guys here.

“It is not safe on the streets, as it is back home in Sydney or Brisbane – no it’s not, if it was we wouldn’t be here. But things are getting better every day.”

Rowe apologised, saying she didn’t realise the guards had been placed specifically for the interview. But Rowe ran into more trouble when she persisted with her line of questioning, and referred to footage of looting and violence.

Brig Slater told her the pictures were a “couple of days old”.

It does seem more and more that it’s not bias so much as a completel inability to process external information. Perhaps it’s a reversion to a bi-cameral mind and the journalists are not concious in the sense of being able to introspect.

Posted by orbital at 6:31 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Too good to be true


There are reports that Pakistan will pull its troops out of the North West Frontier Province and recognise the Taliban government. AKI reports that the U.S. has urged an extended military operation along the lines of Tora Bora, but Pakistan is apparently taking the ‘pragmatic’ option’. Unsurprisingly, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal are pushing for just that.

If only! Joe Katzman writes exactly what I thought as soon as I read that on why it would be such wonderful news.

  1. Those electoral seats in Pakistan’s system disappear. Islamist political influence in Pakistan shrinks with them.
  2. The fear of having the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan used to foment trouble in Pakistan disappears (though they still have the Baluchis to worry about), removing much of the impetus for seeing Afghanistan as important to Pakistan’s security. and therefore, much of the impetus for the ISI’s continued involvement there.
  3. If US forces head in to an independent government and start bombing/shooting people, it isn’t Pakistani territory any more. They’ll scream for help, of course, at which point the Pakistani Army says “no way we’re taking the Americans on!” and the Islamists learn that getting what you thought you wanted can hurt.
  4. Afghanistan’s problems stem from many sources, but the Pakistani training ground and safe haven along a long, inhospitable border means Taliban death squads forever unless it’s addressed. And as long as it’s Pakistani territory, it can’t be because they were allowed to develop nukes.

I say, make the declaration of independence and recognize the Taliban government. Then we can just go get the fascist little barbarians.

Sadly, I have to agree with the other commentors that I don’t see this as plausible, even though it would be of much benefit to the current ruling class of Pakistan.

Posted by orbital at 12:57 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL