Although a registered Republican (which in the state of West Virginia is like being a vegetarian at a pig roast), I am in large part a….Quickian??
I don’t know if that’s inflation-adjusted, but I know it’s big.
Yeah. Those thrifty fiscal conservatives. In the words of the late Sen. Everett Dirksen:
“A million here, a million there, pretty soon we’re talking real money.”
Mike Moran, in a long piece in MSNBC asks Are We Winning Yet?
Among other things, he references the the 3,200 civilian deaths reported by Marc Herold (who actually has the number at over 3,500), and states :
The Pentagon is wisely (and somewhat cynically) [Editor’s note: Those damn cynical buildings again.] mum on the number of civilians killed by the Anglo-American air raids. But conservative estimates by an American bomb assessment expert, Marc Herold of the University of New Hampshire, suggests that at least 3,200 civilians had died as result of the air raids by mid-December. That is not 3,200 Taliban fighters – their casualties appear to have been much higher. Rather, these were 3,200 men, women and children who, like their fellow human beings in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, had nothing to do with the politics of the conflict. What weight does this deserve in American calculations? Certainly, it cannot be ignored.
Perhaps someone should let Mr Moran note that the Pentagon works with hard numbers, not specious reports from unreliable sources (regardless of how many times they may have been repeated in the form of the same AP or Reuters report which appeared in 8 different papers or on Al-Jazeera). I am against civilian casualties (I am also against animal cruelty, heart attacks, and Barry Manilow comeback tours), but the reasons the more respectable media sources (and the cynical building known as the Pentagon) ignore these reports are because they are imprecise, prone to grotesque over-exaggeration, and although he may poo-poo it all he wants, they are not ‘independently corroborated.’ It is hard to be taken seriously when your counting relies on reports that state:
11 October: Two US jets were said to have bombed the mountain village of Karam. The death toll was estimated at between 100 and 160.
13 October: Bombs fell on the Qila Meer Abas neighbourhood, two kilometres south of Kabul airport. Four civilians were reportedly killed.
Reportedly killed? The last time I checked, death was a binary construct, in that you are are, or are not dead. You can not be reportedly dead. It is like being pregnant. You either is, or you isn’t. (A good argument could be made, however, that while physically alive, Alan Dershowitz is brain dead- but I do not think the good Dr. Herold is looking into this).
18 October: Some 47 civilians were said to have been killed when a central market place, Sarai Shamali, near Kandahar, was bombed.
And I have been said to have stunning good looks, a sparkling personality, and a way with women. I think I said it Saturday night after two bottles of damn fine red wine.
Again, not to ignore civilian casualties, of which I am sure there have been some, but excuse me if I refuse to listen to inflated numbers from someone with an ax to grind.
But why stop there. When you are going to be wrong, you might as well go all out. Mr. Moran also states, under a section called FLARE- UPS AND FAILURES, somoething that casual observers of the Middle East might be interested in.
Then there is Israel and the Palestinian Authority, two states led by two men uniquely ill-suited to the subtle challenges of the post-Sept. 11 world.
A.) I was unaware of Palestinian statehood.
B.) Arafat was and is a terrorist. Nothing else matters.
Mark Steyn on Enron. When he is on, he is just on.
On Friday on CNN, in the corner of the screen where of late “AMERICA FIGHTS BACK” has been emblazoned, there loomed instead the dread suffix: “ENRONGATE.” The New York Times has lapsed into its lethal passive voice: “Questions were being raised …”
The only “question” really being “raised” is: How can we pin this on Bush?
Short answer: You can’t.
Enron is a sleazefest with significant fiduciary issues for company officers, for their document-shredding auditors at Arthur Andersen and for the Accounting Lobby — Big Ledgers — in general. But, for those who want to turn a business scandal into a Beltway one, Ken Lay is supposedly not just the latest “unacceptable face of capitalism” but the unacceptable face of Bush capitalism — of a particular Texan energy-industry backslapping wildcatting business culture. The argument is that Lay has been writing cheques to Dubya’s political campaigns since he first ran for dogcatcher, and that in return he’s been rewarded with “access.” Thus the headline in Friday’s Washington Post: “Enron Asked For Help From Cabinet Officials. CEO Sought Intervention Before Bankruptcy.”
Hmm. I must fish out The Washington Post of November 23rd, 1963: “President Makes Visit To Dallas. JFK Well-Received By Most Texans.” The real news in the story is not Lay’s phone calls but the officials’ response: When Dubya’s buddy tried to call in his chits, the Bush guys were unmoved. The headline should have read: “Cabinet Officials Declined To Help Enron. CEO Told, ‘Awfully Sorry To Hear About All These Problems, Ken. Look, I Gotta Run, But Let’s Get Together And Do Lunch Sometime Next Year.’ “
and then this beauty:
In other words, if this is “another Whitewater,” it’s a bipartisan one: In Monica terms, it’s as if, in between oral sex with the president, she was squeezing in bondage sessions with Newt Gingrich and rounding out the day lap dancing with Strom Thurmond.
For the 3% of the population who buy Playboy AND read the articles, there is a very interesting interview with Gary Hart on terrorism in this month;s issue.
Another URL update: Sgt Stryker’s site will be moving to http://www.sgtstryker.com shortly. Please update ASAP.