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November 24, 2004

Ivory Coast and Iraq

Interesting comments on French reaction to their country's antics in the Ivory Coast compared to rhetoric about Iraq.

04:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Surprise of the Day: UN knew of Saddam's oil-for-food thefts

Now that the election is over, the BBC has decided to pay attention to UNScam. "The United Nations knew that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was stealing from the oil-for-food program - and, by extension, starving his own people - but did little to stop it, according to a special report by the BBC." The BBC even goes as far as to admit that Saddam may have used some of the money to fund terrorism.

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, evidence has emerged that Saddam found many ways to skim billions from the program. Some of that money allegedly went to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. It is also alleged that Saddam paid foreign journalists and sympathetic foreign officials, as a way of getting them to campaign to get the sanctions lifted. Around 270 people are alleged to have received vouchers to sell oil for millions of dollars in profit.

What took them so long to unearth these massive secrets?

04:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Danforth Questions Purpose of General Assembly

After the UN's General Assembly failed to vote on human rights violations in the Sudan, John Danforth, the US Ambassador to the UN, asked"One wonders about the utility of the General Assembly on days like this. One wonders if there can't be a clear and direct statement on matters of basic principle, why have this building? What are we all about? This to me is a very bad situation,".

UPDATE: Oxblog discusses the crisis of legitimacy hitting the UN.

01:00 PM in Oil for Food Scandal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Filmmaker Murdered and Hollywood is Mum?

So Theo van Gogh is murdered, and the Wall Street Journal points out Hollywood is silent. After all the strum and drang Hollywood and the "media set" in general brought to the election, maybe they just don't have any energy left.

10:47 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

If at first you don't suceed, litigate, litigate, litigate

Looks like Democrats are going to continue to litigate the Washington State governor's race, even though the Republican candidate won the election and the first recount.

10:34 AM in 2004 Election | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

Interesting Insight into Problems Iraqi Insurgents Face

The Belmont Club has an interesting analysis of command and control difficulties faced by the insurgents in Iraq.

11:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reports from Ukraine

Worrisome goings on in the Ukriane. Former Congressman Bob Schaeffer is there as an election observer and is providing his own live reports of what is going on. Europe and the US have already expressed serious concerns about the way the election was handled. Of course, the Russians have their own ideas since they are not thrilled with Ukraine moving closer to the EU.

Lots of great links to the events can be found at Brama, a Ukranian news blog.

UPDATE: Claims of poisoning and the use of biological weapons on Yushchenko just adds to the bizarreness of the events. See here for side-by-side pictures that do really raise questions about what happened to him.

The NY Times has a good backgrounder on the geo-political implications of what is occuring in Ukraine.

10:40 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

Anti-Semitism Thriving at Columbia University?

Columbia University has often been a useful looking glass to view the left-leaning intelligentsia of NYC.  These days, the rise of anti-semitism on its campus seems to reflect a similar growth of hatred within the American left in general.

"Yet even some faculty members say they fear social ostracism and career consequences if they're viewed as too pro-Israel, and that many have been cowed or shamed into silence."
What is happening to the left in this country? It seems as though it has turned into nothing more than a hotbed of anger and impotence. It is sad and frightening. Unfortunately, much of the Michael Moore type hysteria is spilling over into politics and was reflected in the often zealot-like antipathy toward George Bush which I feel is a major reason Kerry lost the election despite the press claims it was all about faith. Many feel that now the election is over, the Democrats will be able to reign some of these feelings in, but I fear it is only going to get worse.

10:49 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kevin Sites and Journalistic Integrity

The video made by Kevin Sites has raised a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of airing it. He has posted further thoughts in his blog detailing his own debate about the shooting and video. I think that Sites did the right thing - his job was to film what was happening in Fallujah. Most of the coverage I have seen by NBC has been very clear in the mitigating issues involved - the biggest one being that one of the favored tactics of the jihadis is to boobytrap their bodies and explode grenades or bombs once enough American/Iraq forces are in close enough proximity (see for an example). Given the situation, the marine did the right thing. Unfortunately, because of the reporting, he will probably be made a sacrificial lamb. I hope the military has the guts to do the right thing, but my guess is this guy is going to be slapped hard.

I do not think the American press has yet come to terms with the fact that the outside world really does not care about mitigating circumstances. Many foreign outlets just want to find ways to demonize the United States and they will use any opportunity to do so. This event may very well be the wake up call the American press needs in order for them to realize that their actions may undercut their own country. I think they still operate under a fallacy that reporting should be unbiased, but this is ignoring the reality of the world we live in, not to mention the duplicitousness of their own actions at times (see Rathergate et al).  Is Sites really so naive as to be able to state " I had no idea how our other 'pool' partners might use the footage?"  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt since I believe this is a reflection of the larger overall cluelessness of the media in this regard.

The issue raises many questions, not least of which is how should the forces fighting "evil" (yes, Michael Moore, people who do this are NOT minutemen in even the most twisted interpretation) behave.  However, the most immediate question is how the press should behave. I don't know if there is a good answer here. I certainly don't want the press to be censored. I think its a good thing that the reporters are out there, risking their lives, so that the world can see the savagery of war. On the other hand, I think when the reporting serves, however indirectly, to place marines or any other American in graver trouble, then one must raise questions as to its appropriateness.

10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2004

Democrats = Blue, Republicans = Red

Kevin Drum has figured out how colors get assigned to political parties during elections. I've always wondered about this.

02:50 PM | Permalink | TrackBack