Smart move, Jean-Claude!That should be particularly troubling for the EU, because it is a club that is based entirely on confidence and goodwill. If the idea gets around that it is a discredited organisation whose leaders are living in la-la-land, it may find it increasingly hard to impose its authority, even when it is enforcing EU law. National governments may become increasingly inclined to ignore edicts from Brussels. This process is already well under way with the destruction of the stability and growth pact. But the unravelling of the authority of the EU could, in time, extend to areas well beyond the enforcement of fiscal discipline. What would happen if tomorrow the commission were to tell Italy or France that they could not bail out troubled companies such as Alitalia or Alstom? In the current political climate, it would be tempting for the Italian or French governments simply to tell the commission to take a hike.
Such a confrontation would expose the flimsy foundations of EU power. When Little Rock refused to desegregate its schools in the 1950s, there were federal troops to enforce the will of the United States Supreme Court. Even Louis XVI had an army behind him. But the European Court of Justice and the European Commission, like the pope, have no divisions. They rely on the goodwill of EU members and the credibility of the organisation. Both are now under considerable strain.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The Spectator has an excellent article on how the money is spent. This, at any rate is really comforting:
Take, for example, Malawi's 'Benz Aid' scandal. In the year 2000 Bakili Muluzi was hailed as a paragon of African 'good governance' following the demise of Life President Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The Economist rated Blantyre as the best city to live in in the world. Britain promised to increase its aid from £30.8 million to £52.4 million in a single year specifically to help the 65 per cent of Malawians existing on less than 50 pence a day. Malawi's government celebrated by purchasing 39 top-of-the-range S-class Mercedes at a cost of £1.7 million. In the furore that followed, Clare Short, then international development secretary, ruled out a ban on aid to Malawi, explaining that the money used for the car purchases had not been skimmed off British aid but some other donor's.Do read the whole thing. And see this excellent article in openDemocracy with an alternative suggestion. See here and here for further comments.
Last year King Mswati III of Swaziland went against the grain. He passed over Mercedes and went for a £264,000 Maybach 62 for himself plus a fleet of BMWs for each of his 10 wives and three virginal fiancées selected annually at the football stadium ‘dance of the impalas’. Imagine if he continues buying BMW for his wives; his dad collected 50 spouses and 350 kids. In May southern Africa’s Mr Toad changed his mind about Mercedes and roared up to his rubber-stamp parliament in a new S600L limo. The total bill for his car purchases alone will be about £750,000, or three quarters of the annual figure for British assistance. Of the £14 million Swaziland gets in foreign aid, £9 million goes on the king’s balls, picnics and parties — and cars. Yet 70 per cent of Swazis languish in absolute poverty and four out of ten have HIV/Aids, the highest rate in the world.
Even more worryingly, it seems that it isn't only states that foul things up - NGO's also create problems. Additionally the African leaders themselves often spread rumours and falsehoods that exacerbate problems: denying that HIV causes AIDS, claiming that Western donated vaccines are ploys to make Africans infertile; government sponsored AIDS education programs in South Africa teach that fat people do not contract AIDS. What is one to say to that? Help comes to those who help themselves.
Clearly what is needed is significant aid and debt-relief, with extensive follow-up on the money's use, only for those countries which can prove that they are not genocidal, repressive and corrupt. This should have the double benefit of helping the poor people there and giving strong incentives to the other countries to shape up.
The problem with this idea is that it will be hard to find suitable candidates for this largesse. Even Kenya, a relatively advanced country is terribly corrupt:
One of the most flagrant abuses of 'good governance' in Africa today is occurring in Kenya — original home of the WaBenzi. After decades of dictatorship voters in December 2002 swept Mwai Kibaki to power at the head of his NARC rainbow coalition on an anti-corruption ticket. 'Corruption will now cease to be a way of life in Kenya,’ Kibaki promised. The very first law Kibaki's parliament passed rewarded politicians with a 172 per cent salary increase. MPs’ take-home pay is now about £65,000 per annum (compared with a British MP's £57,485 gross) and the Kenyan MPs' fat package of allowances includes a £23,600 grant to buy a duty-free car, together with a monthly £535 fuel and maintenance allowance.And these are the elected leaders - imagine the dictators! How depressing.
Take a look at Kenya's 2005–06 budget, read out by finance minister David Mwiraria to a cheering parliament in Nairobi on 8 June. According to the local Daily Nation, the government has allocated £3 million for the purchase of a fleet of new vehicles for the Office of the President. A further £2.9 million has been set aside for the maintenance of the existing car-pool of vehicles. One has to wonder if this expenditure of nearly £6 million, no doubt a lot of it on Mercedes-Benzes and far in excess of the sums involved in Malawi's 'Benz Aid' scandal, has anything to do with the increased aid supply.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Now, however, a philosophical disagreement within its editorial board has put its future in turmoil. On Friday, 10 well-known board members, including the conservatives Midge Decter, Samuel P. Huntington and Francis Fukuyama, announced their resignations, saying they disagreed with the narrowly realist foreign policy of its new owner, the Nixon Center.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 8:38 AM
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Like in all Western countries, the Italian judiciary is totally separate and independent from the government, therefore this has nothing to do with the Italian government's foreign policy. On the contrary, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had a very conflicted relationship with the judiciary: he has stood trial several times and his previous stint as PM was ended in 1994 by a subpoena. However, while there seems to be no doubt that Berlusconi has had a hand in shady business dealings, he has never been convicted (even though he has often gotten off through the statute of limitations).
Nonetheless, unlike most Western countries the Italian judiciary is undeniably and gratingly politicized. A lot of judges and prosecutors are left-wing and do not hesitate to express their political opinions. Therefore, it is very hard to ever be sure of what is actually going on. Are convictions and aquittals based on impartial evidence or political preferences?
As a result Italy is a nation in the grip of conspiracy theories. These mostly try to give a rationale for unexplained events (mostly in the post-WWII years), and there are plenty of those:
- the Piazza Fontana bombing in 1969 (and various subsequent and related arrests, suicides [?] and murders),
- the 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station,
- the crash of ENI Chairman Enrico Mattei's airplane in 1962,
- the 1978 assasination of PM Aldo Moro,
- the suicide (?) of Banco Ambrosiano Chairman Roberto Calvi (God's Banker) in 1982,
- the crash, off the coast of Ustica, of an internal commercial flight,
- the P2 Masonic Lodge,
- the Red Brigades, and the list goes on and on.
Given all this, I think it is safe to say that while the CIA's behaviour may not have been ideal, it is rather likely that the prosecutors may have been motivated by the desire to undermine the Berlusconi government by encouraging anti-American sentiment. See here and here.
Is it any wonder then that the US is reluctant to sign up to the International Criminal Court? If the ICJ, with its significant limitations, is already unbelievably politicized, as has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by its ruling on the Israeli "Wall," can you imagine how easily the (vastly more unfettered) ICC will be hijacked as a tool to further anti-Americans' political ends? As expected this has actually already taken place:
See this outstanding Policy Review article in which John Rosenthal argues that the ICC actually undermines the UN system. Also see here and here for why the US is justified in refusing to join.
As the Court now begins its first session, you might suspect Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein would find an early place on the docket. Or maybe the ICC would try Kim Jong Il, the brutal North Korean dictator who has systematically starved two million of his subjects to death and tortured hundreds of thousands more in labor camps? Or it might train its guns on Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who is also starving his own people while forcibly seizing land from his country’s white farmers? Or perhaps some of the myriad henchmen who have carried out the aforementioned individuals’ monstrous policies? Maybe the perpetrators of the ongoing, unspeakable atrocities in Congo, Liberia, and Sudan; or the agents of oppression, terror, and human-rights abuses scattered all over the Arab world?
But none of these cases are soon to be heard. Instead, the Greek Bar Association has announced that it will file charges of “crimes against humanity and war crimes” with the ICC against British Prime Minister Tony Blair, because of his participation in the Iraq war. This is not at all surprising; from the very start, the main proponents of the ICC’s formation were “human rights” organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, both of which traditionally oppose American foreign policy — and were ecstatic to find a vehicle with international “respectability” through which they could condemn any American military and political venture they dislike.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 11:05 AM
Saturday, June 25, 2005
This is total bollocks.
First of all, the rationale given by President Bush for the war did not rest only - or even mostly - on the fact that based on the most recent information available at the time, all intelligence agencies (even the French and Germans) thought that Saddam was developing WMD. Claiming it did, as has become fashionable, is a out-and-out lie, as a simple Google search will demonstrate. See roundups here, here and here.
Secondly, and this might come as a surprise, WMD have been found on several occasions. Maybe not the labs we were expecting, but WMD nonetheless. See a recent post here (via Instapundit).
Finally, even if they hadn't been found, there are still excellent reasons to argue that the war was "worth it," as Robert Kagan ably argues in the Washington Post. By the way, you should read his book, Of Paradise and Power, an analysis of European-American attitudes on the world and international relations which is absolutely brilliant. The essay the book is based on can be found here.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 10:25 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:28 PM
Posted by A. Kvetch at 11:25 AM
Posted by A. Kvetch at 10:09 AM
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Marines patrolling this desert region near the Syrian border have for months been seeing a strange new trend in the already complex Iraqi insurgency. Insurgents, they say, have been fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba, on the border, to Qaim, farther west. The observations offer a new clue in the hidden world of the insurgency and suggest that there may have been, as American commanders suggest, a split between Islamic militants and local rebels.
A United Nations official who served in Iraq last year and who consulted widely with militant groups said in a telephone interview that there has been a split for some time.
"There is a rift," said the official, who requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the talks he had held. "I'm certain that the nationalist Iraqi part of the insurgency is very much fed up with the Jihadists grabbing the headlines and carrying out the sort of violence that they don't want against innocent civilians."
The nationalist insurgent groups, "are giving a lot of signals implying that there should be a settlement with the Americans," while the Jihadists have a purely ideological agenda, he added.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 10:42 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
But the diplomat had no patience for my small talk. Apropos of nothing, he said he had recently made a study of U.S. tax laws and concluded that practices here were inferior to those in Germany. Given recent rates of German economic growth, I found this comment odd. But I offered no rejoinder. I was, after all, a guest in his home.
The diplomat, however, was just getting started. Bad as U.S. economic policy was, it was as nothing next to our human-rights record. Had I read the recent Amnesty International report on Guantanamo? "You mean the one that compared it to the Soviet gulag?" Yes, that one. My host disagreed with it: The gulag was better than Gitmo, since at least the Stalinist system offered its victims a trial of sorts.
Nor was that all. Civil rights in the U.S., he said, were on a par with those of North Korea and rather behind what they had been in Europe in the Middle Ages. When I offered that, as a journalist, I had encountered no restrictions on press freedom, he cut me off. "That's because The Wall Street Journal takes its orders from the government."
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:00 PM
Monday, June 20, 2005
No cold meals, sleep deprivation or uncomfortable positions? Obviously, what we need to do is get the U.S. Army to serve drinks on commercial airlines and get the airlines to start supervising the detainees in Guantanamo.
American soldiers make do with C-rations. Dinner on an America West flight from New York to Las Vegas consists of one small bag of peanuts. Meanwhile, one recent menu for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo consisted of orange-glazed chicken, fresh fruit crepe, steamed peas and mushrooms, and rice pilaf. Sounds like the sort of thing you'd get at Windows on the World – if it still existed.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:37 PM
Friday, June 17, 2005
Global warming cyclical, says climate expert
By Philip Hopkins
The Age, June 13 2005
Carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas and has helped produce the "green" world agricultural revolution, according to an Australian climate expert.
Rob Carter, from James Cook University in Townsville, said the rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in recent decades had boosted agricultural crop yields.
"Carbon dioxide is the best aerial fertiliser we know about," he told the Victorian Farmers Federation in Morwell late last week.
Professor Carter, a marine geologist, is research professor in the university's Marine Geophysical Laboratory. He said the Kyoto Protocol would cost billions, even trillions, of dollars and would have a devastating effect on the economies of countries that signed it. "It will deliver no significant cooling - less than 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2050," he said.
"The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been the main scaremonger for the global warming lobby … Fatally, the IPCC is a political, not a scientific body."
To understand climate change, it was necessary to look at the longer record, he said. Through an examination of material taken from deep below the ocean floor, marine geologists could study layers of earth's history similar to the way a tree's age could be determined by tree rings.
"We are in a relatively warm period today," he said. "But 20,000 years ago, it was as cold as it has ever been - that was the peak of the last glaciation."
Professor Carter said that over 2.5 million years there had been 50 glacial and interglacial periods. Of the past 400,000 years, the earth had been colder for 90 per cent of the time, with briefer warmer periods of about 10,000 years.
He said the earth was now at the end of a warmer period, and reputable climate-change scientists agreed that the climate was going to get colder. The debate was whether it would take tens, hundreds or even thousands of years to occur.
On a shorter time scale, Professor Carter said the earth had broadly got warmer in the modern period, from 1860 to 2000, although it had also been warmer in Roman and medieval times. There had also been a Little Ice Age between 1550 and the 19th century, when the Thames used to freeze over.
A cooling trend took place between 1940 and 1970, when temperatures began to rise again, reaching a peak in 1998. "This coincided with the biggest El Nino in the 20th century," he said.
However, research by the climate research unit at East Anglia University in Britain had shown that the average global temperature had declined since 1998.
Professor Carter said greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide were not causing the earth to warm up. On both annual and geological (up to 100,000-year) time scales, changes in temperature preceded changes in carbon dioxide, he said.
This was true even in the famous 1960-1991 graph showing rising amounts of carbon dioxide.
Professor Carter said that without the natural greenhouse effect, the average earth temperature would be minus 18 degrees Celsius, compared with the average of plus 15 Celsius that had nurtured the development of life and civilisation.
Water vapour made up about 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide was a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for 3.6 per cent of the total greenhouse effect, he said. Of this, only 0.12 per cent, or 0.036 degrees Celsius, could be attributed to human activity.
Climate had always changed and "always will", he said. "The only sensible thing to do about climate change is to prepare for it."
Posted by A. Kvetch at 3:07 PM
However the appalling reality is that apparently this is not the case:PETA euthanizes animals by lethal injection, which it considers more humane than gassing groups of animals, as poor counties are forced to do, O'Brien said.
"PETA has provided euthanasia services to various counties in (North Carolina) to prevent animals from being shot behind a shed or gassed in windowless metal boxes, both practices that were carried out until PETA volunteered to provide a painless death, free of charge," Newkirk said.
Even more damningly all this killing wouldn't be at all necessary if PETA spent its significant resources on some less radical-chic ideas:But veterinarian Patrick Proctor said that authorities found a female cat and her two "very adoptable" kittens among the dead animals. He said they were taken from Ahoskie Animal Hospital.
"These were just kittens we were trying to find homes for," he said. "PETA said they would do that, but these cats never made it out of the county."
PETA had taken 50 animals from Proctor's practice over the past two years, he said. PETA also has taken animals from veterinarian James Brown in Northampton County. "When they started taking them, they said they would try to find homes for them," Brown said, adding that no one checked on the animals afterward.
These are radicals with warped minds. Where is the outrage?PETA kills animals. Because it has other financial priorities.PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals. Instead, the group spends huge sums on programs equating people who eat chicken with Nazis, scaring young children away from drinking milk, recruiting children into the radical animal-rights lifestyle, and intimidating businessmen and their families in their own neighborhoods. PETA has also spent tens of thousands of dollars defending arsonists and other violent extremists.PETA claims it engages in outrageous media-seeking stunts "for the animals." But which animals? Carping about the value of future two-piece dinners while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens isn't ethical. It's hypocritical -- with a death toll that PETA would protest if it weren't their own doing.PETA kills animals. And its leaders dare lecture the rest of us.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:26 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Posted by A. Kvetch at 3:55 PM
Young Khomeini has been spending a good deal of his time in Iraq, where he has many friends among the Shia. He is a strong supporter of the United States intervention in that country, and takes a political line not dissimilar to that of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. In practice, this means the traditional Shia belief that clerics should not occupy posts of political power. In Iranian terms, what it means is that Khomeini (his father and elder brother died some years ago, so he is the most immediate descendant) favors the removal of the regime established by his grandfather. "I stand," he tells me calmly, "for the complete separation of religion and the state." In terms that would make the heart of a neocon soar like a hawk, he goes on to praise President Bush's State of the Union speech, to warn that the mullahs cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons, and to use the term "Free World" without irony: "Only the Free World, led by America, can bring democracy to Iran."
Posted by A. Kvetch at 3:42 PM
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:31 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I really do believe that we are capable of solving these problems. However, I suspect that, unfortunately, it will take more acute malaise and stagnation before continental Europe is awakened from its torpor. It is a pity that these things take so long here.A few countries (Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands) have acted, and there are differences between Eastern and Western Europe. But in general Europe is immobilized by its problems. This is the classic dilemma of democracy: Too many people benefit from the status quo to change it; but the status quo isn't sustainable. Even modest efforts in France and Germany to curb social benefits have triggered backlashes. Many Europeans -- maybe most -- live in a state of delusion. Believing things should continue as before, they see almost any change as menacing. In reality, the new E.U. constitution wasn't radical; neither adoption nor rejection would much alter everyday life. But it symbolized change and thereby became a lightning rod for many sources of discontent (over immigration in Holland, poor economic growth in France).
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:11 PM
Monday, June 13, 2005
Do read the whole thing: it is argued clearly and cogently.As many of you know, I'm from Canada. We have a pretty different attitude to guns up here, and I must say that American gun culture has always kind of puzzled me. To me, one no more had a right to a gun than one did to a car.
Well, my mind has changed. Changed to the point where I see gun ownership as being a slightly qualified but universal global human right.[...]Here's the crux, the argument before which all other arguments pale into insignificance:
The Right to Bear Arms is the only reliable way to prevent genocide in the modern world.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 4:09 PM
Friday, June 10, 2005
French President Jacques Chirac has called on Britain to "make an effort" over the EU budget, amid an escalating row about the UK's rebate.
Speaking alongside German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Mr Chirac called for "greater fairness" in EU contributions.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 4:08 PM
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:26 PM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Posted by A. Kvetch at 9:14 PM
The Washington Times reports:
Many Germans think, for example, that the 1969 moon landing was faked, and a poll published in the weekly Die Zeit showed that 31 percent of Germans younger than 30 "think that there is a certain possibility that the U.S. government ordered the attacks of 9/11."At the same time:
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin was not impressed with the latest episode, which seemed to use haunting Arabic music to portray Arabs and Muslims as innocent victims of American aggression.Are these guys out of their minds? "Not worthy of further comment"?! There should be an all-out diplomatic and media offensive rejecting and disproving these spurious, dangerous and insulting lies and the people charged with representing the US abroad are not even going to comment?! This is outrageous!
"Any claim or suggestion that the United States government was behind the 9/11 disaster is absolutely absurd and not worthy of further comment," said Robert A. Wood, spokesman for the embassy.
A German diplomat in Washington said no one in Germany took the plot seriously because it was "pure fiction."
"It was so out of line with what people really think," the diplomat said, adding that the episode does not deserve further comment.
Anyway, why would over 7 million people watch such a thing if they thought (correctly) that it was totally ridiculous even to contemplate such a possibility? What would the reaction be if ARD produced a fictional TV drama in which Jews are depicted as fabricating the evidence proving the Holocaust happened? Would that be brushed off as "pure fiction"?
Posted by A. Kvetch at 6:52 PM
More importantly, how can a rational and thinking person consider this a remotely reasonable, valid and useful analogy? I literally don't know whether to laugh or cry - this is the Italian intelligentsia's idea of interesting commentary? See Normblog's comments.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 4:09 PM
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
This is excellent news. There are several disadvantages to the hydrogen engine compared to the fuel cell, but it seems to me that this would be an ideal way to encourage the creation of a hydrogen distribution system.But now a competing technology, which enables ordinary internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen, will soon start to hit the road.
Enthusiasts say the hydrogen engine could help smooth the introduction of hydrogen as a fuel - a process that will require heavy investment in filling stations, hydrogen production and specialised components.
The hope is that hydrogen engines will provide a "bridging technology" to fuel cells, says Vance Zanardelli, Ford's chief engineer for hydrogen engines. "When the fuel cell is ready for prime time, the world needs to be ready for hydrogen," he adds.
Do read the whole article. The real question is how long it will take us to realize this, and focus on actual solutions. I'm not holding my breath.According to the European Environment Agency only two countries are on track to comply with the Kyoto targets, the UK and Sweden. Funnily enough, both of them are doing well because of political decisions that (1) date back to the 1980s and (2) have nothing to do with climate. In other words, climate policies aren't helping them move towards their supposed target, whereas other policies (that may or may not be wise for other reasons) do. Such policies include the shift from coal to natural gas (as is the case for the UK) and a strong reliance on nuclear power (which provides some 45 percents of Swedish electricity needs).[...]ETS (the European Trading Scheme) is designed to work in the short, not the long, run. Emission reductions are targeted to 2008-2012. The risk then is that we invest in inefficient ways to reduce emissions because we need to do it quickly - instead of taking more time to find more efficient and beneficial methods. Moreover, emission reductions under ETS are going to be fake: a form of money redistribution between those who exceed the Kyoto targets and those who have been good negotiators and have obtained national goals that they would have met anyway for unrelated reasons. That means most companies will have to pay a lot to buy allowances, and will have less to spend on innovation. Some will get richer, some will get poorer, but nobody will end up with cleaner technologies because nobody will invest in research & development.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 9:55 AM
Posted by A. Kvetch at 8:50 AM
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Posted by A. Kvetch at 11:11 AM
Monday, June 06, 2005
Posted by A. Kvetch at 9:09 AM
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Additionally they voted to grant gay couples equal inheritance and tax rights. Good work for a country that granted women universal suffrage only in 1971. See here for comments.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 9:13 PM
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
But it turns out that IHT editors often "improve" the Times copy a bit. The adjustments are minor in terms of the amount of text changed, yet sufficient to give the reader a completely different understanding of events.Do read the whole article: it goes on to recount several other instances of breathtaking creative editing. No wonder the Times has long lost its reputation as the newspaper of record.
I discovered this only last month, having never before thought to compare an IHT article to its Times original. What sparked the discovery was a piece in the IHT's December 27-28 edition, entitled "Israeli tactics assure future bombings, Palestinians assert" and credited to the Times. The article's main thrust was that the Israel Defense Forces believes its two-pronged anti-terror campaign – construction of the separation fence and frequent raids aimed at arresting terrorists and destroying bomb-making facilities – has significantly reduced the number of successful attacks.
But the article also claimed that the December 25 bombing at the Geha Junction ended a three-month period that "seemed to be a sort of unofficial cease-fire. In that time, Palestinian radical groups carried out no suicide bombings."
This struck me as outrageous, since a cease-fire implies that no attacks were attempted – whereas, according to IDF statistics, there were no fewer than 22 attempted suicide bombings during that time, all foiled by Israel's security forces. But when I checked the article on the Times Web site in preparation for an angry letter to that paper, I discovered the following:
The Times never referred to this period as a cease-fire.
The Times explicitly mentioned that "numerous terror attempts" had been made during this period and were thwarted by Israel; that entire paragraph was cut from the IHT piece.
The Times did not say that Palestinians "carried out no suicide bombings," giving the false impression that they attempted none; it merely said, correctly, that no bombings took place.
Moreover, the Times article carried a very different – and far more accurate – headline:
"Bombing after lull: Israel still believes the worst is over."
The result is that the average Times reader came away with the following impression: Israel's military activity produced three months in which no Israelis were killed, despite "numerous terror attempts." This activity is thus saving Israeli lives, and therefore potentially justifiable.
But the IHT reader received the opposite impression: Neither the fence nor the raids were justified, since there was an "unofficial cease-fire" and Palestinians were not committing attacks in any case. Moreover, since no attempts took place during this period, Israel's activity did not save a single life.
In short, rather than preventing bombings, Israel is, as the IHT headline asserts, "assuring future bombings" by persecuting the Palestinians for no reason.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 4:51 PM
that courts should be allowed to consider evidence gathered by wire-tapping - as in France, but unlike the UK, where it is inadmissibleand that
compulsory ID cards had proved "very important" in his country's effort to thwart attacks.
Posted by A. Kvetch at 2:02 PM
Dear Andrew,in this post you accuse Glenn Reynolds of ignoring or disputing your coverage of the abuse and torture scandal plaguing the US military, because you are gay. I am a regular reader of your blog and of Instapundit, both of which I consider essential reading. Your accusation is unfounded and hysterical (which is ironic - since you make it while denying that you were being hysterical). I am convinced that torture has taken place, and I think it is important that the situation be rectified (see here), however I would like to underline that even for me (and I am not even American) your coverage of the subject has actually been so hysterical that I find it hard to read through it. Its reasoning and tone clearly indicate that you always assume the worst case scenario, and this is very grating. Additionally, for someone who accuses others of obfuscation because their coverage is not in your view "balanced" (eg. on Iraq), your discussions on this subject are amazingly one-sided. At any rate, the contrast with the post which Glenn (and now you) link to could not be clearer.
In light of this I would like to register my shock at your accusation and express my belief that you owe Glenn a public apology.
The Armchair View
Posted by A. Kvetch at 10:14 AM