Freed by Force When Vice President Dick Cheney commented about the news media's approach to reporting on the War On Terrorism, he was gracious
"I don't know that it's purposeful, I just think there's a drive to report the sensational," Cheney said. "And it's news if you can say that somebody flushed a Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo, because it does inflame opinion."
And there is more truth to this than not. Yes, there is an editorial story than many media outlets attempt to tell and that which is not consistent with that story often gets short shrift. But a story of a hostage rescue is news and not many can deny that.
A raid conducted by Iraqi troops with US support, in one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad, wound up delivering Australian Douglas Woods from captivity.
Nick Warner, an Australian diplomat heading a special team dealing with the kidnapping, said the morning raid on the house in the Ghazaliya area of western Baghdad had been part of a citywide security sweep, Operation Lightning, but there had also been a tip about the house's occupants.
Yes most news outlets can not deny the sensational nature of such a rescue given that
"It hasn't happened very often that somebody has been rescued in this fashion."
But while many of those reporting this story posted an article which solely covered the event, the New York Times' story does not. It takes its time getting to it. The first paragraph of the story would be too much to ask
A man wearing a belt packed with explosives blew himself up inside a restaurant at an Iraqi national guard base north of Baghdad today, killing at least 23 Iraqi soldiers and wounding 28 others, officials said.
But how 'bout the second paragraph?
In the capital, a car bomb exploded next to three police cars in the southern neighborhood of Zafaraniya, killing three civilians and a policeman. Twelve civilians and five policemen were wounded, a local police officer said. The attacks come a day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and wounded 80 at a bank in the northern city of Kirkuk.
Nope. Third? Nope, they give more details on the first paragraph. Fourth? Nope. Skip down to the ninth paragraph and we find, "oh, by the way..."
Also today, an Australian held hostage by insurgents for six weeks was freed by Iraqi forces, the United States military said. The Australian prime minister, John Howard, told Parliament in Sydney, "I am delighted to inform the House that the Australian hostage in Iraq, Mr. Douglas Wood, is safe."
Note "the United States Military said" part as if it could not be independently verified. And (wink) we all know how much we can trust the United States Military. Of course there were reporters to verify the car bombing. In fact, every bombing. But that's it. Then its back to describing death, destruction and carnage.
Women and children were among the dead and wounded in Tuesday's attack in Kirkuk....
Blah, blah, blah.
If it bleeds it leads. Dramatic rescues of hostages, which are extremely rare, by a high performing Iraqi military unit, which is getting less rare, gets buried by the Newspaper of Record amid the blood and gore the reporting of which is indistinguishable from that of a cheap dime-store pulp fiction novel (whatever that is).
But I'm sure that VP Cheney is right.
The death and destruction is just, you know, more sensational.
Even though it happens almost daily in places where, strangely, reporters happen to be.
The Great Unwashed Masses The architect of the European Constitution has decided that the problem is not with the document, it's with the voters. And not just any voters, French voters
One crucial mistake was to send out the entire three-part, 448-article document to every French voter, said Mr Giscard.
Mr Giscard is no Thomas Jefferson.
Over the phone he had warned Mr Chirac already in March: "I said, 'Don't do it, don't do it'". "It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text".
That's for sure. The EU Constitution contains 448 articles and is a few hundred pages long. Maybe even 300. Compare this with the US Constitution which is has 7 articles and could be printed on a few pages.
The Constitution spends pages and pages enumerating the rights of its citizens and personally, I was hoping it would pass just so I could see how much of a mess these would create. For instance, every citizen in the EU has a right to life, according to Article II-62 1. After being ratified, I know for a fact some 102 year old French person, lying on their death bed would demand that their life be extended indefinitely.
And then I really wanted to see how the declaration that Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person (Article II-66) would conflict with prison.
Of course the three pages enumerating the rights of an EU member is only exceeded by the list of caveats in Title VII
Article II-112 Scope and interpretation of rights and principles
1. Any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognised by this Charter must be provided for by law and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms. Subject to the principle of proportionality, limitations may be made only if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others.
And it goes on and on like that. So yeah, I'm not surprised that he believes that most people won't understand the document.
Unfortunately, I doubt the politicians understand it any better then the dreaded unwashed masses.
And given the statement that it's not possible for anyone to completely understand it, that would include Mr Giscard.
Burned about Bernie Local Vermont political commentator Peter Freyne got indignant when he learned that the Candidate of Choice for the Left leaning folks in Vermont, "Independent" Representative Bernie Sanders, was dubbed an extremist by the RNSC.
The evidence provided was the charge that Sanders has introduced 155 bills since arriving in Congress back in 1991 and only one has become law!
Mr Freyne then says he called up the RNSC to ask about this supposed extremism and what results is confusing.
We expressed our surprise that the RNSC was labeling Vermont's seven-term congressman an "extremist." Does that mean the 68 percent of Vermont voters who backed Bernie are extremists, too?
We asked Mr. Nick for an example to prove his "extremist" point.
The RNSC spokesman cited juvenile justice legislation from 1999 that he said Bernie did not support. It was actually a 1999 amendment that would have "limited the exposure of pornographic material to minors." Unlike Sanders, he said, "most members did not support exposing minors to sexually explicit music or videos."
We looked it up.
The amendment in question was offered by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Illinois), a legendary conservative. It would have required store owners to listen to and, when necessary, censor the lyrics on the music CDs and videos they stocked.
Unfortunately, I can't check up on Mr Freyne because he provided no bill numbers for reference. So I have no idea to which bill Mr Nick was referring, nor do I know to which bill Mr Freyne is referring. And I certainly don't know that they are the same bills.
But I'll give Frayne the benefit of the doubt and say only that it is quite obvious that if what Mr Freyne recounts is accurate, Mr Nick should be replaced. Because if this was the best he could come up with when asked why it was the RNSC refers to Rep Sanders as "extreme", then I'm afraid he is doing his employer a disservice.
It's obvious that even Rep Sanders thinks he's extreme. How else can you account for the fact that a man who used to run as a member of the Socialist Party, now runs as an "Independent", yet still adheres to Socialist values? He has never renounced his Socialist roots.
The reason is quite simple, Socialism is recognized as an extreme left position in this country. How many Socialists hold office in this country? None that I can tell.
Political Parties that have no Constituency are extremist by definition.
Socialism, as envisioned by Karl Marx, is a stage between capitalism and communism. It is
the theory or system of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society rather than by private individuals, with all members of the community coerced to share in the work and the products. In Marxism, the transition phase between capitalism and communism, defined as "abolition of private property."
No private property and all of the means of production is owned by "society"; i.e. The Government.
Socialism is an extreme political position in America. (It has no effective political constituency.)
Bernie is a Socialist.
Bernie represents an extremist political position.
quod erat demonstratum