Thursday, May 12, 2005

I gotta switch back to CNN or something

From Foxnews: Four Killed in Afghan Anti-U.S. Riots
"Growing urban unrest could pose another security challenge for the U.S.-backed Afghan government, which is already battling a reinvigorated Taliban insurgency."
What's all this about a "reinvigorated Taliban insurgency"??? What in the hell reinvigorated it? And the article says that the protests may expand into Pakistan. Well, the U.S. had better just keep smothering Pakistan with IMF loans, while at the same time arming them to the teeth with weapons sales. Because I can't see anything at all that could possibly go wrong with that approach.


In other news, there was some kind of brouhaha about the accuracy of news stories at an online news site. I think this is an opportune moment for me to reassure readers of the 100% veracity of everything that is written on this blog. Just after I received my PhD in Journalism from Harvard University, I dedicated myself to a lifetime of reporting nothing but the absolute truth. That was just before I received the Silver Star for my actions in the first Gulf War. Granted, there were times when I was tempted to bend the truth, like when I was simultaneously dating Julia Roberts and Lucy Liu and Liv Tyler, and they all found out about each other and had this huge catfight in my living room, but finally I decided to spare no details- the public has a right to know. I will speak more of my journalistic integrity later; Gary Kasparov keeps buzzing me on MSN- it looks like he needs help with another chess problem.


Red A said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Red A said...

You forgot to mention about how the Joint Chiefs keep begging you to take charge after that Axis & Allies victory.

Anonymous said...

What's all this about a "reinvigorated Taliban insurgency"??? What in the hell reinvigorated it?

Where ya been, man? The Taliban control large swaths of Afghanistan. Have been for a long time. Since we invaded it, it's become a nightmare of dope smuggling and insurgent warfare. Another Bush success...

Michael Turton

Robin said...

Michael, I think you are missing a lot of the story in Afghanistan.

Karl said...

Nobody ever tells me anything, or if they do, I'm too drunk to remember it. I thought there was like fifteen guys with Kalishnikovs refusing to come down off a mountain somewhere in Afghanistan. Who in the hell is bankrolling the Taliban? Who feeds them? Are they Freedom fighters, or terrorists? I try reading the Taipei Times to keep up on things, but all I seem to be informed about is the fact that James Soong is the Antichrist. Which he probably is, but still.

Red A said...

The Taliban always remained with significant support and forces. Some of them just went up the mountain and rested until they decide to fight again. Some went to Pakistan.

They don't need a lot of money and they can get that through poppies...and anyone who thinks we could have invaded Afghanistan, stamped out the drug trade, and introduced fully flowered women's lib is living in a dream world.

I'm surprised we even managed to get some of the warlords to behave (and a couple to even retire.) Of course, now Newsweek prints up stories that our boys love to desecrate Korans, so we could be back to square one.

Michael Turton said...

Of course, now Newsweek prints up stories that our boys love to desecrate Korans,

But Red, it's quite true. It was part of the interrogation techniques. Lots of testimony on our treatment of Islam. Bad, bad PR for us. Sort of like that mad General Boykin saying that we were on a Crusade serving the real God. Great move, that one.

Michael, I think you are missing a lot of the story in Afghanistan.

You bet I am. I am sure it is much worse than we know.

They don't need a lot of money and they can get that through poppies...and anyone who thinks we could have invaded Afghanistan, stamped out the drug trade,

Actually, the whole point of the complaint is that the Taliban DID have the drug trade stamped out. It has been re-introduced since we knocked over their government.

Look, I'm wasn't against the invasion of Afghanistan. That became inevitable when they harbored Bin Laden. I certainly wasn't fool enough to imagine that the Administration actually gave a damn about the people there. And stifling the drug trade should have been a high priority, along with putting in enough troops to pacify the place. But then they were already planning to invade Iraq and just couldn't spare the troops...


Red A said...


Mussolini made the trains run on time. That doesn't make Mussolini someone I'd want in power. Same applies for Taliban and the drug trade.

I suggest we learned from the Soviet mistake and decided a small troop footprint would be better than a massive invasion force.

I will await confirmation of Koran flushing - Newsweek's anonymous sources might or might not be correct. Sorry if I don't trust the media 100% on these things.

Red A said...

Now, I won't say this convinces me, but:

"Late last week Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita told NEWSWEEK that its original story was wrong. The brief PERISCOPE item ("SouthCom Showdown") had reported on the expected results of an upcoming U.S. Southern Command investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo. According to NEWSWEEK, SouthCom investigators found that Gitmo interrogators had flushed a Qur'an down a toilet in an attempt to rattle detainees. While various released detainees have made allegations about Qur'an desecration, the Pentagon has, according to DiRita, found no credible evidence to support them.

How did NEWSWEEK get its facts wrong? And how did the story feed into serious international unrest? While continuing to report events on the ground, NEWSWEEK interviewed government officials, diplomats and its own staffers, and reconstructed this narrative of events:"

My guess? The inmate flushed the Koran down the toilet to back it up. This story gets passed around like the parlor game, and then an anonymous source drops it to Newsweek.

If anyonen thinks this is crazy, just recall the Sepoy rebellion was caused by similar untrue rumors.

Again, just a guess on my part...maybe we are flushing Korans 24/7 for all I know.

Robin said...

Newsweek themselves are already backing away from a report that Michael tells us is "quite true."

So much for your credibility Michael.

Angus said...

Hey, Karl, I have an "in" for you at the Trib if you wanna come home. "Disclosure About Story That Violated Your Trust" I can get you a gig there, or maybe with the towing company.

And let's hear it for the Opium trade! I don't use it but I am more and more agreeing with the person who said "take all the warning labels off, make everything legal, and let Darwin sort the whole thing out."
They already made gunning an assailant down more legal and convenient in Florida, thanks Jeb!

Angus said...

RE: The Newsweek article:


Robin said...

Angus, the changes to self-defense law in Florida just remove an obsolete concept of a duty to "retreat" that is impossible to apply in practice anyhow. The new legislation tracks changes that Florida's courts have already been applying in actual cases.

Angus said...

Yes, the legislative change at least formalized what was already established in caselaw. Makes things a bit more formal and less subject to judicial interpretation, rendering it primary as opposed to just caselaw. Good? Bad? Dunno yet. I'll wait and see.

Angus said...

The measure makes it clear in state law what courts have generally ruled in Florida - that there's no duty to retreat before fighting back if you're in your home, workplace or car.

But it also extends the right outside the home, saying that ``a person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be, has no duty to retreat.''

The bill says that person has ``the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so, to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.''

Michael Turton said...

ROFL. The Defense Department conducts its own investigation! And concludes a Newsweek report isn't true! What next angus, gonna hit me over the head with Catholic Church investigations of pedophilia? The DOD's crap is trailor-park-in-Roswell scholarship.

Earth to the Right: these allegations have multiple vectors that date back more than a year, from victims of our liberation forces from several countries. Sorry, but Newsweek and the Pentagon decided to play a game of chicken, and Newsweek blinked. I can't help it if you suspend critical thinking whenever the DOD or Scottie "Hey, Newsweek, didn't know disinformation kills people" McClellan issues a Papal Bull, but some of us out there still know how to assess information:

Now, it could be that there is some meme out there in the Arab world (wouldn't suprise me a bit), but somehow stories flowing into many different media organizations from different people in different parts of the world call for a better debunking than a 36 hour investigation done by an interested party.

Robin scrawls

So much for your credibility Michael.

I'll take my critical thinking skills over yours ANY day of the week.


Michael Turton said...

sorry Angus, thought you were Robin.

Karl said...

"sorry Angus, thought you were Robin."

Serious mistake. Angus is a bassist for a punk rock band, whose devastating exploits throughout central Florida are legend. Robin is a right-wing attorney and professor of law, whose notoriety stems from achieving deific levels of grumpy.

But thanks to everyone for sharing here. Now can we please talk about lesbians or something?

Robin said...

Michael, you really don't understand the story at all. So it is amusing to see you spew about it.

Newsweek can't even get their original source to stick to their story. So your claim that this story remains true despite some mythical DOD investigation is silly and a complete misrepresentation of the facts. You are not demonstrating any critical thinking skills at all. And so your credibility goes lower.

And the Kos link is incoherent ( as usual ) and has nothing to do with establishing the original Newsweek story.

Angus said...

It's not Punk Rock! It's melodic hard rock, I just happen to LIKE a lot of punk rock. (Anti Nowhere League, Sex Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks) I have GOT to send you a CD, Karl, gimme the address. And, our singer IS a lesbian. Your credibility sinks ever lower..LOL.

I still do not understand why the US hasn't outsourced all interrogations to the remaining Baathists or such. It seems obvious to me that no matter if we use warm bubble baths, easy chairs, exclusive resturaunts and baskets of puppies as persuasive tools, the middle east "street" will still erupt in outrage and the Muslim populace will STILL freak out on the US (AKA Crusaders), whereas if their own people torture, maim, kill and terrorize them nobody will say crap, as has apparently been the case for some time. Also, it would help with the employment problems and help get the economy moving over there. Best of all, hire some Palestinians. They have everybody's sympathy over there, right?

BTW- Karl, the funny thing is we keep getting these liquor and beer endorsements and contests and I quit drinking years ago because it was bad for me and others around me. I tend to accidentally roundhouse good friends and such...OOps! To paraphrase Robert Downey, Jr. "I'm allergic to drugs and alcohol, I break out in handcuffs."

Michael Turton said...

Her's another link:

Thanks, folks. Once again same pattern.

Michael Turton said...

Oh, and as Molly I points out...
The New York Times reported on May 1 on the same investigation Newsweek was writing about and interviewed a released Kuwaiti, who spoke of three major hunger strikes, one of them touched off by "guards' handling copies of the Koran, which had been tossed into a pile and stomped on. A senior officer delivered an apology over the camp's loudspeaker system, pledging that such abuses would stop. Interpreters, standing outside each prison block, translated the officer's apology. A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans."

Red A said...


I always enjoy seeing new sources for these allegations... released detainees making claims. Totaly reliable. Oh, and by the way, the Jews did 9/11 and God only speaks Arabic.

Actually, I might buy into detainee claims, but their manual specifically states to lie about torture, and somehow I suspect they may not be the most honest people.

A pity we aren't at war with Christian fundamentalists...then we could show them photos of PissChrist and the media would hail us as bringing culture into the camps.

Anyways, I will await more information, especially since for all I know they really are flushing Korans 24/7. I know my roomate in college used pages from a bible to roll joints right in front of my eyes, so even the best intentioned person can commit torture. I was scarred for life I tell you.

Angus Barrs said...

Like I said, if we would just sub-contract the gig out to Muslims, all this would be a non-issue. I know, I KNOW, it didn't work so well when we had Bin Ladin cornered, but this is different.


Red A said...

Our police trainers in Iraq are now trying to get Iraqi policemen to stop mistreating prisoners.

I guess the sensitivity training doesn't work so well when car bombs are killing their kids.

Oh, and yes, they are getting sensitivity training. No joke.

Sean Reilly said...

You and I both know it ws a Bronze Star. Quit saying it was silver star, pretty soon it will be a gold star.