Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sins of omission

Summer is known in the entertainment industry as the long drought period, when people are incapable of thinking deep thoughts, and all the public wants is rapid action and bold, colorful pyrotechnics. Yeah, we all want the Fourth of July to go on forever, don’t we? I know I look forward every night to the neighbors continuing to set off their fireworks at ten minutes before midnight. It’s such a calming event.

Well, the entertainment industry long ago took over the news media, by and large, as well (or hadn’t you noticed all those promotional interviews with film and music stars, instead of substantive reports, in the morning news shows?). So, since Today and Good Morning America and whatever-the-other-network’s-morning-show-is-called were busy touting the new sequel film, I thought you might like to come to the local newspaper for some genuine news (gory footage of train bombs notwithstanding).

Here are a few of the highlights of the last month:

  • Our government declassified a whole slew of documents which had been brought out of Saddam’s storage facilities, and some of those documents now available prove (a) there was a connection between Saddam and al Qaeda (and some clever internet blogger even pulled up video proof that ABC reported on the connection in 1999); (b) Saddam’s people had been working illegally on developing biological and chemical weapons, and (c) there had been a stockpile of chemical weapons that the UN inspectors knew about and nevertheless did not include in their official report.* (Well, those found weapons did get a brief mention -- California Representative Jane Harman stated that the weapons were aged, and therefore no more harmful than what could be found “under the kitchen sink.” Which was why, when they found a fifty-year-old canister of sarin in Colorado eight years ago, they evacuated a six-mile radius around it and had a bunch of hazmat guys come in with bulldozers. I’d hate to think of how Ms. Carman gets rid of pests in her house.)

  • When the bombs hit the “safe” house in which al-Zarqawi had been hiding, they did not destroy his computer. With information they gleaned from its hard drive, the Iraqi army and the coalition forces captured or killed over four hundred enemies in the first ten days. Among those captured were quite a few Iranians. Fancy that! Peace-loving, nuke-seeking Iran has its people in neighboring Iraq fomenting insurrection. I wonder how those discussions are going?

  • After Italy won the World Cup soccer (ahem. football) match, riots broke out all across France. Many of those destroying property, robbing people, and even cutting throats seem to have been among the same groups of “youths” who, this past spring protested the “cartoons of blasphemy” run in Jyllands-Posten last September by burning cars, burning buildings, and threatening the gendarmes.

  • The Palestinians, with their usual flair for self-destruction, have announced they have their very first female suicide bomber unit. That ought to prove they believe in equal rights. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Kabul has its very first ever fashion show for women. There were only a very few burqas, but quite a few styles I could see myself wearing -- and they weren’t even blue jeans! In fact, you can’t even call them western-influenced, except in that the women -- including the designers -- were free to show their faces in public.

  • The nation’s economic report was released, again. And for the fourth straight year, we are improving -- 20 per cent gain since 2003. We have added more jobs than ever. Tax revenues are up, and the deficit is gradually reducing. Along with the rise in those numbers, this past month saw the president’s approval rating climb ten per cent, and his disapproval rating drop another ten. There are still quite a few “undecideds”, though. In related news, Howard Dean is scheduled for his next head-explosion at 5:37 p.m.

Well, that’s just a quick round-up of a few developments the Mainstream Media seems to have let slip by unmentioned. There is plenty more, where that came from... alternate data sources abound! Still, if you’d rather just sit back and pretend the most important event of the week was Johnny Depp’s moustache twitch, I now return to your regular morning “news” program. (Cue perky music)

*Best reference: Captain's Quarters

Update with correction and link: the finding of sarin in Colorado was six years ago, not eight. Somebody in my house can't do math. Or has a distorted sense of time.

Update 2: Captain Ed has modified his archives so that the translated Documents from Saddam are now in their own category.

update 3: it's been pointed out I didn't link anything on the old Zark-man. Here's the first bit, about his computer & some early results. Further (I hope) still exists at Iraq the Model,Big Lizards, Winds of Change, and some of the milblogs like Blackfive and Ace of Spades. Be warned, the milblogs can use strong language, etc., but they're usually worth checking out. (I also forgot to mention zark-man's cell phone .)

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