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Monday, May 16, 2005

Chuckle of the Day

One of the best reactions I've seen to the whole Newsweek mess, and one you've definitely got to see -

America's six-year-olds Blast Newsweek - from Point Five

With a photo, no less!

A teaser if you need one -

Brian Welch, 6, of P.S. 132 in Baltimore, Maryland, hearing that read in class felt he had to take action. After nap time, he gathered his fellow kindergartners and convinced the bus driver to drive them to Washington.

Brian Welch stares down armed riot police in his fight to protect kid control of lame excuses.Brian, unafraid as he stared down armed riot police, said, "If they're going to blame somebody else for their mistakes, they've got to do it right."

My Two Cents - Choices and Consequences

Michelle Malkin called it like this: NEWSWEEK LIED: PEOPLE DIED

BlackFive called it like this:

And the “Today” show? Well, their cutting analysis was “Some red faces at Newsweek this morning…”

Newsweek’s response? They “regret” the violence, the deaths, the complete turkey of a story, but won’t retract it. Basically, “oops.”

Unbelievable. 15+ dead, a hundred injured, mayhem and calls for a holy war with a three-day deadline on response to the Muslim world from the White House, and it’s “oops?”

For those of you who haven’t seen
Newsweek’s (non)apology for their complete and utter irresponsibility, here are some of the good bits:

“Did a report in NEWSWEEK set off a wave of deadly anti-American riots in Afghanistan? That's what numerous news accounts suggested last week as angry Afghans took to the streets to protest reports, linked to us, that U.S. interrogators had desecrated the Qur'an while interrogating Muslim terror suspects. We were as alarmed as anyone to hear of the violence, which left at least 15 Afghans dead and scores injured. But I think it's important for the public to know exactly what we reported, why, and how subsequent events unfolded.”

Translation: It is our fault? Of course not. We had every right to go to press with a story any idiot could have known would have disastrous results, without any significant effort to confirm it.

“Their information came from a knowledgeable U.S. government source, and before deciding whether to publish it we approached two separate Defense Department officials for comment.”

Translation: Although (1) one declined to comment at all because they had ABSOLUTELY no idea what the heck we were talking about and know full well via captured materials that Al Qaeda tells operatives to make up charges like this hoping the American media will vomit it out upon their pages, and (2) the other did challenge one detail, but didn’t have any requisite knowledge upon which to base conclusions on the story as a whole, AND (3) the DoD has found other such allegations to lack credibility, we decided to run it anyway.

"Although other major news organizations had aired charges of Qur'an desecration based only on the testimony of detainees, we believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence."

Translation: If Al-Jazeera and the Russians were running these stories, that’s good enough for us.

Newsweek has this to say today: How a Fire Broke Out

I’ve got news for you. This one didn’t “break out.” This one was set – journalistic arson. Newsweek made a choice to throw common sense and ethics out the window.

Mark Whitaker’s non-apology, and Newsweek’s refusal to retract the story, speak volumes about the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of genuine regret there. While Mr. Whitaker threw a bone to the U.S. troops who may well see a surge of terrorist activity thanks to Newsweek’s irresponsibility, saying that you “extend your sympathies” to the dead and to the U.S. troops who may have to pay the price for it doesn’t cut it in my book.

You want to apologize? You sincerely regret what you did? Well, then, how about donating any proceeds from that issue, and the one in which you had to "apologize," to charities that help the troops you’ve undoubtedly put at more risk. Donate your proceeds to the Fisher House, to Homes for Our Troops, to Keystone Soldiers, to Soldiers’ Angels, to AnySoldier, to the Freedom Alliance. Buy GI bracelets for your entire staff, and then some. Help the families of those killed in the violence you helped create. Do something.

As a kid, one of the best lessons my parents ever taught me was that there are consequences to things that you do. Don’t finish your veggies, you don’t get to go outside and play after dinner. Don’t do your chores, no allowance.

Run a non-vetted story that kills people, nearly gets the entire Muslim world calling a Jihad against all Americans because of it, and in all likelihood increases the risk to US troops, and all you have to do is say “oops”? That’s just plain wrong. Newsweek ought to have some sort of consequence for their actions.

They, in a move typical of the MSM, hopped right on the latest Anti-American bandwagon, fueling the flames of Bush-hating, troop-hating, American-hating fundamentalists, and likely more level-headed Muslims as well, by running a story about the desecration of a holy book - a crime punishable by death in the Muslim world. They did it without a whole lot of hesitation. Why wait? Do I think they wanted people to die? No. But do I think that they ran it without due diligence because it fits with their agenda, and because it clearly jibes with the whole American-soldiers-as-torturers motif? You bet. And this all comes at a time when you now actually have a UCONN poll conducted by the Roper Center coming out that say that although 72% of journalists believe the media reports accurately, only 39% of the average Americans surveyed thought the same. (Coincidentally, almost the same percentage of surveyed journalists say they voted for Kerry - 68%) Although a little more than half of the surveyed average Americans believe that stories that rely solely on anonymous sources should not be published (53%), only 14% of journalists agreed. Gee, why do we think people are losing faith in the MSM....?

Cheat-seeking Missiles, a blog I found today, calls it "manslaughter for politics." Pretty much dead-on, as far as I'm concerned.

The bloggers have long been speaking about the culpability of the MSM for what they set in motion. Collectively, we've been warning that this kind of thing can get people killed. Newsweek's latest just proves it more clearly than most.

The White House is calling for a retraction of the story. I’m calling for more than that. I think Newsweek ought to take an overt step to apologize to the people they maligned with this drivel. I think they ought to do something to actively support those they and the rest of the liberal media undercut at just about every opportunity.

Put your money where your mouth is, Whitaker.

Side Note: Interesting tidbit about bloggers in the UCONN survey - 59% of the surveyed journalists believed that blogs were not a "legitimate" source of news. Only 13% considered bloggers journalists (so only 13% decided to insult us). At least they did throw us a bone - 85% of them said we should be protected under the First Amendment. Kind of scary is the fact that 15% felt that bloggers should NOT be!

linked with Mudville Gazette's Open Post

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INSPECTION — U.S. Navy sailors stationed aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz inspect an aircraft wing in the hangar bay prior to flight operations in the Pacific Ocean, May 10, 2005. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Airman Recruit Matthew Dammann

Summer Ride 2005 Starts Today

A Poem by John Demerjian -

It is forward momentum into Time.
Don't you wonder what we'll find?
For all my life I've heard commands
What to be, how to be, and when to act.
Excuse me, while I etch this imaginary line.
I'll scratch it in the mirror with these words,
And then dare you to take the challenge.
Go ahead. Step over the line with me.
Dare you to look deep and deeper.
Look into your soul, America,
And let me know if the fire below the embers still burns.

Doctors tell us that it is Age itself that infects.
It sets us on this collision course with Destiny
Where death is part of life, and all the equations must balance.
All the formulas must reach equalibrium.
It is the crossroads where experience and wisdom define,
Where the curious fabrication of facts divides us into different camps.
What is it this year, America?
Another war to teach our children that took us 40 years to define?
Take the challenge and explore the Summer of 2005.
Open the door, and let's see where we're at.
Underway is a concept and far from the journey.

Explore it, and cross the line.
Don't you wonder what you'll find.

Note: Let's take a look at America and see what really has priority with everyone... The goal is to send CARE packages to the kids doing duty in Iraq. Remember that I am only the messenger.
Reported Missing in Action on This Day:
Crosson, Gerald J., USAF (NY)
Rickel, David J., USAF (FL); no chute or beeper
Roark, Anund C. , US Army (CA); Remains returned May, 1968, ID'd November, 1979
Romine, Albert W. , US Army (KS); Remains returned May, 1968, ID'd November, 1979

Conner, Edwin Ray, USN (TX);
Skeen, Richard Robert, USN (CA)

Farlow, Craig L., US Army (OH)
Jacobson, Timothy J. US Army (CA)
Nolan, Joseph P., Jr. US Army (IL)

In Today's News - Monday, May 16, 2005

Quote of the Day
"I always considered statesmen to be more expendable than soldiers."
-- Harry Truman

News of Note:
Marine cleared of Iraq murder: Report
Mobile soldier remembered for love of Iraq's children
More money raised for Iraqi family that helped Guard
Wounds of War
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be injured

Koran-flushing scandal:
Newsweek apologizes for Quran story errors
Newsweek says Koran desecration report is wrong
Flawed Abuse Story Sparks Afghan Riots

U.N. Oil-For-Food scandal:
Iraqi Aides Knew About Oil-for Food Bribes
Panel says BayOil key in Saddam scheme
Report: Saddam used oil to reward Russia
Iraqis Say Russians Got Millions in Oil

Operation Matador:
Operation Confirms Intelligence Assessment
Marines end push against insurgents in Iraq
U.S. Calls Iraq Border Offensive a Success
Marines' families await word from Iraq Associated Press
Koreas resume talks after 10-month hiatus
Iraqi police find bodies of 38 men
Support for U.S. sanctions for Iran grows
Rice praises creation of Iraqi cabinet

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Son of slain Lebanon leader to seek post
Saudi court sends three reformists to jail

Ananova: War In Iraq
Galloway to fight Saddam claims

The US News: Iraq News
Rice offers support, warning during visit to Iraq
Iraq Car Bombings Kill 21, Injure 90
Britain, S. Korea to use Turkish base for Iraq operations
Family of Australian hostage starts advertising campaign in Iraq
Iraqi Sunnis may reach peace in exchange for power
Twenty-three bodies discovered in Iraq
US Secretary of State in Iraq
Japan offers Iraq power plant
Saudi crackdown on dissenters
Iraqi insurgents kidnap two drivers -Arabiya TV
Afghanistan not ready to legalize opium production
Afghanistan's new jihad targets poppy production
U.S. Marines unit begin landing at Kuwaiti naval base for possible deployment in Iraq
Some Sunnis hint at peace terms in Iraq
Diyala Governor Survives Baqouba Bomb Blasts That Kill Four Iraqi Policemen
Iraq-Turkey Pipe Briefly Resumes Pumping Oil -Official
Senate Panel Approves Defense Bill That Boosts Spending for Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan
Baghdad M.D. asks Japan to aid Iraq's hospitals
Japanese Man Kidnapped in Iraq May Be Dead
Top Iraqi Foreign Ministry Official Shot, Killed
Rice speaks to U.S. forces in Iraq
Rice says U.S. will remain until Iraq `can defend itself'

Fox News:
Iraqi Cops Find 41 Bodies; Leaders Vow Justice
Transcript: Hadley on 'FNS'
Pols Mull Iran Sanctions
Bush Honors Slain Officers
Uzbek Deaths May Top 700
Ex-Professor to Face Juryon Terror-Funding Charges
Both Sides Claim VictoryIn Judicial Fight
Seven GOPers Are Key
Koreas Resume Nuke Talks
Report: Top Russians Got Oil-for-Food Bribes

Department of Defense
Rice: 'Intensify' Iraqi Political Process — Story
Afghan Forces Report Rioting Under Control — Story

Reconstruction Efforts Progress in Iraq
Al-Oubaidy District Improvements Continue

Iraqi Freedom Combat Equipment Returns
'Desert Dogs' Keep Aircraft in the Air
Army Chief of Staff Visits Vanguard Troops

U.S. Paratroopers Deal Blow to Taliban Forces

USS Mustin Rescues 27 in Persian Gulf
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship Supports Iraqi Navy

BRAC to Reshape Infrastructure — Story
BRAC Web site

Base Realignment and Closure 2005

Abu Ghraib Officer Punished
Iraqi Citizen Tip Leads to Weapons
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghanistan Daily Update
Afghan Reconstruction Group Recruiting

Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Medical Team Trains to Deploy
Mobile Security Unit Deploys
Bush Approves Funding
National Guard, Reserve Update

from The Weather Channel

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Today in History
1770 - Marie Antoinette marries future King Louis XVI of France.
1863 - At the Battle of Champion's Hill, Union General Grant repels the Confederates, driving them into Vicksburg.
1868 - President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during impeachment by one vote.
1879 - The Treaty of Gandamak (Russia / England) sets up the Afghan state.
1920 - Joan of Arc is canonized in Rome.
1943 - A Royal Air Force squadron destroys two river dams in Germany; Germans launch Operation Gypsy Baron.
1951 - Chinese Communist Forces launch a second step, fifth-phase offensive, gaining as much as 20 miles of territory.
1960 - A Big Four summit in Paris collapses in the wake of the USSR's downing of an American U-2 spy plane.
1963 - Gordon Cooper returns to Earth, after Project Mercury's last mission.
1968 - U.S. Navy Corpsman Donald E. Ballard earns the Medal of Honor for action in Quang Tri Province. When his unit was ambushed, an enemy soldier tossed a grenade into the midst of his unit and wounded men. He pulled the grenade under his body to sheild them. Fortunately, if failed to explode.

1801 - William Henry Seward, U.S. Secretary of State.
1824 - Edmund Kirby-Smith, CSA General.
1912 - Studs Terkel, author / historian.

1932 - Ki Imukai, premier of Japan, murdered.
1957 - Eliot Ness, of "The Untouchables" fame.
1989 - Hassan Khaled, sheik of Lebanon, murdered.
1996 - Pierre Debizet, residtance fighter / special agent.
1996 - Mike Jeremy Boorda, NATO commandant, suicide.