The New York Times Wrong Again

This is pathetic.

Whatever is happening in the U.S. shadow war in Pakistan it is clear that this photo gets it all wrong.



What is identified as the "remains of a missile" is quite clearly an artillery shell. Here's a 155mm round for comparison.



The warheads of missiles do not typically survive impact. Some tail pieces might. Also notice how the old man and young boy are featured in the shot. Accidental or are they implicated targets?

Bad, bad deal all around.

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  • ||

    Are you suggesting that the media *ever* gets military materiel identification correct? It may not even be a NATO shell.

  • ||

    Yes, I'm always irritated at the utter unwillingness of any part of the MSM (including Fox News, it should be pointed out) to apparently do any, even rudimentary, education of their editors and reporters about what various weapons/ammunition look like. Reporters and photo editors who do captions routinely confuse revolvers and automatics, rifles and shotguns, and use the term "machinegun" to describe just about anything other than a derringer.

  • ||

    Well, technically an artillery round is a missile.

  • ||

    "The warheads of missiles do not typically survive impact."

    Except when they do, and, well Seth already said it.

    I hear the main stream media is also tryin' to put mind controlling messges from international corporations into their new shows on regular intervals.

  • The Owner's Manual||

    What's an 'implicated target.' One that hasn't been convicted yet?

  • ||

    it is strange that the cia can drop a bomb and then claim they have to sift thru the bodies to see who they killed...shouldn't they have to know who they are going to kill ahead of killing them? or can the cia now kill indiscriminately?

  • ||

    Hed for the story:

    "Airstrike by U.S. Draws Protests From Pakistanis"

    Now unless the claim is that an AC-130 lobbed unexploded 105mm shells on the site, arty ain't the missile they have in mind.

    Further confusion: "the Arabs were pulled from the rubble," which is a helluva scoop for this Pashtun region. Or is the Times saying they really were al Qaeda?

    I don't know -- and neither does the Times.

  • ||

    My all-time fave, from the November 16, 2001 San Francisco Chronicle:

    "I will hand over my guns when they ask me to," said 19-year-old Khusrow, who like many Afghans goes by one name. A 300mm pistol protruded underneath his leather jacket.



    That's one tough Afghan, carrying a pistol with the calibre of a battleship gun!

  • Larry A||

    And I've lost count of the "7.62 cal" rifles I've seen reported.

  • ||

    If you read the article, they say the strike was believed to be carried out by CIA Predator UAVs. According to the trusty internet, the only armament the Predator can be equipped with is the AGM-114 Hellfire missle. Looks like this: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/longbowhellfire1.jpg

    Just for clarification, Hellfire missles don't look much like the first Google image search result: http://www.bi.org.au/culture/live/images/hellfire/hellfire%20013.jpg

    I think it's a stock picture they had that thought would fit the story, sloppy journalism. Still the imagery of the picture isn't necessarily that misleading, reportedly a number of children and civilians were killed. To say that the photo misrepresented what happened (other than which weapon was used) I think is incorrect.

  • ||

    Actually I saw this picture at the nytimes site earlier and had quite a different reaction from yours. First, as I sometimes still do when surfing the internet, I found quite extraordinary that a photograph taken in a remote village halfway across the world would appear on my computer screen, a few hours after a news event had taken place there. And then I found the picture in itself quite extraordinary - with the generations of villagers represented in the photo, and the alien "artillery shell" in the middle, and the rubble in the foreground. I don't understand how the pic "gets it all wrong". And I really wonder how someone could miss what seems to me so compelling about this photograph and instead focus on some obscure technicality.

  • Jon Bristow||

    Well, technically an artillery round is a missile.
    Yes, but it's a ballistic missile. By that logic, we can call a drive-by shooting in Compton a "missile attack."

  • ||

    In the common usage "missile" refers to a guided rocket-propelled warhead, "rocket" refers to an unguided rocket-propelled warhead, and "shell" refers to a warhead accelerated down a tube by an offboard explosion. However, technically, as was said above, all are "missiles," as is a spitwad, a rock, and an arrow.

    The AC-130 does, in fact, carry a 105mm howitzer, but that does not appear to be a 105mm shell. It clearly is an artillery shell, however; you can tell both by the general shape and the "rotating band" at the bottom, which engages in the rifling in the barrel to generate spin.

    The Predator does not carry any kind of gun, as far as I know. 155mm guns have ranges up to 40km. The warheads of guided missiles often do survive impact if they don't explode, by the way. When the USS Stark was hit only one of the two missiles fired at it exploded. The other was found buried in the ship.

  • ||

    Artillery Shell - Not a missile? Implied target? Pathetic.

    Come on, Jeff. Your bias is showing. This is a tempest in a teacup and your milking it for anti-msm sentiments.

    The caption writer made a mistake. Woopie. Jeez...go find a real story.

  • ||

    Martin, the caption reads
    "Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border."
    Given that this photo is obviously not what the caption is describing, it is more than "some obscure technicality." It's an outright lie presented as evidence of what occurred.

  • Larry A||

    The caption writer made a mistake. Woopie. Jeez...go find a real story.

    Think of this as a symptom. MSM reporters hired to write stories about wars routinely make such obvious errors.

    Journalism is a profession whose sole purpose is getting the facts and presenting them as news. Is it too much to ask that at least one person in the bureau have the knowledge to say, "That's an artillery shell?" Or have a wall chart? Or a handbook? Or a computer database? It's not rocket science.

    Well, okay. In this case it is rocket science. But it's RS101.

  • ||

    perhaps the real tragedy here is that there was a missle attack recently in which innocent civilians and children were killed, as the story indicates; and that there was a seperate event in which a town was apparently shelled as well, as the photo indicates. Granted we have no information as to why mystery town was shelled, but still...

  • ||

    For some reason I find the old man comical. I imagine him slowly rising from behind that wall, then looking side-to-side in an odd, shifty manner.

    And why don't these folks have sense enough not to play with unexploded ordinance? Shit like that gets those cute, sad looking children killed. Be thankful it didn't blow you to bits on impact and leave it the hell alone.

    Ah, but I bet some photo-"journalist" rounded them up for the "money shot". Fan-fucking-tastic.

  • ||

    "perhaps the real tragedy here is that there was a missle attack recently in which innocent civilians and children were killed, as the story indicates;"

    TheRev:

    I think the biggest tragedy is the lack of perspective and info leading to ignorant violance. The article states that hundreds of Pakistanis then went around smashing up aid organizations and torching them, as well as raiding some non-US owned infrastructure. WTF does that accomplish?

    I'll bet those civilians didn't know who/what/why/where things got blown up, but they took it as an opportunity to get out some pent up frustrations. Kinda like attacks against Arabs in the US, even though those being attacked had nothing to do with the attacks. Idiotic!

  • ||

    we are now the country that uses our drones to bomb houses then sift thru the bodies to see if we hit anything important...

  • ||

    io1029,
    I agree, it was a horrible response that will probably prove counter-productive. Bonus points to the protesters who attacked the Italian NGO because you know...the Italians...are just like Americans...yeah.
    The whole war on terror thing puts me in an annoying position: I strongly dislike all sides. I don't think any of them has particularly maliciouis intentions, they just tend to act and respond to everything in really dumb ways.

  • ||

    we are now the country that uses our drones to bomb houses then sift thru the bodies to see if we hit anything important...

    That's the way it all works now. Tap wires, bomb houses, search and seize, whatever... All's fair in love of war.

    What's your war on?

  • ||

    What would Americans do if one of our villages was hit by missiles?

    After 9/11, we went around invading countries and smashing them up. What did that accomplish?

    It gets harder and harder to see why we have any complaint about 9/11, if this is how we treat other people.

  • ||

    I guess our official defense strategy is "Kill 'em all and let the CIA sort them out."

  • ||

    It was probably some kids from a neighboring village lobbing a shell at the kid with the goofy sweater. You know had bad this bullying has gotten these days.

  • ||

    You know, I realize that when you're chasing somebody in the tribal areas of Pakistan you can't exactly get warrants and do an arrest. Aside from logistics, there's the simple fact that the local authorities are weak and/or corrupt and/or incompetent and/or sympathetic to the bad guys.

    That said, even though there's no way for us to do any formal due process in rural Pakistan, I would like to hope that our gov't is pretty damn sure that the bad guy is there before sending in the bomb. Yeah, I know, the standard of "pretty damn sure" still leaves room for error. And a certain amount of collateral damage will be inevitable (and maybe even excusable).

    But "pretty damn sure" is still a higher standard than "bomb first and sort 'em out later."

    Why adhere to such a high standard? Well,

    1) Moral reasons: Killing civilians is bad. But I know that argument won't go over too well with a lot of people.

    2) Practical reasons: Killing civilians without hitting the bad guys just makes it even harder to get cooperation from the locals in the future.

    I have no definitive way of proving that our standard is "bomb first and sort 'em out later" instead of "pretty damn sure." But I have a hunch, given the number of times we've read of missile strikes that failed to get the bad guys. And I'm not just talking about the Bush administration. This goes all the way back to Clinton's response to the embassy bombings. Or the time the US government couldn't find the Chinese embassy on a map of Belgrade.

    So, since I'm not sure but I have a hunch, by the CIA's standards that would be good enough to draw conclusions and take action :) Fortunately, I have higher standards than the CIA.

  • ||

    Nerdham: What would Americans do if groups of our radicals were sneaking across the Canadian border regularly to slaughter innocent Canadians and destabilize its government?

    I am serious. You know darned well that our police and military would squash these people.

  • ||

    I live near Detroit, which has the highest concentration of Arabs in the world outside the Middle East.

    What if some Al Qaeda were holed up in Dearborn Heights? Would it be OK to attack Dearborn Heights with missiles if some Al Qaeda were there and some of the citizens were protecting them? Would we be OK with the loss of a few dozen or so innocent Americans in the neighborhood, men, women and children? After all, it's war and all's fair in war, right?

    In fact, it's NOT war. We're NOT dealing with another nation armed against us, we're dealing with a relatively tiny criminal organization not much different from the mafia or Timothy McVeigh. And just like the mafia or nuts like McVeigh, they can hang out in towns with most of the citizens having no knowledge of their presence. It seems outrageous that we can attack them and bitch when they complain.

    If we heard of another Timothy McVeigh plotting an attack, why wouldn't we be justified in destroying whatever American town he was hiding in--if we're justified in attacking Pakistani villages? After all, if it's good for the Pakistanis, and it protects us, why shouldn't we take a few losses as well?

  • ||

    If I'm understanding Chad's thought example correctly, if Canadian radicals came over the border and attacked Americans, and we blew up Ottawa in retaliation, there would and should be hell to pay.

    But Canadians are white like us, aren't they? We just don't treat white people the way we treat Arabs.

  • ||

    Furthermore...

    If I were a Canadian radical bent on killing Americans, and the Americans were crazy enough to attack Canadian towns in a attempt to kill me, I think I would be spending 90 percent of my days trying to get the Americans to think I'm someplace where I am not, so that they would bomb that place.

    The more I can get the Americans to bomb innocent Canadians, the better my chances of getting regular Canadians on my side and eventually the rest of the world on my side. And as long as I can do this, I can always hope to win in the end.

    IOW, bombing innocent villages is completely self defeating and I don't believe there's any other way to understand this.

  • Bitchslap||

    nerdnam,

    They're not @#$^ing Arabs, damn it. Not Arabs. In that area, they're probably Pashtun. Not Arabs. If you're gonna get all umpty about Americans' insensitivity to other cultures, then at least know what you're talking about.

    I think the "furor" over the caption suffers from the same problem as the initial attack on the village: not enough information to even be sure what you're attacking over. Did somebody in the NYT editorial office or layout department get one of the pictures coming in from the reporter or photographer and mislabel it? Was it just a mistake (most people working for the NYT are not munitions experts nor, as noted earlier, are most people working in the media, even amongst the war-boosting Foxies)? Was it egregious misrepresentation?

    I tend to believe it was a mistake: what precisely does the paper gain from this "misrepresentation"? Not a lick. The attack happened. This isn't the Gulf of Tonkin or the U.S.S. Maine: there's no need to manufacture the event itself. Surely another picture could have also represented the damage of the attack, but compositionally this is a nice shot. So someone put it in and said, oh look, a piece of missile! and wrote a caption.

    But since "MSM" bashing, and especially NYT bashing, is so en vogue nowadays, why miss a chance to get in on the action?

  • ||

    Regarding the idea that a shell is a missile in the same way that a spit-wad is a missile, surely, at best, the caption is irresponsibly misleading.

    Regarding the suggestion that the caption writer made a mistake, I think it more likely that the person who selected the photo made the mistake. From the story Jeff linked, "American and Pakistani officials have said the American airstrike, on the village of Damadola, was believed to have been carried out in the early morning hours on Friday by a remotely piloted Predator aircraft armed with missiles."

    ...Unless Predator aircraft are now armed with some kind of artillery rounds (please don't misconstrue "artillery" here to mean missile launchers), that picture doesn't look like it shows anything fired from a Predator aircraft.

    In regards to Jeff's bias, I'm not sure what sort of bias is being suggested here. Is it bias against the Afghanistan War? ...'cause I don't know Jeff to harbor any particular bias against that war; indeed, he could be all for it as far as I know.

    Maybe you're talking about his bias against the mainstream media? ...as if criticizing an apparent misrepresentation of events could in some way indicate such a bias. He could be accused of bias against misrepresentation I suppose, but surely no one is criticizing him for that.

  • ||

    nerdnam,
    You are right on.
    I would only add that Antiwar.com has been predicting Bush's War on Terror would retreat to the air.

    If air doesn't work, and ground doesn't work, and assuming sea doesn't apply in many parts of the world, then we must conclude the War on Terror has been lost as surely as has the War on Drugs.
    Unfortunately, the folks with the expensive weapons will be the last to get the message.

    Who said, "Even Superman doesn't spit into the wind"?

  • ||

    Or the time the US government couldn't find the Chinese embassy on a map of Belgrade

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Chinese+embassy+on+a+map+of+Belgrade

    You can be forgiven for believing that the Chinese embassy bombing was an accident, since the US media chose to ignore the international story that we deliberately targeted it.

    Google rocks.

  • Rich Ard||

    Who said, "Even Superman doesn't spit into the wind"?

    Jim Croce?

    "You don't tug on Superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off that ole' lone Ranger
    And you don't mess around with Jim."

  • ||

    I don't think we have any right to target anyone at all. It doesn't make any difference if this picture is true or not. The US uses military force to try to kill people it can't even identify.

    We deserve to be blown up by "terrorists" No matter what they do to us, it's more or less justified anyway, but if we're going to go after them for killing innocents, the only way we should do it is through the UN.

  • ||

    happyjuggler0,
    I didn't link to what you offered, but there is no doubt that having a fancy weapon like the drone with rockets is similar to the tricks we used to see in western movies with the twirling of the pistols and the plinking of objects thrown into the air, not to mention the quick-drawing.

    I'm convinced the right to bear arms should extend all the way up to nuclear weapons, but, at the same time, I acknowledge the urge to actually fire them can get to be overwhelming. (I know this from personal experience as well as having been a veteran of VN.)

    The US needs to take up another hobby.

  • ||

    liberal-tarian,
    Killing innocent men, women and children in order to miss Number 2 ought to give Padilla a useful defense in his case, eh?

    Rich Ard,
    Thanks. By simple extrapolation, it's a given Superman didn't spit into the wind.

  • ||

    The link was not actually in response to the original post in the thread. It was replying to someone's repeating the apparant outright lie that we bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 by accident.

    The link was for a google search. The following two links is the text of the first two entries.


    First link

    10/22/99

    (Click here for an update on this story)

    A detailed investigative article in the October 17 London Observer reported that NATO deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade last May, after discovering that the embassy was relaying Yugoslav military radio signals.

    The report contradicted the public assurances of NATO leaders that the missile attack had been an accident. The Observer's sources included "a flight controller operating in Naples, an intelligence officer monitoring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia and a senior [NATO] headquarters officer in Brussels."

    So far, the reaction in the mainstream U.S. media has been a deafening silence. To date, none of America's three major network evening news programs has mentioned the Observer's findings. Neither has the New York Times or USA Today, even though the story was covered by AP, Reuters and other major wires. The Washington Post relegated the story to a 90-word news brief in its "World Briefing" (10/18/99), under the headline "NATO Denies Story on Embassy Bombing."

    By contrast, the story appeared in England not only in the Observer and its sister paper, the Guardian (10/17/99), but also in their leading rival, the Times of London, which ran a follow-up article on the official reaction the next day (10/18/99). The Globe and Mail, Canada's most prestigious paper, ran the full Reuters account prominently in its international section (10/18/99). So did the Times of India, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Irish Times (all 10/18/99). The prominent Danish daily Politiken, which collaborated with the Observer on the investigation, was on strike, but ran the story on its website.

    The difference in perspective with which American journalists have greeted this story can be observed by comparing the headlines over several international news agencies' dispatches about the Observer expos�:

    Reuters (U.K.): "NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately--UK Paper" (10/18/99).

    Agence France Presse (France): "NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately: Report" (10/18/99).

    Deutche Presse-Agentur (Germany): "NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately, Observer Claims" (10/18/99).

    Associated Press (U.S.): "NATO Denies Deliberate Embassy Hit."

    The U.S. media may today be uninterested in evidence that the attack was deliberate, but they had no trouble last May accepting NATO's explanation that the bombing was a mistake. Even before U.S. officials emerged with a full account of how the embassy could have been "mistakenly" targeted--an "outdated map" of Belgrade played a prominent role in the official explanation--the U.S. media began regularly referring, without evidence, to the "accidental bombing" of the embassy.

    When Chinese officials disputed the U.S. account, protesting that the attack could not have been a mistake, establishment journalists immediately took sides in this debate. New York Times diplomatic correspondent Jane Perlez (5/10/99) referred to "the accidental bombing, portrayed in China as deliberate." A Washington Post editorial (5/17/99) that discussed China's reaction to "NATO's unintentional bombing of China's embassy" was indignant that the official Chinese press was "milking the bombing for propaganda value" by reporting that the missile strike had been intentional. USA Today continues to refer to the "accidental bombing" of the embassy (10/20/99).

    Since the New York Times hasn't published the new information about the embassy attack, it's unclear whether the paper stands by its earlier reporting. Since May 7, the Times has referred to the "accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy" a total of 20 times. The last reference was in its October 17 edition--the day the Observer published its report. Since then, the Times has run an AP article on the Chinese president's visit to London (10/19/99), which mentioned only that "China broke off talks with Washington and the European Union after NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia"--taking no stand on the intention behind the attack.

    Even before the Observer's expose, there was no lack of evidence that China's suspicions were correct. A few days after the bombing, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder took the highly unusual step of publicly questioning NATO's explanation of the attack. "The explanation given by NATO on the tragic incident so far is far from enough and the Chinese government has every reason to demand a comprehensive, thorough, and in-depth investigation into the incident and affix the responsibility for it," Schroeder said in Beijing (AFP, 5/12/99).

    The London Daily Telegraph reported in June (6/27/99) that NATO's precision-guided missiles "carefully singled out the most sensitive section of the embassy complex for attack"--the intelligence directorate. "That's exactly why they don't buy our explanation," a Pentagon official was quoted as saying.

    In July, CIA director George Tenet testified in Congress that out of the 900 targets struck by NATO during the three-month bombing campaign, only one was developed by the CIA: the Chinese Embassy (AP, 7/22/99).

    What is perhaps most baffling about the major news outlets' indifference to the Chinese embassy story is that the same outlets regularly devote a great deal of attention to other stories concerning China and its relations with the U.S. Elite media report extensively on China's possible entry into the World Trade Organization, the political struggle between its "reformers" and conservatives, and allegations of Chinese nuclear spying and electoral influence-buying in the U.S. The op-ed pages abound with debates about China's intentions toward America: Is the country a threat to be contained or an opportunity for trade and investment?

    The Times of London noted in an October 21 book review that "the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade might yet turn out to be an important episode in a new Cold War." One might think that a well-sourced investigative article in a respected foreign newspaper providing evidence that the bombing was deliberate would be viewed by editors in the United States with the same interest they have shown in other aspects of China's relations with the West.

    Second entry:

    December 29, 2005
    Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy November-December 2005


    Email this article to a friend
    Print this article


    Highly-placed NATO sources have confirmed the reason behind the US air strike - with three Tomahawk cruise missiles - against the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Belgrade, (then) Yugoslavia, on May 7, 1999. The then-Clinton Government of the United States said at the time that the strike was accidental, due to faulty maps and intelligence, but this has been disproven by the NATO sources.

    The NATO sources told Defense & Foreign Affairs that the attack was based on intelligence that then Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was to have been in the Embassy at the time of the attack. The attack, then, was deliberately planned as a "decapitation" attack, intended to kill Milosevic.

    The London Observer, on October 19, 1999, had said that the attack had been deliberate, noting: "... Politiken newspaper in Denmark and Ed Vulliamy cites senior military and intelligence sources in Europe and the US stating that the embassy was bombed after its NATO electronic intelligence (ELINT) discovered it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.

    "Supportive evidence is provided by three other NATO officers - a flight controller operating in Naples, an intelligence officer monitoring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia and a senior headquarters officer in Brussels.

    "All three say they knew in April that the Chinese embassy was acting as a "rebro" (rebroadcast) station for the Yugoslav army. The embassy was also suspected of monitoring NATO's cruise missile attacks on Belgrade, with a view to developing effective countermeasures."

    The Clinton Administration blamed the attack on inaccurate intelligence information provided by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), alleging that the three missiles, which landed in one corner of the PRC embassy block, had been meant to target the Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement (FDSP). US Defence secretary William Cohen said at the time: "One of our planes attacked the wrong target because the bombing instructions were based on an outdated map." Sources within the US National Imagery and Mapping Agency reacted with anger at the allegation that their mapping had been at fault.

    Moreover, it was clear that Clinton appointee George Tenet, the CIA Director at the time, was involved in the deception operation built around the failed assassination attack.

    There was widespread disbelief of the US Clinton Administration claim that the attack was "accidental", but no accurate background information as to why the attack against the Embassy was scheduled. The rationale cited by The Observer was not the true cause of the targeting.

    In July 1999, then-CIA Director Tenet testified in Congress that out of the 900 targets struck by NATO during the three-month bombing campaign, only one was developed by the CIA: the PRC Embassy.

  • ||

    happyjuggler0,
    Shock and awe takes many forms.

    The most important question going forward is, "What will be the effect on Wal*Mart prices?"

    How is US foreign policy like genital mutilation?
    Let me count the ways.

  • ||

    right now the fbi is sifting thru the dead bodies of children that the cia killed - they are looking for an excuse - if you want to know what it feels like to lose your liberty - you are living it -

  • ||

    happyjuggler-

    Food for thought. I'll take a look at it later.

    I used to be active in juggling, nowadays I do it once a month or so. What kind of juggling do you like? I mostly liked simple tricks (behind the back, under the legs, bounce off the head or knees), and juggling while unicycling. I didn't learn too many complicated patterns, and I found that when I did learn a complicated pattern the non-jugglers weren't all that impressed. They'd rather see me eat an apple while juggling it, or toss a bean bag under my legs while juggling it, or put an extra twirl on my clubs.

  • ||

    thoreau,
    Will you and Mrs. t kindly hit the sack?
    Don't abuse your brain. It belongs to all of us.

    There used to be a legally blind juggler (of clubs) unicycling through our apartment complex. He was a stitch. I would strew tacks in his path.

  • ||

    Let me pipe up that--no joke--I used to be able to ride a unicycle and juggle at the same time too. I can still juggle, and I can still ride a unicycle. I don't know if I can still do both at the same time.

    Juggling can be like meditation for me or, anyway, sometimes it makes it easy for me to concentrate.

    ...Have we had this conversation before, or is this just you know what all over again?

  • ||

    We just don't treat white people the way we treat Arabs.

    We're not white? Shit, I want in on some of that Affirmative Action.

  • ||

    That bombing was win win because even if he's not yet dead, that just means that Mr. al-Zawahiri's miserable life is extended for a little while.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1560834.stm

    "Zawahiri's wife and children were reportedly killed in a US air strike in Afghanistan in late November or early December 2001."

    It's a book between Esther and Pslams, Mr. al-Zawahiri. I suggest you take a look. We are going to take everything that you have, everything that you hold dear -- your precious country, your family, your creed. And finally, your life. Yes, YOU GONNA LEARN ABOUT LOSS, Mr. al-Zawahiri. I'm Vergil and I'm guiding you through the gates of hell. On behalf of the People of the United States of America, and with the power vested in me by the kingdom of God, I sentence you to the th Circle of hell! Now you will learn about loss! Loss of freedom! Loss of humanity! And you better think twice next time you fuck with the United States of America.

  • ||

    If Canada was allowing someone to attack the United States from Canada and doing nothing to stop them, then you damn betcha I would blow up Ottawa. It is an obligation of sovreignty to not allow your country to be used as a base for attacks on another country.

  • ||

    "Well, technically an artillery round is a missile."

    A missile is self-propelled. It has a solid or liquid fuel burner .

  • ||

    tt: the term "missile" predates rocketry.

    From something called the "Online Etymology Dictionary," an analysis of the English word "missile:"

    1611 (adj.) "capable of being thrown," chiefly in phrase missile weapon, from Fr. missile, from L. missile "weapon that can be thrown," from missus, pp. of mittere "to send." The noun meaning "thing thrown or discharged as a weapon" is from 1656. Sense of "self-propelled rocket or bomb" is first recorded 1738; the modern remote guidance projectile so called from 1945.

    Of course, the NYT caption writer can be presumed to use it in the modern context, especially since he calls it the "remains" of a missile when it is clearly an intact shell. It really is astonishing how ignorant reporters are of military hardware when they get so excited at the thought of covering a conflict. I mean, nobody in journalism school dreams of covering city council meetings, do they? You'd think they would spend an afternoon reading up on things before they start typing. This stuff is all over the internet.

  • ||

    Just as a note, not to justify or attack the policy in this case...But if the attack was an airstrike, it definitely didn't leave an artillery shell in that village.

    Which would suggest that the shell is a prop in a staged picture. How staged (ie, did someone throw in the shell to spice up a picture of a wrecked building and some villagers, or were the "bystanders" people who didn't live anywhere near the area of the attack)? No way to know.

    I'd think that would be something people would react to, though.

  • ||

    Did you ever stop to think that the old guy is standing next to a shell that was in the building _before_ it was bombed? Since obviously it didn't come from a Predator. And why should we believe _anything_ the Pakis tell us, anyway? As if they haven't been the people who created and still maintain the Taleban. At the moment, we don't really know what happened -- at all. And likely never will. There's a war going on. Next.

  • ||

    Back when I had a Jeep Cherokee, there was a sign that said; "A small child that has not been properly buckled in can become a Missile in the event of collision".

    How do we know that something like that didn't happen in that little village in Pakistan?

    I was just in Pakistan about 7 or 8 weeks ago and I didn't see too many kids wearing seatbelts.

  • amazingdrx||

    According to news reports, 30 hellfire missles were fired. Does one predator carry 30 hellfires?

    Gun camera footage (shown on teevee)of one hellfire,fired from a predator by CIA operatives, used on a vehicle in front of a building purportedly containing fleeing taliban or quaeda during the invasion of Afghanistan showed the devestation from ONE hellfire.

    30 would be overkill..which is fine if one knew that al queada was actually the target. As it turned out the attack was on civilians instead. Did qeada setup that village for propaganda purposes against the US friendly puppet regime in Pakistan?

    A cell or sat phone, a tape recording of a qeada leader, and voice print analysis by NSA would confirm the target, and the CIA would fall into the trap. Attacking the wrong village.

    An AC-130 might have been used, but they are very vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. So maybe the military saw the hellfire report and said good, the stupidity of the media is covering the use of the gunship with unintentional misinformation?

    They might want to keep using the gunship, which of course does use the "missle" in the photo. The gunship is noisy and vulnerable, misinformation that a predator was used instead would protect the the AC-130 for future attacks?

    At least in the minds of military intelligence (an oxymoron), the same brain trust that would fall for a simple trick like planting a voice to "print" in that village.

    Until our military establishment hires man trackers who think like their target, how are these attempts going to succeed in defeating qeada?

    A real hunter, actually more akin to a trapper, would bait his traps and neutralize these fellers group by group. A trapper thinks like his prey.

    People who think like qeada end up getting the boot from the intelligence establishment, usually during basic training. FBI screening is designed to bounce these kind of individuals before they get started on a government career.

    Groups like qeada seek these kind of people out. not as suicide bombers, but as the operatives that use human bombs.

    The government ought to go out and hire a mob "collector" or a bounty humter to go after these guys. But that doesn't fit the institutional modus operandi. Which is probably a good thing in the long run.

    A police state employing proffessional outlaws would be too dangerous to liberty. But then how to get qeada? It's a conundrum. Think of the movie "The Dirty Dozen", it's in that vein.

  • ||

    If it's any condolance, reporters never get the details right when they write about planning or wetlands issues, either.

    I don't think this is an EmmEssEmm conspiracy to sabotagae efforts to protect wetlands. I just think reporters are experts on reporting, and have a job which often puts them in a situation where they're writing about subjects they don't know anything about.

  • ||

    If it's any condolance, reporters never get the details right when they write about planning or wetlands issues, either.

    I haven't seen 'em get that stuff a hundred percent right either, joe. ...but if someone printed a picture of a bald eagle in the middle of a swamp, and put it in a story about the EIR on my barren infill project, just 'cause reporters are affected by the same misconceptions as the general public, well, I'd still call bullshit.

    ...and the larger point here is a good one. Always question authority. Question it from the government, the company you work for, question the authority of your church, question the authority of the Bible, question your professor and the institution he works for, question the authority of your doctor, the hospital you're in, question the authority of your lawyer, your judge, your stock broker, your accountant and the institutions they represent, question your architect--for goodness' sake question your architect!

    ...and question the authority of the reporter you get your news from and the institution that publishes or broadcasts that news. ...and question the pertinent facts.

  • ||

    I just think reporters are experts on reporting, and have a job which often puts them in a situation where they're writing about subjects they don't know anything about.

    Jeezus Joe, where's the fun in that.

  • ||

    amazingdrx,

    Don't despair. We have a bunch of bomb loving lunatics of our own in the special forces arms of our military branches. This is why they are there in Afghanistan in the first place instead of gobs of regular army personel.

  • ||

    happyjuggler0,
    "This is why [special forces] are there in Afghanistan in the first place instead of gobs of regular army personel."
    Umm, there are plenty of regular army personnel there- the 101st, 82nd, 173rd, and 10th have all been there at one time or another. Get your facts straight.

  • ||

    Well, at least we can still bash reporters for knowing absolutely jack about pretty much everything. In their defense, they have a tough job: they're supposed to report on everything, but you can't be an expert on everything. Still, there should be some kind of editor who knows something about any given topic, no? The individual reporter can be forgiven, but why does the whole process so routinely turn out howlers? Given what I read in the papers about topics I do know about, I assume everything else is of the same factual quality: shite. (ps: My favorite weapons-related gaffe was the ".9 mm pistol" one newspaper mentioned.)

  • Shannon Love||

    I find it interesting that most commentators on this thread assume that the reports that there were no military targets in the village is absolutely true even though the second paragraph states:

    "But the senior Pakistani official who spoke of Mr. Zawahiri suggested that the death toll was higher, and he said that at least 11 militants had been killed in the attack. Seven of the dead were Arab fighters, and another four were Pakistani militants from Punjab Province, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the news media."

    I would point out that by international law and convention it is the responsibility of combatants subject to attack to see to the safety of non-combatants in their vicinity. If combatants cohabitant with non-combatants and the non-combatants are harmed as a result, then the moral and legal responsibility falls on the combatants who were targeted. Adopting any other standard simply creates an incentive to use non-combatants as shields.

    If there were legitimate military targets in the village then the moral responsibility for civilian deaths lays on them.

  • ||

    If there were legitimate military targets in the village then the moral responsibility for civilian deaths lays on them.

    I think it's easy to conflate "moral" and "legal" here. You may be right about it being perfectly legal, and, heck, you may even be absolutely right about the morality of this.

    ...actually, I don't have much of a problem with goin' after this guy. I think this was a function of the legitimate War on Terror in Afghanistan; I think it was done in self-defense against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces that attacked us, and I have no problems going after those enemies regardless of what side of the border they're on. I have few qualms about going after them with or without the approval of the Pakistani government too.

    ...but I also know that some things are both legal and immoral. Surely, the moral qualification process should weigh the value of non-combatant life. We are morally responsible for the civilians we kill, even if we're morally justified in, reluctantly, killing them.

  • ||

    I find it interesting that most commentators on this thread assume that the reports that there were no military targets in the village is absolutely true...

    I was going to take you to task for this, but I went back and read the comments...

    Although I'm not sure it's exactly "most", many commenters assumed this. I stopped counting at six and a half commenters. (One of 'em I'm unsure of). So why do you think they did that, Shannon?

    I think the people who comment here tend to be better informed, more critically minded and, indeed, more reasonable than the general population.

    ...Why do you think such people, without looking, seemed to assume that there was no legitimate target? Do you think it has anything to do with the bogus justifications for Iraq?

  • amazingdrx||

    "he said that at least 11 militants had been killed in the attack. Seven of the dead were Arab fighters, and another four were Pakistani militants from Punjab Province"

    In this region, every kid over 12 that can carry an ak becomes a "militant". In the rural Pakistani culture the boys go off to jihad. And that's their job for life. Everything else is considered women's work.

    If no foreign infidels are around, they fight with neighboring tribes. If qeada pays them will they fight the jihad elsewhere? Enough of them will, even if only 1/10th of 1% of the muslim population, to increase the suicide bombing terror part of the jihad exponentially for decades.

    An attack like this helps qaeda recruiting and fundraising. These oil wars have increased qeada's fortunes by many orders of magnitude.

    The only way to win these energy wars now is by becoming independent of oil based energy.

  • raymond||

    rogue nations

    failed states

    terrorists

    When the end justifies the means, when the government will do "whatever it takes", that's what you end up with.

  • Dave Hardy||

    Chuckle. Very few missile warheads display rifling engraving on the copper driving bands.

  • ||

    What disturbs me is that the photographer got a kid to pose next to a potentially live artillery round.

  • ||

    Years ago, as a graduate student, I went to Greece and I was offered the chance to buy the discus of one of the first athletes in the Olympic Games of antiquity. When I questioned the seller on its provenence he showed me the signature, in modern Greek, of the athlete on the discus. I had to laugh and start to walk away though the seller ran after me exclaiming that all the other tourist had bought one and why was I being difficult.

  • Steve||

    It may be nit picking, but the darned thing is BLUE!!!. Blue is the color that we use for training, not live ordnance. It does have the markings on the bottom showing that it was fired, but I think that it was inert, fired, found and moved to this location.

  • ||

    Horrible that innocents may have be killed. Maybe the village will not not hide Al Qaeda in their midst. No Al Qaeda...you're not a target.

  • ||

    This is a staged picture. Period.

    That is an artillery shell. Predator aircraft don't carry artillery shells, hence it wasn't shot by a Predator.

    So where did this rather large artillery shell come from?

    It must have been part of the target in the village.

    In other words, the hellfire missile hit, among other things, an ammo dump.

    Why would a remote Pakistan village have an ammo dump?

    Since the MSM is obviously lying about this "missile", they certainly can't be trusted on any reports that children and/or civilians were killed.

  • ||

    If Pakistan can't govern the region, it isn't part of Pakistan.

  • ||

    The MSM distorting the truth? Noooooooo, that can't be.

    ;)

  • ||

    I have never read so many stupid comments.

    I guess we can't protect ourselves (USA) unless we don't hurt any non-combatants. Yeah, that will work.

    Also, we either had the tacit or explicit approval of Pakistan's government, or they would be calling this an act of war.

  • ||

    Stan, you moron, do you think the bomb stops to check ID's before it blows up?

    They blew up one house. If it'd been "indiscriminate" bombing, they would have leveled a couple of square blocks.

  • Dennis||

    Wow. This site is great. I have no words to said more than thanx.

  • ||

    If we would kill 300 children in Russia for the publicity, why wouldn't we kill 8 or 9 in this crap hole and say a rocket from the United States did it. You guys will believe anything as long as it makes the US look bad.

  • ||

    The artillery shell looks Swedish - of the type used by F Haubits-77A or B.

  • ||

  • ||

    Any of you people remember Ruby Ridge, Idaho, where Randy Weaver's wife and son were shot to death by jackbooted federal agents? The New Joke Times described Weaver's shack in the mountains of Idaho as a "compound" and referred to his "arsenal" of weapons, which included -- gasp! -- seven rifles. I've been to the Weaver "compound." It's a fucking cabin. So don't tell me the NYT doesn't have an agenda, and that it doesn't twist language and facts deliberately.

  • ||

    BTW, seven rifles, where I come from, is a good start.

  • ||

    Never one to shy away from controversy, I will jump into this thread and state my strongly heldo opinion that Superman would spit into the wind.

    The Jim Croce song says nothing to the contrary. It merely lists "don't tug on Superman's cape" and "don't spit into the wind" as two unwise things that ordinary people should not attempt.

    But Superman is not and ordinary person. He has superpowers. I estimate he could expel spit at a speed of several hundred miles per hour, at least. At that velocity, he would have nothing to fear from spitting into any ordinary earthly wind.

    I suggest you read a few issues of DC Comics before you embarrass yourselves further.

  • M. Simon||

    As far as I can tell we had three good reasons and an excuse to take Iraq.

    The three good reasons: location, location, location. You guys do know that position is the essence of ground warfare. You can read a map.

    The excuse: Saddam was a very bad dude. At minimum he liked to violate the terms of the ceasefire. A causus belli. Did I mention the mass graves of women and children? Not a nice man.

    BTW Afghanis are about 80% favorable towards America. Quite a switch for a people that have expelled every invader for the last 3,500 years or more (our records only go back so far).

    Rove thinks he can get Bush a job as President of Afghanistan after Jan 20, 2009.

    So the question is: do we take the Iranian President at his word or do we treat him the way we treated a certian Austrian corporal for over a decade? No one could be that crazy and believe all that shit could they? I mean the 12th Imam rising out of a well. Islam ruling the world. The return to the caliphate. Wiping Israel off the map. Nuts isn't it? Well isn't it?

  • ||

    As near as I can tell, the main defense of the picture here is a combination of "it depends on what 'is is', or a missile is" and that the picture is "fake but accurate".

    Either case, it shows the news organization to be a dupe of one side in the confilict. Imagine how some of these same posters would react if the NYT printed a picture as obviously staged as this, but by the US military.

  • ||

    "The AC-130 does, in fact, carry a 105mm howitzer, but that does not appear to be a 105mm shell. It clearly is an artillery shell, however; you can tell both by the general shape and the "rotating band" at the bottom, which engages in the rifling in the barrel to generate spin."

    Yep, that sure does not look like a 105 (105mm is approximately 4" in diameter)and the driving band appears to be designed to impart its own spin, leading me to believe it was intended to be fired in a smoothbore howitzer.

    My own wild-arsed-guess? It's a leftover Soviet 152mm (about 6" in diameter) howitzer round.

  • ||

    Another thought regarding the presence of what may be an unexploded large caliber artillary round in a remote Pakistani village identifed by the CIA as containing a possible safe house for terrorist leaders is that such a round could be used to provide a layer of defense for the safe house. Such a use is right out of the urban terrorist playbook. That round is an argument for the proposition that the CIA was more likely right than wrong.

  • Chuck Betz||

    Ya don't want to make them more mad at us than they already are. Who knows, they might try to blow up the World Trade Center or something.

  • ||

    Okay, so the NYTimes uses images from GettyImages. It looks like they also just steal the caption.

    You should all get over beating the times for twisting this, instead, perhaps more focus should be given to the folks who actually wrote the caption and shot the image?

    Here is a link to Getty Images.

  • ||

    I never said that I am convinced that no legitimate targets were hit.

    I don't know enough about rural Pakistan to know if amazingdrx's characterization about the culture is accurate. However, I would like to know more about what constitutes a "militant" before I draw any conclusions about whether legitimate targets were hit.

    And I would agree that there are instances where civilian casualties are excusable. However, I would object to simply blaming any and all civilian casualties on the bad guy hiding among them. There are responsible and irresponsible ways to deal with a bad guy hiding among civilians. The mere fact that the bad guy is hiding among civilians doesn't give the good guys license to do like the guys in "Team America: World Police" and just blow shit up indiscriminately.

  • DavidU||

    Amazing. No one has yet pointed out that the artillery round being displayed was never fired in anger at anything, ever. If it had, it would have been totally demolished on impact, whether or not it exploded. The picture is obviously a posed fake, typical of the New York Times.

    And wait a minute. Isn't that Dan Rather in the background?

  • ||

    Beat me to the punch, Johnny, but the photographer is an AFP stringer not a Getty staffer. It should also be noted that Getty ran a corrected caption within four hours (10 A.M. this morning, four hours before Mr. Taylor's post). Here it is:

    Bajur, PAKISTAN: Pakistani tribesmen stand by a unexploded ordinance at their house which was damaged in an alleged US air strike the day before in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border, 14 January 2005. Thousands of tribesmen protested against an alleged US air strike targeting Al-Qaeda's second in command that killed 18 people near the Afghan border, witnesses said.

    NYT online must have missed the memo.

  • ||

    When you complain about civilian casualties, remember why.

    Legal combatants separate themselves from civilians, use uniforms, and have a chain of command so when the battle is won, they can be told to surrender or stand down. Illegal combatants do not use uniforms, and have no chain of command. Terrorists are illegal combatants. When they hid among civilians, they make the civilians a target. When civilians accept terrorists among them, the civilians lose the protection usually awarded them.

    Countries have borders. When a country controls its borders, it prevents terrorists from coming in and thereby protects it citizens from being targeted. When a country does not control its borders, terrorists can come in, and then their citizens are legally, though inadvertantly targeted by legal combatants seeking to target a terrorist.

    The fault for civilian casualties in this case is the terrorists, and to a lesser extent, the Pakistani government, and to a still lesser extent the civilians who do not obviously expel any terrorists from their midst.

  • ||

    Don't quote me but I belive that artilery trainuing rounds "dummy rounds" are that shade of blue with a yellow stripe.

  • ||

    Artillery rounds is one source of IEDs. Was this "innocent" house full of these artillery rounds?

  • ||

    10 A.M. this morning, four hours before Mr. Taylor's post

    Correction: 10 a.m. yesterday morning, four hours before Mr. Taylor's post. The Carlotta Gall story that ran in this morning's print edition of the Times didn't include the offending picture, by the way.

  • Ivan||

    Stevo, Superman would never spit, into the wind or in any other direction. He's a gentleman, not a redneck.

    As for the picture, if this is the worst you can come up with to damn the NYT, you really are lame.

  • ||

    The people in the tribal areas of Pakistan welcome, hide and give aid to groups which have organized attacks that have killed thousand in the US and many countries in the Mid-East, hundreds in Bali, Madrid, and nearly a hundred in London. They seem to support those activites and cheer them on. Maybe if they stopped doing that the US government would stop bombing them.

    I understand that even if they did not kill Zarahiri with the attack last week, they killed several AQ leaders. Maybe this is wrong, but I really don't care if they killed women and children along with them. Zawhiri is a dangerous man and it should be no surprise that it is dangerous to hang out with him.

  • ||

    I searched Gettyimages.com for Thir Khan photos. Found 6. He has another pic with artillery shells:

    http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/details_pop.aspx?iid=55815942&cdi=0

    There's a couple that look similar, except a different body color and proportion. Think it's a photoshop?

  • ||

    The shell in question is apparently a "dud" round from some previouse time. Notice the brass rotator bands have the grooves from the cannon barrel rifling showing that it has been fired. Also I would hazard to guess the round impacted in a far different area since only the fuse has apparently been damaged which is normal for a dud impacting in soft ground. It's been quite a few years now so I can't immediately recognize a 152mm (soviet) versus a 155mm (nato) from a photo though I don't remember 152's using yellow in their marking system and I also remember them having a different length aspect ratio (to lazy to search up if the Pakistani use 155 or 152).

  • ||

    Stevo,
    Superman would not spit into the wind.
    What you describe is supersonic projectile expectoration.
    Spitting is a sign of trying to fit in. It's like a handshake, saying, "shucks," or talking about the weather.
    We love Superman because he tried to fit in, a la Clark Kent.
    I loved Captain Marvel too.
    Captain Marvel was to Superman as Gene Autrey was to Roy Rogers.

  • ||

    In fact, I will go so far as to say that Superman could use his spit to deflect an incoming artillery shell or missile-warhead off-target, thereby saving lives.

    Yet Superman chose not to do this. Is he not in some sense responsible for whatever it is that happened?

  • ||

    Maybe this is wrong, but I really don't care if they killed women and children along with them. Zawhiri is a dangerous man and it should be no surprise that it is dangerous to hang out with him.

    That'll teach those kids to, uh, have parents who, uh...stupid kids.

  • ||

    All this technical military talk reminds me of a picture I treasure that I brought back from VN. It's of the brass casing of a 122 mm artillery shell the action end of its like I was the elusive recipient of many times just at the changeover from the Johnson administration to the Nixon.
    Many years afterward I happened to show the picture to one of my students of English where I was volunteering. This guy was a prince of a fellow, and as peaceful as I am. His mother was on the staff of the organization where I taught. They were from Romania. He could tell by the markings on the casing that the shell had been made just a few blocks from where he lived. He or his relatives likely worked there.

  • ||

    I love the old guy in the turban! Talk about local color. And the arrangement of the artillery shell and the kids amongst the rubble from the recent earthquakes is inspired.

  • Duke||

    Perhaps being Arabs, they simply stole that missile.
    What's it worth to a scrap dealer or maybe a terrorist bomber? Must be something there of value.

    Look people .. we are at war with Islam (their idea) and in any war shit happens. This is just shit that happened. Nothing compare to what these head hacking suicide bomber do to thousands annually.

    The US can bomb any and all if it means we might eventually beat these lunatics and drive back under the rocks they crawled out from under.

  • ||

    The average temperature (or something) is dropping like a rock in here.

  • ||

    As perfectsense points out, the "bad guys" in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region use caches of artillery rounds to create IED's. The are literally thousands of these stashed all over the area. When I was in Afghanistan last year, the Army would find two or three caches a day - which were either blown in place or moved to one of the demo ranges. Many Afghanis would report caches for reward money. It's quite likely the round in the photo is from one of these caches and not from a Predator (or other UAV) strike.

  • Matt||

    What a great thread. It has everything!

    Bush is evil, we deserved 9/11, this is a racist war, and my favorite, fake but accurate.

    Remind me again why I used to be a libertarian?

  • ||

    Matt,
    Oh, grow up!

  • ||

    If reporters actually had knowledge about anything other than reporting, they wouldn't work as reporters.

    Kinda makes you wonder about all that "4th Estate" stuff...

  • ||

    The point is credibility - if the arty shell pictured here is not (and clearly it was not) used in the raid at issue, it raises questions about the rest of the photo. Was it really taken at that village? Could it be a file pic from Afghanistan, where there are 30 years of shells lying around? How do we know? We are supposed to take the word of the NYTimes that it's not a fraud or forgery - but thanks to Blair, Rather, Mapes and Kelly, we know that the MSM is cerainly not above a little fraud or forgery - or maybe someone like a local stringer is perpretating a fraud on the notoriously credulous NYTimes? Basically we have to take it on faith, and every time they F something up like this, I lose a little more faith. There are a few reporters at the Times (John Burns comes to mind) who I KNOW to be accurate and fair so I tend to trust them - others, not so much.

    Basically, if the nation's "newspaper of record" cannot get the little things (things that I can check) right, how can I trust them to get other things right, things that I am not in a position to check.

  • ||

    Les said:
    That'll teach those kids to, uh, have parents who, uh...stupid kids.

    &ltpropaganda victim&gtYeah, well, some of those kids might have grown up to become adults with a negative opinion of the US.</propaganda victim>

    somebody else said:
    Remind me again why I used to be a libertarian?

    That was before you finally learned to love Big Brother.

  • ||

    Holdfast is exactly right, it goes to credibility. It's not just a mistake in captioning. The problem is the picture doesn't match the story, whatever the caption. The story is about missiles and the picture is of an artillery shell.

    In other words, the picture is not fake but accurate, but rather just plain fake, as it regards the story. The picture has nothing to do with the story. So instead of illuminating the story, it obscures and fuzzes up the story. And then one has to ask, as holdfast has, what is it a picture of? Where did it come from? Is it from that village or even from Pakistan at all?

    And then furthermore, who supplied the picture? Can they prove where it came from? Can they prove it had anything to do with the story at all. And if it didn't, what of the rest of the material - the written stuff? Did it actually come from the scene? Is it any more real than the picture is?

    And why is the picture posed? Should news pictures be posed? Someone put that artillery shell up on that wall. I feel fairly confident it didn't land there itself, in that position. What does that say about the "truth" of the picture?

    The problem is not a simple captioning mistake, although that too is a, separate, problem. (You'd think the media could handle the difference between a missile and an artillery shell, especially if they are war reporters.) The problem is a picture that is fake and inaccurate and brings the credibility and reliability of all the rest of the story into question.

  • ||

    Basically we have to take it on faith, and every time they F something up like this, I lose a little more faith.

    Basically, no one should take anyone's word for anything. Authority is for suckers. ...It always has been. No one should ever accept the authority of anyone else as a definitive indication of fact.

    ...I think I remember hearing about a fallacy that addressed this somewhere. It went something like, "If you ever had faith in someone's authority or "credibility" as a substitute for the facts, then you're a sucker.", or something like that. If there's someone in your head, right now, who has some kind of "credibility" for you, someone whose authority is such that you accept what they say as fact, then you're a sucker.

    ...and you should probably only read things written by, and only listen to, only watch things broadcast by people that totally disagree with you, at least until you get better.

  • ||

    If you can fill in the blank...

    "I don't have to worry about the facts because I listen to __________, and he/she/it has credibility.

    ...then you're a sucker.

  • ||

    Adie:

    I looked at it, thought "photoshop", but you got there first.

    A 155 howitzer is only 6" wide. That round seems larger, especially in relation to the heads of the kid and old guy.

    Are we assume that they have it carefully balanced on a shelf behind the wall? The bottom of the shell is only about 6" below the obdurator band, so the shelf has to be right below the top of the wall.

    There is a faint white line on both sides of the shell.

    I'm not a photoshop expert, but would say there is a 20% chance this is a photoshop job.

  • ||

    "Basically, no one should take anyone's word for anything. Authority is for suckers. ...It always has been. No one should ever accept the authority of anyone else as a definitive indication of fact."
    Good point. I'll hop on the next flight to Pakistan to check this story out for myself.

  • ||

    Regarding civilian deaths, yes, by all means, we should revoke our presumably immoral victory over the Nazi's and the Japanese Imperialists on the grounds of innocents killed in the allied firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo alone. No need to even discuss Hiroshima, Nagasaki or awareness of the Holocaust (or do some here doubt that as well?).

    I'm sure the UN will accommodate the rescission of the allied victory.

  • ||

    Another photoshop point: I googled the photographer "Thir Khan" and came up with this photo and an article back in December 2005 on another bombing episode. He is obviously not a staff photographer.

    When Adie and I expose this as a photoshop fraud, do we collect our fifteen minutes of fame?

  • ||

    Not only that but look at the color, that looks like a training round to me as I recall training rounds are blue like the one in that picture. Fake but accurate?

  • ||

    Here's a soldier loading a 155mm shell. Judging sizes, the one in the picture looks awful large.
    http://www.jetpix.com/webfiles/army/army18.jpg

  • ||

    I sent a letter to the editor and here is what I said:

    Sir,
    I am currently active duty military and have handled hundreds of artillery rounds. The photo is of an artillery shell not a missile warhead also it is blue if I am not mistaken and that is what color our inert(non-explosive) training rounds are. I don't think the photo is real or it was staged.

    Think they will correct it?

  • George Turner||

    I have carefully analyzed the photo and can announce with some certainty that it's not an artillery round, despite the boat tail, rotating band, and markings. It's obviously a Pakistani lava lamp. Islam forbids them from viewing the dancing blobs, which can sometimes resemble breasts, so their lava lamps are made out of metal. The actual missile part mentioned in the captain is obviously being hidden by the young boy at left, who is holding behind his back until the photographer coughs up a couple twenties.

  • ||

    Also these guys look like Afghans not Pakistanis. Although a confounding variable could be how close they are to the border.

  • ||

    August Falcon,

    such a round could be used to provide a layer of defense for the safe house. Such a use is right out of the urban terrorist playbook. That round is an argument for the proposition that the CIA was more likely right than wrong.

    but -- but -- it's a dud. An inert round. Blue paint does mean it's a dud round.

    The CIA isn't as stupid, or even as deliberately malicious, as a lot of people around here would like to say they are (there are also people who apparently did not know "Team America" was a cartoon). But does the urban terrorist play book recommend surrounding yourself with dud rounds?

    btw, where do I get me a copy of this play book? B&N?


    Johnny,

    You should all get over beating the times for twisting this

    Got even one good reason not to beat the times?



    thoreau,

    There are responsible and irresponsible ways to deal with a bad guy hiding among civilians.

    Can you elaborate on that, beyond "you can't do it that way"?

    Don Meaker,

    When a country does not control its borders, terrorists can come in, and then their citizens are legally, though inadvertantly targeted by legal combatants seeking to target a terrorist.

    All of which is true, but in reality I don't believe anyone in history has ever actually controlled that region which is the modern day Afghan-Pakistan border.

    I'm not disagreeing with your points. Just pointing out that some places in the world have never evolved beyond a "fire at will" zone.

  • ||

    Let me get this straight.

    This village was providing a safe haven for terrorists. But, according to some commenters, because they've got a faked photo of a 'missle', I'm supposed to feel guilty about my government and sorry for the victims.

    Don't think so. We should be doing this more often, not less.

  • ||

    Think they will correct it?

    The NYT? If they do, it'll be in an obscure little paragraph buried in the sports section a month from now.

  • ||

    A 155 howitzer is only 6" wide. That round seems larger

    It's huge. You'd need the main gun of a battleship to fire it. It wasn't fired from an aircraft.

    My bet is that it was fired from an Adobe Photoshop gun.

    Rob,

    This village was providing a safe haven for terrorists.

    Villages in Vietnam provided "safe haven" for communists too. The deal was simple. The communists showed up in your village. You helped them any way they asked (including you getting drafted into their army), or they shot you.

    Some villages in Vietnam were sympathetic to the communists. The majority weren't.

    Who knows if they were providing anything voluntarily or not in this story. Who knows how many bad guys or innocent bystanders were killed. The whole story is questionable.

    My beef with this whole thing is that so many people refuse to accept any collatoral damage in a war. If there is any, the US is automatically faulted.

  • ||

    Iraq is a mess in many ways.

    That doesn't change the fact that terrorists do exist, and we are fighting a war against them.

    First they bash the US for fighting in Iraq, because (per some theory I grasp not) "the terrorists aren't there".

    They they bash the US for fighting where the terrorists clearly are.

    Half the US was waving a white flag the day after the WTC fell.

  • M. Simon||

    So tell me boys and girls if Iran starts lobbing nuclear weapons at Israel it is:

    1. A good thing
    2. A bad thing
    3. None of our business
    4. A chance to profit from our excess plutonium inventories

  • ||

    A quote from the linked article:

    In Damadola, the village hit by the missiles, a local member of Parliament, Sahibzada Haroon Rashid, said he saw a drone aircraft surveying the area hours before the attack and was later awakened by huge explosions.

    He said three houses had been hit by the airstrikes. "The houses have been razed to the ground," said Mr. Rashid, who said he had visited the scene.
    "There is nothing left. Pieces of the missiles are scattered all around. The impact of the explosions have been huge. Everything has been blackened in a 100-meter radius."

    I don't know about you but this hardly looks like a scene where everything has been blackened

  • lgude||

    I agree with the credibility points made above. I simply don't know what this is a picture of. I have never served in the military or seen many artillary shells but I don't think this is a piece of predator missle. So what am I to believe about the rest of the picture. Is is just a set? I was a professional photographer and one of the things I did was produce many educational slide tape presentations which required me to find or stage situations to fit what the instructor required. That was ethical, but in news reporting it is totaly destructive of credibility. If I was in Afganistan and needed a picture to legitimately illustrate the aftermath of a predator strike I'd get help from someone who could point to a scrap of metal that was credibly a piece of predator and then find a buliding with crumbling walls and pose a couple of local people near the scrap of metal. I know how to do that because I have done that sort of thing thousands of times. That said I know that I have miscaptioned photographs when I did know something about the subject and should have known better. Under pressure of work you can miss the obvious. The photo may be from a series taken in the village in question of damage from the predator strike and the artillary shell might be just a stupid idea from the people in the photo or the photographer that has gotten through the entire editing process. Or it could be a fabrication. We just don't know, but it is clear that the NY Times looks silly when it publishes obviously dubious material.

  • Sean Healy||

    This photo came from a freelance who sold it to AFP/Getty who sold it to the NY Times where someone with relatively low-level editorial responsibilities grabbed it from a selection on the wires grabbed to illustrate the story. The bad caption almost certainly originated with the freelance, who probably included it in the IPTC info. Everyone else down the line trusted it without verifying. Whether the photo is staged or there was some motive to the mistake is impossible to tell, but I think you'd all be pretty surprised at how little editorial intervention there really is at each step of a newspaper's production.

  • ||

    Well, it looks about in line with the kid, propped up on a box or something behind the wall. So if he just has a really small head... Except the whole weird looking image artifacts around the artillery round thing makes that a pointless line of discussion.

  • Dave W.||

    I am curious. How many Afghanistani civilians have been killed since 9/11? How many civilians killed in Afghanistan by the coalition military forces lately?

    Maybe the anti-war bias of the picture is to partially make up for bias in not pursuing and printing Afghanistan bodycounts (which presumably is newsworthy and important as a policy matter, etc., etc.).

    Like everybody else and the late Pat Tillman, I think the Afghanistan War is the bestsest, greatest war in the storied history of war, but shouldn't it be done now? Are they still killing civilians over there? How much collateral property damage is still going on? Is this civilian bombing gonna be an endemic thing? I mean, we did, like, totally conquer in Afghanistan, didn't we? What does that mean, if anything?

    I think Taylor's got his own biases if the best criticism of the reporting he can muster is the one he choses to make here. Sounds like he spends more time thinking about the products made by profitable, stock-issuing corporations than he does about human beings.

  • ||

    happyjuggler0 wrote: "Don't despair. We have a bunch of bomb loving lunatics of our own in the special forces arms of our military branches."

    Way to show your ignorance, asshat. One of my friends was in SF and was killed by an IED last year - who knows? possibly it was built out of an arty shell similar to the one in this picture. He, and the men he served with, were too busy smoking out the bad guys and digging wells for the Afghanis to devote much time to acting like "bomb-loving lunatics." Oh, and by the way - his SF specialty? Intel, not weapons.

    Asshat.

  • ||

    Regarding the shell - looks real to me. There is some color shift in the image, possibly due to UV light or processing, but the yellow band around it means it's live, in the military I served in. It is not any airborne weapon I've ever seen.

    My experience is with airborne weapons, not artillery, however. Our inert weapons were painted blue or orange.

  • Dave W.||

    I guess I meant --shadow war in Pakistan-- in place of "Afghanistan" and --whatever company made that weapon in the pic-- in place of "Pat Tillman."

    With these corrections, my previous post still basically applies.

  • ||

    Quote: Who said, "Even Superman doesn't spit into the wind"?

    No one.

    As someone pointed out, some anti-American reporter agthered these people around a possibly live artillery shell for a lovely propag...photo op

    Afghanistan has likely thousands and thousands of thes eshells throughout the country, from Soviet era to US modern

    Thsi could be local unfriendly froces...shell could be 152mm Russian (anti-personnel, based on colour and markings)

  • ||

    If I was to call every mind-reading foul being bandied about in this thread, I'd run out of yellow flags before I scrolled down the page twice. Amazing. Between that, the strawmen, the sudden emergence of Photoshop experts and the "kill 'em all" crowd, I feel like a lesser human being for having read through this.

  • ||

    Can you elaborate on that, beyond "you can't do it that way"?

    Without knowing the specifics of what the CIA knew (or thought they knew) and the backgrounds of the alleged militants inside the building, it's hard to say anything specific on this particular incident.

    I was responding to Shannon Love's general assertion that civilian casualties are solely the fault of the unlawful combatants hiding among them. That is clearly not true.

    For instance, if you had the option of using a sniper against a terrorist hiding among civilians, but you chose to bomb a crowded area, that would obviously be immoral. Now, if you couldn't use a sniper, but you had a choice between a big bomb and a small bomb, and you chose the bigger one, that would obviously be immoral.

  • ||

    To all the self-styled Photoshop Experts: Ever heard of perspective? That amazing thing where something CLOSE to you looks DISPORPORTIONALLY LARGE? See an example: http://www.snopes.com/photos/bugs/camelspider.asp OH GOD THOSE SPIDERS ARE AS BIG AS THE GUYS LEGS!!!11111!!!

    Anyway, as to the article: An artillery shell can be a "missile" by the strict definition of the term. I agree that this is probably not how they meant it here, but...what exactly is the point of excoriating the NYT over this? Are we to assume that they know nothing because they referred to an artillery shell as a "missile"? Perhaps we're meant to assume that they're equally wrong in everything else that they say regarding the War On Terror; but that seems awfully unreasonable reasoning.

  • ||

    There may come a day -- perhaps all too soon -- when a nuclear weapon is smuggled into a US city and detonated. And the day after, half of these posters will be demanding that Bush do something -- anything -- to prevent it from happening again. And the other half will continue to ask, in a whiny voice, "can't we all just get along?" The Islamist position is clear: "we don't want anything from you. We want to eliminate you." Fighting a war is an ugly business, but not nearly as unattractive as losing one. The side with the greater resolve to endure will win: think DEEPLY about the price of defeat.

  • ||

    Who linked to this thread? I see lots of new posters offering a bunch of false dichotomies.

    Defenselessness and tyranny are not our only options. A limited but effective government is also possible if done intelligently. In fact, the "limited" aspect may be important, to prevent the sloppiness that inevitably comes with bloat.

  • ||

    The side with the greater resolve to endure will win: think DEEPLY about the price of defeat.

    National defense as Triumph of the Will.

  • ||

    There may come a day -- perhaps all too soon -- when a nuclear weapon is smuggled into a US city and detonated

    And so the Bush administration is doing ________________ to secure loose nukes.

    Oh, don't bother filling in the blank. It's blank for a reason.

    And to the retard who said we're "at war with Islam" -- who is in charge of "Islam" again? Can we just talk to that guy?

  • ||

    I'm a first-time poster, Thoreau, and I agree that defenselessness and tyranny are not our only options. But 'intelligent government' requires a clear, adult understanding of what's at stake, and what I see frightens me to the core: half the electorate seem willing to accept (or even hasten) our defeat in Iraq if it would return their party to political power. The other half seem willing to succumb to bloodlust and jingoism because they don't how else to respond to a threat they recognize but don't fully understand. Both sides seem unable to come to grips with what's truly at stake. Think what the European religious wars of the 16th Century were like, and then remember that this time there will be no New World for the rest of us to escape to.

  • ||

    Jennifer, if you mean that literally, then I heartily agree. But you're only being ironic in a 'cinematic' way, then I have to ask: how would you feel about your granddaughter being made to wear a burkha, and she not knowing that in past times there had been other choices?

    Phil, I don't think you have the foggiest notion of what the Bush administration is, or is not doing "to secure loose nukes." No matter. The point is, the Islamists are at war with US, and they have not wish to talk it over. They think they're going to win, and they don't see death as a defeat. That kind of threat cannot be fended off with glibness.

  • ||

    But you're only being ironic in a 'cinematic' way, then I have to ask: how would you feel about your granddaughter being made to wear a burkha, and she not knowing that in past times there had been other choices?

    Clioman, are you saying that there's a chance al-Qaeda will successfully invade the United States, overthrow the government and force US citizens to live under a Muslim theocracy? Otherwise, it's pretty unlikely that I or my theoretical future grandchildren wil be forced to wear a burka.

  • ||

    Jeremy Nimmo : "I am curious. How many Afghanistan civilians have been killed since 9/11? How many civilians killed in Afghanistan by the coalition military forces lately?"

    Question you should be asking is : how many civilians where killed in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, under the weak kneed, pathetic Democratic President Jimmy Cater?
    And how many Afghans were slaughtered in the ensuing civil war?
    And how many were murdered under the super evil Taliban?
    And how many Afghans would have been dead in the long running civil war if we hadn't gone in?

    And then compare it to the vastly smaller number of dead since America went into Afghanistan, the establishment and a free and democratic Afghanistan, the freeing of women in Afghanistan from Taliban stone age oppression, the ability of women to go to school and have jobs, the vast improvements in healthcare, roads, schools, economy etc.

    That's what you should be talking about.

    What you are asking is like someone asking how many civilians were killed in Europe in WWII, when to the tune of over 40 million died.

    Well that war stopped the holocaust for starters, apart from freeing most of Europe from Nazi oppression.
    The end result?
    Today Europe is one of the most peaceful, prosperous, free and democratic places on the planet.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    I was responding to Shannon Love's general assertion that civilian casualties are solely the fault of the unlawful combatants hiding among them

    Sure, okay. But how do you know they didn't choose the lesser evil in this circumstance? From some of your posts above it sounds like you at least have serious doubts.

    And, Shannon has a perfectly valid point that these suicidal lunatics bear a substantial fraction of the moral responsibility.

    I don't see this as significantly different from fighting the Nazis, in the sense that we aren't the ones who started slaughtering civilians. But once the enemy starts the war, then it's a war and more innocents are going to get it.


    Clioman,

    But 'intelligent government' requires a clear, adult understanding of what's at stake, and what I see frightens me to the core

    Amen.

    And this, I contend, is the best-est and most accurate parallel between today's war and Vietnam. There was a legit threat and real problems in Vietnam. Some of the US public recognized the existence of the threat, but all of us (including our vaunted leaders) sorely misunderstood it's nature. The other half of us was ready to give up before it ever started.

    All of which combined to cause our ultimate failure in Vietnam (not our military defeat however, because if you actually look at what happened we did well enough militarily that, if we had only been smarter on the political side....).

    I fear the same outcome again.

  • ||

    The point is, the Islamists are at war with US, and they have not wish to talk it over. They think they're going to win, and they don't see death as a defeat.


    You seem to really buy into the threat of Islam taking over the world. I have a few questionHow do you differentiate an Islamist from a Muslim? How many Muslims are Islamists? All? Most? If it's difficult to tell a dangerous Islamist from a Muslim, what do you do?

  • ||

    Phil, I don't think you have the foggiest notion of what the Bush administration is, or is not doing "to secure loose nukes."

    Fill me in, smart guy.

  • ||

    Both sides seem unable to come to grips with what's truly at stake.

    Who the hell knows what's truly at stake?

    Certainly it isn't the American economy; 9/11, McVeigh, etc. were just criminal acts, our economy has survived such things many times, although opportunistic politicans seem bent on weakening it everytime such an event takes place. There's zero chance that any foreign power is going to send troops overseas to take over the US; although there is a possibility that internal unrest in a foreign country could foment into a revolution where million of innocents are slaughtered, it is just as likely that such an event would be at the blessing of the US as it would be a cause of US military intervention to stop it.

    I'm more concerned that Americans will be rounded up and jailed, enslaved, and slaughtered by Americans (CIA, DEA, police, etc.) than I am about some foreigners half a globe away doing the same to Americans on anything other than a miniscule criminal scale.

  • ||

    Phil : "And so the Bush administration is doing ________________ to secure loose nukes.
    Oh, don't bother filling in the blank. It's blank for a reason"


    It's blank for a reason alright.
    That reason being you have an empty brain ?
    The fact that you are woefully lacking in knowledge of what the Bush administration is doing to secure loose nukes, doesn't mean loose nukes are not being secured.
    Get it?

  • ||

    Islamists taking over the world? Hell, they can't even stop the Iranians from flouting every religious law on the books the moment they get behind closed doors. (I know some Iranian immigrants.)

    They may do some damage to us, but install Sharia law in the US? Yeah, right. They're engaging in asymmetrical warfare precisely because things are, well, asymmetrical. They can't mount a conventional war, let alone win one. That means they won't ever take over our territory. The most they can do is make us pay a price in blood, but they cannot possibly take control of our territory. Hence the asymmetrical part of this asymmetrical war.

  • ||

    Smithy,

    "The Bush administration is doing ___________ to turn the US into a fascist dictatorship."

    If you can't fill in the blank, they must be doing something to bring about a fascist dictatorship...

  • ||

    Proud to be an ankle grabber for allah. Trust me it's a gay hate america first thing.

  • ||

    Jennifer, you asked if I am saying that there's a chance al-Qaeda will successfully invade the United States, overthrow the government and force US citizens to live under a Muslim theocracy?

    It won't happen in such a straight-forward way, but the result will be the same. If we fail in the Middle East and withdraw as the Left would have us do, then the Caliphate will be restored by 2050 because the Europeans will be unable to stop it; if present demographic projections hold true, it may simply be voted into being. That restoration will be accopanied by the destruction of Israel, the foreclosure of ME oil supplies to non-Caliphate nations by war or embargo, and their resulting economic collapse. Without allies, and faced with the choice of nuclear war or dhimmitude, the U.S. will accept
    'the inevitable.' Your granddaughter would live in a very different society than the one you and I enjoy, and in such circumstances she may very well find it unimaginable not to belong to the religion that won.

  • ||

    Yes, Clioman, and if we pull out of Vietnam then the domino effect means that the Communists will take over the whole world and the hammer-and-sickle flag will rule the entire planet by the year 2000.

  • ||

    David : "You seem to really buy into the threat of Islam taking over the world."

    The Iranian president is not only convinced Islam is going to take over the world (he said so only last week), he us busy even as speak, doing everything in his power to get nukes so he can make that a reality.
    The loony left in America of course prefer to keep their heads in the sand like ostriches, like Jimmy Carter did, when he actually believed Soviet Promises from Brezhnev that the Soviet Union was not going to invade Afghanistan.

    Cater's's response after the Soviets DID invade Afghanistan?
    He wanted the rest of the world o boycott the Moscow Olympics.
    /Sarcasm on..Now that is really effective policy, right? ../sarcasm off
    Why even our closest allies, the British rejected Cater's pathetic requests out of hand.

    The loony left in America, perpetually stuck on stupid!

  • ||

    The fact that you are woefully lacking in knowledge of what the Bush administration is doing to secure loose nukes, doesn't mean loose nukes are not being secured.

    True, but the fact that the 9/11 Comission gave this administration a D grade for nonproliferation and said "Countering the greatest threat to America's security is still not the top national security priority of the President and the Congress" does mean exactly that.

  • ||

    The Iranian president is not only convinced Islam is going to take over the world (he said so only last week), he us busy even as speak, doing everything in his power to get nukes so he can make that a reality.

    Yes, and Charles Manson was not only convinced that a helter-skelter race war would soon consume America, he also did all he could to make it a reality. That doesn't mean he had any chance of success.

  • ||

    David : "questionHow do you differentiate an Islamist from a Muslim? "

    Huh?
    You still can't tell the difference between Mohammed Atta, Zarqawi and the rest of the Islamofacist scum, and the local muslim guy running the corner shop, with a wife and 3 kids, who doing his best to live the American dream?

    The loony left of America, perpetually stuck on stupid.

  • ||

    For a surreal experience, try reading this thread while listening to "A Coward No Longer" by Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, which just happened to come on to the classical station I listen to. :-)

    Hmmm...happyjuggler, thanks for the links re: Chinese embassy. In fact I hadn't heard the outcome of that, though I was living in England at the time and their media was more skeptical of the "accidental" claim.

    Wonder why our media prefer us to think of the military as incompetent, rather than as people competently carrying out an assassination attempt?

  • ||

    Jennifer, Vietnam was a long time ago and if you think it's relevant to the present situation then you're stuck in an irrelevant past. The simple fact is that Muslims are out-breeding European Christians and Western secularists. Spengler over at AsiaTimes.com has some interesting thoughts on why that might be, but the bottom line is that the Muslim world has lots of frustrated young men on its hands, and it's filling their heads with hatred. We're filling our young peoples' minds with...tolerance. Mark Steyn put it very well recently: Globalization means that the fierceness of one culture is just as easily exported as the acquisitiveness of another. Modern weaponry has no loyalty to either, and feels no guilt over who uses it more ruthlessly.

  • ||

    Jennifer : "Yes, and Charles Manson was not only convinced that a helter-skelter race war would soon consume America, he also did all he could to make it a reality. That doesn't mean he had any chance of success."

    One lil difference : Charles Manson was not running a country with 60 million souls, and one of the largest reserves of oil on the planet.
    And..ole Charlie Manson was not about to get his hands on nuclear weapons either.

    Could you like some up with an example that makes more sense?

  • ||

    "Wonder why our media prefer us to think of the military as incompetent, rather than as people competently carrying out an assassination attempt?"

    Uh, by your logic, the US military also obviously prefers to be thought of as incompetent since it was the entity that announced the bombing was accidental.

  • ||

    Qbryzan : "True, but the fact that the 9/11 Comission gave this administration a D grade for nonproliferation and said "

    The 9/11 commision?
    Oh that 9/11 commission.
    The self same 9/11 commission that had Jamie Gorelick on it?
    Same Jamie Gorelick who refused to allow the FBI be infornmed that Mohammed Atta was a terrorist and ended up causing 9/11?
    Its like having a guy charged with murder, sitting on the jury that is trying him.

    The 9/11 commisson is the biggest joke I have seen a long time.

    Get serious will you?

  • ||

    Smithy, I was comparing Manson to al-Qaeda. You know, the "Islamists" we're "at war" with/

  • ||

    Smithy, I was comparing Manson to al-Qaeda. You know, the "Islamists" we're "at war" with

    Of course you were. That's why you used this quote to base you comments on:
    The Iranian president is not only convinced Islam is going to take over the world (he said so only last week), he us busy even as speak, doing everything in his power to get nukes so he can make that a reality.

  • ||

    The 9/11 commisson is the biggest joke I have seen a long time.

    So whose opinions do you trust, in regards to our current military adventures and defense strategies?

  • ||

    Uh, by your logic, the US military also obviously prefers to be thought of as incompetent since it was the entity that announced the bombing was accidental.

    SR, where did you find this? I couldn't even find it on the NY Times site. I also though it was a CIA operation. Do you have another source that says is was a US military attack and that they said it was accidental?

    By the way, it's a training round. The yellow may indicate it had a spotting charge in it. Is that still live? Could be. I don't know if an artillery round is designed to "blow" the spotting charge out of the bottom (the top when it hits) like a BDU-33. If it is a soviet shell, I don't know how they painted their munitions, so it could be anything.

    People have have asked what does this prove. It proves that the Times, whether accidental or on purpose, plays fast and loose with the facts. I personally stopped trusting the media to provide the facts during Gulf War I. They had six months to prep and their talking heads couldn't tell a "smart" weapon from a canister of CBU. They sat their watching video of jets taking off and talked about what kind of ordnance it was a speculated on the types of targets. If they couldn't get that right with six months of prep, they probably don't get anything else correct.

  • ||

    And..ole Charlie Manson was not about to get his hands on nuclear weapons either.

    Iran is not "about" to get its hands on nuclear weapons. It's at least 10 years away. That doesn't mean we shouldn't think about how to deal with that possibility, but the sky isn't falling.

  • ||

    Who linked to this thread? I see lots of new posters offering a bunch of false dichotomies.

    Like I said, the average temperature (or something) in this room dropped like a rock a while back. I recognize a few of the names, a torture apologist here, someone that called me "racist" for questioning the mechanics of Reverse Domino Theory there. ...I haven't seen so many propaganda victims in one place since the last election.

  • ||

    Iran is not "about" to get its hands on nuclear weapons. It's at least 10 years away.

    How do you know?

  • ||

    "Wonder why our media prefer us to think of the military as incompetent, rather than as people competently carrying out an assassination attempt?"

    Uh, by your logic, the US military also obviously prefers to be thought of as incompetent since it was the entity that announced the bombing was accidental.


    While that's a valid point, I would think that the military personnel making the "accident" claim were doing so under orders (just as they completed the bombing under orders.)

    Which is a separate question from the still valid one of why the U.S. media ignored this story, while it was all over the foreign press, including in countries that also took part in that NATO action.

  • ||

    Les, the IAEA chief seems to think it's more like two years and change. And in the meantime, the Iranians are scouring Europe and the Far East for missile components to augment their own in-house efforts. Their president believes the arrival of Imam #12 is imminent, claims he was bathed in holy light while speaking at the UN, and is threatening to turn off the Iranian oil piplelines if the world does anything to piss him off. The sky IS falling.

  • ||

    It's blank for a reason alright.
    That reason being you have an empty brain ?
    The fact that you are woefully lacking in knowledge of what the Bush administration is doing to secure loose nukes, doesn't mean loose nukes are not being secured.
    Get it?


    You're as welcome as Clioman is to fill me in on what I don't know. Anytime now . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . waaaiiiitiiiiing . . .

    ***snore***

  • ||

    I see lots of new posters offering a bunch of false dichotomies.

    Either the President gets what he wants or we end up in a post-nuclear holocaust with Jennifer in a burka.

    ...What part of this don't you understand, thoreau?

  • ||

    Clioman, we've heard it too many times for me to take it seriously. And people who are saying so tend to be the same folks who were absolutely convinced (as opposed to suspected) that Iraq had WMD's.

  • ||

    Take it seriously, or don't, Les. What matters is, do the Israelis take it seriously? It appears they do.

    As to false dichotomization, I don't see it that way. The analogy for our time is not Vietnam in 1965; it's pre-1938 Munich. Bush is certainly no Churchill -- I'll give you that -- but he's no Chamberlin, either. We need not give the President every thing he wants, but if we cannot at least agree that the West is worth defending, and take measured but determined steps to defend it, then Belmont's third conjecture may come to pass, and Jennifer's putative granddaughter (and millions of other human beings) won't be born, let alone have choices they now take for granted.

  • ||

    Their president believes the arrival of Imam #12 is imminent, claims he was bathed in holy light while speaking at the UN, and is threatening to turn off the Iranian oil piplelines if the world does anything to piss him off. The sky IS falling.

    And our President believes the Rapture is imminent, claims God personally chose him to lead the country, and has already started one war under what proved to be false pretenses. If the sky is falling, it's our own leaders who are dragging it down.

  • Brian Macker||

    I think the comments by thoreau, Jennifer, nerdnam, Eddy, stan, liberal-taria, amazingdrx show why errors the pictures and captions of pictures are so very important. All these posters assumed that the attack killed innocent civilians with not a single terrorist harmed. None of these people read the article to the point where they realized that there were eleveen terrorists in their midst. Nor to the point where they realized that the "innocent civilians" were terrorist supporters.

    This is just one way in which the media biases their articles. They put anything and everything that would paint the U.S. and her allies in a bad light at the beginning of their articles. It isn't until you read all the way through till you find out the mitgating stuff. For instance an article will be titled "Palestianian civilians killed" it will then give all sorts of details about how they were killed, not till the end of the story will you learn that the civilians were armed, or were wanted for bombings. That is if they ever bother to put the mitigating stuff in at all.

    This photo is typical Michael Moore style propoganda. Display images out of context and let people draw their own false conclusions.

  • Jeff H||

    Seth: "Well, technically an artillery round is a missile."

    No, precisely, it is a projectile--not a missile.

    2nd graders know this.

  • ||

    Jeff, that must be some school...parochial, perhaps? "Saint Barbara's Academy of the Blessed Artillerists"? ;)

  • ||

    "Cater's's response after the Soviets DID invade Afghanistan?
    He wanted the rest of the world o boycott the Moscow Olympics."

    How'd this get past everyone. Carter's primary response to the soviet invasion was a covert war that encouraged the Mujahadeen to rise up from around the Muslim world and oppose the godless soviets. These fighters were funded and trained by our side and included, among others, one Osama Bin Ladin.

    Media bias is the topic, I thought. One of the things I am always amazed with in these discussions is the amount of valid information available in the media that people use to support arguments about how biased, incompetent, and worthless the media is. If there is an example of a successful free market in our country it is the media. Plenty of large media services feeding the mush to the people who don't care much, and lots of niche media providing alternative perspectives... from biased tin-hat to hard science, libertarian to communist and the KKK, there is not a shortage of information no matter what your bias. The responsibility of the individual to use their own critical thinking skills is a part of the equation (not that you shouldn't call the NYTimes on sloppy photo work).

  • ||

    Just to clear up, an artillery projectile is not a missile. A missile and rocket are both self propelled as opposed to artillery which is fired from a charge contained in the breech of the artillery piece (except for a RAP round-rocket assisted projectile which does have a tiny rocket on the end that kicks in when the round is in the air for increased distance- but this kind of projectile is not common). A missile has guidance as opposed to a rocket which is fired at a location and can't be changed in flight. With the accuracy that was displayed in this attack, no way it was artillery (except maybe a copperhead round which doesn't look like that).

    Look at the round in the picture and the comparison round. The comparison photo has a plug in the tip used for carrying the round. The photo in question appears to have the same plug with a ring which means it has not been fired, but is probably one of the "innocent villagers" 155mm High Explosive artillery round that just happened to be laying around.

  • ||

    Re: Who linked to this thread? I see lots of new posters offering a bunch of false dichotomies. ...I haven't seen so many propaganda victims in one place since the last election."

    Yeah, we wouldn't want anyone from a different perspective to get involved in any of these discussions. Might make us examine our own beliefs more carefully ... and what if we found libertarian propaganda hiding in the mists of our reason.

  • ||

    Density Duck / Photoshop Issue / Perspective


    Mr. Duck: Yes, I understand the concept of perspective. The kid is in front of the wall. The old dude and the shell are just behind the wall. The 6" wide shell is bigger than the kid and the old dude.

    Also, are we assume that these villagers built a shelf to hold their 155 mm shell, balanced it carefully, posed for a picture, but nobody is looking at the shell?

    See the guy whose face is half covered by the shell? Isn't it more natural to move a few inches to the side and look at the camera, or hide completely?

  • ||

    Nor to the point where they realized that the "innocent civilians" were terrorist supporters.

    Were the kids terrorist supporters, too?

    It should be noted that Ronald Reagan and every politician that worked to get arms and training to the Contras were terrorist supporters.

  • ||

    I believe someone mentioned this earlier but I think it is worth repeating.

    That is clearly an artillery round that has been fired (rifling marks noted).

    However, the round is INERT!.....i.e. there is no explosive inside the round. Why? because it is painted blue....the international color for ALL INERT, NON-EXPLOSIVE ordnance. This is a simple practice round, fired daily by armed forces all over the world.

    The New York Times is just pathetic!

  • ||

    "Just to clear up, an artillery projectile is not a missile."

    You confuse the usage of the expert with the common word that would be used by the media. In common usage they are synonyms.

    From the American Heritage.
    MIssile: An object or weapon that is fired, thrown, dropped, or otherwise projected at a target; a projectile.

    Journalists are not experts. They talk to experts and try to summarize the information for non-experts like themselves. The important information is not what type of round was used. The important information is whether or not we attacked by air, ground, or whatnot, and whether or not we should have attacked this particular target. I do believe that those issues are still unclear. I don't think the NYT claimed they were cleared up.

  • ||

    By the way,

    From the NYtimes:

    "Correction: A picture caption on Saturday with an article about a U.S. airstrike on a village in Pakistan misidentified an unexploded ordinance. It was not the remains of a missile fired at a house."

    Good journalism makes mistakes, then corrects them when possible.

    Clearly the NYTimes are unprofessional, out to bias the story and just pathetic. Or maybe they are smart people just like you that make mistakes. ;-)

  • ||

    Re: Who linked to this thread? I see lots of new posters offering a bunch of false dichotomies. ...I haven't seen so many propaganda victims in one place since the last election."

    Yeah, we wouldn't want anyone from a different perspective to get involved in any of these discussions.

    Wow, did you really miss the point. Different perspectives are welcome. Logical fallacies are not.

  • ||

    The important information is not what type of round was used. The important information is whether or not we attacked by air, ground, or whatnot, and whether or not we should have attacked this particular target.

    No, the important part is what was reported as a Missile (ie Hellfire) from a Preditor drone was supported by a picture of an inert artillery shell. The picture was used to bolster the implication that we attacked civilians. Since that is a fallacy, what else in the reporting is also a fallacy? Were there really children, innocents killed in the strike? Can't tell because part of the reporting is heinously flawed.

  • ||

    Let's all thank Barney for demonstrating the logical fallacy of "poisoning the well," suddenly beloved of the right.

    Since the shell wasn't a missile, no children were killed.

    Since the TANG memo was fake, George Bush fufilled his Guard duty.

    The bushbots who found their way here are like the Borg, every "individual" a perfect replica of the whole.

  • ||

    "That is clearly an artillery round that has been fired (rifling marks noted).

    However, the round is INERT!.....i.e. there is no explosive inside the round. Why? because it is painted blue....the international color for ALL INERT, NON-EXPLOSIVE ordnance. This is a simple practice round, fired daily by armed forces all over the world."

    As a former Marine artillery officer- here's my 2 cents.
    * Definitely a fired artillery round - either 155 or 152mm - observe the copper driving band at the bottom of the shell- it has vertical grooves plainly visible imparted from the rifling of the Howitzer barrel during firing
    * It doesn't look blue to me- it looks faded green- an actual HE filled round-
    * look at the tip of the shell (blow up the photo with Photoshop or something)- that doesn?t look like a crushed fuse, that looks like the threaded , square topped shipping plug (some shells have a ring on top instead) that you're supposed to TAKE OUT before putting the fuse in.
    *I submit that that is why the shell didn?t explode- there was no fuse in it when fired-- Still dangerous, but they are meant to take rough handling during shipment and pre-firing.
    * most likely scenario: Some knuckleheaded gun crew either "forgot" to insert the fuse before firing, or they just ran out of fuses and didn?t want to tell anyone- For a third world gun crew, it wouldn?t surprise me at all.

  • ||

    Lets all thank joe for stretching a condemnation for faulty reporting to "no children were killed." Joe, do you selectively choose to believe parts of a story, even if other parts are proven false, just because it is what you believe in. It is entirely possible that children were killed, but I'm not going to believe it since the people that staged the photo op most likely provided the info. That assumption could also be wrong, but I can't tell because of the crappy reporting done by the NY Times. If one bit is suspect, it is all suspect.

  • ||

    "The important information is whether or not we attacked by air, ground, or whatnot, and whether or not we should have attacked this particular target."

    It would seem that something more than an airstrike was involved -- the attackers may have used Predator-carried Hellfires or other missiles, but there have also been reports that samples were taken for DNA analysis (and supposedly brought to the US over the weekend). If so, a ground element had to have been involved, as well. And if that were the case, it seems very unlikely that the Pak. Gov. didn't have a hand in the mission. Since it failed, what we've seen since is simply CYA.

  • ||

    If one bit is suspect, it is all suspect.

    Does this also apply to George Bush? Since his excuse for starting the Iraq War was false, whatever he says about it since then is also suspect?

  • Expatriate Owl||

    Never mind that it appears to be unexploded! If the pictured projectile was fired at the village, then howcum:

    (A) The nose is pointing upward. Wouldn't it hit nose first?

    (B) It is well nigh perpendicular to the ground! What are the chances of it sticking into the rubble (nose up, mind you) on an almost perpendicular angle?


    Methinks the photo was staged.

  • ||

    Re: "Wow, did you really miss the point. Different perspectives are welcome. Logical fallacies are not."

    I was responding to the use of the word "propaganda" to characterize the information that others bring to the table. If you think this is an argument of facts versus propaganda, then you are far more likely to feel comfortable in your own logic without examining the source of your own beliefs (why even consider a point if it is made by a propaganda victim). Doesn't seem to me that the new posters are by definition less logical than the regulars around here (some are some are not). Lots of fallacy to go around.

    It is okay that you really miss the point I was making. I thought someone might.

  • Baylen||

    It's not an artillery shell or missile or lava lamp but a buoy from a lobster trap and the people in the photo are Mainers, not Afghani or Pakistani.

  • ||

    #1-it appears that a shipping nose plug is in the fuze well at the top of the round. This indicates the round was never loaded, let alone fired.
    #2-if it is a US 155mm round, blue is the color reserved for inert/dummy rounds, e.g., no explosive content. The yellow stripe shouldn't be there however: HE (high explosive) rounds in the US are painted Olive Drab (OD) with Yellow bands and markings as illustrated by your photo.
    #3-of course I only have 30 some odd years experience so I admit I could be wrong.

  • ||

    What the NY Times is Afraid to Write:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ferguson16ajan16,0,5634157.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

  • R C Dean||

    God knows Bush annoys the hell out of me, and my upbringing in the Bible Belt leaves me little patience for evangelicals, but I can't let this pass:

    And our President believes the Rapture is imminent,

    There is zero evidence for this, as far as I can tell. I think its just your standard-issue guilt-by-association DU smear. If you have a quote, I'd love a link.

    claims God personally chose him to lead the country,

    Ditto, as far as I know. I seem to recall that this one grounds out in standard-issue pieties uttered by the Prez, and/or in perfectly normal (to the devout, anyway) prayers.

    and has already started one war under what proved to be false pretenses.

    And this statement relies on a series of unsupported assumptions about what the President knew and when he knew it. Not to mention a misunderstanding about when the war with Saddam Hussein began and who began it.

  • ||

    Here's my theory - which is at least as accurate as the NYTimes.

    Looks like there's a blackboard behind the kid. The old coot is teaching a class on how to wire an artillery shell into an IED using an old dud or training round.

  • ||

    Hambone helpfully notes Niall Ferguson's essay on Preventive War, and it was on my mind when I posted earlier this morning. Perhaps Thoreau, Ken Schulze, Jennifer, et al. would like to read it and offer their comments on its falsely dichotomous perspective?

  • ||

    This is a "before" picture submitted with their application for a Darwin award.

  • ||

    It is okay that you really miss the point I was making.

    I got your point, science, and I agree. There seems to be an increasingly hostile reception to anyone who isn't part of the "our gang" around here...
    Even if newcomers are illogical or brainwashed*, I think we could use some new blood.

    *and I'm not implying they are.

  • ||

    Via Yahoo News: "At least 20 people died in the town of Spin Boldak, bordering Pakistan, when a bomber on a motorcycle detonated a device after riding into a playground where hundreds of people had gathered for a festival, officials said."

    What is the meaning of the term "proportionality" in this case? Discuss amongst yourselves...

  • ||

    Addendum to the Ferguson essay: here's the full text in the Telegraph: http://opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/01/15/do1502.xml

  • ||

    Are there enough obvious problems with the picture, the caption, and the relationship of both to the texts of the story that this obvious mistake should have been caught? Sure.

    Does the Times' clear leftward tilt justify speculation of bias? Sure.

    Can we prove it? Nope.

    My sense is that this boner is so obvious that the likely culprit is an incompetent or absent editor.

    I don't know enough about the news business to assess how common or acceptable this kind of practice is. I only know that it is common enough in my experience that I take all the news that's fit to print with a shaker or two of salt.

  • ||

    Focus, people! All this finger-pointing merely distracts attention from the real issue: the culpability of a negligently non-expectorating Superman in this whole affair.

  • ||

    Some quotes and links for you, RC:

    in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening. Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1075950,00.html

    (I was going to find the quote about Bush believing in the imminent second coming of Christ, but I have since discovered that Googling the words "rapture bush" leads to some--uh--weird websites. So never mind.)

    And RC--I didn't say here that Bush "lied" about Iraq, I said the war was started under "false pretenses." In that case, what he knew or thought he knew doesn't matter--the fact is, we were told that we had to invade because Saddam had all these big scary weapons that he could use to attack us at any second. Turns out he didn't. The war was started under false pretenses--whether Bush was lying or delusional in regards to that is besides the point.

  • ||

    Hambone helpfully notes Niall Ferguson's essay on Preventive War, and it was on my mind when I posted earlier this morning.

    OK, Clioman, I read it. And I'm not one to take a strong position usually...
    But IMO that essay was insane. Guess only time will tell, but I don't think that even if that IS what the future holds we can possibly change our foreign policy to the extent the essay seems to advocate.

  • ||

    Hambone helpfully notes Niall Ferguson's essay on Preventive War

    You summarize most shittily. But if it works for you...

  • ||

    Obvious mistake? Check. Leftward tilt? Check. Incompetent/absent editors? Check.

    Could these be some of the reasons why NYT Publishing Co.'s stock has lost half its value since 2002? Oh, yeah.

  • ||

    in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening. Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'

    Thanks for providing an example of hearsay, from an evangalist no less.

  • ||

    Good point, Jimmy. Bush is quite secular, and I don't know how anybody could possibly think his religion plays a major role in his thinking processes. That comment about how he listened to his father in Heaven rather than his father on Earth in regards to the Iraq War was nothing, either.

    Never fucking mind.

  • ||

    A 'most shitty' summary, Hambone? :shrug:
    Here's the last paragraph from the Telegraph's text:

    Yet the historian is bound to ask whether or not the true significance of the 2007-2011 war was to vindicate the Bush administration's original principle of pre-emption. For, if that principle had been adhered to in 2006, Iran's nuclear bid might have been thwarted at minimal cost. And the Great Gulf War might never have happened.

  • ||

    a premonition of some form of national disaster happening.

    To be fair, Jennifer, an evangelist who was talking to the faithful and telling them to support Bush has every reason to (maybe falsely)attribute this sort of prophetic statement to Bush.

    Nonetheless, as a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian, it kind of goes without saying that he believes there will be a rapture...and if it helps, I believe I did see a quote to that effect a while back. Can't find it now though.

  • ||

    It's not an artillery shell or missile or lava lamp but a buoy from a lobster trap and the people in the photo are Mainers, not Afghani or Pakistani. -Baylen

    Ayuh. That's a wicked good lookin' lobster buoy. I recognize the old guy and the kid. Saw 'em sellin' lobsters down on Commercial Street in Portland last Saturday.

  • ||

    Clioman,


    While it may have been all you were capable of gleaning, the piece addressed much more than the last paragraph; I stand by my assessment of your skills.

  • ||

    Well, it's geting late and I need to go check in w/Karl Rove for tomorrow's talking points. Nice to sit in...except for Science, I take it you all don't cotton to strangers. Fair enough.

    Oh, here's a side-note for Jennifer: Do you know what I like best about Bush #43? He DOES NOT CARE what his detractors think.

  • ||

    Do you know what I like best about Bush #43? He DOES NOT CARE what his detractors think.

    Translation: he does not care what fully half of the people he is supposed to lead think. Very admirable in the leader of a democratic republic, no?

  • ||

    Nonetheless, as a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian, it kind of goes without saying that he believes there will be a rapture...and if it helps, I believe I did see a quote to that effect a while back. Can't find it now though.

    Seeing as how the person who doubted this also insists that there was nothing, no nothing, dishonest about the circumstances which led us into Iraq, I don't think it even matters, libguist.

  • ||

    Do you know what I like best about Bush #43? He DOES NOT CARE what his detractors think.

    Of course he doesn't. It's the only recourse of a man incapable of intellectually responding to his detractors.

  • ||

    Detractor: Mr. President, if a young man who believes strongly and vocally in a war his country is engaged in and does everything possible to avoid fighting for his country, is that man a coward? Why or why not?

    President: (sticks fingers in ears and hums)

    Detractor: Mr. President, would it have helped you as a young man to have been arrested and imprisoned for your drug use as you now believe should happen to young drug users?

    President: (sticks fingers in ears and hums)

    Detractor: Mr. President, in April of 2004, you said, "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires�a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so." You were, we know now, lying when you said that. Why did you feel the need to lie?

    President: (sticks fingers in ears and hums)

    Hey, wow, you're right! That IS impressive!

  • M. Simon||

    I wouldn't take seriously anything that Austrian corporal says. He is an obvious nut case.

    Same for the President of Iran

  • Tantor||

    Seth: "Well, technically an artillery round is a missile."

    Well, technically, it is not. A missile has a guidance system that can correct its flight. An artillery round does not.

  • Clyde||

    It's pretty obvious that the whole pic's a fake, with the locals posed with what is probably one of their relics from the Russian-Afghanistan war. It's an artillery shell, it's old, and it hasn't been fired. The NYT's implication is that this particular shell caused the damage seen in the background. Only an idiot would believe that, or a NYT editor.

  • Tantor||

    I hate to point out the obvious, but this 155 mm artillery round does not look badly damaged, nor even scratched. I don't believe it could be fired and impact into the ground without having at least some scratches on its case. I don't believe that this round has ever been fired, which means it got to this village by other means.

    I suspect that the truth may be that a cache of scavenged artillery rounds, being prepared as IEDs, may have detonated from clumsy handling, which is a common occurrence among the insurgents. This round may be a remainder of that cache stored somewhere else. The villagers are propping it up as the cause of the explosion to shift the blame from their own incompetence to the American infidels. Then again, they may be too stupid to understand what happenned. And the dopey New York Times, happy to run a story against the American execution of the war and none too street smart about military matters, swallowed the bait like a big dumb fish.

  • ||

    linguist,
    I'm definitely an ankle-grabber for Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
    (And I don't spit into the wind, Stevo.)

  • ||

    linguist,
    I'm definitely an ankle-grabber for Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
    (And I don't spit into the wind, Stevo.)

  • ||

    Superman,
    You double-posted!
    ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • ||

    The artillery projectile in the photograph has been fired and didn�t explode. The lower gold ban is known as a rotator ban and it imparts spin to the projectile as it passed through the gun tube. The lands and groove marks made by the gun tube are clearly visible on the rotator band. This indicates that the projectile did not explode was a dud. It could explode simply from handling it. Those folks in the photograph have a death wish.

    Jocephus
    1SG USA Retired

  • ||

    NY Times Correction -

    Click on picture link and you will see the Times has issued a correction.


    Correction: A picture caption on Saturday with an article about a U.S. airstrike on a village in Pakistan misidentified an unexploded ordinance. It was not the remains of a missile fired at a house.

    They call it an "unexploded ordinance". I agree with blowing up most laws, but the military fires ordnance.

  • ||

    I see that the uninformed are posting inane commentary with glee. What is it about you people that makes you think that the US has EVER been above violent acts toward others who get in the way of our national interests? Have you not studied American history at all? Apparently not, which is pathetically sad and part of what's wrong with this country...but I digress...

    The photo is OBVIOUSLY staged. That in and of itself negates it. That the caption is so poorly written only underscores the point that the New York Times is a joke and should never, ever, be taken seriously.

  • ||

    "An AC-130 might have been used"

    Experts are saying that this is a 155mm shell, a caliber that the AC-130 does not use.

  • ||

    There are many things that photo might be.

    Family members of innocent Pakistanis killed by a CIA Hellfire, posing with an artillery shell because the photographer wanted a dramatic picture and it was handy...

    Members of a Pakistani Al-Qaeda cell posing with a soon-to-be IED in the rubble of their hide-out...

    The one thing we know it isn't a photo of is unexploded ordnance from the CIA attempt to get Zwahiri.

  • ||

    NY Times Correction -

    Click on picture link and you will see the Times has issued a correction.


    Correction: A picture caption on Saturday with an article about a U.S. airstrike on a village in Pakistan misidentified an unexploded ordinance. It was not the remains of a missile fired at a house.

    They call it an "unexploded ordinance". I agree with blowing up most laws, but the military fires ordnance.

    Comment by: TomHynes at January 16, 2006 04:05 PM


    Thanks for the heads up. Too bad they didn't bother to say they (and their readers) were victims of terrorist propaganda, but I didn't really expect them to be that honest.

  • ||

    What some of you seem to missunderstand. It is not so much that the shell was misidentifed. It is that the shell was a mere prop (Posed there like the people in the photograph.)

    So the whole photo is made up. Was it made up by the MSM, and the people were also posed. I think that is very likely. That is not journalism.

  • ||

    As an old artillery officer, I am looking at this photo and see three things: 1) the bottom-third (called the ogive) has been rifled, suggesting it has been fired but did not detonate 2) the yellow band around it suggest it is a mustard gas shell and 3) it is fused and these are the dumbest people on the planet. It looks to be about 155mm. In any case, it is a staged photo by an unprofessional reporter/photographer. Typical new York Times crap for the sheeple.

  • ||

    As an old artillery officer, I am looking at this photo and see three things: 1) the bottom-third (called the ogive) has been rifled, suggesting it has been fired but did not detonate 2) the yellow band around it suggest it is a mustard gas shell and 3) it is fused and these are the dumbest people on the planet. It looks to be about 155mm. In any case, it is a staged photo by an unprofessional reporter/photographer. Typical new York Times crap for the sheeple.

  • ||

    thought i'd drop in to add the correct analysis on the shell:

    That round in the photo is a 203mm round fired out of the M110A2 track
    mounted artillery gun.

    see here:
    http://www.pofwah.com.pk/products/images/LARGE/203mmhowhem106.jpg

    You can clearly match up the lettering from the NY Times photo to this
    photo. Pakistan has these artillery guns available and they have a
    range of over 25 miles so it's not inconcievable that there was
    additional fire called in after the air strike by ground teams. The
    shell does not look old to me. If you look at the unfired photo
    round you can see the banding below the yellow markings. In the NY
    Times photo you can see the unbanded round with the rifling marks
    shown. Hope this helps you out. I don't really think this was some
    big liberal conspiracy

  • ||

    The CIA had a visual on several AQ but could not + ID individuals. That family members or neighbors are killed is an unfortunate consequence of war.
    2 Hellfires are more than enough to take down 2 dwellings, even if they are duds on impact.
    Spectres aren't flying Pakistan. The political consequences of a shoot-down are too great for the time being....besides, Predator works if it gets eyes on the target.

  • ||

    MSNBC.com is reporting that "an unmanned Predator drone tracked the guests, then fired six missiles..." That means the vehicle was an MQ-9 Predator-B. The MQ-9 has substantially better payload, range and altitude performance than the MQ-1, which can only carry two Hellfires.

  • ||

    tbizzle, I think you may be right. It could be that the white, chalky dust around there makes the OD paint look blue.

  • ||

    Hey tbizzle,

    Just out of curiosity, how did you manage to get that link? I followed the link, and the pic does indeed have the same yellow markings near the top, and looks like the same "ordnance". But there is no caption to identify what exactly the weapon is, so I backtracked to the homepage and tried to follow the "products" link and was told I did not have access.

    Anyway, you have correctly identified the shell, and I'll take your word for it that it is what you say it is. It is clearly made by the Pakistanis anyway.

  • ||

    Does this also apply to George Bush? Since his excuse for starting the Iraq War was false, whatever he says about it since then is also suspect?

    I guess that leaves us in a quandary. You believe the President made up the intelligence to get us into a war. I believe the NY Times makes up news to support people like you who believe the former.

    I guess my experience with the intelligence is different than yours. I got to experience the "cease fire" agreement by getting shot at by AAA. I got to experience Iraqi aircraft attempt to shoot down coalition planes operating in the No-Fly zones. Part of which appeared to be a game of chicken to see if we would shoot at them when they crossed the line, then immediately turn and run hoping the intercept would occur beyond the line and they could claim the "moral high ground." My experience was watching the Kurds hide in the mountains of Northern Iraq and SE Turkey, until we eliminated Saddam's troops from the Norther No-fly zone. My experience tells me he had WMD and he would attempt to reconstitute said WMD if given the opportunity.

    Jennifer, what personal experience do you have that contradicts the intelligence interpretation given by the President?

  • ||

    here is some additional info:

    like is said it's a 203mm round most likely fired out of a m110a2 track mount artillery gun.

    pakistan has 40:
    http://www.armyrecognition.com/Asie/Pakistan/Pakistan_Choix_materiel.htm

    here is the detail on the round:
    http://www.pofwah.com.pk/products/203mmhowmem106.htm

    now whether this was fired recently or not is debatable. I'm saying it looks fairly new to me.

  • ||

    You have all missed the most probable fact about the picture.

    That it was "taken" in a backstage lot at a motion picture studio in Hollywood.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

  • ||

    Jennifer?

    "Jennifer, what personal experience do you have that contradicts the intelligence interpretation given by the President?"

    Are you going to answer this one or not?
    I think I can guess which.

  • ||

    Who cares-------- when "ALLAH" runs out of virgins, at 70 a WACK -----give me a call.

  • ||

    Barney, let's see what the guy the White House chose to complete the investigation of Iraq's weapons programs says.

    I think he concluded that your personal experience was irrelevent to the facts of the matter.

  • ||

    One thing this thread has failed to address is, let's assume Number 2 is obliterated. What does that do for us? Really.
    This War on Terror reminds me of the old Jay Leno potato chip commercial: "Go ahead! Eat 'em! We'll make more."

    Terrorists are manufactured for consumption. The only way to retard their manufacture is to resist the temptation to consume them. But the military-industrial complex breaks new year's resolutions just like the rest of us.

  • ||

    Isn't this like the fifteenth time we've wiped out the number two or number three guy in al-Qaeda? I swear, the drummer for Spinal Tap had more job security.

  • ||

    Jennifer:

    The reasons given for restarting the Iraqi conflict were neither pretenses, nor were they false.

    See:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html

    The majority of the reasons for restarting the Iraq war were and are still valid.

    Focusing on just one issue is to be expected when you are trying to support your case, but it doesn't convince.

  • ||

    Focusing on just one issue is to be expected when you are trying to support your case, but it doesn't convince.

    On the night we began the invasion, Bush said, in his address to the nation, "We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people."

    Since Bush and his administration on the lead up to the war spoke primarily of defending ourselves against Iraq, it's fair to focus primarily on whether or not that threat was real, which it was not, as the White House's Duelfer report explains.

  • ||

    the projectile was fired as its copper rifling band has the barrels rifling engraved on it.

    the yellow band on the shell, possibly:

    "(PV3706).[20] White phosphorus rounds were also found. Artillery rounds with fill plugs and central bursters were found. They were marked with a yellow band. They were empty. Other rounds in the area were marked similarly. Fox reconnaissance vehicles determined they contained TNT.[21]"

    http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/an_iii/an_nas_iii_s04.htm

    it appears the shell could be be one of theirs; if it is, the man in the photo would be standing next to a cosiderable amount of TNT, or an empty, or one "emptied" of its contents for other use.

  • ||

    Markings do not indicate U.S. munitions. Could be something like this:

    http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/~m95perm/vapen/kanon/bilder/15.5cm_haub_77_b2.jpg

    Bofors 155mm HE

  • ||

    Les, is this what you were talking about?

    Duelfer said Hussein hoped someday to resume a chemical weapons effort after U.N. sanctions ended, but had no stocks and had not researched making the weapons for a dozen years.

    Or this...

    Hussein, the report concluded, "aspired to develop a nuclear capability" and intended to work on rebuilding chemical and biological weapons after persuading the United Nations to lift sanctions. But the report also notes: "The former regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam" tasked to take this up once sanctions ended.

    I guess Mr. Duelfer thought the same as I.

  • Amy Proctor||

    Oh, SNAP!

  • TonyGuitar||

    I'm so easily confused. How does a mountain of rubble developed from a very powerful explosion leave and intact explosive casing behind for the photographer? Stupid me! TG

  • ||

    Les, go read the whole Duelfer Report. Some tidbits:

    Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq's ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date.

    Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program.
    Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.


    Nevertheless, after 1991, Saddam did express his intent to retain the intellectual capital developed during the Iraqi Nuclear Program. Senior Iraqis, several of them from the Regime's inner circle told ISG they assumed Saddam would restart a nuclear program once UN sanctions ended.

    Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort when sanctions were lifted and conditions were judged favorable:

    Saddam and many Iraqis regarded CW as a proven weapon against an enemy's superior numerical strength, a weapon that had saved the nation at least once already during the Iran-Iraq war and contributed to deterring the Coalition in 1991 from advancing to Baghdad.

    ISG judges that Iraq's actions between 1991 and 1996 demonstrate that the state intended to preserve its BW capability and return to a steady, methodical progress toward a mature BW program when and if the opportunity arose.

    ISG assesses that in 1991, Iraq clung to the objective of gaining war-winning weapons with the strategic intention of achieving the ability to project its power over much of the Middle East and beyond. Biological weapons were part of that plan. With an eye to the future and aiming to preserve some measure of its BW capability, Baghdad in the years immediately after Desert Storm sought to save what it could of its BW infrastructure and covertly continue BW research, hide evidence of that and earlier efforts, and dispose of its existing weapons stocks.

    I guess we've now come full circle back to the topic of the post: Is it ok for a news agency to manipulate the facts to push an agenda?

  • ||

    "Taking out" (i.e. killing or capturing) the number two or three in Al Qaeda is significant even though someone will replace him. Imagine any organization such as a business or army or terrorist organization, and you lose the number two person. Presume the number two is there for reasons of skill. This means the number three moves up, the number four moves up to number three etc. In each case the skills are not as good as the previous "executive's" was. This definitely degrades the effectiveness of the organization.

    Now imagine an organization where there are truly only a limited number of top executives with exceptional skills. You only need to "take out" a few of them and the organization is in deep shit.

    By the way, this is the theoretical reason why CEO is so high. There are only so many truly exceptional CEO's to go around. Of course, the fact that shareholders and regulators (ok sue me, I think this is a good exception where the government has a role) are foolish enough to let these same top executives sit on the boards of their own corporations has something to do with it too....

  • ||

    "theoretical reason why CEO is so high"

    should read

    theoretical reason why CEO pay is so high

  • ||

    New York Times correction:

    Airstrike by U.S. Draws Protests From Pakistanis

    The airstrike killed civilians in a village in northwest Pakistan but missed its target, the No. 2 leader of Al Qaeda, officials said.

    This photo shows the bombing of the village by CIA "Predator" unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

  • ||

    continued ...

    This photo shows the destructive aftermath of the airstrike, sowing panic and terror among the civilian populace.

  • ||

    My favorite "journalist incompetent to cover war" story comes from Desert Storm: some youngish guy at a press conference rose to inquire why the helicopter that had fatally crashed that day didn't have ejection seats.

    Jay-zus.

    I forget now if this guy was on video making a fool of himself or if it was Soldier Of Fortune magazine's Robert K. Brown taking notes. A war correspondent really should know more than what end of a gun the bullet comes out of.

  • ||

    I guess the lemmings are completely uninterested in facts. IF the NY Times can't get the pictures right, how on earth are they to be trusted with anything more complex.

  • ||

    My guess (pure speculation) is as follows:

    1. It's a Pakistani 203mm round.
    2. It was used in the attack on the village. The rifling marks are clear and new. The round is heavy - about 200lbs. People probably wouldn't want to carry it very far, and it may very well have been in the wreckage of the building shown. No fakery needed.
    3. While a Predator my have been involved, it was for surveillance of the target. It would not be inconsistent with other operations in the area for operations to be conducted by the Pakistani army in conjunction with US special forces. Note that flying without a weapons load will increase range and time over the target; also, it would be advantageous to confuse the enemy regarding range/destructive capability of the Predator, which must already seem pretty scary.
    4. This is a botched Pakistani operation, and the US agreed to provide cover beforehand - and is now paying the price. This is supported by the near-immediate arrival of Pakistani army units.

    Just as plausible as any of the media stories, I think.

  • ||

    Barney,

    I have read it, and the fact that Hussein wanted a WMD program doesn't mean that he had one, as we were led to believe was the primary reason for our invasion. He was a homicidal monster who was no threat to us whatsoever.

    I guess we've now come full circle back to the topic of the post: Is it ok for a news agency to manipulate the facts to push an agenda?

    If you can demonstrate with facts that the caption for the picture in question was due to "an agenda" (strange agenda from a newspaper famous for uncritically repeating Chalabi's propaganda) instead of a clumsy mistake, please provide them. For instance, if you know that the editors received information that put the caption into question, but ignored that information because it conflicted with their agenda (the way the Bush administration demonstrably ignored all intelligence that conflicted with their agenda), that would go a ways towards making your case a valid one.

    It's strange to me how the dishonesty and ineptitude of a newspaper is so much more important to some than the dishonesty and ineptitude of the government.

  • ||

    Rob Thompson,

    Plausible theory. It may even be a payback quid pro quo where we (the US) once did something on their soil without their knowledge (shocking thought...cough), and pissed them off as a result, and they said to the us, ok, we'll publicly let you slide on this one since it is not a PR disaster, but if we (Pakistan) do something sometime and say oops, this will be politically nasty for us, then you (the US) take the blame.

  • ||

    At its heart the erroneous caption conveys a sense that the pictured ordinance was fired by the United States and the damage and personal hardship is a direct result. Therefore the technicalities of the factual error are of less importance than the associations being made. Labeling the pictured ordinance as a missile cultivates a relationship between the despair pictured and the broader military action by the United States, with the effect of denigrating and maligning that action. The causal relationship suggested by the photograph can more likely be attributed by an active decision on the part of the associated photographer/reporter/editor (as the case may be), rather than an accidental linkage. Unfortunately this relationship is false on its face as the pictured ordinance is clearly not a missile, but instead an aged artillery shell. Thus two equally unappealing possibilities exist. Either the photograph was staged in order to be purposely misleading, or a factual error on the part of the New York Times staff resulted in a dire misrepresentation. The first possibility is plainly unacceptable, and the second is nearly as intolerable. Journalism by its definition is a professional recording and representation of fact such that said facts are presented unbiased or in clearly in the context of commentary. The Times purports itself as an unbiased distributor, and this error leads to a critical breach to that objectivity, namely in that it is false. Of course such errors might happen naturally, but they ought to be corrected strongly as they detract from the fundamental tenets of journalism.

  • ||

    If you can demonstrate with facts that the caption for the picture in question was due to "an agenda" instead of a clumsy mistake, please provide them.

    If the NYT didn't pretty consistenly make "mistakes" that tend in the same direction, then people might not pretty much always think NYT had an agenda.

  • ||

    He was a homicidal monster who was no threat to us whatsoever.

    Eddie the Thief wants to break in your house and take your toys. But the cops caught him and took away his lock pick set. Too bad. He'll be in jail at least another couple of months.

    Eddie wants a new lock pick set. These can be bought on the market. But don't worry, Eddie is no threat to you.

    His intentions have no meaning. They do not exist. They are irrelevant.


    Intentions alone, or desires, may not mean much. But some intentions, combined with some types of past history, just might matter.

  • ||

    Translation: he does not care what fully half of the people he is supposed to lead think. Very admirable in the leader of a democratic republic, no?

    And before Bush we had Clinton, who ignored the other half of the people he was supposed to be leading. So what the hell?

    That's democracy for you, honey. Like it or lump it.

  • ||

    That round is either a 155mm or 152mm projo and not a 203mm (8") unless those Pakistanis are at least seven feet tall. It could be a 155mm projo manufactured to fire from a US made tube but I tend to believe that it's of the Soviet 152mm family as it has a less pronounced boattail than the 155mm projos that we fire. I think it highly unlikely that this particular projectile was EVER fired by a US artillery piece because there are precious few US howitzers in Afghanistan. Of the few that are there the medium howitzers (155mm) are probably no where near the Pakistani border and have a range of That round is either a 155mm or 152mm projo and not a 203mm (8") unless those Pakistanis are at least seven feet tall. It could be a 155mm projo manufactured to fire from a US made tube but I tend to believe that it's of the Soviet 152mm family as it has a less pronounced boattail than the 155mm projos that we fire. I think it highly unlikely that this particular projectile was EVER fired by a US artillery piece because there are precious few US howitzers in Afghanistan. Of the few that are there the medium howitzers (155mm) are probably no where near the Pakistani border and have a range of

  • ||

    btw, it really is nice to see some new names around here and get some different perspectives.

    Even if we are all propagandized dupes.

    Ken Schultz, of course, is not one of us dupes.

  • Nicholas||

    My favorite "journalist incompetent to cover war" story comes from Desert Storm: some youngish guy at a press conference rose to inquire why the helicopter that had fatally crashed that day didn't have ejection seats.



    Oh, but there are helicopters with ejection seats. They use pyrotechnic charges to blow the rotor blade off before firing the seat(s) of course.

    I only know of such systems for pilot/co-pilot set-ups. None for passengers, In a smell helicopter that might be possible, I doubt it on a Blackhawk/Chinook/etc.

  • Dan||

    This is obviously not a Predator-fired missile remnant. If it is a live round, then the people in the photo are putting themselves at risk, or they know the shell is a dud and have taken the payload out and used it to make IEDs.

    My question is how credible can the photographer be if the photographer doesn't even know how to spell. Ordinance is a law passed by a municipal authority, ORDNANCE is military munitions...

    BTW, I don't believe that the war in Iraq is legal or justified. GWB's reasons for invading and attacking Iraq have proven to be either massively exxagerated or outright lies. Al Qaeda had no links with the Hussein government. There were no weapons of mass destruction found. There were no nuclear weapons materials found. The intelligence about the nuclear weapons program was found to be a lie.

  • ||

    Does that turbaned guy look a little too much like Will Ferrell? I think this photo was staged in the SNL studios. Funny funny pic.

  • ||

    ok, dan, why don't you tell chalabi and all the families of those killed by saddam insane that bin laden had nothing to do with iraq. chalabi was on pbs in an interview, explaining how all the paper trails left behind by saddam's regime showed how bin laden was dictating public policy in iraq, how saddam would enact public policy taken verbatim from bin laden's request. but like the ultra left interviewer, if you are an ostrich head, this doesn't matter. I guess you need a pic of bin laden, saddam and atta having a threeway before you can emerge from your state of denial.

    islamofascists can be easily identified as they are the ones running around saying allah or death. they simply can't keep their mouths shut on the matter. and when someone tells me, my way or death, then they are my enemy. simple as that. any muslims peaceably living, simply working and not prostituting their wives and daughters, and not teaching their sons to hate and kill all 'infidels' is not my enemy. in a village that invites top terrorists to dinner, if you lived there and didn't support the terrorists, i don't think you'd be alive.

    now, as for the picture, what does it make you immediately think? to me, it's 'oh, that poor child. oh those poor people. that's so sad!' Right? I mean, that's the whole purpose of the pic. if you think it being falsified doesn't matter, then think about the effect a falsified pic of you cheating on your spouse would have on your relationship, and how hard it would be to get the ficticiousness across, and how the image would continue to effect the relationship even after the truth was known. that's the power of pictures. and I would think a reknown news agency would now that, and believe in accuracy, concidering the importance and impact of their business.

    lastly, as for fascist trolls coming out of the woodworks to post, there's nothing wrong with opposing oppinions, and debate, just bring it on! but it's just sad to see such rampant ignorance, such willingness to regurgitate enemy propaganda, and deny the reality of the threat to all civilization. If there were no cases of islamofascism burning down opposing places of worship, raping and killing of women, destroying schools, killing teachers, threatening or destroying entire towns to force capitulation, then sure, this war would be misguided. but the islamofascists have shown time and time again, all over the globe, since the inception of the muslim religion, their willingness to destroy us all in order to get their 'heavenly rewards.' to me, a society that looks to 72 virgins in the afterlife while raping, enslaving, victimising and murdering the women they have is truly sickening. like the palestinians who destroyed the israeli greenhouses in gaza, just to find out they have no idea how to run them when they realize they need them. stupid and pathetic.

  • ||

    At this point, I think we can all agree on one thing: Not only is Superman physically capable of spitting into the wind with impunity but, in certain circumstances, it would be morally incumbent upon him to do so.

  • ||

    FreedomisntFree (but he sure is angry)

    "such willingness to regurgitate enemy propaganda, "

    Dude calm down and get some perspective. I think we have found a true propaganda victim here. That is, of course, unfair but re-read what you wrote. Doesn't appear to be unbiased or reasoned to me. Many claims in there that have nothing to do with the reality of the situation, no matter which side you support in the war on terror debate.

  • M. Simon||

    Dan,

    I think if you will follow the money you will find that Saddam outsourced his nuke weapons program to Libya.

    Thus no obvious trail in Iraq.

    There is also a possibility that he sent his program to fellow Baathist regime in Syria during the run up to the war.

    There is also the possibility Saddam was bluffing (despite previous uses of chemical weapons). His bluff got called.

    Iraq had no WMDs? Good.

    Saddam deposed. Good.

    Now about that guy claiming that if he gets nukes he will wipe Israel off the map. Sould we give him the respect accorded a certain Austrian corporal? Or should we take him seriously?

  • ||

    We we haven't realized yet is that we are in another crusade. But we will.

  • ||

    Eddie the Thief wants to break in your house and take your toys. But the cops caught him and took away his lock pick set. Too bad. He'll be in jail at least another couple of months. Eddie wants a new lock pick set. These can be bought on the market. But don't worry, Eddie is no threat to you. His intentions have no meaning. They do not exist. They are irrelevant. Intentions alone, or desires, may not mean much. But some intentions, combined with some types of past history, just might matter.

    "Might" being the operative word. If I call the police and tell them that there is "no doubt" that Eddie has the tools and intention to be an immediate threat, if I provide them with evidence that he has the tools and keep from them the evidence that he doesn't, well, I think that might be some kind of crime in and of itself.

    The fact of the matter is, we weren't told that Hussein "might" be a threat, we were told he was definitely a threat, despite the evidence to the contrary.

  • ||

    ss

    I didn't think of Will Ferrel, but the old guy does resemble the picture of GW Bush in turban and beard that was popping up in my inbox in 01 and 02.

  • ||

    Now about that guy claiming that if he gets nukes he will wipe Israel off the map.

    I loathe the President of Iran, but he never said this. He did say Iran should be wiped off the map, but he never said he would do it, or even that he had plans to use nuclear weapons.

  • M. Simon||

    Les,

    In fact we were told that Saddam had bad intentions and needed to be taken out before his intentions got realized.

  • M. Simon||

    Given the enemy's stated objectives - the caliphate etc. How exactly has the war on terror been lost?

    And if so who to and how do we surrender to to make the attacks stop?

    Suppose our enemies - given their religious bent - do not consider our surrender sincere enough or abject enough?

    I admit that we can and will lose battles. It is possible we are losing the battle for Iraq and Afghanistan (a recent Pew [no friend of Bush] Poll found Afghans had an 80% favorable rating towards Bush, he should be doing so good here). But can any of the defeatists here tell me exactly what terms we can get?

    That if we leave Iraq the slaughter and expulsions and fleeing out of fear will be no worse than Vietnam? How many Iraqis would you be willing to take in to in part atone for our sins?

    It is my opinion that we will have to fight this war no matter what. Surrender or leaving will not make our enemies leave us alone.

    They are part of a great religious crusade over 1400 years old. The outcome is in doubt. They will not give up until they lose all hope.

    In fact this is just the latest flare up in a war between us and the jihadis that has been going on for about 200 years. Madison. "Halls of Tripoli" ring a bell?

    Semper Fi Mac.

  • ||

    Stan wrote:
    ----------
    > it is strange that the cia can drop a bomb and
    > then claim they have to sift thru the bodies to
    > see who they killed...shouldn't they have to know
    > who they are going to kill ahead of killing them?
    > or can the cia now kill indiscriminately?

    It's not strange at all. And yes, the CIA can kill indisciminately - civilian, combatant, women, children, young, & old. Its called war.

  • ||

    In fact we were told that Saddam had bad intentions and needed to be taken out before his intentions got realized.

    In fact, we were told he was an immediate threat.

    We weren't told that he would become a threat in the years it would take to make WMD's. We were told that he was, at the time, a threat.

    "This is about imminent threat."
    � White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03

    Iraq is "a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies."
    � Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/31/03

    Iraq poses "terrible threats to the civilized world."
    � Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03

    "Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons. Iraq poses a threat to the security of our people and to the stability of the world that is distinct from any other. It's a danger to its neighbors, to the United States, to the Middle East and to the international peace and stability. It's a danger we cannot ignore. Iraq and North Korea are both repressive dictatorships to be sure and both pose threats. But Iraq is unique. In both word and deed, Iraq has demonstrated that it is seeking the means to strike the United States and our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction."
    � Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/20/03

  • ||

    And yes, the CIA can kill indisciminately - civilian, combatant, women, children, young, & old. Its called war.

    Not legally it can't. They're called the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the Resolution on Human Rights, all of which we signed. And it would be interesting to gauge your casual attitude should a terrorist kill a relative of yours, especially a child. After all, it's called war, right?

  • ||

    Ken Schultz, of course, is not one of us dupes.

    Thank you for recognizing that Kahn; next time, how 'bout droppin' that "c"?

    ...and by the way, I'm always glad to see more opinions, even the stupid ones. ...and there are some incredibly stupid pro-War comments in this thread, surely you don't deny that. I'm so glad I don't have to apologize for such people anymore. I suppose I never had to, but, like Friedman, I was a Republican of convenience.

    The willful stupidity of so many of the faithful made being a Republican so freakin' inconvenient. Did I already say I'm glad I don't have to apologize for these people anymore?

  • ||

    "Halls of Tripoli" ring a bell?



    That was about piracy not religion or terrorism.

  • ||

    "Halls of Tripoli" ring a bell?"

    "Shores" of Tripoli.

  • ||

    Sorry to return so late. Les, I think Lux et Veritas has supplied a better response to your question of facts to the intentions of the NYTimes than I could have provided. I'd now like to challenge you to the same fact-finding mission. Can you provide the facts that show that President Bush purposely manipulated the intelligence in order to bring the Unites States to war under false pretenses?

    A while later you posted this statement:
    The fact of the matter is, we weren't told that Hussein "might" be a threat, we were told he was definitely a threat, despite the evidence to the contrary.

    You provided some juicy quotes of lots of people in the administration, but no Presidents. Here are some Presidential quotes I found:

    The inspectors undertook this mission first 7.5 years ago at the end of the Gulf War when Iraq agreed to declare and destroy its arsenal as a condition of the ceasefire.
    The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.
    The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.



    ...Saddam's deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors.
    This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.
    And so we had to act and act now.
    Let me explain why.
    First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.
    Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community -- led by the United States -- has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday -- make no mistake -- he will use it again as he has in the past.



    ...The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.



    --President William Jefferson Clinton, December 16, 2002

    The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.


    -- President William Jefferson Clinton in 1998

    What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.


    -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    Ok, this isn't a President, but you used a SECDEF also:

    I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.


    -- Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

    And, why not throw in a wanna-be?

    I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.


    -- John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

  • ||

    Regarding my last post: Anyone care to wager that some arm of the US or its allies somehow followed those "companions" when they took the remains of the dead?

  • ||

    Oooh, I missed this one:

    Not legally it can't. They're called the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the Resolution on Human Rights, all of which we signed. And it would be interesting to gauge your casual attitude should a terrorist kill a relative of yours, especially a child. After all, it's called war, right?

    Interestingly, none of the terrorists signed them. Nor do they follow the requirements of the Geneva convention. They don't wear recognizable uniforms or insignia that would distinguish them from non-combatants. In fact, they use that "advantage" in order to shoot at legal combatants, drop their weapons and then hide amongst the non-combatants. They also use protected establishments such as mosques and hospitals from which they launch attacks or build weapons.

  • ||

    Interestingly, none of the terrorists signed them. Nor do they follow the requirements of the Geneva convention.

    Well, obviously, if the terrorists didn't sign them, then we shouldn't abide by them--even when if it's in our best interest to do so. ...because, as we all know, ... ...um, well, just because chuckin' the Conventions achieved the unthinkable and manufactured sympathy for terrorists, well that doesn't mean that chuckin' the Conventions was a bad idea; it just means that...

    ...um.

    Don't you know there's war going on?

    They don't wear recognizable uniforms or insignia that would distinguish them from non-combatants.

    Yeah, why can't people just stop trying to figure out what's in our best interest and start lookin' at what's justifiable. Yes, I know, we could do a lot of stupid things that are perfectly justifiable legally, and just because something's legal doesn't mean it's smart. Lots of stupid strategies are perfectly legal ...but chuckin' the Conventions for these guys was legal. ...and the Eighth Amendment doesn't really enter into this. ...at least that's what I heard on the radio.

    In fact, they use that "advantage" in order to shoot at legal combatants, drop their weapons and then hide amongst the non-combatants.

    The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Conventions, etc., they're all fine and dandy, but in war time, they're a death pact, a catch-22 if you will. It's either toss the Conventions of take a nuke in the heartland--take your pick. I don't have to pick; I just listen to the radio and read certain websites, and they tell me what to pick.

    They also use protected establishments such as mosques and hospitals from which they launch attacks or build weapons.

    And that's an important point, 'cause it tells us something about the enemy. ...and about the Conventions. I mean, do you want them attacking our hospitals? ...Then don't cry about it when we attack their mosques. What are you, a sissy? I hear they eat monkey brains.

    P.S. I don't remember the last time I saw so many stupid people in the same place. Some of these comments are so bad, they're beyond mockery. How does one mimic willful stupidity? Self-mockery puffed up with pride! What a spectacle! ...I hope every voter reads this thread before they vote in the next election. Some of you people make me want to vomit.

  • ||

    P.S. I don't remember the last time I saw so many stupid people in the same place. Some of these comments are so bad, they're beyond mockery. How does one mimic willful stupidity? Self-mockery puffed up with pride! What a spectacle! ...I hope every voter reads this thread before they vote in the next election. Some of you people make me want to vomit.

    I guess this would be one of the examples:

    And that's an important point, 'cause it tells us something about the enemy. ...and about the Conventions. I mean, do you want them attacking our hospitals? ...Then don't cry about it when we attack their mosques. What are you, a sissy? I hear they eat monkey brains.

  • ||

    Well, obviously, if the terrorists didn't sign them, then we shouldn't abide by them--even when if it's in our best interest to do so.

    Could you show me an example of where we don't abide by them?

  • M. Simon||

    Halls of Motezuma
    Shores of Tripoli

    Thanks. My Marine friends will forgive me. After beating me bloody.

    It turns out that (if you can believe the reports) we got a bomb maker with a $5 million price on his head.

    So I guess now they are really going to be mad at us. Twice or three times at least. Three houses and one of their top guys.

    The NYT is going to need a new photo.

  • ||

    People are not asking the right questions. For all the back and forth techno speak discussion regarding the NYT picture there is a single given. It was obviously staged. Obvious because of all the reasons given regarding the weapon/missile/projectile/warhead/shell/big BB, what ever you would like to call it. It certainly didn't come from a Hellfire missile. I've worked with those, and this isn't any part of a Hellfire. The item in the picture is an arty shell. Period. People ask, "so what?" So consider. If it isn't part of a Hellfire missile, and the US hasn't resorted to firing rusty arty shells, then the shell had to come from somewhere. That means that in this peaceful village, filled with singing children, chirping birds, and people joyfully going about their non-combatant daily routine, there just happened to be a supply of heavy arty shells kicking around and readily available to pose for the camera. Gimme a break! I think the US strike was closer to target than some people are willing to admit. If they wanted to indicate that this was a peaceful non-threatening village, the perpetrators of this hoax would have done better to show no armaments what so ever. This photo tips their hand by showing that the people of this village were not quite as peace loving as some would have us believe.

    As to other discussions regarding the Geneva Convention. I wish people would start reading beyond the preamble of the document. They might find it interesting. True such things such as churches (mosques), hospitals, schools, etc. are off limits to attack. UNTIL such time as the enemy uses them for military purposes. Then these buildings become legitimate targets and it is the enemy who takes on full responsibility for any civilian deaths which result from the attacks. This means that throughout the Afghan and Iraq wars, the US forces could have been attacking these types of establishments, and would have been fully in conformance to the GC. The fact that the US has not attacked these legitimate targets illustrates the incredible restraint American military and political leaders have demonstrated.

  • M. Simon||

    The Barbary Pirates were state sponsored terrorist organization.

    Piracy was OK as long as it was done to the infidels.

    Different actors. Same war.

  • ||

    It looks like there may have been at least one high-level Al Qeada terrorist killed in that strike.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1517986

    I have no sympathy for "innocents" that are killed while they are hosting a holiday feast for these killers. This stike is meant to rid the world of these terrorist, and also deny them safe havens. Maybe the next time someone wants to invite a terrorist to dinner they may think twice because of actions such as these.



    P

  • ||

    In addition to Old Salt's comment, please think about a tiny village in Pakistan's tribal area, where even Paksitani forces are considered "foreign" and could not go for many years.

    Then we have foreign Arabs show up at the house of the jewellry dealers in the village (i.e. richest people) and you don't think the villagers KNOW who those guys are? Oh, and of course it's your local imam who INVITED THEM.

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