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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Sunday, March 23, 2003

I Am Convinced That We Have To Fight This War

I am also convinced that we don't have to enjoy it. It is hard to say whether Fox or MSNBC is more annoying. Lester Holt of MSNBC seems to be a genial chap, but his demeanor would leave him much better suited to handing out NCAA results. Surely a sports desk somewhere could use him?

And the crew at Fox is just having too much fun to suit me.

Meanwhile on the blogging front, some quick hits:

InstaPundit and the Dixie Flatline - lots of controversey swirling about this statement from the Flatliner:

"I'm angry right now, and I may regret these words. But, I think it is entirely reasonable for Americans to suspect the loyalty of American Muslims. There is substantial evidence that their allegiances lie not with their country, but with their god."

Well, the pressure of war will affect all of our soldiers, and may well have a greater effect on an American-Muslim, who might very well feel some conflicts that a person of another religion would not. However, the leap that we should suspect the loyalty of all American Muslims is a bit extreme.

As an abstract matter, I am intrigued by this question of loyalty to god or country. Surely this does not apply exclusively to Muslims?

The other irritating post du jour is provided by Andrew Sullivan, who loses this battle in his war against the NY Times:

RAINES WATCH: How do you insinuate that the precision targeting of the headquarters of a murderous tyrant is the moral equivalent of a terrorist assault on civilians? If you're the New York Times, it's easy.
UPDATE: Another beaut captured by London blogger, Belgravia Dispatch.

Andrew, quit while you are ahead - the UPDATE killed you. And the chap at Belgravia has a fine looking blog, and congrats on the rare Sully link, but what happened here? Roll the tape, please:

In a NYT story about a Navy Seals operation to gain control of several oil platforms:

"Swooping silently out of the Persian Gulf night, Navy Seals seized two Iraqi offshore oil terminals in bold raids that ended early this morning, overwhelming lightly armed Iraqi guards and claiming a bloodless victory in the battle for Iraq's vast oil empire." [my emphasis]

Evidently, this is meant to be taken as evidence that the Times has joined the "it's all about oil" chorus. But not so fast! We will probably read about a battle for Basra, or a battle for air supremacy, or a battle for Baghdad, and so on. It hardly follows that this was "all about Basra". Minimizing damage to the oil production facilities was, in fact, one of the war objectives cited by Rumsfeld in a link provided by the Belgrave chap:

Military forces also will "secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people, and which they will need to develop their country after decades of neglect by the Iraqi regime," Mr. Rumsfeld said.

SO, we fight battles in order to win the war. Some battles will, in fact, be about oil, as Sully himself notes here. No problem. The Times walks on this one.

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