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Political News and Commentary from the Right

NY Times softer on Obama’s civilian casualties

What a difference a couple of years (and a new President) make in the headlines of the NY Times. Two stories, two years apart, telling similar stories. One is dated May 13, 2007, the other May 7, 2009. Both stories detail the precarious situation for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan resulting from mounting civilian casualties, but one headline is far more benign than the other. Can you guess which story is the former, and which is the latter?

Civilian Deaths Undermine Allies’ War on Taliban

High Civilian Toll Seen in U.S. Raid in Afghanistan

Notice how the second headline intentionally omits the word “death,” opting instead for the less graphic “toll.” Also note that nothing in the second creates a vision of the strain placed on US and allied forces as civilians perish, though the first conjures up the idea of a practically unwinnable battle.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the second article was published today with Obama as Commander-in-Chief, the first was written when Bush occupied the Oval Office.

The obvious bias that softened the NY Times coverage of civilian casualties is further illustrated by the prose buried in the articles, both co-written by Carlotta Gall.

The earlier article was written in response to “scores of civilian deaths over the past months” while the second follows on the heels of American airstrikes that “had killed dozens and perhaps more than 100 civilians” in one village in one day. Though the more massive, destructive, and deadly one day bombardment would almost certainly provoke a much greater fury than the smaller attacks spread across several months, the headlines give the opposite impression. A villager described the more recent attacks saying, “It would scare a man if he saw it in a dream.” From the earlier story, ” ‘We are not saying that the foreigners should leave or stay, we are just saying they should not do this,’ said a farmer, Fateh Muhammad, 55, gesturing with his scythe at an enormous bomb crater and his neighbor’s collapsed house. He showed the place where two of his neighbors had been killed in a field nearby.

Comparing these two quotes, most would certainly expect the latest story to follow the more emotional headline. But there’s more.

From the earlier story, “Since the beginning of March at least 132 civilians have been killed in at least six bombings or shootings, according to officials. The actual number of civilians killed is probably higher,* since the areas of heaviest fighting, like the southern province of Helmand, are too unsafe for travel and many deaths go unreported and cannot be verified.” In the more recent article, “American airstrikes that Afghan officials and villagers said Wednesday had killed dozens and perhaps more than 100 civilians…If the higher toll proves true,* the bombardment, which took place late Monday, will almost certainly be the worst in terms of civilian deaths since the American intervention began in 2001.” (emphasis added)*

Notice the difference of the approach taken in these two articles, by the same reporter.

Under President Bush, the Times’ reporter assumed the death toll was higher than reported, but went out of her way to imply the number of civilians killed under President Obama was lower than reported. The first article also claims “nearly half” the civilian deaths in airstrikes on one village were women and children, but the second makes no mention of women and children among the dead.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that an attack on a village resulting in such a huge number of dead civilians somehow managed to avoid killing any women and children.

It’s clear this reporter now writes in a completely different tone than she did when Bush was President, and it’s also apparent the Times’ editors now put a different spin on similar stories with their headlines.


Note: In no way should this article be construed as a criticism of US or allied forces in Afghanistan. As a USMC veteran, I realize and understand that collateral damage occurs in any war. I also firmly believe that anytime US forces are placed in harm’s way, such collateral damage should not in any way reflect badly on them. This article is solely intended to shed light on the obvious bias present at the supposedly objective NY Times.

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Liberal Media | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Obama Killed the DC Voucher Program

from National Review Online

While Obama always talks up the value of non-ideological solutions to bad public schools, he was quick to sign a bill last month that cancels a federally-funded D.C. school-voucher program after the 2009-2010 school year, unless Congress and the District government act to reauthorize it.

For more on this, watch this new Reason.TV video. It features some of the kids, and their parents, who have benefited from D.C. school vouchers, and who have so much to lose from Obama’s double-talk on education policy.

“Out of everything else they can shut down or everything else they can advocate for, they want to take this one thing away?” Adds her mother, Ingrid, “We voted for you, we walked, we went to the parade, we stood freezing. Why? . . . Can you get this tape over to Obama and have him answer our questions? Why, sir, why?”

More

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Education | , , , , , | 1 Comment

545 People by Charlie Reese

I received this in an email today. It’s been around a while, but the point is spot on so I think it’s worth posting.

545 PEOPLE

 

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget The president does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.

The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party.

She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a singledomestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red ..

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!


By Charlie Reese

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Obama | , , , | Leave a comment

Obama to shun Nat’l Day of Prayer

From the Washington Times

President Obama is distancing himself from the National Day of Prayer by nixing a formal early morning service and not attending a large Catholic prayer breakfast the next morning.

All Mr. Obama will do for the National Day of Prayer, which is Thursday, is sign a proclamation honoring the day, which originated in 1952 when Congress set aside the first Thursday in May for the observance.

For the past eight years, President George W. Bush invited selected Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House East Room, where he typically would give a short speech and several leaders offered prayers.

…More

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Obama | , , , , | 2 Comments