Joins Ranks of Major Online Media

So there I was, wasting time while waiting for that little elf Jeremy to post this column, surfing around until I wandered over to Matt Drudge, and clicked on a story headlined:


This took me to Alexa, the popular site-rating service, and sure enough there was good old Matt at number 8, just below and ahead of the Washington Post. Way to go, Matt! I looked down the rest of the list: USA Today, CBS News, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, until my gaze fixed on number 36 –!

We’re just below the Chicago Tribune, beating out Time magazine, Newsday, the Associated Press, National Geographic, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Houston Chronicle, among others.

Wow. I’m impressed, and — believe it or not — humbled.

Serbs and victimhood

I received a note from a reader yesterday about an article on the Financial Times website . Without presuming to speak about the actual contents of the article – read it and make up your own mind – the author caught my correspondent’s attention with these passages:

“It is not as if victimhood is never true. Jews are slandered and persecuted, though not very often in the US. Muslims have had a rough deal in history. But our politics too often degenerate into expressions of self-pity, which is particularly odious in the German case. The result is suspicion, hatred, and in the end vengefulness. One might call it the Kosovo Syndrome.
On St Vitus Day, 1389, much of the Serbian nobility perished in a battle with Turkish armies on the Field of Blackbirds in Kosovo. More than 600 years later, Bosnian Muslims were driven from their homes, murdered and raped in large numbers, and tortured in concentration camps. And all this because Serbs could not stop thinking of themselves as the greatest victims in history.”

Sounds like a slam-dunk ending – were it true.

Continue reading “Serbs and victimhood”

68 Killed in Bloody End to Deadliest Month of War (or Not!)

Updated: Iraqis, including US-employed police, report that no more than 8 Iraqis were killed in the “battle.”

The US claims that a total of 68 people were killed over the weekend, marking the end of the bloodiest month so far in Iraq.

The US-claimed total includes 54 Iraqis killed in a major battle in Samarra, as well as 2 GIs, 7 Spanish intelligence officers, 2 Japanese Diplomats, 2 South Korean workers, and a Colombian contractor.

Sumarra residents claim that the casualty figures are much lower but that the majority of those killed were civilians.

105 Allied Troops were killed in November, marking the worst monthly total since the war began.

This morning a US soldier was killed in an attack west of Baghdad.

Descartes with an M-16

An American soldier explains his concern for Iraqi “hearts and minds” to a Western journalist:

I asked my escort Specialist Jack Craig, a military policeman from Minnesota, how he correlated the “strike first” directive with the US military’s current policy of attempting to win the “hearts and minds” of the local population.

“Actually, I see ‘hearts and minds’ as a tactical doctrine. To me, it means that’s where we should aim first,” said Craig. “Shoot them in the body or in the head, but just make sure you shoot them first.”

From his humourless expression, I presumed that he wasn’t joking.