26 October, 2005

More bad reporting

It's not just the New York Times that has to crib facts from the Internet. What you or I could find out in ten minutes with a browser is apparently the best information available even to the highly placed. Pity Lt. Colonel Steve Boylan, the U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad. Boylan cited the Iraq Body Count figure of 30,000*, because:
Boylan said the U.S. military keeps its own tally of Iraqi dead, but does not release it. He said he had asked U.S. authorities to see the estimates of Iraqi dead himself, and was refused.
That's right - they won't even let their own spokesman know how many Iraqi dead there are. What the...? What happened to the good ole days, when we were counting dead Vietnamese daily on the nightly news?

Maybe they're embarassed. As the A.P. coyly points out, the death rate in Iraq is nowhere near what it was in Vietnam, which averaged at 12,000 a month. But, no, Mrs. Reporter - we haven't even started carpet bombing yet! The correct, adjusted equation for death rate should be something like this:

where k is number of kills, and O is the amount of ordinance expended.

The real source of the Pentagon's embarassment, though, is that they still think they haven't matched up to their own protegé Saddam:
Boylan disputed assertions that Iraq was safer under Saddam.

"The mass graves hold the truth," he said.
Haha! Those guys... you'd think they have some sort of weird complex about all this.

Check out McClellan. He can't even bring himself to SAY that sometimes the U.S. military kills innnocent people. Here he is, responding to questions about 70 civilians, including children, who were killed in a U.S. airstrike:
And there are people in Iraq, terrorists, who recognized how high the stakes are, and they're seeking to do everything they can to stop the democratic process from advancing. And there are attacks carried out on some of our troops. And when those attacks are carried out on our troops, you have others that respond to that. And we appreciate all that our men and women in uniform are doing when it comes to defending our freedoms abroad. Now, in terms of any innocent people being killed, we mourn the loss of any innocent life that is lost.
Here's a clue, asshole: if you really mourned the loss of any innocent life, you wouldn't hide it.

* Which is conservative, since it's only those deaths that get reported in newsmedia.


Apparently they've only found a few thousand bodies in the mass graves, contrary to the 300,000 claim that gets bandied around a lot.

But what I really want to know is how you embedded the latex! Did you do tex2bmp by hand, or is there some slicker way?

Posted by aram

There's probably a slicker way, but I just did dvipng by hand. 

Posted by saurabh

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