May 06, 2004


Against my better judgment, I've gotten sucked into this "Greatest Canadian" contest. It's certainly an eclectic list the CBC has offered up for us to choose from... any list that puts Canada's one political assassination, D'Arcy McGee, and Sarah McLachlan on the same page is worth at least a skim through. There's a potential dinner party argument on every page, too, on who's in and who's out... singers Stompin' Tom and Leonard Cohen, but not Bruce Cockburn? And so on. And there's a lot of emulable traits in most of these people. If it promotes history, it's all good.

But, hey, this is a military-themed blog, so let's look at the subset of military people they picked:

Maj. William Barker, VC (1894-1930)
Lt. Col. William Avery "Billy" Bishop, VC (1894-1956)
Maj. Gen. Sir Isaac Brock (1769-1812)
Capt. Roy Brown (1894-1944)
Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur Currie (1875-1933)
Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire (1946- )
Gen. John De Chastelain (1938- )
Kondiaronk (1649-1701)
Maj. Gen Lewis Mackenzie (1940- )
Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872-1918)
Lt. Col. Dollard Menard (1913-1997)
(Capt.) Sir William Stephenson (1896-1989)
Tecumseh (1768-1813)
Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) (1742-1807)
Maj. Gen. Georges Vanier (1888-1967)

Interesting top 15, hmm? I've excluded those, like Gabriel Dumont, who were actually fighting against Canada, who would certainly be an interesting choice for "greatest Canadian;" as well as the two famous medical doctors who also spent time in the trenches (Bethune and Banting), Pearson (also a Flanders vet) and the military industrialists (Beaverbrook, et al.) Breaking the remainder down by type and period you get:

**4 World War One aces (Barker, Bishop, Brown, Stephenson);
**3 current-era generals (Dallaire, De Chastelain and Mackenzie);
**the War of 1812 martyrs (Brock and Tecumseh);
**the two greatest Indian warriors of their respective ages (Kondiaronk and Brant);
**three of the best-known names from WW1 (Currie, Vanier, and the poet McCrae);
**a DSO-winner from Dieppe (Menard).

Now, I know the CBC says that's only supposed to be a starter list, but it's still an interesting list, more for those our national broadcaster has chosen to leave out then leave in.

Take the aces, for instance. There's been some doubt on the veracity of Billy Bishop's 72 kills, of course, but Billy Barker, Canada's fourth-highest ace and most decorated soldier ever, certainly has a valid claim. But why aces 1 and 4, and not no. 2 and 3 (Collishaw and MacLaren)? Why so many aces, at all? Stephenson (12 kills) gets bonus points for his second career as the "Man Called Intrepid" but Roy Brown? Most historians now agree that at best he drove Richthofen into the range of some Australian AA; he didn't kill the Red Baron. Of course the psychopathic Buzz Beurling, Canada's leading ace of WW2, doesn't make the list, and probably rightly so.

Of the three current generals, Dallaire is best known for his post-traumatic stress, De Chastelain for his Irish disarmament efforts, and Mackenzie for a fine bit of soldiering in the early days at Sarajevo. There's no doubt Mac would be a soldier's choice, as he was as a general, but the other two would be questionable for this honour, to my mind.

As for the War of 1812 heroes, Brock would be the last person who would ever call himself a Canadian, and Tecumseh only resided in what is now Canada for a few brief weeks before his death, after the Lake Erie front went to crap on him. You'd be hard-pressed to explain why Brock, and not Wolfe/Montcalm, but it probably doesn't bear much thinking about. The only Canadian-born general of that war, Drummond, was a butcher; but the failure to recognize the resident Canadian victors of Chateauguay and Beaver Dams is a curious lapse.

The Indian heroes are an interesting and enlightened choice, but have we gone so far into historical revisionism that Adam Dollard is now out entirely? And no John Simcoe, either? Oh, dear.

Georges Vanier is another bonus-point case... he was an excellent Governor-General, and like the other French-Canadian soldier here, Menard, a very brave man. But it'd be hard to find a Canadian historian who didn't rate Dextraze (who succeeded Menard as commander of the FMR) as a more accomplished military leader than either of his Quebec counterparts. And picking both of them, but ignoring any of the accomplished English-Canadian commanders of WW2 (McNaughton and Simonds and Rockingham and Burns) is odd, to say the least.

And of course, there's no one from the navy at all.

So it's an odd list. Not wrong, just odd. So, later this week, we'll rank the top 15 soldiers/sailors/airmen, as I'd have chosen them. Nominations into Flitters, please.

UPDATE, Monday: In case anyone's wondering, I haven't disabled the comments system... it's just that Quicktopic seems to have broken down at roughly the 5,000-post mark. Nice to know. If the outage persists, I'll have to move to another comments system, obviously. I'm kinda busy right now, so it'll be a while in that case. If you have any thoughts in the interim that need desperately shared with the outside world... well, you can still email me.

Posted by BruceR at 07:06 PM


In my limited circle, Muslims are just as angry about this little atrocity as they are about Abu Ghraib. More, even.

An unlucky Indian was in all probability among the seven illegal immigrants from South Asia who were shot dead by the Macedonian police two years ago in a fake encounter staged to impress the United States.

Last week, the authorities in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia came clean about the terrible incident which occurred outside the capital city of Skopje on March 4, 2002 and accused former interior minister Ljube Boskovski of personally masterminding the cold-blooded killing to demonstrate that his government was also in the frontline of the so-called international `war against terror'.

On the other hand, further information on the hiding of Iraqi prisoners from the Red Cross could change that.

Posted by BruceR at 09:51 AM

May 05, 2004


Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe novels, is at U of T today, at Innis Town Hall at 7:30. I may drop in for a spell; I've liked the novels rather less as the years go on (and the TV series left me cold, Sean Bean notwithstanding), but in high school they were a rollicking good read.

UPDATE: For the record, Cornwell's a pretty funny guy; worth catching if the book tour comes through. I particularly liked that he saved his last two audience questions for the two young boys there with their fathers who were eagerly and irrepressibly waiting to ask him stuff about what evidently to them were the Best. Novels. Ever. If they'd gone away disappointed I think I'd have slapped him.

Posted by BruceR at 01:44 PM


Europeans are angry today apparently about the Iraq "helicopter video." I had thought everyone had seen this by now... I think I first saw it back in January. It's already aired on ABC, for that matter: just typical gun camera footage of an Apache doing its business, no context... showing graphically how, with FLIR, you can run, but can't hide at night. If you haven't seen it it's nothing a computer sim gamer can't imagine.

UPDATE: Some people are saying, once again, that this is some kind of atrocity. But I can't see the full video supporting that... the full video (which I've only found so far in .avi) shows quite clearly a guy driving up in a pickup truck to a waiting farm truck on the edge of a field, furtively running out into a field, and dropping a four-foot long cylinder, by all appearances an RPG wrapped in a blanket (he can carry it easily in one hand, so it's probably not a SAM) in the path of a tractor working the same field (at night?) He and the farm truck's driver then wait around for the guy in the tractor to get close to pick it up, at which point the partial video linked above picks up. When shots start coming in, the pickup driver starts frantically unwrapping the cylinder.

It plays entirely like a weapons transfer from one insurgent to another, using the pastoral farming scene as cover. It's hard to imagine a scenario where all three dead men didn't at least know what was going on. (I'm told the action took place Dec. 1, north of Baghdad, in case anyone's wondering as to the provenance.) There's no way, given the way the guy is looking about and minimizing his time holding or near the cylinder, that it's anything normal, like the tractor driver's lunch, or a farm implement, say... and if you've looking at a RPG-sized object that people are obviously trying to hide, I believe it is reasonable to conclude the worst.

Posted by BruceR at 12:54 PM


Wilbur's blog has more info on the British abuse photos, with a good link to photos and analysis. Still not seeing the slamdunk in either direction on this one... the photo "errors" are all individually explainable, although it is certainly curious to see so many together. And I still don't see the identifiable marker on the rifle that makes it an SA80 mark 1 instead of mark 2, nor am I even convinced that would be proof even if there is one.

Posted by BruceR at 10:12 AM


Well, Tacitus has joined the large and growing number of bloggers who don't like me contaminating their fan-club comment threads, so you get to hear my thoughts on his Canadian Airborne Regiment analogy here.

The argument is that disbanding the 372nd MP Company (Army Reserve) will help send the right message re the Abu Ghraib abuses, as it did in the case of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, which was disbanded in 1995 after a string of scandals that began with their 1993 deployment to Somalia.

On the surface, that might seem a useful comparison. But it's superficial, and here's why.

The Airborne's dismissal sent an effective message to its target audience (we'll talk about who that was) for several reasons:
* the regiment was, in its own way, a national symbol, not tied to any particular region the way Canada's other infantry units are;
* the unit was large enough to be significant (constituting about 10% of the army's regular infantry);
* the unit, because all members had to possess the most coveted award among Canadian soldiers, airborne wings, was inextricably connected with military excellence in every current soldier's mind (regardless of what we thought of the actual unit);
* on the other hand, the unit was militarily speaking, rather disposable: since all its members were only technically on temporary attachment from their home units, every soldier had only to return to their previous posting and military occupation, strengthening all those units without any loss of overall army effectiveness. No one lost their job, in other words.

It goes without saying that none of these attributes apply to the 372nd MP Company. It's small, it's composed entirely of reservists from the Cumberland, Md. area, it was not particularly well known before this week, and its members (those worth keeping, at least) retain specialized skills that are useful, and cannot be easily transferred to another reserve unit (you could always keep an Army Reserve unit of another kind in Cumberland, but that would seem to largely defeat the point.)

So as a message to convince its target audience, the 372nd disbandment idea is inherently less powerful than the Airborne example. But what was the Canadian government's target audience?

Well, it wasn't the Canadian public, or media, to start with. Civilians had no strong attachment to the Airborne, which had done little of public note in their 25 year history to that point. And while disbandment did serve to get the word "Airborne" out of the papers, it was the word "Somalia" the political leadership really would have preferred not hearing, and disbandment didn't help with that.

Nor, despite some might think, did the Canadian disbandment have a big impact on regular soldiers. Many were shocked, of course, but most were sick at what they'd read about the Airborne's conduct in Somalia, and outside of the infantry line units, few who weren't already in the Airborne valued the mystique that much. As to the paratroopers themselves, it just allowed many of them to sink into an even deeper denial, as if they were somehow the victims in all this.

No, the target audience of the civilian government in disbanding the Airborne was the military's senior leadership, who they were thoroughly fed up with. The Chretien government, never military fans to begin with, were tired of being surprised by new Airborne revelations ("hazing videos" and the like), and tired of being patted on the head by generals. So they acted in a way calculated to show the generals precisely who was really in charge... to the generals' horror. It was like a father who, after their kid breaks the VCR, takes his hammer and smashes the kid's favourite toy... cruel, but an undoubtedly effective way of establishing his supremacy. The generals concluded from this that, if the PM got angry, he would do anything, including completely gutting Canadian military readiness, if he felt inclined... they were very docile after that, through all the cutbacks and abuses to come. (As, one could argue, they should be, in a democratic state.)

The closest American equivalent would be Rumsfeld's early cancelling of the coveted Crusader artillery system... in part just to show his generals that he could. They, too, shut up after that. If this were a matter, as in the Canadian case, where the military's senior leadership were believed to deserve some slapping around, then disbanding whole units would make sense... but that's not the problem with Abu Ghraib at all... if anything the military is accepting its full responsibility, while their civilian supervisors appear to need whacking with a clue bat.

But here's the really important thing. Chretien's little power play in disbanding the Airborne may have sent a message to the public or media, or soldiers and generals; but what it was never intended to do, never could do, was send a message to SOMALIS. No one was naive enough to think they'd care a fig. The same surely applies to something as trivial as disbanding a military police company, with regard to Iraq. It's entirely irrelevant to the issue, as far as Iraqis are concerned: the symbol they're staring at every day is the Orwellian walls of Abu Ghraib, itself.

Canadian officials placated the Somalis the way occupying countries always have placated the victims of their soldiers' excesses... by paying off family, relations, and clans... 100 camels in total, in the case of the tortured and murdered Shidane Arone. Eventually, sooner or later, that is what the Americans will end up doing re Abu Ghraib, as well.

The symbol Tacitus is looking for to make the right statement here is not a little army reserve company. It's Abu Ghraib itself. There are other detention centres in Iraq, after all. The best thing America could do, if it wants this to stop right now, would be to level Abu Ghraib, as the Bastille of the modern world that it is, send any prisoners worth keeping to other facilities, release the rest, and then offer substantial recompense for Iraqis, one and all, who claim to have been wrongfully imprisoned/abused in custody while there. (As noted in the posts below, I agree with Tacitus that it's unlikely there will be much in the way of a impressive outcome from American military justice on this one.) THAT would be the equivalent of the Canadian reaction to its Somalia guilt.

As always in PR, there's no point in sending a message, if you're not clear on what the audience's needs are.

Posted by BruceR at 12:34 AM

May 04, 2004


Foreign jihadists and terrorists may still lurk, but local populations are more likely to turn them INTO a security force whose presence they consider legitimate.

--Fred Kaplan, today. I know what he means, that they'd "turn them in TO a security force," but it's still an interesting typo. Indeed, that is what is now gradually happening, possibly by default... the men with arms are being bribed to keep relatively peaceful until a new national leader arises who can assemble enough of a political and military powerbase to become a proper proxy ruler. Which, again, makes total sense if you think you're dealing with a almost-entirely native insurgency, and none at all if you think it's all a bunch of foreigners and terrorists attracted to your flypaper.

Posted by BruceR at 10:05 PM


I strongly suggest all readers take time to go through this. Even if you accept that civilians or military intelligence played a larger role than has yet been acknowledged in Abu Ghraib, the story within of a Military Police organization (320th MP Battalion) essentially falling apart through lack of motivation, leadership or discipline is unmistakable. This is remarkable:

Despite the fact that hundreds of former Iraqi soldiers and officers were detainees, MP personnel were allowed to wear civilian clothes in the FOB after duty hours while carrying weapons.

FM 3-19.40 outlines the need for 2 roll calls (100% ISN band checks) per day. The 320th MP Battalion did this check only 2 times per week. Due to the lack of real-time updates to the system, these checks were regularly inaccurate.

While all this was going on, the commander's main concern was apparently that her officers were getting TOO MANY salutes:

Saluting of officers was sporadic and not enforced... BG [Brigadier General Janis] Karpinski approached COL Pappas to reverse the saluting policy [at Abu Ghraib] back to a no-saluting policy as previously existed.

Not that she was ever there:

BG Karpinski claimed, during her testimony, that she paid regular visits to the various detention facilities where her Soldiers were stationed. However, the detailed calendar provided by her Aide-de-Camp, 1LT Mabry, does not support her contention. Moreover, numerous witnesses stated that they rarely saw BG Karpinski...

Posted by BruceR at 09:15 PM


Apparently a rather sensationalist story of the Sadrist uprising was not quite accurate:

At one point, a vehicle carrying four Salvadoran soldiers was caught outside the gate. Demonstrators overwhelmed its terrified occupants, seizing and killing one prisoner on the spot by putting a grenade in his mouth and pulling the pin.

--WashPost, April 10

The only soldier to die in Najaf that day (Apr. 4) was, it is true, a Salvadoran, but his mates say he died entirely differently:

[During an intense firefight] Pvt. Natividad Mendez, Cpl. Toloza's friend for three years, lay dead, shot twice probably by a sniper.

The Salvadorans evidently came to Iraq ready for an occasional dustup. I'd trust their account of what risked becoming, if they hadn't fought so well, a national last stand of sorts over some sensationalist tale from the anonymous Iraqi street.

UPDATE: Good account of an Apr. 17 ambush in Diwaniyah, here, which the American tankers won in a rather unusual fashion.

Posted by BruceR at 05:01 PM


Phil Carter, May 1:

The military should immediately apprehend these individuals [private military contractors at Abu Ghraib] and render them to Justice Department prosecution before a U.S. District Court in the United States. Nothing less -- not termination, not administrative sanction, not suspension or debarment for these contractors -- will be sufficient. These contractors broke the law in a heinous and brutal way, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Phil Carter, Apr. 9:

Moreover, while the Justice Department has jurisdiction to prosecute military contractors for actions overseas under a 2000 law, it may decline to do so as a result of limited resources and the fact that there is no U.S. attorney's office (yet) established in Iraq to govern U.S. civilian activities there... The Coalition Provisional Authority has decreed that contractors and other foreign personnel will not be subject to Iraqi criminal processes. Yet, there's also no clear mandate for American jurisdiction.

Phil Carter, today:

...the Justice Department told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that it has no current plans to prosecute any contractors involved with the abuses at Abu Ghraib...

As much as Mr. Carter might have initially liked, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the private military contractors involved in Abu Ghraib are wholly beyond the reach of American courts or laws (even the law Carter cites refers to the use of private military personnel in "time of war," and, as we all know, the war's been over for a year now; this is probably the main reason the Justice Department sees no value in pursuing this one).

And, when the accused soldiers' defence lawyers successfully transfer all the blame from their clients onto the immunity-enjoying "contractors" in the court martial proceedings-to-come, you know most of the accused soldiers will get off entirely, or least much more lightly than they could have, as well. The even money at this point is the Abu Ghraib cases turning into another Italian gondola-style discrediting of the effectiveness of military justice; Stephen Stephanowicz, who as of this week was apparently still on the job at the prison, can sleep easy tonight.

UPDATE: Donald Sensing raises another issue that will likely further bury the chances of strong court martial verdicts. I don't think it's as serious as that, yet, but the continued pressure on America's leaders to say or do more in the way of an apology to Muslims could certainly produce the kind of slip of the tongue that could lead to acquittal. For instance, the decision to release the Taguba report today (see above) with all the higher-ups' names (remarkably!) left in it probably goes a long way toward immunizing any one of those higher-ups from effective prosecution. ("This charge is political, it's a witch-hunt, the public's baying for blood," etc.)

Posted by BruceR at 04:49 PM


One line in the Taguba report on the Abu Ghraib abuses refers to:

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees

In a CNN interview, Sy Hersh elevated this to pouring "phosphoritic acid" on Iraqis... which isn't an actual chemical term that I've ever heard. I suppose he may have been referring to "phosphoric acid" which is a flavoring agent in Coca Cola, but phosphoric acid has little if anything to do with chemical lights.

So what does the report refer to?

All militaries use various makes of Cyalume glowsticks on operations... the same compound is used in the glowsticks and glowrings used by ravers and the like. The stick is not meant to be actually broken apart (just "cracked" to start it glowing) but if you take a knife or scissors to them, you can then spread the glowing liquid within them over furniture, floors, trees, other people, etc. It continues to glow for a little while before the chemical energy source fully converts to carbon dioxide and it fades. I have seen it done on military exercises occasionally, as a patrol's stealthy way of noting to sleepy sentries that "we were here." The Cyalume chemical reaction combines an oxalate ester and a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution to energize fluorescing dye molecules (the glowing "phosphoric liquid", above). The colour of the liquid is changed by using different coloured dyes. The glowing substance does not effect the skin and is supposedly nowhere near as toxic as, say, rubbing alcohol... not fun to drink, but not poisonous unless you drank a considerable amount (I'm not speaking from experience, here). Some may use dibutyl phthalate as the ester, which is a minor eye/throat irritant, and when ingested in large quantities a carcinogen as well, but not in the quantities one might reasonably consume from glowsticks.

Making a prisoner go around with a glowing stain on him for a while could certainly be demeaning (and the subsequent allegations of sodomy by glowstick are a whole other thing) but spilling a glowstick's contents on someone by itself should not have endangered them physically in any way.

This is not meant to be an excuse, just information. It's always important that our outrage over such things be grounded in fact.

Posted by BruceR at 03:38 PM

May 03, 2004


botpOne of my duties the last two years has been overseeing the first part of the Toronto-area Basic Officer Training course, which takes new army reserve officers from the street and tries to get the baseline military stuff into them, working here in the local area, before sending them off for more extensive training at Petawawa and Gagetown. It's the equivalent of the first month of army basic, stretched over three to accommodate work and school: I wouldn't say it's a particularly gruelling course, but I think we did succeed in giving these new part-time soldiers (some university students, some older men with careers and families) an idea what they would be in for if they stuck with it, and passed on a few basic military skills at the same time.

This year, we started with 15, and passed 10; the final test is a nice long rucksack march in from the training area, which this year happily coincided (at least, to my mind) with a driving rain-and-lightning storm; the picture is the survivors, with instructors alongside to the right, crossing the finish line. Those who chose to go on immediately to their next courses would have left Toronto by bus or plane this weekend. I'm packing up, too: just turning in the last of my paperwork, and handing this particular job off to someone else so I can go on to other things military; but before I do I did want to wish them, and all the other soldiers I've played some small part in training before them, the best of luck this summer, and in the future.

Posted by BruceR at 06:44 PM


I'm as skeptical as the next guy, but MoD denials about the Daily Mirror photos of British soldier abuse seem hard to take on their face.

The argument that the photos are fakes seem to be based on four things:
a) the combat uniforms did not have all the expected patches;
b) the soldier was wearing a floppy hat, rather than beret or helmet;
c) the rifle was the wrong make;
d) the corrogated truckbed on which the prisoner is lying is of the wrong make.

On a) and b), it's fair to say codes of dress go out the window for soldiers on deployment. They're not dispositive. (One source even said the soldier's boots were laced wrong... sorry, but that simply doesn't mean as much as it used to). On the last point, I'm not an expert in the corrogation patterns of truckbeds, but it's not like we're looking at the whole truck, here, where a difference would be obvious to all. And on the third, I'd understood the only easily visible difference between the SA80 and the SA80A2 the British used in Iraq was the new cocking handle (other than molding colour, different identification stampings, etc. that would not be visible in these photos) but I can't clearly make out the cocking handle in any of the photos seen. More if I find out more. The Mirror's anonymous soldiers are standing by the story, however.

Things that are somewhat more curious: lack of visible body armour on the soldier; lack of a weapon sling; the convenience of an Iraqi (in a Shiite area) wearing an Iraqi flag shirt. The rival London Sun's military experts, who have evidently seen photos I have not, also say a webbing pouch is open, and the pant cuffs are tucked in the boots, not bloused, but I haven't found photos that show that online. So, jury's still out on this one.

For people's interest, the SA80A2 was a series of modifications to the SA80's A1 model that was first seen in British army line units in December 2001. The refit program acquired a sense of urgency after the SA80 A1 proved unsatisfactory in Afghan conditions in late 2001-early 2002, and Iraq was the new model's first large-scale deployment.

UPDATE: From the Mirror's followup, May 4: "In a further move the MoD gagged Lieutenant Colonel John Downham, regimental secretary of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, who has led suggestions that the pictures might be faked... A senior Army source added: 'The colonel has been told to shut up. What he's been saying to a number of people isn't very helpful at all. He's been asked to stop immediately.'"

Posted by BruceR at 02:13 PM


No, you dope. I don't consider you an ineffective source of military analysis because you're "atmospherically optimistic." I consider you ineffective because you have difficulty with reading comprehension. To wit:

Quoting an Iraqi source that says:

It should be noted that although American forces have retreated from a number of sectors around al-Fallujah, they retain two positions confronting the city:
1. To the northeast where the agricultural zone beyond the railroad tracks begins
[the city's edge: ed.] , and
2. To the northwest, beyond al-Jawlan neighborhood. concluded...

The events described above seem describe [sic] a move by the USMC into the northeast of the [sic] Fallujah (the upper right corner of the 'Golan' box?).

In other words, you took an account that clearly stated the Marines were now collected outside the city on the northern side, and concluded that really meant they were still inside the city in force. Whether that is in fact the case or not, is beside the point. But the evidence cited doesn't support the analysis... clearly because optimism has intruded.

I have tried, as much as possible, to avoid predicting outcomes unless they were obvious...

The hallmark of useless blogger analysis, that. (Whereas this blog makes falsifiable predictions all the time, many of which have been proven spectacularly wrong. Just most of the readers are polite enough not to point them out, and no one seems to regard me as a last-word expert in anything. Rightly so, I might add.)

Posted by BruceR at 01:29 PM


Bush said his much-criticized speech from the deck of an aircraft carrier under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" had properly celebrated the achievement of "an important objective," the ouster of Saddam Hussein. "And as a result, there are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves in Iraq," he said.

--Newsday, Friday.

Quite obviously the Abu Ghraib torture chambers/rape rooms were still running only a few months ago. And there was yet another very sad photo in my Globe and Mail this morning of the Fallujah-stadium-turned-mass-grave. I submit it would be impossible for a national leader truly in touch with events as much as even a regular newsreader is, to say that sentence, on that day, in that context.

Posted by BruceR at 12:58 PM


This is some nice detective work on the Abu Ghraib affair.

UPDATE: Here's another fine example, helping unmask a faker. PS: Hey, Warbloggerwatch... you might want to change your latest post.

Posted by BruceR at 12:53 PM