October 22nd, 2005


A voice from Cancun.

Apparently, there is surprisingly still someone in Cancun with internet access, even if everyone on LJ appears to be down. This person is in one of the safer buildings in Cancun, and is posting details and a few pictures.

Wilma has gone down in strength somewhat, but it's only moving 4 MPH right now and is causing extensive flooding and damage. As the local radar is down, the best track for the location of the storm is probably this one, which shows the hurricane wobbling and basically stalled, but with the possibility of moving sharply offshore to the NE in the next few hours, albeit at no great speed.

It seems to want to bounce away from the coast, but maybe it's a bit like steering a freight train.

Poll indicates increased Iraqi support for attacks against Coalition.

The Sunday Telegraph released details from a secret poll taken by British Ministry of Defense , which apparently indicates that 45% of Iraqis support attacks on Coalition troops, and 82% of those polled were strongly opposed to the presence of the troops. That's up from a similar poll the BBC commissioned in June 2004, in which 31% of Iraqis supported attacks on coalition forces.

This represents a 45% increase in the number of Iraqis who favor attacks against coalition troops since the poll of June 2004, and a significant spread of support for armed opposition outside of Sunni regions, into the Shi'ite-controlled south. Fortunately, the great majority of these Iraqis are clearly not taking up arms against coalition troops. Rather, it seems to indicate that there is an increased risk that if democratic self-rule doesn't allow the Iraqi people to bring about a withdrawl of Coalition forces from Iraq, that organized attacks against them might become more widespread.

The Telegraph also released details on a gruesome September 20th attack on KBR contractors in Ad Duluiyah, the details of which sound very similar to what happenned to contractors in Fallujah.

They cited a quote from a U.S. Lt. Col., who said:
"Before only two out of 10 (IED attacks) used to be effective. Now four or five have a catastrophic effect, blowing away a vehicle or causing casualties."

It would be interesting to know what factors are playing into the increased lethality of these attacks. Hopefully, they're ones which are primarily isolated to this particular region, and do not reflect a growing level of competence and organization amongst the insurgency.

I *knew* there was a good reason that skank was in jail!

An email from New York Times' Executive Editor Bill Keller to his staff was leaked to the Washington Post, who has made it public! Give it a read... there's lots of fresh meat there.

It's essentially a letter of apology, in which the editor indicates that Judith Miller misled the paper about the extent of her involvement in the Plame affair, and that he would've been more cooperative with prosecutors if he had known the extent of her involvement with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Mr Keller also admitted that he backed off questioning the Times' prior WMD assertions when the Wilson report came out, because "it felt somehow unsavory" to question his predecessors in his job. "I was trying to get my arms around a huge new job, appoint my team, get the paper fully back to normal, and I feared the WMD issue could become a crippling distraction."

Yeah, well fuck you, Mr. Keller. What about your duty to inform the public? What about your duty to the truth?! It really makes the public confident in your ability to run the most important newspaper in America -- if not the world -- when you make decisions on which stories to investigate and which ones to bury based on office politics.

As for Judith Miller, she apparently got in bed with the Bush administration by buying in unquestionably to their unsubstantiated Chalabi-sponsored, Rove-approved FUD... and then stayed in bed with them and lied to federal prosecutors in order to support her undeserved reputation as a journalist.

Keller deserves a pink slip. Miller deserves to go back to prison a little while longer. Maybe she can share a cell with Libby. They could spend their days reminiscing fondly about their time in Aspen together.