Well it's still a couple of hours until the big debate, but why let that get in the way of expressing with certaintity how they turned out.
Via LGF, the Boston Globehad a story here on the outcome of the debates when I was still at work this afternoon but it's gone now. Actually, it was an AP report. C'mon, even I knew that the story would disappear, so I took screenshots and emailed to my home address. (Oh the blogger I'd be if I didn't have to work.)
The article itself is relatively benign and will probably hold up after the debates actually take place (provided nothing too crazy goes on). I'm taking a "no harm, no foul" stance on this one. It's embarassing for the Globe/AP, especially in the harsh light of the blogosphere's scrutiny. The Globe/AP should do better though. I mean I'm just as lazy as the next guy, but if you're reporting on "current events" you could at least wait until the events are well, current.
Being a hack, I'm always impressed with bloggers that have the time and talent to do original reporting. Bill at INDC Journal is best example of this. He nails a hat trick, interviewing CBS's Richard Schlesinger, a CBS spokeswoman, and the draft story's producer. Ultimately, they're going with the highly convincing CBS "fake but accurate" standard that was so successful during Rathergate.
INDC: "A lot of people have a problem with this issue though, because it's specifically something that's been used by the Kerry campaign as a recent talking point. Did this influence ..."
Schlesinger: "No, it was an issue because it was out there. There are issues that we choose to do stories on ... I specifically said in the story, 'both candidates have said they would not support a reinstatement of the draft.'"
INDC: "Probably the main concern with the story is that the e-mails that are shown in the piece are false; they've been debunked on various internet sites long ago ..."
Schlesinger: "The fact is, they were going around. I know several people that got them, and it’s gotten people all riled up. Whether or not there’s any reality to there being a draft, is almost besides the point. Do I think there’s going to be a draft? No. But it's an issue that people are talking about."
I would prefer a major news organization to actually report that debunked emails going around have been actually been debunked, not reported as fact and interviewing a woman who bought it hook, line, and sinker. But that's just me. If you haven't yet, take the 3 1/2 minutes and watch the report to draw your own conclusions.
And if Rathergate and this draft bullshit isn't enough for you--it certainly doesn't appear to be enough for CBS--here's a preview of the next CBS "fake but accurate" report.
As if CBS isn't in enough hot water already after running two stories in one month based on phony documents, MoveOn.org has started a lobbying campaign to get CBS to run yet a third false story (hat-tip Kerry Spot). This one, on the attempts by Iraq to get Yellowcake uranium in Africa, was bumped from its original broadcast slot by the Bush Texas Guard story.
There's much more at the link. Somebody please stop CBS.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq... All of a sudden you've got a battle you're fighting in a major built-up city, a lot of civilians are around, significant limitations on our ability to use our most effective technologies and techniques. Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq." - vice president Dick Cheney, 1992. If John Edwards doesn't use this in his debate, he's nuts.
If John Edwards listen's to Sullivan on this one he is nuts.
Sullivan's a little too excited about catching Cheney in a "gotcha." Surely, Sullivan hasn't forgotten the events that have transpired in the last 12 years and how much has changed since then. In a debate, Cheney can easily answer this charge. "Senator Edwards, that was 1992. Our military capabilities have improved since then, I believe our performance in Iraq and Afghanistan can attest to that. Once we removed Saddam, we temporarily accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq, a responsibility that is now in the hands of Iraqis. We have embarked on a difficult but necessary path because after September 11th, we could not allow Saddam to remain in power." Or something like that. I mean that's the whole point isn't it? That after 9/11 we could no longer tolerate Saddam and the other "bad actors" in the region.
Sullivan's received a lot of grief from the right side of the blogosphere (much of it I agree with), for losing faith in Bush and jumping to Team Kerry. It's unfortunate that Sullivan's not on board.
I would be a fool to predict what happens next. But it is clear that Bush will not do a Clinton. This will not be a surgical strike. It will not be a gesture. It may not even begin in earnest soon. But it will be deadly serious. It is clear that there is no way that the United States can achieve its goals without the cooperation of many other states - an alliance as deep and as broad as that which won the Gulf War. It is also clear that this cannot be done by airpower alone. As in 1941, the neglect of the military under Bill Clinton and the parsimony of its financing even under Bush must now not merely be ended but reversed. We may see the biggest defense build-up since the early 1980s - and not just in weaponry but in manpower. It is also quite clear that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East must be ramped up exponentially, its intelligence overhauled, its vigilance heightened exponentially. In some ways, Bush has already assembled the ideal team for such a task: Powell for the diplomatic dance, Rumsfeld for the deep reforms he will now have the opportunity to enact, Cheney as his most trusted aide in what has become to all intents and purposes a war cabinet.
Using the "soft power" Europeans and Democrats seem to prefer, the Yankee cowboy chimptler may be pulling off some serious changes in Syria.
BEIRUT - Syrian troops Wednesday wrapped up a limited pullout from neighbouring Lebanon, with about 3,000 soldiers returning home from their posts on the southern outskirts of Beirut, a Lebanese army officer said.
"The redeployment of the Syrian troops which began on September 21 has been completed," the officer said on condition of anonymity.
The pullout leaves about 15,000 Syrian troops on Lebanese soil, down from a peak of between 35,000 and 40,000 during the Lebanese civil war, but fails to meet UN demands for a complete withdrawal of all foreign troops.
Syria, already under US sanctions for allegedly supporting terrorism, has faced intense international pressure to end its political and military domination of Lebanon.
The unilateral Chimp-in-Chief even managed to get the French on board for this one.
France and the United States sponsored a UN Security Council resolution adopted on September 2 that called for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon and respect for its sovereignty.
We're also close to getting the Syrians seal their border with Iraq. Even the BBC seems impressed,
The US seems to have achieved its aim of moving on from political promises to specific practical measures Syria has agreed to take, the BBC's State Department correspondent Jill McGivering reports.
This follows directly from an apparent breakthrough last week at a meeting between Mr Powell and the Syrian foreign minister, our correspondent says.
Washington may feel it has some real leverage at the moment on Damascus, which currently appears particularly isolated, with new UN pressure over its presence in Lebanon, analysts say.
On my flight out of Miami on Sunday afternoon, the pilot made an announcement supplementing the regular safety procedures. He advised that there all coach passengers were to remain in coach and not to cross into first class and vice versa. He also advised against congregating in groups near the bathrooms. He said this was a "new policy." I wonder how many people on the flight knew what inspired these "new rules."
There's been some odd incidents the last few days on flights.
And perhaps most disturbingly, an axe attack (!) on the pilots of a small plane in Norway. The BBC reports that the police "don't really know anything about a motive." I'm sure they'll pursue all avenues of inquiry.
An Algerian-born man attacked two pilots and a passenger with an axe on a domestic Norwegian flight on Wednesday in an unexplained assault that police said could be linked to his asylum status.
The motive for the attack was not clear but police said it could be tied to the man's asylum status.
The attacker, who was born in 1970 and had been living at a northern Norwegian center for asylum seekers, was arrested at Bodoe airport. Police said authorities had rejected his application for asylum.
(Via Instapundit.) I spend much time reading various Iraqi blogs and Miliblogs of soldiers deployed "in the sandbox." Both genres have been vital to understanding (a little better) what's going on over there. This roundtable between some of each group is definitely worth the time.