U.N. officials and nongovernmental groups said they have protested the military's use of civilian cover to the highest levels of the Pentagon. Some aid organizations flatly refuse to work with soldiers, saying that the military's aid efforts undermine the principle of neutrality that allowed aid groups to keep working in Afghanistan even during the toughest years under the Taliban government.
So they were willing to work with the Taliban, but not our boys in (or out of) uniform. And how exactly were the NGOs helping the Afghans as a whole by propping up the evil, murderous regime of the Taliban?
They weren't? Right answer. Our military took them down (with help from the Northern Alliance) and now we are trying to do something nice. I think the NGOs are protesting a bit too much. Maybe they are worried that they will not get to play with as much money if the Army is there? Competitors, perhaps? There have been plenty of stories of late about competition in the NGO world. This appears to be much of the same.
I'd further take a look at one of the other ridiculous aspects of the situation.
Then there is the case of the 100 wells.
The deputy minister of rural rehabilitation and development, Mohammed Nain Nazari told Kratzer that the military should help dig one million wells to cope with the effects of the drought. Kratzer agreed to dig 100.
"Of course it's not enough, especially in these years of drought," Nazari said. "It's not enough, even for a small area."
Hello? One million wells? If there's a drought on, you'd expect 100 wells would be hard to get, but one million? According to the CIA factbook, that would be one well for every 26 Afghans.
Also, no word on how many wells the NGOs have agreed to build. I suspect the number is south of 100.
And in the "ingratitude" department.
"By the time Kratzer came calling, Nazari said he had already met with 70 or so westerners who wanted to help- UN officials, foreign diplomats and aid groups. "The americans came near the end," Nazari said.
Ah, the true mark of the bureaucrat. Meetings mean progress. No word of where Nazari would be if those americans hadn't blasted the Taleban out of power.
Washington political observer Marc Beauchamp is spending his spring break in Beaufort, S.C.
"Yesterday, I took a horse-drawn carriage through the charming historic neighborhood that moviegoers will recognize from 'The Big Chill,' 'The Great Santini' and 'Prince of Tides,'" he writes. "During the filming of the latter, Barbra Streisand apparently didn't endear herself to the locals.
"She rented one of the historic homes and promptly erected a 10-foot-high black fence, to deter the curious. Then, according to my carriage driver, around (6 a.m.) one morning she was awakened by the sounds of jets flying overhead from the nearby Marine air station (this being during the Gulf War).
"According to my guide ... Streisand then complained by phone to the local commanding officer and told him she didn't want it to happen again. He reportedly responded, 'I'll see what I can do about it.' The next morning the jets roared over at 5 a.m."
"But Speedy boosters shouldn't expect to see their furry hero anytime soon, at least in the United States, Goldberg said. But there is a place where Speedy can still be found zipping across TV screens — and, presumably, where the crude stereotypes he embodies don't touch a cultural nerve.
That place: The Cartoon Network Latin America, where, ironically enough, Speedy Gonzales is "hugely popular," Goldberg said.
Well duh. Speedy is a hero. He beats the bad guy, outsmarting them instead of outmuscling them. I think the Cartoon Network would be better off banning Elmer Fudd, who is clearly a slur against white males. What about Yosamite Sam? While we're at it, George lucas should apoligize for consistently portraying white english males as villians in his Star Wars movies. I smell a class action lawsuit coming on.....
Consider fossil fuel consumption and its resulting pollution. The Cato Institute recently reported that since the first Earth Day, in 1970, "energy consumption has risen 41 percent, most of it from fossil fuels. But during that same period sulfur-dioxide emissions . . . have dropped by 39 percent . .; volatile organic compounds . . . by 42 percent; carbon monoxide emissions . . . have dropped by 28 percent; and large particulate-matter emissions . . . by 75 percent." Not much of an environmental crisis in these data.
And if the environmental alarmists are right, how come we're not running out of food, minerals or oil? Leading environmental groups preach that the globe's natural resources are being so depleted that the human race's very existence will soon become impossible, both economically and environmentally. The truth is just the opposite. Bjorn Lomborg's seminal book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," details the facts: Since 1960 world grain production has increased to 680 pounds per capita from 560, and grain prices have fallen. Per capita daily calorie intake in the developing world has grown to nearly 2,700 from 1,900, and we work fewer hours to buy the food we eat. Poverty is declining and life expectancy is increasing. Proven global oil reserves have increased by a factor of 20. Production of copper, to take one nonenergy resource, has increased to over 12 million tons in 2000 from two million tons in 1950. Not much to worry about here either.
As for global warming, several things are agreed: The temperature on the surface of the earth rose in the 20th century, and man burned more fossil fuels during that time. And that's about it, for it is not at all clear that the two are linked. Most of the warming occurred early in the century, before the surge in man-made gasses, and as Canada's Fraser Institute's 2001 study concluded, "There is no clear evidence of the effect of CO2 on global climate, either in surface temperature records of the past 100 years, or . . . balloon radio-sondes over the last 40 years, or [from] satellite experiments over the last 20 years." In fact, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies now reports that global warming has slowed so much that temperature increases predicted for 2050 won't happen until 2100.
And the population explosion? Well, the threat is not of escalating birthrates but that in many countries--Italy, Russia and Germany, to name a few--they have fallen so far below the replacement rate that there soon won't be enough workers to support their economies and welfare programs. The U.N. reports that as of 2000, "44 percent of the world's population now lives in countries where the birth rate was below the death rate." It is below the replacement rate in others, so within a few decades the world's population will be in decline. In any case, the entire population of the world could fit in Texas, with each person enjoying 1,200 square feet of individual space.
Malthus: Got It Wrong.
Marx:Got It Wrong.
Y2K: Didn't happen.
Global Cooling (circa 1970s) considered an obvious fact
Are we sensing a theme yet?
There's always an apocalypse theory. As one falls because it cannot even be pretended to be supported by fact, a new one rises to take its place. I wonder what will be the next one after Global Warming?