Sunday, September 26, 2004

UK accused of using aid to promote privatisation.
Aid agency report says programme has led to increased poverty, while bringing in huge sums for private-sector consultants. The Guardian
"There is a solid body of evidence which shows that privatisation of public services increases poverty in developing countries," said John Hilary, director of campaigns and policy at War on Want and the author of the report, Profiting from Poverty. [break]

-In Kyrgyzstan, Arthur Andersen acted as advisers and the electricity prices were increased to make the state company more attractive to potential foreign buyers. This led to more than half of the residents of the capital, Bishkek, being unable to pay their bills.

· In China, PricewaterhouseCoopers led a consortium of advisers to the Chengdu city government on its water supply service, the contract for which was eventually awarded to the French water giant Vivendi, and the Japanese Marubeni Corporation for $106.5m. PricewaterhouseCoopers then acted as adviser to Vivendi and Marubeni in their bid for a water treatment plant in Beijing.

· In Malaysia, PricewaterhouseCoopers advised the government on privatisation of the sewerage system, completed in 1993. After complaints over rising charges and falling services, the government took the system back into public ownership in 2001
E&P on Knight Ridder and Nancy Youssef. I linked to the story on Friday. [I'm lazy, just read] Via War and Piece.
Operations by U.S. and multinational forces and Iraqi police are killing twice as many Iraqis - most of them civilians - as attacks by insurgents, according to statistics compiled by the Iraqi Health Ministry and obtained exclusively by Knight Ridder.

According to the ministry, the interim Iraqi government recorded 3,487 Iraqi deaths in 15 of the country's 18 provinces from April 5 - when the ministry began compiling the data - until Sept. 19. Of those, 328 were women and children. Another 13,720 Iraqis were injured, the ministry said.

While most of the dead are believed to be civilians, the data include an unknown number of police and Iraqi national guardsmen. Many Iraqi deaths, especially of insurgents, are never reported, so the actual number of Iraqis killed in fighting could be significantly higher.

During the same period, 432 American soldiers were killed.

Iraqi officials said the statistics proved that U.S. airstrikes intended for insurgents also were killing large numbers of innocent civilians. Some say these casualties are undermining popular acceptance of the American-backed interim government.
And today, also through Laura Rozen: Joe Biden attacks Bush but defends Allawi. The democrats are trapped.

And more on Allawi from The Telegraph.
Allawi safety claims 'out of touch with reality' say Iraqis. The Independent:
25 September- Iraqis reacted with astonishment and derision yesterday to a claim made by the interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, before the US Congress that 14 or 15 out of Iraq's 18 provinces "are completely safe."

"The truth is exactly the reverse," said a lorry driver, Abu Akil, as he queued for diesel yesterday. "There are 15 provinces which are dangerous and only the three Kurdish provinces in the north are OK. This speech was designed to be heard Americans and not by Iraqis."

The lorry drivers, desperate to feed their families, take great risks but they admit that many roads are now too dangerous. "The speech was ridiculous," said Maithan Maki. "When Allawi became Prime Minister I was in favour of him but things have got worse and worse." Mr Allawi's visit to the US may be doing him lasting damage in Iraq, reinforcing the impression that he is a pawn and out of touch with real events. Iraqis were aware when the US appointed him interim Prime Minister that he had long been financed by the CIA and MI6, but were prepared to forgive this if he could restore security.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

"...since he doesn't take these reasons seriously, there's no reason for us to take what he writes very seriously"
Brad DeLong.

DeLong seems not to understand the difference between ideas and people. That shouldn't surprise me, but it does.

I've gone back to this post a few times, each time in shock. What fucking idiots. I've never heard of a man as well read as DeLong who's learned so little from it. Is he worse than Posner? There has never been a single human being outside of mythology or fiction who has succeeded in living his or her ideas as 'reasons' without 'causes'. To argue otherwise is a sign either of faith or of pathology. And I have no patience with either.
Written on assignment for publication. unpublished. [Reworked November 07]
Dalibor Vesely. Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production

"Impatience with the long haul of technical reflection is a form of shallowness, often thinly disguised by histrionic advocacy of depth."

Timothy Williamson, "Past the Linguistic Turn." In The Future of Philosophy, edited by Brian Leiter. Oxford, 2004.

The modern crisis in communication, between the rhetoric of scientific reason and poetry, is not a new topic. Between our commonsensical appreciation of the clarity of science and the desire of many partly out of jealousy to extend that clarity to their own fields, and the often colorful opposition of those who struggle to defend us and the world from the onslaught of instrumentalism, this argument has been going on for quite a while.

Dalibor Vesely makes the humanist argument against instrumentalism in architecture and in life; but for all his range, and he's widely read in subjects from ancient to modern, he's still a specialist, trapped by the limitations of his field. For all his references to the complex relationships among the various factors -people, ideologies and technologies- involved in the production of the great buildings of the past, for all his discussion of phenomenology and the necessity for us of experiencing and learning the world as a series of sensations in context -including references to NASA studies of human subjects in zero gravity environments and isolation tanks- Vesely is forced by his argument to return to the terminology of depth, and he does so in a way that if he were writing on another subject would offer his opponents a field day. I doubt any of his opponents are architects, but that doesn't really make a difference. In a more general sense his enemies are his most important audience.

Vesely reminds us, referring to Aristotle, that Architecture is a mimetic art. Buildings are where we're born, where we spend much of our lives with much of the rest spent traveling between them, and most often where we die. What architect tries to make buildings without indulging the pleasures of construction? How many buildings are made without considering the landscape that surrounds them, and how many of us would argue they shouldn't be? It is true that there were ideologies in Modernism, and objects and structures made as little more than illustrations. It's also true that the Renaissance and Baroque had access to systems of metaphor that allowed both primary and secondary forms, both structures and details, to carry a literary weight. Buildings told stories in the past in ways they no longer do. But it's also interesting to observe that the communicative space Vesely describes in the Baroque exists now in movies. And what's come down to us as the post WWII ghetto of "design," of the changing fashions of the visual, has never been quite the same problem for literature: faddishness has always existed but rarely dominated. What Vesely does not say outright is that until recently design has never been considered a strictly intellectual act; but now it's the model for all intellectual activity, and faddishness has become the rule. Indeed it's the logical consequence of a forward-looking instrumentalist philosophy.

Vesely asks important questions: What form of knowledge can respond to science and its bastard children? What form of knowledge is held by a violinist or a bricklayer, a knowledge that can be attained only by practice? And how much has the architecture of the present forgotten this? How much of current building is made as a statement, without accommodating the possibility of a rebuttal?

The best argument against instrumentalism, the best argument that Vesely's opponents in economics and philosophy would understand is that if in our scientific age our justice system is based still on a battle of opposed parties, of the opposed instrumentalisms of defender and prosecutor, then argument itself and not science is the intellectual keystone of our society. One way or another we're stuck with the ambiguities of language and conversation. It only makes sense then that buildings should be designed not as simple statements, as one side or another of an argument, but as the place where such arguments are held. At the very least this is practical: if the logic of our government is that we should be divided amongst ourselves then the logic of buildings should reflect this choice. Of course that means that the architects should allow that they are, as human beings, as individuals and as members of society, divided within themselves. Instrumentalism denies this as well it could be said, in opposition to our chosen way of life.

Friday, September 24, 2004

I'm lazy
just read.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Via Michael Froomkin and Talk Left.
War crimes as policy: Alazawi says that American guards then made her stand with her face against the wall for 12 hours, from noon until midnight. Afterwards they returned her to her cell. "The cell had no ceiling. It was raining. At midnight they threw something at my sister's feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. I told my sister: 'Find out if he's still breathing.' She said: 'No. Nothing.' I started crying. The next day they took away his body.
Read the whole thing.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I caught a bit of Kerry's speech today. It's the first time I've liked him. Now that I've said that, I'm wondering if I've said it before. Still I was surprised. The presentation was good; the timing was on. The thing worked.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

"I will only answer reasonable questions."
"No, I am not scared, and neither should you be."
"Be assured: Baghdad is safe, protected."
"We are in control, they are not in control of anything, they don't even control themselves!"
"The battle is very fierce and God made us victorious."
"They mock me for how I speak. I speak better English than they do."
"I have detailed information about the situation...which completely proves that what they allege are illusions . . . They lie every day."
"I blame Al-Jazeera."
If Americans believe Republican critics of the administration more than they believe Democrats who make the same arguments, it's not the Republicans' problem, is it? Link.

Here's a link I found somewhere to a post at the Daily Howler. I couldn't even read it. It's like listening to some whiny white boy at a game of street ball who's complaining about being fouled all the time.
Stupid and counterproductive.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11...
August was a hellish month. The heat was incredible. No one remembers Baghdad ever being quite this hot- I think we broke a new record somewhere in mid-August.

The last few days, Baghdad has been echoing with explosions. We woke up to several loud blasts a few days ago. The sound has become all too common. It’s like the heat, the flies, the carcasses of buildings, the broken streets and the haphazard walls coming up out of nowhere all over the city… it has become a part of life. We were sleeping on the roof around three days ago, but I had stumbled back indoors at around 5 am when the electricity returned and was asleep under the cool air of an air-conditioner when the first explosions rang out.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

"Sundown is the start of Rosh Hashanah. I'm afraid, darlings, the time has come for me to go."

Her book is out and Belle says goodbye.
Update: In fact it's not out. The link is for advance orders.

Belle's writing is built on the tension between a light but sharp and empty style, the style of post-Thatcherite London, and the weight that comes with memory. The first is a facade, and she's loyal to it to a point (as she's loyal to the act of sex) but not beyond it; that's what makes the writing and the woman interesting. As I've said I wrote her a letter when I first began reading her, about a month after she started the blog, and she replied in kind. That is: my note was personal, but from a stranger, and her response was long but guarded. I responded to that with the note that pissed her off and ended communication.
She's the technocrat of her own ass; she's aware of the costs. I told I disagreed with her decisions, but my writing was informal, as if we were frinds. I had no right to use that tone.

In the last week I've gotten an email from an escort with a blog who want to exchange links, been told in another email that I would get along well with a well known young pundit (one who I've insulted more than once) because he "is much more starkly honest (if also unapologetic) about his own elitism than most liberals" [didn't the author understand my use of irony?], and been on a date with a woman who described her sense of decadence as "the idea of looking obscene to the have-nots. You know... Lobster in the midst of famine."

"You worry too much, relax. I have a professional interest in being neither repulsed nor impressed by people."
If Bush wins the the election he will have done so after alienating nearly all of the intellectual elite, left and right, but mainstream political figures will be either -still- standing by their man or on the sidelines wondering what happened. Liberals will say the failure is due to a lack of democracy, but the failure will be one that democracy alone could produce.

And I'm sorry but I have not patience for shit like this. Kerry's campaign sucks. The level of political cowardice, of passivity, is mind-bending.
I just wish that Dems could put on their game faces and try to sell the guy a little bit instead of constantly writing his epitaph. He's really a good man, you know. He's spent his life in public service, trying to do the right thing, working hard and carrying our agenda. He's our most liberal nominee in decades. He's smart and energetic and he's never been tainted by corruption or scandal. Is it so hard for Democrats to get behind a man like this or are we just as shallow as everybody else? Would we too be happier with a brand name in a suit?
So now supporters of middling Democrats are reduced to claiming the moral high ground that was once the domain of earnest reformers and left-wing fatalists.

I'm as fond of Clinton hagiography as anyone on the planet...

My god, I don't know what to say.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The links are to Atrios and Laura Rozen, but both articles are in The Post:

The comments by Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, made shortly after he relinquished command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Sunday, amounted to a stinging broadside against top U.S. military and civilian leaders who ordered the Fallujah invasion and withdrawal. His statements also provided the most detailed explanation -- and justification -- of Marine actions in Fallujah this spring, which have been widely criticized for increasing insurgent activity in the city and turning it into a "no-go" zone for U.S. troops.
...He would not say where the order to attack originated, only that he received an order from his superior at the time, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the overall commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. Some senior U.S. officials in Iraq have said the command originated in the White House.

A U.S. military helicopter fired into a crowd of civilians in the capital who had surrounded a burning Army armored vehicle, killing 13 people . . . Among those killed was a Palestinian journalist reporting from the scene for the Arab satellite network al-Arabiya.
The U.S. military said it was trying to scatter looters who were attempting to make off with ammunition and pieces of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which had been hit by a car bomb early in the morning on Haifa Street, a troublesome north-south artery west of the Tigris River.
But witnesses, including a Reuters cameraman who was filming the al-Arabiya journalist when he was shot, disputed that account and said the crowd was peaceful, Reuters reported.
SUNRISE (1927)
at sunset.
Juan Cole
Laura Rozen
Israel:"Civil war within weeks?"
Hersh was on NBC with Woodward this morning. Never mind what everyone will be talking about, he actually mocked Kerry for his confused response.
I was glad to see someone who will obviously be voting the Democratioc ticket be so direct. Intelligent people should be attacking Kerry, questioning him, but giving him the opportunity to respond. He obviously is not up to making any decisions on his own. Four more years of Bush will destroy the Republican party, but it's not worth it.
Kerry has to grow up, and do it now.
WASHINGTON- President Bush (news - web sites) has a slight lead over Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) in an Associated Press poll, but the president has a big advantage on protecting the country — the issue voters say they care about most.
"If we don't take care of the terrorists, we certainly won't have to worry about the economy," said Janet Cross, 57, of Portsmouth, Ohio, who switched from Democrat to Republican for the last election.

Seven weeks before Election Day, Bush is considered significantly more decisive, strong and likable than Kerry, and he has strengthened his position on virtually every issue important to voters, from the war in Iraq (news - web sites) and creating jobs — two sources of criticism — to matters of national security and values.

Since the Democratic National Convention ended in late July, the president has erased any gains Kerry had achieved while reshaping the political landscape in his favor: Nearly two-thirds of voters think protecting the country is more important than creating jobs, and Bush is favored over Kerry by a whopping 23 percentage points on who would keep the United States safe.
Kerim Friedman finds himself agreeing with The New Republic:
any day in which Bush's National Guard service is the dominant news story is a lost day for the Kerry campaign, since it's a day Kerry can't talk about the things that can improve his chances of winning, like Bush's attrocious record in office.
He adds: "Don't let the Republicans define the agenda - even if it seems like it will look bad for Bush. It's controlling the news cycle that matters, not the specifics of stories that happened thirty years ago."
Wonkette: With a catch phrase like "W stands for wrong," is it any wonder that the political debate of the day is about kerning?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A busy week sheetrocking a ceiling; and a weekend reading.

At CT, in the context of Sudan, a remembrance and a debate over Rwanda; and today, a defense of scholasticism.
I'll leave it to you to fill in the gaps.
The first post is one that Atrios, as a defender of Clinton, should read.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

American Fascism
Krugman says what a few -other than Bill Clinton- have been saying:
To win, the Kerry campaign has to convince a significant number of voters that the self-proclaimed "war president" isn't an effective war leader - he only plays one on TV.
He makes the parallel between the US and Argentina in 1982:
Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, the leader of the country's military junta, cynically launched that war to distract the public from the failure of his economic policies. It worked: "The junta, which had been on the verge of collapse" just before the war, "instantly became the saviors of the country."
He could have referred to Putin's behavior this week as well:
George W. Bush isn't General Galtieri: America really was attacked on 9/11.
Russia was attacked again last week, and Putin's response has been simply, resoundingly, Fascist.
There the police found a full-sized cinema screen, projection equipment, and tapes of a wide variety of films, including 1950s film noir classics and more recent thrillers. None of the films were banned or even offensive, the spokesman said.

A smaller cave next door had been turned into an informal restaurant and bar. "There were bottles of whisky and other spirits behind a bar, tables and chairs, a pressure-cooker for making couscous," the spokesman said.

"The whole thing ran off a professionally installed electricity system and there were at least three phone lines down there."

Three days later, when the police returned accompanied by experts from the French electricity board to see where the power was coming from, the phone and electricity lines had been cut and a note was lying in the middle of the floor: "Do not," it said, "try to find us."

The Guardian

Monday, September 06, 2004

A comment at Crooked Timber that's so long it should be a post. And I don't even try to piss anyone off.
In the middle of the book. It's strange to have homework for the first time in 20 years. It's supposed to be a simple review -It's for a trade paper not a scholarly publication- but it's a major book, and I'm not going to skim it. I'll make one comment for now, and that is that if we still have the kind of collective socially communicative space that Vesely is describing, he is right to say that it's no longer in architecture. Architecture no longer describes the world as much as it describes our sense of aesthetics. But literature still embodies the richness that design (the word itself connotes an emptiness) has always lacked. And from literature and painting we have the bastard child: film.
Film is our architecture of thought and meaning.
Sam Rosenfeld was right on Friday. It's the economy and Iraq, Stupid.
The Dems should not back off on anything. If they run away from the war, they'll seem like cowards; and there's no damn need for that to happen. Bush is running on hot air and nothing else.

And no, I won't be sending Clinton any get well cards. There are plenty of assholes I respect, but he's not one of them.
Laura Rozen
Juan Cole

Sunday, September 05, 2004

What was in the 27 pages of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry suppressed by the White House?
It is eternal art

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Evening news:
C.T. on Putin

An image of the presentation of death. Again, imagine yourself as the photographer; imagine your mind at work. Is she oblivious, or has she given permission? And if she has, can you imagine yourself asking her the question she's been asked?

Her hand on the child's face and another on her throat:
Das es ist ewige kunst

The mother is brave. The man with the camera is a coward.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Some posts, the ones I really enjoy writing, seem to take on lives of their own.
A few hours later I find myself laughing at them again, for different reasons.
Charles Pierce:
...the mushy word-salad in which phrases literally have no meaning, the incensed clouds of cheesy piety, the promiscuous mind-reading (when my grandfather got to Ellis Island in '18, he didn't think, "Things are going to be better now"; He thought, "Get me off this friggin' boat, look at my teeth, and let me go be a cop") and the mournfully countenanced turning of the shiv. Peggy Noonan is who Leni Riefenstahl would have been had Hallmark had a Munich office.

It really was that mindbendingly awful.

Meanwhile, Pataki seems to have learned his performance skills from Peter Cushing in those old Dracula movies.

More importantly, this is interesting: not what it says, but where it's said.
Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night brought the nation a collection of facts that told only part of the story, hardly unusual for this most political of occasions.

He took some license in telling Americans that Democratic opponent John Kerry "is running on a platform of increasing taxes."

Kerry would, in fact, raise taxes on the richest 2 percent of Americans as part of a plan to keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone else and even cut some of them more. That's not exactly a tax-increase platform.

And on education, Bush voiced an inherent contradiction, dating back to his 2000 campaign, in stating his stout support for local control of education, yet promising to toughen federal standards that override local decision-making. ...

Link from Tapped

Read Laura Rozen. There are two tracks to follow and this one may be more important.
At the Tank last night for the festivities. The last time I spent that much time watching politics on the tube—also the last time I did so in public—was election night '92, when as I mention occasionally, I ended up talking to Pierre Trudeau.

Last night I met a few bloggers, something I hadn't done before, and probably won't do very often in the future; but in what I suppose is an amusing parallel to past experience, this time around I met Atrios. I didn't introduce myself, and didn't say much; I thanked his wife for the slice of pizza, and as I was sitting back down, mentioned to him that he was the only political figure in mainstream American politics that I paid much attention to other than out of necessity. I was smiling of course, but I wasn't joking. Then I mentioned my background in Philadelphia and my parents' connection to the activist scene there, on the campuses in the 60's, and their connections with Ed Herman. That took an additional 10 seconds. I mentioned this on the assumption that he had a more long term association with the area, and with Bryn Mawr, than turns out to be true.

[Although I only learned it last night, the secret's been out for a month. After reading the link, click here and scroll down for a bio.]

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice
Actually, you were more accurate in your blog post (the more recent one, not the one where you called me an idiot); my acknowledgement that the AU is the key to a solution comes much more from a practical and pragmatic reading of what's politically possible right now than it does from either a) any real confidence that engagement by the AU is going to be adequate to the task or b) any real concern that Western imperial powers are chomping at the bit to intervene in Darfur. I can only WISH that were the case.

There's no contradiction between my posts. My problem with Hallward's piece has nothing to do with his advocacy of an AU solution, nor with his accurate account of the historical origins of the crisis that he gives in the first four paragraphs. It's with his ridiculous presumption that the U.S. is somehow anxious to intervene in the crisis:

"But Bush's opportunity to adopt an election-season cause that can appeal, simultaneously, to fundamentalist Christians, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, multilateralist liberals and the altruistic "left" may now be too tempting to pass up."

This isn't exactly crackerjack political analysis of the domestic American scene. Bush isn't going to put a single U.S. troop on Sudanese soil, and he's not going to suffer for it in this election one bit. American NON-involvement and disinterest in African affairs is the rule rather than the exception, and when it comes to large-scale ethnic cleansing and atrocity I tend to think that's a bad thing, not a good one.

Sam Rosenfeld
The American Prospect


No problem with the delay, I don't expect responses, especially from Tapped.

You're right, I was sloppy. It's absurd to think Bush wants to do anything for Darfur.
The paragraph you quote is delusional. But I skipped right over it in favor of what interested me (always a mistake).
Let me pick and choose, more carefully this time:

"Most importantly, we should learn to approach conflicts like the wars in Sudan in terms of actors and principle rather than victims and confusion. Where they exist, we should lend direct political support to movements working for justice and equality."

The right may be in favor of tough love -or no love at all- but liberals often prefer a short memory, superiority and pity. I read Hallward's argument as a criticism of that, from the left, And I agree with him.

It's not only that it is now practical to push for an AU response; it should be as much a principle as the preference for UN as opposed to American leadership. Practically, Bush's war policies have given support to Putin in Chechnya, as many were worried that they would do for India. Europe has to deal with a large Islamic population that is already distrustful. Neither the US nor Europe can lead on this issue without appearing to be self-interested, and it makes no sense to argue otherwise. Bush has no interest in Darfur and liberals should understand that by his actions in Iraq [and Afghanistan] he has made it impossible for us even to try. At the same time they should understand the problematic nature of such leadership even under the best circumstances.

Thanks for the response. I'm often rude, and I'm rarely in the mood to apologize.
That being the case, I should be more careful.

S.R. replies that we are "in general agreement."
Still I don't think I'll be getting the call from The Prospect anytime soon.

This will explain things.
I'm hearing various responses to the convention, to last night and tonight: Schwarzenegger lied about Humphrey, or the debates; Cheney lied; Miller lied and is nuts. That all may be beside the point.
good night

10:00 AM Update: I'm listening to David Gergen on NPR (WNYC). Gergen is not happy; his voice is shaky.

"Zell Miller began his career working for Lester Maddox. And he's ending it imitating him."

Very good. Better than good. But the host's "neutrality" is infuriating.
Last night talking to John Stewart, Ted Koppel referred to the difference between facts and truth by offering a hypothetical: The Presdent's accusation that Ted Koppel is a pedophile.
"Is the accusation true?"
"Is it!?" [Stewart mugging for the camera]
"Well, no. [Stewart leans over, put's his face up to the lens, and smiles] But it's also a fact that the President made the accusation"
Koppel as much as admitted that the Swift Boat accusations were lies -he refused to contest Stewart's statement that they were- but refused to say that it is his responsibility as a journalist to say so.

So today it's Gergen, the poltical operator, who's in the position of making not only practical but moral distinctions between the candidates. Gergen is worried for the future of the country. Brian Lehrer is worried about being fair. The only honesty left is the honesty of cynics.

In a democracy, passivity is corruption.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Arnold's Nazi Problem

Arnold's more Hollywood than anything else; and it won't stick, regardless. As Ed Koch said about Jesse Helms:
"He may hate Jews but he loves Israel"
The DeLay piece was down for a while. All I saw was th MSNBC frame with "by by" in the text box. Interesting. Now it's back but I passed it on the first time without reading closely, so I don't know what's changed.
Israel killed 436 Palestinians in past 'quiet' six months.

Anyone following the mainstream media couldn't miss the news today. CNN reported that two suicide bombers set off almost simultaneous blasts on buses in Beer Sheva, killing 16 people in addition to themselves. At least 93 people were wounded. Usually, such attacks are followed with a wide range of condemnations.

Ariel Sharon said: Israel will continue fighting terror with all its might." The U.S. State Department, as well as the European Union, through its foreign policy chief Javier Solana, and the United Nations, through Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in addition to Andrey Denisov, the current president of the Security Council condemned the bombings.

Most news reports stated that Palestinian groups had not carried out a major attack inside Israel since March 14, when 11 Israelis were killed in the port of Ashdod. Only a few referred to the Israeli assassinations of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and his successor Abdel Aziz Rantisi afterwards. None, however, referred to the number of Palestinians, mostly civilians, killed in the months between. None referred to Israel's military assault on Rafah in May 2004, when Israeli forces killed 44 Palestinians, including 18 children, and destroyed 400 homes, and Beit Hanoun from June to August.

While mainstream media tend to portray suicide bombings as a return to violence after a relatively peaceful period, there have been numerous killings in the weeks leading up to suicide bombings that underscore the lack of evenhanded attention given to loss of life in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to statistics from the Red Crescent at least 436 Palestinians have been killed since March 14 to August 31. This month alone, Israeli forces killed 43 Palestinians and injured 285. In May Israeli forces killed 128 Palestinians and wounded 545. In March Israeli forces killed 92 Palestinians, of which 44 Palestinians were killed in the first part of that month.
"My friends, there is no Palestinian-Israeli conflict. There is only the global war on terrorism."
Talk about the protests or the twins all you want, the more important developments are here.