There will be many more terrorist attacks in the months to come, and some of them probably will take place in the United States. Attacks in Europe are even more likely. Will any of them be on the scale of 9/11? Probably not. The train bombings in Madrid last 3/11 are a more plausible model.
Most Americans know none of this. The government doesn't want us to. And we're too busy, anyway, to dig in to the news. But there's an easy way to catch up. Rent--or buy--Control Room, the documentary about Al-Jazeera, the Arab news agency. See war footage you'll never find on American TV...to say nothing of interviews with Donald Rumsfeld that history will not be kind to.

Off to pray for the light. Back tomorrow with seasonal good cheer. I'm sure of it--it's just a matter of fitting on these blinders.

Thought for Today

Blessings are not just for the ones who kneel...luckily.
--"City of Blinding Lights," on U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

Rumsfeld and the Armor (One Last Time)

Loose Canon noted--via that monument to great reporting, the National Review--that the soldiers cheered Donald Rumseld after his like-it-or-lump-it response to the question about unarmored Humvees. I have googled myself blind, and I see no record of cheering--except for the soldier.

LC also recycles the dull Fox charge that the question is somehow damaged because a reporter allegedly helped frame it.

It now turns out he didn't:

After his convoy arrived at Camp Arijan in Kuwait, Wilson [the soldier] found hundreds of fully armored vehicles promised to another unit months down the road. Wilson says he asked if the 278th could use them in the meantime, and was told no. That inspired his question about the shortage of armor, which he showed to Pitts [the reporter].

The reporter, far from being the protagonist, suggested that he find "a less brash way of asking the question," but Wilson "told him no, that I wanted to make my point very clear."But say a reporter had helped the soldier? I don't recall LC criticizing the Bush campaign for trucking in loads of pre-interviewed Republicans primed with softball questions at the President's "town meetings" during the campaign.

The point: The soldier asked a serious question, and it merited a serious answer. Rumsfeld didn't provide it, which is why he's had to act human for a week and even announce he'll hand-sign letters to the families of dead soldiers. [But really, wouldn't it be more...honest for a machine to sign those form letters?]

As for Rumsfeld being blindsided by the question, nonsense. The care and feeding of the troops is his First Responsibility--he's supposed to be on top of this information. And it wasn't like he'd never heard the question before. He had--twice.

Here's one account, in some detail:

More than a year before Thomas Wilson asked his now famous question of Rummy, Brandon Sandrell asked him the same damn question. Only then, no cameras were around and Rummy wasn't going to be held accountable for his negligence or his false assurances. He told Sandrell the same thing he said this week, that "he was working on it." Had he not been embarrassed in front of the world, it's a good bet he would be "working on it" for years. He didn't care then, and there's little reason to believe he cares now accept to save himself and the administration some embarrassment.
The good news? Is there any? Sure. Just ask The White House. The President has just declared Rummy "a caring fellow." But then, Bush --a great judge of character who also loves Vladimir Putin--also said today, "I was disappointed that the nomination of Bernard Kerik did not go forward." Me too, Mr. President. And so are a lot of guys I know--we'd have loved to see Congress call for testimony from both Kerik's mistresses as well as his wife. I mean, how does a guy pull that off?

While We're at It

I noted last week that conservatives--who sure control a lot of media--are sore winners, like when they criticize Time and Newsweek--which they do not yet control--for running cover stories on Jesus written by "skeptics." And I asked: By that logic, should only Muslims write about Islam?