Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our collateral damage allowance is zero

Chavez gave another of those speeches which every broadcaster was required to transmit, in which he offered a little media criticism to the last remaining opposition network, or as he called them, “enemies of the homeland”: “I recommend they take a tranquiliser, that they slow down, because if not, I’m going to slow them down.” Globovision covered the protests against the closing of RCTV or, as Chavez is calling them, “this new fascist attack.” In its first day, the state-run TVES which replaced RCTV evidently aired an anti-capitalist Pinocchio cartoon. The mind boggles.

Saw a bit of TVES on YouTube, though not the Pinocchio bit. Those Venezuelans do love to roll their R’s, don’t they?

Brig. Gen. Bill Hyatt, the highest US Air Force officer in Afghanistan, says that they really do try not to bomb too many civilians. “Our collateral damage allowance is zero.” He added, “If we’ve got bad guys but all of a sudden there’s a school next door and there are kids next door, we’re not going to bomb.” In my experience, schools don’t generally materialize all of a sudden next door. Possibly it’s an Afghan thing.

Also in Afghanistan, our Military Name of the Week, a Dutch NATO commander: Major General Ton van Loon. Oh, I’m sure his is a distinguished, even hallowed name in the Netherlands, but outside of it... well, just see if this sounds authoritative to you: “‘If you don’t have a comprehensive approach in Afghanistan, you will not make progress,’ van Loon said.”

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