Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Random Thoughts

I haven't been able to blog in great depth lately (you get what you pay for!), but here are a few thoughts that I find interesting...

Most people have seen reports of Iraqi expats returning to fight, and many have suggested that this is proof that Iraqi nationalism runs deep, and that even though they hate or fear Saddam, they prefer him to us. Now, as one who was seriously ambivalent about this war, I am predisposed to agree with that analysis, but something nags at me. Many people who left Iraq went to surrounding countries to work, sending dinars back to the family. So, maybe, instead of seeing a scary invasion of infidels, they see an opportunity to get in on the ground floor when the new regime takes over; maybe a nice plot of land, some new farm equipment, electricity, etc. Now, I have no earthly idea if this is true or not, but it seems a reasonable hypothesis, and one that I haven't seen a single news organization or contrarian blogger address.

As most people know by know, SARS is spreading somewhat fast, and is know most likely thought to be a coronavirus, rather than a paramyxovirus. This is probably marginally bad news, but not much change in the situation (coronaviruses are, I think, usually a bit more contagious than paramyxovirus)

Just a quickie-in the time that a few thousand people (maybe?) have died in Iraq, including ~75 US and UK soldiers, how many people died of TB, Malaria, and gastrointestinal infections? (ballpark figure...~8 million per year/12 days =8000000= 263,000) Call it 250,000, and that doesn't include #'s 4-10 on the "infectious disease killer" scale.

I know it is hard to keep up with the news these days, but in between touching portrayals of soldiers far from home, generals and defense secretaries being, well, defensive, and preening reporters playing soldier, perhaps someone might notice the rest of the world? Like, say, Nigeria? Or, if you prefer, North Korea? I'm not saying the war coverage isn't important, but the rest of the world is going to shit too, and perhaps it ought to be paid attention to....