People, get ready

by Ted on September 22, 2003

As Terry at Nitpicker reveals, Robert Novak and Matt Drudge are stepping up to the plate to smear Wesley Clark on factually untrue grounds. This is really awful.

Here’s Novak:

Clark was a three-star lieutenant general who directed strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On Aug. 26, 1994, in the northern Bosnian city of Banja Luka, he met and exchanged gifts with the notorious Bosnian Serb commander and indicted war criminal, Gen. Ratko Mladic. The meeting took place against the State Department’s wishes, and may have contributed to Clark’s failure to be promoted until political pressure intervened. The shocking photo of Mladic and Clark wearing each other’s military caps was distributed throughout Europe.

Matt Drudge has this photo front and center at his page right now, with the caption “GENERAL CLARK WORE BOSNIAN WAR CRIMINAL’S MILITARY CAP”.

How could Wesley Clark smile for a photo and exchange gifts with an indicted war criminal? Well, he didn’t. Here’s the chronology:

Aug. 26, 1994: Clark and Mladic meet, and the photo (sorry, the “shocking” photo) is taken.

July 6- July 21, 1995: Bosnian Serbs under the command of Mladic begin their assault on the safe area of Srebrenica, killing or expelling 15,000 Bosnian Muslims. Many surrender, after being falsely promised prisoner of war status, and are slaughtered in mass graves.

November 14, 1995: For the Srebrenica massacre, Mladic is indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Novak is seriously distorting the facts to make his claim. To say that Clark took this photo and exchanged gifts with an indicted war criminal is just not true. It’s like blasting the producers of the “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” Nintendo game for using a convicted rapist as their spokesperson. When they made the game, he wasn’t a convicted rapist.

Then there’s this, from Novak’s column:

Clark attributed one comment to a Middle East “think tank” in Canada, although there appears to be no such organization.

Novak is wrong. A quick Google search reveals the appearance of such organizations, such as the B’Nai Brith Canada Institute for International Affairs, the Inter-University Consortium for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, the Canadian-Arab Federation, the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, and the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

This is a shameful column, and it’s only going to get worse. I know this is an old point, but it’s worth making again: Al Gore is not the President because no one fought hard enough against garbage like this. No one else is going to do it but us.

Robert Novak’s email is: novakevans@aol.com

Matt Drudge’s email is: drudge@drudgereport.com

The letter to the editor at the Sun-Times address is: letters@suntimes.com

New Scholar-blogger

by Henry on September 22, 2003

Anyone who’s at all interested in the relationship between law and the Internet has heard of Michael Froomkin; he’s done seminal work on “ICANN”:http://www.discourse.net/archives/2003/09/rose_burawoy_political_scientist.html and “privacy regulation”:http://personal.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/privacy-deathof.pdf. He’s also run “ICANNWatch”:http://www.icannwatch.org for the last few years. And now he’s started a blog at “www.discourse.net”:http://www.discourse.net/. Early posts include “one”:http://www.discourse.net/archives/2003/09/virtual_worlds_real_rules.html on law in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games and a wonderful “discursus”:http://www.discourse.net/archives/2003/09/rose_burawoy_political_scientist.html on his grandmother and John Ashcroft. One for your blogrolls.

Inequality, sufficiency and health

by Chris Bertram on September 22, 2003

I’ve been working for a while on a paper that argues for a “sufficientarian” criterion for the problem of global justice. Sufficientarianism (horrible word) is the notion that what matters, normatively speaking, is not the the pattern of distribution of whatever currency we think is important (welfare, resources, capabilities, whatever…) but that everyone gets beyond a certain threshold. Not that inequality of income, say, ceases to be important because once we focus on the dimension in which we want people to achieve sufficiency it often turns out that distributive patterns impact on their ability to meet the relevant threshold.

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