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Crisis, Clarity, and the Faces of the Dead
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BENJAMIN PARKER: Crisis and Clarity.
THERE ARE TIMES in politics and diplomacy when hedging and vagueness are appropriate, even wise. This is not one of those times. This is not a moment for factual ambiguity or moral equivocation. And so, a plea to politicians, journalists, and anyone else trying to explain what just happened, is happening, and will happen in Gaza and Israel: Precision and clarity are paramount.
Surprises such as Hamas’s attack on Israel on Saturday are, by definition, full of uncertainty. Mass violence of any kind is disorienting. Carl von Clausewitz could have been describing social media from this past weekend when he wrote: “Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain. What one can reasonably ask of an officer”—he might have said ‘anyone’—“is that he should possess a standard of judgment.” The risk of misstatements, intentional or unintentional, is that, as George Orwell observed, “the English language . . . becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”
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CATHY YOUNG: Seeking the Faces of the Dead.
AS THE WORLD REELS from the enormity of Saturday’s terrorist attacks on Israel, and takes in the realization that Israel’s war with Hamas and other terror groups may not end quickly, stories about many of the victims of the horror are coming to light. So far, some 900 people have been killed on the Israeli side, most of them civilians and at least 11 of them U.S. citizens; more than 2,150 people have been wounded.
Behind these numbers there are faces and stories, and it’s important not to lose sight of them.
So far, little is known about the vast majority of these victims. In most cases, even the ones who have been identified have been described only by name, age, and in some cases occupation (mostly for police, soldiers or border guards, and first responders). The task of bringing those names to life is complicated by the fact that in many cases, it’s still difficult to sort the dead from the missing, the abducted, those held hostage.
Non-stop Hockey Love… The 2023 NHL season is here, so if you’re a fan, enjoy this old commercial from the late, great Mitch Hedberg about the late Atlanta Thrashers.
Al Michaels… Has never eaten a vegetable, apparently.
The Phillies went for the throat… And missed. (I still think the WS is Orioles / Phillies, an I-95 repeat of 1983.)
Conservatism or populism? Republicans have to choose, writes Lynn Schmidt in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (I’d argue most have already chosen and the ones who haven’t are pretty much useless, sitting on the fence.)
‘We’re Going to Die Here’… A firsthand account of tragedy and heroism from the slaughter that left more than 900 Israelis dead.
“Nobody, nobody, nobody can stop me….” Noam Tibon, formerly of the the IDF, tells Lester Holt about his bravery on 10/7.
Another Concept Implodes… Israel Can’t Be Managed by a Criminal Defendant.
Romney McDaniel, call your office… Some Georgia prosecutors would like to speak with you!
A tantalizing detail… in a new Trump legal filing.
The DeSantis admin lied… About COVID data, and now they have to pay legal fees, after a settlement. Shocking nobody.
The PodiumGate scandal grows…. In Arkansas. Will Sarah Sanders pay a price?
Remember when Nancy Mace “lost her nerve?”… Here is her latest childish stunt. What is this, Easy A? The irony is that Mace has gone along with so many things, knowing they’re wrong and telling her staff so in elevators in front of reporters. Resign and become Cable Jason Chaffetz 2.0 already. Former Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble observes: “Every click of a camera just changes her incentives. It’s embarrassing how immature this is.”
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