The NYTimes on displaying disturbing video and/or pictures

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Dan Riehl has done some digging and points out what looks like a double standard from the New York Times on displaying disturbing video and/or pictures.

In this article, the NYT almost seems to be chiding news outlets and blogs who linked up to or broadcast/printed video and/or images from Saddam’s execution that included the moment of the actual hanging. As Dan notes, and as a simple Google search will show, the NYT hasn’t been shy in the past about advocating the showing of what some would call disturbing images in the name of ‘truth’ and ‘journalism’, but for some reason they don’t take the same view of the Hussein execution. Strange.

I chose not to link up to the video here not because I found it disturbing, but because I take no great thrill in the death penalty, even though I support it. I consider when it happens justice served, nothing to celebrate, but rather something to feel a sense of relief and justice from. If the NYT doesn’t want to show those final images, that’s their right, of course – I just wonder at what appears to be a double standard on their part, that’s all.

Related: See Bob Owens’ take on the broadcasting of the full video of Saddam’s execution.

Update: It was only a matter of time: Speaking of Saddam’s execution, check out this Associated Press piece that quotes a military nurse at length who recalls Saddam’s “softer” side. :-? (Hat tip: LGF)

From a father to his son

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Your eyes won’t be dry after reading this. It’s written by Dana Canedy, an editor at the New York Times who was the fiancé of First Sgt. Charles Monroe. Sgt. Monroe was killed in Iraq on October 14th, but he left behind some words to live by for his son, who at the time was not yet born. Canedy writes:

He drew pictures of himself with angel wings. He left a set of his dog tags on a nightstand in my Manhattan apartment. He bought a tiny blue sweat suit for our baby to wear home from the hospital.

Then he began to write what would become a 200-page journal for our son, in case he did not make it back from the desert in Iraq.

For months before my fiancé, First Sgt. Charles Monroe King, kissed my swollen stomach and said goodbye, he had been preparing for the beginning of the life we had created and for the end of his own.

He boarded a plane in December 2005 with two missions, really — to lead his young soldiers in combat and to prepare our boy for a life without him.

Dear son, Charles wrote on the last page of the journal, “I hope this book is somewhat helpful to you. Please forgive me for the poor handwriting and grammar. I tried to finish this book before I was deployed to Iraq. It has to be something special to you. I’ve been writing it in the states, Kuwait and Iraq.

The journal will have to speak for Charles now. He was killed Oct. 14 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his armored vehicle in Baghdad. Charles, 48, had been assigned to the Army’s First Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Tex. He was a month from completing his tour of duty.

For our son’s first Christmas, Charles had hoped to take him on a carriage ride through Central Park. Instead, Jordan, now 9 months old, and I snuggled under a blanket in a horse-drawn buggy. The driver seemed puzzled about why I was riding alone with a baby and crying on Christmas Day. I told him.

[…]

On paper, Charles revealed himself in a way he rarely did in person. He thought hard about what to say to a son who would have no memory of him. Even if Jordan will never hear the cadence of his father’s voice, he will know the wisdom of his words.

Never be ashamed to cry. No man is too good to get on his knee and humble himself to God. Follow your heart and look for the strength of a woman.

Charles tried to anticipate questions in the years to come. Favorite team? I am a diehard Cleveland Browns fan. Favorite meal? Chicken, fried or baked, candied yams, collard greens and cornbread. Childhood chores? Shoveling snow and cutting grass. First kiss? Eighth grade.

In neat block letters, he wrote about faith and failure, heartache and hope. He offered tips on how to behave on a date and where to hide money on vacation. Rainy days have their pleasures, he noted: Every now and then you get lucky and catch a rainbow.

Please read it all, and remember our military and their family members tonight and every night in your thoughts and prayers.

Hat tip: Jeanette at Hang Right Politics

Islamic terrorists flee ‘last remaining stronghold’ in Somalia

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Good news from Mogadishu:

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Fighters belonging to a militant Islamist movement fled into a rugged, forested corner of Somalia from rapidly advancing government forces Monday, and the prime minister offered amnesty if they surrendered.

Regional diplomats worked to arrange the speedy deployment of African peacekeepers to help the interim government establish its authority in the country, which has known only anarchy for 15 years.

As the last remaining stronghold of the Islamic group was overrun by government troops backed by Ethiopian tanks and MiG fighter jets, the net began closing on suspected al-Qaida militants believed to be sheltered by the hard-line group.

Neighboring Kenya vowed to seal its frontier to prevent any extremists, now wedged against the sea and their border, from escaping the 13-day military offensive.

Sea routes from southern Somalia were also being patrolled by the U.S. Navy, hunting for three al-Qaida suspects believed to be among the Islamic group and wanted for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.

“Kenya cannot be a haven for people who are not wanted by their lawful government,” Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Matua said.

Thousands of Somalis have fled their homes in the wake of advancing Ethiopian and government forces, but most have returned to their homes once the fighting subsided. The U.N. refugee agency has sent supplies to the Kenyan border as a precaution, but so far there has been no increase in the number of Somalis seeking refuge in Kenya, said Christian Balslev-Olesen, country director for Kenya for UNICEF.

The military advance marked a stunning turnaround for Somalia’s government, which just weeks ago could barely control one town — its base of Baidoa — while the Council of Islamic Courts controlled the capital and much of southern Somalia.

But with the intervention of Ethiopia, which has one of Africa’s largest armies, the Islamic group has been forced from the capital of Mogadishu and other key towns in the last 10 days. Its casualties run into the thousands, Ethiopia said.

The article goes on to note that the radical Islamists have vowed to fight an “Iraq-style guerilla war” if defeated.

Hat tip to Captain Ed, who writes:

The Islamists can expect no peace, however. The Ethiopian air force scoured the coast for Islamists attempting to reach the harbors of Kenya, specifically Ras Kamboni, where they have a center of operations. The collapse of their hold in Somalia has punctured the myth of invincibility of these supposed holy warriors and exposed as lies their pledges to fight to the death to hold the ummah. Now that they have shown their true colors, the armies of Kenya and Ethiopia will have little trouble wiping up what’s left of the terrorist and tyrranous Arab and South Asian militias.

Once again, this shows the West how to properly square off against Islamist forces. Only by conducting a true war with massive, overwhelming force will these terrorists be destroyed.

Fortunately neither Somalia nor Ethiopia are hamstrung like we are by political correctness and do gooders within their governments, media, and the United Nations who believe that if we just ‘understood’ the enemy that we could all get along together in peace and harmony. Hats off to Somalia and the Ethiopians in this imporatant – and hopefully sustainable – victory in the war on terror.

Related: Via Sweetness and Light: 1500 Somalis in Minnesota protest Islamic defeat in Somalia:

More than a thousand Somalis gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday to call for Ethiopian troops to withdraw immediately from Somalia.

Their protest capped a week in which transitional government troops retook Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, with the backing of Ethiopian infantrymen.

The U.S. government “gave the green light” to Ethiopia to work in concert with the transitional federal government in Somalia, and that action was “totally wrong,” said Hassan Mohamud.

He is the president of the Somali Institute for Peace and Justice in Minneapolis, which organized Saturday’s rally.

“We ask the president of the United States, Mr. Bush, and his administration to stop supporting the terrorists. Ethiopian troops are terrorists,” Mohamud said to a cheering crowd.

Somali men, women and children gathered Saturday morning in Peavey Park in Minneapolis, and they carried an array of signs. Some said “No more war” and “Islam is the solution.”

Riiiight.