The moon — big, golden and encircled with a halo — was about an arm’s length from bright Jupiter, and both were sliding down, when the dogs and I went out walking today in the chill air of pre-dawn.
I was at the beach the other day, listening to a surfer friend tell me the latest story going around — a guy claims he was surfing Tunnels when a baby monk seal jumped on his board, and after he pushed it off, the seal got eaten by a shark — and expressing disbelief about every aspect of the tale when two seal pups suddenly appeared before us, swimming gracefully in unison in the shallow nearshore waters, as if to confirm that reports of their death had been greatly exaggerated.
You can’t believe everything you hear — and most certainly, not everything you read — in an age where information is abundant, but much of it is wrong. And once it gets stuck in people’s heads, it’s so hard to get it out, like some of the crazy ideas that formed once folks read The Garden Island’s reprint of the Civil Beat story on relocating nene away from the airport, which led with a greatly exaggerated cost of the project.
I attended a meeting yesterday on the plan to move nene away from the Lihue Airport, and you can read my report at ForKauaionline.com.
Moving to the international level, it seems NATO may be exaggerating its claims of knocking off Taliban leaders in order to make its campaign appear more effective, according to a a report by the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
The report also shows that although the night raids have been portrayed as surgical strikes, eight other people are killed for every “leader” taken.
As The Guardian reports:
The report notes that in briefings to the US media, aggregate claims made for the number of Taliban leaders killed or detained over a given period were sometimes much greater than the numbers recorded in the daily press releases.
"The use of the word 'leader' is intended to convey the impression that the masterminds of the Taliban are being taking off the battlefield. That's a misrepresentation," [researcher Alex] Strick van Linschoten said.
"It is meant to be taken as meaning that we are taking out the brains behind the Taliban off the battlefield, but that claim doesn't really measure up."
The report, entitled A Knock on the Door, echoes a study published last month by the Open Society Foundations. That study said that although Isaf had made strides in reducing the number of civilian casualties, the 12 to 20 raids a night over a sustained period, with thousands of arrests, many of them of non-combatants, were alienating the population and undermining the international coalition's aims in Afghanistan.