Around the World

Captain Ed notes al-Qaeda attacking a school house in Gaza. One person died but it was set up to be a big attack. The more crap like this happens the more it should (emphasis on the should) enlighten people to the fact that it isn’t just the US that these whack jobs want to whack. It’s anyone who disagrees with them.
Speaking of al-Qaeda and shools, I missed this story out of Iraq last week where the Multinational force stopped an intricate plan there to attack a girls school in Tarmiyah.
In Iran reporters from alJazeera will not be allowed to attend sessions of the Majlis (party in Iran) until they aplogize for insulting Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani from Iraq.

Referring to the insulting move as “a plot masterminded by the enemies of Islam and Iraq,” Haddad-Adel said, “The ban will be effective until the Arab-language news network apologizes for the insult.”

Filed under why Americans have such one sided views of the world. I say you can also blame the rest of the world for that feeling. In Estonia the Russians want to put up a statue. The Estonians don’t want it. The Russians are upset because we (the US) are supporting the Estonians. Why should they care?
And filed under why this blogger gets cranky with a regular news article out of Iraq (whether good or bad news) that gets tainted in the press. It’s enough to make my teeth grind. The LATimes has a story today about the good news in Ramadi. Excellent eh? And it is good news and kudos to them for sharing.

Get this quote to see what I mean:

As recently as two months ago, U.S. forces didn’t dare stake out the Al Tash neighborhood of this insurgent stronghold in Al Anbar province.

I suspect it has nothing to do with the courage of US forces there being “daring” enough. But other decisions made them choose a different tact.

And get this quote regarding the changing of plan in Ramadi where they are setting up a sort of minor leagues of the IP there for those who are unqualified officially and yet can still help.

It is difficult to imagine U.S. forces earlier in the war arming and training a force made up mainly of unschooled rural Sunni Arab youths and Iraqi army veterans, groups once considered unsuitable for the post-Saddam Hussein security forces.

Maybe I’m just super sensitive but “difficult to imagine” is opining here. How about just “Previously US forces did not arm and train……” Difficult to imagine. Is that because we’re so silly and uncompromising or perhaps it’s because most places have certain qualifications for people who not only carry guns but also have a certain amount of power over civilians. It’s hard to say what the author here means but I take it to be a small slant against the US military. Maybe it’s just me.

Those are the kinds of little flavors in tone I was talking about in yesterday’s post to Mr. Shachtman concerning the MSM.

China Again

In the NYTimes yesterday there was a piece about Chinese pharmaceuticals essentially poisoning people. Yes, poisoning!

Over the years, the poison (diethylene glycol) has been loaded into all varieties of medicine — cough syrup, fever medication, injectable drugs — a result of counterfeiters who profit by substituting the sweet-tasting solvent for a safe, more expensive syrup, usually glycerin, commonly used in drugs, food, toothpaste and other products.

In Panama last year there were 365 deaths from cold medicine that had this stuff in it only labeled as glycerin. The Times did an excellant piece of work here tracking where this stuff was coming from.

Though there were some things that confused me. Apparently no official laws in China have been broken. But the Times interviewed one man who had started adding diethylene glycol into glycerine. Read this:

Wang Guiping, 41, realized he could earn extra money by substituting cheaper, industrial-grade syrup — not approved for human consumption — for pharmaceutical grade syrup. To trick pharmaceutical buyers, he forged his licenses and laboratory analysis reports, records show.

Mr. Wang later told investigators that he figured no harm would come from the substitution, because he initially tested a small quantity. He did it with the expertise of a former tailor.

He swallowed some of it. When nothing happened, he shipped it.

Something ought to be illegal in there, even in China. Otherwise why fake the documents?

Interestingly enough we eneded up with diethylene glycol here 70 years ago and it led to the formation of the FDA.

Seventy years ago, medicine laced with diethylene glycol killed more than 100 people in the United States, leading to the passage of the toughest drug regulations of that era and the creation of the modern Food and Drug Administration.

The Chinese are aware that these stories (don’t forget the pet food) are a big problem. Xinhua reports that proposals concerning food safety are part of recent legistlative meetings.

Food safety has become a major issue of concern for Chinese lawmakers, as 19 motions and 78 suggestions were proposed to improve food quality during the annual session of China’s top legislature this March.

In the meantime are we here certain that we want to start allowing the importation of drugs en masse for medicare beneficiaries?