|Two days after Latino voters broadly rejected the Republican Party, Charles Krauthammer saw reason for optimism. Latinos, he said, “should be a natural Republican constituency: striving immigrant community, religious, Catholic, family-oriented and socially conservative (on abortion, for example.)” George W. Bush and Karl Rove found a way to approach 40 percent of the Latino vote; Romney barely netted half that. So Republicans, facing a demographic time bomb as their base of white men ages, have comforted themselves by thinking all they really need to do is perform as well as Bush did among Latinos to get near the White House again.
Whether or not Republicans have any chance of capturing more than a tiny fraction of the Latino vote, Krauthammer (and the straw-grasping Republicans who echoed him) shouldn’t take Latinos’ conservatism, including their views on abortion, for granted.
First of all, being religious doesn’t mean you vote according to the dictates of your church, and Latino voters have consistently told pollsters that they don’t. Last December, a Latino Decisions pollfound that 53 percent of Latinos said religion would have no impact at all on their vote. And only 14 percent agreed that “politics is more about moral issues such as abortion, family values, and same-sex marriage.” In fact, exit polling from the election this month showed that Latinos were more likely than other voters to support same-sex marriage recognition.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005—White Phosphorus, Continued:
|Two posts with merit on White Phosphorus use in Fallujah. Juan Cole critically argues the points of the Independent article by George Monbiot (comments are significant too). Also see Michael Stickings at The Moderate Voice.
It's worth keeping the debate in the light, because indeed, and somewhat miraculously, the more central point in the Fallujah debate is finally being poked at: whether giving Iraqis "freedom" means killing them in large numbers, and whether or not we are in the military position we are in largely because our unquestionable military prowess cannot compensate for the dunderheadedness of our truly contemptible war planning, which relied first on the Iraqis greeting us with flowers, and then when the oft-predicted Iraqi schisms arose and gave way to the oft-predicted violence, taking on entire urban centers in an effort to separate the insurgents from the civilians by way of 2000-lb bombs.
After an exodus of civilians from the city into refugee camps—estimates were that 250,000 people fled the city—the most common figures for casualties in the Fallujah assault itself seem to be somewhere between three hundred and one thousand civilian deaths, with some estimates three or four times that, in neighborhoods where the Washington Post reported "more than half" of the houses were destroyed in the assault. Of Fallujah's estimated 50,000 homes, according to the director of the Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah Citizens about 36,000 were destroyed, along with 60 schools and 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries. Red Cross sources at the time estimated approximately 800 civilian deaths in the assault.
The United States claimed about 1200 insurgents were killed during the November 2004 Fallujah operations. Balance that against the rough estimates of 800 civilians killed in the same assault.
So is eight hundred civilian deaths in the assault too many, too few, or just right? What did we gain from the effort?
What did we lose?
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