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Old 02-24-2008, 05:43 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Helicopters on His Brain


As it happens, I looked at the comments before listening to this diavlog. I thought your point was a good one, and I appreciated the details you offered to support your position. I was therefore primed to hear the question when it came up.

I must say, I did not hear Mark's helicopter question as obsessive. If you listen to it, it's phrased just like a reporter would phrase such a question; i.e., it seems like a fairly straightforward thing to provide a few helicopters, it's a mystery (to those uneducated in helicopter operations, especially) why every two-bit local news station can have a chopper but we can't scrounge up 24 from the entire world's combined armies, and, so far, there hasn't been given to the public a clear and simple answer. Thanks to both you and Nick, I now understand better why.

Still, this seems like a legitimate question for a reporter to ask, and one of the things a good reporter does is ask the same question over and over, to a lot of people, until he or she gets a solid answer.

One other minor point: I bow to your superior knowledge about ancillary costs, but still, I do know how bureaucracies work. It's very easy for them to inflate a price tag by tossing in all sorts of "yeah, but don't forget about this" types of costs, if there is some ulterior motive to say "no" to begin with. I sensed, upon first reading your comment, that there is at least a little bit of this going on, and after hearing Nick, I am even more convinced that this is a part of it: there is probably a great deal of reluctance to launch a "peace-keeping" mission when so many people in a given area appear to have no interest in peace. What's required in Darfur is really more of a "peace-making" operation, it seems -- coming in with enough person- and firepower to separate the warring factions. That's inarguably a much harder and more expensive thing to do.

Anyway, my main point is that I don't think Mark is being tiresome by repeatedly raising the question about helicopters.

Last edited by bjkeefe; 02-24-2008 at 05:45 PM..
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