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"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any attention?"

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.


Tuesday, February 12, 2002

The retreat begins. Two weeks ago I wrote that Marc Herold provided a valuable public service by generating extremely high number of Afghan civilian deaths, which were then widely circulated and even more widely discredited. Now they have been discredited further. As the AP reported yesterday, the number of deaths may only be in the hundreds, below even the comparatively restrained Human Rights Watch numbers of 1,000-1,200.

How could the numbers be so far below that calculated by Economics Education Professor Marc Herold? It turns out that (gasp!) the Taliban leadership exaggerated the number of deaths when they spoke to journalists! What a bunch of cads. It was bad enough when they were terrorizing their own population and helping to terrorize the rest of the world, but lying to the press is really going out of bounds. (Apparently, back when Professor Herold was studying economics at UC-Berkeley, the PhD program there didn't include a good course on survey techniques.)

A couple of months ago, Herold was touting a figure of nearly 4,000 dead, and claimed that this figure was, if anything, conservative. The AP article notes that: "In interviews last week [Marc Herold] said he believed the range of deaths was between 3,100 and 3,800." I wonder how long it will be before he believes the range is between 800 and 3,800.

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