Talk:Australia sends more troops to Afghanistan

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Deployed from late July[edit]

I'm not sure what that means - maybe "from now until late July", or "in late July"? Both sources say the same in an indirect quote style. Since I don't know what that phrase means exactly, I couldn't clarify it.

But I did arrange the sentences into what I hope are more reasonable paragraphs.

The "200 more soldiers" fact is mentioned twice by the original author, though not so blatently redundant - I left it as-is.

Karen 08:29, 21 February 2006 (UTC) Karen

npov?[edit]

Just want to bring up the possibility that the article's words "to assist the people of Afghanistan in consolidating their embrace of democracy" and "expand peacekeeping and reconstruction operations" presents an extremely favourable picture of the involvement of the troops. Is there another pov available? Do any Australians think its not a good thing to be shoring up an opium economy? Certainly Condi Rice's categorization of the country as becoming a "narcotics state" could be mentioned? All is not moving forward well in Afghanistan so perhaps the story should not be giving such an impression; at least I am wondering about these aspects?Neutralizer 16:18, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

ok, rather than tag the article, I have tried to npov it. Were Australia sending troops to help the North Korean government I am sure we would mention some of the bad things going on inside that country so we should do the same thing here with Afghanistan,imo. Neutralizer 18:45, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see how the drug cultivation issue is directly related to Australia sending more troops. Are you privy to information I am unaware of that these troops will be involved in opium destruction, or are you just seeking to blame the coalition for the situation which is the responsibility of the warlords? --Brian McNeil / talk 20:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

To state that the "87% of world's opium production" is a failure of coalition troops seems a bit misleading when considering that world production dropped in 2005 along with Afghanistan's production from 2004. Additionally, the growth has not been "dramatic" throughout the years (POV added by contributor's use of "dramatic") but the growth has been rather steady and consistent, falling off slightly in 2005. I don't see how there is any correlation between troop involvement and over-all production. Prices have increased, possibly due to decrease in supply. Another factor is that poppy cultivation may produce other products besides drugs, giving more weight to the fresh opium figure, which translates more directly into heroin production. Karen 22:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Global opium poppy cultivation is estimated to have fallen by some 16% in 2005 and opium production by some 3% as a result of the decline in opium cultivation and production in Afghanistan. The proportion of Afghanistan in global opium production is likely to remain close to 87%.

Additionally, because the article is worded to say that the troops intend "to assist the people of Afghanistan in consolidating their embrace of democracy" and "expand peacekeeping and reconstruction operations", as Prime Minister John Howard's words, not ours, quoting Kazai (even if the facts do not bear him out) is acceptable. The article quotes as they stand now seem balanced, however, the writer's interpretations of the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2005 should be called into question. Karen 22:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the article is balanced. The connection with the troops is that the troops,in effect,provide stability and security for the status quo. If you go back to the last year before western troops came in, you will see that opium production was 135 tonnes (in 2001) compared to 4,100 tonnes in 2005; about 3% of the world's consumption rather than 87%. The bottom line is that our troops are stabalizing an economy/country which the US State Dept said is "verging on a narcotics state"...and the real question is, why are we not spraying the poppy fields of Afghanistan like we spray the coca fields of Columbia? The other distrurbing element is that although Howard puts a positive spin on the situatuion, our troops could also be seen as proping up and providing security for the largest drug cartel in the world. Neutralizer 22:54, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

The bottom line is - you're agreeing with yourself only that the article is now balanced. You still have to explain your POV usage of "dramatically increased" (not mentioned in the source you added). Generating drama instead of reporting facts is what you're trying to decrease, yet your wording isn't supported by facts. The increase has been largely linear and consistent, not dramatic. The 2005 figure is lower than 2004. The 2001 figure is not representative of previous years and should be considered an anomoly - you can guess that it points to instability before troops arrived, but you can't say that troops caused the large jump between 2001 and 2002, except possilby by inference that the troops restored stability in the region and the usual (non-dramatic) growth continued. The source you added states that the production is inconsistent, and the regional break-down shows that production moves from one area to another. You'd have to show where the troops are/were and reference that with area increases to conclude that troops result in increased production in the area. It may actually be that troops are doing their job and producers are simply moving from one area to another. The editoral statements you make are based on a narrow scope of reference to your source. It's one thing to include the statements of others, but your additions go beyond that - and with limited factual basis. If you remove your "dramatically" statement, and not imply that there was growth in 2005 (2004 to 2005 was a reduction), it would be more factual. You might want to just state the report says "The proportion of Afghanistan in global opium production is likely to remain close to 87%.". I could live with that - more facts, less "drama".

This is assuming that there's a concensus that the inclusion of the report is directly related to more troops being sent - which is what this story is really about. I don't mind the addition of the source because it's interesting background on the country -- but I do mind when the interpretation of a limited section of the data is used to support a particular point of view, and words like "dramatically" are used to describe linear growth. Will you re-word that section, or are my objections reasonable enough to allow me to re-word it without further objection? Karen 03:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

INTERESTING![edit]

(Whilst my personal bias is that there should be no Aussie troops at all in Afghanistan - or anywhere for that matter!), its amusing to see the way a simple wikinews report can twist up a story into something it is not, or was intended. The story is about the AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT SENDING 200 EXTRA TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN. Its a quick, much shorter contibution than my usual stuff. My initial entry has nothing to do with Opium, nor was it indended as a critique. More like an precursor, based on the PM's announcement. Indeed, when I came back to add some more details, comments and sources, and to flesh it out with more responses from other politicians and Anti-war groups, I was taken aback at the direction this is taking. But thats WIKINEWS for ya, I guess... Have fun bashing the story around :) --elliot_k 07:38, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Got a laugh from me, Elliot K! -Edbrown05 07:49, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I moved around some sentences into what I hoped were better structured paragraphs, then saw the addition of the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2005 source and actually read it (That's right, all 146 pages of it - a 20 minute download from my dialup connection). The production growth doesn't seem to correlate with the arrival of coalition forces, nor do the increased troops to increased production. Since there was a production drop in 2005, more troops weren't send for the reason of increased production. The connection just isn't quite there. The Afghanistan president's comments/complaints regarding troops in general are a somewhat reasonable addition to the story, but the data and conclusion in the new source just doesn't call for the extra "drama". The simple fact is that production is increasing linearly (not dramatically).

There might be another story behind this regarding troops stabalizing the area allowing for greater production and/or causing producers to move elsewhere in Afghanistan and work harder. But that's another story, and more facts need to be found before editorial comments like "Since the coalition invasion, Afghan opium production has increased dramatically each year to the point where Afghanistan produced 87% of the world's opium in 2005." can be made. The linear growth started before troops arrived, and the growth isn't reported as dramatic by any source. The implication that 2005 is a peak year is unfounded - 2004 was greater. The only shred of truth is the 87% figure from the report: The proportion of Afghanistan in global opium production is likely to remain close to 87%. It also has this thesis statement: ... opium poppy cultivation remains a highly dynamic phenomenon in Afghanistan. It's not going away over night, and its growth sure doesn't seem to be caused by troops.

Last year in the story U.N. reports Afghan opium production is up again, the statement "The November 2004 annual reports put out by UNODC show that Afghanistan opium production has been increasing each year since the coalition invasion." was true, but the 2005 report shows a decline, and the statement doesn't mention that production also increased every year before troops arrived. The conclusion we're supposed to make is that troops cause production increase? The real truth seems to be that there's a steady growth, and the current troops aren't effective, either because of limited number or efforts are on a broader scope - but that discovery should be in another story, and be motivated by facts instead of assumed by an editorializing journalist. Neutralizer can either read the source and try to defend his reasons for his point of view, or edit the one statement that I believe isn't supported by his source. Otherwise, I'll have to edit his addition to this story for NPOV and hope everyone can live with it. Karen 08:58, 22 February 2006 (UTC)


This has become slightly ridiculous, folks. Personally, I think the addition of Opium production issues has little to do with the initial story of more Aussie troops being sent. ie: The troops are NOT going to Kabul for opium - at least thats not what the official Government line is: "The troops would have specific objectives, which would not include intervention in domestic matters such as the cultivation and sale of opium," Prime Minister John Howard said.

Prove me wrong. But from my research, its about security. Its about insurgency. Its about Taliban recurrance. Its about an increase in suicide bombings, and assassinations of people co-operating with the government. As Kim Beazley (Australian federal opposition leader) said today: "I think it's the right thing to do. Afghanistan is terror central. We got involved in Afghanistan after the 9-11 events and we evoked the ANZAS alliance and we sent troops."

See the Google news pool on this issue.

According to people on the ground, such attacks are expected to increase in the conming months. Half of the 200 personnell will be engineers and technicians. They will be sent into the southern Afghan province of Oruzgan as a part of a Dutch-led reconstruction team. Opium and Australian troop increases are clearly two separate stories, and should be treated as such. Have fun. :) --elliot_k 13:02, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Addressing the points[edit]

use of the word "dramatically". That word has been removed, which is reasonable, although I still think it applies overall. I will now correct the 2005-2004 reference.

Re; Karen's comment above"writer's interpretations of the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2005 should be called into question."; I will address that now. I have some stock market research experience and the trend line is what is usually a good indication of the direction something is going in. A valid trend line is best when applied over a multi-year period. The most illuminating aspect of the 2005 UNODC report,imo, is the Hectares in cultivation chart on page 11 (title Afghanistan;opium poppy cultivation from 1986-2005) which includes a heavy black 5 year trend line; you can see how the line really takes off upward since the coalition invasion and, according to Kazai, the coalition took over responsibilities for controlling/eradicating opium production. So, the fact is, total opium cultivation and production over the past 4 years(since we charged in) is much higher than ever before and has broken out upwards from the "linear" levels Karen accurately refers to between 1993 and 2000.

Another point is that the Taliban banned opium production entirely in 2001 and that is given by everyone as the reason for the miniscule production. I submit that if the Taliban could stop production almost entirely; then so could the most powerful countries on earth. I also will again make the point that Afghanistan's poppy fields are out in the open and could be sprayed much more easily than the coca fields hidden in the jungles of Columbia where we spray aggressively.

What is that expression for "the most obvious answer is usually the correct answer"? Anyway, the most obvious answer, to me, is that the coalition doesn't really want to stop the opium production in Afghanistan..this could be because the inflow of over 2 billion dollars per year helps the Afghan economy which helps present a "successful" picture of the entire coalition involvement...but the point is...it's a success built upon one of the dirtiest businesses in the world which the report says kills over 100,000 people per year (directly from Afghan heroin).

If Howard's remarks about the successes in Afghanistan are in the article, then I think reference to the dirty underbelly of Afghanistan as a country and economy must also be reported.

The facts of this report and others show that our troops are being used (among other things)to provide security for a country the US State department said is becoming a "narcotics state"*"Report finds Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state" — Wikinews, March 5, 2005.That is an important fact.

87% is not a number that can be ignored. Afghanistan is,by any definition a "narcotics state"; so that pure and simple fact must be reported when our servicemen are going there to support the government of that "narcotics state"...just as if we were sending troops to support the N.Korean government we would be mentioning the nuclear and "axis of evil" problems in that government/country and not just reporting that the troops were going there. Neutralizer 13:17, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

"The troops would have specific objectives, which would not include intervention in domestic matters such as the cultivation and sale of opium," Prime Minister John Howard said. See my point above... --elliot_k 13:40, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

comment; the fact Howard can get away with calling 87%of the world's supply a "domestic issue" shows that most of the world doesn't know about the 87%...because it's not being reported. Neutralizer 14:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Today, the definition of 'national security' has been significantly broadened. The Australian Government articulated its understanding of security in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 1997 White Paper, In the National Interest and the 2003 White Paper Advancing the National Interest. These stated that security involves the preservation of the "state's capacity for independent decision-making, thereby ensuring that it can pursue national objectives." This is a definition that opens national security threats to include non-military threats ranging from fraud on and corruption of financial institutions, illegal migration, illicit drugs and other forms of transnational crime, to pandemics and environmental degradation. [1] from the AFP Its great to see people making these real connections and not waiting to be told that they are so weather johny says so or not --Whywhywhy 13:55, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

The main point that has been raised is that opium production is not related to these 200 troops as they will not be involved in activities aimed at curbing production. Consequently I believe that all the material related to opium production should be moved into its own article, where details of which forces are involved in anti-drug activites are given. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:01, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
This is also my point; the troops are the security FOR the ongoing opium production..in effect, our troops provide a more secure and stable environment for an efficient and unbothered full speed ahead illegal drug cartel. Imagine a drug infested Rave with off-duty police providing the security and doing nothing about open and widespread use of illegal drugs..that's the picture..and the biggest part of the story,imo. Neutralizer 13:59, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
This "Rave" analogy(above) is about as good as I can do to show that the coalition doing nothing about the dope other than providing security for the venue is a big part of the story. If nobody else agrees with me, then, so be it. I have to go out now. Neutralizer 14:07, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

One Last Stab at it[edit]

Ok; my wife said I could get online for 5 minutes before we go out. First of all, Thank you Karen for taking so much time. The other aspect I dared not even mention was the CIA report in 2003 which said opium trafficking is the #1 source of funds for al-Queda(hence; but not doing anything about the opium cultivation, we help the terrorists get stronger); but if you'd like links to that info let me know. Here is my last stab at it;

1. Very few of us think of Afghanistan as a "narcotics state"...but after reading the US State department report and the 87% of the world's supply info; we should be starting to accept that.

2. Once we view Afghanistan as the major source of heroin in the world (95% of the heroin in London comes from Afghanistan); then the analogy below comes into play.

Let's imagine that there is a county named "Victoria County" somewhere in Australia where 87% of Australia's heroin is produced out in the open and likely most of the heroin in your town (say Sydney) originates. Your mayor announces he is sending 30 of your local Sydney police officers to Victoria county to provide security for that county and also announces, as if it's a "good" thing" that those officers will not do anything to try to deal with the heroin problems...if they see a huge field of poppies being harvested for opium; they will just walk on by; because in your mayor's words "That's a domestic matter for Victoris County". How would you be reacting? How would the local Sydney papers be reacting? Neutralizer 15:04, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

My last bit on this story. A couple of things. I agree with myself - and Brian - that the story is not about Opium or domestic issues. Its about what the Government, and other commentators actually said. Read the Headline again. Australia sends more troops to Afghanistan. Personally, I can't stand John Howard and his sychophantic power-broking corporate-lawyer-wanker government and want all the troops home immediately. Forcing people to don a uniform and go and kill people in anybody's war is moronic-gutless cannon-fodder gloryism. But my other writing in the other commons speaks with such tones. BUT! However this is WIKINEWS! Where NEUTRAL POINTS OF VIEW prevail. Neutrality is primary. Speculation here is not journalism.
YES! There is a VERY GOOD analytical story on the Opium issue here. Global Smack is big business. There is unlimited demand for the stuff. And Afghanistan are on a good wicket with poppy. Someone, perhaps Neautraliser should chase it up and do a fleshed out feature on this very issue. But the story here is about WHO is going WHERE, WHEN and WHAT people have said about it.
Yeah mate, we can speculate about Aussies with guns in Chinooks burning poppies in the fields, but you need to get SOMEONE ELSE to say this - not the reporter. WIKINEWS is not about assumptions. We need experts or other stakeholders to express it. We do some research and find someone else who confirms it. Then we publish the story. NEUTRALITY is our Godhead.
Thanks for all the passionate discussion about what I had imagined to be a very slight media brief. X --elliot_k 15:29, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok; but I am very disappointed in Australian people...I always thought you were tough and mean and self-determined?..and the bottom line is; 1. The CIA says that Afghan opium funds terrorism and 2; Afghan opium production has skyrocketed since we took over the place so C; by sending Aussie troops to shore up a "narcotics state" we are funding the other side and our bravest,and most sincere, and most saddening, most naive, are being killed and crippled,and that is exactly what the elitist crazies want ....and we, you and me, should never,never,never go along with it. Neutralizer 20:05, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I think Elliot has proven himself a good representative of the Auzzies. He's reporting on issues relevant to them – and the rest of the world – and he's doing so within the project guidelines for wikinews. He's got a very good point in his above comment on the opium issue, namely that there is a story. His original brief is somewhat time-critical whereas the opium one isn't. So I will make another suggestion (yes, it involves removing the opium material from this). Move that story over to the prepared area and look for additional material and something like a report being issued to justify publication. Treat it as a longer-term project and take into account some of the issues such as where in the country the opium production is taking place. Make some phone calls to academics or experts, Amgine can probably tell you what departments would be good to ask about the issue. If it ends up a bit too editorial, then you want to go back to Elliot and ask about Indymedia. IIRC he's also an admin there and they do not have such strict guidelines as NPOV. You'd also (currently) reach a larger audience. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:28, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Having re-read the comment and noticed you'd not be about again Neutralizer, I've moved the opium issue to it's own story. Wikinews:Story preparation/Afghanistan's role in the heroin trade, I suspect the title will need changed, but you'll probably need a bit more material before you can decide what to change it to. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:38, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

yer thanks for dumbing down our news and removing relevant information.--Whywhywhy 02:32, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I've started UK troops will not fight opium in Afghanistan. Knock yourselves out. - Borofkin 03:44, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Aussies are not stupid[edit]

1.The CIA said that opium/heroin production is the #1 source of funding for terrorism. 2.Australia is sending 200 more troops to Afghanistan to "fight terrorism" and they are specifically ordered NOTto interfere in opium/heroin production. 3.If Australia buys that; then this story is closed and published; but I can't believe the Auzzies will suck up this bullshit. [[User:|Neutralizer]] 20:51, 22 February 2006 (UTC)]

Some Aussies are...[edit]

G,day again Neutralizer - well the 'aussie reporters' are right here! And I'm one of them. I may be perhaps too late to comment on this now, but I will anyway...

I'm sorry you are "disappointed in Australian people." I am too. Even though you may have "always thought we were tough and mean and self-determined," we hardly ever are. As a nation we follow the USA into war like the arse-lickers we are. We are a racist nation - with a racist constitiution. We stole Aboriginal children from their mothers arms; we vote for leaders who jail innocent persecuted refugees and their children for years on end in deserts and on remote islands; we blindly obey authority; we committed suicide in our thousands at Gallipoli; in many respects australia is still in the dark ages, mate. I could go on...

Whether we "suck up this bullshit" - or not - is beside the point entirely. As an individual human I personally despise what the USA, the Australian Government and all else who supported the illegal, murderous Afghanistan (and Iraq) invasions. I protest daily about it. I am ASHAMED to be Australian right now.

BUT! Bear in mind however, that this here media portal is WIKINEWS. Our personal bias should be thrown overboard when reporting any news events here - NPOV: it's like in the contract man.

As I hinted at earlier, my very own personal (and actively hostile elsewhere) bias towards the (in my humble opinion) racist and corporate-lovin, militaristic-sychophantic John Howard Federal government is to be overlooked at WIKINEWS. But we CAN report on what others say.

Feel free to posit yr more opinionated global and local injustices to any indymedia.org website. Theres one near you: List of Indymedia sites. It's Open Publishing - without a stringent code of ehtics that WIKINEWS offers. However, there are indymedia polices and each local cell in the network has a different take on it - but the idea is that YOU ARE THE MEDIA. Bias is cool, and encouraged. We get a bunch of tin-fil hat wearers though! Many feel that Wikinews is far superior in terms of journalistic credibility because of the hardcore NPOV policy. I tend to agree. But for opinionated passionate truth-tellings you can't go past an Indymedia site: Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth... Don't hate the Media, Become the Media!

I'm glad the Opium issue is being followed up in a separate story though. Good work, and thanks to all who have contributed to this issue. --elliot_k 10:41, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Personally i support sending troops to afghanistan but i also support the drugs link. If we are not allowed to make these sort of links in articles reporting on major issue is useless in wikinews. Ima sure we will be reading about this link in the next few weeks. --Whywhywhy 12:15, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Nobody is saying "don't make the links". We just need to do it with journalistic credibility. Surely thats what this project (wikinews) is all about. Sure we can make assumptions, draw some lines - yet we must ask the questions. DO make the links but let the experts tell you the stuff.

For Wikinews: "We strive at all times to meet the policy of using neutral point of view, ensuring our reporting is as fair as possible. Furthermore, everything we write is cited, to maintain the highest standards of reliability. Our policy is to omit opinion and commentary in our articles — if you want to tell the world what you think, try blogging." Or [2]! Rock. --elliot_k 18:28, 24 February 2006 (UTC)




Ask Howard?[edit]

Maybe a Wikinews person could email Prime Minister John Howard [form here ] and ask if there's any truth to the links being made between the Afghanistan opium industry and Australia's involvement in the recent deployment of 200 more troops to the region? Then ask the Greens, Labour and Dems etc... --elliot_k 18:28, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Where are the Aussie reporters??[edit]

."The troops would have specific objectives, which would not include intervention in domestic matters such as the cultivation and sale of opium," Prime Minister John Howard said. Can you believe this man is getting away with insulting the Aussie public by referring to 87% of the world's supply of heroin as a "domestic matter"?? Where are the Australian reporters? Neutralizer 21:08, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Neutralizer's removal/objection[edit]

I hope my latest edits have addressed your concerns, Neutralizer. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 21:27, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Original source material[edit]

I've added the original source for the PM's statement in the opening paragraph - he said it during a press conference in Canberra. I'd like to see us start using original sources (media releases, transcripts of interviews and press conferences, etc) rather than other news outlets. When we get news from other outlets it is filtered by their reporters. The media releases and transcripts are the original sources. Have a look at Portal:Australia/Original_reporting_in_Sydney (it really applies to all of Australia) for links to government media releases and transcripts.

Regarding the opium issue, if we wanted to include it in this article, someone could give a Labor minister or Greens senator a ring, inform them of the observations about opium that we have made here, and ask them what they think. If they criticise the government for ignoring or trivialising the opium problem, then you have your quote. This is basically what I did in Australian government accused of hypocrisy over World Court statement. Nobody accused the Australian government of hypocricy until I rang them up and asked them about it. Be bold, make some calls! You'll be suprised at how seriously they will take you. - Borofkin 23:16, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Borofkin! (note to self) We must start asking questions to get answers. -Edbrown05 03:35, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Ditto; thanks Borofkin. Neutralizer 12:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Would Edward R. Murrow's reports[edit]

on Senator McCarthy have been appropriate for wikinews? (note; all of this is in response to Elliott's comments above)If not, then I suggest we drop all reference to "journalism" as Murrow is generally accepted as the best (journalist) that ever lived. I really don't read the NPOV policy the way some do. I think that if the passion or outrage or even pov is expressed by the story itself, rather than the contributors; then that's just fine; I find the story of our troops walking by blossoming poppy fields to be outrageous; but that, to me does not contravene npov.

The way I look at it is that I start with this from [NPOV]"The neutral point of view policy states that one should write articles without bias, representing all views fairly"...now to me this story as it was originally was POV because it didn't include any opposite views. Now with the Greens comments, it's more npov, but is still leaving more of the weight of the article saying that the soldiers going to Afghanistan is good for the people of Afghanistan. I think the opium references would have helped to show the other opinion which is that the soldiers are actually doing more harm to the population than good. Neutralizer 04:48, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Neutralizer, I agree that with some comments by the greens the npov is clarified more. But the article simply states what others have said - and not the reporters opinion. And thats the crux here. Your and my opinion are beside the point here. Wikinews is journalism. Wikinews is not opinion and commentary on the news. It is the news. --elliot_k 04:56, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Blogs and Indymedia presented as opposite to Wikinews[edit]

I think that this is an overused and inaccurate argument which serves the status quo of media mediocrity...I just coined a new word "mediacrity". It is silly for any of us to sit back and tell someone else their contributions are appropriate for blogs etc. In fact, when I first read this article, it reminded me of an army recruitment poster (which is a blog,I think)...but that is neither here nor there because all of our articles should be worked on by a bunch of people and if 2 are coming at it like bloggers from the opposite pov; that'll make for a great NPOV, I think. We just have to make sure the final product isn't a blog, like this one here is; Three Ohio men indicted for terrorist plot against U.S. military in Iraq which is a blatant "blog" by the US prosecutors. I tried to show it is a blog, but got no support...but if you really look at that article, it's nothing but the prosecutors' POV. Neutralizer 04:48, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikinews is not a soapbox. It is not a theatre of war, or of debate. It is also not opposite of Blogs or Indymedia: it has a different set of goals and guidelines for achieving those goals. All of these forms of media have value and place. But Wikinews is not a blog, nor is it Indymedia. To write here you have to accept the guidelines, and goals, the community has set for itself. - Amgine | talk en.WN 04:58, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Neutralizer, It may well be an "overused and inaccurate argument" to you, but thats the way it goes. You are really in the wrong place if you want to write opinion pieces. I don't understand your point about an army recruitment poster being a 'blog'? Sometimes news is only the prosecutors' POV. --elliot_k 05:02, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
NPOV says it all; alerting us all that when articles are written from an anglo/american centric point of view we are breaching NPOV. I agree with what Amgine just said "To write here you have to accept the guidelines, and goals, the community has set for itself" as well as what Elliot has said "Wikinews is not opinion and commentary on the news"; I just think that many of our articles,without the contributors even realizing it, are unbalanced in favour of the Anglo American centric point of view and those articles are then a soapbox for Anglo American political and government officials. Karen said at one point that this article's quotes had come to a point where they were evenly balanced; I think she is very correct in identifying that as something we should aim for; equalization of quotes. I think that NPOV is saying that is the objective to go for; when there is more than one position in the world on an issue, we should try to present both sides. Going back to Edward Murrow; when he presented his blistering reports about Sen. McCarthy, he gave McCarthy the opprtunity for rebuttal; but with our article Three Ohio men indicted for terrorist plot against U.S. military in Iraq I was not allowed a factual rebuttal on the article page; and that article ended up being completely a one-sided opinion piece..that opinion being the opinion of the prosecuting arm of the US Gov. and only their statements "quotes" are in the article. We all want NPOV in accordance with our guidelines; but those guidelines insist that The policy says that "an article should fairly represent all, and not make an article state, imply, or insinuate that any one side is correct." Right now this article (Australian troops) is really just fine in terms of NPOV; but this one Three Ohio men indicted for terrorist plot against U.S. military in Iraq certainly isn't. At the very least we should have inserted references to the times the US Gov's allegations have been 100% wrong and have included fabricated evidence;e.g.Brandon Mayfield; so I feel that I am the most aggressive supporter of ourNPOV guidelines, especially in confronting what our NPOV policy identifies as the "ongoing problem" of;anglo/american centric point of view. In my opinion, if you want to identify people who are writing opinion pieces, then I suggest you look at the many opinion pieces that are being published here which express only the opinion of anglo/american government officials....those are the articles which often get through here completely empty of any NPOV...and this article started out exactly that way.

Here is my proof[edit]

This article was published like this;[3] before I made an edit or comment;Is it more or less NPOV now? I rest my case.

I am a strident defender of our NPOV policy; it's just that a few contributors do not see the POV when anglo/american centric point of view reports come in from the Howard or Bush or Blair teams and they imagine POV in non-anglo/american centric point of view articles about things as objective/factual as increases in opium production. Neutralizer 12:53, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I don't see why the need to rehash this issue on this particular talk page. The opium issue was raised again in this article 2 days after this one was published. The AP report I dug up and offered on the talk page explained why they're not spraying - Hamid Karzai said they weren't allowed to due to the herbicides posing a health risk. It also covers what measures are being taken, which didn't really sound like much. My reading of your comments above was that you wanted to make an editorial statement by linking the deployment with the drug issue. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:23, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
I can understand the assumption that I wanted to make an editorial statement; but I was glad to get the Karzai health care concern(remember I asked for help in finding sources re; the non-spraying issue) and I feel the Karzai comments made for a much more complete article and I had never seen those comments before; I really appreciated that little nugget. I am really trying not to make editorial statements; but I have more work to do in that regard. The bottom line is that the Greens quotes in this article make for a much more NPOV story so, I don't regret bringing up the opium issue as that may have helped motivate the discovery of the Greens comments (by Borofkin)...maybe..who knows. Neutralizer 17:55, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
My attention was drawn to this article because of the dispute over the opium content, and I added the Greens quote because the article was clearly in need of a POV that opposed deployment of troops. The opium stuff, in my opinion, could not be included unless we could find someone external to Wikinews who had criticised the troop deployment for that reason. - Borofkin 23:22, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Borofkin. As I was publishing the initial story, my intention was always to come back shortly and add a pile of rebuttals. I was waiting for the Greens to release a statement. And I was gonna work this baby into a nasty indicment on the Howard/Bush war machine. :) However, when I returned to hack up a notch. BANG - it was packed full of opium. I love wikinews! --elliot_k 15:19, 27 February 2006 (UTC)