Saturday, July 29, 2006

Engage brain before editing

Strap on the pith helmet and fill the pocket flask with Pimm's No. 1 Cup: It's Kipling Day here at the HEADSUP-L Foreign Desk!

Another front in war on terror
For Powell, Guard's border mission similar to one in Middle East

You've got our attention. Which border? Somewhere in the trackless wastes of the Rub al-Khali? The wild tribal regions of Kashmir? The barren heights of the Siachen?

SAN LUIS, Ariz. - As commander of the N.C. Army National Guard's work on the border in Arizona, Lt. Col. Randy Powell is getting the chance to see the beginning of the journey immigrants take into his police district in Charlotte.


"Like everywhere else, you're seeing more and more interaction with illegal immigrants," said Powell, a 38-year-old sergeant in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The 200 troops from the 252nd Combine Arms Battalion out of Fayetteville began patrolling the border late Wednesday in an attempt to stem the human tide pouring into the country from Mexico. They're among the first of what will become 6,000 Guard troops in Operation Jump Start, announced by President Bush in May.

And this "human tide" is related to the WAR ON TERROR exactly how?

North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing illegal immigrant populations in the country, and Powell sees the troops' mission of protecting the border as another front in the war on terrorism.

Well, that clears that up. Copyeds, pls remember: When you turn a proclamation into a hed, you assume all responsibility for its accuracy, not to mention its political implications. The colonel's welcome to his opinions. Whether he gets to write yours is a different matter. (Did we ask him, by the way, if that battalion of his ought to be "Combined Arms" rather than "Combine Arms," or are we planning to rewrite the rules of grammar and mechanized warfare all at once?)

Seriously. This much-touted merger of Washburo firepower is looking less attractive by the day. McClatchy gets writers who think history began sometime in late May, and K-R gets writers who think the Khyber Pass is in northern Mexico.

One more thing:
U.N. chief calls for 3-day truce
UNITED NATIONS -- Just take a break, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Friday.

No, one rather doubts it. One suspects he might have said something a bit more grown-up, and perhaps your readers should be let in on the secret.


Anonymous Denise Covert said...

First of all, is the colonel so well known we can use "Powell" in the subhed? Cuz I was thinking Colin. . .

Second: U.N. chief in the hed says "Kofi Annan" to me, not some head of a random humanitarian department. (OK, not random, but "a U.N. chief" wouldn't add TOO much to the count, now, would it?)

11:51 AM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger fev said...

Good point(s). "Chief" and "leader," unmodified, tend to sound like THE chief and THE leader. If you want something like "a" chief, I'd rather zoom out a notch and make him an "official."

1:28 AM, August 01, 2006  

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