It's not always easy where to draw the line between rumour and simple exaggeration. For example, there is a foreign banker in Tokyo who writes a blog (which was then published in a national newspaper). At one stage he says that his view out of his 25th floor office window changed from Tokyo Tower (to his north) to Ginza (to his north-east). If it's true that a modern office building rotated through 45 degrees and back, I wouldn't like to be anywhere near it. He then said that he escaped the building but was knocked off his feet by an after-shock and was seriously concerned that 4-storey buildings would fall down on him. It's just totally ridiculous (unless he was balancing on one leg with his eyes shut at the time). I was outside during the main quake and didn't see a single person knocked off his or her feet, and the after-shocks were much less powerful. He also says that the Fukushima plant was 130 miles from Tokyo (also untrue - the correct figure is about 150/160 miles, depending on which part of Tokyo you're talking about). Why the need for embellishment of a great story? People will start believing this stuff, a lot of which simply isn't true.
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I wonder why people like you pretend that the US military is in any way in control of what happens in Iraq? It's 5 years since the invasion (supposed to be a walk in the park, with the invaders greeted with open arms, but in reality one of the most disastrous exercises in military history) and people in the Green Zone - supposedly the safest area of the country! - are being regularly bombed, injured and killed. And Muqtada al-Sadr just has to twitch his little finger and Baghdad is under curfew; drop it and the curfew is lifted.
I guess that at least Petraeus realises that he is stuck in a lose-lose situation by advocating that there are no more troop withdrawals.
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