Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Iraq Gothic 

Strange and ill winds are blowing through Mesopotamia and the kommentariat today.

Item 1: "The defense team of the toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein said it has witnesses willing to testify that the former Iraqi president was
not responsible for gassing the Kurdish population in the Iraqi city of Halabja on March 16, 1988."

Says Saddam's chief lawyer Ziad al-Khasawneh: "Those witnesses cannot be challenged in terms of the weight of their testimonies, their persons, positions and connection to the event."

The Kurds must have gassed themselves. Or the Zionists did it.

Item 2: "Iraq's Jan. 30 elections fall on
the 37th anniversary of the Tet offensive, the Vietnam War turning point that could hold lessons for Iraqi insurgents and U.S. policy makers anticipating more violence that could test American resolve."

The actual Reuters piece is broadly accurate, noting as it does that "the Tet offensive... was a heavy defeat for the communist forces in strictly military terms. However, it gave them a psychological and propaganda victory which vividly rebutted the Johnson administration's rosy portrayal of the fighting, broke the will of U.S. political elites, and triggered a steady erosion in American public support for the war."

Now, I wonder, how could have "a heavy defeat" magically transformed itself into "a propaganda victory"?

Reuters anyone?

Item 3: Robert Fisk
doesn't think the reporting from Iraq is negative enough - and he know why:

" 'Hotel journalism' is the only word for it. More and more, Western reporters in Baghdad are reporting from their hotels rather than the streets of Iraq’s towns and cities."
The hotels must be dreadful enough to account for the reporting we see every day on the news.

Item 4: Why accuse the United States simply of bungling and incompetence when you could
impute evil intentions instead?

"The Bush Administration is intentionally steering Iraq towards civil war. The elections are merely the catalyst for igniting, what could be, a massive social upheaval. This explains the bizarre insistence on voting when security is nearly nonexistent and where a mere 7% of the people can even identify the candidates."
But won't civil war interfere with the neocons' attempts to steal Iraq's oil?


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