Friday, February 25, 2005

A correction and retractions 

From the Associated Press:

"In a Feb. 22 story, The Associated Press quoted Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita saying that as a result of insurgent violence, Iraq is a 'country that has thrown itself back into the Dark Ages.'

"A transcript showed Di Rita meant that insurgents want to push Iraq into the Dark Ages. His full quotation:

" 'They are still capable of doing great harm. They're killing a lot of innocent civilians inside of Iraq. And it's my belief and observation, having been there quite a number of times now, that most Iraqis do not want what the insurgents want, which is a country that's thrown itself back into the Dark Ages'."
Meanwhile, Walid Jumblatt is not the only one having second thoughts about the war in Iraq and its consequences. In Great Britain, Labour MP Harry Barnes, one of the founders of Labour Against the War, has now quit the organization:

"He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I joined Labour Against the War from the start and was on the original platform next to Tony Benn and fully supported action to stop the war - but things have moved and changed.'

"Mr Barnes said he could no longer support the anti-war movement's demands for Allied troops to withdraw from the region, insisting this should be a decision for the Iraqi people. 'The Iraqi people now have an avenue for expressing their opinion through their Parliament and the government that has been established,' he said. 'The coalition should be there a little longer to hold the ring.'

"Mr Barnes accused his anti-war colleagues of only showing a 'one-sided' view of life in Iraq, by endlessly repeating the 100,000 casualty estimate produced in an analysis of deaths caused by the conflict which was published in the academic journal The Lancet. 'That analysis said it could be anything between 2,000 and 198,000,' he said. 'Some things are just over the top and simple-minded'."
One of his more diehard colleagues left behind had this to say: "Harry is an old friend and I am sorry he has gone, but I think he has been misled... This remains an illegal invasion and an illegal occupation." And by now, an illegal democracy.

In other changes of mind, read about
Colonel David H. Hackworth, one of the earliest opponents of the war who now says that the US can win against the insurgents (and he tells you how), and this piece from a San Francisco writer Cinnamon Stillwell, "The Making Of A 9/11 Republican."


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