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“Came Under Significant Fire”


In both the case of the Al Jazeera office in Baghdad and the Palestine hotel, U.S. troops were fired upon from those locations, and were forced to defend themselves, according to Pentagon officials, Barbara Starr from CNN is reporting.

You Are Not There


I’m officially fed up with the television media’s insistence that their coverage is so great, so unprecendented, so you-are-there. All you need to do is read this story from today’s Washington Post to see that television cannot come close to competing with print.

But I should say that I watched the Ted Koppel special on ABC last night. It was the first TV report which gave a real sense of the war as it happens — and it used footage that was days old. The old system of non-instantaneous but comprehensive coverage really was superior to what we have today.


“No Organized Resistance Left” in Baghdad


Embed Walter Rodgers reports on CNN.

Web Briefing: October 25, 2014



Why has the press latched onto the phrase “an upscale neighborhood” when describing the Mansour district of Baghdad? In all the pictures I’ve seen it looks like a dreary third-world urban quarter, lacking open sewers but just a step up from “bad part of town.” Maybe the expression should be “what passes for upscale in this benighted country.”


Life Imitates Art


My take on the Iraqi Information Minister was satire, but
here’s some of the real thing from this morning:

Correspondent: We now see American tanks on the river bridges. We see
American helicopters just a short distance away in the air. Is it not time
now that you surrendered or seek peace?

Al-Sahhaf: They are going to surrender. They are going to surrender or be
burned in their tanks.

Correspondent: You are not frightened now, Sir?

Al-Sahhaf: Not at all, and you do not need to be frightened. We are going
to tackle them and to destroy them. Do not be afraid.

Whatever Works


A real e-mail from the last 24 hours:

I finally bought my own subscription to NR. (Previously it had been a gift, but ran out a few months ago much to my dismay.) The final push? I showed up at Ashland University this weekend as a recent alumni…my former roommate and I were both wearing the NRO shirt with Cosmo on it. It was a sign from God that I should pay for the services somehow. Well, that or we’re both such Corner addicts, that we both knew all the same stories and are pathetic enough to put a blogger’s dog on our tshirts and think its cool. You decide. Thanks for all the good work…



CAIRO, Egypt, Apr 07, 2003 (AP WorldStream via COMTEX) – Israel pushed America to wage war on Iraq and provided equipment and training to U.S. soldiers, Iraq’s ambassador to the Arab League said Monday.
“Iraq will not be defeated” in the war, Ambassador Mohsen Khalil told a news conference in Egypt. “Iraq has now already achieved victory – apart from some technicalities.”

“Most Influential Newspaper”


Fox just did it too. This drives me nuts. People keep saying that Uday Hussein owns Iraq’s “most influential newspaper” — as if it’s just another publication like the Washington Post or the New York Times. The reason Uday’s paper is “influential” is that it serves as a bulletin board for the regime. Somehow I doubt people say, “Man, did you read that editorial. They make a very persuasive case!”

Holy Shia


There seems to be no real consensus on the spelling of Shia/Shiite. Steve Schwartz says we should go with Shia, because the word Shiite looks like, well, you know what it looks like. And in Iraq right now, the Shias seem U.S.-friendly. If that changes we can always go back to Shiite.

Augusta Goes On


One-woman crusading feminist Martha Burk seems to not have made too much of an impression on Augusta, Georgia, according to Adam Daifallah of the New York Sun.
From it:

“The sense in general is that it’s a very exciting time in Augusta. The people who live here are going about their planning and their activities as if it’s any other Masters year,” Barry White, the executive director of the Augusta Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, told The New York Sun.

“We have every reason to believe this is going to be a banner year.We’ve seen a 33% increase in hotel reservations,” said Mr. White of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

All of the city’s 6,000 hotel rooms are full this week, he said, and many people have to stay in adjacent towns. As for getting tickets to watch the tournament – forget it. It’s still one of the hardest feats in all of sports: The waiting list to get a weekly badge has been closed since 1978.

“Augusta’s a pretty resilient place. It bounces right back,” said SteveVarnell, a local taxi driver who has lived here since 1962. “I’d say probably 90% of the town is against Burk. I support Hootie.”

A Liberation Not An Invasion


From the Daily Telegraph. Here’s an extract:

The trepidation on the paratroopers’ faces as they began their walk into old Basra, splitting into two groups, taking separate parallel roads through the centre, was clear.It was soon apparent, however, that their fears were groundless when a young boy walked up to the soldiers and flung a wad of Iraqi banknotes on to the ground and deliberately trampled on the face of Saddam displayed upon them.

Remembering “Chemical Ali”


The Telegraph does him justice:

Suave in appearance, military in bearing, and uncouth in his use of crude language and Arabic dialect, al-Majid had few redeeming qualities. He relished torture, murder and rape.
Read the whole thing.

Skepticism On The Front


We might all be hyper about the Saddam bunker-buster operation, but our guys on the front are much more sober taking in the news. Talking to one officer over e-mail this morning, I am told: “[We're] taking Saddam ’sightings’ like Osama ’sightings.’ Will be glad when the world’s rid of both of ‘em.” Chip Reid on MSNBC echoes the same sentiment from the guys he is embedded with.

Iraqi Tv....


is off the air. Reuters reports.

Warthog Goes Down Near Baghdad


Brig. Gen. Brooks just now confirms we believe it was a SAM that shot it down.

Al Jazeera’s Take On Al Jazeera Hit


From the English-language website:

“It seems that we have become a target,” said Allouni[an al Jazeera correspondent].

Another of Jazeera’s Baghdad correspondents Majed Abdel Hadi called the U.S. missile strike and Ayoub’s death a “crime”.

“I will not be objective about this because we have been dragged into this conflict,” he said, visibly upset. “We were targeted because the Americans don’t want the world to see the crimes they are committing against the Iraqi people.”

Now That I Think of It...


There’s also that Koran Saddam supposedly had written with his own blood. Maybe we can get our hands on that.

About Dna


Jonah, Mansoor Ijaz contends we have a much better source of Saddam DNA. A recent Saddam mistress.

Syria Rushes to The Top


“Intelligence Sources”?


Andrea Mitchell was on the Today Show this morning discussing the attack on Saddam. When she got to the tricky question of identifying what’s left of what may or may not be Saddam, she said that we do have a DNA sample of Saddam’s son-in-law. She said something like: “But intelligence sources tell me that’s not a close enough relative for a match.” Do we really need higher-ups in the CIA to tell us that Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law doesn’t have the same DNA?


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