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April 10, 2003

Robert Fisk writes about liberating Baghdad.

"It is the beginning of our new freedom," an Iraqi shopkeeper shouted at me. Then he paused, and asked: "What do the Americans want from us now?'
What, indeed? I'm sorry, Mr. Shopkeeper, but that information doesn't seem to be available under FOIA.

Fisk doesn't shy away from other truths, either.

It was a symbolic moment in more ways than one. I stood behind the first man to seize a hatchet and smash at the imposing grey marble plinth. But within seconds, the marble had fallen away to reveal a foundation of cheap bricks and badly cracked cement. That's what the Americans always guessed Saddam's regime was made of, although they did their best in the late Seventies and early Eighties to arm him and service his economy and offer him political support, to turn him into the very dictator he became.
I give him credit for being one of the few journalists I've seen talking openly about the USofA's previous support for Bush's #1 Most Wanted.

Natasha Walter is just as blunt on the subject of news coverage of the war.

The reporters based in Baghdad have been doing a far better job. It's not their fault that in most television news bulletins the civilian casualties are either sidelined or presented to us as objects for our generous charity, as has happened with Ali Ismail Abbas, the boy whose arms were blown off and who is now going to be the target for grandstanding coalition compassion after having been the target of grim coalition brutality.
(The point of her article, by the way, is that the internet "won" the battle for covering the war because on the net you can find coverage from other countries, and other perspectives, and people can talk to each other freely.)

But the USofA press isn't entirely muzzled. You can find signs of freedom, like in the Chicago Tribune, which at least mentioned "how small the crowd of Iraqis around the statue really was."

Matt Miller over at the Washington Monthly offers congratulations to President Clinton on how his military handled Iraq. (A few days before, on March 2, he offered some speculation on how it might look if everything the gov'mint did was covered 24/7. You can access his archives to read it. Highly entertaining.)

And, finally, if you check out Undernews, you can read Sam Smith talking about the generation gap this war has exposed between those who knew war and today's younger generations to whom war is a remote, sanitized process.

And, in the Hey! Hey! department, look what Argentina is doing. Can we do that? Please?

I think that's enough for one day, don't you? Back to work now....

Posted by AnneZook at 11:58 AM