Saturday, March 22
Baghdad Burns While Dubya Does Lunch
Who Dares Critique the Smirking Commander?
Linda Heard, Counterpunch, March 22, 2003

America's great commander George W Bush has surely to be admired for his amazing sangfroid. If he had any worries about the impending 'Shock and Awe' campaign, he didn't show them as he played with his pooch on the White House lawn on the day the war kicked off. After an intimate dinner with the missus, the wondrous leader took time out to give the order to attack Baghdad before delivering his mushy message to the nation.

But unfortunately for him Aunty Beeb, also known as the BBC, erroneously broadcast Dubya preparing for his Churchillian moment in history. There he was practicing his speech totally unaware that the cameras were rolling. As his mouth moved soundlessly evoking a guppy in an aquarium a middle-aged ma'am primped his locks, spraying every offending hair in to place.

Worse, the small man deliberately contorted his facial features in an effort to convey passivity, emotion and greatness as though he were looking into a mirror, which he probably was. The result was an orchestrated pre-written blurb absent of sincerity or sympathy. Lee Strasburg must be turning over in his grave.

By the time it was over and my tears of mirth (and sorrow) had dried it was well past Dubya's bedtime and determined not to lose any beauty sleep over a silly thing like a war, he went off to bed. That's the true mark of leadership. [...]

No doubt, the chilling Rummy Rumsfeld didn't have to practice to face his audience. He did what he does best - gleefully warning of the carnage to come. He told the world that Baghdad was facing an attack of the scope and scale the world had never seen before, but of course the US has nothing at all against the Iraqi people, he tells us.[...]

The jingoistic Fox News anchors are already sporting their flag pins, and the almost 50 per cent of Americans who believe that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11 are flying the Star Spangled banner from their balconies. The patriots are pouring bottles of the finest Bordeaux and Beaujolais down the drain, while Russian vodka and Chinese beer stays on the shelves.[...]

Even before the war is over, Iraqi diplomats are being kicked out of their embassies and consulates, their real estate seized 'for the next Iraqi (puppet) administration'. Some 1.6 billion dollars of Iraqi funds in the US, which were frozen after the Gulf War is to be grabbed too 'to help pay for Iraq's reconstruction'. Arms manufacturers are already laughing all the way to the bank, while Bush's cronies rub their hands together waiting for their lucrative post-war contracts to be implemented. [...]

...and another American protectorate is born. The New World Order is here...until it is challenged, as it must surely be.

Mundane Impressions of Otherwise "Brutal Iraq"
John Brittas ,, March 22, 2003

The inevitable has happened. The world is holding its breath, counting the number of raids the Americans have successfully conducted over Iraq. The images held close to my heart are very different.

A recent fortnight in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq has made me imbibe many frames, totally alien to the common perception being disseminated by the world corporate media.[...]
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