Sunday, April 6
Viewing the War as a Lesson to the World
David E. Sanger, New York Times, April 6, 2003
WASHINGTON — Shortly after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a stark warning to Iran and Syria last week, declaring that any "hostile acts" they committed on behalf of Iraq might prompt severe consequences, one of President Bush's closest aides stepped into the Oval Office to warn him that his unpredictable defense secretary had just raised the specter of a broader confrontation.
Mr. Bush smiled a moment at the latest example of Mr. Rumsfeld's brazenness, recalled the aide. Then he said one word — "Good" — and went back to work. [...]
Britain admits there may be no WMD's in Iraq
Ruben Bannerjee, AlJazeera.net, April 7, 2003
Well into the war that was supposed to rid Iraq of its alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, a senior British official admitted on Saturday that no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction may after all be found.
Making the startling confession in a radio interview, British Home Secretary, David Blunkett, added in the same breath that he would in any case rejoice the “fall” of Saddam Hussein and his regime — regardless of whether any weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq or not.
The confession reconfirms the worst fears of opponents of the war that “weapons of mass destruction” is only a ruse for the US and the British to go to war against Iraq.
At the very least the admission certainly deals a serious blow to the moral legitimacy that the US and the British have been seeking in prosecuting the war.
Critics of the war across the world have been accusing the US and the British of aiming for regime change in Baghdad under the guise of “unearthing and dismantling weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
There have been constant accusations that the US and the British are eyeing Iraq’s huge oil wealth, promoting Israeli interests, and that its campaign against “weapons of mass destruction” is only a convenient cover-up. [...]
Russia furious over shooting incident
MOSCOW, April 6 (UPI) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and his Iraqi counterpart, Abbas Khalaf, Sunday demanding explanations for the shooting incident near Baghdad that left at least five people wounded as a group of Russian diplomats, including the envoy, and journalists headed for Syria.
Twenty-three people, including Ambassador Vladimir Titarenko, were traveling in the convoy that came under fire twice, 8 and 15 miles from Baghdad respectively, en route to the Iraqi-Syrian border.
The motorcade left Baghdad at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and traveled along the previously agreed route, the state-controlled RTR television network reported. According to the network, Russian diplomats had duly informed U.S. military officials Saturday about their travel plans. Russia's mission in Baghdad communicated to the U.S. command the license plate information of all vehicles in the convoy. The U.S. military in turn was expected to provide the so-called "green corridor," ensuring safety of the convoy on its way toward Syria.
However, the convoy was attacked by a group of soldiers suspected to be members of a U.S. intelligence platoon that apparently knew nothing about the travel, RTR reported. At least five people -- all diplomats -- were wounded. None of the eight journalists was injured as they traveled at the back of the convoy.
U.S. Central Command in Qatar said, however, no coalition forces were operating in the area. [...]
Iraqi Hospitals Offer Snapshot of War Horror
Samia Nakhoul, Reuters, April 6, 2003
BAGHDAD - Ali Ismaeel Abbas, 12, was fast asleep when war shattered his life. A missile obliterated his home and most of his family, leaving him orphaned, badly burned and blowing off both his arms.
"It was midnight when the missile fell on us. My father, my mother and my brother died. My mother was five months pregnant," the traumatized boy told Reuters at Baghdad's Kindi hospital.
"Our neighbors pulled me out and brought me here. I was unconscious," he said on Sunday.
In addition to the tragedy of losing his parents, he faces the horror of living handicapped. Thinking about his uncertain future he timidly asked whether he could get artificial arms.
"Can you help get my arms back? Do you think the doctors can get me another pair of hands?" Abbas asked. "If I don't get a pair of hands I will commit suicide," he said with tears spilling down his cheeks. [...]