10:02:22 PM # your two cents 
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8:07:51 PM # your two cents 
Al-Jazeerah posts the only picture I've seen of the aftermath of the US tank blasts at the Palestine Hotel, where nearly all journalists have been located during the war. We sure do get lots of shots of soldiers looking determined, unbloodied people on the streets, and eerily beautiful pics of missiles being launched, however. The official spin that pictures like this one are 'tasteless' -- when there's a massive appetite for blood and gore in the US box office, as long as it comes via Hollywood special effects departments -- underlines the propaganda usefulness of sanitising a war into images of silly war correspondents in gas masks and desert vistas rather than the actual human cost. In that context, don't talk to me about Al-Jazeerah being 'Arab propaganda'.
7:33:12 PM # your two cents 
6:03:11 PM # your two cents 
If you're a Roddy Doyle fan(The Commitments, The Van, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), Vincent Browne broke out of his usual current events programming format last night and spent the entire show talking to Doyle about his novel about domestic violence, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. The book has been turned into a play; Browne was clearly wowed by the book. You can hear their conversation here, for most of today; after then, go here and click on Tuesday's show.
3:26:17 PM # your two cents 
How do we win the peace in Iraq? We need to help and not just with money. It can also not only be self-help. Where are the hordes of educational experts, health experts, (non-exploitive) business experts, agricultural experts, etc.. ready to enter Iraq after the war is over? Why are we only willing to send oil experts, american corporations working on contract, and ex-military managers? We need a Peace-Corps on steroids -- not kids that are straight out of college (which is almost the equivalent of useless), but smart and experienced people that want to make a difference. Remember, Iraqi oil revenues aren't even close to dealing with the costs of this (not only are the oil revenues paltry -- 0.03% of US GNP -- but Saddam has run up a huge national debt buying weapons). The US is in this up to the eyeballs financially in this venture. We declared war on this country and it is our responsibility to them and to our long-term financial future to help them succeed.
3:10:33 PM # your two cents 
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12:12:39 PM # your two cents 
Baghdad celebrates. Looting in Iraqi capital· Saddam's 30-year rule at an end· Hundreds greet US marines [Guardian Unlimited]... For a live take, check out Irish Times journalist Lara Marlowe's fascinating radio report this morning, which should be archived after noon GMT here (about 60-70 minutes into the show). yes, there's celebrations of the end of Saddam's rule, she says, but many Iraqis are very fearful as there's no longer any police force in the city and clearly not enough soldiers to retain order (an issue former Special Ops guy John Robb has noted several times -- Iraq is the size of California, with over 22 million people. Imagine trying to retain order in a state that size with 100,000 soldiers). Looting so far is on government installations, not citizen homes or shops, thankfully. She also notes thousands of wounded soldiers and citizens in the local hospitals (images not being broadcast, of course). Much anger continuing over the shelling of the journalists' hotel, with many journalists feeling it wasn't quite an accident, and no one apparently believing the 'sniper fire' story (the journos were there, on the rooftops, after all). The hotel is 17 floors high, sticks well above the cityscape, and the military knew it was primarily journos and civilians there, she says. Amazing with all the communications equipment the journos and military have, that at least a warning would not have been sent to the journos. This whole picture simply does not make sense. And, still no sign of Salam Pax.
In other news, Irish coverage of the controversial statement from Bush and Blair on UN involvement in Iraq after their meeting yesterday in Northern Ireland: "The United States and Britain appeared headed last night for another serious international diplomatic clash over Iraq... Pre-war divisions which shattered the earlier unity of Security Council efforts to disarm President Saddam Hussein seem destined to re-emerge." Other Irish Times war coverage is here [free access].
12:12:16 PM # your two cents 
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Good, funny piece on US media and war coverage, from the Guardian's journo embedded in LA:
I was buying some groceries in a store just after the war in Iraq had started when the man taking my money asked whether or not I thought we were about to come under attack.
I can understand that being a topic of conversation in Basra, but we were in LA - the sun was shining and there were surfers heading for the beach.
I assured him he need not worry, the Iraqis were not about to mount an invasion on California. Yes, he said, but what about the French?
Thanks to virulent anti-French rhetoric from CNN and Fox news, some Americans apparently believe the Marines are fighting a second front against those annoying wine and cheese fanatics in 'Old Europe'. I'm still waiting to see how long it takes for Americans to start dismantling their most famous French symbol and gift, the Statue of Liberty (as the empty 'freedom fries' wrappers blow around its base, no doubt). I wonder, have trips to visit it been cancelled? Curtailed? Protests mounted on the Staten Island Ferry? Read your history, folks! That would certainly be a bigger gesture than changing menus to read 'freedom toast'... especially if there's a war happening against those darn French!
11:36:26 AM # your two cents 
Copyright 2003 Karlin Lillington
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