Today is 2003/04/17

I've been mentioning the looting of the museums, libraries, art galleries, and so on in Iraq: “The Iraqi National Museum… 500,000 years of history, the most complete timeline of civilization that existed in any museum in the world… it is shattered, it is smashed” (more). While the rumors that the Marines opened up the museum doors for looters seem hard to believe, it's almost equally disturbing that massive resources have been put into protecting oil, but none into protecting these treasures which one could argue had far more value (more) — why hand over a half billion dollars to Halliburton to protect oil and nothing to anyone to protect history?

And why hand these contracts out in secret? (more).

Iraqi banks have also been looted (robbed) to the point of destroying the economy (more)… as a result Iraq is being switched to US currency (more), something which could have damaging results on many, many levels. But don't worry, General Tommy Franks is enjoying his now gold-fixtured office, smoking cigars in what he calls the “oil-for-palace program” and says that Iraqis really don't mind Americans taking over Saddam's palaces (more).

A day or two ago I commented on CNN's claim that during Saddam's rule they reported primarily lies to their viewers due to his degrees. Now, CNN admits freely that they censor anti-war views (more), and the “Fox Effect” threatens to degrade all big news agencies (more)… But what's interesting is that the “embeds”, or, as WorldNet's Ilana Mercer calls them, “presstitutes” (more), are now making similar claims — talking about the brutality of civilian slaughter-parties that they were unable to report on while under US command. Laurent Van der Stockt of the NY Times describes what it was like (more).

With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane.

I drove away a girl who had had her humerus pierced by a bullet. Enrico was holding her in his arms. In the rear, the girl's father was protecting his young son, wounded in the torso and losing consciousness. The man spoke in gestures to the doctor at the back of the lines, pleading: "I don't understand, I was walking and holding my children's hands. Why didn't you shoot in the air? Or at least shoot me?"

Civilians are still being killed in Iraq (more). Iraqis continue to protest America in growing numbers (more), often with direct anger toward them (more), with Knight Ridder reporting that in the bombed areas, everyone “wants to kill Americans” (more)… and that's a big problem if democracy comes to Iraq. A truly democratic Iraq will almost certainly not be friendly toward the US (more).

PS. Since no WMDs have been found in Iraq, the story was first “they must have been moved to Syria”, but now it seems to be “oops, there's no WMDs because we accidentally destroyed them”… (more)… Ah, faith-based evidence.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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