"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, February 07, 2005

Interesting stuff from truthout.org

Iraq Media Coverage: Too Much Stenography, Not Enough Curiosity
By Norman Solomon

Friday 04 February 2005

Curiosity may occasionally kill a cat. But lack of curiosity is apt to terminate journalism with extreme prejudice.

"We will not set an artificial timetable for leaving Iraq, because that would embolden the terrorists and make them believe they can wait us out," President Bush said in his State of the Union address. "We are in Iraq to achieve a result: A country that is democratic, representative of all its people, at peace with its neighbors and able to defend itself."

President Johnson said the same thing about the escalating war in Vietnam. His rhetoric was typical on Jan. 12, 1966: "We fight for the principle of self-determination -- that the people of South Vietnam should be able to choose their own course, choose it in free elections without violence, without terror, and without fear."



Leading Shiite Clerics Pushing Islamic Constitution in Iraq
By Edward Wong
The New York Times

Sunday 06 February 2005

NAJAF, Iraq, Feb. 4 - With religious Shiite parties poised to take power in the new constitutional assembly, leading Shiite clerics are pushing for Islam to be recognized as the guiding principle of the new constitution.

Exactly how Islamic to make the document is the subject of debate.

At the very least, the clerics say, the constitution should ensure that legal measures overseeing personal matters like marriage, divorce and family inheritance fall under Shariah, or Koranic law. For example, daughters would receive half the inheritances of sons under that law.

On other issues, opinion varies, with the more conservative leaders insisting that Shariah be the foundation for all legislation.



What I Heard about Iraq

Eliot Weinberger

In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq’. I heard him say: ‘The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is: not that damned many.’

In February 2001, I heard Colin Powell say that Saddam Hussein ‘has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.’

That same month, I heard that a CIA report stated: ‘We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programmes.’