Saturday, March 22, 2003

Is Saddam Dead?, and more on television news.

As Steven Den Beste points out, it becomes steadily clearer that the initial cruise missile attack on Baghdad got somebody important. It may not have been Saddam (although it may have been) but if it was not it may have been one or both of Saddam's sons Qusay and Uday. In any event, I think Steven is right that this has profoundly affected the course of the war.

I have a television with digital (and a choice of several news channels) downstairs, but upstairs (where I am now) I have a television with only the five analogue channels. Thus if I listen to news coverage upstairs, it varies due to time of day, but I am largely struck with the BBC. I am getting a great deal of "It seems the war isn't going as smoothly as the Americans have hoped", and "America will wake up to the horror of discovering there are more casualties" and lots of editorialising. An Australian colonel was interviewed (and I was quite interested to hear what he had to say about what Australian servicemen were doing) but they spent a portion of this short interview asking him about the opposition to Australian involvement back home. This is different from Sky News (which is doing a much better job of just reporting what is happening), and I suspect that Fox News (which I don't have, but which would be available to me if I had satelite TV) would probably be editorialising in the other direction.

I happen to think there are times when you just report the news. And this is one of them.

Ideally, I think one needs to be watching half a dozen sources at the same time to figure out what is actually happening, in the same way that if you read half a dozen film reviews of a film you have not seen and none of them give away the ending, you can find that together they drop enough hints that you can figure out the ending. I am a little short for this war, and that is annoying.

(Actually, I am presently watching the BBC with the sound down. Please note that I am required by law to pay 112 pounds a year for the BBC).

Update: Sky News is reporting that US intelligence believes there was "frantic digging" after the missile attack the other night, followed by a number of bodies (possibly dead, possibly alive) being removed and carried off on stretchers. They also believe that one of those bodies was Saddam Hussein. Personally, I am coming around to the belief that they got him in the first strike of the war. If so, the war will be over within a few more days.

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