Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Missiles? What missiles? Robert Fisk, of the Independent, has a surrealist take on the Iraqi information minister's news conference on the roof of the Palestine Hotel yesterday -- the most absurd moment of a day that was marked by "a crazed mixture of normality, death and high farce." Fisk writes:

As shells exploded to his left and the air was shredded by the power-diving American jets, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf announced to perhaps 100 journalists that the whole thing was a propaganda exercise, the Americans were no longer in possession of Baghdad airport, that reporters must "check their facts and re-check their facts -- that's all I ask you to do." Mercifully, the oil fires, bomb explosions and cordite smoke now obscured the western bank of the river, so fact-checking could no longer be accomplished by looking behind Mr Sahaf's back.

The different lens through which foreign journalists such as Fisk see the war continues to fascinate. For instance, Fisk writes that the "American thrust into Bagdhad had neither humility nor honour about it," adding that American soldiers were "sniping at soldiers and civilians. Hundreds of Iraqi men, women and children were brought to Baghdad hospitals ..."

This is not how to win the friendship and trust of the Iraqi people.

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