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OK - get a load of this before we start the celebrations:-(12 posts)

OK - get a load of this before we start the celebrations:-Downhill deux mille
Apr 10, 2003 8:04 AM,2763,934178,00.html
Interesting reportingTJeanloz
Apr 10, 2003 8:16 AM
The same story from MSNBC:

The Guardian reports that also killed was "an aide"; MSNBC reports that the other person killed was a religious leader who was a member of Hussein's Ministry of Religion. MSNBC reports the scenario as effectively a reprisal attack against a vestige of the old regime; the Guardian makes it sound like it was an attack centered on the peacebroker. In terms of apparent facts, MSNBC seems to have a better handle on the background and the actual events, and I think their report is probably more accurate.
Why? nmDownhill deux mille
Apr 10, 2003 8:18 AM
Try this versionSteveS
Apr 10, 2003 8:47 AM
Thursday, April 10, 2003

NAJAF, Iraq — A senior Iraqi Shiite leader and an Iraqi official are dead after a crowd rushed them and hacked them to death in a Najaf mosque Thursday, witnesses said. An unknown number of people were injured.

"People attacked and killed both of them inside the mosque," said Ali Assayid Haider, a mullah who traveled from the southern city of Basra for a meeting at the Mosque of Ali.

Reuters reported that senior Iraqi Shiite leader Abdul Majid al-Khoei was assassinated and that the other man killed, Haidar al Kadar, was an aid to al-Khoei. The Associated Press is reporting that Al Kadar is an Iraqi official.

The accounts could not be independently confirmed.

The killings took place at the shrine of Imam Ali, one of the holiest sites of Shiite Islam, practiced by the majority of Iraqis.

Witnesses told reporters visiting the mosque that a meeting was held at 10 a.m. among leading mullahs about how to control the shrine, which has been under the supervision of Al Kadar, who was widely disliked because of his role as a member of President Saddam Hussein's Ministry of Religion.

Those attending also reportedly returned to the city in recent days in hopes that they could play a large part in post-Saddam Hussein reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

In a gesture of reconciliation, al Kadar was accompanied to the shrine by al-Khoei, son of one of the late Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei, spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites, at the time of the 1991 Gulf War. He was executed by Saddam in 1982.

When the two men appeared, members of another Muslim faction yelled at them. Witnesses say the cleric pulled a gun and fired one or two shots. Both men were then rushed by the crowd and hacked to death with swords and knives.

Apparently feeling threatened, al-Khoei pulled a gun and fired one or two shots before he was killed. Accounts were conflicting over whether he fired the bullets into the air or in the crowd.

"Al Kadar was an animal," said Adil Adnan al-Moussawi, 25, who witnessed the confrontation. "The people were shouting they hate him, he should not be here."

Al-Khoei's family was prominent in southern Iraq. He heads a London-based philanthropic group, and his father was a revered Shiite cleric.

Al-Khoei told The Associated Press recently that he has urged his followers in the Shiite cities to stay at home and let the American troops do the job. He said Saddam's tactics of urban warfare and the use of paramilitary militias made it highly risky for the population to revolt.

More than 150 hard-line Iraqi fighters shut themselves in the inside the gold-domed Mosque of Ali last week while hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Najaf to keep U.S. troops from entering the shrine. It holds the tomb of the Shiites' most beloved saint, Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib, the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law.

American helicopters flew above the shrine, dropping leaflets urging surrender by the barricaded members of the Baath Party and the Fedayeen Saddam.

Al-Khoei, who arrived in Najaf that day, said then that local clerics were attempting to negotiate a deal where Iraqi loyalists would leave the mosque in return for safe passage out of the city.

Last Wednesday, U.S. officials accused Iraqi forces of firing on coalition troops from inside the mosque.
Here's yet anotherDownhill deux mille
Apr 10, 2003 8:53 AM

Point is, it's a can of worms.

Still intersted to know why TJ thinks one version is better than another - does he have some inside info? And, come to that, what "apparent facts" are? Apparent to who, and how?
Apr 10, 2003 9:04 AM
has a pathological hatred of the Guardian
Neo-cons rejoice.......cycleaddict
Apr 10, 2003 9:29 AM
the tough days are yet to come.
Dopey addicts rejoice...SteveS
Apr 10, 2003 2:06 PM
Think of all the invasions of oil producing countries that you can postulate about and how tough they will be to conquer; Mexico, Venezuela, Nigeria...yaddy yada, or maybe easier at hand Kuwait.

What a foolish harp. But definitely addicted to dopey postulates.
Neo-libbies rejoice...SteveS
Apr 10, 2003 3:36 PM
You will like this article by such a smart libbie he must be on NPR...and to think, he can pronouce 'nuke-you-lur' correctly. Thats about all though, and with the foresight of just 10 days ago...

Eric S. Margolis
31 March 2003
The opening weeks of the Second Oil War against Iraq - aka Operation Iraq Freedom - produced the advertised 'shock and awe' all right, but it came in Washington rather than bomb-blasted Baghdad.

The immediate uprisings against Great Satan Saddam, the quick, almost effortless 'liberation' of Iraq, and the joyous reception by grateful Iraqis promised by the neo-conservatives who misled America into this increasingly ugly war have been exposed as a farrago of lies or distortions.

So much for VP Cheney's claim that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a 'house of cards' that would collapse at the first shock, and the Bush Administration's Rasputin, Richard Perle, who promised the Iraqis would run like rabbits at 'the first whiff of gunpowder.' The only part of the campaign that was on plan was the occupation of most of Iraq's oil fields. Contracts are already being given to US firms for their operation and maintenance

Iraqis, very clearly, do not want to be 'liberated,' even many who had long opposed Saddam's brutal regime. To the contrary, the US-British invasion appears to have ignited genuine national resistance among 17 million Arab Iraqis, just as the 1941 German invasion of the USSR rallied Russians and Ukrainians behind Stalin's hated regime.

So far, regular Iraqi army units, militia groups, and guerillas have been delaying and harassing the northward advance of US forces by assaulting overextend American supply lines, then retreating into cities and towns. Any 18th century general worth his snuff would tell you never leave enemy garrisons athwart your communications(supply lines). Napoleon said lines of communications were the most important factor in war, a lesson US forces are painfully re-learning in Iraq.

So 100,000 more US troops are being rushed to Iraq, meaning almost half of the US Army will be stuck in Mesopotamia at a time when North Korea is threatening war. And this before US forces have even closed with Iraq's Republican Guards. Last week, an ashen-faced Tony Blair admitted British forces have been forced to lay siege to Basra, Iraq's second city - a 'humanitarian' operation he laughably claimed - after British shelling and bombing destroyed Basra's water and electricity systems. The nasty, bloody urban warfare the Americans and Brits sought to avoid at all costs is now confronting them.

CIA and many American generals warned for months that a. there might be no mass uprisings against Saddam's regime; b. over-extended US communications would be vulnerable; c. the invasion force lacked sufficient ground troops to conquer Iraq; d. Turkey's refusal to admit the US 4th Division would wrong-foot the campaign.

In his eagerness for war, President George Bush ignored these warnings. So did the civilian neo-con hawks running his administration, few of whom, save Sec Donald Rumsfeld, had ever served in their nation's armed forces. The president's military background - a few appearances in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War - were unlikely to have taught him much about the art of war.

The Bush Administration, Pentagon, and tame media are already calling Iraqi guerillas 'terrorists' and, inevitably, 'linked to al-Qaida.' The White House has issued orders to avoid at all costs any mention of guerrilla warfare, as this term suggests both popular resistance and conjures memories of Vietnam. The Administration will continue efforts to convince the public that invading Iraq is part of the so-called war on terrorism, and attacking its cities an act of 'humanitarian aid.' Saddam is already being downgraded as a menace in the event he, like bin Laden, escapes death or capture..

The US medi
Neo-libbies rejoice...Part 2SteveS
Apr 10, 2003 3:45 PM

"The US media, with some notable exceptions, too often simply parrots Pentagon PR handouts, and shields Americans from the indelicate realities of war. Ironically, Russia's media is delivering far more accurate reporting on the conflict that America's self-censoring media.

US and British casualties may be under-reported, a practice the US is following in its guerilla war in Afghanistan, where six US soldiers were recently killed when their helicopter was shot down. The Pentagon described it as a 'hard landing.' The Pentagon stoutly denies under-reporting losses, though some foreign intelligence sources contradict its claim.

Iraqis, quite clearly, have rained on President Bush's victory parade. No matter how the Pentagon spins Iraqi resistance - 'Saddam's thugs force Iraqis to fight at gunpoint' É'Iraqis use human shields'É'civilians fire on US soldiers' etc, it seems clear that non-Kurdish Iraqis of all sorts are resisting the invasion. Their growing and surprisingly aggressive fight against vastly superior forces suggest that a long guerilla war may be in the offing, even after US-British forces occupy Baghdad. US attacks on the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala could also spark even more fierce resistance by Shias Muslims, or even Iran.

In a further irony, the US believed it could re-fight the 1991 war against Iraq, assuming the Iraqi Army would disintegrate under fire. By contrast, the Iraqis learned from their 1991 disaster and gained much knowledge from friendly Serbia, which had been extremely successful in tactical deception and spoofing US technology. Most important, Iraq learned to hide under urban shelter and avoid exposing its troops and armor to lethal US airpower.

The White House and Pentagon have forgotten the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, when Saddam was a close American ally. Iraq fought ferocious battles against numerically superior Iranian forces, suffering 500,000 casualties. In open desert, Iraq's forces, bereft of air cover, are sitting ducks; in urban areas, they have fought, at least in the past, with skill and courage. Many of Iraq's current soldiers are veterans of the war with Iran. This does not bode well for the upcoming US attack on Baghdad."

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2003

Hey, Eric, as I print this, the word is that there has been an uprising in Mosul, even with a minority Kurdish population amongst Arabs. Hate to rain on your defeated libbie parade.
You probably meant "libbies". Neo-liberals are different. nmczardonic
Apr 10, 2003 3:52 PM
Not so much,TJeanloz
Apr 10, 2003 9:45 AM
I've come to have some degree of respect for the Guardian. I still have pathological hatred of people who post links to Guardian articles without expressing their own view on it, but that's different.

On to the question of why I believe the MSNBC version was "apparently" more accurate:

1. The Guardian limited its reporting to 7 sentances about the incident. MSNBC gave it an entire article.

2. The Guardian did not identify Haider al-Kadar by name, or give the background that he was a former government official -- they only called him an "aide", which from other news sources, was not accurate.

3. They use the word "assasinate" which implies that he was attacked with no provocation, while he apparently fired the first shots (and was the only one to use a firearm).

4. They report that he (al-Khoei) was being verbally assaulted, while almost every other news agency reported that it was al-Kadar who was the target of the insults, and the violence, in the first place.

So, in this case, I think the Guardian just failed to provide the same level of detail that many other news agencies gave, and that impairs their credibility as the most authoritative source -- though I'm sure that no other news organization is 100% correct in its detail either.