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Between the Lines

March 31, 2004

A grim and brutal day in the Sunni Triangle

“In one of the bloodiest and most horrifying days since the end of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, five U.S. troops and four civilian contractors — at least three of them Americans — were killed in separate attacks in the Sunni Triangle west of Baghdad. After ambushing the vehicle carrying the civilian contractors in Fallujah, jubilant Iraqis burned and mutilated the dead, then dragged two corpses through the streets and hung them from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River.”

NBC decided not to air tapes of the contractors’ killings. Correspondent Richard Engel told Katie Couric:

“Katie, for the sake of decorum and respect for those people who were killed, we can’t show you everything that happened in Fallujah today. But I can tell you that the crowds dragged the charred bodies through street then tore them apart and hung them up for public display.”

No relief in sight: Our head man in Iraq, Paul Bremmer, says it will be at least a year before Iraq’s internal security problems can be addressed.

“ ‘There is no way to speed it up; it simply can't be done,'' he said. “We just have to be honest about that.’

“Bremer's comments -- coming just three months before the American-led coalition is scheduled to return power to an Iraqi government -- made it clear that U.S. troops will continue to play the key role in maintaining security in Iraq even after the hand-over of power, scheduled for July 1.

“At least 100,000 American soldiers will remain in the country after Iraqis take over.”

U.S. war dead now 599: All told, 700 coalition troops have died.

Posted by tbrown at 12:17 PM

Iran’s ‘hide-and-seek’ nuclear bomb program

While we’re tied down trying to pacify Iraq, the ruling mullah’s in neighboring Iran still seem bent on developing nuclear weapons.

“New intelligence on Iran has fueled suspicions the Islamic Republic has a secret uranium- enrichment program, possibly aimed at producing fuel for an atom bomb program, Western diplomats say.”

Posted by tbrown at 12:15 PM

Clinton and the Rwanda genocide

Recently declassified documents show the Clinton administration was aware that genocide was underway in Rawanda shortly after it began in April 1994, but buried the information because the president had already decided not to intervene. More than a half-million people were slaughtered in the ethnic violence.

The information comes from intelligence and diplomatic briefings prepared for Clinton, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and other senior officials and obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act.

Posted by tbrown at 12:13 PM

Pump watch

Our friends in OPEC are going ahead with their plan to cut oil output by 4 percent. Which means we’ll be paying still more at the pump.

Posted by tbrown at 12:11 PM

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A grim and brutal day in the Sunni Triangle
Iran’s ‘hide-and-seek’ nuclear bomb program
Clinton and the Rwanda genocide
Pump watch


Blogs to watch

Abu Ardvark
Andrew Sullivan
Atrios Eschaton
Best of the Web
Drudge Report
Joe Conason (subscription required)
Josh Marshall
Kaus files
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Real Clear Politics
The Corner
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar

Mideast blogs

Salam Pax (Iraq)
G. in Baghdad
L.T. Smash (U.S. military in Iraq)
Lady Sun (Iran)

City blogs

L.A. Examiner

Africa blogs

Cathy Buckle

Media blogs

Dan Gillmor's eJournal
Media Whores Online


Newspapers online (guide to papers on the web)
International Herald Tribune
The Guardian U.K.
New York Times (free registration required)

Economy blogs

Brad DeLong

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