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Conflict with Iraq

Battle Lines
Tom Brown
Tom Brown
Battle Lines is an ongoing Web log (blog) dedicated to providing a broad perspective on the latest news and developments from the war in Iraq. Response and suggestions are welcomed.

Tom Brown has been an editor, reporter and software analyst for The Seattle Times for 20 years.

April 22, 2003

Building a government from scratch

"Everything is the challenge" in postwar Iraq, retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Jay Garner said yesterday. But life is starting to return to normal, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "More and more stores are opening, butcher shops are full of hanging meat, and even some restaurants are opening their doors.

"During the day, traffic jams clog the dusty streets - just as before the war. The constantly shifting US military checkpoints, where tanks sometimes block entire thoroughfares, add to the snarl."

The New York Times follows a doctor who's volunteered to be city administrator in Diwaniya, a large city south of Baghdad.

"In much of Iraq, government right now, where it exists at all, is as improvisational as jazz. And here in Diwaniya, a city of more than 400,000 people 120 miles south of Baghdad, the bandleader for the moment is Dr. Shammary, a genial former medical professor."

Weapons woes

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix is claiming today that the US tried to discredit his team and used "shaky" intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.

In an interview with the BBC, Blix said "US officials tried to discredit UN weapons inspectors working in Iraq in a bid to win security council support for military action." He also raised questions about the quality of US intelligence, and said he found it "very, very disturbing" that the US failed to identify as fakes documents suggesting Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger, in West Africa.

Americans may not be finding chemical and biological weapons in Iraq because they've been spirited away, and the evidence in files and electronic data may have been stolen under the cover of recent looting. That could be a dangerous development, the Washington Post reports.

"If such weapons or the means of making them have been removed from the centralized control of former Iraqi officials, high-ranking U.S. officials acknowledged, then the war may prove to aggravate the proliferation threat that President Bush said he fought to forestall."

Posted by Katherine Long at April 22, 2003 07:06 AM

Tom Brown Katherine Long, research editor at the Seattle Times and 18-year editor and reporter, substituted for Tom Brown the week of April 14.

April 2003
March 2003

Signing off
The Saddam Files
Demonstrations in Karbala
Building a government from scratch
Smoking gun?
The irony of freedom
Where are the weapons?
Cultural advisors quit over antiquities issue
Baghdad reality check


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