"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."
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."