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Look, it depends whether you want to deal with this at the level of humour and satire or whether you want to try and make sense of what are difficult issues.
-Tony Blair, Newsnight, 6-2-03


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Tuesday, November 11, 2003
NEW THRILL!: Warticker goes two-way. In future, all posts to the warticker - and to our new-not-quite-created sister blog SomethingOfTheNight - will be automatically delivered to the something of the night email list. So, if yuo subscribe to that, you won't have to worry about checking back here to see if we've got round to posting; it'll come to your mailbox. Plus - and this is the magic part - you can respond to posts there, and respond to the responses, and respond to the... ah, but you get the drift...
Friday, October 31, 2003
WE'RE GLAD IT'S NOT TURNING INTO ANOTHER VIETNAM: Since the more hawkish blogs had spent the run-up to the Iraq war making it clear that Iraq wasn't going to be another Vietnam, we've been wondering how they've managed to square their determination that such a thing wouldn't happen with the slightly unfortunate never-ending rumble of continued guerilla attacks on US and Western targets over the last few months. Of course, they're not being quite as honest as to say "well, who knew the bleeding-heart liberals would be right on this one?", but frantically sawing-up opinions to reformat exactly what has happened and display it as being not Vietnam-like in the least:

It's not like Vietnam because in Vietnam, there was anything up to 500 deaths a day

It's not like Vietnam because, hey, Vietnam wasn't like Vietnam

Erm... it's not like Vietnam because we have got much more accurate weapons.

And so on. The trouble is, while it's really easy to pull differences between Vietnam and Iraq out of the air - Iraq isn't in Asia; the Iraq war hasn't been the backdrop for the pilot of a TV series about Soldiers of Fortune called The A Team - it's just so much squirming. Because everybody knows what we meant by "It'll turn into another Vietnam" - the war would become a drawn-out tale of sniping, and death, and while the clash of the armies might well run the American's way, it'd prove almost impossible to stem the flow of small groups of pro-Saddam loyalists carrying out any number of handkerchief-scale attacks on Western targets.
Friday, October 03, 2003
JACK YOUR BODY: did anyone else hear jack Straw this morning? So, now it seems, the war wasn't because Saddam had weapons (because he didn't) but because he lied to the UN... when he said he had no weapons. I see.

It's brilliant the best thing they could find was a scientist had a vial of botulism "hidden in his house" - so have we, I'll bet - that jar of brandy butter at the back of the fridge could probably take down a medium-sized wedding party if released into the wild.

Last night's spin was that, although there were no actual weapons, they have found that there were plans to build some - this is a great excuse for a war; saddam flicking through a couple of brochures going "one day, I'd like one of those", like a kid at Christmas going through their mum's Grattan catalogue looking at the Scalextrix.
Monday, August 18, 2003
TOO FAIR, TOO BALANCED?: Curious... Sky News has had its US launch quietly axed, because (reading between the lines) politcal neutrality in reporting would be regarded as anti-American. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, American troops mistake 'camera' for 'grenade launcher' - or at least, that's the cover story for the killing of a reporter in Iraq this time. We wonder if it's just more of a warning shot across the media's bows?
Thursday, July 31, 2003
THE FUTURE'S NOT AS BRIGHT AS IT USED TO BE: The whole extraordinary 'Terrorism Futures' debacle - which, we suspect, just looks like a body politic which has gone beyond the point of no return; what were they thinking? - has prompted Ted Mills to produce this splendid riposte.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
EVEN THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION CAN'T WORK UP ANY CREDENCE FOR NEW THREATS: "Wassat? The DHS is saying there's going to be more hijacking? Righto, whatever. Let's not let that get in the way of cutting back on the Air Marshalls to save cash; it's not like it's a real threat..."
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
EVEN IF IT WASN'T A BREACH OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION, YOU'D HAVE TROUBLE LIVING WITH YOURSELF: "Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: "If you want your family released, turn yourself in." Such tactics are justified, he said, because, "It's an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info." They would have been released in due course, he added later. The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered. [From The Washington Post].
WATCH THE SKIES, WATCH THE LIES: On a day when we're told that wearing ties can make you blind, the screeching doom-warning that AlQaeda are planning more hijack-suicide-crashes just adds to the general air of panic. But hang about a minute... we apparently know about these plans because AlQaeda suspects held by the US have told the intelligence people. Am I missing something? Did the US suddenly capture a whole heap of extra Al-Q people, the sort who are in the loop enough to know the plans, but happy to spill the beans the minute they get caught? Or have these claims come from those captured ages ago, who have, Colombo-style, remembered "just one more thing..."? Coming the day after the US government started to try and justify the costly Iraqi adventure on the grounds that it, you know, probably had something to do with sep'ven, we're wondering when they'll actually just start flashing blipverts during the Leno show: QUESTION BUSH AND YOU WILL DIE.
LETTERS HOME: The Iraqis wonder why the cash-rich USA can't seem to get their infrastructure repaired. Maybe its because they are having trouble keeping their troops clean, never mind fixing the electricity supply.