Live from Brussels
Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
Saturday, March 29, 2003
More About Ex-Human Shield Kenneth Joseph
Here is the account of Kenneth Joseph Jr., the Assyrian christian pastor who went to Iraq to be a human shield but came back supporting the war: Assyrian Christians - About Ken Joseph, Jr. A must read!
(Note that the bio of the Kenneth Joseph I linked to earlier was that of his father...)
Thursday, March 27, 2003
O.K., so InstaPundit already linked to this, but for those of you who don't read that site: Have a look at The Lemon!, a cool parody of The Onion!
...wearing the wrong kind of pants can get you killed! At least according to this article at "The Command Post".
The fact that this order has been given seems to indicate that Iraqi's running around in U.S. uniforms is something that occurs frequently enough for it to be a problem.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Food for Thought
Bjorn Staerk has written an article on the plight of being pro-American in an anti-American environment. He gives some good tips on talking to people who believe Bush is more evil than Saddam Hussein. Quote: Bjørn Stærk blog
As I see it, 9/11 made Americans realize two things, (as it made me realize them): 1) The Middle East is deeply rotten. 2) Their problems are now our problems. Nothing that has happened since can be understood without these two things in mind - certainly not the willingness of the American people to support a war on Iraq without court-solid evidence that Saddam is a major threat to the world.
Listening to Bush live right now. Did he just say that Czech, Slovak, Polish and Ukrainian forces were pre-positioned in the area to respond to chemical attacks? Gee, imagine that: just a bit over a decade after the cold war, these guys are fighting together with the Americans...
I'm not sure, but I think he also mentioned a Danish submarine, Spanish logistical support and of course the Brits.
But it's all unilateral, somehow.
The Belgian government has found a typical Belgian solution to the problem of U.S. military transports through the port of Antwerp. The Green party is very much against these transports, but it is also part of the ruling coalition. And the coalition seems to be very reluctant to do something about them, saying that the 1971 agreement which regulates the transports stipulates a six-month waiting period before it can be cancelled. So they did what any self-respecting Belgian government would do...
They moved the problem to the next government term, and decided not to decide (yet). This gives the Green party the opportunity to save face and use the topic as a campaign point, while also absolving the other parties in the goverment of the need to do something now which might rub the U.S. or their own voters the wrong way.
The brilliant thing about the agreement is that by May 18th (election day) the war will probably be over and done with (or so the Belgian politicians hope) and the whole point becomes moot.
Aren't politics fun?
To all the people coming here from Google looking for the Al Jazeera POW video: I don't have it! But feel free to read the interesting stuff below this message, which is 100% free and made from recycled electrons...
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
For those of my readers who haven't heard about The Command Post - A Warblog Collective yet, go and check it out. Updates almost by the minute, with reports from all kinds of sources. Really great coverage, without needing to browse through all major news sites yourself. Truly a shining example of what blogging can do...
Good News on the Beeb
This sounds promising: BBC NEWS | Middle East | Uprising reported in Basra
A "popular civilian uprising" is reported to have taken place in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, according to British military intelligence officials.
I really hope the Shia's will not be left out to hang like last time... This is the chance for the Americans and Brits to redeem themselves and prove to the world what their intentions towards the Iraqi population are.
For those of you who read Dutch, check this out:Gazet van Antwerpen - Saddams listen misleiden Amerikanen. The title means "Saddam's ruses fool Americans" and the article says Saddam is using "smart guerrilla tactics" to halt the allied advance.
It then goes on to describe them: having "elite forces fight in civilian clothing", "faking surrender to fool American and British troops", "using civilians as human shields".
Funny, but in my book those are not listed as "smart tactics" but rather as "war crimes".
UPDATE: Just sent a letter to the editor, and so can you! Just use this form. Be polite. I was.
UPDATE2: The text of the article appears to have changed. Now Saddam is just using "guerilla tactics". Well, "smart" or not, they still are war crimes unlike the article states...
Monday, March 24, 2003
Live from Baghdad
Baghdad blogger Salam Pax reports: Where is Raed ?
Today before noon I went out with my cousin to take a look at the city. Two things. 1) the attacks are precise. 2) they are attacking targets which are just too close to civilian areas in Baghdad. Looked at the Salam palace and the houses around it. Quite scary near it and you can see widows with broken glass till very far off.
Slapped Back to Reality
Great article in the Telegraph, found via blogdex: Telegraph | Opinion | I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
Iraq = Vietnam
If you believe Al Belgazeera TV, that is. Just watched a re-run of the main Sunday political talk show: the segment on Iraq was introduced by a well known Dutch Vietnam anti-war song over images of explosions in Baghdad, surrendering Iraqi troops, U.S. tanks rolling... Also mixed in were bits of speeches of George Bush saying things like 'God bless America' and 'We will prevail'.
They also interviewed a woman who had a son in Baghdad. According to what she said, 'six million' Kalashnikovs had been handed out there to the civilian population.
Belgian Media: Anti-War, All The Time!
Merde in France has the following report on the French TV news
French TV news (including state television) is starting to hammer the message that the US offensive is slower than expected and meeting much unexpected resistance. You can sense the desire of French media to see the US fail.This is exactly the feeling I got when watching the Belgian TV news today. A lot was being made of the 'stiff resistance' being put up by the 120 Iraqi soldiers in Umm Qasr and in other locations. The 'impending humanitarian disaster' in Basra and in the north also got a lot of coverage.
Oh, and naturally they didn't even mention the 'fake surrender' or the 'human shields' stories of today.
Sunday, March 23, 2003
When will these war crimes be protested in the streets?
The cameraman of the ITV team of killed journalist Terry LLoyd was on Belgian TV this evening, since he (the cameraman) apparently is a Belgian. He was interviewed by the journalist of the Belgian state TV channel stationed in Kuwait. He claimed their vehicle had come under fire from U.S./U.K. troops while returning from Basra. Apparently they were driving very close to Iraqi vehicles also heading in the same direction. He said the Iraqi's in the vehicles pointed at U.S./U.K. lines and gave the thumbs up signal, shortly before the shooting started.
The cameraman claimed the practice of 'embedded reporters' was severely distorting the truth in the media. He said the situation behind the front lines was 'totally different' from what was being reported, without getting into specifics...
I guess I'll read more in the Belgian papers tomorrow.
What Rumsfeld Doesn't Want You to See
Here are the pictures of the American POW's and dead that CNN won't show: GFP Media Gallery: pows. I believe the world should see this, so I'm linking to it.
UPDATE: Taken down the link, in case the parents of the soldiers in question read this blog.
Just found a link to a live feed of Al Jazeera footage: Al-Jazeera stream.
It apears the video of U.S. POW's is no longer being shown.
He Admitted It
Louis Michel, Belgium's Foreign Minister, today admitted on the main Sunday political talk show that all his talk about denying the Belgian airspace to U.S. aircraft if a war started was all just a bluff. Just so you all know...