And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is not satisfied with President Bush's decision that Taliban prisoners, but not Al Qaeda fighters, will be handled under the Geneva Conventions. The ICRC says all the captives are prisoners of war because they were captured in combat. The Geneva Conventions spell out four characteristics for prisoners of war, including the wearing of insignia, the open carrying of arms and abiding by the normal rules and practices of war. Al Qaeda would appear to meet none of them above but the Red Cross says that's not up to the U.S. but a "competent tribunal."
The Arab American Institute is fuming over comments attributed to Attorney General Ashcroft by the Columnist Cal Thomas. In an interview, Thomas says Ashcroft remarked to him that "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you." The Arab-American group is demanding that either Ashcroft repudiate the statement or President Bush fire him. The Justice Department is saying Ashcroft was misquoted, but Cal Thomas stands by his quotes.
Out in Indiana, police have arrested two young men for allegedly burglarizing the home of a Gary man while he was attending the funeral of his daughter, a Marine killed in the Afghanistan war. Police say the two men broke into the home of Matthew Winters, and one of them told a third man afterward that he had helped to burglarize the home of the "Marine girl." Jeannette Winters, 25, was killed on Jan. 9 when a KC-130 transport plane crashed in Pakistan. She was the first female Marine ever to die in a combat zone. The Merrillville Post-Tribune reports that one of the alleged burglars, Joshua Banks, was out of jail after a judge had lowered his bail on another break-in charge.
There are new college courses being offered in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including one called "Terrorism and Sexuality" at California State University at Hayward. In the course, taught by former left-wing activist Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, wars are described as a form of eroticism for the "patriarchs" who fight them.