And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf has earned the nickname Baghdad Bob for his repeated denials of the reality around him, but he's not the only one to make such denials. In Cairo, Iraq's ambassador to the Arab League, Mohsen Khalil, repeated the familiar charge that Israel is behind the U.S. war effort. And he said U.S. troops were being trained and equipped by Israel. Nonetheless, said Khalil, the war is going well for the Iraqi regime: "Iraq has now already achieved victory, apart from some technicalities."
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff, writing from Centcom headquarters in Qatar, approvingly quotes a Chinese journalist as calling the military briefings their propaganda. But he disagrees with the Chinese reporter's characterization of the briefings as effective propaganda. Kristof writes, "Fundamentally, the administration's overseas efforts resemble those of the Chinese Communist Party: excellent effort, lousy execution. There's a Beijing-style rah-rah self-righteousness, too earnest by half."
Ad It Again?
Support for the war at home has risen to the point where it even commands a majority in San Francisco, scene of the most intense anti-war protests. A new Field poll shows 63 percent of Americans in the San Francisco area support the war. And, the San Francisco Chronicle has received a flood of calls protesting a full-page ad in yesterday's paper that calls for the impeachment of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General Ashcroft. The ad was created by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a controversial leftist. A chronicle official said most callers found the ad "distasteful. There weren't many calls in favor."
Millions for Mayhem
One effect of the Iraq war has been to cut off payments from Saddam Hussein to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The Jerusalem Post reports the war is keeping funds normally channeled through the Gaza Strip from reaching their final destinations. The last reported aid from Saddam to Palestinians -- nearly $210,000 worth -- arrived March 20, the day after Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Over the past two and a half years. The Iraqi regime has paid more than $35 million to families of Palestinians killed in the conflict with Israel.