And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye on Kashmir… or Dinner
On FOX News Sunday this weekend, the Pakistan ambassador Maleeha said the Indian ambassador — who was to appear in a separate segment on the show — would not talk to her. So I asked him about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Your colleague from Pakistan said, upon leaving here, that you will not be in the same room with her. What's that all about?
LALIT MANSINGH, INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: No. I have very friendly relations with her.
HUME: Did you talk while you were here?
MANSINGH: I didn't see her. I greeted her. She came to my house to dinner the other day.
HUME: Oh, she did?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
It turns out, according to the Indian embassy, that dinner in question was at a party honoring several other diplomats. It was on March 11th.
Operation Anaconda Correction
Remember that Army private we told you about last week who told the Ithaca, New York journal that he and his unit were ordered to shoot women and children during Operation Anaconda in eastern Afghanistan? Now he says it wasn't that simple.
Private Matt Guckenheimer has now written to the paper to say that "prior to the operation, we were made aware of the fact that hostile forces might include women and children. In that event, if those women and children showed hostile intent, we were ordered to kill them just like any other hostile forces that we encountered. We were not ordered to slaughter noncombatants."
War — Too Important to Be Left to the Generals?
The White House has sent for three copies of a new book on presidents in the military by Johns Hopkins University Professor Eliot Cohen. The book, entitled Supreme Command, argues that war is indeed too important to be left to generals. It cites such figures as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill as examples of civilian leaders whose decisions overruling their military commanders proved crucial to victory. The request from the White House asked that one of the books be inscribed by the author to the president himself.
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has approved the construction of a fence between Israel and the West Bank. The fence will cover about 1/3 of the so-called green line and is aimed at keeping Palestinian militants out of Israel. This comes as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has promised the U.S. he'll reform his security forces and clamp down on terrorism.