Friday, September 17, 2004

On the march

The supposed mastermind of the Beslan hostage-taking has been heard from. One thing is explained: the hostages were to have gotten food and water by stages, as the demands for Russian withdrawal from Chechnya were met.

Bush says that “Freedom is on the march in Iraq.” There may be marching, but it ain’t freedom. Patrick Cockburn has a bleaker assessment in this Indy article detailing the many forms of violence.

Cockburn also has an op-ed piece, behind a pay barrier, which notes that the pattern of violence has changed: it’s no longer in a few geographic areas, but all over Iraq. Also, “August was the first month in which more US soldiers were killed and wounded by Shia fighters than by Sunni guerrillas.” And the US is losing even the Green Zone: “This week, the US army was reduced to using rocket firing helicopters for crowd control in Haifa Street a few hundred yards from the Green Zone, the American and Iraqi government headquarters.” Crowd...control.

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