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A Frog's-eye view

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Sunday, March 23, 2003

In one of its "cleaner" articles (see previous blog entry), Al-Jazeera reports the searing comments made by Taha Yasir Ramadan, Iraqi deputy PM (who was reported dead by the Americans a few days ago), against Kofi Anan and the Arab leadership. Reading this blazing attack, you might thing that Iraq was the most law-abiding member of the UN and had fulfilled its commitments through the last twelve years.

Although its hard to have sympathy for Anan - in Israel, particularly, we have no great love of the man who refused to act against the mass-murder of Jewish civilians by Palestinians yet happily collaborated with Saeb Erekat in perpetuating the myth of the Jenin massacre - there is a juicy irony that Anan, of all appeasers, should be so attacked.

The attack is not restricted to Anan. The Arab leaders, both those who openly supported the Americans (who were named in the speech) and those who suppressed anti-war demonstrations (whose names were not mentioned) came under Ramadan's fire. Meanwhile, the article reports that Mubarak is worried that the Iraqi conflict may take a long time, even though the Americans promised him that it would be quick. We're only in the fourth day, the American troops are some 100km from Baghdad, and already Mubarak is worried about the lengthy duration of the war. Perhaps he could have sped it up by committing Egyptian troops to the campaign.

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