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A useful barometer

Earlier, I pondered how we'd know when we had won the war. Silly me; I forgot the obvious answer: look for Robert Fisk to proclaim that the U.S. success wasn't real:

While American fighter-bombers criss-crossed the sky, while the ground shook to the sound of exploding ordnance, while the American tanks now stood above the Tigris, vast areas of Baghdad astonishing when you consider the American claim to be "in the heart" of the city remain under Saddam Hussein's control.
(At least he finally explained, at the end of this column, why he never gets stories right: his journalistic sources walk on four legs.) So if Fisk thinks Saddam's in control, what's it really like?
Iraqis cheered arriving U.S. troops and then went on looting rampages as vestiges of President Saddam Hussein's authority collapsed.

As U.S. forces moved through one neighborhood after another, crowds of Baghdad residents seized the chance to plunder military installations and government buildings, making off with computers, bookshelves, tables, even Iraqi jeeps.

Among the buildings plundered were Iraq's Olympic headquarters and traffic police headquarters.

On Palestine Street, where the Baath party as recently as a few weeks back held rallies and shows of force, gangs of youths and even middle-aged men looted the warehouses of the Trade Ministry, coming out with air conditioners, ceiling fans, refrigerators and TV sets.

Hundreds of Iraqis cheered U.S. troops in Saddam City, a poor neighborhood in northeast Baghdad. "Thank you, thank you, Mr. Bush!" one shouted.

Remember all those people sneering at the idea that Americans would be greeted with flowers?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 9, 2003 6:02 AM.

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