Monday, April 07, 2003

The theme of the day in the attack on Iraq is conspiracy theories:

  1. The Russians told the Americans they would be vacating their embassy in a convoy leaving Baghdad by a certain route at a certain time. This was to ensure the safety of the diplomats who were leaving. The Americans bombed the convoy. The Russians are angry. The clever Russian analysts (or here) suggest that the Americans may have bombed the convoy because they thought the Russian diplomats were smuggling out parts of captured Apache helicopters and Abrams tanks, or perhaps as general revenge for perceived Russian help given to the Iraqis.

  2. Why have the Americans made such strong claims about the destruction of the Iraqi army? The Russians have an answer:

    "All the claims made by aviation commander of the coalition, general Michael Mosley, about ' . . . Iraqi army, as an organized structure consisting of large units, exists no longer . . .' are contrary to fact and, according to analytics, are probably connected with severe pressure put on the military command by American financial groups that desperately needed good news from the US-Iraqi front by the end of the financial week."

    This leads me to speculate about how much money could be made on insider trading if you had control of the propaganda machine in the Pentagon. Since the U. S. stock market depends on the progress of the war, someone who was aware of the Pentagon's lies before they were made public could make a killing in the stock market. Note the suspicious way this is reported in the financial press. Could insider trading be part of the reason behind the ridiculous series of lies that the Pentagon has been producing?

  3. The Americans hit a group of Kurd allies (and possibly some American special forces) with 'friendly fire', killing 18 and wounding 45. The younger brother of Kurdish Democratic party (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani was critically injured. Considering that the Kurds have been decidedly unhelpful, spending most of their time looting and watching their backs for a Turkish attack, you have to wonder how much of an accident this attack really was.

  4. This is a generally good column by Alexander Cockburn, but the best part is the section called 'Paula and Andrew' (I also liked the letters at the end about a writer whose name I will not mention). The Pentagon is so insistent that Saddam must be dead that they seem to have concluded that he must have made prerecorded tapes to cover every single eventuality that could possibly have happened. It is like Borges!

  5. As usual, much propaganda was made out of the discovery of large numbers of dead bodies near Basra. There was much talk about the tortured victims of Saddam's cruel regime. Now, it turns out that these were bodies of Iranians killed in the Iran-Iraq war. It's not that Saddam isn't cruel and evil - it just that every single bit of news in this attack is spun as pure Anglo-American propaganda.

  6. There has been yet another (!) false alarm about discovery of a weapon of mass destruction, this time sarin, which turned out to be a pesticide.

  7. The story of Abbas: "Can you help get my arms back? Do you think the doctors can get me another pair of hands?"

  8. American special forces are setting up bases in schools and churches in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. This subjects the buildings to possible attack, and is another display of American high-handedness.

  9. The 'shock and awe' bombing of Baghdad is creating a severe health crisis due to the sheer number of injured, the damage to the infrastructure caused by the bombing, and the fact that the bombing is making it impossible for medical staff to reach the hospitals. One hospital is receiving an average of 100 patients an hour.