|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Friday, April 11, 2003
A World Upside Down
: "I asked the Iraqis what they were doing. "We're here to rob the banks," one man explained cheerfully... "So we've come to rob the banks, but those British soldiers won't let us in," he said indignantly. "We're very upset." .. In the short term the lead role in Iraq should be taken by the U.S. and its viceroy, retired Gen. Jay Garner, rather than by the United Nations. General Garner proved himself a logistical miracle worker when he was dispatched to help the Kurds in northern Iraq in 1991. He can provide security and get the water flowing more quickly than the United Nations could, and that trumps all else for the short term" 3:18:01 PM
Yale Teach-in Series on the war: Promising series of videos from an ongoing Yale teach-in about the war. The latest, by Nordhaus on the cost of the war, looks good, as does a forthcoming panel on the future of the UN. (A lecture at Yale in October 2001, Fighting the Taliban... and Iraq? A Report From the Front, was very impressive at that time. It had a professor and frequent traveller to the region predicting a quick victory against the Taliban, and making the case for action on Iraq, predicting a quick victory there as well). 1:48:54 PM
Heavy Fighting for Desert Base at Syria Border: "Out of sight of television cameras, some of the heaviest fighting in Iraq has been raging for nearly three weeks near the town of Qaim on the Syrian border .. The reported doggedness of the Iraqi resistance has prompted some speculation within the Bush administration that the Iraqi forces might be defending members of the Iraqi leadership trying to flee to Syria. But defense officials said it was more likely they were trying to shield weapons or weapons programs... The Qaim compound includes the site where Iraq extracted uranium for its nuclear weapons program in the 1980's, but it was destroyed by bombing during the 1991 war.
More recently, however, American intelligence officials and other experts have pointed to satellite photographs showing activity at the compound that raised questions about whether Iraq might have rebuilt a uranium extraction plant at the site, possibly even underground.
.. [UN] inspectors searched a site in Qaim December, scouring a uranium mine that yielded the "yellowcake" uranium dioxide that Iraq tried to enrich in the 1980's and early 1990's for nuclear weapons. As with other searches by the United Nations teams in the months before the American invasion, that investigation uncovered no evidence of any banned weapons." 11:17:33 AM