1) What does the Bush administration have in mind for the Middle East once Hussein is toppled? Joshua Micah Marshall argues that the Bush hawks want widespread and long-term conflict with the fundamentalist Arab world–and that our attack on Iraq is just the start of our military action:
In their view, invasion of Iraq was not merely, or even primarily, about getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Nor was it really about weapons of mass destruction, though their elimination was an important benefit. Rather, the administration sees the invasion as only the first move in a wider effort to reorder the power structure of the entire Middle East.
It’s a compelling, scary article. And in related news, yesterday Don Rumsfeld had some threatening words for Syria and Iran, who he said are providing aid to Iraq. Was this an opening rhetorical volley? Does the Pentagon think it might not be such a bad idea to go after Syria and Iran, too?
2) After learning that the Iraqis showed images of American POWs on TV, Rumsfeld said, “it is against the Geneva convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them.”
Lemme get this straight: we’re invading a sovereign nation without the support of the international community and dropping bombs on people’s heads. And Rumsfeld expects Iraqis to play by the rules. Not to mention the fact that we’ve got 641 POWs–er, “unlawful combatants”–imprisoned down in Guantanamo Bay. They’ve been given no legal rights whatsoever.
3) Every death that has come about as a result of this war is a tragedy. And while we hear about it whenever an American or Brit is killed, it’s easy to forget that Iraqi civilians are dying, too. Here’s a Web site that keeps tabs on exactly how many have perished.