: Donald Rumsfeld’s hissy fit about coverage of looting in Iraq gets a bad review from al-Jazeera:
“It’s untidy. And freedom’s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things,” his adroit fingers this time pointing at no particular member of the press. Lawlessness, closed hospitals and fires burning in Baghdad and other cities are a freed people venting their frustrations, apparently.
If ever an Oscar was deserved for minimizing catastrophic reports coming out of Iraq with jocular “henny penny” disbelief, then Rumsfeld has a date with Hollywood.
: Meanwhile, in Britain, 10 Downing and the Ministry of Defense attacked the BBC’s coverage of looting.
At its daily briefing, No 10 argued that there are always reprisals for a few days when “a repressive regime falls – Kosovo, Sierra Leone, it probably goes back to the French revolution”.
Tony Blair’s spokesman insisted that “in the main the anarchy and disorder is being directed against symbols of the regime”.
Complaining about Gilligan’s report yesterday that Baghdadis are experiencing their “first days of freedom in more fear than they have ever known before”, No 10 said: “Try telling that to people put in shredders or getting their tongues cut out.”
: And meanwhile in Iraq, British soldiers shot and killed five bank robbers. I await complaints that this was British cruelty.
We can’t win either way; we’ll be attacked for letting looters loot and attacked for cracking down.
I think we should invite France, Germany, and Russia to send their police. Spain is sending its Guardia Civil.
: And my local NBC station this morning said we’re sending 500 police to Iraq.
: Thugs in Baghdad hijacked the Times of London’s car at gunpoint.
: And 100 young people demonstrated against looting. Where? In front of the press hotel.
: Canada stands ready to send in the Mounties (but still not ready to say they’re at least glad that Saddam is gone).
: After smashing Rumsfeld for his language, al-Jazeera tries a little light irony itself with this headline: “Baghdad, Mosul and Basra suffer the joys of liberation”