Monday, April 07, 2003

On to Wednesday, April 2's New York Times.

The lead article on Page 1, "U.S. Forces Enter Zone to Confront Republican Guard; Battle for Baghdad Begins in Area Surrounding Iraqi Capital," by Michael R. Gordon, trumpets the news that "The battle for Baghdad got under way today as American ground forces entered the 'red zone.' "

Another Page 1 story, by Patrick E. Tyler -- this is a good one -- titled "Iraq Is Planning Protracted War" in the paper and "Iraqis Planning Protracted War" online (can I get me a copy chief, please!) -- reports, among other things, that the port of Umm Qasr "was declared safe on Tuesday for aid organizations to begin setting up distribution centers for food, water and medicine."

And the last graf tells us: "The director of the United States Agency for International Development, Andrew Natsios, raised new concerns Tuesday about whether the United Nations oil-for-food program could be restarted quickly. He predicted in Washington that it might take up to two months before huge shipments of food aid could be landing once again in Iraq. With more than 60 percent of Iraq's 24 million people dependent on the United Nations program for sustenance, aid experts said they faced a serious challenge in getting the $2.6 billion program restarted before many Iraqis run out of food."

As you read here, the Security Council voted unanimously on March 28 to give Kofi Annan temporary authority to revive the U.N.'s oil-for-food program. "But it did not resolve the larger question of who would control a postwar Iraqi administration."

This, as noted in past posts of Stickfinger, is not only a question of U.S. versus other countries' interests, but also the Bush adminstration versus the U.N., and the State Department versus the Department of Defense (and/or perhaps Powell versus Rumfeld).