June 29, 2004

FURTIVE, SECRET PLAN UPSETS REPORTER

The Sydney Morning Heraldís Paul McGeough demonstrates that he can file a news report while simultaneously munching on several lemons:

Iraqis retook control of their country in a furtive Baghdad ceremony yesterday intended to wrong-foot any insurgency plans to disrupt a formal handover that was to take place tomorrow.

Excuse me ... they retook control? When were Iraqis in control of their country in the first place?

As word of the secret ceremony spread across Baghdad, it was celebrated with sporadic, traditional gunfire - but nothing like the volleys that greeted the fall of Baghdad last year or the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Possibly because the ceremony was, you know, secret.

Despite huge uncertainties, Mr Allawi insisted that Iraqis were capable of running their country and should be allowed to do so.

Despite huge uncertainties, Paul McGeough insists that he is capable of writing balanced copy and should be allowed to do so. That was his news report; hereís McGeough's comment piece:

Its legitimacy is in doubt, its sovereignty is qualified and security is the most daunting issue it faces.

As opposed to Saddamís era.

UPDATE. Mark Latham believes the future of Iraq depends upon the UNís awesome power:

"If elected later this year, Labor will work closely with the United Nations and the interim Iraqi Government for the reconstruction of the country and the delivery of substantial humanitarian assistance," Mr Latham said.

The shift was consistent with the UN's resolution calling for strong assistance for Iraq's reconstruction, he said.

That "strong assistance" will have to wait until Iraq is safe for the UN to enter.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 29, 2004 04:42 AM
Comments

This has been the universal liberal-weenie raection to the rather inspired move by the Coalition to fast forward this day of liberty for ordinary Iraqis. It's caught the media off-balance as they were preparing for a few more glorious days of "quagmire."

I bet they can't wait for a co-ordinated number of terror strikes against the new interim Government in the next 48 hours so they can point out how everything that the Coalition does is always wrong. If only that nice Mr. Kerry was in charge....sigh..

Posted by: David Vance at June 29, 2004 at 04:49 AM

Until Lumpy Riefenstahl releases his documentary, "Bowling for Baghdad", narrated by Muqtada Al Kennedy, none of us will know what really happened. However that has to wait until he finishes his own personal story "Triumph des Beeg Macs".

Posted by: EddieP at June 29, 2004 at 05:17 AM

The Kerry-Zarqawi coalition must be fuming about this!

But not as much as the International Red Cross, which is demanding the immediate release of all terrorists from prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo.

Posted by: Peter at June 29, 2004 at 05:26 AM

Until Lumpy Riefenstahl releases his documentary, "Bowling for Baghdad", narrated by Muqtada Al Kennedy, none of us will know what really happened.

No, the narrator definitely has to be Mohammed Saeed Al Sahaf...

The Kerry-Zarqawi coalition must be fuming about this!

Now there's an idea for the vice president slot.

Posted by: PW at June 29, 2004 at 06:10 AM

SFGate.com this morning had it as "Stealth Handoff", since changed to "Surprise Handoff".

Posted by: Ken Summers at June 29, 2004 at 06:12 AM

For the love of God, after nearly three years of this could somebody please provide one example -- one solitary, factual example -- of these alleged "reduced freedoms"?

"EU lawmakers want to ban 'hate speech', violators face criminal charges"

"This proposal could potentially outlaw free speech," said Malcolm Hutty, general director for Campaign Against Censorship on the Internet in Britain, or CACIB. "That would be a great infringement of civil rights."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020222/wr_nm/tech_internet_hatespeech_dc_1

Oh... wait, you were referring to the USA. My bad.

Posted by: Bleeding heart conservative at June 29, 2004 at 08:25 AM

Excuse me ... they retook control? When were Iraqis in control of their country in the first place?

I guess Paul regards Iraqis as in control pre Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Posted by: Andjam at June 29, 2004 at 11:59 AM

Well, now we know what sort of Iraqis he prefers run the country.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 29, 2004 at 12:38 PM

By the way, what sort of "secret ceremony" gets broadcast all over the teevee and radio all day?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 29, 2004 at 12:41 PM

I know by now just about everyone in here is sick of the way in which these murderers are labelled "Insurgents", well it only gets worse.
Watching the ABC's Lateline last night and that wonderous preacher for all things Islamic, Tariq Ali, is now calling these scum, wait for it, Resistance.

He is so predictable. A few months ago he claimed on the same program that the US need to hand over control to Iraq prior to the june 30 deadline. Last night he claimed that it is tokenism and that Iraq will never have democratic elections whilst it is occuopied.

What prey tell does he think will happen if we all pack up and go home????

Not to be outdone, the ABC news claimed that the hand over was sneaky, what, were they expecting there to be a public announcement so that Al-Zaqwari and his butt buddy's could have killed a few more innocents??

How inconsiderate of the coalition to not think of TV ratings!!!

Posted by: scott at June 29, 2004 at 02:01 PM

I'm interested to know what humanitarian assistance the ALP will give Iraq if it wins the election. Will they send Mark over to read bedtime stories to little Iraqi kiddies? Or maybe they could dispatch a lifetime's supply of Big Macs, thus solving the obesity problem back home, while fattening up the starving Iraqis -Mark's Marshall Plan for Iraq.

Posted by: Freddyboy at June 29, 2004 at 03:09 PM

Watched French News this morning on SBS. Can't understand much french, but get the drift. Interspersed with factual reports of the handover were flashed headline screenshots, 'Who will have power over the oil?', 'When will the foreign troops leave?'...etc. Then we saw Msr Chirac giving a speech to 'OTAN', ending with a big shrug of the shoulders with upraised palms, the favourite french stance.
Inspector Clousseau where are you?

*Yes, Lateline hosting Tariq Ali as an expert beside the excellent Daniel Pipes, then summing up reaction to the handover as skeptical. Why bother? Anyone could write this stuff in their sleep. Dream on!

Posted by: unfrog at June 29, 2004 at 04:58 PM

"By the way, what sort of "secret ceremony" gets broadcast all over the teevee and radio all day?"

I was wondering the same thing myself.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at June 29, 2004 at 05:19 PM

Paul McGeough:
"Iraqis retook control of their country in a furtive Baghdad ceremony yesterday"

Tim Blair responds:
"Excuse me ... they retook control? When were Iraqis in control of their country in the first place?"

George W Bush at NATO summit in Turkey:
"the Iraqi people have their country back"

Things are getting pretty grim in Tim B's world when even Bush is displaying a Fairfax-style left-wing pinko bias.

I'll be generous and ascribe it to jet lag, Tim. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Posted by: tim g at June 29, 2004 at 11:03 PM

"Excuse me ... they retook control? When were Iraqis in control of their country in the first place?"

In 1941, for about three weeks after Rashid Ali's coup. They took the opportunity to have a pogrom and ally with the Nazis. Then the 10th Indian Division came in and cleaned their clocks. Let's hope they choose better this time.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at June 30, 2004 at 12:37 PM