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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tuesday's required reading

The US Press in Iraq: Hotel Room Journalism

"The United States military couldn't be happier with this situation," a long-time American correspondent in Baghdad says. "They know that if they bomb a house of innocent people, they can claim it was a 'terrorist' base and get away with it. They don't want us roaming around Iraq and so the 'terrorist' threat is great news for them.

"They can claim they've shot 600 or 1,000 insurgents and we have no way of checking because we can't go to the cemetery or visit the hospitals because we don't want to get kidnapped and have our throats cut."


Bible vs. science war rages on in classrooms

This is America's new civil war.

In the classroom, the Christian right is advancing on two fronts: Fighting for lessons in creationism over evolution in science classes and abstinence over birth control in sex education classes. The ferocity of the battle against Darwinism has intensified since Bush's re-election because school boards are attracting more evangelicals who expect conservative judges to side with them as they try to write evolution out of the science books.


U.S. planning for possible attack on Iran

Hersh said U.S. officials believe that a U.S. attack on Iran might provoke an uprising by Iranians against the hard-line religious leaders who run the government. Similar arguments were made ahead of the invasion of Iraq, when administration officials predicted U.S. troops would be welcomed as liberators.

And Hersh said administration officials have chosen not to include conflicting points of view in their deliberations -- such as predictions that any U.S. attack would provoke a wave of nationalism that would unite Iranians against the United States.

"As people say to me, when it comes to meetings about this issue, if you don't drink the Kool-Aid, you can't go to meetings," he said. "That isn't a message anybody wants to hear."

The plans are not limited to Iran, he said.

"The president assigned a series of findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other special forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as 10 nations in the Middle East and South Asia," he wrote.


Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy

President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

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