Why I saw the WaPo headline Two Journalists Killed as New Battlfield Emerges, I was prepared to comment on press coverage of dead journalists vis-a-vis dead soldiers. But this part of the story was far more interesting:
Bush spoke emphatically about the emotions of the Shiite Muslim people of southern Iraq, who rose against the Hussein regime at U.S. urging during the 1991 Persian Gulf War — when Bush’s father was president — only to be crushed when expected U.S. military aid did not intervene.
“Now, these are people in the south of Iraq that had been betrayed, tortured, you know, had been told they were going to be free, took a risk in the past and then were absolutely hammered by the Iraqi regime. They were skeptical. They were cynical. They were doubtful. And now they believe. They’re beginning to understand we’re real and true.”
Wow. That’s a rather bold admission that Bush 41 screwed the pooch the last time around. Right, certainly in hindsight, but not what you’d expect a son to say of dear old Dad.
And this is encouraging if not surprising:
An Iraqi soldier who surrendered after the U.S. air onslaught said morale in the Iraqi army was at rock bottom.
“They are devastated, they are ruined psychologically,” Haidar Hatan Khthair told the Reuters news agency in the village of Pir Daud where he was being held by Kurdish guerrillas known as peshmerga.
Looking hungry and exhausted, he agreed to talk to Reuters as the fighters gave him bread and water.
“I saw many officers ripping off their epaulettes and throwing down their arms,” he said. “They have no spirit to fight.”
That’ll be all the more true if Saddam was indeed killed last night.