Thursday, April 29, 2004

Some stuff

* According to the NY Times, the Pentagon has concluded that "many bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq, and the more sophisticated of the guerrilla attacks in Falluja, are organized and often carried out by members of Saddam Hussein's secret service, who planned for the insurgency even before the fall of Baghdad."

* After finally realizing that there were no good options left, the US military has announced it is stopping its seige of Fallujah and has struck a tentative deal to allow an Iraqi force to begin patrolling the city. It's yet to be seen if this tactic will bring an end to the cycle of violence that has killed hundreds of Iraqis and dozens of US soldiers since April 5.

* "One year after President George W Bush declared an end to 'major hostilities' in Iraq, public opinion there and in the United States is beginning to converge, as people in both countries increasingly agree that the US invasion and occupation might not have been such a good idea after all," Jim Lobe reports. "That is one conclusion of two major public opinion polls released Thursday, one by the New York Times and CBS News, which found that a record 58 percent of US respondents now believe the invasion was not worth the cost in lives and resources, and another by CNN, USA Today, and Gallup that found 57 percent of Iraqis believe U.S.-led coalition forces should leave their country 'in the next few months.'"

* Juan Cole and Tom Regan break down the Iraq poll further.

* The CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes II has published images of the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US soldiers. You can view the images and some corresponding video via UnFair Witness.

* "Where is the U.S. peace movement, now that we really need it?" asks Ira Chernus. "The war in Iraq is handing the movement a golden opportunity on a silver platter. But the movement seems to be MIA. Too busy to organize the massive protests that should be happening today. Too busy trying to elect a presidential candidate who sounds a bit ashamed of his antiwar past."

* The US State Department's annual report, "Patterns of Global Terrorism," has found that the number of worldwide terrorist attacks has dropped to its lowest level since 1969.

* The CIA is predicting the breakup of Russia in an update of its report, "Global Trends 2015."