March, 2003

Prisoners of War

Now I don’t doubt that it’s pretty awful that captured US soldiers are being paraded around on TV, but quoting the Geneva Convention not allowing prisoners to be put on TV seems just a tad rich considering that last week, I seem to remember seeing Iraqis surrendering and being searched by British soldiers. There certainly weren’t any interviews, but they definately showed faces etc. I daresay we won’t be seeing repeats of those images.

The War

It continues, and somehow the TV news coverage enthralls and disappoints at the same time. It does strike me that correspondents have far too little time to actually do any reporting rather than pieces to camera.
Sky has poor David Chater reporting live practically around the clock. Last night there were a few explosions in Bagdhad, and he was back on the TV practically pleading to be allowed a few hours sleep before coming to air again.
Sadly, “friendly fire” seems to be the biggest taker of casualties to date, with three helicopters and a Tornado having either crashed or inadvertantly been shot down. And the guys missing from ITN are not believed to have been victims of “friendly fire” too.
There was a very interesting piece in one of the papers yesterday saying that the war has been taking an unexpected route (not quite the total anhilation that might have been expected of “shock and awe”) because of the peace protests that took place around the world. In other words, we may not have prevented war, but it is being fought in a very different manner. Rather than engage cities in hostile street to street fighting, they simply get cut off and moved around, leaving any remaining forces to either disperse or give up.

Where Did It All Go Right?: Growing Up Normal in the 70s

Andrew Collins, sometime Eastenders script writer, Back Row presenter, regular contributor to Top Ten xxx and I Love the 19xx, and now Radio Six DJ has written this entertaining memoir of life growing up.
Based largely on a diary he kept throughout his childhood, this brings homes the minutiae of toys, comics, TV programmes, music and life in general as a child at that time. I’m about five years youger than him, so it isn’t quite the right age for me, but it’s close (and it also demonstrates how just a few years can have quite a significant difference in terms of toys, games and the like, with technology coming on with leaps and bounds).


Well obviously less than two hours after I wrote my last entry, the war really did start. Albeit in an unexpected way.
It seems as though the Americans are going directly after Saddam. And there was me thinking that they had some kind of law about deliberately killing another head of state? (Second question down, also more specifically here).
Is this morally right? Well certainly the war itself is morally very shakey and I have yet to be persuaded that it’s justified. But in the circumstances of it taking place, then targeting key personnel to put a swift end to it is probably the way to go – particularly if it avoids engaging in fights young Iraqi conscripts who have no desire to be there.
In the meantime, Saddam, or some trigger happy underling, has launched three missiles at Kuwait.

War Imminent

It seems as though war will begin within the next few hours. There was something of a sandstorm earlier, but as well as causing problems, it might also be the cover they want.
Not even the prospect of a cheap PDA from Amazon can lighten the mood.
How quickly will the Americans clamp down on satellite communications that they don’t want monitored.