Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, March 23, 2003
IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED there has been a bit of biffo in the driveway to Saddam's place.

In the remote regions of Uncle's peregrinations these events have seemed even remoter, but I have heard a little of it care of an occasional squawk from Auntie drifting over the airwaves across this broad red land.

On Wednesday Phillip Gastropod Adams advised me that he felt distressed, even depressed at the civilian casualties occasioned by the coalition's attack on Iraq.

At that stage the only likely casualties were those of Saddam and his cabal, but if you're a jihadi like the Gastropod that is sufficient reason for deep gloom.

Two nights later the heavier bombardment provided spectacular images that ABC commentators, including that outstanding journalist Kerry O'Brien could portray as portending enormous civilian mayhem. Not so said the military experts. They're scattered and institutional targets, hit at night, the street lights are still on, life during the day seems to be going on remarkably normally.

For the communards things did not improve. By Saturday, despite a furious campaign on the telephones to every Baghdad telephone number that would answer, all they came up with was a father who had to give his kids valium to get them some sleep. What's wrong with Saddam's propaganda machine? In the past they would have rapidly manufactured a few mutilated kids for the cameras.

Sunday morning the cameras had been taken into see some injured kids in a Baghdad hospital, so things were looking up, for the communards at least.

On the political front, did I hear the hapless Simon Crean refuse to wish success to our forces? He was doomed before; now he's a political corpse.

Do the political dead walk and talk? Apparently so. Perhaps the consistent jihadi Bob Brown will perform a reverse takeover on the ALP at the next election. Perhaps Carmenangoin's time has come.