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Turning to very ugly custard indeed

Stateside with Rosalea

Turning to very ugly custard indeed

By Rosalea Barker

Looks like the Commander-in-Chief's speechwriters got it right for once in the April 8 press release announcing National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day: "... these proud patriots continue to inspire us today as we work with our allies to extend peace, liberty, and opportunity to people around the world." Would that be the opportunity to strip hospitals bare and the liberty to unleash sectarian violence?

Seems the troops on the ground in Iraq haven't heard about the Geneva Convention, under which they are required to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians, to maintain order, and to keep a civil administration going. Oh, by the way, that speech about National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day is in the Iraq part of the White House's website.

And from the President's television address to the Iraqi people on 10 April: "Coalition forces will help maintain law and order, so that Iraqis can live in security. We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq’s future." Video available on-line at

Sorry, George. Not too many folks in Iraq have got a battery-powered TV so I guess they missed that little homily.

If you doubt the power of that image of the statue toppling, then you can check out (226 front pages from 28 countries). Early this morning here - before the day changed in your part of the world and the looting pictures made the front page instead - practically every front page on the website's front page showed it.

That site is very graphics intensive, so I didn't get past its own front page, but here's how it works: put your cursor over one of the black and white thumbnails. If you *don't* click, the thumbnail will become coloured and soon a larger image of it will open to the right of the thumbnails. (Takes less time that way.) If you click, a new window opens with a big image of the front page. Or you can choose the map view and select newspapers that way. There aren't any from New Zealand.

A summary of some interesting reports in papers around the world is at

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