As Iraq burns, Paul Bremer’s men remain inventive. Faced with the problem of getting their positive message out from behind the blast walls and barbed wire which surround the Coalition headquarters in Baghdad, they have resorted to technology. A television studio has been built inside Saddam Hussein’s former palace, and broadcasting companies such as ours are expected to link its outpourings to London so that reassuring messages from American officials and their Iraqi allies can be pumped directly on to British television screens. It could be called ‘Good news from the bunker’.
In truth, after the most disastrous month since the invasion, good news is hard to come by. Though Bremer’s headquarters, and our own fortified compound directly across the river, remain impregnable, the Americans have, astonishingly, lost control of many of the country’s major highways, with checkpoints of the previously ballyhooed Iraqi police simply melting away.