HOW’S THE WAR GOING?….Today’s news:

  • David Blunkett, a senior minister in Tony Blair’s government, says he hopes we don’t find any WMD in Iraq. And if his hopes come true? We will have “a very interesting debate.” Well, we certainly ought to if that turns out to be the case, but I have a sinking feeling that we won’t.

  • The righty blogosphere is up in arms over this BBC article claiming that George Bush is a religious man. The article says that (a) Bush thinks he was “called by God” to lead this war, (b) this kind of talk bothers many members of the American clergy, (c) most mainstream U.S. churches, including Bush’s, oppose the war, (d) one-third of Americans belong to evangelical churches, (e) 59% of Americans believe the Book of Revelations will come to pass, (f) many of these people will interpret an American victory as divinely ordained, and (g) George Bush might be one of them.

    Can someone explain to me exactly which part of this is either untrue or unfair? Pro-war partisans might not like to see this side of Bush get a lot of publicity, but the BBC is merely stating something that has already been widely reported. Reporting the facts, even if they are inconvenient, does not make the BBC biased.

  • Baghdad is now “surrounded.” But yesterday we had advanced to “the heart of Baghdad.” Did we retreat during the night?

    And no, this is not just snarky nitpicking. This “heart of Baghdad” stuff was released by the Pentagon and widely reported yesterday, and it appears to simply be untrue. In fact, a BBC reporter in Baghdad said he’d looked around from the highest building in the city (his hotel) and seen nothing. Far from being biased, it looks like the BBC, which apparently is fed up with the obvious dissembling they get from Pentagon briefings, was the one reporting the unvarnished truth.

UPDATE: The LA Times, apparently also annoyed at being mislead, explains what really happened in their top story this morning:

Spokesmen for the U.S. Central Command initially said American forces had reached the “heart” of Baghdad and intended to stay. But later they backed off, saying the troops had reached the suburbs, not the city center, and were not trying to occupy the capital. There were reports early today of large-scale U.S. troop movements on the outskirts of the city.

I just don’t understand this. From a military perspective, the war is going pretty well, and the tank attack in Baghdad yesterday had a sort of Doolittle raid bravado about it that makes good copy. So why lie about it?