Iraq: October 27, 2002

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American warplanes dropped thousands of leaflets on areas of southern Iraq. The leaflets warned anti-aircraft units, and the civilians in areas where the guns and missiles are usually set up, that being in residential areas would no longer prevent smart bomb attacks. The Iraqi troops were warned to fire at their own risk.

The government is expelling many of the 500 foreign journalists allowed in to cover the recent election. The journalists are reporting too many encounters with Iraqis who express anti-Saddam sentiments. These sentiments were far more widespread than many journalists expected. They also encountered members of the ruling Baath party who are resigning from the 500,000 member group in anticipation of an invasion. At the same time, the government is making contact with exile groups to explore the possibility of a coalition government. The Baath party would do just about anything to stay in power. After decades of bloody rule, Baath party members know that being out of power means losing economic advantages, exile, going to prison or violent death. 

 

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