Iraq: July 29, 2003


The war goes on at two different speeds. For the military, it's a slow slog of collecting information and making raids, taking apart the remaining Baath Party organization cell by cell. For the media, it's an operation that is turning into a quagmire, from which there is no escape. Iraq has been pacified before, and is being pacified again. But that doesn't make a good news story. Too slow, too plodding. The news business has learned from Hollywood that if you want to keep your audience, keep it short, lively and entertaining. Patrols and compiling information on Baath Party members doesn't cut it.

In pre-dawn raids, U.S. troops captured three more of Saddam's bodyguards in Tikrit. The tips are coming in more frequently, especially in Sunni Arab areas, as more Iraqis lose their fear of the Baath Party. In the last few days, several tips have resulted in finding large caches of weapons and explosives in the Tikrit area.


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