Tuesday, March 08, 2005

He's baaack! Peter Arnett, famed fantasist and kowtower to tyrants, spent 18 months to uncover Uday Hussein's plot to overthrow his dad and sold his story to Playboy Magazine, where it will appear in its upcoming issue. The linked AFP article is worth reading and, by the play given, hints that Arnett's story might also be worth it, just for the reminder of how hopelesly out of touch is Arnett and the chuckles it may provide. For instance, there's this in the AFP article:
"Though it has not been reported until now, Uday Hussein was the biggest proponent of regime change inside Iraq," Arnett wrote.
or this (sorry, I can't help quoting a few more):
"During the previous 10 years, he had slowly assembled the elements of power -- military, military and political management -- designed to overthrow his tyrannical father," said the reporter who was in Baghdad as US troops approached following the launch of the March 19, 2003 US-led attack.
and, at the end of the article, this reminder of Arnett's depth of insight:
Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his Vietnam War reporting and covered the 1991 Persian Gulf War for CNN from Baghdad, was fired from NBC at the end of March 2003 after granting a disputed interview to Iraqi state television.

In that interview just days before Baghdad fell, he said the US war plan was failing. "Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces," he said.
I realize I'm a little late on this - it is not breaking news. I spotted it in Middle East Times today and didn't notice the date until after googling and finding links to Forbes and the above AFP (from the Yahoo news aggregator), both dated from last week. The Forbes link provides a few short excerpts (provided by Playboy's press release) the last being common knowledge of Uday.

What I did find interesting in the Middle East Times article is if you compare it with the AFP article, what you will find different is the published date (MET's is 2 days later), AFP removed after Los Angeles, and the words "obtained by AFP" in paragraph 2 have also been removed. Everything else is a carbon copy of the AFP release. I was suprised to find this was an old story because it was on MET's front page for today even though it is dated 4 March. I will need to be wary of quoting MET as a source from now on as it appears they are not an original source for their material and hide this fact.

FreeRepublic has a nice thread. Liberty Post has a smaller one here. And to reminisce still more, go to About.com's political humor and use your browser to find the word "Arnett".

Update: Fixed three typos.


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