In Iraq, Fear and Mumbling at the Top

(New York Times) John F. Burns - Somebody high in the Iraqi government had dumped dinars on the market to buy tens of millions of dollars in a few hours. What need might anybody in power have for so many dollars? - if not to defect, then perhaps to send family members abroad, before American missiles or a coup in Baghdad sent the whole grim edifice of power crumbling. For a reporter who was in Baghdad exactly 12 years ago on the eve of the Gulf War, the contrasts are unavoidable, beginning with the Iraqi leader's stubborn but at least comprehensible pronouncements then, and his perplexing performances now.

2002-12-24 00:00:00

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