Damp-Squib Chemical Weapons Find in Iraq

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

It seems that Danish troops over the past weekend uncovered in southern Iraq some artillery shells that quite likely were filled with the “blister agent” chemical weapon. I was first alerted to this by an entry in Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo site, where he also linked to a BBC report on the find. Naturally, this sort of thing called for a search on in the Danish press for word of what had gone on, and what it might mean. The answer: not that much. (more…)

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The Danes Wax Rhetorical Over Naples

Sunday, November 30th, 2003

Let’s now go to the reporting of the run-up to that EU IGC in Naples (and its early going) in the Danish press. If you want championship coverage of just what was contained in that omnibus compromise proposal distributed last Tuesday by the foreign ministry of the current-EU president, Italy, the piece to turn to is Politiken’s article Denmark Concerned over Italian Proposal for Constitution. (more…)

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Danish Afterword on Madrid Conference

Monday, October 27th, 2003

In the end, last Thursday’s and Friday’s Madrid Iraqi Donors’ Conference seems to have turned out better than expected. The coverage in Denmark’s Politiken (Japan Gives Iraq $5 Billion) gives a final verdict that is middle-of-the-road: yes, donor countries “reached deeper into their pockets than had seemed would be the case even hours before the conference closed.” (As the headline recounts, Japan upped its contribution during the course of the conference, ultimately offering a soft loan of $3.5 billion, and an outright grant of $1.5 billion.) On the other hand, Politiken still calls the results disappointing for the Americans, who had hoped to call forth much more money than the result of $18 billion to add to the ca. $20 billion that the US Congress approved (half of it a loan). On yet another hand, the article points out, for a long time there were doubts whether there would even be enough support to hold the conference in the first place.

Overall, the world’s press has plenty in the results of the Madrid Conference to see either a glass half-full or half-empty, according to the given newspaper’s (and/or its journalist’s) inclination or political stance. It’s rather more refreshing to come across a piece of commentary on these happenings which is willing to put them into a wider context, even if it turns out to be a very anti-Coalition one. This is what we have in the article in the Danish commentary newspaper Information entitled A New Iraq. (more…)

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WMD Lies: Something Rotten in DK

Monday, October 6th, 2003

“Weapons of Mass Destruction”: That was the mantra this political leader cited over and over in the run-up to the War in Iraq last spring, and to him Saddam Hussein’s possession of such weapons was the irrefutable fact justifying what was about to happen. This was despite the fact that this leader never really took the time to examine the supplied evidence on its own merits, to arrive at his own independent assessment of it. Now, of course, his government is trying to play down WMD, insisting that that was only one of the rationales given for toppling Hussein’s regime.

George W. Bush? Tony Blair? Of course. But I’m actually referring here specifically to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, prime minster of Denmark, according to the account entitled Denmark at War on a Lie in the Danish commentary newspaper Information. It looks like the Danish electorate is feeling similarly deceived (or, at least, has the right so to feel) as its American and British counterparts. And speaking of deception, you, dear reader, have just been hit once again with the time-honored journalistic trick of the non-specific article lead-in, taking you along what you think is familiar ground before suddenly swerving in a quite unexpected direction when specific details are finally supplied. What a great shtick! (more…)

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