News bytes

The Independent, November 22:

“Iraqis face the dire prospect of losing up to $200bn (…£116bn) of the wealth of their country if an American-inspired plan to hand over development of its oil reserves to US and British multinationals comes into force next year. A report produced by American and British pressure groups warns Iraq will be caught in an “old colonial trap” if it allows foreign companies to take a share of its vast energy reserves. The report is certain to reawaken fears that the real purpose of the 2003 war on Iraq was to ensure its oil came under Western control.”

– Murdoch’s Australian thinks Ariel Sharon is a “dove” and a “strong voice for peace.” Shame about that pesky occupation and the building of even more settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

– Blogger Joshua Marshall @ Talking Points Memo is hiring two journalists. The rise of the blogs continues.

– Colin Powell’s former chief of staff expands on the “cabal” that led the US into Iraq and America’s tattered reputation.

– The Guardian reports on a book discussing that lover of freedom and democracy, Maggie Thatcher:

“Margaret Thatcher forced Francois Mitterrand to give her the codes to disable Argentina’s deadly French-made missiles during the Falklands war by threatening to launch a nuclear warhead against Buenos Aires, according to a book.”

Russ Baker on Bob Woodward:

“…The very definition of an “investigative reporter,” as Woodward is labelled these days ad nauseum, is a pretty elastic one. Meeting a source in a parking garage as a way of identifying abuses and high crimes by powerful insiders is one thing. Dining off that for the next three decades while chumming it up with well-placed insiders for their ‘exclusive accounts’ is another.”

– Tim Dunlop @ Road to Surfdom wonders if Dick Cheney understands what his little liberation flourish in Iraq has created.

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