Friday, March 28, 2003

Awkward squad tries to sharpen view

They call themselves the "awkward squad" and their questions to the generals running the war in Iraq are starting to divide the sceptical press from their more loyal American colleagues. The front row of the briefing hall at the central command headquarters in the deserts of Qatar is largely reserved for the American television networks. But frequently the toughest questioning has come from rows further back where there are the less accepting British, Arab and Chinese press. After America took its heaviest losses in battle for years on Sunday, an Abu Dhabi television reporter asked General Tommy Franks, the US commander: "Are you practising a strategy of lies and deception or have you just been trapped by the Iraqi army?"

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