*The Mail on Sunday in the UK reports that the UK Foreign Office has concluded that there just weren’t any chemical or biological weapons in Iraq: ‘Senior Government sources have told The Mail On Sunday that the Foreign Office has given up hope of finding chemical and biological weapons in Iraq. The source said: ‘We live in hope but we just can’t find them. Most people at the Foreign Office don’t think we ever will. The Prime Minister still thinks they will be found – perhaps he has more information.’ The disclosure is a major embarrassment to Mr Blair on the eve of tomorrow’s publication of a Commons report into the row over whether the Government lied in the run-up to the war with Iraq.’
*7 US trained Iraqi policemen were blown up in Sunni Arab stronghold Ramadi on Saturday. I saw someone on Fox News going on about how 25,000 Iraqi policemen have already been trained and deployed. I find this assertion incredible. Trained? What must really be going on is that the old Baath police are being rehired and given a couple of days of sensitivity lessons on not torturing just everyone they arrest. You couldn’t train 25,000 policemen in a month or two! And, the estimates are that 50,000 are needed. And, there is still no security in major urban areas, with running gun battles at night, kidnappings, robbings, etc. still going on. And, some of the newly trained police are bing blown up and killed. Many such attacks apparently go unreported.
*Hizbullah in Lebanon refuses to disarm and evolve into a regular political party, according to Asharq al-Awsat. The question arises whenever there is a vigorous Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Hizbullah, probably correctly, doesn’t think there is much of a real peace process. Hizbullah also denies any relationship to events in Iraq. Since most of the violence in Iraq has been coming from Sunnis or from spontaneous crowd action by Shiites, this denial is plausible so far.
*The liberals lost big in the Kuwaiti elections, in which only men can vote or run for office. About a third of seats went to Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists, a big increase. But the government still has the majority of seats, and may succeed in ramming through a provision that would allow women to vote henceforth.