Thursday, December 18

"Democracy" in "Free" Iraq

Teaching freedom by shooting dissenters. The ultimate in mixed signals.

Tanks roll into Tikrit

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Tanks have rolled out on to the streets of Tikrit, as a message that the U.S. army will not tolerate shows of support for Saddam Hussein in the captured president's home town.

U.S. troops forcibly broke up at least four attempted pro-Saddam demonstrations and three soldiers were wounded when a bomb went off as their Humvee patrolled the streets.

An hour later, a handful of military vehicles returned, one carrying the U.S.-backed regional governor Hussein al-Jaburi, while a recording of his voice boomed a warning to would-be Saddam loyalists.

"Any demonstration against the government or coalition forces will be fired upon," Jaburi's voice said, according to an army interpreter. "This is a fair warning."