Pointed missives thrown blindly into the void, there to pass unnoticed and unloved.
Never Mind the Details
Let's compare and contrast some reports of yesterday's assassination attempt of Hussein. First, from Paul McGeough
of The Age
and the SMH
, from Baghdad:
Four or five houses have disappeared and in their place is a crater maybe 30-40 metres wide and 15-20 metres deep.
Some of the photographers use a chilling term they picked up from the US military in Afghanistan to describe what might have happened to a dozen or more people thought to have died in this missile attack. They have become "pink mist".
The smouldering crater is littered with the artefacts of ordinary middle-class life in Baghdad - a crunched Passat sedan, a wrought-iron front gate, the armrest of a chair upholstered in green brocade and a broken bedhead.
The top floors of surrounding buildings are sheared off. Mud thrown by the force of the blast cakes what is left of them, and the nearby date palms are decapitated. Bulldozers and rescue crews work frantically, peeling back the rubble in the hope of finding survivors.
Neighbours and relatives of the home-owners weep openly in the street, some embracing to ease the pain and all of them wondering why such a powerful missile was dumped on them after the US has stated its heavy bombing campaign is over.
But this is an opportunistic strike. Four bunker-busters - 2000-pound JDAM bombs - are dropped on the house in which the US "believes" Saddam, his sons and other top officials "might" have been meeting.
Anonymous US officials are quoted saying that on Monday they had received intelligence of a high-level meeting in Mansour of Iraqi intelligence officials and, "possibly", Saddam and his two sons, Qusay and Uday.
But that cuts no ice with the neighbours. The nearest house has stood for 43 years but now it is on the verge of collapse and the adult children of the blood-splattered engineer Fadel al-Imam, aged 75, are working to convince him he must leave.
With his back to the door of his wrecked library, where floor-to-ceiling shelves bulge with a lifetime's collection of engineering texts and there is a shattered photo of his policeman father in the service of the last Western occupiers of Iraq, the British, he says: "I reserve the right not to obey any government.
"This will create more enemies for the Americans. Even those who were feeling good about the arrival of the Americans will want to fight now."
There's also this
Next, Murdoch broadsheet The Australian
Monday's swoop on Hussein and his cronies, with four 900kg "bunker-buster" bombs delivered by a US B1 bomber, was believed to be based on information that the regime's leadership was deliberately meeting in a residential area to avoid being targeted.
The Washington Times reported that the meeting was under the al-Saa restaurant block in the Mansur district, in the city's inner west, between 2pm and 3pm local time on Monday.
The operation's success was unclear. While the building was destroyed, and US officials were optimistic, they were not certain whether the Iraqi leader was present.
The Washington Times reported that the site was used by the Iraqi Intelligence Service, the Mukhabarat, and was in the same neighbourhood in which Hussein made a filmed street walk on Friday, greeting supporters.
Pictures yesterday showed a massive crater in Mansur, where a building apparently had stood.
And lastly, The Daily Telegraph
AMERICAN generals were last night hoping they had killed Saddam Hussein and his sons by dropping four giant bombs on a Baghdad restaurant.
The 900kg satellite-guided JDAM bombs reduced the building, in up-market Mansur, to a cavern of rubble.
"Whoever was in there is dead," one US official last night said.
The raid was launched after military chiefs received "extremely reliable information" that Saddam and sons Qusay and Uday were meeting senior party and intelligence officials beneath the al Saa restaurant block on Monday afternoon, Baghdad time.
US intelligence identified the neighbourhood from the film footage and the tip-off came from an informant in Baghdad.
The restaurant was in the neighbourhood where Saddam, or a lookalike, was filmed on the weekend walking and greeting people.
Sources said: "We are certain he [Saddam] went in and we did not see him leave. There's a strong chance we got Saddam and both sons."
Forensic experts will be sent to the scene as soon as it is secured to determine if Saddam was killed. They will use the same technology that helped identify victims of the World Trade Centre attack.
Sources said they believed those at the meeting were discussing how to flee the city.
It is understood up to 30 military chiefs, intelligence officials and party leaders had joined Saddam and his sons at the meeting.
Witnesses said two houses were flattened and four others badly damaged in the raid. Nine Iraqis were killed and four wounded.
Full marks to the Tele for bothering to mention how many were killed.