Defies a category!

It has begun. Good luck to us all!

TV Networks Jump in as War in Iraq Starts
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. cable and broadcast television networks jumped in on Wednesday night as the long-awaited war against Iraq began, with CBS News anchor Dan Rather declaring “Good morning Baghdad” as the bombing started.
The networks, which have been primed for weeks for the start of a conflict, went to a mix of footage of Baghdad and reports from correspondents embedded with military units in the field.
“We know the president is going to come on at 10:15 (p.m. EST), so the war effectively is underway,” Tom Brokaw, anchoring NBC’s covering on both the main broadcast network and cable channel MSNBC, said.
And indeed, in a four minute speech to the nation, the president declared that the war had begun.
“On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance … A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict,” Bush told the American people in a televised address from the White House Oval Office.
CNN was early in reporting, through its reporter Nic Robertson in Baghdad, that anti-aircraft fire could be seen streaming into the sky, though in the first minutes of the war Robertson said no explosions had been seen or felt in the city.
Newspapers also worked to quickly get out news of the war. The Web sites of papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post immediately began posting stories from wire services on the progress of the early campaign.
TV pictures showed a darkened Baghdad cityscape lit by street lights, with occasional flashes in the sky from antiaircraft fire, and sounds of antiaircraft bursts could be heard.
CBS’s veteran anchor Dan Rather said the first attack was only a couple of minutes in duration, right at sunrise. Baghdad is 8 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States, and so the war coverage began just as the west coast was settling in to the evening news.
“We’re being told that there will be a rather heavy air-based and sea-based bombardment,” CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, live in Kuwait, said. The network was also reporting that the first attacks were with cruise missiles and were aimed at “targets of opportunity.”
CNN Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntiresaid that the initial bombardment on what the Pentagon called a “target of opportunity” was a leadership target of some sort.
NBC’s Tom Brokaw made the point early in the coverage that the United States was expected, after the initial stages of the war, to take a long-term restructuring role in Iraq.
“One of the things we don’t want to do is destroy the infrastructure in Iraq because in a few days we’re going to own that country,” Brokaw said.
ABC’s Peter Jennings came live on air about 15 minutes after the White House said the war had officially begun. He, like Rather and Brokaw, has been a long-time network news presenter and anchored the network’s coverage of the last Gulf War.
Rather said the first attacks seemed to be meant to “give Saddam the willies, to spook him a little bit.”
ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co., NBC and MSNBC are units of General Electric Co, CBS is a unit of Viacom Inc., CNN is a unit of AOL Time Warner and Fox News Channel is a unit of News Corp. Ltd.