While the U.S. thinks the war is over, somebody apparently forgot to tell the Iraqis. A day after firing on U.S. planes patrolling the country's northern no-fly zone, Iraqi vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan said his country is challenging the U.S. presence by conducting flights in the restricted area. Trying to take the "no" out of "no-fly zone" is Iraq's latest way of tweaking the U.S., following Sunday's announcement
(and then retraction) that Iraq would expel U.N. oil-for-food inspectors. And the Iraqi government continues to put on an aggressive front, saying it shot down a U.S. plane on Monday, which the U.S. denies. "Our resistance will continue against any penetration," Ramadan told the Associated Press. "The war is still on."
That's news to the Pentagon, which says that while its planes are patrolling the southern no-fly zone as usual, fighters that would normally be overseeing the northern zone have been grounded -- by bad weather. Thunderstorms over northern Iraq, not Iraqi fighters, have kept the U.S. planes down, according to the Defense Department, and it's not even clear whether Iraqi fighters are up there at all. The bad news for Saddam: Wednesday's forecast calls for bright sunshine.