The Bush Administration, worried about the political cost of the Iraq war and increasingly plagued by comparisons with Vietnam, decided to speed up its “Iraqification” plan by transferring sovereignty to a provisional native government
by June 30. President Bush said that he believes the Iraqis “have the capacity to run their own country.” Four soldiers just back from Iraq were charged with stabbing another soldier to death, setting his body on fire, and leaving it in the woods. General John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, said that it was “beyond my imagination” that Saddam Hussein had planned for a guerrilla war prior to the fall of Baghdad. It was noticed that more U.S. soldiers have died so far in Iraq than in the first three years of the Vietnam War. Thailand said that it will give amnesty to more than one million illegal foreign workers who perform dirty, dangerous jobs that Thais would rather not do. American Roman Catholic bishops embarked on a new campaign against contraception. “The Church teaches us a lot of things we don’t practice,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. “But it’s the constant of the Roman Catholic Church that contraception is wrong, sinful, and contrary to the meaning of married life.” The Food and Drug Administration approved a new chewable contraceptive for women. Newly declassified files from MI5, the British intelligence agency, revealed that in 1940 German saboteurs had planned to attack Buckingham Palace with exploding cans of French peas. American scientists at the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives created an artificial bacteria-eating virus in 14 days using synthetic genes. parts of Los Angeles were covered in a foot of hail. Biologists were trying to exterminate nonnative frogs that have invaded the Galapagos Islands.