Friday, June 30, 2006

NYT: The oversimplifier in residence, Edward Wong

Peace groups began adopting a position articulated in a November 2005 Nation editorial, declaring they would refuse to support any candidate in 2006 or 2008 who did not favor a "speedy end to the war in Iraq." Progressive Democrats in Southern California supported an insurgent challenge against Democratic hawk Jane Harman, gaining 38 percent of the primary vote for Marcy Winograd. Independent Democrat Ned Lamont went after incumbent Joe Lieberman in Connecticut. Jonathan Tasini campaigned against Hillary Clinton. Angry voters, joined by activists like Code Pink, began to boo Senator Clinton at campaign appearances, climaxing at the recent "Take Back America" liberal gathering in Washington, DC.
At the same time, the Center for American Progress, a think tank led by Clinton Democrats, put together "
Strategic Redeployment 2.0," an effective guidebook substituting the more muscular term "redeployment" for "withdrawal," which provided significant comfort for Democrats too timid to be associated with the antiwar movement.
booing of Hillary Clinton, which was covered by all major media outlets, was a harbinger of what lies ahead if she campaigns for President in New Hampshire or Iowa. It was becoming intensely personal, ugly and divisive.

The above is from Tom Hayden's "Shifting Winds on Iraq" (The Nation) (which Brandon noted yesterday). We'll start with reality. Now let's go to Edward Wong's "Sunnis and Shiites Clash North of Baghdad" in this morning's New York Times:

The Romanian prime minister, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, said in Bucharest that he would ask for the withdrawal of the country's 890 troops from Iraq by the end of this year, citing the increasing dangers and costs of the deployment. But the withdrawal requires approval from the State Security Council, which is headed by Romania's president, Traian Basescu, who immediately criticized the proposal.

We're starting there because Wong oversimplifies. We linked to a Reuters story on this and Reuter's taken out the embarrassing quote from the United States car parts vendor turned diplomat; however, this remains:

The proposal to withdraw the mission -- on the grounds it was too costly -- needs to be approved by the 10-member Supreme Defence Council, which is headed by Basescu, and by parliament.

"And by parliament." Repeat And by parliament. Wong seems to have missed that. Wong's covering the fighting north of Baghdad (some of it) in his article this morning. What he forgets to tell you is that this is the area that the so-called "insurgent" groups sent envoys from -- you know the ones singing "Lay down, lay down, lay it all down . . ."? That's some 'peace talks' that al-Maliki is having. (But then, there are no talks. Even those groups -- eight to eleven of how many hundreds across the country? -- aren't pleased with the 'plan' and Donald Rumsfeld already nixed it because he has more control over the country than the puppet al-Maliki.)

Wong gives you a rundown of some of the events. Some of the known events. He also notes: "Violence was not confined to the Baquba area, however, with at least 31 other people killed or found dead across the country on Thursday." (Yes, AFP reported 18 corpses found in Iraq yesterday. So, yes, that sentence is laughable.)

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