The report leaves unstated whether the 15 combat brigades that are the bulk of American fighting forces in Iraq would be brought home, or simply pulled back to bases in Iraq or in neighboring countries. (A brigade typically consists of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.) From those bases, they would still be responsible for protecting a substantial number of American troops who would remain in Iraq, including 70,000 or more American trainers, logistics experts and members of a rapid reaction force.
The above is from David E. Sanger and David S. Cloud's "Iraq Panel to Recommend Pullback of Combat Troops" in this morning's New York Times. It could also be dubbed "Reporting Badly." The most important number doesn't make it into the Times piece. How many US troops are currently in Iraq? About a 140,000. Go with the 3,000 number and multiply it by 15. That's 45,000. You'd still have 90,000 and that's if, if, they were brought home as opposed to being, as the journalists write, "simply pulled back to bases in Iraq or in neighboring countries."
That's not half, that's not even a third. The group was designed only to provide the Bully Boy with cover and bad reporting ensures that happens. There is no 'win.' The American people know that. At this late date to threaten to pull less than a third isn't an "answer" or a "compromise." It's cover for the Bully Boy, that's all it is.
He can go through the motions of accepting it and then turn around and do something else. Near the end of the article, readers are supposed to be impressed and assured by the panel: Sandra Day O'Connor, Vernon Jordan and a host of other losers who aren't known for doing much other than serving the interests of their party are listed. By the time Lawrence S. Eagleburger and Edwin Meese III pop up you realize it's not only the dull and dim witted, it's the worst of the worst.
They've sucked up more than enough press attention, the faux group, and they do so again this morning in the paper which passes this crap off as an Iraq story. You get the dogs chasing after Bully Boy as well. You just don't get a damn word about Iraq.
52 corpses were found in Baghdad yesterday. To know that, you'd have to read the McClatchy Newspapers' article.
Martha notes Nancy Trejos' "Remains Found at Crash Site May Be Those of U.S. F-16 Pilot" (Washington Post):
U.S. military officials said Wednesday that they are trying to determine if human remains found at the crash site of an Air Force F-16 fighter jet 20 miles northwest of Baghdad are those of the plane's pilot.
The officials identified the pilot as Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, who had been deployed to Balad Air Base from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. They provided no other details about the pilot.
[. . .]
It took hours for U.S. troops to arrive at the crash site, and by the time they did, Gilbert was gone, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the top American military spokesman in Iraq, said earlier this week. Even as television networks reported that they had video footage of the dead pilot, U.S. officials remained vague about what had been found at the crash site.
There's no time for the Times to explore that story or any. There's a laughable story that proves Brown University employs its share of uninformed slackers but what's Michael Slackman's excuse, if he wants to point to non-Americans couching arguments on religious speech, for not noting that Zalmay did as well when speaking to Iraqis? (Which truly was offensive considering how the US has fueled a religious split within the country.)
In the real world today, the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldier was killed during combatoperations in the Iraqi capital at approximately 3:30 p.m. Nov. 29."
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david s. cloud
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