Give Jamez Glanz credit for being the adult in Baghdad today (or at the New York Times) today. "Iraqi Factions Try to Undercut a Plan to Isolate Extremists" is not perfection, it is the only thing the Times can point to with any pride other than Moss' two-part prison series this week. Glanz addresses the potential shifts in parliament, walks you through the boycott and the reasons for it, addresses Robert Gates' for show meet up (and notes "It was not clear how the troops who met with Mr. Gates had been selected, but in a show of hands he requested, about half said they were serving their second tour in Iraq and the rest said they were on their first" -- they were hand picked), covers some of the violence in Baghdad on Thursday . . .
So am I just a tough grader? Actually, this is being graded by myself and two house guests who are already up this morning, one of whom states if he'd turned this in to his editor during Vietnam, he would've heard back, "How many American troops died?"
How many died?
For the record, that number for the month of December is 74. On Thursday, as noted in yesterday's snapshot, the US military announced the deaths of two soldiers and one marine. Where is that in the article?
74 for the month of December (which isn't over yet) makes this December the highest of the illegal war for US troops' fatalities. 40 was 2003's toll, 72 was 2004's toll, 68 was 2005's toll.
Since the deaths of US troops have been repeatedly and consistently ignored by the Times all week, it's debatable how much of it falls on an indivdual reporter and how much of it comes from the top. But it is disgraceful.
Over at the Washington Post, Nancy Trejos' "Three U.S. Troops Killed: 15 Iraqis Die in Blast at Police Academy" addresses what the Times ignores:
The U.S. military announced Thursday that three more American service members have been killed in Iraq, as a suicide bomber detonated himself in a crowd of police recruits in Baghdad, killing 15.
A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died in western Anbar province Tuesday, and soldier from the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, died there Wednesday, the military said. The area is considered the heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency.
As the Times once infamously said, it's a matter of emphasis.
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