Wednesday, January 10, 2007

NYT: The Drama Critic of the Green Zone

More than 1,000 American and Iraqi troops, backed by Apache attack helicopters and fighter jets, battled insurgents all day Tuesday and late into the night in downtown Baghdad, in one of the most dramatic operations in the capital since the invasion nearly four years ago.

The above is from the article entitled "U.S. and Iraqis Hit Insurgents in All-Day Fight" in this morning's New York Times and from the keyboard of someone trying damn hard to be the new Dexy (and, no, that's not a compliment). Marc Santora got his 'drama' -- readers didn't get anything even remotely resembling reporting but gosh, didn't it look amazing, all the smoke, from the Green Zone, and goodness, wasn't the military helpful in telling exactly what happened because that's what reporting is, after all, looking at a slaughter on a residential street (with families, with women, with children) and repeating just what you're told.

Martha notes Sudarsan Raghavan and Joshua Partlow's "U.S. Airstrikes Back Troops in Baghdad Clash" (Washington Post) which is less rah-rah and introduces other elements (and does so much quicker than Santora's jots):

Sunni legislator Khalaf al-Alayan, in an interview on al-Jazeera television, described the fighting on Haifa Street as a way to "clean Baghdad of the remaining Sunni elements." Alayan said he had contacted organizations such as the Arab League and the United Nations in hopes of stopping "these massacres that the Sunnis are subjected to."
In a statement, the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party described the 50 killed as "innocent citizens." It asserted that Sunnis on Haifa Street were "under siege" by Shiite militias backed by the Iraqi army.

Back to the drama critic from Baghdad, Marc Santora:

American military officials said that by then they already had solid evidence to suggest that Sunni insurgent leaders were using the neighborhood as a base of operations. They said that the fighters were organized and sophisticated, and included trained snipers and insurgents from foreign countries.

Oh well, if that's what the American military said. That's never backfired on the Times, has it? (Try November of 2005 most infamously.) (Or most infamously for those paying attention to anything that happened after 2003.) Or there's the matter of Dexy's poster boy, now he was a good source and he's where today? Oh, we don't like to talk about that, now do we? Thankfully, Dexy was able to eulogize that as "The Fall of the Warrior King" and not too many people (at the time or since -- Tom Cruise has optioned the story) made the connection between the behaviors leading to the fall and Dexy's own 'reporting.' (Ty's take on Dexy's creative reporting here.)

What goes unremarked upon is the fact that, nearly four years later, the battle raged in the capital which has been under 'crackdown' since June. Six months of 'crackdown' and four years of illegal war and, no, the capital isn't calmer.

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
- May 1, 2003, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner declaring "Mission Accomplished".

That's via Reuters which strings together a few of Bully Boy's more 'memorable' statements. Remember, more Lies From The Bully Boy come tonight in primetime.

This morning, the US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, died Tuesday as a result of injuries sustained from a gunshot wound while conducting combat operations in Diyala Province."

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