Dipping into mythology, Edward Wong presents two articles in this morning's New York Times. One runs in the hard news section, one runs in the lighter Week in Review.
The hard news piece is called "U.S. Warplanes Attack Shiite Gunmen as Fighting Persists in City South of Baghdad." No where, in the article, will you find about the air assault on Friday. You will find the official reason being given to the press for the air assault on Saturday: "called in after residents of the area in Diwaniya told Iraqi soldiers that they saw militament with rocket-propelled grenades". What a sweet way to get rid of that irritating neighbor?
By the official reason (which may or may not be true), an air assault was called in because some resident said, "The bad guys are over there!" Now let's forget for a moment that a resident who just wants the US military to get the hell away from their own house has plenty of reason to send them elsewhere, but let's remember that Guantanamo is housed with so-called 'terrorists' whose only 'crime' was running afoul of someone with a personal grudge against them. Not only will the military imprison such persons, it will now launch an attack on them. Remember that the next time you're dealing with a noisy neighbor.
In the light section, Wong offers "Iraq Plan’s Elusive Target: Fear Itself." A stronger article about the same raids, played out in the same way. It's a real shame that a first person account of what Wong sees with his own eyes is relegated to soft news as opposed to the front page of the paper. In a too telling aside (more telling than Wong may grasp), following the murder of Suaada Saadoun, Captain Benjamin Morales sends a platoon in to find out what happened and, Wong writes, one man "walked past black-robed women wailing in the backyard and sat down with two men inside the home." Heaven forbid, apparently, they speak with the women.
It's an interesting way to play it but let's hope Wong carries squash.
The delay this morning is explained in (language warning) "Message from Jim, Dona and Ty" (The Third Estate Sunday Review).
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