Sunday, April 29, 2007

NYT: A11 torpedoes front page

Kirk Semple . . . of Sunnybrook of Farm. In "Uneasy Alliance Is Taming One Insurgent Bastion," in this morning's New York Times, he goes on about the "progress" in Ramadi then finally, in the sixth paragraph, writes:

Yet for all the indications of a heartening turnaround in Anbar, the situation, as it appeared during more than a week spent with American troops in Ramadi and Falluja in early April, is at best uneasy and fragile. It's bad writing at best.

Possibly, the hope is that the first five paragraphs will act as a fairy tale and lull the reader to sleep?

That runs on the front page, as does James Glanz' much stronger "Inspectors Find Rebuilt Projects Crumbling in Iraq." What's not working? A shorter list might include what is. The water purification system at an Ebril maternity hospital (lauded by the Army Corps in 2006) "was not functioning," the incenator wasn't either (possibly due to being padlocked) . . . and on it goes. William Lynch's written reply to the reports is, "Recommendations such as how much water to use in cleaning floors or disposal of medical waste could be deemed as an intrusion on, or attempt to micromanage operations of an Iraqi entity that we have no controlling interest over." As Glanz noes, Lynch's title is "acting directo of the embassy bureau, called the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office."

Micromanagement? Well though skills do not appear to have been factored when awarding Lynch the post, it's obvious he aced the job interview. "Micromanage" has really become the catch phrase for the administration. When ever something goes wrong because the administration wasn't doing their job, the term "mircomanage" gets tossed out. You kind of picture the childhood Bully Boy being asked by Big Babs, "Didn't you tell Neilsie that he would burn his hand if he touched the stove?" and Bully Boy replying, "Look, I do not micromanage."

Damien Cave covers yeterday's violence ("at least 58 dead" from a car bombing in Karbala, 169 wounded), yesterday's announcement by the US military (9 service members "killed since Friday") and Moqtada al-Sadr in "Dozens Killed in Bomb Attack on Shiite Shrine." al-Sadr released a statement to the Iraqi parliament castigating Bully Boy for not listening to Congress ("obstinate"), saying that the Iraqis want the US out. And, oh by the way, Semple's front page story that waits until paragraph six to allow a discouraging word? It's on al-Anbar Province. Cave notes that 5 US service members died in al-Anbar Province Friday and four yesterday. This story on A11 topedoes Semple's story on the front page.

New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: Terri Johnson steps up and stands up
TV: Dud
What's it all about, Bully?
Iraq Quiz
Radio Blab
This Wednesday, May 2nd, Cooper Union, Voices of a...
The Nation Stats
10 CDs listened to while writing this edition