Thursday, April 12, 2007

NYT: Stenographer Rubin has a limited vocab

It is unclear from the military's comments on Wednesday whether it is possible to draw conclusions about how the weapons that the military contends are of Iranian origin might have made their way into a predominantly Sunni area or why Shiite Iran would arm Sunni militants.

The above appears in paragraph 13 of Alissa J. Rubin's "U.S. Suspects That Iran Aids Both Sunni and Shiite Militias" in this morning's New York Times. Dexy's daughter, like AP's LP, uses "said" throughout her article to describe Little Willie's allegations. Not only does she need to vary her vocab in an article she was paid to write, she needs to learn meanings.

At one point, she types:

"What does that mean?" General Caldwell said.

No, there the word would be "asked." The question mark would be the clue for many, but not for Rubin. Vocab lists should be sent ASAP to the Green Zone. Rubin does get points for noting the number of corpses discovered in Baghdad: 16.

Martha notes Sudarsan Raghavan's "Iran Giving Arms To Iraq's Sunnis, U.S. Military Says
Such Aid Would Mark Shift by Tehran
" (Washington Post) and Rubin can study the terminology used:

The chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq asserted Wednesday that Iranian-made arms, manufactured as recently as last year, have reached Sunni insurgents here, which if true would mark a new development in the four-year-old conflict.
[. . .]
It was unclear what motivation Iran, a Shiite theocracy, would have for backing Sunni insurgents, many of whom are staunchly anti-Iranian and fear the rise of Shiite power in the region. Critics have dismissed the U.S. assertions, saying that evidence provided so far gives no solid proof that Iran has supplied weapons to Iraqi militants.
Wednesday's allegations arrive at a particularly tense period for U.S-Iranian relations. The U.S. military has in custody five Iranian nationals -- Iran calls them diplomats -- who U.S. officials say entered Iraq to foment violence against U.S. soldiers and Iraqis. And an Iranian diplomat who was released from captivity inside Iraq last week asserts that he was tortured by the Central Intelligence Agency. He was abducted by unknown gunmen Feb. 4 on a downtown Baghdad street.

In news coming out of Iraq today, a bridge has been blown up in Baghdad and a bomb has gone off in the Green Zone. On the bridge bombing, the BBC informs:

A truck bomb explosion on a bridge in Baghdad has killed at least eight people and sent several cars toppling into the River Tigris below.
The rush-hour blast partially destroyed the Sarafiya Bridge by collapsing one of its girders.
Several people have been hurt in the blast and police are looking for survivors in the river waters.

On the attack inside the Green Zone, Dean Yates (Reuters) reports:

An explosion rocked a restaurant inside the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad on Thursday and dozens of people were wounded, a Reuters witness said.
He said the blast took place at the cashier's register in the cafe at a time when many members of parliament were having lunch. Parliament was in session on Thursday.
"There was a big blast, I saw the fire. There were many, many wounded. Windows were shattered," said the witness who was lightly wounded in the arm.
The parliament building is located in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. Militants have rarely managed to penetrate the various checkpoints and carry out attacks.

The New York Times' free-floating Paul von Zielbauer might be able to help put price tags on the corpses since that's the topic he's semi-covering in "Civilian Claims on U.S. Suggest the Toll of War" this morning:

There are no specific guidelines to tell Army field officers judging the claims how to evaluate the cash value of a life taken, Major [Anne D.] Edgecomb said. She said officers "consider the contributions the deceased made to those left behind and offer an award based on the facts, local tribal customs, and local law."

Semi-covering? Read the article. It should be obvious what's missing. (And that includes more than a dateline).

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