Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Other Items

Today the US military announced: "Three MND-B Soldiers died and another was wounded when an improvised explosive device and secondary explosion detonated near their patrol in a southeastern section of the Iraqi capital April 9. " And they announced: "A Soldier assigned to Multi-National Force-West died Monday while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." On the tenth day of April, ICCC is reporting that 45 US service membrs have died in Iraq so far this month. 3292 since the start of the illegal war.

Instead of reality, we get nonsense. As noted Sunday, Edward Wong did two articles for the New York Times. One was based on what he saw with his eyes, what he saw around him, while on patrol with US forces, what he observed. The other? It covered an area he wasn't in. It relied on official statements. Wong couldn't verify anything himself on what he had actually observed. Which did the Times run in the news section and which did they run in their chatty Sunday opinion section (Week in Review)? The first hand, eye witness, based on four years of observations in Iraq wasn't judged hard news and ran in the soft section. The real news story was "Iraq Plan’s Elusive Target: Fear Itself." That goes a long way to explaining the sorry state of today's journalism.

Someone who benefits from it is the puppet of the occupation. From Stuart Biggs (Bloomberg News):

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said the U.S. shouldn't set a deadline for withdrawing its troops from his country because the handover of power to Iraqi security forces is already taking place as quickly as possible.

If you were a propped up puppet, you'd want the country propping you up to stay too. On the topic of the sorry state of today's press, Melinda highlights another critique, Robert Parry's "'Surging' Toward Failure in Iraq" (Consortium News):

The Washington pundits and the press are all atwitter wondering how successful George W. Bush's Iraq "surge" strategy will be and how fast the Democrats will crumble in a showdown with the steely-eyed President over his demand for $100 billion more for the war with no strings attached.
But the underlying military reality is that the United States has long since "lost" the war in Iraq. As many military and intelligence analysts recognize, it is not winnable in any normal sense of the word. The "surge" of sending tens of thousands more U.S. troops into Iraq only guarantees that the final body count will be higher and the piles of IOUs bigger.
To get a sense of the inevitable disaster ahead, just envision the conditions for U.S. troops stuck in police stations around Baghdad when the summer temperatures rise to over 100 degrees and tempers turn just as hot. By then, too, Iraqi insurgents will have adjusted their tactics to take advantage of isolated American soldiers.
The U.S. death toll in and around Baghdad is already increasing though the "surge" is only partially complete. In the months ahead, as more U.S. troops are exposed in less protected positions, the likelihood is that the casualty rates will grow only worse.

Rebecca passes on do not miss today's Democracy Now! which contains a discussion of the selling of the Iraq war and includes the Washington Post's Peter Eisner.

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