Thursday, April 26, 2007

Protests and counting

Also on Wednesday, President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr added their voices to the chorus of criticism concerning a three-mile-long, 12-foot-high wall of concrete barriers the American and Iraqi militaries had begun building along one side of the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Adhamiya.
"I do not agree on such barriers," Mr. Talabani said while visiting the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya, according to Agence France-Presse. "I don't believe this is something good. We can set up less harsh barriers."
Mr. Sadr said in a statement read by an aide in Najaf that the wall was "sectarian, racist and unjust."
The plan has provoked a multisectarian groundswell of opposition, prompting Mr. Maliki to order a temporary halt to the wall's construction. On Wednesday, he issued a statement saying that the government was studying alternative solutions to providing security for the neighborhood.

The above is from Kirk Semple's "U.N. Report Criticizes Iraq on Detainees' Treatment" in this morning's New York Times and, yes, that is the entire section on the wall. What's missing? How about the protest in Baghdad yesterday -- CNN reported it.

Martha notes Joshua Partlow's "U.N. Report on Human Rights in Iraq Draws U.S. Denunciation" (Washington Post):

Two U.S. Embassy officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, convened a conference call with reporters to criticize the report. "There are numerous factual inaccuracies," one official said. The officials said they did not believe the Iraqi government was trying to withhold information but is attempting to consolidate the death toll figures into some "verifiable system."
"If the prime minister's office has decided that they want to consolidate, then they should have consolidated," said Said Arikat, a U.N. spokesman in Baghdad. "These figures are important."

Of course the US government would provide cover for their puppet government, they are the ones who gave the orders to stop releasing the information. It's the whole No-photographers-at-Dover thing all over again. If you don't like reality, ignore it and try to silence it.

Another example of that form of LYING (that's what it is) can be found in making claims that there's been a drop in violence when the real drop is in not counting the victims of bombings. From Nancy A. Youssef's "Death toll excludes bombs" (McClatchy Newspapers):

U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.
Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
[. . .]
Others, however, say that not counting bombing victims skews the evidence of how well the Baghdad security plan is protecting the civilian population -- one of the surge's main goals.
"Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them," said James Denselow, an Iraq specialist at London-based Chatham House, a foreign policy think tank.

CNN's reporting 9 Iraqi soldiers killed in a Khaliss car bombing today (10 Iraqi soldiers injured as well as five civilians) and two Zamar car bombings that killed "at least five people" and left three others injured. But the way Bully Boy counts that would be zero dead and violence on the decline!

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