Mr. [Filaih Wadi] Mijthab's death brings to 146 the number of journalists and media workers killed in Iraq since the war started in 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization based in New York. Iraqi journalists make up by far the largest number of victims.
Assassinations and kidnappings in Baghdad have continued despite the presence of thousands more American and Iraqi troops since the beginning of the Baghdad security plan in February.
Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking American officer in Iraq, said Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press that only about 40 percent of the city was under the control of the security forces.
The above is from Alissa J. Rubin's "Iraqi Journalist Found Dead as Security Lags" in this morning's New York Times. 40% under control? That's called lethal optimism but pair it with Karen DeYoung's "Petraeus: Iraq 'Challenges' to Last for Years" (Washington Post) that we noted yesterday and you can even pair it up with Trudy Rubin's nonsense in "Horrors fuel Iraqi ambivalence on U.S. role" (The Philadelphia Inquirer):
That ambivalence is a product of the horrors they've seen in the past four years. Although the number of sectarian killings dropped sharply in the past few months, that number is again rising. Every Iraqi I know has had a friend or relative who was kidnapped, murdered, wounded or driven out of his home.
Baghdad residents put up with daily trials that would be incomprehensible to Americans -- and their fortitude is amazing. They have become inured to only a few hours of electricity a day, even less in more troubled neighborhoods. A highly educated professional whom I will call Leila tells me that in her neighborhood of Yarmouk, electricity has been on only one hour a week for the past three months. This means no air conditioning as the heat rises to 120 degrees and no refrigeration for food.
Leila has a small generator that keeps one light bulb and a little fan going until bedtime; the family dampens sheets to help them fall asleep. Leila's daughter has kept attending dental school at Mustansiriya University even though many students have been blown up by car bombs on campus and many professors murdered.
Her daughter risked attending classes even though her 18-year-old brother was killed last year in a crossfire. The dean of the dentistry school told the students after their exams: "You are my heroes, and you will be the future of Iraq."
Rubin sees a moral problem in all the chaos and violence that argues for the US to remain in Iraq. What's the old joke about preferring a 'moral dilemma' to an actual one? While Rubin plays philosophy prof, even she admits the Ministry of Interior employees frighten her. You know, the side the US government armed.
Apparently, had the US left 3 years ago, Rubin thinks those few hours of electricity wouldn't be manageable?
Leave it to Rubin to try to build a moral case for a war and occupation built on lies. And leave it to her to have the bravada to think she can silence all questions by posing it as a "moral" issue.
Probably three years now there will still be Rubin's rushing forward to argue from a "moral" point of view that the illegal war needs to continue. Obviously Rubin feels she can get away with this nonsense today. Will others feel as comfortable three years from now?
One million Iraqis dead since the start of the illegal war and Rubin wants to argue that it needs to continue for "moral" reasons. That's why the illegal war drags on, because people like her aren't called out on their nonsense.
For the reality, you can turn to "The Measure of a Life, in Dollars and Cents" (Washington Post).
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alissa j. rubin
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