Sunday, September 09, 2007

NYT does in depth article on Iraq (Cave & Farrell)

On the front page of this morning's New York Times, the paper rediscovers Iraq via Damien Cave and Stephen Farrell's "At Street Level, Unmet Goals in Iraq" which opens by noting:

Seven months after the American-led troop "surge" began, Baghdad has experienced modest security gains that have neither reversed the city's underlying dynamic nor created a unified and trusted national government.

The writers note that "[m]ore than 35,000 Iraqis have left their homes in Baghdad since the American troop buildup began, aid groups reported." That includes, unnoted by the paper, Riverbend of Baghdad Burning who left with her family for Syria this year. The article, which continues for two full pages inside the paper (A12 and A13), you see that the measures were all attempts to slow down the violence. They didn't prevent it. The walls, the reporters note, have now increased tensions as they've divided a city into many different areas (requiring those attempting to travel or ship goods to hire multiple drivers for each area depending upon which sect or group of Iraqis control the area). Al Anbar Province, where four US service members were killed last year, and Farrell and Cave note that those cooperating with the Americans "made it abundantly clear that their cooperation did not come free" and why do you think Bully Boy needs another 50 billion dollars? The reporters inform that some Sunnis enlisting in the Iraqi police force are doing so just to continue fighting Shi'ites. Sahar Naeem Suleiman declares, "If we get into the Iraqi police we can move to Mahmudiya and Yusufiya and south Baghdad to free them" Sunni prisoners "and kill all the militias." While US military flacks paint a happy picture or one of mutal self-serving, Timothy Johnston (from El Paso, Texas) declares of the Iraqi police, "I don't trust them. They will smile in your face and stab you in the back. They were just too close to that E.F.P. not to have known."

He's referring to a June bombing but it could any bombing, any attack. "Pirate Jenny" isn't a love song.

Meanwhile, Alissa J. Rubin's "Blast Kills 15 in Shiite Area of Baghdad" notes the bombing "set between a market and a police station, killed civilians passing by as they did their weekly shopping. It wounded 45 people." She also notes 11 corpses were discovered in the capital on Saturday and other violence. Deep into the article, Rubin notes (three paragraphs before the end), "In Baghdad, Parliament voted unanimously to extend until the end of the year the work of the committee recommending changes in the Constitution." That Constitution was supposed to have been addressed some time ago. al-Maliki came into power saying it would be addressed and it's also included in the 18 'benchmarks.'

The Los Angeles Times is still unable to file from Iraq. There last report remains the September 6th report on the Wednesday announcements of 8 US soldiers killed.

CBS and the New York Times have a new poll. CBS makes like Cokie Roberts (on This Week today) and pimps "an increasing number of Americans believe the troop buildup in Iraq is having a positive impact." In a rare moment of santity, George Steph disagreed with Cokie and pointed out that the 'gain' was tiny. He pointed to other numbers, including the 62% of Americans surveyed who said the Iraq War was a mistake. That number's not going down. It is going up. (When the illegal war was still shiny and new -- like a virgin -- the number saying the illegal war was a mistake stood at 24%. That's a 38% increase in almost five years.)

New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Truest statement of the week
Dumbest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: You should be very angry
TV: The question's not 'Is it worse?' -- it's how much worse?
Bash the Bitch, available where shoddy toys are sold and sexists gather
Brown is invisible?
The Pacifica Archives
Mark your calendars

The e-mail address for this site is Ruth's Report went up yesterday. Kat's "Kat's Korner: Judy Collins makes like Eydie Gorme" went up earlier this morning and Isaiah's latest goes up as soon as this entry posts.