A front-page report in Tuesday's New York Times gave the newspaper's stamp of approval to the Bush administration's policy in Iraq. The report, spread across four columns under the headline, "Baghdad's Weary Start to Exhale as Security Improves," described improving conditions of life and security in the war-torn Dora neighborhood in southern Baghdad, portraying it as the outcome of the massive US military buildup in the Iraqi capital.
The Times report consists of a single anecdotal account--the story of one Shiite family who fled sectarian violence in Dora and has now returned--buttressed by figures supplied by the US military and the Iraqi regime, showing a decline in violent attacks from the highs recorded in the early part of this year.
"The security improvements in most neighborhoods are real," the article asserts. "Iraqis sound uncertain about the future, but defiantly optimistic. Many Baghdad residents seem to be willing themselves to normalcy, ignoring risks and suppressing fears to reclaim their lives."
The family interviewed "said they felt emboldened by the decline in violence citywide and the visible presence of Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint a few blocks away," the article continues, although, significantly, no quotes are offered to substantiate this supposed sentiment.
After laying it on thick in this fashion, the Times is compelled to admit that the Shiite family profiled is more the exception than the rule. It describes the condition of a second Shiite family, the Nidhals, who fled violence in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliya and have not returned because a Sunni family now occupies their home.
"In Baghdad there are far more families like the Nidhals," the newspaper concedes, citing official figures: "About 20,000 Iraqis have gone back to their Baghdad homes, a fraction of the more than 4 million who fled nationwide, and the 1.4 million people in Baghdad who are still internally displaced, according to a recent Iraqi Red Crescent Society survey."
Why then the rose-colored portrayal of conditions in the Iraqi capital, prominently displayed in the most important American newspaper? Clearly what is involved here is a political adaptation by the Times, the most influential voice of official liberalism, to the Bush administration's policies in Iraq.
The above, noted by Markus, is from Patrick Martin's "American liberalism and the Iraq War: The New York Times gives its blessing to Bush 'surge'" (WSWS) and consider it a must-read for today. Also remember that WSWS wasn't among the latecomers showing up as the lights were being turned off and guests sent home -- they were among those leading the charge in questioning the 'reporting' of Judith Miller.
Turning to paper of little record, War pornographer Michael Gordon (Miller's co-writer on several of the more fictious 'reports') leaves an ugly stain on the front page of today's paper ("Expanded Role Sought For G.I.'s In Iraq Training") as he he carries on his long distance love affair with the illegal war he helped sell. From DC, Gordo starts out, "With violence in Iraq on the decline . . ."
Oh, Gordo, keep it in your pants. For those who missed it, at least 54 deaths reported yesterday and over 29 wounded. But Gordo's so busy pulling himself, he can't be distracted. What he should do in private, the Times tosses on the front page.
The "gains" Gordo sees while stroking his war-on are all in his own head. Cash was tossed around like Imelda on a shoe shopping spree. It's cute that weeks after we were pointing out there have been no political gains, the Times can tell you the same but there haven't been 'security' gains either. Gordo, good house pet for the establishment, thinks loyalities can be bought. He's being inductive. All that's been bought is a starter set for war lords. Gordo scribbles about training because war lords need -- like bad reporters -- require a lot of hands on training.
While Gordo's trying to resell the training option (which hasn't worked before, but keep yanking it, Gordo) and claiming Peace in the Valley on the front page, A12 carries Cara Buckley's "Gunmen Dressed as Iraqi Troops Kill at Least 11 in Village Near Baghdad." The article tells you that Hawr Rajab village was where "at least 11 people" were slaughter "at dawn on Thursday". Though the ones doing the slaughter wore not only Iraqi military uniforms, but also "Awakening Council uniforms," Buckley feels the best witness to cite is the sheik in charge of the village's Awakening Council. To no one's surprise, he tales a tale (that the Times prints as truth) which pins the blame somewhere other than the US collaborators in the Awakening Council.
Buckley explains that the Awakening Council had sent their wives and children out of the village but 'safety' meant that they returned. "Now, that looks far from certain." Tell it to Gordo. Buckley also notes that the cholera crisis continues in Iraq and that yesterday's mortar attack on the Green Zone left "10 people wounded".
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