Thursday, November 08, 2007

NYT's Cave should have paid for his own dinner

Tahsin al-Sheikhly, an Iraqi government spokesman, said 46,030 displaced Iraqis had returned last month from outside the country to their homes in the capital. He declined to comment on how the government determined those statistics.
"People are starting to return to their homes," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, commander of U.S. troops in Baghdad. "There's no question about it."
Such assessments run counter to the overall trend detailed in a recent report by the Iraqi Red Crescent, which said the number of internally displaced people had more than quadrupled over the past year, reaching 2.3 million by the end of September.
Fil said the military had observed a different pattern, with 200 families recently returning to their neighborhoods in the northwestern part of the city.

The above, noted by Martha, is from Amit R. Paley's "Officials Cite Return Of Iraqis to Baghdad As Violence Declines" (Washington Post). No the numbers do not add up. They don't add up because they're neither scientifically gathered nor accurate. They are, however, lies. And they are such huge lies, such bad lies, that, as noted in yesterday's snapshot, that the alleged number has more than double in less than a work week -- at the start of the week, the Iraqi puppet government was claiming 15,500 had returned, yesterday they were claiming the number was over 46,000. When you make up the numbers, it's easy to go from 15,000-plus to 46,000-plus in a matter of days.

Note that Paley, like Reuters yesterday, employs journalistic skepticsm of the ludicrous claims. Damien Cave apparently used his own journalistic skepticsm to pay for Chinese take-out. From Cave's "Militant Group Is Out of Baghdad, U.S. Says" (New York Times):

His comments, in a broad interview over egg rolls and lo mein in a Green Zone conference room, were the latest in a series of upbeat assessments he and other commanders have offered in recent months. But his descriptions revealed a city still in transition: tormented by its past, struggling to find a better future.
"The Iraqi people have just decided that they've had it up to here with violence," he said, while noting that their demands for electricity, water and jobs have intensified.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of displaced families are returning to their homes, but a majority of them are still afraid to go back to neighborhoods now segregated by sect. "Clearly," General Fil said, "it will take some time for Baghdad to restore itself to what it was."

Cave includes every false claim except the one that came in the fortune cookie. Maybe it read: "Reporter who swallow everything end up spitting on profession"?

Iraqs have had it with violence which is why they want the US out. The puppet leaders won't back them up on that (though the Iraqi parliament reflects the people's own desire for the US to leave). General Joseph Fil pressed hard and apparently Cave's mother never told him to make sure to keep money on hand for a cab ride so Cave crumples as Fil presses.

The US military escalation is ended because it cannot be maintained with current numbers -- even with, as Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted yesterday, the US military repeatedly dropping recruitment standards. So the draw-down that was always planned is happening but big lies are needed because no one wants to call it a "retreat." The happy picture Fil paints is like the ones before -- non-reality based. In a month or two, they'll have a different spin. Today it's "look at our Iraqi recruits!" We heard that each year. Some news drifts out slowly. Like the multiple deaths in 2004 that the US press isn't interested in but the BBC notes:

"Once we found Sarah, she was very nervous of the Iraqi police. She didn't want anything to do with them."
She added that Sarah had told them that the people doing the shooting wore Iraqi police uniforms.
Capt Brennan said Iraqi police officers had been known to commit crimes, but equally uniforms were sometimes stolen by criminals.
But she said Sarah had twice picked out five Iraqi men - all from the same police station - out of more than 200 images.

Truth, unlike the stains on Cave's professional name, does come out. Eventually.

Next entry will be dictated and up a bit later. We've got an early morning group we're speaking with. The e-mail address for this site is