Monday, April 13, 2009

Washington Post front pages Iraq, NYT whines

Fifteen feet tall, half a mile long, the walls wind like a concrete ribbon through the heart of this scarred holy city, the cradle of Iraq's sectarian war. Shiite pilgrims flow alongside them toward the shattered al-Askari mosque, a symbol of a resuscitating Iraq. Shiite national security forces -- and not a single local Sunni policeman -- patrol the area.
On the other side of the walls, shops lie shuttered; alleys are blanketed by silence. Padlocked red doors, built into the partition, prevent Shiite visitors from mixing with the city's mostly Sunni citizens. Here, Mohammed al-Saeed, a Sunni shopkeeper, fumes.
"This wall is a sectarian wall," he said. "They don't trust us."

Though the New York Times can't file a thing in the print version of today's paper (national edition) from Iraq, the Washington Post features Sudarsan Raghavan's "An Iraqi City Divided by Walls, by Sect, By Bitterness" on the front page. That's the opening to Raghavan's article and we'll discuss it in today's snapshot. Consider it the must-read today and you can pair it with Alissa J. Rubin offers "Arrests of a Council's Members Deepens the Bitterness of Sunnis in Iraq" (New York Times) from yesterday.

R.M. Schneiderman's "Commander Says U.S. Still on Schedule to Leave Iraq" is the closet thing to Iraq filed by the New York Times today and it doesn't make the paper. RM pulled pajama duty and reports on the Sunday morning chat and chews -- apparently to provide some of that 'journalism excellence' the paper of little to no record can't shut up about in today's business pages. As much as RM's 'report' is junk so is the garbage in the business pages about state-of-the-press.

The Associated Press, how it works, where its revenues come from, is all lost on the New York Times this morning and it's hard to believe Docker Boy David Carr and all the rest are so stupid (but maybe they are) as they serve up half-baked revisionary garbage in which the only problem for newspapers or the AP was in being late to the party. For the New York Times, any article on the lack of newsprint being the first and last stop should include the names: Jayson Blair and Judith Miller. Among many, many others.

But keep pretending the problem is everyone else, kids. Pretend you didn't market an illegal war and see it blow up in your faces. Pretend you do actual reporting. It's good to know the paper's staff can keep pretending . . . even if the public can't.

If people don't trust you, they won't pay for your services. And why should they trust you as you and every other outlet refused to call out the lie of "sandstorm" and "dust storm" last week?

Best of all is seeing the New York Times' pampered Docker Boys play the victim (it's like a newsprint version of Dislcosure, Fatal Attraction or any other Michael Douglas film) at the same time that the paper is threatening to shut down the Boston Globe. Let's all pretend they're not doing that. (Yes, the business section mentions that but refuses to explore that NYT is responsible. The Docker Boys couldn't be on their high horses about what 'victims' they were while also holding NYT accountable. Their days on the unemployment line will come.)

An article by James Glanz made the New York Times' edition on Saturday. I didn't see it in the national edition (not the one I purchased in Boston before we left Saturday morning, nor the one delivered to the house). "Contractor Must Pay in Iraq Fraud, Court Rules" addressed the Fourth Circuit's decision that if Custer Battles committed fraud (this was fraud committed on the US tax payers, fraud with their money, a point Glanz can't come out and admit), the argument that "We weren't in the US, we were in Iraq" is not a protection from liability.

In non-progress news, Alsumaria reported Saturday: "A number of Iraqi lawmakers affirmed that the Parliament Presidency has switched from the legal framework to the political framework mainly after the Federal Court delayed decision regarding the legitimacy of Accordance Front candidate Iyad Al Samirrai to head the Parliament.
Iraqi politicians affirmed that the Council will decide about this issue the first week after resuming sessions pointing out to the possibility of agreeing on Al Samirrai as Parliament Speaker."

Bonnie reminds that Kat's "Kat's Korner: The LOtUSFLOW3R Blooms ... and rocks" and Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Brotherly Embarrassment."

Iraq's Foreign Ministry notes:

Foreign Minister Visits Italian Embassy to Offer Condolence

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari visited Italian Embassy in Baghdad on the 8th. Apr .2009 to offer condolences on behalf of the Iraqi Government and his name to the people and Government of Italy and to the families of the victims of the region L'Aquila which struck by the earthquake and hoping patience and speedy recovery for the injured.

Minister Zebari was received by Mr. Maurizio Milan , the Italian Ambassador in Baghdad and Embassy staff members who expressed their appreciation for his Excellency's condolence on this painful incident.

The condolences ceremony was attended by Dr. Soroud Najeeb Director of Minister's Office, Ambassador Hussain Moala'a Head of Europe Department and Mr. Tahseen Enna, Chief of Protocol Department in the Ministry.

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the new york times
alissa j. rubin

the washington post
sudarsan raghavan