Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Hagel visits US troops in Iraq

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in Iraq.  For POLITICO, it's a chance to prove how they're all fluff and just a gossip rag.

Hagel, their headline insists, is "in Iraq to confer on ISIL strategy."  Philip Ewing and POLITICO are aware Hagel is the outgoing Secretary of Defense.  But they live in a fake world where they have to gin everything -- while supporting no claims -- in order to be 'click bait.'

As a US official, he will meet with various leaders in Iraq while there.  But that's not why he's there.

He's doing the farewell to the troops tour that Secretaries of Defense do when they know they're leaving.  He'd already visited the troops in Afghanistan.  Here's how DoD worded it in their press release:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Baghdad today to visit with and thank U.S. troops for their contributions to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
In a statement announcing Hagel’s arrival in the Iraqi capital, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the secretary will receive operational updates from Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, commander, Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve.
Hagel also will meet with key Iraqi leaders, including President Fuad Masum, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khalid al-Ubaidi, the admiral said.
Visits Slated With U.S., Australian Troops
In addition, Kirby said, Hagel will speak to U.S. and Australian personnel providing security assistance in Baghdad, and he will visit the joint operations center there.

 “The secretary looks forward to gaining first-hand knowledge of coalition progress against the threat ISIL poses to the region, and to ensuring our troops -- and the personnel of our Iraqi and coalition partners -- understand how grateful he is for their service and professionalism,” Kirby said.

However, for POLITICO, this is some major strategy meeting.  Because that's who you send to make new plans and firm up alliances?  The person who's departing?

The rag offers:

Hagel, meanwhile, wasn’t up to the job of seriously executing that strategy, according to White House officials, and so Obama asked for his resignation late last month. Officials in Hagel’s camp say the secretary had his own long-standing objections to Obama’s indecisiveness and micromanagement, and he opted to leave on his own. Carter appears likely to be confirmed by the new Republican Senate early next year.

And yet POLITICO doesn't seem to grasp the inconsistency in their statements in that paragraph with the assertion that this is some sort of strategy making session.

If it's still confusing, here's DoD's Twitter feed:

And, for the record, there's nothing wrong in and of itself in including the paragraph POLITICO did that we quoted -- provided they offered more than that.

But they didn't.  They offered gossip.

And, thing is, Rona Barrett's Hollywood found Rona and company doing a better job of teasing out who was sleeping with who and why.

POLITICO isn't just a gossip rag, it's a badly written, poorly executed gossip rag.

Hagel's in Iraq to thank the troops.  He will convey any message back to the White House but he doesn't exactly have any real pull there now -- a point POLITICO grasps in the paragraph we quoted even if they miss it in the rest of the article.

The following community sites -- plus NPR, Tavis Smiley and Antiwar.com -- updated:

  • The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.