Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Washington Post Travesty

Wholly one sided on the facts and positing highly dubious opinion, the lead "news" article in today's Washington Post is blatant propoganda in support of those who desire a retreat from Iraq. At the end of this post are e-mail addresses and phone numbers. The Washington Post and our elected representatives need to hear about this. They need to hear us screaming bloody murder.

Today's lead article in the Washington Post is "April Toll Is Highest Of '07 for U.S. Troops" by Sudarsan Raghavan and Karin Brulliard. The first part of the article is nothing more then a gruesome itemization of U.S. and Iraqi casualties. Absent from the article or any related stories is a mention of even a single positive accomplishment by coalition forces during the month of April. It is not balanced news from Iraq; rather, it is a macabre requiem. The second part of the article, wholly unrelated to article's thesis, is a message that Iraq is emeshed in a civil war and our soldiers are dying needlessly. And wait until you see just how disingenuous the Washington Post is in providing us with that opinion.

The article begins with:

The deaths of more than 100 American troops in April made it the deadliest month so far this year for U.S. forces in Iraq, underscoring the growing exposure of Americans as thousands of reinforcements arrive for an 11-week-old offensive to tame sectarian violence.

More than 60 Iraqis also were killed or found dead across Iraq on Monday. . . .

Attacks killed a total of nine U.S. troops over the weekend, including five whose deaths were announced Monday. . . .

Under the new counterinsurgency plan, many U.S. forces have left large, more secure bases to live in small combat outposts and to patrol hostile neighborhoods where the risk of insurgents targeting them has multiplied.

Highlighting the vulnerability of American forces, a series of explosions Monday night rocked Baghdad's Green Zone, . . .

. . . Local Iraqi television stations reported 10 explosions inside the zone. There were no immediate reports of casualties, Garver said.

In eastern Baghdad on Sunday, a roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter who were on patrol, . . .

Before the deaths announced Monday, 99 U.S. soldiers had been killed during April, according to iCasualties.org, . . .

With 11 combat deaths, April also was the deadliest month for British troops in Iraq since the beginning of the war, . . .

The deaths came as the largest bloc of Sunnis in Iraq's parliament, the Iraqi Accordance Front, threatened to pull out its ministers from the cabinet, saying that it "had lost hope" in having Sunni concerns addressed by the Shiite-led government. . . .

In the province of Diyala, where scores of fighters have fled to escape the Baghdad security offensive, a car bomb exploded near a funeral tent in the town of Khalis, . . .

The strike came four days after a suicide attacker detonated a car packed with bombs at a checkpoint in the town, 50 miles north of Baghdad, killing 10 Iraqi soldiers.

Near the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, a car bomb exploded at a police checkpoint, . . .

In Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in the al-Jihad neighborhood, killing four and wounding another seven, . . .

Meanwhile, police found 13 corpses -- all blindfolded, handcuffed and shot in the head -- in different parts of the capital. . . .
Let's stop here for a moment and review just a few of the other news items coming out of Iraq in the past week. These are the ones that for some reason receive no mention in the Washington Post lead article, nor do they appear in related articles:

April 21 - Operation Commando Dive in the Shubayshen area, just south of Baghdad, led to the detentions of almost 50 detainees and a number of cache finds.

April 22 - U.S. and Iraqi forces raid a Mahmudiyah apartment complex, detaining eight suspected extremists and discovering three caches of Iranian explosives and arms.

April 22 - Coalition Forces in raids near Fallujah killed one terrorist, detained 19 others, and found large amounts of chemicals used to make IEDs, several weapons and bomb-making accessories, including more than 50 pressure plates and a suicide vest.

April 23 - Coalition Forces detained 19 suspected terrorists associated with facilitating foreign fighters, working with al-Qaeda in Iraq and operating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device network Monday.

April 24 - Iraqi Security Forces and Multi-National Division – Baghdad troops uncovered a weapons cache at the Al Nur Mosque in Baghdad’s Jihadneighborhood April 23 thanks to a tip from local residents.

April 24 - Coalition Forces detained 10 suspected terrorists and uncovered a cache of weapons in several operations in central Iraq Tuesday.

April 24 - Coalition Forces provide supplies and equipment to Iraqi Pediatric Hospital.

April 25 - Coalition Forces detained six supected terrorists in multiple raids targeting senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders and a group that provides foreign fighters to the al Qaeda.

April 26 - Coalition Forces killed three terrorists during an operation in Sadr City targeting a network that trains terrorists for operations in Iraq.

April 27 - Iraqi SOF and US advisors captured 7 terrrorists and destroyed two vehicles rigged with explosives.

April 28 - In Tikrit, local citizens in led Iraqi Army, police and Coalition Forces to more than 20 caches and assisted in capturing five suspected terrorists and engagements that left approximately 25 anti-Iraq forces dead. The security forces also discovered and cleared more than 20 IEDs emplaced throughout the neighborhood.

April 28 - Coalition Forces captured 17 suspected terrorists during a series of overnight raids targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq Saturday. Included in the capture was an intelligence officer for al-Qaeda in Iraq and a group responsible for murders, kidnappings, the manufacture of improvised explosive devices.

April 28 - Coalition forces interdicted an al Qaeda attack on a girls school south of Baghdad.

April 29 - Coalition Forces captured 72 suspected terrorists and discovered bomb-making materials during a constellation of overnight raids targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network.

April 30 - Iraqi Special Operations Forces have launched a raid aimed at the capture of a key individual linked to alleged death squad activity and attacks against coalition forces in Basrah

April 30 - Coalition forces discovered two improvised explosive devices and a weapons cache southwest of Baghdad today.

The above is just some of the hard news coming out of Iraq over about the last week. Would it be responsible for a news organization to include this information along with the roll call of al Qaeda attacks and U.S. deaths? Or if not with it, then in related articles? It would be not only be responsible, but incumbent, actually. And the utter failure to do so makes this Washington Post hit piece not but propoganda of the worst sort.

Please note that the majority of articles linked above concern raids and fights involving al Qaeda in Iraq and some involving Iranian backed forces. If the majority of our efforts are targeting al Qaeda and Iranian trained and supplied Shia death squads, we are by definition not involving ourselves in a civil war. It would almost appear to the untrained eye that that we are primarilly fighting radical Islamists - the same folks who killed hundreds of Americans before 9-11 in the case of Iran, and who killed thousands of Americans on 9-11, in the case of al Qaeda.

But you will find no such analysis in the Washington Post's lead story. There is no mention of the vast decrease in sectarian violence, nor the primary targets of our most recent combat actions in Iraq. Instead, the Washington Post gives us this gem of ethically challenged reporting:
On Monday, U.S. troops at Camp Victory, a sprawling base near Baghdad International Airport, reflected on April's deadly toll on their comrades.

Sitting at a picnic table outside a recreation center, four soldiers smoked Marlboros under a starry sky. Part of the Headquarters Headquarters Support Company for the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Ga., they had arrived last month. They were on the base, just "sweeping parking lots and waiting for a sandstorm," as Pfc. Richard Gonzalez, 22, put it.

Still, they said, frequent news of troop deaths made even their mission more frightening.

"It makes me feel depressed to be in Iraq right now," said Gonzalez, who is on his second deployment. "It's a whole lot different than last time."

Now, he said, soldiers at the base must carry weapons. Return addresses on letters from home must be ripped off and burned, so as not to fall into the wrong hands. On his first deployment, eight months passed before his Baghdad base was hit by mortar fire. This time, he said, it seems the Camp Victory intercom announces incoming fire every day.

"There's a whole lot more activity," said Spec. Krystal Fowler, 21, of Hampton, Va. She said it "kind of bothers" her to know other troops are taking hits in the field and she can't help.

Spec. Natisha Jetter, 23, of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, agreed.

"Our fellow soldiers are out there dying, and we're here not doing our job," Jetter said.

Gonzalez said the deaths made him realize that "there's a war going on out there."

Fowler sighed. It's a war between Iraqis, she said.

"We are just interfering, and letting our soldiers die." . . .

Can you believe this tripe? This is a reporter in the green zone fishing for a quote from anybody that will put the Iraq war effort in a bad light, and they seek out quite literally the least qualified source imaginable to print. They chose a junior enlisted soldier in a non-combat specialty, one who is assigned to division headquarters who has never set foot one outside of the green zone, to establish that Iraq is in a state civil war and we need to get out. To put this in some perspective, that would be like interviewing an elementary school's janitor to determine what is occurring in a university board meeting across the street. It is absolutely outrageous and so incredibly disingenuous that it is stomach turning.

There is not a thing ethical about this Washington Post lead article. It is so over the top in its defeatism, so selective in its facts and assertions, and so lacking in any balance as to be a far left opinion piece designed to decrease support for the war. A century ago it would have been tagged as yellow journalism. It is most decidedly not the news.

Ladies and gentleman, if you value your national security, then we cannot stand for this kind of ethically challenged reporting from our main stream media. Please, read this whole article here, and then jam the phone lines and the e-mails of the Washington Post to let them know just how you feel. And while your at it, see if you can't get your elected representatives off their sorry asses to respond to the Washington Post also

Sudarsan Raghavan and Karin Brulliard

Washington Post:
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(H/T Mudville Gazette)

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