But The Media Has Mentioned These

April 8, 2007 at 11:22 am | Posted in American politics, Iraq, McCain, Media, Military, War | Leave a comment

John McCain writes an op-ed in today’s Washington Post about Iraq, and the supposed bias the media has against our policies in Iraq. This is a typical conservative tactic. However, let’s see if it passes muster. John McCain states:

The new political-military strategy is beginning to show results. But most Americans are not aware because much of the media are not reporting it or devote far more attention to car bombs and mortar attacks that reveal little about the strategic direction of the war. I am not saying that bad news should not be reported or that horrific terrorist attacks are not newsworthy. But news coverage should also include evidence of progress. Whether Americans choose to support or oppose our efforts in Iraq, I hope they could make their decision based on as complete a picture of the situation in Iraq as is possible to report.

Okay, so let’s see what examples he gives of the media supposedly not informing Americans about:

· Sunni sheikhs in Anbar are now fighting al-Qaeda. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited Anbar’s capital, Ramadi, to meet with Sunni tribal leaders. The newly proposed de-Baathification legislation grew out of that meeting. Police recruitment in Ramadi has increased dramatically over the past four months.

Huh, that’s interesting, because here is the New York Times reporting on just this:

The sheik needs as much protection as loyalty and prayers can bring, not to mention money. He is the public face of the Sunni Arab tribes in lawless Anbar Province who have turned against the Sunni jihadists of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, many of whom belong to other, sometimes more militant Iraqi tribes.

“I swear to God, if we have good weapons, if we have good vehicles, if we have good support, I can fight Al Qaeda all the way to Afghanistan,” he said recently as he sat smoking in a dark jacket and brown robes while meeting with a sheik from another Sunni tribe in his hotel room.

Sheik Abdul Sattar, a wiry 35-year-old with a thin goatee who comes from the provincial capital, Ramadi, is the most outspoken Sunni tribal figure in the country who is fighting, at least for now, on the side of the Shiite-led Iraqi government and the American military.

Alrighty, let’s try McCain’s next example:

· More than 50 joint U.S.-Iraqi stations have been established in Baghdad. Regular patrols establish connections with the surrounding neighborhood, resulting in a significant increase in security and actionable intelligence.

Frankly, I don’t know which paper or news source did NOT talk about the new stations established in Baghdad.

· Extremist Shiite militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, his followers are not contesting American forces, sectarian violence has dropped in Baghdad and we are working with the Shiite mayor of Sadr City.

Again, which paper has NOT talked about the whereabouts of Al-Sadr or that his militia is “laying low” and not contesting against American forces. Seriously, Mr. McCain, just what papers are YOU reading?

· Iraqi army and police forces are increasingly fighting on their own and with American forces, and their size and capability are growing. Iraqi army and police casualties have increased because they are fighting more.

This has also been reported.

Do you have any other examples, Mr. McCain? I am sure I can find anything you ask for written about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. What other paper do you wish to deride? I understand that you wish Iraq were better than it is, but don’t blame the messenger for portraying things as they are.

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