Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Embedded Junk News

Sunday and Monday ATC feature packaged nonsense from Tom Bowman, who was embedded with Marines for a week in al Anbar province in Iraq. The embed pieces do help one sympathize with the soldiers trapped in the Iraq mess, and trying to survive a horrible situation--but when it comes to useful information about who is responsible for the disaster of Iraq, these embed reports are nothing but misleading propaganda pieces.

Here is what the BBC had to say on September 22, 2006 about the nightmare of al Anbar and how poorly it is going for the Americans (I'm quoting it at length because it is like nothing one encounters on NPR or in the rest of the MSM in the US):

"The US Department of Defense has now provided another measure of the problem it faces. Its latest opinion poll carried out in Iraq indicates that, among the five million Sunni Muslims there, about 75% now support the armed insurgency against the coalition.

This compares with 14% in the first opinion poll the Defense Department carried out back in 2003. It is a catastrophic loss of support, and there is no sign whatever that it can be effectively reversed.

The rise in hostility to the US forces is clearly linked to the onslaught against the town of Falluja in 2004.

This, we are told, was ordered directly by the White House and the Department of Defense after the bodies of four American defence contractors were hung from a bridge in April 2004.

The ferocity of the attack by the US marines persuaded large numbers of Iraqi Sunnis that the Americans were their enemies.

The situation in the country as a whole has never seriously improved since then, and Falluja itself has still not been entirely subdued."

It is sad that it is almost impossible to imagine such a report ever coming out of NPR. In the Bowman report there is nothing of history or accountability, instead we get such John Wayne/Rambo silliness as this: US Colonel "Detru [sp?] is a lean working class guy from Philly. He has a shaved head, eyebrows that angle into a scowl, and a needling wit. He offers Dalup [Iraqi officer] a lesson from the mean streets of New York City: 'Mayor Guliani had police on every corner, and that was proactive policing.' Bowman's report ends with this comment which shifts the blame to the Iraqis: "they [the Marines] want an Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem."

For a healthy contrast in coverage take a look at this from Knight Ridder, this from Inter Press Service, or read Juan Cole's substantive Informed Comment.

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