Take a look at Juan Cole's post today where he writes about Al-Maliki's visit to Ramadi yesterday: "this photo-op visit is bogus and can only take place because the US military is managing it so as to produce an image of pacification." Cole sums up the US press coverage of this event and and past two days(!) in Iraq as follows: "The US press is so busy looking for signs of improvement that they have already forgotten about the slaughter of hundreds of Shiite pilgrims just last week, and are interpreting the relative calm of Sunday and Monday as some sort of turning point. Unlikely."
NPR jumped right in. Jamie Tarabay describes General Petraeus as being in an "upbeat" mood as he take a stroll through "downtown Ramadi." She states that US forces are maintaining "the city’s newfound and fragile stability."
The overall presentation is that Ramadi is now a model city for "counterinsurgency" and that things are going really well there. This kind of glowing coverage is not new on NPR and I'll be really curious if NPR revisits these "Potemkin Village" radio reports when the whole situation there really goes all to hell again after this "lull."