On Friday's ATC, Robert Siegel has one of his chummy chats with the powerful, this time with "our man there now in Baghdad," as he calls US Ambassador Crocker.
From the start Siegel lets Crocker spin out a bunch of lies without a murmur of protest. Crocker says, "Progress comes in different forms, the most important was what we saw in February when Iraq's parliament came together to hammer out some hard compromises across sectarian lines to produce three significant pieces of legislation: an amnesty law, 2008 budget, a law on de-Baathification." Political progress? As Carpetbagger Report pointed out in January, this "progress" narrative is no progress at all.
Siegel also lets Crocker claim that bringing US troop levels back to pre-surge occupation levels is some kind of great achievement: "...because the surge has had significant success...and because in that environment we have seen political and economic progress, by July we will have withdrawn 25% of our combat power from Iraq..." Hey let's pop open the champagne!
But the kicker comes when Crocker drops this smelly one on the table: "...it is completely clear to any informed observer these militias would not be in a position to do what they're doing if they didn't get support from Iran, those rockets that struck in Basra and Baghdad and were fired at the Prime Minister in Basra all were made in Iran." What a surprise, the Iraq boogeyman again. And Siegel's challenge to this is....
"What do you say to Americans who when told that the country faces two challenges there: al-Qaeda in Iraq and Iran. What do you say when they say, If it weren't for our war policy there wouldn't be an al-Qaeda in Iraq and Iraq would be a counterweight to Iran."Not only does Siegel not demand proof of any kind, he simply accepts the grossly simplistic Bush line that Iraq is all about al-Qaeda and that every problem for the US in Iraq is traceable back to Iran.
Watching Crocker sit in front of Congress and tell lie after lie was disgusting, but no big surprise; after all he's a minion of the Bush administration. But for a supposed journalist at a public news station to repeat and propagate the same misinformation without challenge is a disgrace.