Thursday, June 29, 2006

Inskeep & Hadley

This morning Steve Inskeep interviews National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley about the great progress being made in creating security in Iraq. (I'm not kidding.) Here are a few things you may not have been aware of: there are 264,00 troops in the Iraqi Army and among them there are only a few "instances" where their loyalty (to the US/Iraqi "Government") is in question. The Iraqi armed forces did not fall into sectarianism after the Samarra bombing of the Golden Mosque in Feb. 2006. And Iraq is "“a country that is on the road to democracy, able to defend itself, and can be a source of stability in the region." These are reasonable wishes for someone in Hadley's position to have, but what about proof? Has NPR or Inskeep ever heard of doing research before conducting an interview (maybe bring along a few notes with statistics, numbers, facts, etc.)? Inskeep does ask Hadley about the June 2006 memo leaked from the US Embassy with Ambassador Khalizad's name on it. By any measure this memo is astonishing, shocking, sobering, frightening, grim, etc (you decide). In it we learn that Iraqis working for the US Embassy reveal a pervasive fragmenting of Iraqi society, a downward spiral into radical Islamic repression (of women especially and even of children wearing shorts!), a fear and distrust of even the Iraqi guards who controll access to the Green Zone! You really have to read the memo if you haven't yet (here's the PDF link to it). Hadley's response is stunning: "“one of the things I found is that there'’s not a lot that surprised me about that memo....and there wasn'’t a lot new in it."” Does Inskeep challenge that, or provide some details from that might surprise the listeners? No, not a word.

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