November 28, 2006

WaPo: Selective Reporting on al-Anbar?

I can't say that this morning's Dafna Linzer/Thomas Ricks article Anbar Picture Grows Clearer, and Bleaker in the Washington Post comes as a surprise considering the overall tone of their reporting on the War in Iraq, but this article, based on an update of selectively-released elements of a previous classified report that many feel was taken out of context, seems to run counter to what many others are seeing in the same area of Iraq.

What appears to be the most easily refutable charge brought forth in the WaPo article occurs in the lede:

The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report that set off debate in recent months about the military's mission in Anbar province.

This contention, of course, seems directly challenged by the emergence of the Sahawa, or the Awakening, a movement among the major Sunni tribes of al Anbar against al Qaeda. Sunni tribes are increasingly leading the fight against al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents.

Fumento, who is on the ground in Ramadi and is reporting first-hand accounts, is buttressed by others who have or who are about to have first-hand experience in that province in Iraq.

Linzer and Ricks based their article on selectively-leaked excerpts for a classified Marine report and the words of anonymous "experts" in Washington, D.C.

Michael Fumento is there, on the ground in al-Anbar's capital of Ramadi, reporting the words of real people, by name, who are actively engaged in operations on the ground.

Given his proximity and many supporting accounts, I tend to think the Linzer/Ricks article is a fine example of reporters cherry-picking evidence to support a pre-determined outcome.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 28, 2006 09:47 AM | TrackBack

The administration rationalized the war on WMD, said it would be a cakewalk, said we'd be greeted as liberators, thought there was no history of ethnic strife in Iraq, thought the mission was accomplished three years ago, failed to secure arms depots, fired the Iraqi army, failed to prevent the torture of prisoners which was documented for every Iraqi to see. It seems as though they didn't have any plan at all for the occupation.

The media has not portrayed the war too negatively. See

Posted by: Earl at November 28, 2006 01:07 PM


You actually still here Mr. Crusty-the-Troll. I though I gave you the link to AUMF which showed all kinds of reasons why we went to war besides WMD. Have you finished your studying little boy, or you just wish to keep the sad story going because you've been told that? Remember I trashed every post you made in the other thread. Don't make me pull out facts again. I could just cut and paste. You on the other hand provided not one fact - not one link that was not shown to be incorrect.

CY - great! Nothing like confronting the loonies with facts. Interesting that you let Earl keep spouting the same old BS.

Posted by: Specter at November 28, 2006 01:34 PM

LOL - Earl - so are you telling us you consider Youtube to be the same as LAT, NYT, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, ABC, NBC, CNN, Al-Jezeera, CBS...etc...etc...etc? Grow up little boy.

Posted by: Specter at November 28, 2006 01:36 PM

BTW Earl - What's the plan? I've asked you a dozen times...clock's ticking. Only 4 weeks til your guys take over. No plan yet. Most Americans believe you have no plan....seems correct to me. tick...tock...tick...tock...

Posted by: Specter at November 28, 2006 01:38 PM

You refuted jack, Specter. I was here on Earth during the runup to the war, and I specifically remember WMD WMD WMD WMD WMD. That's all they talked about. Rice warned about a mushroom cloud, Bush said Saddam tried to buy uranium from Niger, Powell said there were mobile weapons labs, Rumsfeld said the WMD's were near Tikrit, I could go on literally for hours in this vein. Sure they made a few remarks about democracy, but it was a drop in the ocean. I can't say what happened in Clown World of course. Nothing I said above is in the least bit controversial here on Earth.

I haven't a clue what you mean about considering 'Youtube to be the same as LAT, NYT, ...' It's just a video respository. You can upload videos there too. But again I guess Clown World has its own set of rules.

Posted by: Earl at November 28, 2006 03:39 PM

Specter, I've said repeatedly I don't have a solution for Iraq because there is no solution. You may as well break a bottle of $1,000 wine and say "What's your idea now? Huh? Huh?" But here's the bigger question: why does there need to be an idea? Are things going well in Iraq or aren't they? If it's the perfect war, well I don't need to provide a solution. If on the other hand if you admit we've created violent chaos, well you should just shut up then. Even in Clown World you can't have that both ways.

Posted by: Earl at November 28, 2006 03:42 PM

Specter -- Clown World is smaller than you think:

“‘Stay the course’ is gone. We’re going to try and devise some new strategies, hopefully with the President’s concurrence. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen should not be in there, risking their lives, losing their lives to stop a Civil War.”

John Warner R Virginia outgoing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Posted by: Earl at November 28, 2006 04:52 PM

said it would be a cakewalk

I recall casualty estimates as high as 10,000 being tossed around in the media prior to the invasion.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 28, 2006 04:55 PM

Purple --

I'm not privy to what the Clown World media said, but on my planet we had this:

"I believe that demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk"

Ken Adelman, Defense Policy Board

Posted by: Earl at November 28, 2006 05:26 PM

Yea, that part took about 3 weeks and was a cakewalk. What's your point?

Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 28, 2006 10:47 PM

That's ridiculous, Purple. Baghdad was a picnic compared to the "not exactly greeted as liberators" part. You're being an idiot.

Posted by: Earl at November 29, 2006 12:43 AM

"not exactly greeted as liberators"

We were greeted as liberators though.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 29, 2006 02:44 PM


Posted by: chw at November 29, 2006 03:40 PM