AP: "Fighting rages as Iraq leaders seek calm"
Fighting rages as Iraq leaders seek calm
By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated
Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders called Sunday for an end to Iraq's sectarian conflict and vowed to track down those responsible for the war's deadliest attack.
But as they went on national television to try to keep Iraq from sliding into an all-out civil war, fighting between Iraqi security forces and Sunni Arab insurgents raged for a second day in Baqouba, the capital of Diyala province north of Baghdad.
By the end of the day, the province's latest casualty figures were a microcosm of the brutality in Iraq: 17 insurgents killed, 15 detained, 20 civilians kidnapped and three bodies found. The mayor of a municipality also narrowly escaped an assassination attempt that killed one of his guards and wounded three.
During Saturday's fighting in Baqouba, police killed at least 36 insurgents and wounded dozens after scores of militants armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked government buildings in the city center, police said. The fighting raged for hours in the city, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
What is wrong with this AP story? Can you tell?
The folks over at AP are using “insurgent deaths” as a measure of todays “brutality.”
No, my dear AP—the same network that has yet to pull the bogus story of the “six Sunni
worshippers doused with gasoline and set on fire” that it ran two days ago—“dead insurgents” is a good thing. And when Iraqi policemen kill insurgents, it is not happening because the policemen are Shi'as and the insurgents are Sunni, no my dear AP, it is happening because the insurgents are trying to kill the policemen.
So, everyone, here is the basic formula:
dead insurgents=good news from and for Iraq
This was the fourth major offensive launched by insurgents against the Iraqi police and army in Baqouba over the past six weeks. The size of the attacking force gives every indication that the insurgents are trying to take over the city and hold down territory. But they have been driven back four times, and have sustained many casualties.
I don’t know why the Associated Press (or the New York Times for that matter, see today’s story by Kirk Semple, ‘47 Sunni Militants Die in Iraq Gunfights’) are misleading readers as to what is happening in Baqouba. I think that it is simply a symptom of a general misunderstanding of what is going on in Iraq as a whole on the part of the press corps and consequently on the part of the analysts who build their theses on the reportage coming out of Iraq. Here is the clearest example: Iraqi policemen are engaging and defeating insurgents. This is not Shi'a on Sunni violence. These policemen are standing their ground and firing back, before going on pursuit, as policemen are expected to do. Whether it’s a case of the policemen getting better at their jobs or the insurgents getting lousier at theirs, the story out of Baqouba should say that the Iraqi state is defeating those carrying arms against it.
It should be that simple.
But it isn’t, and that is why when the BS piles up, the toxic fumes drive juvenile authors like Jonathan Chait to pen a column with the title ‘Bring back Saddam Hussein’ on the pages of the Los Angeles Times. This silly and misinformed column is the inevitable result of the shoddy reporting being done by most of Chait’s peers. Counterintuitive-ness should only go so far before being labeled egotistic and irresponsible. I wonder what Chait’s next piece is going to say? I hope it's not going to be “The Arabs hate America because we support Israel; Bring back Adolf Hitler”…? Because that would be just going too far, right? Well, now you know how an Anfal survivor would feel about Chait's title and thesis.