Bush’s Surging Confidence on Iraq, Nonsense in New York Times Reporting
Wow! President George Bush has not sounded this confident about Iraq in years; everything about him, from his tone of voice to body language exudes the knowing certainty that now he has evidence to back up his claims of success and progress in Iraq and that piece of evidence is Operation Cavalry Charge unfolding in Basra.
Bush, speaking today at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, called Maliki’s move against the organized crime cartels of Basra “bold” and saluted it as a purely Iraqi initiative.
Operation Cavalry Charge is indeed a stunning moment since it smashes through the false narratives invented by the anti-war crowd: contrary to all the words printed and said by America’s Iraq-watching ‘elite’, the Iraqis are in charge, the Iraqis are ready and able, and the Iraqis are willing to take difficult political stands to safeguard their security and sovereignty.
Bush also rattled off plenty of other metrics by which to judge success, and the naysayers can no longer dismiss the mounting evidence with a heckling snort. No, this time they actually have to come up with convincing retorts so that the public would still believe the bogus argument that Iraq is irredeemable.
But they’ll have to do a lot better than what James Glanz tried to pull off today in the New York Times. The ‘take-away’ image from his write-up of Basra’s events is that the operation was so poorly planned that the Iraqi Army’s vehicles could not fit into the alleyways of Hayyaniya—Basra’s equivalent to Baghdad’s Sadr City in ‘sluminess’ and pro-Sadrist political orientation. This claim is poorly sourced—citing a likely phone conversation with a singular newspaper editor in Basra, with no qualification of source’s or his newspaper’s political leaning or revenue stream—and is simply stupefying to anyone familiar with the concept of distances and measurements, metric or otherwise.
I demand that the NYTimes immediately dispatch Glanz (who’s reporting from Baghdad not Basra) with a tape-measure to Hayyaniya and have him come back with accurate lengths and distances of its side-streets. His job should be facilitated by the fact that Hayyaniya actually follows a grid pattern much like Manhattan. Here’s a Google Earth picture of Hayyaniya in case the NYT loses its way:
The NYTimes and the Associated Press (God their work stinks!) will report the Basra story in whatever biased manner that they see fit irrespective of fact. We’re dealing with neurotic journalists—“I’m unloved and **insert self-esteem issue here**, and it’s all Bush’s fault”—who are shamelessly promoting their narrow political agendas and who’re just winging the reporting by relying on unreliable sources. They’ll get away with it because the newsrooms they answer to are also populated with more of the same neuroses; they will never admit that their hasty forecasts about Iraq were wrong.