Dispatches from the flat earth society

Categories: Iraq
Obfuscation and half-truths have been the norm from the outset with regards to the U.S. military's assessment of what's happening on the ground in Iraq. But the quotes from Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, as reported by Knight Ridder today, would seem to set some kind of new standard for disingenuousness.


Here's the money quote:

"We're not seeing civil war igniting in Iraq. We're not seeing 77, 80, 100 mosques damaged. We're not seeing death in the streets."

The problem is that this is not true--as evidenced by the horrific incidents reported by Knight Ridder further down in the story. Here's a sample:

While some residents hid in their homes, fearing mob violence, others grabbed AK-47s and set off to protect their mosques and streets.

In one case, 47 mostly Sunni workers traveling on a bus were stopped at a checkpoint, dragged out of the vehicle and killed northeast of Baghdad, police said. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found on the side of the road.

The bullet-riddled bodies of Atwar Bahjat, a widely known Sunni correspondent for the Arab satellite television station Al-Arabiya, and two journalists working with her were found Thursday a few miles from Samarra.

Gunmen in a pickup truck shouting, "We want the correspondent!" killed Bahjat along with her cameraman and engineer while they were interviewing Iraqis about the bombing of the mosque in Samarra, her hometown. ...

In Amariyah, a majority Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad, loudspeakers at Sunni mosques were broadcasting "Allah Akbar" -- "God is great" -- which some took as a call to arms. The neighborhood was wracked by gunfights that moved from block to block by evening.

Call me a cynic, but does that not sound a bit like "death in the streets?" Why do reporters bother quoting people when it's demonstrably obvious that they are lying?


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