But, they don’t have an agenda, do they?
The WaPo published another skewed piece of yellow journalism, this time misrepresenting the words of General David Petraeus. In an article titled: “Petraeus: Iraqi Leaders Not Making ‘Sufficient Progress”,
Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/13/AR2008031303793.html?hpid=moreheadlines , they conveniently took his comments way out of context.
A follow-up press release from MNF Iraq:
Press Release 080314a
March 14, 2008
Transcript of General Petraeus Interview with the Washington Post on Government of Iraq Progress
Today’s Washington Post inaccurately characterized the discussions General Petraeus and their reporters had yesterday. During the one-hour interview General Petraeus never intimated or stated that Iraqi leaders have “failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences.”
The Washington Post has been asked to make a correction on this statement and we are awaiting their decision.
The following transcript is from an interview with the Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan, Joshua Partlow and Cameron Barr of Gen. Petraeus’ comments on the Government of Iraq’s economic and political progress.
GENERAL PETRAEUS: …The government does have to achieve legitimacy in the eyes of many in the Sunni Arab community, if not most. There’s no question. Actually, it has to achieve legitimacy in the eye of all Iraqis…… and that can only come by improving the level of services, again — some of which are going to take some time, but some of which they can do in a…
WP: But they have political power. Anbar wants political power.
GENERAL PETRAEUS: And they will get it. But again, that’s why they want provincial elections. That’s why the provincial powers law and the subsequent provincial election laws are so important. I mean that’s why Ambassador Crocker and I have repeatedly noted that, you know, it’s crucial that the Iraqis exploit the opportunity that we and our Iraqi counterparts have fought so hard to provide them. And they did start down that road. They have made a start down that road. And, you know, the laws that were passed, some of them are steps toward the kind of progress that is needed to begin to cement the gains that have been achieved in the security arena.
WP: Do you think enough has been done? I mean last year, you know, you’ve even said it…
GENERAL PETRAEUS: Sure.
WP: …a lot of commanders have said it that the key goal of the surge…
GENERAL PETRAEUS: Sure.
WP: …is to foster political reconciliation.
GENERAL PETRAEUS: No. — Let me take that again—don’t say that……let me just answer that one.
GENERAL PETRAEUS: No one…no one in the government or US…or even in the government of Iraq feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation, legislation to cement the gains, and so on. They are all keenly aware. And the same with respect to basic services. I mean I actually…today I was invited by the prime minister after we had our weekly meeting with him, the ambassador and I, he said, “Will you stay around and sit in on the meeting with the ministers of oil and electricity?” And so I said, “Okay. I guess so.” I mean after three and one-half years of monitoring daily exports, towers up or down, you know, 400KV, 132KV, 11KV, the different oil lines, the different generators, and everything else, it’s actually helpful. And in fact, I just got a commitment from, you know, an enormous, maybe the biggest, electrical production company in the world to renew its efforts here after some pretty frustrating years, frankly. So…
WP: So you’re going to have…The surge is going to be gone by July. Are you…do you think the government has lost an opportunity to…
GENERAL PETRAEUS: No. I think…no. I think the opportunity is very much still there.
WP: You’re going to have less…you’re going to have the surge troops gone. One of the key goals of the surge troops is not…won’t be achieved by July.
GENERAL PETRAEUS: Well, again, the security progress, again, we certainly will do all that we can. I mean we’re going to fight like the dickens to maintain the progress and where we can to try to build on it. I mean we are really just embarking on the effort in Mosul which is of enormous importance to al-Qaeda and the related groups. It’s just very, very significant because of geography, politics, money.
Author and journalist Rich Lowery comments:
General Petraeus was trying to explain a very complex issue, that of inclusion of the Suni representation in the national government. Several times he indicated that progress is being made in Iraq. Yet the Post led with – “Iraqi Leaders Not Making ‘Sufficient Progress'”
At best, this is a mischaracterization of General Petraeus’ comments. At worst, this could be detrimental to the reconciliation process. Today on the web, I have seen several instances of this headline being quoted as proof that the surge is not working. The mainstream media needs to be more careful in what the publish. Some people actually still believe everything they read.
There’s been enormous gains made in Iraq and Afghanistan with regard to infrastructure, government, and repudiation of Islamic terrorist thugs who try like hell to throw a wrench into the process. They’re getting pummeled by U.S. troops as well as the Iraqi people, who are sick to death of Islamofascist extremists and their violence.
As for a redaction by the WaPo, don’t hold your breath.