The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Associated (with Murderers) Press: all the bad news that's fit to print
I’m beginning to get the impression there is nothing more important to the Associated Press in its Iraq reportage than the number of “American soldiers killed in this unpopular war.” That phrase, with a number, is typically trotted out no later than graph three in AP stories on Iraq. It’s as though the body count is the sole measure upon which all decisions and action must turn. There certainly has been no effort by the Associated Press, or other major news organizations on the ground in Iraq, to examine progress in anything but the most dismissive manner, with a quick revert to body count.
In case you care, Terrorist Death Watch’s tally of officially announced terrorists offed by U.S. forces in Iraq since June 1 last year is 1,578. I suspect that number is conservative. The Associated Press remains noticeably disinterested in that number. In addition to that, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of terrorism suspects taken prisoner. There are car bomb factories and Iranian weapons smuggling operations that were shut down. There are people who have come forward with information. There are Iraqi units that have come on line, combat effective, playing a growing role in operations.
Since Memorial Day last year, we’ve seen Anbar turn, we’ve seen Sunni-Shiite reconciliation become popular enough that Moqtada al-Sadr is now trying to get in front of it. We’ve seen businesses reopen and people return to their homes in Baghdad. We’ve seen Shiite militias aggressively engaged and Sunni insurgents on the run. We’ve seen the number of sectarian murders drop. Those facts typically get buried when they are mentioned at all, unless there’s an uptick in death, when they suddenly become news again, to be cited as evidence of failure. AP prefers its milestones grim.