Sunday, July 08, 2007

Converting former foes into friends, revisited

By Creature

On Friday I pointed to a NYT article penned by Bush stenographer Michael Gordon which described the progress being made turning our former Sunni foes into friends. Buried within this pro-surge article Gordon notes that an impetus for this conversion is that "many Sunnis...are less inclined to see the soldiers as occupiers now that it is clear that American troop reductions are all but inevitable...." Sounds like an argument for withdrawal if there ever was one.

I also noted that the wingnuts in the audience would use Gordon's article, and the progress made, as evidence that the surge was working and completely ignore the effect withdrawal-talk was having on the situation on the ground.

Well, head wingnut, William Kristol, has weighed in on Gordon's article and predictably it's all rah-rah surge and devoid of any mention that an inevitable US withdrawal is having any effect.

Friday's New York Times led with the news of Domenici's endorsement of (partial, gradual, and unspecified in any of its details) withdrawal from Iraq. In striking contrast to the Domenici story was a report from Iraq on the same page by Michael Gordon. It was a fascinating account of how young American soldiers are executing Gen. David Petraeus's new strategy on the ground, and how they're fighting and defeating al Qaeda.

If there is any "striking contrast" here, Mr. Kristol, it's not that the NYT printed two articles on the same page which portrayed different angles of the same war, it's that you, in the same article, ignored the completely legitimate effect that a withdrawal of troops would actually have.

The point that former insurgents are willing to now cooperate with US forces because they are "less inclined to see the soldiers as occupiers now that it is clear that American troop reductions are all but inevitable" is not to be glossed over, yet the cherry picking of reasons why we may be gaining the confidence of our former foes is irresponsible and immoral. But I don't really expect more from the likes of Kristol, so I'm not especially surprised.

Also worthy of note here is how Michael Gordon is being used, just as Judith Miller was, by the war-hungry neocons to justify their stay-the-course ways. Again, unsurprisingly so.

Update: Glenn Greenwald has more.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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