Via the less hated Instapundit, the Posse finds this take-down of the LA Times' faux outrage over pro-American propaganda by Vodkapundit quite interesting, especially in light of this Associated Press commentary that masquerades as "news."
Is it news, or defeatist propaganda? We fisk, you decide.
Bush Attempts Hard Sell on Iraq Progress
By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer Wed Nov 30, 1:57 PM ET
The title alone seems pretty slanted, but these can be deceptive. Headlines are often made by copy editors, without any input from the feature's author. So let us suspend judgement on that score.
WASHINGTON - Pof Iraqi security forces as "helping to turn the tide" is difficult to square with persistent setbacks in handing control of the country back to its own people s depiction
Wow. Using this logic, any military struggle that experiences setbacks, particularly "persistent" ones, must ultimately doomed.
Thus, the Britsh won the American Revolutionary War, the South won the Civil War and the Germans won both World Wars.
Or at least they would have had the leaders back then used this standard.
His suggestion that Americans are solidly behind the mission also understates opposition at home, and his hard sell on the rising quality of Iraqi forces overlooks complexities on the ground.
Indeed, this is partially correct: the adminstration has not called out the defeatists (like this author) stridently enough. But it has made a good start.
Bush on Wednesday declared the Iraqi army and police forces are "increasingly taking the lead in the fight against the terrorists," even as recruits patrol most violent cities barely three months after learning how to use weapons and police forces struggle to get officers to come to work.[Emphasis added] 's
How many months should they get? Four? Seven? Twenty-four?
The author cites the three-month figure as if it is abnormally short, but in fact it is a pretty long time, training-wise.
For example, US troops experience ten weeks of basic training followed by their technical school. It is altogether likely that an infantryman might find himself deployed "barely three months" after his initial qualification - that is "when he learns to use weapons."
To be sure, this is mitigated by the presence of more experienced troops within the unit, but in Iraqi Army, the learning curve is pretty steep and many of these men have already had military experience.
The intent of course is to present the Iraqi Army as a bunch of untrained sheep herded into the slaughter.
The president, in a major speech on Iraq war aims and in an accompanying strategy paper, acknowledged all has not gone as planned, speaking several times of a need for "adjustments" along the way.
And this is a revelation...why? Has any war ever gone as planned? What kind of standard is this idiot using?
Still, the White House paper cited a number of positive statistics on the recovery of the Iraq economy, asserting "our restore, reform, build strategy is achieving results."
The in its latest World Economic Outlook, in September, issued a more sobering view.
Wait, what are these "positive statistics?" Why are they not enumerated? Why are they swept aside without even being listed? Could it be that they might undercut the author's objective of reinforcing the notion that the US is already beaten in Iraq?
"The new government faces daunting medium-term challenges, including advancing the reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, reducing macroeconomic instability and developing the institutions that can support a market-based economy," the survey stated.
The IMF staff cited a "volatile security situation" as one of the biggest challenges and said only "slow progress" had been made in restoring Iraq oil production to prewar levels.
Since when is Iraq's oil production the sole indicator of success? Are not schools and hospitals also important? Strangely, these and the vastly improved sanitation are left out.
Bush, making his remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy, spoke as if the debate about Iraq were limited to Washington and only politicians were questioning the mission.
"When you're risking your life to accomplish a mission, the last thing you want to hear is that mission being questioned in our nation's capital," he told cadets. "I want you to know that, while there may be a lot of heated rhetoric in Washington, D.C., one thing is not in dispute: The American people stand behind you."
Bush's public standing and support for the war have declined. In an AP-Ipsos poll taken in November, 62 percent said they disapproved of his Iraq policy,and his overall job approval rating dropped to 37 percent, the lowest level of his presidency.
What is interesting is that the poll numbers have shifted considerably since the Bush administration began its counterattack, indicating that the heart of defeatism really is in Washington.
Furthermore, the author once again ignores key information. As Best of the Web pointed out only days ago, America as a whole is far more optimistic about Iraq than the media or Washington elites.
The latest polling also indicates that defeatism isn't going over well, which perhaps explains the desperate tone of this article.
At this point, the author's spleen begins to wane because it harder to stretch the truth without resorting to blatant lies.
The president spoke of "an increased focus on leadership training" to build a core of midlevel and higher ranking officers needed to guide and lead an Iraqi force that can operate on its own.
It takes years to develop a strong officer core, and the process has been a particular struggle in Iraq. The deficiency was highlighted recently when Iraqis put out a call for more former officers from to rejoin the armed forces. Bush did caution it would take "time and patience" to train enough Iraqi forces to carry the fight. 's army
Ah, the pain that grudging admission must have caused.
"As the Iraqi forces grow in number, they're helping to keep a better hold on the cities taken from the enemy," he said.
Indeed, large Shiite cities in the south now are largely controlled by Iraqi forces. But throughout central and northern Iraq, cities that are either Sunni Arab or ethnically or religiously mixed have proved more difficult to stabilize.
Perhaps because they are the final strongholds of the enemy?
In Samarra, only 100 of the 700 police on the city payroll are showing up for work most days, even as U.S. soldiers prepare this week to turn over control of the inner city to Iraqi forces. The Americans tried twice before to do that in the city of 200,000 but failed when insurgents moved against police.
So to refute the president's nation-wide assertions, this man offers one example - and ignores the fact that no police station has been overrun by terrorists in Iraq since November 10, 2004.
As he did before the invasion, Bush tied Iraq to terrorism, to make the case that a stable Iraq would make for a safer America.
He declared, "The terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity. And so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror."
Iraq was not, however, the terrorists' chosen battlefield until Saddam was defeated and extremists poured across unsecured borders.
No, it was not their battlefield, but it was their haven. Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal were both granted shelter by Saddam Hussein's odious regime.
And since the battle has been joined, it must be won.
This article is in fact pure propaganda, designed to convince the reader that George W. Bush is politically spent and the US military doomed to defeat.
Iraqi Army forces are portrayed as untrained (only three months!), easily swept aside (why they lost Samarra twice!), and lacking in key infrastructure (Saddam pumped oil a lot faster!).
The question Calvin Woodward needs to ask himself is this:
If al Qaeda wanted to use this article as propaganda, what parts would it have to change?