By any means


Earlier today, the lead item in Linkzookery was a WaPo story about how General Petraeus said that no one thought Iraqis had done enough in the area of national reconciliation or in the provision of basic services. I noted that he was in a tough spot, trying to keep pressure on the Iraqi government while not wanting to say anything that could be taken by critics as some sort of admission of failure.

Well, it turns out that the WaPo writers didn’t get quite what they wanted from the General, so they simply misrepresented what he said: PULP Journalism.

Multi-National Force-Iraq:

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.

Transcript of the conversation over at Op-For via MNF-I.

I think what I said stands, only more so. Petraeus did say that no one feels that progress has been sufficient, but his entire message was about the how the government was, in fact, taking advantage of the reduction in violence and the work they were putting into providing more in the way of basic services.

That apparently didn’t fit the paper’s plans, so they ran a different story.


  1. On National Public Radio today, March 16, the announcer read from The Washington Post interpretation of General Petraeus’s remarks. The NPR’s conclusion: The ‘surge’ has failed. Apparently, more than a day later, NPR still hadn’t seen Petraeus’s rebuke of The Post’s inaccurate report. Petraeus said everyone wants more progress in Iraq, but The Post decided to frame the general’s words in the ‘everything has failed’ theme. NPR and every other friend of fascism is using The Post’s dishonest reporting to justify a hasty exit from Iraq and a return to more repression, more genocide and larger wars. After NPR’s slanted Sunday afternoon report on Petraeus, it went on to talk about that Pentagon-sponsored study that concludes Saddam had ‘no operational ties’ to al-Qaida. Of course, no top U.S. official in the Bush administration ever said Saddam did have ‘operational ties’ with al-Qaida, and NPR also neglected to point out that the study it was referring to also concluded that Saddam did have a ‘de facto link’ to al-Qaida, and at times even worked with al-Qaida on common goals. The NPR’s conclusion: Saddam was an innocent man. We should do everything we can to restore his regime to Iraq. OK, that exaggerates the NPR position, but it certainly follows the NPR logic.

  2. Killing Saddam was the stupidest thing we’ve done in the whole stupid war. Once we caught him, we should have water boarded him, slapped him around a little, lined him up in front of a firing squad, and given him a last minute reprieve. Hell, he’d have been our buddy forever after that, not because he liked us, but because he would know that we could do the same thing any time. Instead we chose to kill him, drag this whole miserable affair out beyond anything reasonable, and in the end I feel certain that we will manage somehow to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory just as we did in Vietnam. To quote Patches O’Houlihan, ‘what a bunch of retards!’