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How The NY Times Reports Iraq


Take today, for example. There’s a big story in the “News of the Week in Review” section, written by one Damien Cave, a person I do not know. It’s about a Marine Captain in Fallujah, and the story basically says two things: the Marine is ambivalent about helping Iraqis, because he’d had buddies killed in Anbar Province, and anyway the help he’s providing doesn’t really work out because the work doesn’t get done or bribes are demanded, blah blah blah.

In the middle of the story we learn that the Marine Captain hands out a lot of money, but never once do we hear of a single project that succeeds. One has to wonder if everything the Marine Corps are doing in Falluja comes to ruin, or if it’s just this one captain, or maybe it’s just this one reporter. Because I know a fair amount about what’s going on in Anbar Province–our son is there–and I can promise Damien Cave that there are plenty of successful projects. But Damien Cave doesn’t write about them.

Indeed, as I went through all recent articles by Damien Cave, it was hard to find any upbeat reporting. It’s all about Americans killing children, or successful terrorist attacks, or lousy morale (along the lines of “yes, the Anbar Awakening is happening, but lots of people don’t think it can last”).

It’s a pattern. And it stinks.


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