What passes for unbiased press these days.

| July 1, 2007

Confederate Yankee has been dealing deadly blows to the Associated Press this week, if you hadn’t noticed. A week or so ago, AP published a story about 20 beheadings near Salman Pak that Iraqi Defense Forces can’t find. It turns out that it never happened and AP’s sources were hundreds of miles away and intentionally misleading the formerly premier news service.

Well, here’s another nugget from the AP – intentionally misinforming the world in the model of the Washington Post story I wrote about last night;

American soldiers rolled into Baghdad’s Sadr City slum on Saturday in search of Iranian-linked militants and as many as 26 Iraqis were killed in what a U.S. officer described as “an intense firefight.”

But residents, police and hospital officials said eight people were killed — all civilians in their homes, and angrily accused U.S. forces of firing blindly on the innocent. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the raids and demanded an explanation for the assault into a district where he has barred U.S. operations in the past.

Hmmm. Shi-ites upset that US forces fought Shi-ite militias in their protected Shi-ite strongholds. Imagine that. And to bolster their claim that American troops are homocidal maniacs, before they carry on with the US forces explanation, the AP injects this unrelated sentence;

Separately, two American soldiers were charged with the premeditated murder of three Iraqis, the U.S. military said Saturday.

No agenda with adding that particular sentence there, would you say? 

The U.S. military said it conducted two predawn raids in Sadr City, Baghdad’s largest Shiite slum, killing 26 “terrorists” who attacked U.S. troops with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs. But Iraqi police and hospital officials said all the dead were civilians killed in their homes.

Can’t let the Americans tell their side of the story without interupting them, can we? And notice how the AP put the word “terrorists” in quotes – as if it was just the US forces opinion that they were indeed terrorists – despite the fact they were firing weapons at the Americans.

“The Iraqi government totally rejects U.S. military operations … conducted without a pre-approval from the Iraqi military command,” Mr. Maliki said in a statement released by his office. “Anyone who breaches the military command orders will face investigation.”

An American military spokesman insisted all of those killed were combatants. “Everyone who got shot was shooting at U.S. troops at the time,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, the spokesman. “It was an intense firefight.”

The Iraqi officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns, put the death toll at eight, with 20 wounded.

President Bush’s response should be to start packing up and moving out of Iraq. No, I’m not some Leftist anti-war nut – but if Maliki starts insisting that we approve our military operations with the Iraqis, we don’t need to bleed for his country any further. I’ll bet Maliki would change his tune fast enough.

Sadr City is the Iraqi capital’s largest Shiite neighborhood — home to some 2.5 million people. It is also the base of operations for the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The fighters are blamed for much of the sectarian killing in Baghdad.

In the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Sheik Salah al-Obaidi, a spokesman for Mr. Sadr condemned Saturday’s raids: “The bombing hurt only innocent civilians.”

Oh, well, that tears it then, if Sadr’s spokesman says it was all civilians, that must be the case.

The U.S. military statement said soldiers riding in armored vehicles “used proper escalation of force rules to engage four civilian vehicles.”

“You start with warnings and work your way up to firing on a vehicle,” Col. Garver said. “Every structure and vehicle that the troops on the ground engaged were being used for hostile intent,” he said.

U.S. soldiers fired a barrage of bullets at one vehicle after it failed to yield at a checkpoint, Col. Garver said. The other civilian cars were being used as a cover for insurgents, who hid behind them and fired on American forces, he said. Some of the 26 victims were in civilian cars, some had been hiding behind the cars and others had fired on U.S. troops from nearby buildings, Col. Garver said.

But according to Iraqi officials, the dead included three members of one family — a father, mother and son. Several women and children, along with two policemen, were among the wounded, they said.

And it would be the first time that the cowardly terrorists used innocent civilians to attack American forces, right?

But back to the AP – why didn’t the supposed “journalists” (as if it’s someone’s opinion that these people who are write for the AP are journalists) get in their damn Mercedes SUV and drive out to Sadr City before they wrote the story and check to see who was in the morgue and the hospitals and see if they were indeed civilians?

Of course, then they probably wouldn’t have been able to write the story the way it turned out if they’d see it with their own eyes.

Category: Media, Terror War

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Shades of the Newsweek Koran-toilet-flushing tripe… The more sensational, anti-American, and anti-military it is, the better. Somewhere, Joseph Goebbels is smiling.