Friday, December 02, 2005

Iraq Coalition In Danger of Collapse--According to AP

Earlier this week an AP article by Calvin Woodward received a nomination for "The Most Ludicrously Biased Story of 2005" from Powerline's John Hinderocker.

Today, another AP writer, William Kole, has come up with what should at least qualify as a First Runner-Up.

The headline at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (which in all fairness may not have been written by Kole) proclaimed in large letters above the fold: "COALITION CRUMBLING." (Note: The Oregonian Headlined the story as, "Two U.S. allies pulling out of Iraq")

The story begins,

Two of America's allies in Iraq are withdrawing forces this month and a half-dozen others are debating possible pullouts of reductions, increasing pressure on Washington as calls mount to bring home U.S. troops.

Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their comobined 1,250 troops by mid-December. If Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea reduce or recall their personnel more than half of the non-American forces in Iraq could be gone by next summer.

What we have here is not news reporting but pure speculation on what might be the worst possible scenario possible "If."

The story, although fairly long, does not even bother to state whether these withdrawals were scheduled months or years ago and are, therefore, an expected and anticipated part of the strategic plan worked out among coalition forces.

The reader is left with the impression that the reduction and/or withdrawal of coalition troops are a direct result of the mounting " bring home U.S. Troops."

This impression is strengthened later in the article where we read that

Their exodus would deal a blow to American efforts to prepare Iraqis to take over the most dangerous peacekeeping tasks and craft an eventual U.S. exit strategy.

Once again, unfortunatly, Kole does not offer any support for his assertion that this possible reduction in coalition forces "would deal a blow to American efforts." If these countries' commitment has been completed and their mission accomplished then this should be cause for seeing this as "good news" rather than the "crumbling of the coalition."

The phrase, "craft an eventual U.S. exit strategy," is especially galling in light of President Bush's recent speech and his challenge for folks to go on line and read the strategy for Iraq for themselves. One would think that someone writing or submitting a news article on this very subject would have taken the time to at least acknowledge that the Bush Administration "Claims" to have an exit strategy already in place.

Later, in words conveying desparation and despair, we read,

Struggling to shore up the coalition, Bush stopped in Mongolia on his recent Asia trip and praised its force of about 120 soldiers in Iraq as "fearles warriors."
This gives the impression that Bush is so desperate for coalition troops that he personally flew to Mongolia in the hopes of persuading them to leave their 120 soldiers in Iraq so as to "shore up the coalition."

Is it just me or is this "doom and gloom" approach to the story in marked contrast to last week's media hype of the Democrats calling for the withdrawal and reduction of American troops? Wouldn't the liberal media and leading Democrats see the news in this article as a "good" thing?

Let me get this straight.
- - - -
It is a good thing to call for the withdrawal and reduction of U.S. Troops in Iraq. BUT...

It is a bad thing when Coalition troops are scheduled for withdrawal and reduction at the same time that plans are being made to do the same with U.S. troops.
- - - -
It is a good thing to bring the troops home because the mission has been accomplished (at least according to Rep. Murtha), BUT...

It is a bad thing when plans are announced that Coalition troops (including American troops) will begin returning to their homes in the next six months.
- - - -
It is a good thing to set a time-table for the withdrawal and reduction of troops in Iraq, BUT...

It is a bad thing when a time-table for the withdrawal and reduction of troops in Iraq is announced.
- - - -
Is the "Coalition Crumbling?" as this article implies or is the war winding down according to plan because of its Success?

This story, like far too many in the media these days, implies the former while ignoring the possibility of the latter.

Note on William Kole: One of his more recent AP articles was entitled, Bush's Gloved Handshake a Slovak Faux Pas. At least he's consistant.