Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Basra redux

The new line from the Times' cadre of stenographers has been polished up and has now been presented for your edification.

Pretending that Maliki acted on his own in attacking Basra just couldn't wash, so the new story is that everything was super well planned, but Maliki took the bit between his teeth, attacked too fast, and screwed everything up. The main facts of the story are related by Governor Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

In Baghdad, Mr. Crocker lobbied senior officials in the Iraqi government, who complained that they had been excluded from Mr. Maliki’s decision-making on Basra, to back the prime minister’s effort there.

“I stressed the point that this was a moment of national crisis, and they had to think nationally,” Mr. Crocker said. “Because nobody should think that failure in Basra is going to benefit any element of the Iraqi community. The response was good. I have not found any element of the Iraqi government that will admit to being consulted.”

Crocker words, for the three intrepid reporters at least, are as truthful as scripture, though the fact that the account is different from that given earlier by Feckless Leader and others previously quoted by the NYT is never mentioned.

Essentially, the story is a whitewash of the roles of Crocker and Petraeus in the whole disaster, supported by the testimony of Crocker and unnamed officials. That is its goal. Pathetic is too kind.


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