Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fact Check

CNN American Morning. Barbara Starr usually does good reporting. But this time, she made a rather remarkable argument. Repeating the Pentagon (and therefore White House) complaints of what would happen should emergency funding dry up. What Ms. Starr did not do, was ask questions.

1. Remember since 2004, GW told the American public we will stand down when the Iraqi people stand up?

Ms. Starr should have based one of her fact checks, funding by the American taxpayer for "training of Iraqi troops" on what GW said about two years ago--when Iraqi troop divisions have indeed been trained by us, creating divisions that were ultimately supposed to take over the country as our troops withdrew, to be an effective fighting force to assure the security of their nation--why are we still committed to the funding of this training?

2. Remember pre- and post-invasion when the White House was pushing a "western democratic" system for Iraq?

That was one of the much ballyhooed benchmarks and time lines that the Bush administration was ushering in double time for the "new Iraq." The question for Ms. Starr is why she isn't asking why that government is on American life support at all instead of governing its "sovereign nation" of Iraq.

3. Found in "Cobra II:" Boyce asked about the possibility of civil war. Franks discounted that scenario, asserting that the Iranian-backed Badr Corps would remain in place and Iraq's western tribes would be cautious.

Well, General Franks was actually wrong, since soon after the conclusion of the invasion, a civil war began to develop and over time, truly became a full-fledged operation. Contributing factors, as reported by CNN: Saddam Hussein, while he was not yet captured and still alive. Al Qaeda, that saw Iraq as an opportunity to exploit. And yes, the Iraqi government itself. Reported to have helped support death squads to attack their personal enemies. In another blog, I posted, "Emboldening the Enemy." Some of the factors that lay behind GW's vetoing a time line for troop withdrawal coupled with war funding. At the same time, undercut his rationale for the veto. Found in a two month old "Time" magazine.

4. Since the Iraqi government has "American support" and was indeed one of the factors for why bloody warfare could erupt between Sunnis and Shi'ites, aren't we "emboldening the enemy" by refusing to cut the Iraqi government loose? By failing to put the sort of pressure on it to become an effective power that finally puts a halt to Iraqi on Iraqi bloodshed?

Sec. of State Condi Rice is finally on a diplomatic trip to the Middle East over the state of affairs in Iraq. Good luck to that since the GW policy on Iraq is to toss aside his commitments of 2004, "When they stand up, we will stand down." By failing to encourage the Iraqi government and people to stand up.

Isn't the purpose of fact checking to check the facts of where we are really going and not going on the situation in Iraq?

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