The Lap Dog Press. Or Lap Dog Dems? (End-It-Now Antiwar Edition)

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Is the press as trained to obey power as Paris Hilton's chihuahua? Terry Michael, the former Democratic National Committee press flack who has been showing suspiciously latent libertarian leanings, says in an op-ed today. Snippets:

The most influential interpreters of our public affairs are accepting, rather than expanding, a noose-tight frame the Washington political culture is enforcing to limit permissible discourse on the war in Iraq….

Look at almost any major daily op-ed page, watch the Sunday shows or listen to nightly cable-babble. See how seldom you encounter voices against the war permitted to argue we should just end it, not try to mend it….

Those who control access to mainstream media are telling a quiet, corrupting lie when they allow the Bush administration and "opposition" congressional Democrats to engage in Amish-style shunning of those who advocate immediately ending the war. War proponents attack them with the ultimate Beltway rhetorical weapon: "not serious."…

Arguably, in the run-up to the war, the press could be given a pass for not allowing the case against attacking Iraq to be vigorously presented. Timid congressional Democrats held their fingers to the wind and engaged no real debate. It's hard to cover a conversation not taking place.

But how can mainstream journalism now be excused for quarantining stop-it-now voices from outside official Washington, after justification for the war has shifted from: 1) eliminating weapons of mass destruction, which didn't exist; 2) getting rid of a brutal dictator, who was a secularist thug, not an associate of Osama bin Laden; 3) spreading democracy, in a Hatfield-McCoy style tribal culture, heavily influenced by politicized religious fanatics whose world view never made it past the 8th century, let alone the Enlightenment, and who want theocracy, not liberty; 4) fighting Islamic terrorists, who need the United States in Iraq, not out, as their bete noir for recruiting more terrorists.

Yes, all the arguments in the previous sentence have been heard through opinion channels of mainstream media—but almost never from anyone who suggests they add up to a case for bringing our troops home now.

Michael, perhaps underscoring why he's the former DNC press guy, saves his biggest slap for high-profile Dems: "[Sen. Joe] Biden and Sen. John Kerry are the quintessential have-everything-every-way empty suits in my party, who essentially allow the Republican party to have no congressional opposition."

Those kind words for Dems doubtless helps explain where this op-ed saw print: The Washington Times, which remains to my mind a great read (and considering I paid only $11 a year for Monday-Friday delivery, a freaking great bargain!).

Whole thing here.

I welcome Michael's general critique of mainstream press deference to power–"it's less messy to propagate power than to question it," he writes at one point–but I think he's mixing two separate issues: press obeisance and Democratic Party spinelessness (hmm, maybe the two are connected…).

The press would certainly cover high-profile Dems with an "end it, don't mend it" message against the war (indeed, they were quick to discuss GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel's get-out throat clearings). The trouble is, there aren't any. Even Howard "Hoo-Yah" Dean isn't pushing that particular string any more, is he?

The Dems are the dissident party; it's up to them to make this conversation happen (though it's more likely to gain momentum when a Republican snipes at his president). Once a big gun in Dem circles, especially one in the House or Senate, comes forward, I think the press will be all over it like Fritz Hollings on Sam Donaldson's toupee.

And given the trends in polls about how the war is going, those finger-in-the-wind Dems such as Kerry and Biden may soon be mustering such courage sooner rather than later.

(Btw, Michael is the Big Kahuna of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism. The group's home page is here; its seminars look genuinely interesting.)

NEXT: Real Neighborly

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  1. maybe they should campaign and try to win an election on that platform. didn’t work in 2004 though.

  2. It’s our mess now. We *have* to mend it.

  3. Maybe I’m just suffering too much media exposure but at this point the Democrats remind me of old show-biz washouts like Donny Osmond or Mickey Rooney, who’ve tasted the glory and want it back so bad they try just about anything to get it back. Hence their current quandry at trying to figure out exactly what it is they can say they believe in that will somehow help them win more elections.

    I can understand this guy’s frustration with his party, but I think he’d be happier if he found some other hobby besides trying to turn lemmings into a precision drill team.

  4. I think the problem is there are no good solutions in Iraq. Leaving now could be disasterous. Staying could be disasterous.

    Look, Colin Powell warned Bush about the Pottery Barn Rule. Well, Bush broke it and now he owns it.

    I think most Democrats, like Bush himself, just honestly and simply don’t really know what the hell to do about this mess.

  5. This is a big theme on the Democratic blogosphere – the disconnect between the rank and file, who oppose the war in overwhelming numbers, and the DLC-led Washington party, who are so afraid of appearing “soft on communism,” or whatever the modern versin is, that they’re afraid to join the majority of Americans – not just Democrats, but Americans – who now oppose the war.

  6. The “Iraq is a mess” canard is so stupid.

    We suffered more casualties per year in peacetime from 1983 to 1996 than we suffered any year in Iraq.

  7. The only reason we keep hearing how awful Iraq is that our media has confused Fourth Estate with Fifth Column.

  8. Wars like this one follow a familiar pattern:

    In the early going we can’t end it because it’s still early.
    By the middle we have too much invested to cut and run.
    Near the end we owe it to all who have fallen to stay the course.

  9. We suffered more casualties per year in peacetime from 1983 to 1996 than we suffered any year in Iraq.

    Talk about canards … Jesus H. Christ

  10. I hadn’t realized that deaths in training and non-combat postings had completely ceased with the commencement of the Iraq War.

    Sort of like the complete absence of any homicides in Baghdad other than insurgent attacks, which allows the murder rate there to compare favorably with some American cities. No assassinations, no robberies, no kidnappings, no gangland wars. You used to hear that a lot, until the death rate just from insurgent attacks went through the roof.

  11. Look, Colin Powell warned Bush about the Pottery Barn Rule. Well, Bush broke it and now he owns it.

    What’s stopping the new owner from tossing his unwanted shit into a dumpster?

  12. “The only reason we keep hearing how awful Iraq is that our media has confused Fourth Estate with Fifth Column.”

    Wow, there’s already a lock on the coveted “Stupidest Post of the Day” award!

  13. From the link below the “Stupidest Post of the Day”.
    (Colonel) Spoehr told Moss all the things he told me, but there is not a single positive quote in his story. “You would get the impression that our soldiers were in harm’s way or at risk,” Spoehr said. “That is not true.”

    Somebody get the word to the troops! Break out the pina coladas and volleyballs, you’re not actually in harm’s way.

  14. “”The only reason we keep hearing how awful Iraq is that our media has confused Fourth Estate with Fifth Column.”

    what, no word on the Six Days of the Condor or the Seventh Sign from this dude.

    Joe: what are some solutions to the aloof democratic leadership out there? I have heard some stuff from my bro-in-law who was a higer up on Dean’s campaign, but he’s a total paternalistic type who would try to top-down it.

    How can the Dems reconnect? They could go hardcore to their base (unions, social security net, environment, AA, etc.), leaving the non-religious voters out, or they could try to go and take the vacuum left by the 100% abandonment by the Reps on “Small, limited government”, and thereby alienate the loyal base. This is not a bolt from the blue, of course, but that is an oft-mentioned strategy. Where can they go?

    The mess they created (didn’t they have the majority when the senate gave bush carte blanche?) is a tough one to un-do. But considering their “leadership”, they’re in a bigger pickle than the reps and the pickle they’re in right now. or would they be in “the soup”? not sure.

    Remember, all the repbs have to yell is “terror! america! 9/11 9/11 WMD WMD WMD. god bless america”, and the dems can’t counter.

    That’s why rainwater and pure grain alcohol is the way to go.

    cheers,
    drf

  15. Here’s the Google search for “fourth estate fifth column.”

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=fourth+estate+fifth+column&btnG=Google+Search

    So, TallDave, did you steal that nugget from Sowell?

  16. “Break out the pina coladas and volleyballs, you’re not actually in harm’s way.”

    SWEATY BEACH VOLLEYBALL SCENE!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I suspect part of the quandary–from the Democrats leadership’s view–is the ol’ one about not interfering with an opponent in the process of destroying himself.

    If Iraq is a hopeless spiral, I suspect that, from the American people’s view, it’s seen as a Republican spiral. If so, the Republicans will take it on the chin in the next election anyway.

    …By keeping quiet, the Democrats diminish the opportunity to be portrayed as obstructionists if, somehow, a paradise of liberty and democracy blooms in Iraq.

    In a cold, calculated, low-risk way, I can see how it would make sense to just give ’em enough rope.

  18. Nick, I don’t know if you can blame the pathetic Washington propaganda machine — newspapers, cable news, etc. — all on the idiot Democrats, whoever they are.

    The news orgs are just scared to death of being branded terrorists by the Bush gang. (Fox has been hilarious these last few weeks; they pretty much quit covering politics because their boss is in such bad shape. I’ve never seen anchors so excited about a chicken-shit tropical storm …)

    There has been some snippy stuff from Reason writers here about that Cindy Sheehan anti-war mom, with lots of “and why is she getting coverage” stabs from the commenters. This is why: She is saying what even an idiot teevee newsman should know by now: It’s a total failure, all these troops have died for a stack of ridiculous lies, and the White House gang should be tried & executed, preferably by hanging, on the half-time stage, right after Aerosmith, on Super Bowl Sunday. (She said that, right?)

    I didn’t really care about her one way or the other — I don’t need any convincing re: Iraq or Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice — but she’s perfect for the news racket. (Perfect for Fox, too, because nothing says “God is a cocksucker just like Bush” than having the mourning anti-war mom have to go home because her mom has a stroke.)

    Anyway, what would really be interesting is a survey showing how many people who follow world events & the political charade have left the “mainstream media” for good & near-exclusively patronize “alternative media.” Because in the non-CNN/Fox/WaPo/AP world, there’s certainly no lack of articulate & angry anti-war voices. Whether it’s conspiracy-libertarian Alex Jones or the Daily Kos “we’re almost grownup democrats!” crowd or the fuming masses at Democratic Underground and the Randi Rhodes message board or the Buchanites at American Conservative or Angry Justin’s smart gang at Anti-War.com (I sent them money this month, and then washed my hands) or the wildly popular WhatReallyHappened.com, people are saying exactly what Terry Michael can’t find in the “official” media. And millions of people are reading & contributing both conteNick, I don’t know if you can blame the pathetic Washington propaganda machine — newspapers, cable news, etc. — all on the idiot Democrats, whoever they are.

    The news orgs are just scared to death of being branded terrorists by the Bush gang. (Fox has been hilarious these last few weeks; they pretty much quit covering politics because their boss is in such bad shape. I’ve never seen anchors so excited about a chicken-shit tropical storm …)

    There has been some snippy stuff from Reason writers here about that Cindy Sheehan anti-war mom, with lots of “and why is she getting coverage” stabs from the commenters. This is why: She is saying what even an idiot teevee newsman should know by now but is scared to death to say: It’s a total failure, all these troops have died for a stack of ridiculous lies, and the White House gang should be tried & executed, preferably by hanging, on the half-time stage, right after Aerosmith and before Lee Greenwood, on Super Bowl Sunday. (She said that, right?)

    I didn’t really care about her one way or the other — I don’t need any convincing re: Iraq or Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice — but she’s perfect for the news racket. (Perfect for Fox, too, because nothing says “God is a cocksucker just like Bush” than having the mourning anti-war mom have to go home because her mom has a stroke.)

    Anyway, what would really be interesting is a survey showing how many people who follow world events & the political charade have left the “mainstream media” for good & near-exclusively patronize “alternative media.” Because in the non-CNN/Fox/WaPo/AP world, there’s certainly no lack of articulate & angry anti-war voices. Whether it’s conspiracy-libertarian Alex Jones or the Daily Kos “we’re almost grownup democrats!” crowd or the fuming masses at Democratic Underground and the Randi Rhodes message board or the Buchananites at American Conservative or Angry Justin’s smart gang at Anti-War.com (I actually sent them money this month) or the wildly popular WhatReallyHappened.com, people are saying exactly what Terry Michael can’t find in the “official” media. And millions of people are reading & contributing both content & money. One of those hotshot Reason media writers should figure out just how large this audience is, and how it compares to ratings at CNN or Fox or readership of the Washington Post.

    And if Reason fired those couple of disgraced Iraq Hawks, Hit & Run could get in on the hot dissident libertarian action!

  19. Has it occured to anyone that maybe, just maybe, the editorial boards of the major dailies, and most dem politicians, aren’t urging an immidiate withdrawal from Iraq because… wait for it… they think it would be a bad idea!

  20. …Oh and by the way.

    I think it highly unlikely that the Bush Administration will bring the troops home on any timetable but their own anyway.

    …Events on the ground in Iraq may influence that timetable, but congressional hearings or Sunday talk show appearances by bring-’em-home Democrats isn’t going to do anything.

    A huge swell of grass roots insistence might get the Bush Administration to bring the troops home, but that kind of groundswell has to be organic, I think. Politicians can’t create ’em.

  21. “Has it occured to anyone that maybe, just maybe, the editorial boards of the major dailies, and most dem politicians, aren’t urging an immidiate withdrawal from Iraq because… wait for it… they think it would be a bad idea!”

    That occured to me.

    I prefer a competent occupation to an incompetent withdrawal, and I prefer a competent withdrawal to an incompetent occupation.

    …I consider the Bush Administration incompetent.

  22. drf- I don’t know if the fiscal responsibility route would be that big a loser for dems, though. My family has been strongly pro-union for quite a long time, and so I wind up around union members an awful lot. The thing to remember is, the rank-and-file are taxpayers too, and they’re just as disgusted with massive waste and graft as any other average taxpayer would be. If the dems could make an honest go of the responibility route, they might lose some of the money in the short term, but they wouldn’t lose the votes, and they might even make back some of the money when the “lobbyist” leaders were replaced with “negotiator” leaders after it became obvious that they way of the future was direct dealings with employers. Of course, this is predicated on the Democrats being honest and doing what they say they would, otherwise they’ll just look like liars and the present union leadership will just be even more entrenched.

  23. “And if Reason fired those couple of disgraced Iraq Hawks, Hit & Run could get in on the hot dissident libertarian action!”

    If I had to put my two cents in–and if it really did matter to anybody–I’d vote to keep ’em. They’re one of the things I like about the place. The debate doesn’t need another echo chamber.

    …Having said that, I prefer the scene from Lebanon to hearing about the awesome power of music videos to topple…well, you know.

  24. Ken,

    And when the choice is between an incompetent occupation and an incompetent withdrawal? After all, you go to war with the administration you have. They’re not the administration you might want or wish to have at a later time.

  25. “And when the choice is between an incompetent occupation and an incompetent withdrawal? After all, you go to war with the administration you have. They’re not the administration you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

    That’s a tough one.

    I’m not sure I understand what an incompetent withdrawal would mean for the security of the United States long term. …I think it’s entirely possible that we could leave an extremely dangerous, state sponsored terrorist threat in our wake. Does that scenario present such a great long term threat to the American people that continuing this poorly conceived and incompetently run occupation might actually be preferable?

    …I don’t know.

    It took me a while to get here, but I’ve gotten to the point that I think the basic problem we have isn’t strategy per se, it’s a leadership problem. I’m not sure who it is that should make the big decisions about our long term security policy, but I know it’s not the Bush Administration.

    I’m not saying that we should resist everything the Administration wants to do over there; for all I know, they’re doing the best they can. …But we should encourage all of our family and friends to be skeptical of any big plans made by the Bush Administration–even a withdrawal.

    No, we can’t vote the guy out. Our only hope of getting the Bush Administration to reassess their core assumptions, leaders, etc. is via the kind of organic, grass roots groundswell I mentioned above. This Administration doesn’t learn from its mistakes.

    …the President actually elevated some of the people responsible for making some of the biggest mistakes.

  26. “It’s a total failure, all these troops have died for a stack of ridiculous lies, and the White House gang should be tried & executed, preferably by hanging, on the half-time stage, right after Aerosmith, on Super Bowl Sunday. (She said that, right?)”

    If Cindy Sheehan said that, I’ll have to turn against her. I mean she wants freakin’ Aerosmith to play half-time?! How much hatred do you have to have for your own country to want to inflict that horror on it? Hillary Duff would be more palatable music for a public hanging.

  27. We lost 18,000 troops from 1983 to 1996. Look it up.

    I’d say a “war” where you lose soldiers at a rate half that of which you’ve lost them in training is going pretty well.

    Just imagine if every battle in WW II was reported the way they’re reported now. The D-Day invasion was one of the greatest organizational feats ever achieved by human beings, and one of the most successful. But what if the only news Americans had gotten about the invasion was that 2,500 allied soldiers died that day, with no discussion of whether the invasion was a success or a failure, and no acknowledgement of the huge strategic stakes that were involved? Or what if such news coverage had continued, day by day, through the entire Battle of Normandy, with Americans having no idea whether the battle was being won or lost, but knowing only that 54,000 Allied troops had been killed by the Germans?

    The media today emphasizes American casualties over all other information about the war.

  28. Iraq gets better every day, but your average American lemming who doesn’t look past the headlines sees only “X killed, Y blown up.” This is a country still digging people out of mass graves from the last regime. When you ask the Iraqis, they say overwhelmingly that their country is on the right track.

    The constitution is another perfect example of how badly the media wants us to fail in Iraq. The Afghan consitution got glowing reviews, but the Iraqi constittution, which is far more secular, keeps getting blasted as the first step toward an Iranian-style theocracy. It would be funny if it weren’t so important.

  29. I guess it’s easier to call my post “stupid” than deal with the reality it presents.

    I esp. love the fact one poster who calls it “stupid” then goes on to mistake a phrase from an article about specific danger from specific types of rounds for being about the overall situation; stupid, indeed. Gotta love the irony.

  30. Iraq gets better every day, but your average American lemming who doesn’t look past the headlines sees only “X killed, Y blown up.

    Or, y’know, they focus on “Kurds and women screwed, Shari’a instituted as law of land.” But, hey, things are getting better all the time. When they change the name of the country to Iran II, The Bloodening, I expect things to be so successful that we can declare our Dear Leader the new Guardian God of planet Earth.

  31. Sharia’s not a problem; Afghanistan has it too. The problem in countries like Iran is that the democratic process is not respected, so the oppressive and very unpopular sharia laws can’t be overturned. There are many different interpretations of sharia, some fairly liberal. As long as Iraqis respect the democratic process, nothing as crazy as Iranian sharia is going to pass (women can vote, you know).

    According to government and policy organization sources, Iraq today has a vibrant free press, with roughly 170 independent newspapers and magazines, up from zero under Saddam Hussein. Thousands of schools have been constructed or refurbished, and more than 200 water treatment projects are underway or have been completed.

    In Fallujah, Mosul and Najaf, the scene of brutal fighting last year, the American military is building schools and clinics, extending power lines and laying water and sewage pipes.

    Thanks to those efforts, the Iraqi people will soon vote in a historic constitutional referendum. Sunni leaders, who boycotted the January 2005 elections, are urging their people to join the electoral process. But even heartening news like this, which does get media attention, is often drowned out in the public mind by reports of periodic American casualties.

  32. Actually, Shem, you unintentionally provide another perfect example of the problem I’m talking about.

  33. Sharia’s not a problem; Afghanistan has it too

    You mean the Afghanistan where it’s dangerous to leave Kabul without secring the blessings of the local warlords? The one that suffers from periodic flareups of Anti-American sentiment? Or the one whose opium is once again supplying terrorists with money to carry out their ugly schemes? Or maybe you were referring to Afghanistan prior to our entrance? They had Shari’a too. Oh, wait…

    And building schools is wonderful, but it won’t amount to much if they get converted into Madrasas once we leave. Same with the hospitals we’re reputedly building; fairly meaningless if women aren’t allowed to seek treatment there. Things stopped “getting better” as soon as Saddam left power. They were just as bad in different ways for a while, and now they seem to be getting worse.

    I see references to all this building that we are doing; can anyone point me to a resource that actually gives concrete numbers as to how much has been done? Every time I ask one of the cheerleaders of this nastly little conflict, I get the runaround.

  34. The problem is all these independent institutions that aren’t always on the same page as the White House and Congressional leadership.

    If that damn independent press would just get with the program, as well as that independent judiciary, maybe our leaders could finally get their agenda implemented!

    Whose idea was it to have an independent judiciary and press? Probably some anti-American lefty.

  35. You know, I?ve worked with one of the people who helped run public affairs in Iraq for the DoD. He 110% believed that things were improving and that the media was missing the big picture ? but we can obviously take that with a grain of salt. I?ve also met many soldiers, officers and NCOs who also believe that the media is totally missing the mark. I mean they were genuinely incredulous as to how the media was ?ignoring? all the progress they?ve made. On the other hand, we?ve all seen the media reports and other information speaking to how it?s going to hell in a hurry. My conclusion is somewhere in the middle. Clearly it isn?t going as well as Bush and company would make it, but it isn?t as bad as portrayed either. Unfortunately, I just don?t know where that middle-ground is.

  36. Let’s not quarrel and bicker over who’s getting killed by who. Nation building is supposed to be a happy occasion. Look at the new Iraq: They’ve got a constitution, an interim government, huge…tracts of land! Instead of saying that we’ve lost soldiers, we should say that we’ve gained heroes.

    And no singing!

  37. cool, Shem!

    Thoreau: fantastic!!!!!!!!

  38. Shem – I’m too lazy to track all of it down, but this is August’s progress alone. (And this is far from everything, or even “just” the big stuff… Imagine how many nooks and crannies this is missing, since it’s only a press release.) It looks to me like JimL’s public affairs guy and the soldiers, officers and NCOs he;s been talking to know what they’re talking about.

    http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/news_release.asp?NewsRelease=20050819.txt

    NEWS RELEASE
    HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
    7115 South Boundary Boulevard
    MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
    Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

    ——————————————————————————–

    August 15, 2005
    Release Number: 05-08-19

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    SUCCESSES THIS WEEK IN IRAQ (5-11 AUG)

    BAGHDAD, Iraq ? Reconstruction projects strengthened Iraq?s infrastructure this week, while community leaders showed their commitment to rebuilding. Iraqi Security Forces continue to be an essential part in working to increase the country?s security.

    Approximately 18,000 Iraqi schoolchildren will sit in freshly refurbished schools when their new school year starts in about six weeks. Iraqi and U.S. government agencies announced Aug. 6 that renovations of 43 schools in the northern and southern provinces are funded for repairs, and contracts have been awarded for the work. As part of the Iraq Relief Reconstruction Fund, over $1.3M was set aside to continue a nationwide school repair program that addresses rehabilitating sanitary facilities, electrical and mechanical systems, and structural repairs to schools in Karbala, Dahuk, Najaf, Basrah, and Qadisiyah.

    More than 200 Iraqi children received medical screenings from Coalition Forces, with support from Iraqi Police, during an operation Aug. 5 in western Mosul. Soldiers and medics handed out soccer balls and hygiene products to the local children while they conducted the screenings. More than 1,000 children have received medical screenings during this and four similar operations over the last three weeks.

    In Baghdad, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad attended the handover ceremony of the International Press Center (IPC) to the Iraqi Government Communications Directorate (GCD) on Aug. 9. The IPC is a hub of activity for Iraqi and International journalists during press conferences, National Assembly sessions, and other media events. To mark the handover, USAID/Iraq provided a grant to the IPC for technical and office equipment that includes 20 desktop computers, 30 laptop computers, licensed software, printers, a scanner, a copy machine, CD writers, desks, chairs and other necessary office equipment. A group of Iraqi journalists who have used the IPC since its opening in February 2004 received the 30 laptop computers yesterday.

    Iraqi and U.S. officials unveiled a special monument to honor four Iraqi Army Soldiers who gave their lives for the security of Iraq during the Ashura holiday. Dr. Ahmed Chalabi, Iraq?s Deputy Prime Minister, said the country owed a great debt to the four Soldiers and their families, and promised the Iraqi government would care for them in gratitude for the Soldiers? gift to the country.

    Officials from both countries also signed a charter to detail plans to bring much-needed projects to the people of Husseiniya, an agricultural town north of Baghdad whose population boomed during the previous regime. Coalition Forces are working with the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works to build storm drainage projects, water-quality improvements, and most importantly, sewage treatment facilities. The Husseiniya Charter is the first of its kind in the area, and will serve as the test-bed and guide for other projects in impoverished areas in and around Baghdad.

    Reconstruction projects around the country are in progress, and this week, construction started on a Police Facilities project in the Samarra District of Salah Ad Din Province. This 250-officer station in the northeast part of Samarra, which is a $4.3 million investment, will provide a presence in the city to help stabilize law and order. The contractor employs 25 Iraqi workers, and the project is scheduled for completion in November.

    Iraqi workers in Baghdad finished the $3.6M Al Amari Water Distribution project this week. The project can produce approximately 250 cubic meters of potable water daily and service about 2,000 families in the Al Amari and 9-Nissan areas of Baghdad.

    Iraqi Security Forces continued to prove themselves as they strive toward assuming security operations around the country.

    Iraqi Army soldiers discovered five improvised explosive devices placed around a building in Rawah August 9. The soldiers located the five IEDs connected with wiring and secured the area to prevent any injuries while a coalition explosive ordnance disposal team neutralized the threat.

    Iraqi Security Forces EOD teams were also busy ? clearing three IEDs in separate cities the same day. Iraqi Police discovered an artillery shell wired for command detonation in Baqubah, a more complex IED rigged for remote control detonation in Tikrit, and another in Hit. An Iraqi EOD team eliminated the threat while an Iraqi Intervention Force secured the area, protecting community members from the terrorists? weapons.

    Citizens in Baghdad and Ramadi were just some of the Iraqi citizens who assisted Coalition and Iraqi Forces in locating weapons caches this week, taking an active part in securing their communities and creating an environment that will foster more reconstruction and increased stability.

    MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE ? IRAQ PROVIDED THE CONTENT FOR THIS RELEASE. FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON SPECIFIC EVENTS, PLEASE CONTACT THE COMBINED PRESS INFORMATION CENTER?S PRESS DESK AT CPICPRESSDESK@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL.

  39. Alright, but other than the schools, medical services, water distribution, police stations, aqueducts, and stopping a few bombs, what have we done for the Iraqis?

    I make a motion to form a committee to discuss proposals for ways to discount what rob posted.

    Personally, I think rob is a plant from the People’s Front of Judea.

  40. Phbbllllttt!!!

    Heh, thoreau you nearly made me shoot milk out my nose! But the REALLY funny thing is that now that I look at the press release, that was only a 6-day period…

    Of course, I doubt that the People’s Front of Judea would take me, since M has assigned me to “eliminate all free radicals.”

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