"Think Progress" Publishes Misleading Troop Withdrawal Post
Think Progress posted this very misleading report today about US troop deployment:
Maliki Disagrees With Petraeus’s ‘Pause,’ Says ‘U.S. Troops Should Be Pulled Out’»
Gen. David Petraeus, top U.S. commander in Iraq, told Congress this week that he is recommending to President Bush that the United States “pause” the draw down of troops in Iraq this July for at least 45 days in order to assess the security situation there.
Bush has now accepted Petraeus’s recommendation, “leaving open the possibility that about 140,000 U.S. servicemen and women will still be in the war zone when the next president takes office.”
But there is one important decision-maker that Petraeus and Bush don’t seem to be listening to: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The AP reports that Maliki told Bush yesterday that he “disagrees” with Petraeus’s recommendation “citing the growing capabilities of Iraq’s own security forces”:
The prime minister told Bush during a 20-minute telephone conversation on Wednesday that Iraqi security forces are capable of carrying out their duties and U.S. troops should be pulled out as the situation permits, according to a senior government adviser who sat in on the phone conversation. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the confidential details.
Pulling out US troops as the situation permits is a far cry from that misleading headling.
In fact the Iraqi government commended Petraeus and Crocker for their honest assessments to Congress.
The AP got its information from one of its many anonymous sources.
However, that is not what the government said at all.
Aswat Al-Iraq (Voices of Iraq) had a completely different report from the official Iraqi government spokesperson:
Baghdad, Apr 10, (VOI) – The official spokesman for the Iraqi government on Thursday described the report presented last Tuesday by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, to a the Senate Armed Service Committee as good and professional.
“The evaluation of the report from the Iraqi point of view was good and professional from a military commander who is acquainted with the security condition in the country,” Ali al-Dabagh told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).
Petraeus and Crocker presented their report to the committee last Tuesday, in which they described the security condition in Iraq and asserted that the country still has security challenges and is still in need of the U.S. troops’ presence.
“The Iraqi government told the U.S. administration yesterday there is no need to change the troops withdrawal program because of the developed capabilities of the Iraqi security forces,” the spokesman said.
“We encourage the withdrawal of U.S. forces according to the agreed timetable,” he added.
“We believe that improving the political situation would boost the security condition,” al-Dabagh noted.
“There is a significant development in this report than the previous one but this does not mean playing down the dangerous of armed groups; al-Qaeda and other armed gangs spread in the country,” he added.
On Petraeus’ remarks on Iranian support to gunmen in Iraq, al-Dabagh said “there is a negative effect of the neighboring countries and during the all negotiations with the Iranians we kept asserting on the need to have best relations with them, but under one condition of not interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs.”
“The Iraqi government is legitimate and elected by the Iraqi people and Iran and the all countries have to act on this basis,” he concluded.
Obviously, ‘Think Progress’ is stretching the truth on this one.
UPDATE: McQ says the Kool-Aid drinkers are confused.