MNF-Iraq Responds to The WaPo's "Lake Havasu" Article

“The Washington Post article does not reflect the facts on the ground.”

After posting on the Washington Post’s Lake Havasu article, I contacted Multi-National Force Iraq with the following questions:

Dear MNF-Iraq- …The Washington Post wrote a disturbing article today on Iraq. ( ‘I Don’t Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier’s Life’)

In the article — a Sgt. Victor Alarcon said this:

Sgt. Victor Alarcon’s Humvee rolls into a vast pool of knee-high brown sewage water — the soldiers call it Lake Havasu, after the Arizona spring-break party spot — that seeps in the doors of the vehicle and wets his boots.

1- Are you familiar with “Lake Havasu”?
2- Does Sgt. Victor Alarcon speak for MNF-Iraq?
3- In the article Maj. Eric Timmerman says “It’s just a slow, somewhat government-supported sectarian cleansing,” on thhe descent of Sadiyah. Is that the official MNF-I position?
4- Does Maj. Eric Timmerman speak for MNF-Iraq?

Thank you for your time.

MNF-Iraq replied with this on the WaPo’s sad and hopeless “Lake Havasu” spin piece:

Mr. Hoft:

1. I am not familiar with the “Lake Havasu” mentioned in the article.
That said, Soldiers have many informal names for various landmarks in their battle space. Some are pleasant, some are not.

2. Sgt. Victor Alarcon is entitled to his opinions, but he does not speak for MNF-I.

3. Maj. Eric Timmerman is also entitled to his opinion, but the fact on the ground, in both Baghdad specifically and across Iraq in general, is that sectarian violence is down.

4. Timmerman also does not speak for MNF-I.

This is in no way to belittle the service of either of these Soldiers.
They are great Americans who answered when their nation called. I just want to make it clear their comments are their own, they do not speak for MNF-I, and that their story does not reflect the overall situation in Iraq or Baghdad.


– MAJ Danielson

Maj. Winfield S. Danielson III
Press Desk Officer
Multinational Force – Iraq

It is interesting that “Lake Havasu” sounds strangely like “Little Venice” described by discredited Scott (Thomas) Beauchamp at The New Republic:

An area in Baghdad called “Little Venice” where “The sector we soldiers patrol is known unaffectionately as “Little Venice” because of the dark brown rivers of sewage that backwash from broken pipes. The biggest fear in these parts isn’t sniper fire or IEDs, but a flat tire that forces you to wade through the reeking fluids.”

The WaPo reporter is also traveling with Scott Beauchamp’s unit in Iraq.
Maybe “Little Venice” has changed its name to “Lake Havasu”?

Same sewage swamp, different name I guess… Sorta like Congress.

Truly, the WaPo missed the mark on this one.
Just this week it was reported:

** Sectarian deaths down 70% in Baghdad
** Car bombings down by 65% over last year
** Attacks on civilians down 59%
** Attacks on Iraqi forces down 62%
** Attacks against journalists down 70%

That should have been their story.

It is so sad that the Left and their media have to destroy the latest accomplishments in Iraq with some flowery sewage prose because the facts are just not on their side.

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