The AP reports that a car bomb exploded in Baghdad today that killed 63. Based on prior reporting history by the AP I would not be surprised that the number is inflated but either way it is always sad when the terrorists kill the innocent. In that same report they write about a Iraqi cameraman who was killed by the terrorists along with the fact that a bomb was detonated beside a Iraqi police patrol wounding seven. To top it all off they report:
On Monday, at least 66 people were killed or found dead in the Baghdad area and northern Iraq. They included 46 men who were bound, blindfolded and shot to death in the capital – the latest apparent victims of sectarian death squads.
As usual I have a request in to Centcom for actual numbers of all this stuff they report since the fact that the writers are Thomas Wagner and Qais al-Bashir. You will recall that Qais and Thomas were the authors who used the one and only Jamil Hussein in 19 stories. Anything printed by these two should be looked at with a jaundiced eye.
I have no doubt a car bomb exploded, there is photographic proof of this (for once), but the numbers of all this is in question until I receive confirmation from someone other then Mr. al-Bashir.
One thing I would note, please take a look at everything they failed to report on:
Special Iraqi Police Forces, with Coalition advisors, conducted operations against insurgents Dec. 10 in the village of Khasraj, near Hit, capturing six suspected terrorists.
The area around Kasraj is a known insurgent operating area. Insurgent activities in the area include mortar and other attacks against the Coalition Force, attacks against Iraqis assisting the Coalition Force and criminal activity which funds insurgent operations.
1st Iraqi Army Division forces, with Coalition advisors, conducted operations against insurgent cell leaders Dec. 10 in Fallujah, capturing four suspected terrorists.
The insurgent cells are responsible for improvised explosive device, car-bomb and mortar attacks against members of the Iraqi Security Force and Coalition Force in the area. The suspects are also linked to criminal activity in the area. One of the detained men is suspected of being a weapons smuggler for anti-Iraqi forces operating in and around Fallujah.
There were no Iraqi civilian, Iraqi Force or Coalition Force casualties.
Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army, with support from the 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division continued to successfully clear Baqubah of terrorists during ongoing coordinated operations Dec. 10.
Throughout the operation, 2/5 IA searched several houses; detaining thirteen suspected terrorists, discovering three motorcycle IEDs and four additional IEDs emplaced along a canal road.
“The 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, while conducting operations in the Buhriz area of Baqubah, proved again that there is no sanctuary for the terrorists and insurgents,” said Lt. Col. Tim Karcher, 2/5 IA Military Transition Team commander.
“During Iraqi Army operations, the army provides security for the people and detains any terrorists living amongst the people.”
The motorcycles were in the process of being converted to IEDs. The Iraqi Army soldiers dismantled the MBIEDs and transferred the parts, including the motorcycles. Coalition explosive ordinance disposal units destroyed the
four other IEDs.
The detainees were taken to coalition forces base for questioning.
Iraqi Soldiers, with the support of coalition forces, found 23 hostages and arrested six kidnappers when conducting ongoing operations in a western neighborhood of the Iraqi capital Dec. 11.
The 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division team observed two vehicles that had stopped a local national bus, forcing the passengers off the bus at approximately 10:40 a.m.. The Iraqi Army Soldiers pursued the suspects who got back into the two vehicles and drove off in separate directions.
The Iraqi Army soldiers stopped one of the fleeing vehicles west of an established checkpoint in the area. One kidnapper was killed and two others wounded due to the small arms fire used by the Iraqi soldiers to stop the fleeing car. In the trunk of the stopped vehicle, one kidnap victim was found.
The other car, a white Daiwoo, was also followed from the location where passengers were forced from a bus. The Iraqi Army pursued this vehicle until it stopped in front of a house nearby. Two additional kidnap victims were freed from the trunk of the vehicle and 20 more kidnap victims were found inside the house. Six kidnappers were detained from this incident.
After further investigation, most of the kidnapped victims are believed to be Shi’a and predominately from Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. Some of the victims showed signs of abuse; they had been badly beaten. All 23 rescued victims have been transferred to the 4/1/6 IA Headquarters and are receiving medical treatment.
The kidnappers have been identified as Sunni’s. The kidnapping cell leader, a Syrian named Abu Mousan, escaped capture.
29 terrorists were captured, 23 hostages saved, 7 IED’s found in the last 24 hours and what did we hear about it from the AP? Nothing, nada, zip…..not a damn thing.
But one bomb being discovered and blown up with no casualties was deemed to be newsworthy:
In Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, police discovered a bomb hidden outside the revered Shiite Golden Mosque on Monday, and it exploded while coalition bomb disposal officials were removing it, damaging the building’s front door and entranceway, the U.S. command said.
While the good work by the Iraqi police and our soldiers was not. Also note how Mr. al-Bashir decided to use Centcom as a source for that Mosque bomb when they refuse to use them for pretty much every other incident. Big brother and all that you know…..
Meanwhile the Iraqi police are taking over even more responsibilities, and re-construction of Iraq is on-going:
Hundreds of projects are under construction and Iraqis are seeing the results, according to a top U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official.
“We’re employing thousands of Iraqis. They need to put food on the table just like anyone else and those with a job are more likely to be supporting their government,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Revolinsky, the Officer in Charge of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Baghdad Area Office, before returning to the Sacramento District this month after a six-month tour.
The real story not being told, Revolinsky said, is the one about ordinary Iraqis putting up with extraordinary challenges, but reporting to work nonetheless every day in an unassuming way just trying to make life better for their families.[…]Throughout Baghdad Province, Revolinsky’s team is managing more than 300 projects valued in excess of $1.2 billion. That work includes $300 million for three major sewer trunk lines, more than $100 million for replacing the electric distribution network in Sadr City, refurbishing 18 gas stations, renovating hospitals, building new primary healthcare centers, new courthouses, new water distribution networks, repaving roads, repair of area schools and the construction of several new ones.
Nine new fire stations have been built in Baghdad decreasing response time from an average of 15 minutes to 5 or 6 minutes. “Residents can see first hand that their government is working, that improvements to their neighborhoods are taking place, that there’s reason for hope.”
And our troops in Iraq are re-enlisting at a record pace:
Even with all the debate in the U.S. over Iraq strategy, morale on the ground here is good, the commander of Multi-National Force – West said Saturday.
Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer said retention among Marines based in Iraq is more than 140 percent of the goal.
“If they didn’t think what they were doing was important, then they wouldn’t reenlist,” he said during an interview.
None of this see’s the light of day in reports from our MSM. None of it. Why not? Is it not news worthy? All of it is, but what would that do to their agenda. Their agenda is to propagate the myth that Iraq is out of control, a "civil war" with no end in sight. Their agenda is to get us to cut and run leaving millions of Iraqi’s to their destruction, all so they could print the headline "Bush was wrong".
While every life lost is sad the MSM should be reporting the good news along with the bad. They should be reporting that the majority of violence is in two provinces while 16 others are virtually violence free.
But alas, we get none of that from our MSM.
UPDATE 0945hrs PST
Centcom has updated me with some numbers. Their records indicate 65 dead from the car bomb and 235 wounded which jives with the AP report. Where they differ is the bodies found dumped. The AP reports 66 dead found, but Centcom reports:
With respect to bodies found in Baghdad, our records indicated 19 for the 24 hours ending at 0600 this morning.
Quite a difference in numbers.
I wonder who would pad those numbers like that? Mr. Jamil Hussein maybe?
UPDATE 1150hrs PST
In a column published last night, Eric Boehlert does an excellent job of showing why David Brock’s Media Matters should be regarded as the alimentary canal of punditry; on one end it’s good at regurgitation, and on the other, the finalized product is consistently something better flushed.[…] Boehlert, of course, is unsurprisingly disinterested as to why the Associated Press runs a story claiming the destruction of four mosques, the deaths of 18 people (six of them by immolation), or the allegations that Shiite military and police units allowed the attacks to take place. He quite purposefully leaves out the fact that all of the AP’s sources were anonymous, other than the one that recanted, and the other that was exposed as long-running fraud.
Like the AP, Eric Boehlert seems far more interested in protecting a narrative and attacking the messengers, than seeking to discover how the AP’s reporting could have been so horribly compromised.
He attacks "warbloggers," explicitly (and falsely) stating that those citizen journalists interested into getting to the bottom of this and other questionable instance of reporting blame the press "squarely" for the state of the war, a preposterous claim he does not even attempt to prove.
Few, if any, highly-regarded bloggers hold that opinion. Bad pre-war planning and post-invasion implementation of the same are widely acknowledged for much of the problems on the ground in Iraq, as are undisputed facts that al Qaeda, Syria, and Iran have contributed to the violence.
What Boehlert would like to gloss over (as it suits his narrative and that of the organization he writes for) are the very real structural problems with the stringer-based systems of reporting in Iraq.
Check out the rest. Well worth it.