Monday, July 17, 2006

Military Conference shines a light on some issues.

Military leaders foresee Iraq exit in 2016 - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

The Washington Times is carry a story online that at a recent "Lessons Learned" conference at Ft. Carson Colorado, some military leaders revealed American troops will be in Iraq in some way until 2016. The Title was a rather misleading, "Military leaders foresee Iraq exit in 2016", which is sure to draw readers, but also to increase criticism of the Iraq mission from those who don't bother to read the story. What was actually said was:

U.S. war commanders think some level of American forces will be needed in Iraq until 2016 and those forces will receive continued support from the vast majority of Iraqis.

That covers a lot of ground are we talking Training Teams or combat divisions, one or 2 aircraft mechanics or a Carrier Battle Group (just an example I know there aren't any carriers in Iraq).

In addition the article reveals the usual list of complaints about progress being ignored, but this caught my eye, especially in light of a recent story on Michelle Malkin's page:

The notes say there was general agreement on one issue: the "mainstream media" largely ignores progress. A commander said an embedded reporter filed a generally positive story on the operation in Tal Afar, only to see his stateside editors gut it and apply a negative spin.
In fact, editors have grown increasingly resistant to embedding reporters with combat units, something they demanded be done before the invasion in March 2003. The purported reason: They think contact with U.S. service members hurts the reporters' objectivity.
"They come to see the world through the eyes of the troops," said the retired officer's e-mail. Now, newspapers and magazine rely heavily on Iraqi stringers who telephone in reports from various combat scenes.

Any guesses who those stringers are?

The below pictures are taken by a New York Times stringer who has embedded himself with enemy forces fighting Coalition and Iraqi National Troops. For this he has received praise from NY Times editor Bill Keller for his "incredible courage".

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