Friday, July 13, 2007

Looky Here- It's Journalism!!! -- well, kind of

As you may have noticed in President Bush's press conference yesterday, he mentioned that the big problem in Iraq is Al-Qaeda:
In rebuffing calls to bring troops home from Iraq, President Bush on Thursday employed a stark and ominous defense. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq,” he said, “were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th, and that’s why what happens in Iraq matters to the security here at home.”

It is an argument Mr. Bush has been making with frequency in the past few months, as the challenges to the continuation of the war have grown. On Thursday alone, he referred at least 30 times to Al Qaeda or its presence in Iraq.

As anyone with an IQ above that of the common house plant can see, Bush is plainly using this as a ploy to connect Iraq with Al-Qaeda- again. The New York Times, to its credit, tries to debunk this claim:

But his references to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and his assertions that it is the same group that attacked the United States in 2001, have greatly oversimplified the nature of the insurgency in Iraq and its relationship with the Qaeda leadership.

There is no question that the group is one of the most dangerous in Iraq. But Mr. Bush’s critics argue that he has overstated the Qaeda connection in an attempt to exploit the same kinds of post-Sept. 11 emotions that helped him win support for the invasion in the first place.

Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia did not exist before the Sept. 11 attacks. The Sunni group thrived as a magnet for recruiting and a force for violence largely because of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, which brought an American occupying force of more than 100,000 troops to the heart of the Middle East, and led to a Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad.

For the most part, this is great. I bolded, however, something which really bothers me and it has been going on for far too long. These disputes are always presented as two sides of an unresolved argument (in fact, the title of the article is: Bush Distorts Qaeda Links, Critics Assert). As in, Bush has his reality, his critics have theirs. Yet, Bush's reality is extremely easy to debunk. In the very next paragraph, the authors lay out quite clearly, that Al-Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq before 9-11!

Instead of reporting it as a he said/she said, kind of dispute, call it like it is. The President is making another attempt to play fast and loose with the facts about Iraq. If the White House challenges the claim, the New York Times has a mountain of evidence to back it up. It isn't that hard to understand. After all that we have seen from Bush and his cult, it shouldn't surprise anyone that they will actively try to manipulate the American people in order to further their goals.

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