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Update: Another Surge Success Story

Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque

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November 12, 2007

Following on from our previous report on the America's new allies in Iraq, Juan Cole has more on another "success" of the surge: the loudly-trumpeted "return" of some Baghdad residents to the city.

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that Syrian officials say 1,500 Iraqis are being forced to leave Syria every day as a result of strict new visa requirements...Note, however, that this influx of 7,000 Iraqis a week from Syria is not spurred by better security in Iraq (otherwise, why are 500 a day or 3500 a week still leaving Iraq for Damascus?) The exodus is being dictated by new Syrian strictness about visas and residency permits.

What I don't understand about American newspaper articles is why they let people like Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki dictate the headlines, even when the headline is undermined by the information gathered by the journalist who wrote the article. So the NYT reports:

Most of the capitalĺs displaced people have yet to return, and the number of those leaving still outpaces those returning, according to Dana Graber Ladek, the Iraqi displacement specialist for the International Organization for Migration.

Over a million Iraqis have fled their homes in the past year and a half, she said, nearly three-quarters of them from Baghdad. And though the Iraqi government is offering one million Iraqi dinars, or roughly $812, to each Baghdad family that returns, she said, only a fraction of residents has done so. '

So, why isn't that the headline? "More Iraqis still Leaving Capital than returning to It"? Why is it al-Maliki's irrelevant assertion that "7,000 families" have come back to the capital? First of all, that isn't that many people, and second of all, what we want to know is if they are the ones kicked out of Syria during the past month.

And we want to know how many Baghdadis are still fleeing their own city every week. Do the editors just automatically cede the headlines to the Rich and Powerful? Why? Isn't this sort of complaisance toward propaganda what got us into the Iraq War in the first place?

The answer to Professor Cole's three pertinent questions are as follows:

1. Yes.
2. Because the editors would not be where they are if they were not disposed to cede the headlines to the Rich and Powerful.
3. Yes.


:: Article nr. 38132 sent on 12-nov-2007 19:16 ECT

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Link: www.chris-floyd.com/Articles/Articles/Update%3A_Another_Surge_Success_Story/



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