Sunday, June 30, 2013

Editorial: The important words

The Plan for Day 101

Last week, some words were spoken that should have made headlines in the US press.

We have a mil-to-mil relationship with the Lebanese armed forces now.  I've had since I -- since I commanded CENTCOM, actually, about four or five years ago.  And we've made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability.  But this -- when you say would we send the United States Army or the United States military into Lebanon, I'm talking about teams of trainers, and I'm talking about accelerating foreign military sales for equipment for them.  This is -- this is about building their capability, not ours.

Those are the words of General Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint-Chiefs, and he made that statement in public, at a Defense Department press conference.  You can read the remarks in the DoD transcript,.

You'll have trouble reading them in a piece written by your favorite newspaper.  You'll have trouble reading them in The Nation.  You won't hear the information from Democracy Now! or pretty much anyone.

CounterSpin could argue that they don't cover news, they critique the way news is conveyed.

Fair enough, but in Wednesday's snapshot, the AP was criticized for the way it badly reported the news of Dempsey's remarks.

So, yes, they could have covered it.

Anyone could have.  Everyone should have.

Barack Obama secretly sent another unit of Special Ops into Iraq last fall.

When they got the new treaty they needed at the end of 2012, they were open about it.  From the April 30th snapshot:

December 6, 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department Defense of the United States of America was signed.  We covered it in the December 10th and December 11th snapshots -- lots of luck finding coverage elsewhere including in media outlets -- apparently there was some unstated agreement that everyone would look the other way.  It was similar to the silence that greeted Tim Arango's September 25th New York Times report which noted, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions.  At the request of the Iraqi government, according to [US] General [Robert L.] Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."

None of that was hidden and probably the administration realized at that point that there was no need to hide it.  Talk about it openly because the US media just didn't care to report on Iraq anymore.

Nothing censors better than journalistic apathy.

Which is why most Americans don't know that the administration is now talking openly about the US troops they plan to send back into Iraq.


Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Plan For Day 101."
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