The big picture here is about Iraq and how the U.S. is either making achievements or failing to make them. I was prompted to post this today after reading Rep. Davis comments on the war as published in the Sevier County Mountain Press newspaper:
"Additionally, Davis blames "the national media and the Congress" for convincing a large majority of Americans the war is not going as well as it appears to be on the ground. He says television networks are using old footage that distorts the truth of the situation, while some in Congress are twisting the conflict to look worse than it does for political gain."
Truly odd to me that a scattered and highly disorganized Iraq Parliament, the daily attacks from insurgents, the spreading civil war among a wide group of Iraqi militias, and rising confusion in the diplomatic realm -- none of these are the keys to the problems. Nope, it's the media and their bogus news.
This despite some documented evidence that safety is at dubious levels.
-- Rare availability of electrical power: "Before the war, Baghdad residents received 16-24 average hours of electricity each day. But on July 19, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said that residents of Baghdad are now receiving just one or two hours of electricity each day — the lowest level of the war." "the State Department, which prepares a weekly ’status report’ for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.” Instead, the State Department is just reporting electricity levels nationwide, which “does not indicate how much power Iraqis in Baghdad or elsewhere actually receive.” Crocker’s excuse that it’s “the middle of the summer” is not an explanation for the abysmally low electricity levels. Last year in July — before Bush’s surge — Baghdad received seven hours/day
-- Iraq's PM considering asking for the removal of Gen. Petraeus from leadership in Iraq: "A key aide says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s relations with U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus are so poor the Iraqi leader may ask Washington the withdraw the well-regarded U.S. military leader from duty here.
The Iraqi foreign minister calls the relationship “difficult.”
-- Reconstruction projects in Iraq refused, abandoned by Iraqis: "A report, released Friday by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, details how only 435 projects out of a total of 2,797, at a cost of $5.8 billion, were accepted by the Iraqi government, resulting in many projects being effectively abandoned or inoperative despite the United States declaring them "successfully completed".
-- President Bush's recent assessment of the situation in Iraq, where attacks have been intensifying makes no mention of the impact of U.S. news reports on the battles raging across Iraq: "Effective steps toward national reconciliation will require national leadership from all communities and expression of a common national political will, or 'vision,' that has so far been lacking. The consensus nature of Iraqi politics, and the checks and balances built into the Iraqi governance structure, inhibit Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ability to govern effectively -- and would pose obstacles to any prime minister
-- At least, some good news for Iraq -- they won the soccer Asian Cup, despite outbreaks of some violence (well, it is soccer after all) -- Iraqis welcomed the victory as a chance to show the world they can come together and expressed frustration that their politicians couldn't do the same.
It is worth noting, in my opinion that the situation in Iraq -- both good and miserable -- can be connected to many, many factors. But the reporting by the media has nothing to do with the situation in Iraq.