The S-Word Appears Four Times in an AP Report from Iraq

Earlier today, NewsBusters' Matt Sheffield caught a Washington Post editorial which told us, "Don't look now, but the U.S.-backed government and army may be winning the war." The editorial noted "a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks -- which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war." The Post also suggested that the situation "ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the "this-war-is-lost" caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Maybe, but if the results continue, both in military progress and reduced casualties (May 2008 had the lowest single-month number of US and total coalition troop fatalities ever), how about an "I was wrong, I am sorry" first? Even more remarkable than WaPo's editorial was that the Associated Press's Kim Gamel included "the S-word" four times in her Friday afternoon coverage of Iraqi terrorists/insurgents turning themselves in. Not in the headline, of course (What do you want, miracles?), but twice in the first six paragraphs:

Some Iraqi insurgents agree to reconcile School teacher Raad Mohammed Mahdi used to take on another role after classes: foot soldier in the Sunni insurgency north of Baghdad. He grew weary of his double life last year and wanted to lay down his arms. The problem was he didn't know how to surrender formally without facing possible jail time. Last week, Mahdi entered a U.S. military base and signed a form that amounts to a personal truce. More than 140 other men came the next day after learning that soldiers did not detain Mahdi, whose late brother was an insurgent leader. It marked some of the first steps in a new U.S.-Iraqi program to offer a way out for those who renounce violence — part of widening attempts at national reconciliation as sectarian violence shows signs of easing. The latest offer promises a clean slate for fighters if they claim their only targets were American troops. It also pledges a "fair" legal process for those wanted for attacks on Iraqis troops or civilians. Since the program was expanded this month to Sunni areas near Balad, more than 300 men have surrendered. Most have been released, although 76 were given a court date to face Iraqi charges. ..... (US Lt. Col. Bob) McCarthy, who is from Mechanicsburg, Ill., estimated that probably less than 20 percent of those who have surrendered were members al-Qaida in Iraq. ...... Qais Dhiab Ahmed ..... is ..... a tribal leader who has taken the lead in encouraging the surrenders.

Look up the definitions of "reconcile" and "surrender" yourself. They are, of course, not even close. Do you think anyone in the media will ask Barack Obama, Hillary "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" Clinton, Harry "We've lost" Reid, or other Democrats who predicted we had lost or would lose their opinion of the situation now, and how they could have gotten it so wrong? And is it actually possible that the V-word will put in an appearance pretty soon? Cross-posted as BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.