Karl Gallagher (libertarianhawk) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

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Ignorance of Reporters

Among my bad habits is listening to NPR news when I'm in the car. I keep telling myself I'll just listen to the five minute headlines at the top of the hour, but that's just the first potato chip. Fortunately for my blood pressure I've learned to switch back to music when it gets too annoying.

I was listening to a piece about Gen. Petreaus, who I'd like to hear more about. But a few moments in the reporter stated that of all the Iraqi Army troops trained by Petreaus in his previous assignment "only a fraction" are ready to fight. Which is total bullshit. You can read eyewitness accounts of the Iraqi Army in action. Yes, they're not "category one" ready, but that's because they need US support to get their transportation and supplies. Officially, that's because it's harder to stand up the complex and technically oriented organizations need to do logistics than to train light infantry. Unofficially, I suspect the US is letting that slide because we like having an off-switch on every Iraqi unit in case of coups, and because we'd rather have our guys doing logistics than kicking in doors.

None of this is hard to find out. All you have to do is dig into the reports so you find out what the terms such as "category one" mean. But the news professionals don't bother, happy to remain ignorant as long as it looks good for whatever axe they're grinding that day.
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