Turning to global matters, Bush repeatedly defended his approach to sticky problems:
_Bush denied any increase of strength in the Iraqi insurgency, whose deadly attacks have been on the rise since a new government was announced April 28. He said the Iraqi government would be “plenty capable of dealing with them” with the help of American training. “I’m pleased with the progress,” Bush said.
Compare this with the content of recent news articles…
Iraq Security Forces Suffer Fatal Month
Iraq’s security services have suffered their deadliest month since the fall of Saddam Hussein, illustrating the rise in violence in the country.
Officials reported that at least 220 police officers and soldiers were killed in May, mainly by suicide bombings. The figure does not include potential recruits killed while queuing up to join the forces, a favoured target.
“This figure does not even include those killed in the last two or three days,” a senior police officer said.
March was the previous deadliest month, with 200 security personnel killed.
Suicide bombings have surged to become the Iraqi insurgency’s weapon of choice, with a staggering 90 attacks accounting for most of last month’s 750 deaths at the militants’ hands.
Suicide attacks outpaced car bombings almost 2-to-1 in May, according to figures compiled by the U.S. military, The Times and other media outlets. In April, there were 69 suicide attacks, more than in the entire year preceding the June 28, 2004, hand-over of sovereignty.
U.S. officials and Iraqi analysts say the insurgents’ resources are increasing on several fronts: money to buy vehicles and explosives, expertise in wiring car and human bombs and intelligence leaks that help them target U.S. and Iraqi forces.
“At this time, there is nothing to indicate that the availability of volunteers is on the decline,” [said Navy Cmdr. Fred Gaghan, in charge of the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell in Iraq that studies bomb scenes for clues to insurgent tactics], noting the media coverage and videos of suicide bombings posted on the Internet that are said to fuel extremist recruitment.
Why aren’t members of the media asking the President questions like this:
Mr. President! Mr. President… March, April, and May of this year have seen record levels of violence in Iraq, including a record number of car bombings, a record number of suicide bombings, and a record number of casualities among Iraqi police and military forces.
In May, coalition forces suffered another 88 fatalities at a rate exceeding that of all but two months since April of 2003. 250 more American soldiers were wounded badly enough to not be able to return to duty within 72 hours.
Despite these facts, you claim that the insurgency is not increasing in strength, and that you’re pleased with the progress being made.
Mr. President, how many more American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and police, Iraqi civilians, how many more of them have to die before you become unhappy with the level of progress in Iraq? How many more records need to be set for fatalities, car and suicide bombings before you agree that the insurgency is gaining in strength? Are there any circumstances under which you would express concern with the state of affairs in Iraq and the rate of progress against the insurgency being made there?
It seems likely that Greg Palast has the answer:
…a disease epidemic in US journalism. The illness is called, “access.” In return for a supposedly “inside” connection to the powers that be, the journalists in fact become conduits for disinformation sewerage.
And woe to any journalist who annoys the politicians and loses “access.” Career-wise, they’re DOA.
I have to agree with how he ends his article: “…that sucks.”