Laura Bush Pleads for Positive Media Coverage from Iraq — But ‘L.A. Times’ Finds More Bad

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By: E&P Staff

In a TV interview this week, Laura Bush, the First Lady, complained about one-sided media coverage in Iraq and, like many others before her, asked for more of a focus on the positive, including “schools opening.”

The Los Angeles Times today, no doubt coincidentally, presented a major story on schooling in Iraq today, by Baghdad correspondent Solomon Moore. It’s called “Battlefield School.”

It opens this way:

“Iraq’s schools, long touted by American officials as a success story in a land short on successes, increasingly are being caught in the crossfire of the country’s escalating civil war.

“President Bush has routinely talked about the refurbishment and construction of schools as a neglected story of progress in Iraq. The U.S. Agency for International Development has spent about $100 million on Iraq’s education system and cites the rehabilitation of 2,962 school buildings as a signal accomplishment.

“But today, across the country, campuses are being shuttered, students and teachers driven from their classrooms and parents left to worry that a generation of traumatized children will go without education.

“Teachers tell of students kidnapped on their way to school, mortar rounds landing on or near campuses and educators shot in front of children.

“This month insurgents distributed pamphlets at campuses, some sealed inside an envelope with an AK-47 bullet.”

The entire article can be found at www.latimes.com.

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