WEDNESDAY’S LETTERS: Bush’s ‘Surge,’ Jamil Hussein, Iraqi Civilian Casualties

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, readers weigh in on President Bush’s planned “surge” of 20,000 troops into Iraq, one reader thinks that the AP should not be exonerated on charges of false stories now that Jamil Hussein has been found, and an anomaly in the counting of Iraqi civilian deaths.


AP’s Credibility Not Bolstered by Jamil Hussein’s Existence

You’ve got to be kidding me. The story was not about an “AP report on the shooting of six people” as Mr. Strupp’s claims in this piece. It was about 4 mosque being attacked and 6 Iraqi Shiites being burned alive while the Iraqi police stood by and watched.

Where are the bodies? What were their names? How were they taken to a morgue in a hospital that doesn’t have a morgue?

Prove that this guy is your source by identifying him in a lineup and having another news org. independently corroborate and verify the truthfulness of the dozens of stories he’s single-sourced on and then I’ll be concerned about his possible arrest.

So far you’ve done none of that and the fact that the Iraqi police captain, Jamil Hussein, denies being the AP’s source, his mere existence lends absolutely no credibility to the AP’s reputation nor does it validate any of the claims he made on which you reported.

It looks like a possible Steve Glass moment for Kathleen Carroll and the AP.

Gary Barton


Hold Media Accountable

When we present expectations of our journalists and media at large to represent the opinions of the people, we end up with entities like The News Corporation (Fox). Such representation is the sphere of the politicians. Please, let’s hold the media accountable to unbiasedly conveying accurate facts, and nothing more. This, by itself, appears to be difficult enough these days. Thanks.

Jeff Munsie


On the ‘Surge’

[Tony] Snow is snowing us again — and Americans don’t buy this interview about Americans wanting to continue the war in Iraq.

It is absurd to think that Congress, if they so choose, hold back funding additional money for this war, that Mr. Bush thinks he can still go ahead! Who is he in respect to the Congress. He is but one man, against Congress. This is called the system of “checks and balances” and I feel strongly that Congressional members will do the right thing. They have been elected to represent the people, and in the November elections, the people have spoken, that we do not want more of the same lies and deception. When will this madness stop? We can not and will not tolerate any more troops to be sent to Iraq.

Mary McKeon
Margaretville N.Y.

Regrettably, it appears that President Bush has come too late to the idea that more troops could make a difference. If the 20,000 he now proposes to “surge” into Iraq had been part of a plan for stabilizing Baghdad five years ago, when a shortage of troops precluded steps that might have prevented a steady slide into chaos, they might have had a chance of success. At this point, they look to be too little, too late, and again we are treated to visions of imminent success with not a word to indicate that anyone’s thinking about what we’ll do if this plan, like the pie-in-the-sky we’ve been served by the neocons for years, fails to yield promised results.

Judson Haverkamp
Minneapolis, Minn.

The Democrats (and some Republicans) will attempt to rein the President in from making yet another in a series of mistakes regarding Iraq. We all know that the President does as he pleases, but there is a new wrinkle this time: a Congress who will provide “oversight.” It is wishful thinking when Tony Snow claims that the mid-term elections were not about the Iraq situation. The majority of Americans do not want a continuation of our occupation in Iraq. We do not want to sacrifice more young lives nor contribute any more money to this failed venture. If President Bush continues along this path, ignoring the Generals, ignoring the Congress and ignoring the public, then he will have to be impeached. We seem to have a dictatorship going on here.

Susanne Brown


Civilian Deaths in Iraq and the Golden Mosque Bombing

Eric Brewer, my occasional White House correspondent and contributor to my blog, was reading the Monday Washington Post story by Sudarsan Raghavan on Iraqi civilian deaths and noticed a distinct anomaly. Everyone is placing the blame for the enormous surge in deaths last year on the February Golden Mosque bombing, but according to the graph accompanying the story, monthly casualties remained more or less flat between the bombing and the beginning of July. So Eric did a little digging and found that although the surge in casualties doesn’t coincide with the bombing, it does coincide very closely with the beginning of Operation Together Forward. Interesting contradiction, isn’t it? Here’s his take.

Weldon Berger
BTC News

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