Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story
Regrettably, that seems to be one of the axioms of modern journalism, as practiced by the MSM. If the facts don't fit a particular template, just ignore them. It's a standard practice in covering the war in Iraq.
The latest case in point? A recent McClatchy Newspapers report, claiming that the U.S. has shifted its military focus away from training Iraqi Security Forces, and back toward stability operations. The shift, according to the story, is the result of the tenuous security situation, and past setbacks in the training program. It describes the training effort as a failure, essentially doomed from the start.
But, as Bill Roggio observes, the facts don't support the McClatchy claim. He notes that both the U.S. and Iraqi governments are pushing for continued expansion of Iraqi security forces, supported by an extensive American training mission. And more importantly, Bill reports that any slowdown in the effort is not the result of the security situation, but Congress' failure to pass the Fiscal Year '07 Supplemental Budget.
Funny, but the McClatchy account (written by Nancy Youssef) doesn't mention the funding angle. Without the supplemental, money for training and equipping new Iraqi units has dried up, leaving the Iraqis unable to field new equipment, or develop the cadre of support personnel needed for logistics and training missions. And, of course, the funding situation also limits the ability of our military to train their Iraqi counterparts.
It's all part of the Democrats' carefully-constructed strategy for defeat. By refusing to pass an acceptable supplemental spending bill, they are under-cutting the very mission that will allow the Iraqis to eventually defend themselves. Meanwhile, they can use the "lack of training" as proof that the administration's policies aren't working, and ratchet up support for their proposed troop withdrawal--eagerly reported by journalistic stenographers like Ms. Youssef.