Earlier this week I blogged about the tendency in the press to characterize Iraq as a "mission impossible" and "let homegrown terrorists and foreign fighters speak for Iraq using car bombs and death squads."
As I posted the blog, I heard the voice of Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One (the abrupt, impolite borg crewman on Voyager who always spoke in short declarative sentences) demand: "Where's your data?"
Here’s a list of the 16 top stories on the New York Times Website - Iraq News:
May 23, 2007 - As Comrades Search, Fatal Bomb Wreaks Havoc
May 23, 2007 - Suicide Bomber Kills 15 East of Baghdad (AP)
May 23, 2007 - Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill
May 23, 2007 - Iraqi Police Say Body in U.S. Uniform Is Found (AP)
May 22, 2007 - Gunmen Kill 5 in Ambush of Minibus in Diyala Province on Day of Scattered Violence in Iraq
May 22, 2007 - Attacks in Sunni Areas in Baghdad Kill at Least 29
May 22, 2007 - Baghdad District Is a Model, but Only for Shiites
May 22, 2007 - War Proposal Still Stymied Despite Talks
May 22, 2007 - Car Bombing in Baghdad Kills 25 (AP)
May 21, 2007 - 7 U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq, 6 in Sweep of Baghdad
May 20, 2007 - Bombs Imperil U.S. Troops Searching for Captured Comrades
May 20, 2007 - Gunmen in Iraqi Army Uniforms Kill 15 in Eastern Village
May 20, 2007 - U.S. Force Kills Shiite Linked to Deaths of 5 Soldiers
May 19, 2007 - Talks, but No Breakthrough, on Iraq War Spending Measure
May 19, 2007 - Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to Record
May 19, 2007 - U.S. Forces Seize 6 Linked to Armor-Piercing Bombs
Since most Americans rarely read past the headlines, I used key words to tally the number of news stories devoted to agents of death and mayhem in Iraq vs. stories about more responsible parties.
Here's the score: 12 points for Suicide Bombers, Gunmen, Bombs, Killing, Imperiled Troops, and Deaths; 3 points for U.S. domestic politics over the emergency spending bill, and (Maestro, can I have a drum roll please…) 1 point for “Model Districts” in Baghdad (although only for Shiites, mind you).
Granted, Iraq is on fire from Mosul to Basra, especially in parts of Baghdad and Diyala provinces, but that does not let the New York Times and news media off-the-hook. The U.S. media ought to be reporting on both the people who are part of the problem as well as the people and events who might be part of the solution.