I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been very good at math, so can any of you smart people explain this equation to me?
34 = 18
According to the Associated Press article dated February 25, 2009
< President Barack Obama is expected to order all U.S. combat* troops to leave Iraq by August of next year>, but wait, that’s not all.
If you continue for a few paragraphs (no easy task, considering the tediousness of reading AP claptrap) you’ll learn that < The emerging plan now leaves Obama two months off his campaign pledge, and with between 30,000 and 50,000 troops still in Iraq to advise and train Iraqi security forces and to protect U.S. interests…. The complete withdrawal of American forces will take place by December 2011, the period by which the U.S. agreed with Iraq to remove all troops.>
So, exactly as agreed between President Bush and the Iraqi government last November, American troops are scheduled to stay in Iraq until the end of 2011, and that is the glorious fulfillment (cue Hallelujah Chorus) of Obama’s campaign promise? Mr. Orwell, call your office.
The rest of AP’s lead is priceless too: < President Barack Obama is expected to order all U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by August of next year, administration officials said, closing the door on a war that has led to the deaths of at least 4,250 members of the U.S. military.> What is it the theologians say? “a text without a context is a pretext.” Why not “closing the door on a war that has liberated 25 million Iraqis from tyranny, deposed a terrorism-supporting enemy of the United States, and established a pro-American democracy in the heart of the Arab Middle East.”
Moreover, in Journalism 101 future reporters are taught to ask, “What? When? Where? Who? Why? and How? But, when it comes to reporting on George W. Bush’s success – a.k.a. America’s success – in the Iraq War, AP Reporters have no curiosity about How the U.S. got in a position to be able to withdraw our troops from Iraq, when three years ago Barack Obama and the AP, among others, were calling the situation in Iraq “a Civil War,” and hopeless. An inconvenient fact that might also make the AP Reporters curious as to Why they were wrong and Bush was right.
*That's "all combat troops," you see. This level of nuance was strangely missing, however, every time AP (and the rest of the Tweedledum media) delivered (with evident relish) lines like, "...bringing to x,xxx the number of American Soldiers and Marines killed in since April 2003 when President Bush announced the end of major combat." Never mind that, in order to facilitate the influx of international relief to the Iraqi People from the U.N. and various pansy nations who would not set foot in Iraq while the U.S. offensive was underway, President Bush announced "the end of major combat operations." But, let's not confuse the issue with facts.