June 18, 2007

Can Anybody Remember As Far Back As January?


Why does Gen. David Petraeus (visually) supersede the head-down Secretary of Defense in this shot from Iraq on Saturday?  Maybe, because that’s the story.

If Gates says progress is “lagging,” what the hell does he know?  Rather, the image perfectly captures  the Administration spin.  Petraeus, the leader and latest TV star of Gulf War Restart XIV, somehow sees beyond the weeds to a victorious — or, at least, viable — U.S. (9 or 10 year) future in Iraq.

Not that this was the clear-cut choice for today’s image, however.  With Petraeus in mind, I was actually tempted to go with a shot from yesterday’s nytimes.com-leading article on the U.S./Iraqi “Big Offensive” north and south of Baghdad.  Surveying the little group of detainees in Baqouba, I particularly liked how the suspects were only presumed to be al Qaeda.  But even more revealing about the shot, I thought, was how the press is being lured into a misdirection play.  Can anybody remember as far back as January, when the Administration staked its absolute “last chance” on securing Baghdad?

Funny how Bush/Petraus snaps its fingers, and suddenly, attention turns to the provinces.

(And then, what about that “stunning turn around in Anbar” General “Feel Good” has been crowing about?  Abuaardvark explains how alliances in the area with “enemies of our enemies” can only be short-lived.)

(image: Andrew Gray/Reuters.  Baghdad, June 16, 2007. Via YahooNews.  caption:  U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (C) walks with Army General David Petraeus (R), the top U.S. commander in Iraq, during a visit to a joint security station in Baghdad, June 16, 2007. U.S. troops, Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police operate from the station.)

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Michael Shaw
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