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The 2,310th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
10:25am EST, Tuesday November 21, 2006 (Vol. Eleven; No. 197)

 
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1. Olbermann: Bush's 'Avoidance of Reality' Will Kill More Americans
On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" segment to attack President Bush's recent contention, in response to a question about what lessons could be learned from the Vietnam War that "the task in Iraq is going to take a while" and that "we'll succeed unless we quit." The Countdown host started off by charging that President Bush, "who permitted the 'Swift-Boating' of not one but two American heroes of that war," exhibits an "avoidance of reality" that "is going to wind up killing more Americans." He also dismissed the Cold War-era domino theory, as well as Bush's linkage of Iraq to the war on terrorism, as "nonsense," and claimed that Vietnam is now prosperous because America pulled out: "The war machine of 1968 had this 'domino theory.' Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as 'the central front in the war on terror.'" Olbermann further contended that one lesson Bush should have learned from Vietnam is that "if you lie us into a war, your war and your presidency will be consigned to the scrap heap of history." AUDIO&VIDEO

2. Nets Sanitize Out Calls to Kill Bush in Anti-American Protests
The network morning shows on Monday noticed Indonesian Muslims protesting President Bush, but sadly, once again, they tended to sanitize out the extremists. In this case, protest leaders called for the execution of Bush, but the networks mostly offered Americans quotes from protesters saying they loved America, just hated the President. They left out what Agence France-Presse reported: a protest leader declared through a loudspeaker: "Kill him, kill him...the blood of George Bush is halal," meaning it was not a sin under Islam to kill him. "Not only is it halal, it is obligatory to kill him." The networks seem to want the American audience to bite on the Democratic line that conservative policies make us unpopular around the world, when people would be much more agreeable under the sorry-we-didn't-mean-to-be-a-superpower poses of a Gore, Kerry, or Hillary Clinton. Showing protesters who want to execute our President tend to ruin the line of the day.

3. CNN's Schneider: GOP Should Mimic 'Liberal' Schwarzenegger
For the second time in less than two weeks, CNN's Bill Schneider has advised the Republican Party that the path to success lies in moving to the left. During the Friday edition of The Situation Room, analyst Bill Schneider informed the GOP that the way for them to recover from midterm losses is to imitate Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and embrace liberal policies: "What do Republicans do now? To paraphrase some famous advice: 'Go west old party,' and follow the example of one Republican who had a very good year. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor. In three years as governor, he has played three different roles. Call it the three faces of Arnold. He started out as a moderate in 2004, campaigning side-by-side with Democrats to rescue the state budget....Then he moved to the right, picking fights with the Democratic legislature and public employee unions....He called a special election to force a showdown with his opponents. He lost. He got the message....This year, Californians saw Arnold's third face. He's become, sort of, a liberal."

4. Army Corps Boss: Iraq Infrastructure Progress 'Maligned by Media'
In his "Grapevine"segment on Monday night, FNC's Brit Hume picked up on how the Pentagon executive who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers lashed out at the news media, charging that on infrastructure progress made in Iraq "it's quite a heroic story maligned often by the news media." Hume relayed how "Dean Popps tells the Washington Times that when the Army Corps of Engineers arrived in Iraq, none of Baghdad's three sewage treatments worked, few towns had clean water, the 1950's era electrical system was falling part, and there were no primary health care facilities." But now, "Popps says three years later the sewage system capacity increases by almost half a million cubic meters a day, power and water are much more widely accessible, and there are six new primary care facilities in the country with 66 more being built." Yet, "Popps says reporters are often brought to some of the sites where this is happening, but he says positive stories rarely materialize."


 

Olbermann: Bush's 'Avoidance of Reality'
Will Kill More Americans

     On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" segment to attack President Bush's recent contention, in response to a question about what lessons could be learned from the Vietnam War that "the task in Iraq is going to take a while" and that "we'll succeed unless we quit."

 


| |
More See & Hear the Bias

      He also dismissed the Cold War-era domino theory, as well as Bush's linkage of Iraq to the war on terrorism, as "nonsense," and claimed that Vietnam is now prosperous because America pulled out: "The war machine of 1968 had this 'domino theory.' Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as 'the central front in the war on terror.'"

     More Olbermann: "That stable, burgeoning, vivid country you just saw there is there because we finally had the good sense to declare victory and get out! The domino theory was nonsense, sir. Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one. Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world." Olbermann further contended that one lesson Bush should have learned from Vietnam is that "if you lie us into a war, your war and your presidency will be consigned to the scrap heap of history."

     [This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted with video Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]

     MSNBC's posted transcript with MSN video: www.msnbc.msn.com

     Below is a complete transcript, corrected against what he actually said on the air, of Olbermann's six-minute long "Special Comment" segment from the November 20 Countdown:

     "And now, as promised, a 'Special Comment' about the President's visit to Vietnam. It is a shame and it is embarrassing to us all when President Bush travels 8,000 miles only to wind up avoiding reality again. And it is pathetic to listen to the leader of the free world talk so unrealistically about Vietnam when it was he who permitted the 'Swift-Boating' of not one but two American heroes of that war, in consecutive presidential campaigns. But most importantly, important beyond measure, his avoidance of reality is going to wind up killing more Americans. And that is indefensible and fatal.
     "Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were, and he immediately proved that he had no clue what they were. 'One lesson is,' he said, 'that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while.' 'We'll succeed,' the President concluded, 'unless we quit.' If that's the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he needs a tutor. Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.
     "Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central lessons to be derived from our nightmare in Vietnam, but 'we'll succeed unless we quit' is not one of them. The primary one, which should be as obvious to you as the latest opinion poll showing that only 31 percent of this country agrees with your tragic Iraq policy, is that if you try to pursue a war for which the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished. Ask Lyndon Johnson.
     "The second most important lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: If you don't have a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter. Ask South Vietnam's President Diem or President Thieu.
     "The third vital lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: Don't pretend it's something it's not. For decades we were warned that if we didn't stop 'communist aggression' in Vietnam, communist agitators would infiltrate and devour the smaller nations of the world, and make their insidious way, stealthily, to our doorstep. The war machine of 1968 had this 'domino theory.' Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as 'the central front in the war on terror.'
     "The fourth pivotal lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: If the same idiots who told Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to stay there for the sake of 'peace with honor' are now telling you to stay in Iraq, they're probably just as wrong now as they were then -- Dr. Kissinger.
     "And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush, which somebody should have told you about long before you plunged this country into Iraq, is that if you lie us into a war, your war and your presidency will be consigned to the scrap heap of history.
     "Consider your fellow Texan, sir. After President Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon Johnson held the country together after a national tragedy, not unlike you tried to do. He had lofty goals, he tried to reshape society for the better, and he is remembered for Vietnam, and for the lies he and his government told to get us there and keep us there, and for the Americans who needlessly died there. As you, Mr. Bush, will be remembered for Iraq, and for the lies you and your government told to get us there and keep us there, and for the Americans who have needlessly died there and who will needlessly die there tomorrow.
     "This President has his fictitious Iraqi WMD and his lies, disguised as subtle hints, linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and his reason-of-the-week for keeping us there when all the evidence has, for at least three years, told us we needed to get as many of our kids out as quickly as we could. That President had his fictitious attacks on Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, and the next thing any of us knew, the Senate had voted 88-2 to approve the blank check with which Lyndon Johnson paid for our trip into hell. And yet President Bush just saw the grim reminders of that trip into hell: of the 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed, of the 10,000 civilians there who have been blown up by landmines since we pulled out, of the genocide in the neighboring country of Cambodia which we triggered. Yet these parallels, and these lessons, eluded President Bush entirely. And, in particular, the one overarching lesson about Iraq that should have been written everywhere he looked in Vietnam went unseen.
     "'We'll succeed unless we quit'? Mr. Bush, we did quit in Vietnam -- a decade later than we should have, 58,000 dead later than we should have, but we finally came to our senses. That stable, burgeoning, vivid country you just saw there is there because we finally had the good sense to declare victory and get out! The domino theory was nonsense, sir. Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one. Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world. And most importantly, as President Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State, Lawrence Korb, said on this newscast on Friday, we were only in a position to win the Cold War because we quit in Vietnam. We went home. And instead it was the Russians who learned nothing from Vietnam, and who repeated every one of our mistakes when they went into Afghanistan and alienated their own people and killed their own children, and bankrupted their own economy and allowed us to win the Cold War.
     "We awakened so late, but we did awaken. Finally, in Vietnam, we learned the lesson. We stopped endlessly squandering lives and treasure and the focus of a nation on an impossible and an irrelevant dream, but you are still doing exactly that, tonight, in Iraq. And these lessons from Vietnam, Mr. Bush, these priceless, transparent lessons, written large as if across the very sky, are still a mystery to you.
     "'We'll succeed unless we quit.' No, sir. We will succeed against terrorism, for our country's needs, towards binding up the nation's wounds when you quit, quit the monumental lie that is our presence in Iraq. And in the interim, Mr. Bush, an American kid will be killed there, probably tonight, or if we are lucky, not until tomorrow. And here, sir, endeth the lesson. We will continue with the O.J. Simpson story and Michael Richards' apology after this."

 

Nets Sanitize Out Calls to Kill Bush
in Anti-American Protests

     The network morning shows on Monday noticed Indonesian Muslims protesting President Bush, but sadly, once again, they tended to sanitize out the extremists. In this case, protest leaders called for the execution of Bush, but the networks mostly offered Americans quotes from protesters saying they loved America, just hated the President. They left out what Agence France-Presse reported: a protest leader declared through a loudspeaker: "Kill him, kill him...the blood of George Bush is halal," meaning it was not a sin under Islam to kill him. "Not only is it halal, it is obligatory to kill him."

     [This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The networks seem to want the American audience to bite on the Democratic line that conservative policies make us unpopular around the world, when people would be much more agreeable under the sorry-we-didn't-mean-to-be-a-superpower poses of a Gore, Kerry, or Hillary Clinton. Showing protesters who want to execute our President tend to ruin the line of the day. On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer led the show with a plug for their "Hello, Go Home" segment on Bush's visit. MRC's Justin McCarthy found reporter Kelly O'Donnell's selected protesters who stressed their love for America, and their hatred for Bush:
     Unidentified Man: "We love America but we hate Bush."
     O'Donnell: "Protestors reveled in mocking President Bush. Signs flashed harsh and angry words. Many upset by the Iraq War accused him of humiliating Muslims."
     Unidentified Man #2, speaking into microphone: "We, the Indonesian people, love American people. We highly appreciate their friendship, but we don't like and we reject their foreign policies."

     A very similar soundbite represented the protesters on The Early Show on CBS, according to MRC's Mike Rule:
     Bill Plante: "And when he got here to Indonesia, he got a warm official welcome but considerable hostility in the streets. Angry demonstrators in Jakarta Sunday denounced the U.S. invasion of Iraq and American policy in the Middle East."
     Indonesian Protestor: "We love Americans, but we hate Bush."
     Plante: "More protests today as tight security surrounded the hill top town where Mr. Bush is meeting with Indonesia's president, a key ally in the war on terror. But, this is also the world's most populous Muslim nation and the president and U.S. policy are deeply unpopular here."

     On CNN's American Morning, the MRC's Scott Whitlock found, reporter Atika Shubert didn't quote a protester, but outlined their grievances as an expression of "Muslim solidarity," without any kill-Bush talk:
     "Hundreds of protesters, more than 1,000, tried to march towards the presidential palace to deliver a message to President Bush. They didn't get very far. Riot police were there to stop them about a mile away from here. What they said is they wanted to tell President Bush that he was not welcome in Indonesia for a variety of reasons: human rights abuses, they said in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. They also cited civilian deaths in Iraq. They also cited the issue of Palestine. All of these, they say, hurt the world's the Islamic community. And Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation. And this was certainly an expression of Muslim solidarity on their behalf and a clear message to President Bush."

     ABC's Good Morning America came the closest to capturing how overwrought the protesters were, as Jessica Yellin interviewed one who blamed Bush for killing 650,000 people:
     Yellin: "Even as President Bush touched down in Indonesia, thousands of enraged protesters called on their leaders to cancel the visit. The fear of violence is so high, the President is staying for just six hours. Why are you protesting today?"
     Unidentified male protester: "Because I know George W. Bush is a liar. He killed more than 650,000 peoples around the world."
     Yellin: "The town around the tightly secured presidential palace has been on lockdown for days. At this protest, just a few blocks from the meeting sight, they're calling the President a pig and a war criminal, all because of the war on terror. Protesters here think the U.S. is unfairly targeting Muslims around the world. The U.S. says al-Qaeda linked extremist groups operate in Indonesia and the man believed to be the nation's terrorist leader is being held at Guantanamo Bay. He's accused of coordinating the Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people."

     Agence-France Presse reported that some protesters in Indonesia stated that they wanted our President dead:
     "A storm of protests greeted the US president upon his arrival here, with thousands of people in the world's most populous Muslim nation expressing their anger at Bush's policies.
     "Leaders of the Alliance of United Muslim Mass Organisations, which groups scores of Islamic groups, called for Bush to be put to death and denounced him as a 'war criminal' and a 'terrorist' at a rally of some 2 000 people.
     "'Kill him, kill him,' said one protest leader through a loudspeaker, adding that 'The blood of George Bush is halal' -- meaning that it was not a sin under Islam to harm him."

     A second AFP dispatch added more detail: "During a mass rally in Jakarta on Sunday, the head of the militant Front for the Defender of Islam, Habib Rizieq, called on Muslims to kill Bush if they had the chance to do so.
     "'His blood is halal (permitted under Islam) to be shed. Not only is it halal, but it is obligatory to kill him,' Rizieq told thousands of cheering demonstrators."

 

CNN's Schneider: GOP Should Mimic 'Liberal'
Schwarzenegger

     For the second time in less than two weeks, CNN's Bill Schneider has advised the Republican Party that the path to success lies in moving to the left. During the Friday edition of The Situation Room, analyst Bill Schneider informed the GOP that the way for them to recover from midterm losses is to imitate Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and embrace liberal policies: "What do Republicans do now? To paraphrase some famous advice: 'Go west old party,' and follow the example of one Republican who had a very good year. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor. In three years as governor, he has played three different roles. Call it the three faces of Arnold. He started out as a moderate in 2004, campaigning side-by-side with Democrats to rescue the state budget....Then he moved to the right, picking fights with the Democratic legislature and public employee unions....He called a special election to force a showdown with his opponents. He lost. He got the message....This year, Californians saw Arnold's third face. He's become, sort of, a liberal."

     [This item is adopted from a Monday posting, by Scott Whitlock, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The November 10 CyberAlert recounted: Though conservatives blame Republican mid-term losses on the GOP Congress failing to adhere to conservative principles, on the November 9 Situation Room CNN analyst Bill Schneider proclaimed that Republicans were too conservative and must move left in order to recover: "Will Republicans move further to the right? Not if they got the message of the election. Republicans lost because they abandoned the center. Independents voted Democratic by the biggest margin ever recorded. The election also provides an alternative model of a Republican who moved to the center and thrived." Who is this shining example of moderation? Why, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. For more: www.mrc.org

     On Friday, Schneider contrasted Rick Santorum with Schwarzenegger:
     "Look what happened in two states on Election Day. In Pennsylvania, Senator Rick Santorum embraced a deeply conservative philosophy and never wavered. He went down. Santorum lost the center. Independents voted overwhelmingly for the Democrat. In California, Schwarzenegger carried independent voters handily. He reclaimed the center. Schwarzenegger did two things President Bush has never done. He flatly acknowledged his mistakes, and he changed course."

     So, the way for Republicans to win is to endorse, almost entirely, a Democratic agenda? Is this a case of confusing what you want with what you think? Schneider conveniently ignored overriding issues such as Iraq and the fact that a liberal Republican Senator such as Lincoln Chafee and Mike DeWine, a moderate GOP member, also went down to defeat.

     The CNN analyst ended his report with a swipe at President Bush and some clear-cut editorializing:
     "Schwarzenegger is now thriving. President Bush has already become a lame duck. In their leadership election today, House Republicans decisively rejected conservative insurgents. They seem to have made the same calculation as California Governor Schwarzenegger, moving to the right is no way to reclaim the center, Wolf."

     This may be stating the obvious, but perhaps CNN isn't the best place for Republicans to get advice on how to be successful.

     Interestingly, on election night 1994, when Republicans swept into power, Schneider found the overwhelmingly victory of conservatism as, yes, another call for the center:
     "The cynics would say this was a vote for gridlock, but I think it's easier to say, and the data points to the conclusion, that it was a vote for bipartisanship, for centrism." See: www.mrc.org

     A transcript of the segment, which aired at 4:23pm EST on November 17:

     Wolf Blitzer: "Welcome back to The Situation Room. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. No one has ever accused Arnold Schwarzenegger of being boring. On election day, the California governor proved he knows how to play to his audience and now his political survival instincts may give other defeated Republicans something to get excited about. Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider is in California. He is joining us now from L.A. What is the latest there with the governor, Bill?"

     Bill Schneider: "Well, you know, unlike most Republicans, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did very well this year and his success carries a message for his fellow Republicans. What do Republicans do now? To paraphrase some famous advice: €˜Go west old party, and follow the example of one Republican who had a very good year.' Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor. In three years as governor, he has played three different roles. Call it the three faces of Arnold. He started out as a moderate in 2004, campaigning side-by-side with Democrats to rescue the state budget."
     Schwarzenegger: "Up and down the state we are campaigning together. When have you seen that the last time?"
     Schneider: "Schwarzenegger won. Then he moved to the right, picking fights with the Democratic legislature and public employee unions."
     Schwarzenegger: "This is a battle of the special interest versus the children's interests."
     Schneider: "He called a special election to force a showdown with his opponents. He lost. He got the message."
     Schwarzenegger: "I should have also listened to my wife, who said, I mean, don't do this."
     Schneider: "This year, Californians saw Arnold's third face. He's become, sort of, a liberal. He shifted positions."
     Schwarzenegger: "When I ran for governor, I said that we could not afford an increase in the minimum wage, unless the economy bounced back. Well, the economy has bounced back."
     Schneider: "He signed the most far-reaching program in the country to combat global warming."
     Schwarzenegger: "This is only the beginning, because by 2050 we will reduce emissions by another 80 percent."
     Schneider: "Look what happened in two states on election day. In Pennsylvania, Senator Rick Santorum embraced a deeply conservative philosophy and never wavered. He went down. Santorum lost the center. Independents voted overwhelmingly for the Democrat. In California, Schwarzenegger carried independent voters handily. He reclaimed the center. Schwarzenegger did two things President Bush has never done. He flatly acknowledged his mistakes, and he changed course."
     Schwarzenegger: "I have absorbed my defeat and I have learned my lesson."
     Schneider: "Schwarzenegger is now thriving. President Bush has already become a lame duck. In their leadership election today, House Republicans decisively rejected conservative insurgents. They seem to have made the same calculation as California Governor Schwarzenegger, moving to the right is no way reclaim the center, Wolf."
     Blitzer: "Bill Schneider, thanks. Good report."

 

Army Corps Boss: Iraq Infrastructure
Progress 'Maligned by Media'

     In his "Grapevine"segment on Monday night, FNC's Brit Hume picked up on how the Pentagon executive who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers lashed out at the news media, charging that on infrastructure progress made in Iraq "it's quite a heroic story maligned often by the news media." Hume relayed how "Dean Popps tells the Washington Times that when the Army Corps of Engineers arrived in Iraq, none of Baghdad's three sewage treatments worked, few towns had clean water, the 1950's era electrical system was falling part, and there were no primary health care facilities." But now, "Popps says three years later the sewage system capacity increases by almost half a million cubic meters a day, power and water are much more widely accessible, and there are six new primary care facilities in the country with 66 more being built." Yet, "Popps says reporters are often brought to some of the sites where this is happening, but he says positive stories rarely materialize."

     [This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
     Hume's item quoted from a Monday Washington Times story, "Rebuilding in Iraq tops 4,000 projects," by Rowan Scarborough who quoted Popps, the Principal Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology. An excerpt:

Not counting the deteriorating security situation, no facet of the Iraq war has received more negative press than the U.S.- and Iraqi-financed reconstruction. The Washington Times, along with other newspapers, has published a series of articles on setbacks and corruption. But, the Pentagon contends there is another storyline.

"It's quite a heroic story maligned often by the news media," Mr. Popps said during an interview in his E-Ring Pentagon office. A nearby multicolored map designates hundreds of projects started and completed, from Mosul to Basra....

Mr. Popps said it is first important to understand what the rebuilding team inherited. U.S. intelligence knew little about the actual state of Iraq's energy infrastructure and social service network. When the Army Corps of Engineers got on the ground, there was shock:

- The three regional sewage treatments plants in greater Baghdad did not work; raw waste poured into the Tigris River and downstream through villages. Sadr City, the impoverished Shi'ite slum repressed by the ruling Sunni Ba'ath Party, lacked any sewage system. "Some slam the Americans because there is sewage in Sadr City," said an incredulous Mr. Popps. "Please."

- Few towns had a central supply of clean water.

- The electrical grid suffered under 1950s technology and disrepair. Saddam Hussein starved the rest of the country of power to give the capital of 6 million about 20 hours a day.

- The country lacked any primary health care facilities; hospitals and schools were run down and lacked supplies. New hospitals had not been built in 20 years. More than half the public health centers remained closed. Of 13,000 schools, more than 10,000 needed significant renovations.

The Pentagon in 2003 summoned American firms to get reconstruction started in the absence of Iraqi ministries that could supervise and a private sector that was in shambles under Saddam's totalitarian rule.

"The ministries were jammed with people who did nothing," Mr. Popps said. "They sat around and smoked and drank tea and held 'worry beads.' It was an economy based on incompetence and corruption."

Today, the Pentagon is handing out a score sheet:

- Six new primary care facilities, with 66 more under construction; 11 hospitals renovated; more than 800 schools fixed up; more than 300 police stations and facilities and 248 border control forts.

- Added 407,000 cubic meters per day of water treatment; a new sewage-treatment system for Basra; work on Baghdad's three plants continues; oil production exceeds the 2002 level of 2 million barrels a day by 500,000.

- The Ministry of Electricity now sends power to Baghdad for four to eight hours a day, and 10 to 12 for the rest of the country. Iraqis are now free to buy consumer items such as generators, which provide some homes with power around-the-clock.

Mr. Popps said all this was accomplished despite a concerted effort by terrorists to bomb construction sites and kill workers. Thursday's kidnapping of private contractors south of Baghdad illustrates the problem. The State Department was forced to increase spending on security, up to $5 billion of the $20 billion, or risk losing more projects to saboteurs.

The Army Corps has ferried reporters to what it considers successful sites in an effort to get a few positive stories on reconstruction. But rarely do any materialize, Mr. Popps said.

"What has hurt the public perception of reconstruction is incomplete leaks to the media that there is a problem with a particular project," he said. "What is sexy to reporters is a police station that has urine in the ceiling. That's what the press prefers to talk about rather than the great successes we have made."...

     END of Excerpt

     For the November 20 Washington Times article in full: www.washingtontimes.com

     Hume's item in full during the "Grapevine" segment on the November 20 Special Report with Brit Hume:
     "The Assistant Secretary of the Army says the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq is comparable to the post-World War II Marshall Plan and a quote, 'heroic story maligned often by the news media.' Dean Popps tells the Washington Times that when the Army Corps of Engineers arrived in Iraq, none of Baghdad's three sewage treatments worked, few towns had clean water, the 1950's era electrical system was falling part, and there were no primary health care facilities. Popps says three years later the sewage system capacity increases by almost half a million cubic meters a day, power and water are much more widely accessible, and there are six new primary care facilities in the country with 66 more being built. Popps says reporters are often brought to some of the sites where this is happening, but he says positive stories rarely materialize."

-- Brent Baker

 


 


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