Sunday, April 13, 2008

Think Progress Wants Anything But in Iraq

Think Progress seems to get increasingly desperate with each new post smearing some war backer or another. This is after the editors have had to apologize for their own shoddy reporting.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Think Progress would take a few comments from some Iraqis and blow them completely out of proportion (via Memeorandum):
The Washington Post writes that “few Iraqis paid much attention” to the testimonies of Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker:

“The Americans have hundreds of meetings and testimonies like this, and what has it done for the Iraqi people? Nothing,” said Allah Sadiq, 49, a carpenter in the capital’s Karrada district. “So why do we care? We just want all the foreigners to leave and stop causing disasters for our country.”

I don’t even know who Petraeus and Crocker are,” said 31-year old shop owner Yasser Kadhoum al-Khafaji. “I think these sorts of things are more important for Americans than they are for Iraqis.” Most Iraqis interviewed “were more concerned about a day-long curfew” that shut down much of Baghdad. Among other grievances cited: “blocked sewage drains, militias attacking residents in the street, a dysfunctional government and frequent electricity outages.”

This is wholly uncontextualized reporting.

Sure, I imagine plenty of Iraqi citizens are ignorant of America's top commander and chief diplomat in the country.

But recent surveys of the Iraqi population have indicated dramatically improved public sentiment on the future of the country. See ABC News, "Security Gains Reverse Iraq's Spiral Though Serious Problems Remain":

Improved security and economic conditions have reversed Iraqis' spiral of despair, sharply improving hopes for the country's future. Yet deep problems remain in terms of security, living conditions, reconciliation and political progress alike.

Fifty-five percent of Iraqis say things in their own lives are going well, well up from 39 percent as recently as August. More, 62 percent, rate local security positively, up 19 points. And the number who expect conditions nationally to improve in the year ahead has doubled, to 46 percent in this new national poll by ABC News, the BBC, ARD German TV and the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

These are large majorities, although many folks in Iraq, statistically speaking, would be expected to say "We just want all the foreigners to leave and stop causing disasters for our country.”

Can we get another apology from non-progress folks at "Think Progress"?