Recall what General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told our country the other day on Meet Timmeh in the Flesh? It was something along the lines of a civil war in Iraq is just a big fat hyped up media lie:

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2006 – The Iraqi people responded to terrorist outrages by pulling back from the abyss of a civil war, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said on NBC’s Meet the Press [Sunday]. […]

. . . “No matter where you look – at their military, their police, their society – things are much better this year, than last,” he said.

He said the military must work harder to get the good news in Iraq out to the American people. The only images the American people see from Iraq entail attacks and explosions. “People don’t get a chance to see or hear about the good things that are happening,” he said.

Ah, yes. All the good news we keep missing. I wonder why that is? Why does news like this keep getting in the way of all those heartwarming stories Pace keeps talking about?

More on the flip side . . .

Deadly violence in Iraq escalates with abductions, mass executions

By John Ward Anderson
Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Gunmen wearing what appeared to be the uniforms of Iraqi Interior Ministry commandos stormed a private security company in the capital Wednesday afternoon and kidnapped as many as 50 employees, a ministry official said. In an atmosphere of spiraling lawlessness, other violence killed at least 47 people across the country between Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

In the deadliest incident, the bodies of 18 men, all bound at the wrists and blindfolded, were found piled in an abandoned minibus late Tuesday by a U.S. military patrol in Al-Mansur, a mixed neighborhood of Shiite and Sunni Arabs in western Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement Wednesday.

Baghdad police said 15 of the victims, including the driver, had been strangled and that three had been shot in the back of the head.

The killings and mass kidnapping were new illustrations of deteriorating security in many parts of Iraq, particularly the capital. Multiple slayings, often of people from the same family or religious sect, have become commonplace, their bodies discovered bound and gagged.

I don’t know about you, General Pace, but if lawless gangs were roaming the streets of New York City, kidnapping and murdering people at will, with many of the perpetrators wearing the uniforms of police or government law enforcement agencies, and if we kept seeing reports that electrical power and safe water to drink were at a premium there, I might be inclined to think that there are more important things to deal with than making sure the “good news” about New York didn’t get obscured by all this violence. I know I sure wouldn’t be talking about how New Yorkers had stared into the abyss and backed away from the chaos of civil war.

You see, General Pace, when people wake up every day wondering if it will be their last, or wondering which one of their loved ones might be killed that day, it sort of puts a damper on all the happy talk about “free and fair elections” and how the politicians are all working together to maintain calm, and blah, blah, blah. All the good news in the world can’t compensate for destroyed homes, dead bodies, sick kids and a gut wrenching constant fear that infests every single waking moment and most of one’s dreams. You need real security, not platitudes and empty promises. You need to see real reconstruction of critical infrastructure, not money being pissed away on trying to keep the construction workers safe from “terrorists.”

So, General Pace, care to retract your remarks?

I thought as much.

Update [2006-3-9 9:14:6 by Steven D]: Per the Washington Post today, the “bad news” we’ve been getting is actually worse than we’ve been told:

BAGHDAD, March 8 — Days after the bombing of a Shiite shrine unleashed a wave of retaliatory killings of Sunnis, the leading Shiite party in Iraq’s governing coalition directed the Health Ministry to stop tabulating execution-style shootings, according to a ministry official familiar with the recording of deaths.

The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared for his safety, said a representative of the Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, ordered that government hospitals and morgues catalogue deaths caused by bombings or clashes with insurgents, but not by execution-style shootings.

Wonder if General Pace knows about this little bit of disinformation? Whattaya think?

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