Michael Gordon has another virtual stenographic piece on the front page of the NY Times, in which he parrots the Bush/Cheney anti-Iran propaganda about Iran being the source for much of the weaponry and methods that kill American troops in Iraq. Gordon seems to be only slightly sobered by recent admonitions from his editors, concerning the quality of his journalism; here he admits that al Qaeda in Iraq is indigenous, but makes an unproven assertion about its leadership:
in recent weeks, the U.S. military has focused on mounting operations in sanctuaries used by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a Sunni group that is predominately made up of Iraqis but which has foreign leadership.
The headline, not written by Gordon, we can assume, uses the term “alleges.” And there is one “critics allege” but that is about as much objectivity as Gordon can muster. And he seriously “errs” with this:
Of the 69 U.S.-led troops killed in action in July, the lowest toll in months, 23 died as a result of attacks with the [explosively formed penetrators], according to data supplied by Odierno’s command. Of the 614 coalition troops who were wounded that month, 89 were hit in penetrator attacks.
Actually, there were 80 US fatalities in Iraq in July, which is by far the highest total in any July (a “slow month” because of the heat) since the war began. 8 other coalition soldiers were also killed, making the monthly total of 88. This is a higher total than January, February and March of this year.
Odierno, like Petraeus, has sacrificed his credibility by engaging in the US political scene:
“I think they [Iran]want to influence the decision potentially coming up in September,” he added.
Odierno (aided by Gordon, of course) is trying to make it seem like Iran is pretty much responsible for everything:
Odierno said that Iranians have also provided Shiite groups with 107 millimeter rockets and the launchers for firing them, as well as 122 millimeter mortars.
Gordon could stand to read this piece.