A Tale of Two Baghdads (washingtonpost.com)
“Everybody likes us,” Spec. Stephen Harris, a 21-year-old from Lafayette, La., said as the patrol moved through streets drenched in sun. He thinks the people want the U.S. troops to stay. “Oh, yeah,” he said, taking a slug from his canteen. His assessment of the neighborhood: “I’d say 95 percent friendly.”
To Mohammed Abdullah, standing on the sidewalk as the 10-man patrol passed his gated house, their presence is, as he terms it, “despicable.”
Notice that the WaPo reporter doesn’t delve into Mohammed’s background. What is it? Former Ba’athist? Maybe one of the Saddam Fedayeen that “melted away”? The reporter either doesn’t know or doesn’t want to say.
Haumschild’s evaluation: “Maybe 10 percent are hostile. About 50 percent friendly. About 40 percent are indifferent.”
Residents gave different numbers — at best, 50-50, and at worst, a significant majority holding hostile views. Sentiments often broke down along the religious cleavages that mark Iraq.
Again the reporter is taking “residents” word for the break down while disparaging the soldiers opinion.
What “residents”? The former Ba’athists, Shiite fanatics or former Fedayeen? We don’t know. How were they contacted and by whom? We these people that volunteered this information or were they people that were easily available because they were at a demonstration near the journalists hotel?
There were no children around on 4th Street in Yarmuk, where sentiments were distinctly uneasy. Abdullah, standing with his neighbors, insisted he would fight the Americans. “They said they came to liberate us. Liberate us from what? They came and said they would free us. Free us from what?” he asked. “We have traditions, morals and customs. We are Arabs. We’re different from the West.”
Now We’re back with Mohammed again. He didn’t see anything wrong with Iraq under Saddam and is saying that he will fight the Americans. Kind of tells you where he is coming from doesn’t it? He appears to be a major part of the story though. What is the story? That Iraqis that supported Saddam are unhappy about the invasion and overthrow of their beloved leader? The average person’s reaction would be “duh”, but not our intrepid WaPo reporters.
‘They Love Us’
At 12:40, the patrol turned a corner a block from their temporary home. “I love it,” Harris said of Army life. “Something different every day.”
The men passed the two green Bradleys and stepped through the base’s concertina wire. A soldier greeted them with cold cans of strawberry and cola soda. They stripped off their helmets, flak jackets and the uniform jackets called “blouses” and set down their weapons. Some eagerly quizzed the reporters about what Iraqis along the route had said about them.
The lieutenant announced that after two hours, they would go back on patrol.
“They love us,” concluded Ratledge, the medic.
Ah yes, the obligatory “see how stupid these American soldiers are? They actually think they Iraqis like them” paragraph.
The reporters are much smarter than the soldiers. They know that the soldiers are hated and despised. After all the Iraqis can’t be happy with the Americans, the war was wrong and all the right people opposed it. It just shows what ignorant cretins serve in the military.