A New York Times Op-Ed deconstruction

A week ago I wrote about an article I’d read about progress being made in Iraq. There was a New York Times op-ed by a couple folks from the Brookings Institution around that same time, with similar conclusions, which I had not read. I did read the press generated from the White House, holding this NYT op-ed by alleged “war detractors,” as real evidence of progress in Iraq.

The argument made a certain amount of sense… after all, it seems apparent the editorial board of NYT doesn’t carry a lot of love for the POTUS and his middle east adventures.

I was perusing a blog this evening, and I happened upon a link to this article at Salon.com.

Here’s a couple of interesting tidbits pointed out by the article (based on an interview with the authors of the NYT op-ed piece in question):

1. Both authors of the NYT piece were proponents of the war at it’s inception, AND were proponents of the “surge.” They were not, as the White House suggested, “war critics” through and through.

2. The observations made by the authors in the NYT piece came from extremely brief, arranged, and wholly controlled tours and interviews arranged by the Department of Defense.

To be fair, I wouldn’t be up for a self-guided tour of Iraq… but then, I’m not holding myself out to be an unbiased observer of events there. It’s seems to me the DOD just might have an agenda where Iraq is concerned.

What’s more likely? The DOD takes the press around detailing all of their failures and missteps, showing just how terribly things are going (contrary to the message being put forth by their commander in chief)… or they put their best faces forward, knowing General Petraeus is due to give his progress report to Congress… in a bout a month?

After all the recent events in the news, is it unreasonable to assume that the message from the DOD is politically polished, if not scripted by the White House?

Give the gift of words.