OxBlog

Sunday, October 26, 2003

# Posted 6:54 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

CHICKEN HAWK UNDER FIRE: Whatever your opinion of Paul Wolfowitz, you can't say that he's afraid to put his life on the line for policies that he believes in. As the WaPo points out,
The attack [on the al-Rashid] demonstrated how resistance fighters are increasingly using explosive projectiles -- rockets and mortars -- to pierce supposedly secure American facilities. On Friday, two soldiers were killed and four were wounded in a mortar strike a military base north of Baghdad. Thirteen soldiers were wounded in another mortar attack on Thursday night.
So is this bad news? Well, it certainly isn't good news. But the WaPo's correspondents think that we have to keep things in perspective:
The attacks marred a day when two events brought life in Baghdad closer to normal: the reopening of a major bridge across the Tigris River and the lifting of the nighttime curfew clamped on the capital since U.S. forces toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
The NYT article on the attack also mentioned the reopening of the bridge and the lifting of the curfew, but preserved its correspondents' sense of detachment and objectivity by having an American general describe those events' significance. For those in a charitable frame of mind, the NYT correspondents' professionalism is something to be admired. Those of a more cynical cast might suggest, however, that NYT correspondents maintain an admirable commitment to professional norms precisely when doing favors their interpretation of events on the ground.
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