Posts Tagged ‘ middle east ’

Obama Iraq tour produced and released by the Pentagon

If you read New York Times article, “For Obama, a First Step Is Not a Misstep,” you’d assume the two reporters were witnesses to Obama’s meetings in Iraq. However, if you check out the gripes from reporters in Politico’s 24/7 Playbook, you’d find out that reporters didn’t accompany Obama and that the PENTAGON is taking and dispersing the photos:

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” from Baghdad, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell objects to the “message management” that resulted in three days of images of Senator Obama that were almost entirely – except for a lone Iraq interview with Terry Moran – produced and released by the Pentagon.

Andrea Mitchell, re Obama: “He didn’t have reporters with him. He didn’t have a press pool. He didn’t do a press conference while he was on the ground in either Afghanistan or Iraq. … You’re seeing selected pictures taken by the military … So, there’s a real press issue here. Politically, it’s smart as can be. But we have not seen a presidential candidate do this, in my recollection, ever before.

“I have great respect for the military, of what they do best, which is to fight war, keep the peace, do all sorts of economic and civil reconstruction here in Iraq. I don’t think journalism is the prime thing that we recruit them and pay them for.

Maliki endorses Obama’s plan for withdrawal from Iraq

Today, Der Spiegel reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has endorsed a 16-month timetable for the United States to withdraw from Iraq:

maliki.jpgIn an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.

U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.” […]

Asked if he supported Obama’s ideas more than those of John McCain, Republican presidential hopeful, Maliki said he did not want to recommend who people should vote for.

Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality. Artificially extending the stay of U.S. troops would cause problems. […]

“The Americans have found it difficult to agree on a concrete timetable for the exit because it seems like an admission of defeat to them. But it isn’t,” Maliki told Der Spiegel.

Not only is the plan now accepted by Iraqis, but as a Center for American Progress report explains, it is also logistically workable — despite what reporters such as ABC’s Martha Raddatz have suggested. Maliki’s comments come as Obama begins his trip in the Middle East, which will include Iraq. Full interview with Maliki here. (HT: Democracy Arsenal)

Gen. David Petraeus New Chief of U.S. Central Command

David Petraeus to become the top commander in the Middle East.

VLOGZ TV | JUN.26.2008

(WASHINGTON) — The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Thursday to promote Gen. David Petraeus to become the top commander in the Middle East.

Senators on the panel also agreed by voice vote that Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno should receive a fourth star and replace Petraeus as chief commander in Iraq.

The committee action paves the way for a favorable vote on the nominations by the Senate.

Petraeus would replace Navy Adm. William J. Fallon as chief of U.S. Central Command. Fallon resigned last month following news reports that he was at odds with the White House over Iran policy.