And they say reporters have no agenda

A bomb went off in Tel Afar yesterday, but that’s not the news. From the SF Chronicle, which is reprinting a short article from the Washington Post, the lede and the first paragraph make sure we understand the real story:

2nd bombing in city Bush had touted as safe

A suicide car bomb slammed into an Iraqi army checkpoint Saturday and killed at least 14 people in Tal Afar, a northern city that President Bush has previously hailed as a symbol of security and normalcy in Iraq.

In case you didn’t get the point, three paragraphs down, the reporter, Amit Paley, spells it out:

Taken together, the attacks seemed to undercut the president’s assertion in March that residents of Tal Afar “can count on a basic level of safety and security, they can live together peacefully.”

Get it? It’s not about a bombing in Tal Afar. It’s all about Bush. Either he lied and the city was never safe. Or he was a credulous fool who stupidly thought the city was safe. Or the city was once actually safe, but through his incompetence it is no longer safe.

Now that we’ve hammered the editorial message home, we actually get some interesting information:

The U.S. military also announced that an American soldier was killed Friday by enemy action near the city of Bayji, north of Baghdad. (I’m dreadfully sorry for that soldier, but I must point out that the American fatalities are small, which in itself is significant. America is doing a good job of protecting Americans.)

In addition, Iraqi authorities on Saturday found 51 bodies, many of them bound and showing signs of torture, in western and eastern Baghdad, the New York Times reported. (Wait! You mean that the bad guys are hideously killing fellow Muslims? My gosh! Someone needs to put together a violent, hysterical rally against that kind of thing. You know, the kind of violent, hysterical rally you see everytime someone forgets his Dhimmitude and draws a cartoon; or mentions that he finds it disconcerting that, when talking to female constituents, he can’t see their faces; or mentions some of Mohammad’s less savory, but very well known practices, such as pedophilia and genocide — practices the Muslims often celebrate, and frequently emulate, amongst themselves.)

In Kirkuk, a volatile mixed city in the north, Iraqi and U.S.-led forces began a major security operation, dubbed “the key to peace,” to root out members of al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups. Authorities imposed a 6 p.m. curfew and announced the detention of 155 suspected insurgents. (Horrors, from an MSM viewpoint!  We must hide deep within an article the fact that the U.S. Army is moving actively and successfully against some of the worst people preying on the peaceable citizens in Iraq.  We better hide it well, because some people might even connect these “rooted out members” with the people who tortured and murdered the 51 dead in the above paragraph. Remember the first MSM rule:  never put that type of stuff up front, because it might reflect favorably on George Bush and the U.S. Military, and Goddess forbid we do that!)

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad met in Baghdad with more than 100 tribal leaders from volatile Anbar province, who have formed a group, known as the Anbar Salvation Council, to fight al Qaeda and insurgent groups. The tribal leaders have asked al-Maliki to sack the provincial government and replace it with their new council, but a government spokesman said such a decision would have to be made by the people of Anbar.”If the people of Anbar do decide that they want to have this change,” said the spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, “then the government does not object.” (Again, when you realize that this interesting fact — normally disparate groups of Iraqis are joining together to fight the terrorists — should have led a story, please repeat the first MSM rule:  never write anything that reflects too well on George Bush & Co.)