August 29, 2007

Media Titling Dishonesty

Iraq Sunni Arabs say deal won't end boycott reads the headline from Reuters Canada talking about Sunday's encouraging wide ranging deals on de-baathification, oil revenue sharing, and releasing detainees. But that's not precisely what the Sunni parties said. Spokesman and parliamentarian Saleem al-Jubouri made it clear that Sunnis are merely waiting to ensure that the deal is real, that they won't rejoin the government for a false, paper agreement.

"We are not boycotting political dialogue, but this does not mean that we are returning to the government," he told Reuters.

"Yesterday's agreement covered a number of issues ... but we are waiting for action on the ground."

Political leaders in Iraq have announced broad agreements in the past but have struggled to implement them or hammer out details.

Jubouri said the most progress was made on the issue of rehabilitating Baath Party members, and good steps were also taken on setting up a way to free detainees, tens of thousands of whom are held in U.S. and Iraqi jails without charge.

The Iraqi political culture seems to be one of brinksmanship. If the deal does go through, the Sunnis will rejoin the government right around when the September report rating the success of the surge will be presented. If we are well prepared, we can absorb the rapid progress at the last minute and judge wisely how to proceed after September 15th. This type of misleading title does little to prepare the public regarding what is going on, and what might be going on fairly soon.

It's too soon to tell whether the deal agreed to on Sunday will be real. Like the sunni leadership we should be watching with interest and we need to demand our western news media give us the straight story.

Posted by TMLutas at August 29, 2007 01:31 PM