Despite a broadly positive article yesterday on Iraqis reporting suspected terrorists to the security forces (I say broadly positive because it manages to sneer at "American occupiers"), the Associated Press has generally been consistently anti-American and pro-terrorist in Iraq. Today's article about the agreement of the Iraqi parliament to choose a Sunni speaker is more consistent in tone. It unfortunately fails to demonstrate much coherency though as it tries to point out totally unrelated bad news to go along with the good. After three of four paragraphs about the decision and a quote from the new speaker we get this:
Also Sunday, the U.S. military announced that a Marine was killed by an explosion while conducting combat operations a day earlier in the central city of Hadithah. As of Saturday, at least 1,533 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Some lawmakers in the assembly meeting called for the release of detainees in U.S. military prisons, one day after dozens of insurgents attacked the Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad with car bombs, gunfire, and rocket propelled grenades. An Internet statement purportedly made by al-Qaida's wing in Iraq claimed responsibility Sunday, but could not be independently verified.
before going back to:
The parliament's 275 members have struggled to form a new government since Jan. 30 elections.
Lawmakers had focused on picking a Sunni Arab for the post, in an effort to reach out to the minority dominant under Saddam Hussein. Sunni Arabs, believed to make up the backbone of the insurgency, have a disproportionately small number of seats in parliament because many boycotted the election or stayed home because they feared attacks at the polls. ...
Finally at the end we go back to Abu Ghraib with:
In western Baghdad, officials were investigating the attack at Abu Ghraib by dozens of insurgents who blew up car bombs and fired rocket propelled grenades late Saturday outside the prison. The 40-minute clash killed one insurgent and injured 44 U.S. forces and 13 prisoners, U.S. military officials said.
It was unclear if the clash was aimed at helping prisoners escape. The militants were unable to penetrate the prison's walls and no detainees were set free.
Some soldiers were evacuated with serious injuries, officials said, but many wounds were minor and treated at the scene.
Abu Ghraib was at the center of a prisoner abuse scandal that broke out in 2004 when pictures showing soldiers piling naked inmates in a pyramid and humiliating them sexually became public. The resulting scandal tarnished the military's image worldwide and sparked investigations of detainee abuses.
The United States is holding about 10,500 prisoners in Iraq, with 3,446 at Abu Ghraib.
I'd like to put this down to sloppy editing - and indeed I'm willing to grant sloppy editing as one problem with this article - but I think it is more than just an accident. There seems to be absolutely no reason to mention the death of the Marine in the middle of the discussion of parliamentary business unless you were worried that this bit of bad news would get buried too far down the page. Then there is the peculiar phrase: "As of Saturday, at least 1,533 members of the US military have died" - why put in the "at least"? there seems no reason unless you intend to insinuate that the US has suffered more casualties which are being concealed.
Finally the raid on Abu Ghraib allows us to be reminded that some Americans abused prisoners there in 2003/2004. Of course there is no mention of the thousands of prisoners abused there under Saddam Hussein.