Baghdad-based correspondent Edward Wong is the ever-pessimistic reporter who was itching to declare Iraq in "civil war" over a year before the rest of the liberal media. Friday's "Attack on Sadr City Mayor Hinders Antimilitia Effort" was co-written by Wong and Damien Cave and contained this painfully obvious attempt to mask potential good news from the troop "surge" in Iraq, which may actually be having a positive effect on the ground in Baghdad.
"General Fil acknowledged that the American soldiers would be at greater risk, but said they would be ready to defend themselves. The heightened American street presence may already have contributed to an increase in the percentage of American deaths that occur in Baghdad.
"Over all, the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq from hostilities since Feb. 14, the start of the new Baghdad security plan, fell to 66, from 87 in the previous four weeks.
"But with more soldiers in the capital on patrol and in the neighborhood garrisons, a higher proportion of the American deaths have occurred in Baghdad - 36 percent after Feb. 14 compared with 24 percent in the previous four weeks. Also over the past four weeks, a higher proportion of military deaths from roadside bombs have occurred in Baghdad - 45 percent compared with 39 percent."
Journalist Mickey Kaus said sarcastically of the Times story: "U.S. military deaths in Iraq have apparently declined by about 20% since the 'surge' began. It would be a caricature of MSM behavior if the New York Times , instead of simply reporting this potentially good news, first constructed some bad news to swaddle it in, right?....There will probably be genuine bad military news to report from Baghdad soon enough. Does the NYT have to make some up before then?"