This report is false?

Byline: | Category: Iraq | Posted at: Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Michael Yon says that this report from Iraq by Timothy Phelps is bogus. Who to believe? Well, you decide.

Michael Yon returned to Iraq last month for another journalistic tour. Timothy Phelps wrote his report from Washington.

Timothy Phelps says that Basra is in near total chaos. Michael Yon says, “Basra is not in chaos. In fact, crime and violence are way down and there has not been a British combat death in over a month.”

Timothy Phelps bases his report on “wire reports.” He appears to have last been to Basra in August of 2005. In fact, a significant amount of Phelps’ reporting about Iraq is datelined “Washington,” and is “supplemented with wire reports.” Michael Yon was in Basra as recently as this summer.

Timothy Phelps buttresses his assessment with the opinions of Senator Chuck Hagel, whose own opinions are based on two instances of “I was told”. Michael Yon bases his opinions on “I saw.”

I don’t know which of the two reports about Basra is accurate, but what does appear to be the case is that only one of the two reporters has the ability to balance “I was told” with “I saw.”

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9 Responses to “This report is false?”

  1. University Update - Iraq - This report is false? Says:

    [...] House This report is false? » This Summary is from an article posted at on Tuesday, October 09, 2007 Michael [...]

  2. Parker Says:

    Michael Yon has been in Basra over the past three weeks.

  3. University Update - Chuck Hagel - This report is false? Says:

    [...] Clark This report is false? » This Summary is from an article posted at on Tuesday, October 09, 2007 Michael [...]

  4. John Says:

    >>> “Timothy Phelps wrote his report from Washington.”

    I don’t understand why they don’t simply report that Phelps is stationed in Basra and witnessing this with his own eyes.

    They lie about everything else, why so coy with this? Then it would make it seem like it was true.

    They could even have Reuters doctor up some photos for extra authenticity. Or perhaps have Dan Rather forge some documents verifying thousands of dead and wounded civilians as a result of the unchecked chaos.

    This Phelps character is just phoning it in. He should go take some lessons in how to falsify *real* news from those experts over at The New Republic.

  5. TallDave Says:

    I was told the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot are in Basra.

    Also, Mothra is reportedly fighting Rodan at Kerbala. Godzilla could not be reached for comment.

  6. Brian H Says:

    Violence is not the whole story. A quiet city under the control of JAM or BADR would be a disaster of a different sort.

  7. William Says:

    Today, former commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ricardo Sanchez said:
    “There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve ‘victory’ in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremis.”

    Without mentioning President George W. Bush by name, he called the president’s troop-escalation “surge” strategy a “desperate attempt by an administration that has not accepted the political and economic realities of this war.”

    “There is no question America is living a nightmare with no end in sight,” he said.

    Sanchez commanded the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq from June 2003 until July 2004 as the anti-U.S. insurgency took hold.

    He aimed his sharpest attacks at the White House National Security Council, headed during his Iraq tenure by now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “Our National Security Council has been a catastrophic failure.”

    The Bush and GOP legacy.

  8. bob Says:

    I don’t know Gen. Sanchez, but could it be possible that the commander of forces during the period in time when the war wasn’t going as well as it apparently is now might be tasting sour grapes?

  9. bob Says:

    Also, Captain Ed reports that William tells only half the story:

    “It seems that half of the message retired General Richard Sanchez intended to deliver missed the cut at most newsrooms, and with most bloggers. . . . Why? Well, it turns out that Sanchez considered his first target the media itself, which he blames for a large part of the problems he sees in Iraq . . . . Given that, it seems highly ironic that the journalists covering the story attempted to cover up the acidic, biting, and mostly accurate criticisms of their own performance in this war while giving front-page treatment to Sanchez’ criticisms of the political structure at the same time. If Sanchez has such credibility and standing to bring this kind of criticism to bear on Washington, why didn’t the Post and other news agencies give the same level of exposure to his media criticisms as well? He basically accuses them of cynically selling out the soldiers to defeat American efforts to win the war, and made sure that those accusations came first before his assessment of the political failures, but you’d never know that from the Post.”

    More here.