Sunday, September 18, 2005

"You'd think it's raining engine blocks..."

In case you missed it, Newsweek's Michael Hastings has a very nice on-the-ground report from Iraq about how tough it is to winnow the good news from all the bad. A brief excerpt:

'The jaunt was also intended to highlight Tikrit as a town where security was under control. But to get our little group of about a dozen people to the school required 13 armored Humvees and two helicopters—one of them an Apache attack craft—flying close air support. With three soldiers in each Humvee, that makes for about 39 troops, or roughly four soldiers for each “VIP.” Hundreds of Iraqi police lined the streets from the base to the school, both to show the visiting muckety-mucks their strength and to make sure we didn't get hit. Before leaving the compound, the hosting State Department official in Tikrit gave the mandatory warning: “If something bad happens, please stay in your vehicle. If something bad happens when you are not in your vehicle, please move quickly back to the vehicles. Please listen to your vehicle commanders, and they will do their best to keep you safe.”'

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