02 March, 2008

Upside Down

I just can't resist...

Iran's Ahmadinejad visits Iraq, as told by the esteemed, reputable (according to the AF), New York Times [Update: Oops! It's the AP, as printed in the NYT. The principle still applies.]. Let's see what we learn, by paragraph:

1) Ahmadinejad said "America fueled violence in Iraq."

2) Ahmadinejad said Iran is not supporting/arming Shiite "militias."

3) Ahmadinejad had a press conference with U.S.-supported al-Maliki in the Green Zone, where he said, "The Iraqi people do not like the Americans."

4) After meeting with a Shiite leader, Ahmadinejad said there were no terrorists in Iraq until the Americans came

5) The NYT AP reporter opines that Ahmadinejad's visit is, "a dramatic illustration of one of the unintended consequences of the 2003 U.S. invasion."

6-8) The Kurdish leader (Talabani) greeted Ahmadinejad with pomp and warmth, and reported they discussed "economic, political, security and oil issues" and planned to sign agreements. Ahmadinejad responded in kind.

9-12) Ahmadinejad dashed across the Green Zone (which the NYT points out has been attacked by Iranian-supplied rockets) to speak to Maliki. General kindness and diplo-speak results.

13-14) Ahmadinejad is "very pleased with his visit to an Iraq not ruled by a dictator," and says, "A united Iraq, a sovereign Iraq and an advanced Iraq is to the benefit of all regional nations and the people of Iran."

15-16) NYT AP reporter contrasts the openness of Ahmadinejad's visit to Bush's unannounced, high-security visits. [draw your own conclusions]

17-20) Bush says he told Maliki to tell Ahmadinejad to "quit sending in sophisticated equipment that's killing our citizens," and the CJCS arrives Baghdad, unannounced. Spokesmen and officials engage in mind-numbing diplo-speak.

Paragraphs 21-24, the final four of the article:

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Fallujah, the scene of two battles between U.S. troops and Sunni insurgents, and demonstrated for an hour against Ahmadinejad's visit.

"The chieftains of Fallujah condemn the visit of Ahmadinejad to Baghdad," one of their banners read. Another 50 people demonstrated against the visit in northern Kirkuk, and tribal chieftains in the country's Shiite-dominated southern region signed a petition against the visit.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, one of Iraq's most influential Sunni politicians, called for restraint. He said the visit indicated the strong Iranian influence in Iraq but hoped it would decrease tension between the two countries.

''We call upon the United States and Iran not to make Iraq a field for their struggle,'' he said.

Take a look again at contents of the first paragraph of the article. What do you think it would contain if it was about President Bush visiting a country where citizens of two sects of the three major sects protested his arrival and local leaders of the third major sect signed petitions denouncing him?

I know, I know: fish... barrel... weapon... No assembly required.