Custom Search

Friday, August 24, 2007

The LA Times Story that wasn't: UPDATE Pace denies story

[MAJOR UPDATE] Pace denies the LA Times story and as you can see the LA Times story was so full of supposition, they said it yet they didn't.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace is labeling as "wrong" and "purely speculative" a report in the Los Angeles Times Friday that he is expected to recommend to President Bush that U.S. troop levels in Iraq next year should be cut by nearly half.

An earlier statement released by Pace in response to the report labeled the article as "purely speculative" but did not explicitly deny that a significant troop reduction was an option under consideration by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as they develop a strategic assessment on the way forward in Iraq. That led to news reports that the troop reduction was still open.

Pace's new statement adds that "I have not decided on or made any recommendations yet."

[End Update]

It is amusing to see this story from The LA Times showing that advice from General Pace "poses" a risk of a clash with proponents of the surge and is "expected" to suggest a troop reduction by April of 2008 and runs the "potential" to cause a rift with war supporters.

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to advise President Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, potentially creating a rift with top White House officials and other military commanders over the course of the war.

Administration and military officials say Marine Gen. Peter Pace is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military. This assessment could collide with one being prepared by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, calling for the U.S. to maintain higher troop levels for 2008 and beyond.

Why is it amusing?

Because it was in the LA Times paper itself that reported just 6 days ago that General Pestraeus himself was recommending a reduction of troops in areas of Iraq that are secured and that they believe the Iraqi security forces are able to keep secure.

Intent on demonstrating progress in Iraq, the top U.S. general there is expected by Bush administration officials to recommend removing American troops soon from several areas where commanders believe security has improved, possibly including Al Anbar province.

According to the officials, Gen. David H. Petraeus is expected to propose the partial pullback in his September status report to Congress, when both the war's critics and supporters plan to reassess its course. Administration officials who support the current troop levels hope Petraeus' recommendations will persuade Congress to reject pressure for a major U.S. withdrawal.

The expected recommendation would authorize U.S. commanders to withdraw troops from places that have become less violent and turn over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.

Even more amusing is the amount of liberal blogs that are jumping on this,"new" news, that isn't really new and ignoring the words "poses" potentially" "could" that shows the story to be just a basic, "what if" type story being reported and treated as fact.

I guess with all the Democratic politicians coming back from Iraq making statements about how the surge is progressing, the LA Times decided to throw the far left a bone and knew they wouldn't bother to see the bigger picture OR realize that this isn't new news at all.

One last thing, QandO points out and rightly so:

Note also that the article says Pace will offer this as a "private" advice and not in a formal report.

All in all, we all wait for General Petraeus to report to the President with his recommendations and while we are waiting, we will continue to see the media try to spin this and spin that, rarely mentioning actual facts, just quite a bit of supposition as this latest article just did.

(NOTE: Instead of leaving you with the advertisements I usually have at the bottom of each post, I will leave you with one of the videos from Freedoms Watch) [30 second video.]

Gold Star Mother