The Global War on News
Even by the usual standards of James Taranto, there's an especially stupid contribution on Opinion Journal's Best of the Web today. One of the many inside jokes that he pursues is mockery of the reality-based Reuters, and today it's the phrasing of their report on the killing of yet another non-top insurgent in Iraq:
"U.S. and Iraqi forces have shot dead the second-in-command of al Qaeda in Iraq, dealing what a U.S. commander called on Tuesday a serious blow to the militant group at the heart of Iraq's insurgency," Reuters "reports" from Baghdad ... Holy cow, Reuters has fallen for a hoax! Everyone knows that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism (or "militancy," as Reuters calls it)--zero, zip zilch. BUSH LIED!!!! when he said Iraq was connected to al Qaeda.
Geddit? Bush said in 2002 and early 2003 that there was a link between al Qaeda and Saddam, and now in 2005 some dude linked to al Qaeda in Iraq is dead, so Bush was right. At least two problems.
1. al Qaeda in Iraq is a name adopted by Abu Musab al Zarqawi's insurgent group long after the fall of Saddam
2. The distinction between insurgents operating under that name and the global al Qaeda group is observed not just by news agencies but by that noted traitor, General Richard Myers (or "Uncle Richard" as he is to Dubya's nominee to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service):
"They're going to have to go to the bench and find somebody that is probably less knowledgeable and less qualified," Myers said. "It's like fighting the al-Qaida network. It will have some impact, but over time they will replace people."
Just to spell it out -- Myers compared the killing of #2 in Iraq to fighting al Qaeda, he didn't say it was fighting al Qaeda. But maybe he gets all his news from Reuters.
UPDATE 28 SEP: This new VRC talking point, based on a name change of Zarqawi's group from last year, is now whizzing around; Cliff May in National Review's The Corner:
NEWS FLASH: AL-QAEDA “SEEN AS MAIN THREAT” IN IRAQ