Reuters gets dizzy over the Iraqi vote
Reuters is spinning so much here, I'm surprised it doesn't get vertigo.
This is the entire text of the article, which originally caught my eye because of its positive headline, "Iraq voters seen approving constitution":
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi voters have probably approved a new U.S.-backed constitution, overcoming fierce Sunni Arab opposition in a vote Washington hopes will boost its beleaguered strategy in Iraq, results showed on Sunday. Early counts from Saturday's referendum indicated the vote split as expected along largely communal lines, reflecting the bitter ethnic and religious tensions that have cost thousands of Iraqi lives since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
These two sentences show an economy of expression that is truly impressive, a remarkable ability to compress a large number of negative thoughts into a relatively small number of words. Check it out:
"U.S.-backed constitution"--Nothing about how hard the Iraqis worked to hammer out a compromise, or how this vote was widely seen even by Sunnis as a way for Iraqis to participate in the formation of their own government. No; just "U.S.-backed," as in "U.S. tools and puppets."
"fierce Sunni Arab opposition"--it will be interesting to see what the actual statistics are. Opposition has indeed been fierce by many Sunnis, to be sure, but when last I checked, the majority Sunni party was backing the constitutional compromise and telling its followers to vote "yes."
"Washington hopes will boost its beleaguered strategy in Iraq"--need I even bother to tackle this one?
"bitter ethnic and religious tensions that have cost thousands of Iraqi lives since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003."--All the Iraqi postwar deaths are chalked up to ethnic and religious differences rather than terrorist attempts to sabotage the Iraqi people's efforts at democracy. Yes, there's ethnic strife, to be sure. But Reuters hasn't a clue how much of the mayhem in Iraq is due to that factor, and how much to terrorists hoping to thwart the US and the Iraqi people as a whole. And of course, Saddam and the deaths he caused (and the ones he would have continued to cause which have now been prevented by that "U.S.-led invasion") are nowhere to be seen. As far as Reuters is concerned, the U.S.seems to have invaded Michael Moore's happy kite-flying land, and caused all the subsequent strife and destruction.
One would think that this referendum news would be cause for celebration. I, for one, plan to savor and enjoy it if the constitution is indeed passed. Would that Reuters could spare a moment to do the same. Or are they suffering from the same sort of depression as the NY Times?