CBS News anchor Katie Couric is currently reporting from Iraq . Today she spoke to Bob Schieffer on CBS's Face the Nation and largely reiterated Gen. Petraeus's talking points on Iraq.
She said that Petraeus believes there “really is a trend” of success on the security situation in Iraq and believes President Bush's escalation “needs to continue.” She also recounted “signs of life that seem to be normal” at a market she visited, but then conceded that the positive aspects of her report are based on “what the U.S. military wants” her to see:
Well, I was surprised, you know, after I went to eastern Baghdad, I was taken to the Allawi market, which is near Haifa, which was the scene of that very bloody gun battle back in January. And, you know, this market seems to be thriving. And there were a lot of people out and about. A lot of family-owned businesses and vegetable stalls.
And so, you do see signs of life that seem to be normal. Of course, that's what the U.S. military wants me to see, so you have to keep that in mind as well. But I think there are definitely areas where the situation is improving.
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), who recently returned from Iraq and spoke with ThinkProgress, also admitted that it’s “very, very easy to be influenced, from their [the military’s] point of view, that things are better.” “I will tell you that when you get in the Green Zone, there is a physiological phenomenon I think called Green Zone fog,” said Tauscher. “It’s death by powerpoint. … It’s always that their argument is winning.”
Nonpartisan government reports dispute the Bush administration’s rosy claims of success. A leaked draft of an upcoming Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis contradicts “the Bush administration’s conclusion in July that sectarian violence was decreasing as a result” of the surge. It concludes, “The average number of daily attacks against civilians remained about the same over the last six months; 25 in February versus 26 in July.
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