September 29, 2010
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Tom Kent, the Associated Press’s deputy managing editor for standards and production, explained it best in a memo to the journalists working for his internationally respected news organisation earlier this month:
“To begin with, combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials. The situation on the ground in Iraq is no different today than it has been for some months.
“As for US involvement, it also goes too far to say that the US part in the conflict in Iraq is over. President Obama said Monday night that ‘the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.’
“However, 50,000 American troops remain in country. Our own reporting on the ground confirms that some of these troops, especially some 4,500 special operations forces, continue to be directly engaged in military operations. These troops are accompanying Iraqi soldiers into battle with militant groups and may well fire and be fired on.
“In addition, although administration spokesmen say we are now at the tail end of American involvement and all troops will be gone by the end of 2011, there is no guarantee that this will be the case.”