No “good news” in Ramadi. Bad news to blame.

Posted by admin
Jun 12 2006

Maybe the reason why right-wingers keep harping on lefty bloggers and the press is because the bad news is really not all that good.

Fear of Big Battle Panics Iraqi City (Los Angeles Times):

BAGHDAD — Fears of an imminent offensive by the U.S. troops massed around the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi intensified Saturday, with residents pouring out of the city to escape what they describe as a mounting humanitarian crisis.

The image pieced together from interviews with tribal leaders and fleeing families in recent weeks is one of a desperate population of 400,000 people trapped in the crossfire between insurgents and U.S. forces. Food and medical supplies are running low, prices for gas have soared because of shortages and municipal services have ground to a stop.

U.S. and Iraqi forces had cordoned off the city by Saturday, residents and Iraqi officials said. Airstrikes on several residential areas picked up, and troops took to the streets with loudspeakers to warn civilians of a fierce impending attack, Ramadi police Capt. Tahseen Dulaimi said.

U.S. military officials refused to confirm or deny reports that a Ramadi offensive was underway.

Thousands of families remain trapped in the city, those who have fled say. Many can’t afford to leave or lack transportation, whereas other families have decided to wait for their children to finish final examinations at school before escaping.

“The situation is catastrophic. No services, no electricity, no water,” said Sheik Fassal Gaood, the former governor of Al Anbar province, whose capital is Ramadi.

“People in Ramadi are caught between two plagues: the vicious, armed insurgents and the American and Iraqi troops.”

Residents have been particularly unnerved by the recent arrival of 1,500 U.S. troops sent to reinforce the forces already stationed at the city. Street battles between troops and insurgents have been raging for months, but the troops’ deployment left residents bracing for a mass offensive to take the town back from insurgents.

“It is becoming hell up there,” said Mohammed Fahdawi, a 42-year-old contractor who packed up his four children and fled to Baghdad two weeks ago. “It is unbelievable: The Americans seem to have brought all of their troops to Ramadi.”

The fearful city is haunted by memories of the battles that raged in nearby Fallouja in 2004. Determined to purge that city of insurgents, U.S. Marine and Army units lined up to the north and pushed south through the heart of Fallouja. They cleared one neighborhood after another in intense, constant street fighting. By the time the sweep was over, the town was largely destroyed.

Wow. There’s a lot of bad news here. To be Fox Fair and Balanced™ for a moment, where is all that good news and why isn’t the press reporting it? A city as large as Minneapolis or St. Louis teetering on the edge of disaster does not excuse reporters from going into Ramadi to tell ‘Muricans all about the opening of new schools and health clinics or the restoration of water and sewage services… which will probably… ummm… not survive… an American/Iraqi seige… ummm… yeah… never mind.

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