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MSM Acknowledges: The Surge is Backsliding!

Here’s the Los Angeles Times’s surprising lede to its pre-Petraeus testimony coverage:

When Gen. David H. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker brief Congress this week, they will be hard-pressed to depict Iraq as moving toward stability in the wake of recent violence that sent deaths soaring to their highest level in seven months.

I’m tempted to write “Translation: if they spin us, we won’t buy it.” But is that really true? Can the press actually resist the spectacle of what will unfold on Tuesday and Wednesday? The Los Angeles Times suggests that it is:

“Having taken a commendable position that they are not going to accept this kind of presence, they will then have to make good on it, whether it’s through removal of heavy weapons or through the other necessary steps to actually take full control of every area where militias are embedded,” [Amb. Ryan] Crocker said. “And I can’t predict when and how that will go. It will be crucial to the future of the country that it proceed.”

That’s not the only problem.

There also are signs that the group Al Qaeda in Iraq is working to regenerate itself. Car bombs and suicide bombings, the hallmarks of the Sunni Arab extremist group, have crept up since December, according to U.S. military figures.

Overall, last month’s 1,079 war-related deaths were the highest since August, when 1,860 people were killed. The sharp increase was due in large part to the Basra offensive and the ensuing battles, which Iraqi officials say killed more than 600 people.

Glory Hallelujah. Am I naive enough to believe that we’re in for some real journalism over the next week?

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