What’s Deteriorating?

The Associated Press reports on the capture of two weapons smugglers in Iraq, near the Iranian border:

U.S. troops on Sunday detained two suspected weapons smugglers who may be linked to Iran’s elite Quds force, the military said, as Washington presses allegations that Tehran is supporting violence in Iraq despite plans for new bilateral talks on the issue.
The suspects and a number of weapons were seized during a raid on a rural farm compound in eastern Iraq, near the Iranian border, according to a military statement.
“The suspects may be associated with a network of terrorists that have been smuggling explosively formed projectiles (EFPs), other weapons, personnel and money from Iran into Iraq,” the military said.

This news takes up only a small portion of the AP’s article, however. The report quickly transitions to the fact that the administration is now willing to hold bilateral talks on Iraq with Iran:

The announcement came days after Washington said it was ready to hold direct talks with Iran on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq amid U.S. allegations that Tehran is supporting violent Shiite militias in the country.

But wait! The security situation in Iraq is not “deteriorating,” it is improving, by any statistical measure. But the AP is committed to the view that the “surge” is already a failure, having been fully in place for about a month:

American commander Gen. David Petraeus must report to Congress on progress in Iraq by September 15, and the absence of legislative progress will cast a heavy cloud over any attempt to paint a positive picture as the war faces growing opposition in the U.S.
***
The infusion of about 30,000 more American forces, completed last month, was President Bush’s attempt to calm the capital and provide “breathing space” to pass the legislation. But so far nothing of consequence has reached the floor of the parliament and violence has persisted.

The AP will, of course, do whatever it can to make sure that “any attempt to paint a positive picture of the war” fails, whether that positive picture is accurate or not.
The AP wants readers to think that the U.S. is approaching Iran because the security situation in Iraq is deteriorating. In fact, it is not the situation on the ground that is worsening, it is the political climate in the U.S. And for that fact, the AP itself bears a great deal of responsibility.
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