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U.S. Post Near Baghdad Attacked

An AP article relating the news about the coordinated attack on the U.S. base on Monday leads with the facts: insurgents attacked the combat post, killing two soldiers and wounding many more, and the attack is briefly described. In the third paragraph the reporter begins listing other attacks by militants that happened on the same day and over recent days.

The article uses several quotes that seem to be designed to reassure the reader of the rightness of the mission (the so-called surge to secure Baghdad), such as this one from the prime minister.: "These crimes confirm the defeat of these perpetrators and their failure in contronting our armed forces, which are determined to cleanse the dens of terrorism" and this one from a parliment member from al-Maliki's party: "The Baghdad security plan is very important to push Iraq ahead."

Interestingly though, when I went to find these quotes again on the page listed below, the article had changed beyond recognition. The article I printed yesterday was updated in the morning, but the one on the site now indicates it was updated last night. The article id numbers are identical. The morning edition of the article had no mention of al Qaeda, but the last update includes this accusation:

Mohammed al-Askari, spokesman for Iraq’s Defense Ministry, blamed the attack on a cell of al-Qaida in Iraq, which has claimed responsibility for many high-profile strikes.

“It’s their work,? he said.

A New York Times article about the attack didn't rely on quotes from government officials but paraphrased witness accounts, attributing with "witnesses said" several times. In the AP article quotes, the reader can make assumptions about the bias of the people who are quoted. The AP article reporter also fits the Iran-Iraq connection toward the end of the article: "Meanwhile, borders with Iran and Syria - shut for three days as the plan got under way - reopened Sunday . . . The United States and allies claim Iraqi militants receive aid and supplies from Iran, including parts for lethal roadside bombs targeting U.S. forces. Iran denies any role in trafficking weapons."

However, the Times article is much more descriptive, and doesn't appear to be presenting any clear bias. It includes a chronology of the event, as well as a list of other attacks around the country during the same time frame.



Good to notice those detailed differences.