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Fox Guest - 1300 Dead In Iraq In 6 Days - But, There's Some Good News

Reported by Donna - February 28, 2006

I know that Fox likes to put the positive spin on issues in order to put the Bush Administration in the best light, but how on earth you can try to spin positive about 1300 human beings killed in six days is beyond me.

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith he spoke with Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institute regarding the recent violence in Iraq that took the lives of 1300 people.

The following is my transcript between Shepard Smith and Michael O'Hanlon.

The banner read 'Report: More Than 1,300 Iraqis Killed In Past Six Days'

Shepard Smith: Reports now that violence in Iraq over the past six days has killled more than 1300 hundred people. That number comes to us from the Washington Post which is citing the Iraqi Police and the Baghdad morgue. Joining us now from the Brookings Institution, Senior Fellow, Dr. Michael O'Hanlon. (Comment: He used to be called Michael O'Hanlon, now he gets the distinction of Dr. which he does deserve that designation, he has a Ph.D. It's just unusual that Smith hasn't referred to him as 'Dr.' before) Dr. O'Hanlon, is it your sense we're not getting the whole story or is it possible that they're unable to get all the facts together or what?

Dr. Michael O'Hanlon: Well, Shep, I think that actually, unfortunately, this is the story of the past week. But there is some good news and I think that Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was right to say that despite these occasional acts of violence the past few days, (Comment: I think 'occasional' may have been a bad word choice when it comes to 1300 human being's lives) which have been very, very tragic in their toll, you're not seeing escalation towards outright civil war and I think the political leadership among all different groups, Sunni, Arab, Kurdish and Shia is alll unifying around the notion that we have to talk this down (Comment: I don't understand, how do you talk down the deaths of 1300 people in 6 days?) and try to quell the escalating violence.

So.....uh...there's been obviously, a lot of very bad news, but I think the political side is at least somewhat encouraging.

SS: From an American standpoint there has to be a plan in place. (Comment: That might be a first, when have we ever had a plan when it came to the war in Iraq, except that the president and his administration wanted the war?) If in fact the Sunni and Shia within the police forces begin to fight against each other within the security forces, then something must happen. What's your sense of what happens then as far as American troops are concerned?

MO: Well, before we get to that point we need to potentially involve the militias or at least the more responsible parts of them (Comment: Can we tell which ones are the more responsible ones? I mean one militia marched 47 people off of a bus and executed them on the spot) protecting their Mosques. And I think we need an emergency plan to protect Mosques. That probably should have already happened. I'm a little surprised, frankly, it hasn't. (Comment: Really? Are you really surprised?) Maybe it has and it hasn't been 100% effective. (Comment: I think I'm going to cry)

If we do get to the point of outright civil war, frankly the good news here is that most of the units here are somewhat ethnically homogeneous, escuse me, homgeneous, right now. And in that sense it might not be all that likely that they're going to fight among themselves (Comment: So we specifically set up separate ethnic militias?) because you can hopefully separate them out a bit and we can be a little bit of the barrier between them and they can patrol their own neighborhoods, essentially Sunni patrolling Sunni areas, Shia patrolling Shia areas and that hopefully, to some extent is what's happening already and we can then be the go between. But that's obvious a situation that we don't want to get to.

Comments: I'm at a loss. I don't know how you take a story about 1300 people killed in six days and try to put a positive spin on it. Maybe a little compassion and sorrow about the loss of these people? I mean, isn't this horrific? All I got out of this segment is that the U.S. still doesn't have a plan or a clue as to what is going on in Iraq. I can, however, say I'm sorry that 1300 people were killed in the past six days and think our president should have acknowledged this horrible tragedy and assured the American and Iraqi people that we have a plan in place to help them through this terrible time. But I guess he's busy trying to get the Dubai port deal through.

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