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Fox Guest - There Are Good Things Happening In Iraq - But Doesn't Qualify It

Reported by Donna - March 1, 2006

Most of Studio B with Shepard Smith was spent on the coast of Mississippi six months after Katrina. They did find a little bit of time to mention the horrific violence that is going on over in Iraq. As usual Fox has to put on a guest who says "There are good things happening in Iraq." Unfortunately, he didn't bother to say what those 'good things' were.

In a segment with Lt. Col. Bill Cowan (retired) who is a Fox News Contributor, Smith asked him about the situation in Iraq.

The following is my transcript between Smith and Cowan.

Shepard Smith: Looking around the world today more sectarian violence across the country of Iraq. The Sunnis and the Shia with a tit for a tat, sort of a tat situation going on. More than 30 people have been killed today and from every report that we can get from our correspondants there and from the news agencies and the rest, everday people on the street are getting along pretty well and sorry and upset that this is happening and yet there is one bad part in the mix.

Let's go to Col. Cowan, who is live with us from New York today, I believe. Col. Cowan is a Fox News Contributor and with us live from Washington. Col. Cowan, the thing that I keep reading is that residents, people who are Sunni or Shia coming up to each other saying how bad this is yet the caveat always seems to be, but you know what, our mosque got hit, so, so, you know, there's going to be a retaliation here. That sounds like a bad cycle.

Lt. Col. Bill Cowan: It is Shep and you know a lot of those Shia and Sunni are moving out of neighborhoods that they've lived in for the most part of their lives. Just because the fears of the other side, whether it be Shia or Sunni, is going to do something against them. I think one of the bad sides we've seen now is some clerics from both sides, Shiite and Sunni, being taken out of their mosques and executed.

And..um...against the backdrop that it is not a civil war yet, there are good things happening in Iraq. (My emphasis)

SS: And what role is the United States military, what role are our troops playing there at this moment as far as we know?

BC: Shep, I see the reports here that we've really upped the patrols that we're doing. I think the U.S. Military deserves a lot of credit. They've been able to up their activity over there yet stay out of the center of all this. Not to look as though they are aligned with either side. I know civil affairs and engineers have been trying to help with some of the rebuilding. We're trying to be a helping hand out there, not as much an offensive one against the badguys and all and all I think our troops, we're doing absolutely what we need to be doing, Shep, and that is not showing any favoritism.

SS: I wonder how hard it is, though, to stay out of the mix because certainly those who would want to terrorize there would want one side or the other to look like the United States military might be responsible for something. How difficult to guard against such a thing?

BC: Well, no, your point is exactly right. There's nothing else Zarqawi would like more than to make all the Sunnis think that all the Americans were responsible for the things that have been happening. In fact, the President of Iran blamed the United States for the attack on the Golden Dome. Similarily, we always have issues about Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand Shiite cleric who is not a fan of ours, who wants U.S. forces to leave and who really could present a major problem for us over there right now if he wanted to, Shep.

Comments: I didn't gleem any new revelations from this story. It just seems to me that even while all of these horrible attacks are going on, Fox always manages to get the word in that 'there are good happening in Iraq.' I know that water and electricity are still at pre-war levels. There's also 60% unemployment and now mosques and their leaders are being destroyed. Over 1300 people are dead in a weeks time. When someone finds the 'happy ever after' to this story will they let me know or do I just depend on Fox saying so?

I really would like to know what are the good things that are happening in Iraq?

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