The L.A. Times has gone into despair over a 10 second pause in a recent press conference held by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff.
In an article titled "Is U.S. Winning? Army Chief Is at a Loss", by Peter Spiegel, published on July 15th, the L.A. Times moaned that we surely must be losing the war because General Schoomaker paused for "10 seconds" after being asked if we are winning.
It seemed like a routine question, one that military leaders involved in prosecuting the war in Iraq must ask themselves with some regularity: Is the U.S. winning?
But for Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff known for his straight-shooting bluntness, it proved a hard one to answer.
During a Capitol Hill briefing for an audience mostly of congressional aides, Schoomaker paused for more than 10 seconds after he was asked the question -- lips pursed and brow furrowed -- before venturing:
"I think I would answer that by telling you I don't think we're losing."
How many times has the MSM gotten all over Bush and Cheney both for declaring that we are winning, or at the end of this conflict? Remember how they beat Bush up for the "Mission Accomplished" banner? See how they jump all over Bush every time he says we are winning?
Should we expect that General Schoomaker is stupid enough to voluntarily jump into that media attack pit?
Further, shouldn't we expect a General to be thoughtful and consider his words carefully when answering such questions? Shouldn't we be thankful that he pauses and gives great thought to the questions put before him instead of blurting out the first thing that comes into his head?
Seems to me like the good General is being a prudent, thoughtful leader when giving the question its due consideration before answering.
But, not to the L.A. Times. Schoomaker's pause has convinced them that all is lost.
It was a small but telling window into the thinking of the Army's top uniformed officer and one of the military's most important commanders: Despite the progress being made by the new Iraqi government and the continuing improvement of local security forces, the outcome in Iraq, in many ways, is growing more uncertain by the day.
Um, NO, Petey, that is NOT what the general said. In fact, at the end of your own story you finally did report what Schoomaker said...
"I think we are making significant progress; I think the challenges continue to come," he concluded. "I do not believe that we are losing, but where I think we are on the scale of winning is very difficult, and time's going to tell."
That's a far cry from "the outcome in Iraq, in many ways, is growing more uncertain by the day".
But, I guess this does show the MSM's short attention span. 10 seconds was all they could put into the conference before they wandered off to make up out of whole cloth what was actually said!