Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Slate-Papers: New Way Jose - Nov. 23
The Washington Post's lead says the Pentagon is tentatively planning to drawn down "as many as" three of the 18 U.S.'s brigades in Iraq early next year. Citing "several senior military officers," the Post says the Pentagon has several scenarios outlined for next year and in the "moderately optimistic" option, about 40 percent of the troops will head home by the end of next year. The Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal world-wide newsbox, and New York Times all lead with once-suspected "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla, who has been held without charges as an enemy combatant for three years, being indicted on charges of conspiracy to support terrorism overseas. USA Today fronts Padilla and leads with an exegesis on Thanksgiving gas prices.
While the Post plays the potential Iraq drawdown as news, commanders have been talking about it for months. In fact the NYT floated the same percentages in August. Still, there is something of note in the WP's piece: It's not the numbers bandied about, it's that military officers are talking about them, especially now. After all, isn't it interesting that "several senior military officers" decided to flag a potential draw down of forces just days after the White House went ballistic against those it accuses of wanting to "cut and run"? (That, of course, assumes the Post isn't just cherry-picking the officers' assessments.)
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Eric Umansky (www.ericumansky.com) writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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