Tim Arango, author of the New York Times article I discuss in the previous post, has responded in the comments. Jonathan Steele wrote an article for the Guardian on Monday, which has some bearing on my discussion with Arango, and with the wider issue of the New York Times‘ Iraq coverage.
In the article Steele explains how both the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the defence secretary have recently been in Baghdad ‘urging the government to amend the agreement under which all US forces have to leave Iraq by the end of this year’. He continues:
Both Sunni and Shia protesters were on the streets last week to denounce the US plans, united by a common sense of nationalism that has not been seen since the first year of the US occupation, before sectarian divisions were artificially inflamed. In Mosul around 5,000 people, including provincial council members and tribal leaders, rallied against any extension of the US presence, while supporters of the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr marched in Baghdad.
The New York Times reported Mullen’s visit. As far as I can tell the paper hasn’t yet found room to mention the protests or ‘the common sense of nationalism’ that inspired both Sunni and Shia to take to the streets.