COMMENTS: No Surge Yet

At the Pentagon, Jonathan Karl used ABC's Virtual View computer graphics to depict a "trademark" al-Qaeda attack in Iraq's Diyala Province. It began when a two-man USArmy Kiowa reconnaissance helicopter was shot down by heavy machine gun fire then "the fallen helicopter would be used as bait" as a quick-reaction unit was sent to the crash site. Its Bradley Fighting Vehicle was attacked in turn by roadside bombs, known in Pentagonese as Improvised Explosive Devices. The single coordinated attack left eight GIs dead. Karl noted that the monthly death toll from IEDs has increased from 39 in January to 81 so far in May. NBC only covered the helicopter ambush with a brief stand-up by Ian Williams. Its Iraq War coverage concentrated on a montage tribute with thumbnail profiles of the month's fallen, narrated by Martin Savidge in Atlanta.

CBS also used its News Animation computer graphics to depict the downed Kiowa and then Lara Logan turned to the US military's so-called surge. She claimed an Exclusive for her questioning of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki concerning its success. He gave it the thumbs-up on the grounds that things could be much worse: "If the Baghdad security plan had not been implemented we would have had a true civil war in Iraq." Logan's colleague David Martin followed up from the Pentagon, pointing out that the surge, so far, had consisted purely of logistics, sending the troops to the front: "Operations hit full throttle the second week in June," he announced. Then they will really be in harm's way, "moving into parts of Baghdad and surrounding countryside where they have never been before."


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