Talk:US Defense Secretary evaluates Iraq and the political climate

Active discussions


I removed this [1] as it had nothing to do with the article. Highly POV. DragonFire1024 09:11, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

relevant background. tell what is the current state of affairs. how does he know what's going to happen if he doesn't keep track of what's happening. –Doldrums(talk) 09:16, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Here's a (hypothetical) analogy. the government proposes that if gulf coast leevees are not built up, all of new orleans could be underwater in the next hurricane. would be refrain from pointing out that half of new orleans is underwater as we speak and that the government actually doesn't monitor the submergence? –Doldrums(talk) 09:25, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
If you can prove all of that and word it in a way that you are not pissed off about it maybe...but the way it was added was a total regard for a person's POV on the war. DragonFire1024 09:37, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
what specifically in the wording do you object to? the wording reports that US does not publicly track casualties. it reports what independent estimates say. what would u change to make it "npov"? –Doldrums(talk) 09:54, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
i agree with Doldrums, its relevant background and not POV in the slightest it just states two facts! XBehave 10:06, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

NPOV templateEdit

Can I have some clarification as to why this has NPOV on it? I don't see anything wrong with it. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:58, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

because relevant background information has been removed from it. –Doldrums(talk) 10:04, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
could the information be put back and the NPOW tags be removed i dont see anything wrong eitherXBehave 10:05, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
[edit conflict twice] relevant? how can you call that relevant? it was so bias, it made BBC look right (and that's not even possible). That info you added was not even related to this article, and when you think about it, if the US pull out, you would be having to add 3 "000" to the end.
This is a case of, a non-anti Iraq article (wow, that's a real big change!) thus other wikinewies are very unhappy, how can this happen! Brian | (Talk) | New Zealand Portal 10:07, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
it's very simple, Gates says, if you don't follow his policy, something will happen. the deleted information tells you what has been happening as you do follow his policy. it also points out that while Gates asserts something will get worse, he doesn't track officially the statistic that is supposed to get worse. both excellently relevant information about a public policy matter. this article primarily reported (before i added some stuff) what Gates said, already not exactly npov. to now say that facts that do not support someone's point of view shld be removed just makes it worse. if Gates or anybody else notable has predicted numbers for what happens after a withdrawal, then sure, lets report them too. –Doldrums(talk) 10:16, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
when talking about a war how can the number of casualties not be relevant? XBehave 10:19, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Xbehave, can u pls clarify why removed the npov template, even though the removed info has not been added back?
i removed the POV template as the i thought the issue was over the inclusion of the death count and as that's been removed then the article is NPOV! XBehave 10:30, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't ever think a declaration of War was issued, so its not a real war.
It makes no sence to have that in this article, it POV Brian | (Talk) | New Zealand Portal 10:22, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Well we will report that...when its available. To add anything pertaining to your edit, i linked above, before then, is POV and speculation. Do you know what he [Gates] thinks? Also even congress did not officially ever declare war, needless to say, they funded it. But nonetheless... DragonFire1024 10:23, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
The article is under the Iraq war portal, but i dont think calling it a war is really an issue the fact is that 3000 people dying in the insurgency, civil war, w/e you want to call it still relevant XBehave 10:30, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
He is talking about the troops and such that will die. not that have died. Irrevelant. DragonFire1024 10:39, 6 April 2007 (UTC
He's not talking about troops. if he's saying things will get worse, surly its needed to know how things are now? XBehave 10:43, 6 April 2007 (UTC) , i mean it would be quite a different storry if in the last three months 10 people had died and he said there would be ethnic cleansing if they left!

front pageEdit

could we add this page back to the list of articles! im not sure if we can/how to do this leaving the POV tag in place XBehave 11:20, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

As soon as this article is NPOV, and the tag is removed, it will go back under current articles. Brian | (Talk) | New Zealand Portal 11:24, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
it appears in the list of developing (disputed) articles so other contributors can also join in working on it. –Doldrums(talk) 11:41, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

casualty figuresEdit

i intend to add "UN Human rights officials say 1.6 million people are internally displaced in Iraq and another 1.8 million have left the country"[2] to the casualty figures. the idea is give readers an overview of the current security situation in the country, as background for Gates' predictions (conditional) of ethnic cleansing to come. i'm on the lookout for Iraqi civilian casualty figures for this year. –Doldrums(talk) 14:16, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

On NPOV; presenting death tolls, casualties and other background information; and the headlineEdit

Here are my opinions, if anyone cares:

Is the article neutral?Edit

I'd say yes. The article is about what Sec. Gates has said. His views are clearly attributed to him. I think we'd all agree that given his job, what he has to say is newsworthy. This article is reporting on things that Gates said and is not update on the current status of the War in Iraq (or whatever one wishes to call it: Mission in Iraq, Occupation of Iraq, or Operation Law and Order).

To what degree should death tolls, casualties and other background information be presented?Edit

While Gates introduces the possibility of 'ethnic cleansing' he does not provide estimates of how many would die or be displaced. Introducing statistics about the current situation would seem like the article (or the writer of it, but since we are a collaborative effort I'll just say 'the article') is attempting to engage Gates in a debate. And that, I believe, would be a violation of NPOV. This article should present what Gates is saying. If one wants to report casualty figures and death tolls and statistics on displaced people, that would be a perfectly legitimate article, but a separate article. I see that the UNHCR has a new briefing on this very subject. Well, write an article on that briefing. And in that article there will be no need to bring up what Gates thinks about the possibility of ethnic cleansing.

NPOV requires that we not only provide one person's characterisation of an situation, but also other significant views, and more importantly, facts relevant to the situation. if a government official makes a statement at odds with known information, would we refrain from reporting the known info, because that would be "engaging in a debate"? gates has made a very clear suggestion that things are going to get worse than what they are now. why would we not want to report what we know about the present situation? –Doldrums(talk) 18:52, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
to only report what gates says is not a news report, its a press release. –Doldrums(talk) 18:54, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
The headlineEdit

While the headline is certainly eye-catching, I don't think it is appropriate. The vast majority of the article deals with other things that Gates said. I also noticed that all of the sources listed avoided putting that in their headlines.

how about something along Gates urges U.S. congress to approve military funding? –Doldrums(talk) 18:53, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Since both the House and Senate have already passed legislation perhaps US Secretary of Defense laments Congressional legislation or US Secretary of Defense worried about spending bills. --SVTCobra 21:24, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I went 'super-neutral' with the headline. Actually, I think it is good, in retrospect. It entices the reader instead of telling them what is in the article. --SVTCobra 01:50, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
other commentsEdit

One thing that seems to be missing is information about what forum Gates said all these things. Only in the section "Security situation in Iraq" mentions that some of it came from a press conference. But I gather from the sources that the "ethnic cleansing" comment, for example, came from a radio interview. These things should be presented.

Oh, also, the sources list has things that would be used to put things in the article that I don't feel belong. So naturally, I am of the opinion they shouldn't be listed in the final article if it is published. --SVTCobra 18:35, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, these are my thoughts. I hope you take them into consideration. --SVTCobra 18:26, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

If I could put my two cents in on the disputed article, I think the writing in it has become a bit conversational - even beyond the argument of whether there should be different POV included. For instance: "The supplemental funding requests are not accounted in national deficits, and so help keep a better looking balance-sheet." The phrase, "better looking balance-sheet", feels like an opinion and I can't find it in a source, unless it is in the LA Times article. The LA Times is asking me to sign in or register before it will show me the story.
Also, the Monsters & Critics source where most of this section comes from states: "The Army got its way this year, certainly helped by a change in defense secretaries. Both the 2007 and the 2008 supplemental request went to Capitol Hill in February with the 2008 annual budget request for the Defense Department." This implies that the delay tactic has been stopped. But our article doesn't mention this and implies that the six month delay for supplemental requests is still going on. Jcart1534 00:41, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Jcart, to be honest, for all I wrote about this, I never became that intimate with the details of the article. My focus was on the POV issues (or is that NPOV issues?) so I was mostly occupied with the talk page. I was not among the contributors to this article or this talk page until Doldrums' collaboration request in the newsroom. I did not edit the article until the POV tag was lifted. In other words, your comments seem to be about budget details about which I know nothing. I suggest that you click the 'add comment' instead of 'edit this' tab. This will create a new section for debate without getting buried in my diatribe. --SVTCobra 02:07, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
thanks Jcart for catching that. i missed the fact that the 2008 supplemental is going on time. my mistake. i'll be correcting the article. the "better looking balance sheet" was an effort to explain what an expense that adds to the national debt but does not get listed on the national deficit means, the "better" reflects the fact that that both Congress and the White House express a desire to keep the deficit down, and "better looking", as the supplementals mean that the debt (which the deficit is meant to track) goes up but the deficit doesn't account for it. if there's a better way to say it, i've no problems with rewording. –Doldrums(talk) 12:17, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good, Doldrums. I had gone ahead and made some small edits to that effect. If they are not suitable, please feel free to change them back. Cheers, Jcart1534 20:57, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Reply to Doldrums' comment about 5.2Edit

You and I have debated this issue before, most notably in the article Iraqi authorities say Baghdad violence has dropped sharply, where I took issue with you for presenting statistics from Iraq Body Count and New York Times. I felt that in an article that was about what somebody (in that case an Iraqi general) said did not need to be contradicted by statistics from other sources. That time I made my argument by attacking the credibility of those sources and eventually acquiesced, though I remained unconvinced (not about the credibility but the need for that information in the article).

This time it is similar, but also quite different. In retrospect, I think I should have made my argument on these grounds back then. What it all hinges upon is the need to present both sides to maintain a NPOV. WN:NPOV touches on this subject in A consequence: writing for the enemy.

At this point I think it is important to consider what the article is about. If we can agree that all articles are about events in one shape or another, I think they can be broken down, into two main categories.

An article reporting about an event, such as an incident or action, should present both sides. For example, 15 Royal Navy sailors captured at gunpoint by Iranian guards would be totally POV if it did not present the Iranian view that the sailors were in Iranian waters.

On the other hand, an article reporting about an event such as an announcement, a speech, an interview, or a press conference, should not face the same demands. In these cases, the article is just reporting, what someone said or did, and can do so neutrally without presenting opposing views or refute what they said or did. We, as Wikinews, are just there to bear witness and report what we saw or heard (or read as is mostly the case for an internet based news agency). I call into evidence this article, Security Council recommends Ban Ki-moon for UN Secretary-General. This article reports on the event of the Security Council recommendation of Ban Ki-moon, which basically is an announcement. It would have been totally inappropriate to litter the article with information like so-and-so thought John Doe would be better etc. Likewise, it would have been inappropriate to include any of things that are in this section of Ban Ki-moon's Wikipedia page (Criticism). In fact, if one did so, I think that would be engaging the Security Council in debate.

Therefore, I recommend that the article about Gates (it is currently called Warning of 'ethnic cleansing' if US pulls out of Iraq, a headline that I disagree with) be published without statistics about casualties, death tolls, displaced peoples etc.

If it is published with that information, which I am not saying is inaccurate in any way, it also opens the door for the other side, which is to include the good things that are happening in Iraq. I know, sounds far fetched, but there are many public works projects taking place there. It becomes an open-ended article. We could end up having to include Saddam Husseins final statements or what Rush Limbaugh said last Tuesday (I don't actually know what he said last Tuesday or any day for that matter). Oh and we can't leave out Cindy Sheehan, and OBL himself might want to weigh in on this.

Ok, I got a little silly there at the end. But in conclusion I think this article should stay focused and on point, which is to report on what Gates said. All the other stuff belongs in other articles. --SVTCobra 20:54, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a new article on Wikinews: UK naval crew describe their capture and detention by Iran. As of this writing it does not include anything about the Iranian view of their "mandatory vacation" as I think Ahmadinejad jokingly called it after his press conference where he pardoned them. Nor should it. It is just an article about what they said. If one includes "Iran said they were treated like kings" (a deliberate exaggeration) or whatever Iran actually says, it is engaging the naval crew in debate and close to calling them liars. In this case, if Iran refutes their statements, then another Wikinews article should written. While on the subject of "2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel", I was on the side of Ahmadinejad on the use of the word "pardon". The article Ahmadinejad to free British navy personnel sparked a debate about that word. Some were of the opinion that it should not have been in the article (main argument that it implied guilt). I again took my position that this was an article about what he said or did. However, this article did not get published without changing "Ahmadinejad pardoned . . ." to "Ahmadinejad says he pardoned . . ." (those quotes might not be exact). Completely silly. He pardoned them in his country under their laws. There should be no debate about this. He said this and did this . . . we report it. Should be simple.--SVTCobra 21:51, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks SVTCobra. I considered the title of the article, UK naval crew describe their capture and detention by Iran, carefully before publishing. I also considered the Iranian point of view, but realized it wasn't necessary to have it represented in that article. As you suggested, it was a report on the British troops accounting of their experience in the whole affair. It is not to say that we would agree or disagree that theirs is an accurate depiction of what happened. But it is what they relayed to the public. Jcart1534 01:12, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Gates is advocating a particular course of action on a public policy matter. to not include other views and background facts is to deliberately suppress those and offer Gates' uncritically. i repeat, that is a press release, not an npov article. i'm betting the Iranian article had a line about what the Brit view as well. –Doldrums(talk) 05:44, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes it did because you put it there. --SVTCobra 11:14, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, it was a nice tight little sentence the basically said "brits say they're inncocent" --SVTCobra 12:42, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
half of this article is a section called "Security situation in Iraq". but we can't report known casualty figures? –Doldrums(talk) 06:11, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
If you think there absolutely must be an "alternate" view presented, I think it should be a blurb. And since, as you say, Gates is advocating a particular course of action on a public policy matter, then the opposing view should be that of the Democrats who favor a different course. Not a bunch of facts and figures, I am sorry, I just don't see how that could belong. --SVTCobra 12:42, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
And just because I am long-winded, doesn't make me an authority, I am just hoping that I can make a convincing argument. --SVTCobra 12:45, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Iraq political climateEdit

How about a similar article on Iran? Do U.N. sanctions apply to the Bushehr nuclear plant? Will Russia be constrained to deliver fuel to Bushehr? What is the US response to "April 9th nuclear day" declared by Iranian officials? And of course, what is the status of our pending aircraft carrier movements into the Persian Gulf, as well as the strike forces that are already there (USS Eisenhower and USS Stennis, soon to be joined by USS Nimitz). I would enjoy seeing many more articles on these subjects.


We have lots of stories on Iran including their nuclear program, but feel free to propose and/or write new ones. --SVTCobra 02:25, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Why was mine deleted?Edit

Yes, I did an article but it was deleted from news shorts on April 11th because of technical objections. I had sources but they were not linked in your required syntax. In that case, why not just edit it or comment on it, rather than deleting it? Obviously, I am a newcomer struggling to contribute in the correct format.

Junebaby 14:26, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

The deletion request archives are here and there's also the deletion log, here. A reason will be attached to the deletion log entry if it isn't listed in the DR archive. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
It will not be found in the deletion log as the article was deleted from the Shorts page in this revision due to the lack of sources adn not an overall page delete. If you had sources but do not know the correct syntax then just place them straight into the bottom of the articel and we will put them into the correct syntax for you. The lack of sources was also discussed here.--MarkTalk 14:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Return to "US Defense Secretary evaluates Iraq and the political climate" page.