Reid criticises media for focus on bad news from Iraq

LONDON – The media is selling short the progress being made in the reconstruction of Iraq and helping terrorists by focusing on turmoil rather than the progress being made, according to the defence secretary John Reid.

In a comment piece in The Times today, he warns that "those brutalising Iraq through terror... are not foolish where the media is concerned".

"Every day that they can generate articles telling Westerners that Iraq is in turmoil is a day they feel they've done a good job," he writes.

The article is Reid's response to an article by Times commentator Matthew Parris last Saturday, which Reid says was wrong in suggesting that the situation in Iraq is worse than it has ever been.

The defence secretary also accuses "pessimistic" commentators of "reacting with glee" to the delay in the drawing up of the Iraqi constitution. The deadline for agreeing the constitution was missed on Monday and has been delayed a week.

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