Just how much does the AP reporter in Iraq gets out and about? Not much.
This story talks about the fight going on south of Baghdad, in the Iraqi Army 8th Infantry Division's AO. The CG of the 8th IA is Major General Oothman Farhood al-Ghanemi. The reporter refers to him as General al-Ghanemi, or just al-Ghanemi. Anyone who has spent even a few minutes with arab forces knows that the proper reference to them is rank and first name. In other words, General Oothman, whom I have met, is referred to, and prefers to be addressed as, General Oothman. Not General al-Ghanemi. He wouldn't even know who you were referring to if you called him General al-Ghanemi. It would be like callling General Petraeus, "General al-Greenzone". This reporter should know that, and would, if he ever got out of the Palestine Hotel. When a reporter makes a mistake like this, common enough, it's a pretty good indication that the reporter has never spoken with the person he's writing about, in this case Gen Oothman. The General would have never let him make that mistake, he's too much of a headline hog.
The Arabs referred to me as Ra'eed Diggs. I liked it.