June 2, 2006

I’ve been hesitant to write about the ongoing developments in Iraq (you might find Winds of Change’s Mon/Wed/Fri updates as helpful as I do, BTW), because, frankly, I’ve never been in the military and feel like too many people with too little knowledge about what it’s like over there all too often are the ones who speak loudest. One of the benefits of having an acquaintance like my good friend Dona is the perspective available by having connections to someone who comes from a military background and continues to live it every day through her children.

About the ongoing controversy over the possible massacre in Haditha, I will say only this: it doesn’t take a military genius to understand that, in a war zone where the good guys and the bad guys are often impossible to distinguish from one another, any and all things can and will happen. William Tecumseh Sherman (one of my all-time favorite historical figures) once said, “War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”. Sherman spoke these words not as a bloodthirsty proponent of war itself, but as a soldier assigned to a particular duty with a grim determination to see it through to the end.

This is not to condone or condemn whatever might have happened in Haditha – investigations are under way on a number of fronts (Michelle Malkin has, in my view, the most comprehensive coverage I’ve seen here and here), and the truth will ultimately will come out. And when it does – either way – there should be no cause for satisfaction on either side, for where there has been, and continues to be, death, destruction, and mayhem only Satan and the dogs of war are pleased.

One of the difficulties confronting our military in Iraq is the overwhelming international media imprint that seems bent on reporting anything and everything associated with their mission in a negative light. And, while there are those on both the left and right who have major concerns with why and how the war is being conducted there (and I include myself in this group), I find it disconcerting that the mainstream media in general (al-Reuters and the AP, especially) seems almost gleeful in its coverage whenever stories like Haditha, Abu-Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay – whether they end up accurate or not – arise. And their mouthpieces in the Democratic Party like Jack Murtha and Howard Dean, regardless of their “we support the troops” blather, appear far more intent on using Iraq as a political wedge to do everything they can to embarrass the Bush Administration and paint our military in the most negative light possible.

How else can one explain the recent extensive coverage on these headlines…

Pregnant Iraqi woman killed by US forces. Outrageous on its face, right? Except when you read the story you find out the car she was riding in failed to stop at a military checkpoint despite repeated visual and auditory signals (my italics).

Bomb kills 2 construction workers in Iraq.

Murtha: It’s Time to Redeploy. Sure, Jack. Let’s just up and leave now, making all of our sacrifices – and those of the brave Iraqi people – meaningless.

…with nary a word or two about these?

Iraqi tennis coach, players killed. Apparently, the work of Islamic extremists unhappy about the players being dressed in tennis shorts. This following the apprarent abduction of an Iraqi taekwondo team driving to their training camp the week prior.

U.S. Iraqi progress report optimistic. Bet that will make the top of tonight’s CBS Evening News.

A reporter’s shock at the Haditha allegations. CNN reporter Arwa Damon’s observations about the restraint she witnessed by the Marines in Haditha many times prior to the incident under investigation. Again, not something you’ll see played up by the mainstream media.

Look, even the most optimistic observer would have to admit the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated in the past several weeks, but this was anticipated with the forming of the new Iraqi government. The insurgency knows it is running out of time, and therefore has become increasingly bold and desperate in its attacks in the hope that the government will fall and Iraq dissolves into chaos.

And Murtha’s comments continue to be – at the very least – just plain unhelpful. Sure, Jack, we’ll just skedaddle and Iraq will return to the glittering oasis of peace and harmony it was prior to us invading. You know, that shining light of freedom in a region of terrorists, despots, and Islamo-facists that would love nothing better than have the US (and, in effect, the modern West) admit defeat. Look, I don’t care how often Murtha visits the vets at Walter Reed, his words and actions have put our troops in danger and skirts the very definition of treason. Yet, he’s become the darling-boy of the mainstream media.

All I’m saying here is that, whether or not you agree with the mission in Iraq, the fact is that our brave men and women are over there doing incredible work under the most difficult of circumstances – both military and political – at a time when our country seems hopelessly polarized politically. And they deserve the support – and yes, even the benefit of the doubt – until facts or circumstances prove otherwise. I’m not saying the media and the Democrats have to muzzle themselves, I just think a little more balanced, objective reporting and restraint would go a long way to helping us complete the mission in Iraq as swiftly and effectively as possible. To do otherwise harms the overall war effort, puts our young men and women in greater danger, and imperils the socio-economic and political hopes of the West to implant democracy and freedom in a part of the world that sorely needs it.


An administrative note: Some people may find the tone and tenor of Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs weblog fundamentally anti-Islam and perhaps a little strident (even I do at times), but in many ways I think he understands the true danger radical Islam poses to the free West. One cannot argue that Charles has a way of finding those stories the mainstream media seems either afraid or unwilling to report. To that end, I have added Little Green Footballs to the Blogroll and hope you will pay it a visit from time to time.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:46 | Comments Off on About Iraq
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