Monday, January 17, 2005

The news from Iraq you won't see in the MSM

Click here for AmazonIt is stunning to contrast reports on Iraq coming from folks on the ground there as opposed to the non-stop negativity emanating from the mainstream media (MSM). There hasn't been this big of a disconnect since Flava Flav hooked up with Brigitte Nielsen (don't call ICM just yet, my sister informs me there already is such a show on television).

Lt. Col. Tim Ryan goes so far as to label the MSM's one-side coverage, "Aiding and abetting the enemy" and explains the situation much more fully -- and more competently -- than literally any of the mainstream correspondents. Here's an excerpt, but read it all:

...The number of attacks in the greater Al Anbar Province is down by at least 70-80% from late October -- before Operation Al Fajar began. The enemy in this area is completely defeated, but not completely gone. Final eradication of the pockets of insurgents will take some time, as it always does, but the fact remains that the central geographic stronghold of the insurgents is now under friendly control. That sounds a lot like success to me. Given all of this, why don't the papers lead with "Coalition Crushes Remaining Pockets of Insurgents" or "Enemy Forces Resort to Suicide Bombings of Civilians"? This would paint a far more accurate picture of the enemy's predicament over here. Instead, headlines focus almost exclusively on our hardships...

Further, Arthur Chrenkoff has done yeoman's work documenting what the biggies should -- but never seem to do -- regarding the unrelenting push towards democracy.

...On the streets of Baghdad, democracy makes more converts:

"Just months ago, Fattahlah Ghazi al-Esmaili was penning articles in support of Iraq's Shi'ite uprising as editor for Ishriqat, a newspaper for rebel cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi's Army militia.

"Now the 38-year-old has abandoned his Arab head scarf for a neat beige suit and is out pumping the flesh in his run for parliament at the head of a 180-candidate list representing the impoverished Shi'ites of Sadr City.

" 'Before, we were men of the Mahdi's Army. Now we are men of politics,' says the journalist, who goes by the pen name Fattah al-Sheikh. 'Yesterday, we were out on the streets. Today, we are here campaigning, and hopefully tomorrow, we'll be in the presidential palace'."

It has been a stunning transformation: "Brig. Gen. Jeffery Hammond of the 1st Cavalry Division, says Sadr City is the safest place in or around Baghdad. About 18,000 people have reconstruction jobs, he says, earning about $6 a day. 'Sadr City is what the future of Iraq can look like,' he says. Those who were once taking up arms are now talking democracy. 'Before, the men were buying black cloth for their (martyrs') banners. Now for the election, we are buying white cloths' for posters, says candidate Fatah al-Sheikh." Even the Iraqi Islamic Party is now cracking: "Iraq's principal Sunni Muslim political party conceded... that its effort to delay Iraq's parliamentary election had failed and that it was preparing a strategy to influence the elected government following the vote on Jan. 30." ...

Good new from Iraq, part 19 and Aiding and abetting the enemy: the Media in Iraq.

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