February 22, 2007
Wending our weary way through the wretched reporting in this New York Times piece -- which can't make up its mind whether to be a news article about a deadly, new tactic of the terrorists or a finger-wagging condemnation of the strategic change of course in Iraq -- we do at least learn that terrorists have started using chemical weapons in the outskirts and suburbs of Baghdad and in Anbar -- bombs with that little something special... chlorine gas:
A truck bomb that combined explosives with chlorine gas blew up in southern Baghdad on Wednesday, and officials said it might represent a new and deadly tactic by insurgents against Iraqi civilians.
It was at least the third truck bomb in a month to employ chlorine, a greenish gas also used in World War I, which burns the skin and can be fatal after only a few concentrated breaths. The bomb killed at least two people and wounded 32 others, many of them sent to hospitals coughing and wheezing, police and medical officials said....
The bombing involving chlorine gas on Wednesday followed an explosion on Tuesday north of Baghdad of a tanker filled with chlorine that had been rigged to explode, killing nine people and wounding 148, including 42 women and 52 children. At least one other attack with chlorine took place on Jan. 28, according to the American military’s statements. Sixteen people were killed in that attack, in the Sunni-dominated Anbar Province, when a dump truck with explosives and a chlorine tank blew up in Ramadi.
Thus, in terms of military strategy and technology, the Iraqi terrorists have now worked themselves nearly all the way up to 1914.
But fortunately, not quite to the modern world; they haven't yet figured out that you must choose... either it's a chemical attack, or it's a big, fiery explosion; you can't have both:
The attacks seem to have been poorly executed, burning the chemical agent rather than dispersing it, but more sophisticated weapons involving chlorine could injure hundreds and cause mass panic.
The Times article is long on ominious descriptions of an elusive, "adaptive" enemy -- shooting down helicopters, using chemical weapons -- but somehow fails to note that United States forces are considerably more adaptive than Sunni terrorists or Shiite death squads.
This is similar to the phenomenon of obsessive news reports of American deaths and woundings, while the same reporters have little interest in reporting how many terrorists have died. As we noted in an earlier post, for example, the Times announced that 4,000 people were killed in Afghanistan in war-related deaths last year. What they failed to explain, however, was that "over three fourths of the 4,000 'people' killed in Afghanistan in 2006 were Taliban."
Approximately 190 of the remainder were American deaths that year. This leaves only about 760 civilian war-related deaths in Afghanistan in 2006. Shouldn't these "details" make a difference in how we interpolate the original death report?
In response to the gas attacks, we've stepped up our targeted raids; and although there is nothing in any report I've read to indicate it, I'm sure we're diligently searching through sales receipts of chlorine, fertilizer, and other caustic or explosive chemicals to catch the terrorists before they can deploy any more such weapons:
U.S. troops raided a car bomb factory west of Baghdad with five buildings full of propane tanks and ordinary chemicals the military believes were to be used in bombs, a spokesman said Thursday, a day after insurgents blew up a truck carrying chlorine gas canisters.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the chlorine attack Wednesday - the second such "dirty" chemical attack in two days - signaled a change in insurgent tactics, and the military was fighting back with targeted raids.
"What we are seeing is a change in the tactics, but their strategy has not changed. And that's to create high-profile attacks to instill fear and division amongst the Iraqi people," he told CNN. "It's a real crude attempt to raise the terror level by taking and mixing ordinary chemicals with explosive devices, trying to instill that fear within the Iraqi people."
In fact, Caldwell noted that the tactic appears to be blowing up in the terrorists' faces: intelligence tips to American and Iraqi forces have "doubled" in the past six months:
One of those tips led U.S. troops to a five separate buildings near Fallujah, where they found the munitions containing chemicals, three vehicle bombs being assembled, including a truck bomb, about 65 propane tanks and "all kinds of ordinary chemicals," Caldwell said. He added that he believed the insurgents were going to try to mix the chemicals with explosives.
We're not asking the drive-by media to stop reporting on explosions or casualties among American soldiers or Iraqi civilians. But we do demand that they balance "if it bleeds, it leads" sensationalism with a better sense of the actual progress of the war... rather than hit-pieces crafted for the purpose of trying to save the world by making the war appear hopeless. This aids the Democratic Party policy of premature withdrawal, a sort of "rhythm method" of stopping the war. (A piece at any price?)
I am convinced that this sort of flawed reporting is what has made victory smell like pungent defeat and is more responsible than any other anti-war action for damaging the war effort. The urge to save the world by stopping the war appears to coil in the heart of many, probably most reporters who have written on the subject; to give the Devil his due, the elite media has been extraordinaily successful in this "conspiracy of shared interests."
But I still believe that the real meaning of "information wants to be free" is not that "songs want to be ripped and downloaded from Napster," but rather that information cannot be suppressed forever. Mark Twain famously wrote (or else he didn't -- how do I know?) that a lie travels halfway round the world before truth laces up its boots.
But the second half of that aphorism, which Twain inexplicably left off, is this: But once Mr. Truth finishes monkeying with those boots, he overtakes Mr. Lie and stomps him flatter than a liberal's conscience.
So hurry up, Mr. Truth; we're always ready to lend you an extra hobnail boot!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 22, 2007, at the time of 4:34 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1809
The following hissed in response by: karrde
I have never ceased in my amazement at the good news--those pesky facts--buried under the agenda-driven writing.
The above hissed in response by: karrde at February 22, 2007 6:46 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
Our MSM friends are just trying to duplicate their remarkable success in Viet Nam.
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
The thing is it is becoming more and more obvious what they are about.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at February 23, 2007 3:35 AM
The following hissed in response by: exDemo
The leftists have another problem. they no longer control all the media to propagandize only their viewpoint. a little truth snow leaks out.
the other rand More Major problem they face is that People have been inoculated a little by Vietnam. back then the leftists could just say Give Peace a Chance.
Did you ever hear any of the ant-War hierarchy ever asked a question like that posed to Jane Fonda. "Last time three million died for your Peace". "Will you take responsibility for those deaths or the death in Iraq on our leaving?"
Jane and the other nut cases didn't know what to say...
The above hissed in response by: exDemo at February 23, 2007 6:32 PM
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