January 23, 2008

No Fanfair for the Common Grunt

Hatched by Sachi

I suppose no news must be good news.

When we stop hearing about Iraq, it does not mean nothing is happening. In fact, many good things happened in Iraq last year; we just didn't read much about it in the press. But Bill Roggio reports significantly diminished Al-Qaeda activities in Iraq:

During a press briefing in Baghdad, Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the Commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, said al Qaeda in Iraq has been ejected from its strongholds in the cities to the rural regions of Iraq.

Al Qaeda in Iraq's network has been significantly degraded, but is still a threat. .... "Although the group remains a dangerous threat, its capabilities have been diminished," said Odierno. "Al Qaeda has been pushed out of urban centers like Baghdad, Ramadi, Fallujah and Baqubah, and forced into isolated rural areas. Many of their top leaders have been eliminated, and finding qualified replacements is increasingly difficult for them." Multinational Forces Iraq also estimates it has significantly degraded al Qaeda's ability to fund operations by dismantling its financier networks and leaders.

Operation Phantom Phoenix, the current nationwide operation targeting al Qaeda's remaining safe havens, was launched on Jan. 8. Iraqi and US forces have captured or killed 121 al Qaeda fighters, wounded 14, and detained an additional 1023 suspects. Al Qaeda's leadership has been hit hard during the operation, with 92 high values targets either killed or captured.

Although most of the missions were US/Iraqi joint operations, Iraqi security forces conducted some completely independent operations, and they were very successful. More and more Iraqis are stepping up to the plate:

Iraq's army and police could be ready to take over security in all 18 provinces by the end of this year as the U.S. military moves toward a less prominent role in the country, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The Roggio post has some illuminating animation showing the evaporation of al-Qaeda's operational area from December, 2006 to December, 2007 (scroll to the bottom of the post). The difference is so obvious and significant that even honest Democrats, assuming there are any left, can no longer deny that we have by and large won this war and that the counterinsurgency was a brilliant success; it's not exaggerated to say that COIN completely flipped the dynamic of the war.

Powerline has graphs showing the decline of coalition and civilian casualties during 2007, including a 90% decline in sectarian violence in Baghdad from January to December.

So which member of the elite media is reporting this wonderful news, celebrating our incredible sucess? Aside from a few bloggers and some military-related sites, no one is, despite a January 17th press release distributed to the elite media and available online. And Reuters is the only major news service to carry ongoing coverage of operation Phantom Phoenix.

The Boston Globe has some news about increased Iraqi forces. AFP reported on Phantom Phoenix only as an afterthought; the main story was about six American deaths in a booby-trapped house; AFP did not report the overall success of COIN. Fox news posted a story about the reduction of American troops -- without ever mentioning the success that made the troop cuts possible.

Our presidential candidates, both Democrats and Republican, don't mention the war very much anymore; it has become a non-issue. When we seemed on the brink of failure, people couldn't wait to talk about it... how many civilians were blown up today? how many troops were ambushed? quagmire, quagmire!

But here is what actually happened over 2007:


Civilian deaths in 2007


Coalition deaths in 2007

Shouldn't this be on the front page of New York Times, rather than "Worries That the Good Times Were a Mirage" and "Heath Ledger, Actor, Is Found Dead at 28"?

It gets harder every day to draw any conclusion except the obvious one: The media elites are downcast that America has finally turned the Iraq war around; they don't want to report our success because they are afraid it will buoy the voters, lead to more successes, and therefore help the eventual Republican nominee: All of the major Republican candidates support victory; all of the major Democratic candidates are deeply invested in defeat.

Victory or defeat; which hand do you choose?

In other words, it's very, very difficult not to conclude that the elite media desperately hope for America to lose -- for the good of the Democratic Party; and that they do everything in their power to bring that about, from suppressing good news to "outing" highly classified intelligence vital to the long war.

Sadly, it's true: The elite news media have become America's new Copperheads.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, January 23, 2008, at the time of 3:23 PM

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The following hissed in response by: AMR

The MSM and the majority of the Democrats are Copperheads and in more than one way. They have been crying out in BDS anguish about how the economy is heading for recession for years and if their latest milestone is achieve, they move the goal posts or create a new concern. I firmly believe the meltdown of the foreign markets on Monday was a result of such rhetoric since in modern markets with instant communications perception is everything.

These are the same tactics the Leftist Copperheads have used concerning Iraq and thus continue to seemly wish for failure by American in these and other venues to further their own party and personal goals. Meanwhile, the middle and lower economic class people who have their sons and daughters fighting for our national good and who will suffer the most from an economic downturn, pay the price for the Copperheads actions. I find that despicable and I DO question their patriotism.

The above hissed in response by: AMR [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2008 6:42 PM

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