Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The economy of truth

Some people can't accept the truth even when it's handed to them

By Jack Kelly

"I hate to say this to Iraqis, but I pray for chaos and civil war," Nina from Toronto emailed the BBC. "It's the only way to stop Bush's policies and show that peace can never come through force. If Iraq gets peace, Bush gets credibility. It cannot be allowed to happen."
These are miserable days for Nina and others of her ilk. Two British newspapers report that the resistance in Iraq is crumbling. Sharif Ali bin al Hussein, a Sunni Muslim who heads Iraq's main monarchist movement, told the Financial Times that many insurgents would lay down their arms and join the political process if they receive guarantees for their safety.
"Mr. Sharif Ali said the success of Iraq's elections dealt the insurgents a demoralizing blow, prompting them to consider the need to enter the political process," the Financial Times said March 26th.
The left-wing Guardian reported March 27th that "the Iraqi resistance has peaked and is turning on itself, according to recent intelligence reports received by Middle Eastern intelligence agencies."
"In the privacy of their E-ring offices, senior Pentagon officials have begun to entertain thoughts that were unimaginable a year ago: Iraq is turning the corner," said the Washington Times Mar. 28th.
These reports didn't make it into the New York Times or the Washington Post, or onto the evening newscasts of ABC, NBC and CBS, permitting people like Nina to hope disaster may yet overtake the Iraqis.

(surprise, surprise)

Jason van Steenwyk, an Army reserve officer who served in Iraq, has issued an Amber alert for another headline missing from the New York Times: "The missing headline: '130 Terrorists, Car Bomb Factory Captured Near Kerbala' was last seen on a Reuters wire report carried on an ABC news outlet in Australia," van Steenwyk noted on his blog (Countercolumn).
Writing in the current issue of the New Republic, Lawrence Kaplan wonders "at what point does the press report a trend? The question comes to mind because, over the past month, the news from Iraq has been unusually good. Depending on which official you ask, insurgent attacks have dropped by either a third or nearly half. The number of Americans killed in action has declined. Civilians have begun killing terrorists. Over the past week alone, U.S. forces have killed scores of insurgents in lopsided battles — in the latest, Iraqi forces spearheaded the offensive."
The New York Times did notice (on an inside page) that ordinary Iraqis are taking up arms against the terrorists.

I love this part.

"Just before noon today a carpenter named Dhia saw a group of masked gunmen coming towards his shop and decided he had had enough," wrote Robert Worth in a dispatch filed March 22nd. "As the gunmen emerged from their cars, Dhia and his young relatives shouldered their AK-47s and opened fire...In the fierce gun battle that followed, three of the insurgents were killed and the rest fled."

You go, boy.

Worth said this incident in a Baghdad suburb was the first time "private citizens are known to have retaliated successfully against insurgents." But it was just the first time the New York Times took notice. In the village of Mahmudiyah in January, inhabitants killed five insurgents who attacked them for voting in Iraq's historic elections. And in Ramadi March 19th, 7 terrorists were found shot to death in an unfinished house. A member of the (Sunni Muslim) Duliami clan said the terrorists had been executed in retaliation for the assassination of a clan leader who was a National Guard officer.

In the most recent poll taken of Iraqi public opinion (Feb. 27-Mar. 5), 62 percent of Iraqis surveyed said their country is headed in the right direction. Just 23 percent said wrong direction.
It isn't only in Iraq where Islamic terrorists are on the ropes. Writing in the Arab News Mar. 26th, Amir Taheri said al Qaida has run out of ideas and is running out of places to hide.
"While bin Laden's message of hatred and terror still resonates in sections of the Muslim communities and the remnants of the Left in the West, the picture is different in the Muslim world," Taheri said in the Saudi paper.
"There, people are demonstrating for freedom...This is a new configuration in which Islamist terrorism, although still deadly and dangerous, had only a limited future."

It's all Bush's fault. Eat your heart out, Nina from Toronto.

I wrote something similar to dirk "the banana" strom the other day:

You see, dirk, you and Tony and those like you have taken the unfortunate position of Iraq=wrong. But now, in order for this equation to continue to balance and justify your intransigence, any good news, regardless of how positive for America, the Iraqis, or the region, also has to be wrong. It is not a little amusing to watch you and Tony force yourselves into smaller and more complex contortions to be able to do that.

"Nina" can kiss my ass. As our good friend "Don" likes to point out:

And the Beat Goes On.