Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Despite What You Read in the Defeat Sheet (the Los Angeles Times), the Surge is Working

This morning, the local propaganda organ for Islamist victory, the Los Angeles Times, published a news story describing startling and (to the Times) conclusive evidence of the failure of the surge--a local Iraqi contractor hired to clean out the portable toilets at a U.S. Army base in the Baghdadi neighborhood of Ubadi had quit, after his life was threatened by members of a local Shiite militia.

It is not surprising that the Times focuses on sewage in its Iraq war coverage. Yesterday the Times published a column by a Hamas official on its editorial page. One wonders whether the Times editors would have published an opinion piece by an official of the Third Reich in 1939, justifying the German invasion of Poland, or perhaps a piece by Joseph Stalin in 1951, giving the Communist side of the story in Korea. As for the general level of its coverage of the war in Iraq, the Times has incessantly published negative stories, while almost totally ignoring last month's Operation Phantom Thunder, the largest U.S. single military campaign of the Iraq war. [See "Why You Can Trust the Los Angeles Times for Biased Middle East Coverage--A Continuing Series," the Hedgehog Blog, July 1, 2007]

For refreshing change from the perspective of the Los Angeles Times, and a more accurate account of the progress of U.S. military efforts in Iraq, please read "Moving Forward," a column by Kimberly Kagan, an affiliate of Harvard's John M. Olin Institute of Strategic Studies, is executive director of the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, which appears in today's OpinionJournal. Here is a sample:

In Washington perception is often mistaken for reality. And as Congress prepares for a fresh debate on Iraq, the perception many members have is that the new strategy has already failed.

This isn't an accurate reflection of what is happening on the ground, as I saw during my visit to Iraq in May. Reports from the field show that remarkable progress is being made. Violence in Baghdad and Anbar Province is down dramatically, grassroots political movements have begun in the Sunni Arab community, and American and Iraqi forces are clearing al Qaeda fighters and Shiite militias out of long-established bases around the country.

This is remarkable because the military operation that is making these changes possible only began in full strength on June 15. To say that the surge is failing is absurd. Instead Congress should be asking this question: Can the current progress continue?


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