Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I've got the Things-are-getting-better-in-Iraq-but-the-media-aren't-reporting-it Blues 

Once again, things are getting better in Iraq, but the darned media just aren't reporting it.
Yes, I know -- the first batch of things-are-getting-better-but-the-media-isn't-reporting-it stories were back in July 2003, when Uday and whosis were killed. At that time, there were 10 to 12 attacks a day.
And the next batch came in December, 2003, after Saddam was captured. By then, there were 25 to 30 attacks a day.
And then, last July, once again, after the big turnover and before the Republican convention, we were hearing once again about how things were getting better but the media just wasn't reporting it. I think by that time there were 50 attacks a day.
So now the elections have been held two months ago, and there's STILL no new government. But once again its time for another batch of Things-are-getting-better-but-the-media-aren't-reporting-it stories.
Well, here's the latest from someone actually in the country -- and this is supposed to be good news: "George Casey, the commanding US general of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, told [CNN] that current insurgent assaults were running at between 50 and 60 attacks a day. "They (insurgents) are able to maintain the level of violence between 50 and 60 attacks a day," General Casey said. "The four provinces where the insurgency is still capable is out west, near Fallujah in Anbar province, in the Baghdad area and Saladdin, which is in the centre of the country, around Saddam's home town, and up north, in the Mosul area," he said. " Those four provinces, by the way, contain almost half of Iraq's population and about a third of its land area.
And here's the LA Times story on Sunday describing life as it is lived by soldiers in Iraq: "This is a war without a front but with plenty of rear. Many soldiers spend a year in Iraq without ever leaving their fortified bases. Others may never meet an Iraqi, much less kill one. A soldier may patrol for months without ever seeing the enemy, yet risk death or disfigurement at any moment. Each day in Iraq will end, almost without exception, with an American on patrol losing an arm, a leg, an eye or a life to an earth-shattering detonation of high explosives. That these bombs are embedded in the most prosaic emblems of Iraqi life — a car, a donkey cart, a trash pile, a pothole — only intensifies the dread that attends every journey outside the wire."
But things are better, I tell you. BETTER!

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