Monday, January 15, 2007

The Test of America

David Warren, RCP on the new plan for Iraq:
But whether we are speaking of U.S. troops in Iraq, or Canadian troops in Afghanistan, it is important for the reader to remember that the overwhelming majority in our voluntary armed forces utterly despise the Barbara Boxers, Jack Laytons, and media flaks who shed crocodile tears for them, and exploit their anxious or grieving families. Our forces in the field are purpose-driven, and do impressive things every day; men and women alike, they face real risk with true manliness. They have a mission, to find and kill mortal enemies of all higher civilization, and it is the moral duty of every decent human being to wish them godspeed in that task.
Also read John Kass, Chicago Tribune.

They have a mission, and we have ours. Will we be worthy of them?

UPDATE: Amir Taheri, NY Post, "Why The Media Misstep?", a useful discussion of the pitfalls of translation and the difficulty in balanced coverage of a country (where the media rarely emphasize that the violence is largely limited to 5 neighborhoods of Baghdad and one province out of 18). People do have lives there:
Last month, Iraq received the U.N.'s special environmental prize for reviving parts of the marshes drained by Saddam, thus saving one of the world's most precious ecological treasures. Almost no one in the media noticed.

Also last month, the Iraqi soccer squad reached the finals of the Asian Games - beating out Japan, China, South Korea and Iran. Again, few in the West noticed.

In 2006, almost 200 major reconstruction projects were officially completed and 4,000 new private companies registered in Iraq. But few seem interested in the return of private capitalism after nearly 50 years of Soviet-style control.

Iraq's new political life is either ignored or dismissed as irrelevant. The creation of political parties (some emerging from decades of clandestine life), the work of Iraq's parliament, the fact that it is almost the only Arab country where people are free to discuss politics to their hearts' content - these are of no interest to those determined to see Iraq as a disaster, as proof that toppling Saddam was a modern version of the original sin.

Note also Michelle Malkin's coverage of Haditha Dam. Michelle is just returning from Baghdad. The dam is located in al-Anbar province, the one province in Iraq still seeing major violence. Despite this, our military has managed to keep this dam secure and employed local workers. The dam provides electricity to a third of Iraq.The lack of violence in other parts of the country is a major story. Just don't expect the major media to cover it.

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