Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good News From Iraq

After several months, the journalist Jill Carroll has been released and appears to be well and unharmed physically from the ordeal. This story came up before here she had originally been captured. As was mentioned before, she had attended a school in this area and it was one of the few times that a national story came through this town. Everyone should be pleased by this outcome and her family must be ecstatic right now.

Certainly good news out of Iraq, but certainly not the type that would satisfy the conservatives in the United States. The mere fact that a reporter who challenged the conventional wisdom that security is so adrift inside Iraq that one can't go to the source for stories is abducted herself and appears on the nightly news making announcements for the captors explicitly brings home the point that security is not viable there yet.

And judging by some comments made by an officer in the field, things are not going to be moving, on the whole, in a positive direction for quite some time. At Paul Rieckhoff's web log on the

So, I asked "The Cardinal" one simple question: "What do you say when people say the media doesn't tell enough good news stories out of Iraq?"

His response:

"I never hear that because we all here know the good news stories are bullshit and do not really affect the mission in any way. It's like this thing we keep saying here about all the new people we've recruited for the iraqi police. It leaves out the fact that my platoon was in a 40 minute gun fight with the iraqi police. So you recruited more of them ... awesome!

"the iraqi army is making progress and we're handing over more and more to them everyday." Complete bullshit. What's the good news in the fact that all their logistics, medical, engineering, staff function, etc. is being done by us? ALL OF IT.

The full post is here. One might not find a good deal of inspiration in the notes that this soldier passes back from the field, yet it sounds suprisingly different than what the Administration senses the situation to be.

Solid, encouraging news should be disseminated from Iraq if it exists, yet if there is insecurity rampant throughout the streets of Baghdad, a "unity" government has not come close to forming, and men are discovered in the morning with bullet holes in their skulls, then that is the news from Iraq. Anything else is just a feel good piece to make those in the audience not question what is really going on in country.

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