Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The bad news is undercovered 

If you listen to the conservative media like Fox news and a big section of talk radio, or if you follow the right wing blogosphere, surely you know that Iraq is just getting better and better. According to them it is just the liberal media that is exaggerating the bad news.

However, amidst the celebration of their killing Zarqawi the Wall Street Journal editorial page, amongst the most hardline and determined of the wars supporters, came out with a rather stunning admission – things may well be worse than what is reported. Lets look at some excerpts from what they said:

After Zarqawi

In a war on terror without conventional battle lines, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s death Wednesday in a U.S. airstrike near Baqubah is about a big a victory as you get.


Yet as important as his death is, no one should be overconfident that this is the turning point for Iraq.


While Zarqawi’s Islamic radicals are the most ruthless “insurgents”, the remnants of the old regime – Saddam’s intelligence service and fedayeen – are more numerous. They’ve also grown more brazen, threatening thousands of Iraqi with torture or death if they or their families cooperate with the new government. At least 13 Iraqis were killed in another car bombing yesterday.

Particularly troublesome is life in Baghadad, where common criminality mixes with the political violence to create a feeling of increasing demoralization. The Green Zone that shelters U.S. and Iraqi government officials is more isolated than ever, and there have been numerous reports of gangs attempting to enforce Islamic law in various parts of the city – even in the wealthy embassy district of al Mansour.

The bomb attack that wounded CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier and killed two of her colleagues and a U.S. soldier last week was a very real indicator of the hazards to both foreigners and Iraqis. While some media outlets seized too readily on bad news in the past, Baghdad is now so dangerous for reporters that the bad news is probably undercovered. The latest Pentagon report to Congress estimates that there are more than 600 attacks a week in Iraq – more than in 2004, which saw the simultaneous Fallujah and Sadr uprisings.

The editorial then goes on to complain that rather than doing more military sweeps through the Tigris and Euphrates River valleys a way needs to be found to secure Baghdad. I guess that means this didn’t work out as planned. I knew it wouldn’t. It also means Bush will probably scrap any plans to walk the streets of Baghdad as Iraqis throw flowers at him in gratitude for all he has done for Iraq. He’ll probably stay holed up in the “ever more isolated” Green Zone.

But sarcasm aside, it’s interesting to see The Wall Street Journal fess up and tell us that things really aren’t going well for the occupiers and their puppets. And Instapundit not withstanding it really has nothing to do with liberal reporters.


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