Sunday, July 29, 2007

U.S., Iraqi, Successes - News Not Fit to Print?

No, I do not believe that there's some sort of plot. I'll get back to that point.

Also, I generally don't try to divert visitors to another site, but this time it's important.

Despite attempts to cut funding and poison morale, U.S. and Iraqi forces are making major progress in Iraq.

Ralph Peters' column, WINNING IN IRAQ details what's been accomplished, really accomplished, in Iraq. If more of this sort of fact leaked into the news, there might not be so much anti-war sentiment in the States. And elsewhere.

The lead sentence of Peters' column is, "TO a military professional, the tactical progress made in Iraq over the last few months is impressive. To a member of Congress, it's an annoyance." (New York Post, July 26, 2007)

It's a moderately long column, but Peters lists quite a number of goals achieved by U.S. and Iraqi forces. Achievements I haven't heard about, for the most part, and I'm a bit of a news nut. More than a bit, if you ask my wife.

Do I think that "they" are keeping this out of the news? No. I don't think this is a conspiracy of some sort. At least, I prefer not to.

My father taught me to "never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity." And there are days when I've felt that there must be an awful lot of stupidity out there. And, that the really stupid ones tend to be promoted to management and administrative positions. Judging by the success of the Dilbert strip, I'm not the only one with this feeling.

Of course, that's just feeling, emotion: hardly the sort of thing I'd want to base an opinion on.

Besides, what a person believes to be true is at least as important as intelligence, when it comes to decisions.

An explanation for the apparent suicidal lunacy on Capitol Hill, and the way that news services resolutely present U.S. casualties, statistics on U.S. casualties, emotionally-charged interviews with those left behind by U.S. casualties, and the horrific horror visited upon the horrified victims of the War on Terror may be in a world view that seems to be common among the better classes of people in the States.

I don't think it's too unfair to summarize it this way:
  • America is bad
  • Big problems are America's fault
  • America is an imperialist warmonger
  • It takes two to fight
  • If America doesn't bother al Qaeda (or whatever group tops the list), al Qaeda won't bother America
  • People would get along if Society - and America - would let them
Maybe I'm being unfair, but not by much. I grew up within a block of a college, and spent a great deal of my young-adult life in academia. The cultural norms, and enforcement of them, were far from subtly handled.

There may have been a little change in academia over the last few decades, but I believe I recognized the familiar cultural assumptions in this country's education, entertainment- and news- media today.

Conspiracy to cover up successes? No. Belief that such successes aren't important, and certainly shouldn't be emphasized? Yes.

Peters also asks, "Do our politicians really want to help al Qaeda regain its balance?"

I would prefer to believe that this is not the case. But their behavior strongly suggests that their either want al Qaeda to restore its power to kill Americans, that (as Peters suggests) they are so greedy and short-sighted that they just don't care, or that they simply aren't experiencing the same state of consciousness that I am, here in Minnesota.

There are other possible explanations, of course, but none of the ones I've thought of are any more reassuring.

Still reading this? Follow that link to Peter's post, and look for his list of U.S./Iraqi accomplishments! There are good things happening: at great cost, but good things nonetheless.

There's a decidedly conservative view of this topic in Impressive Annoyance.

Previous posts on this topic:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.