Monday, November 22, 2004

Defeatism masks a remarkable victory

I'm not particularly excited about the war in Iraq, being that within the next three to six years, I may very well find myself there. But I don't care what side of the "right war/wrong war" argument you're coming from - defeatism is despicable.

What's going on in Fallujah? Well, the coalition forces, suffering a total loss (thus far) of 56 soldiers, have wiped out the last real "stronghold" in Iraq (see below for CNN links).

But what's the real story? Apparently, it's about American "war crimes," insurgency in other areas of Iraq (the capture of Iraqi police stations), and the awful casualties suffered by Americans.

Well, to borrow a term from the English, bollocks. This is from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: a commentary by Jack Kelly, asking whether Fallujah is the Iwo Jima of Iraq.

Here are some highlights:

The swift capture of Fallujah is taxing the imagination of Arab journalists and -- sadly -- our own. How does one portray a remarkable American victory as if it were of little consequence, or even a defeat? For CNN's Walter Rodgers, camped out in front the main U.S. military hospital in Germany, you do this by emphasizing American casualties.

Other publications across the world have taken different approaches, Kelly says, including playing up insurgency "victories" elsewhere in Iraq or screaming about the Marine who shot the Iraqi playing dead.

Journalists quick to judge the Marine are more forgiving when it comes to the terrorists. "They're not bad guys, especially, just people who disagree with us," said MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

As my friend and fellow soldier sometimes asks aloud when things like this come up, "Ok, how many heads have we cut off on TV? Just making sure I had the score right."