T Nation

We Won! Again!


#1

How long will the MSM and the Bush haters get it wrong on Iraq?

This is an aexcellent article. Although I'm sure the ABBr's will try to affix some sort of negative like a number quote of the war dead, or bullshit likr we are acting like an empire.

Whatever. This is a good read.


By Stephen Schwartz Published 10/17/2005

We won again! For a second time, the Iraqi people proved the Western mainstream media, Islamist radicals, self-righteous and nihilistic war protestors, disaffected Democrats, and neo-isolationists wrong: the referendum on the new constitution was successful. The Sunni minority participated in the polling and those among them voting "no" were swamped by the positive outcome.

Iraq will have its new constitution. The transforming intervention led by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair will succeed. The global sweep of bourgeois revolution will continue, centering on Iraq's neighbors: monarchical Saudi Arabia, statist Syria, and theocratic Iran.

But how long will the Western media get the post-9/11 story wrong before they understand that they, the MSM, are a major part of the problem?

For many months, the MSM and their assorted political allies have indoctrinated the world in despicable lies:

? That the Wahhabi terror in Iraq, financed by and recruited among radical Saudis, was an "insurgency" or "resistance" caused by the actions of President Bush.

? That the Sunni Arabs in Iraq backed the alleged insurgency, were uniformly opposed to the constitutional process, and would prevent its completion.

? That anti-Shia blandishments by Saudi and other Sunni rulers would seal Sunni opposition to the new reality in Iraq.

In recent weeks heightened discussion in Washington, and in centers of Islamic debate I visited, such as Jakarta, focused on these claims. Muslims knew the Sunnis would prefer to take advantage of their new right to vote, and would favor a constitutional order in Iraq rather than continued violence. The meddling of the Saudis was considered gross and embarrassing. Muslim leaders I met were more interested in the future of the "Shia-con" phenomenon, i.e. of Iraqi Shias aligned with the U.S. neoconservatives.

What does it mean to be a "Shia-con?" Nothing very different from what it means to be an ordinary neoconservative: bedrock belief in governmental and personal accountability, entrepreneurship, popular sovereignty, and a place for religion in public life. Sunni intellectuals with whom I met pointed out that "neocon" has become a term of abuse in the Muslim world no less than in the West. But when exposed to the foundations of neoconservative thought, they expressed approval.

Nonetheless, moderate Sunni Muslims who tried to tell Western media and government the facts about the probable outcome in the Iraqi constitutional election were ignored. Instead, numerous MSM reporters applied the practice they have pursued since the Sandinista era in Nicaragua: they found radicals and marginal, anonymous grumblers, and presented their clich?s as the voice of all Iraqi Sunnis.

Egregious, incorrigible examples of the Stalinist dialectic in the MSM continue even after the Iraq vote. The London Guardian, on Sunday, October 16, published a "news salad," tossed and retossed with vinegar and oil: a sequence of paragraphs seeking to perpetuate the Sunni issue as the sole topic of interest in Iraq. It tried to portray the Sunni vote for the constitution as contributing to further violence in Iraq. The argument, as convoluted as a tantric Yoga exercise, went like this: Sunnis voted, but against the constitution (actually, only some of them voted that way); although they voted in a process to accept the constitution they will not accept it; supposedly, all Sunnis are aggrieved about the share-out of petroleum revenues? blah, blah, blah. A "news salad" is the journalistic equivalent of "word salad:" according to a dictionary, "a jumble of extremely incoherent speech as sometimes observed in schizophrenia."

The pattern is no different from the nonsense reported about Nicaragua, which was supposed to vote for Sandinismo in 1990 but didn't; about Milosevic and his Serbian thugs, who purportedly would fight to the end if confronted by NATO forces, but also didn't; about Saudi women, who supposedly are happy not to drive cars, but aren't.

Regarding the Saudi/Wahhabi utopia, the kingdom south of Iraq still harbors hundreds of clerics inciting violence on the northern side of the border. The sermons of these clerics are posted on websites daily. Some are made public by Western-based Saudi dissidents. But they are mainly ignored by the MSM.

To put it more bluntly, how long will the devotion to disinformation of the MSM continue? Will MSM "journalists" ever be called to account for their consistent misrepresentations?

In dealing with the constitutional process in Iraq, and many other aspects of the present global crisis, Western reporters and commentators should moderate their tendencies towards complicated predictions, especially when they know so little about the religion and culture with which they are dealing. Islam and the Islamic world are much simpler than they think:

? Muslims have middle-class values. Even those who are refugees because of war and terror maintain such attitudes.

? Those who are frustrated in their middle-class ambitions, in such countries as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, may turn to radicalism.

? Most, however, will repudiate extremism in the interest of personal security, which happens to be a fundamental principle of Islamic governance.

These are the lessons of the Iraqi constitutional vote. Now let's have some reporters and commentators put aside their prejudices and start with such simple matters, and learn what they can about them. The result would be no news for Muslims, but might be Pulitzer Prize material in the West.


#2

From James Dunnigan:

Another Election Carried Out Despite Terrorist Threats

October 16, 2005:

The government is getting better at running national elections under the threat of terrorist attacks. The legislative elections last January had fewer than ten million people voting, and over 40 people killed by terrorists opposed to the elections. This vote, on the new constitution, brought out over ten million (69 percent of those registered), and left fewer than ten dead. There are several reasons for this progress. First, the government is getting better. There are more police, and more of them are trained and reliable. The government has used its experience well, and the country was basically shut down for yesterday's election, making it difficult for terrorists to move around. And apparently the terrorists did not move much, and attacked even less. But another reason for that was the effort by many Sunni Arab anti-government groups to get Sunni Arabs to vote against the new constitution. If the three mainly Sunni Arab provinces could get two thirds of the voters to go against the new constitution, the constitution would have to go back for more revisions and a new vote. Many Sunni Arabs decided that they could live with the new constitution, and turned out to vote that way. As a result, it appears that the Sunni Arabs did not stop the constitution.

All of this is another major defeat for the al Qaeda and anti-government forces. These two groups have not been able to stop any elections, and their efforts are weaker with each round of voting. Al Qaeda's efforts to goad the Shia Arabs into a civil war with Sunni Arabs has not worked either, although it has caused a lot of ill-will and violence in areas where Shia and Sunni live close together.

The anti-government forces have little to sustain them. The October 15 election was just another of many major defeats. And every day, there are numerous lesser defeats. But some of the Sunni Arab terrorists will keep at it, and it will be years before this threat is completely gone from Iraq. That's been the pattern in other Arab countries over the past few decades.


#3

How many free and open elections has been held in formerly Islamo-facist ruled countries in the last 4 years?

Regardless of what the peacenik crowd wants to cram down everyone's throat - freedom is spreading. Even the Suni's joined in this time. They joined in order to vote against the constitution, but they registered and voted nonetheless.


#4

I love how someone gave this thread a single star. Yes, I guess people having the opportunity to make a free determination of the direction of their country for the first time is just a bad thing. Shhh! Careful, the Syrians and Iranians might find out!


#5

I am amazed that the Iraqis provided most of the security for the election.

Things seem to be getting better at a faster pace.

Of course they still have to deal with the tiny minority of terrorists that are blowing up car bombs in crowds, but this will end.

The systematic corruption in the government bothers me too, but that is par for the course in much of the world.

All in all things are much better than the MSM tries to portray.

Next step is bringing some troops home. I hope we can start drawing down our troop levels soon.


#6

From Military Analyst Harold Hutchinson,

Al Qaeda Getting Tagged as Losers

October 18, 2005:

The referendum on the Iraqi constitution is over, with a turnout of 63 percent, compared with 58 percent in the January elections to select the transitional government. The al Qaeda and Baathist terrorists launched a total of 13 attacks ? compared with 347 during the January elections. In essence, for the fourth time in the past twelve months, al Qaeda has failed to halt an election in either Afghanistan or Iraq. The next elections, to select the parliament, are slated for December 15 pending the results of the referendum. The constitution appears to have been ratified.

The successful referendum underscores just how impotent al Qaeda has become since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Four years ago, al Qaeda was able to launch a coordinated attack that killed 3,000 people in the United States. Now, al Qaeda has proven unable to oppose the United States after American troops have liberated two countries in al Qaeda?s backyard. These singular failures belie the claims of a quagmire coming from the mainstream media and critics of the Administration. Al Qaeda has been rejected by the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The American strategy of bringing democracy to Iraq is succeeding. So are the tactics that are being used to implement it. While the results are unknown, just the fact that the elections were held and were mostly violence-free is a victory in and of itself. The fact remains that the United States is achieving its objectives, while al Qaeda is not ? al Qaeda is even failing to prevent the American objectives from being met. By any objective standard, al Qaeda is losing the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only places they seem to be winning are in a number of newsrooms in the United States, and in Spain, where a series of bombs (combined with a major public relations misstep by the Spanish government) led to a change in government and Spanish withdrawal from Iraq.

This is not surprising. A number of the major media outlets have been focusing on the IED attack du jour, while missing the bigger picture. Also, since the failure to locate Iraq?s weapons of mass destruction, the media has taken a line that the liberation of Iraq was not worth the casualties (which are half of the total of fatalities suffered by the allies on D-Day). The media?s tendency to accentuate the negative has given al Qaeda a bit of a lifeline ? their only hope for victory is that the anti-war movement, fuelled by the mainstream media, will wear down the political will of the United States. ? Harold C. Hutchison


#7

I think that as soon as we hear about an all-Iraqi force crushing an insurgency without the help of the U.S., then we will start seeing a draw down in coalition troop numbers.


#8

That is correct.

The problem is there are more American troops in Iraq than there are trained Iraqi troops in Iraq.


#9

I'm not understanding why this is a problem. They had no military after the invasion. We've had more military than they have since 1990. Why is it a problem now?

If you take away the civil affairs units, and those that are supporting the repair of the infrastructure - i.e, non-combat troops the difference is not that big.

But even so - Iraq went from 0 trained units to a shitload of them remarkably fast. Not as fast as the MSM wanted it to be, but impressive to go from absolutley nothing to what they have now.

The thing that the Bush-haters/peaceniks really can't stomach is the fact that we are achieving what we set out to achieve: A free and democratic Iraq.


#10

RJ, most people expected this war to be over in 2 hours, just like the movies.


#11

How many Iraqi's are trained according to the American generals in Iraq?

'shitload of them' is not specific enough.

Stop with the rah rah stuff for 1 day so we can have an honest discussion of the facts regarding Iraq.


#12

You can add Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz to that movie watching crowd.


#13

Not based on any public statements they made.


#14

I'm glad to see a posting like this. I've been overwhelmed lately for the desire to point out the obvious to many Americans.

You know, there was a countrys beginning long ago that started in similar ways. A country that had to fight for its freedom and losing lives the whole way. It started in war and has gone on to be one of the prideful reflections of that country. The USA still today sings songs of tribute to the men of old and past who lost their lives for the sake of us today. Still, even beyond the disagreements we all have, we are proud and lucky to have the freedom we do.

The idea today that the war in Iraq has been a waste and that we ought to pull out immediately is asinine and selfish. We glory every day in the freedom we often take for granted as Americans.

But yet we arent willing to give that gift to others. War has always been costly and it will be. The scars it leaves behind hurt. But I for one, am willing to give my life so some young Iraqi boy may taste the freedom I live my entire life. I doubt anyone in the USA would give their freedom up for anything in the world, if they knew what they were giving up. Yet to pull out or call Bush stupid, is foolish.

It just grinds my gears when people take their freedom for granted and are unwilling to give others the same.


#15

It's because people don't want to see us win this war simply because they hate George Bush. It's pathetic. And nothing sickens me more than people who say they support the troops but their actions (like public protest) increase the danger our troops are in by giving support to the enemy. I'm all for freedom of speech and I don't care if you disagree with the war, scream it all you want to get your voice heard before we go in, but once that first boot hits the ground in enemy territory, shut your dam mouth because all you're doing beyond that point is putting our troops in more danger.

This enemy knows they can't touch us militarily, they know their only chance is getting us to pull out, and the liberal media's bias coverage and the public outcry against the war resulting from it gives our enemy hope. Thank god we have a president strong enough to do what's right and not what's popular, and the result will be an extremely important victory in Iraq, the second country freed from tyrannical rule since 9/11.


#16

The Iraqi Army is estimated to be 170,000 strong organized into 107 batallions.

The number, as of this past summer, is proposed to rise to 270,000.

The Iraqi military has a home based mission in Iraq and is not organized along US lines that prevent the military from assuming traditional police duties.

By Western Standards 1/3 are combat capable. This means they can fight other soldiers. They are all fully capable to fight against paramilitary and criminal fighters. Three batallions are considered (3000) fully trained, by US standards, to fight alongside US soldiers. This is not as easy as it sounds since the US forces are highly skilled in rapid movement, counter attacks and combined force operations. Our Marines would be considered Commandoes in most armies.

Recently the three Iraiqi batallions mentioned above are leading attacks against terrorist murderers, with US troops providing heavy support form air power, artillery and Armor assets. These assets are not always necessary, but by Western standards, insure the victory and reduce casualties for the good guys.

This is all available public information. This training schedule is proceeding at an unheard of rapid pace.

The same argument can be made that your consistently negative opinion on any issue regarding the war would also need to be dropped in order to further debate on the issue.

All of the stories I posted, supporting the opinion of the orginal thread owner, bolstered the orginal positive news story. The information used to form those opinions is correct. The conclusions valid.

What information do you propose to support your position that we are failing?


#17

Why do I not believe--even for one millisecond--that you're willing to give your life for "some young Iraqi boy to taste freedom."

Are you willing to give your life for a young Tibetan boy to taste freedom? How 'bout an African in a refugee camp whose family got slaughtered by the Janjaweed? North Korean?

You wanna be a hero? Join the marines. Stop talking tough on the computer.


#18

huh?

What ever happened to 'Mission Accomplished'?

I guess that photo-op never happened?


#19

Mission Accomplished = War is over?

A little intellectually dishonest don't you think?


#20

Who "gives their lives?" Our servicemen risk their lives but they don't throw them away.

If our military shouldn't risk it for Iraqis, should they risk their lives for the French? Belgians? English?

Is it just OK to fight when it is white people?

If NJ was invaded should I help you fight back? After all I am in PA and it wouldn't affect me.

If a stranger is being raped or murdered should I ignore it? Must it be a neighbor before I help? Perhaps a family member?

For a so called liberal you sure don't seem to give 2 shits for humanity.

In case you forget we went to Iraq to take out Saddam Hussien. Mission accomplished. According to all the nay-sayers Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror, yet Iraq appears to be in the middle of the war on terror.

I don't think those people that blow up car bombs and IEDs in the middle of marketplaces can be called anything else.

Like all wars things don't go according to plan, yet we are winning.