Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On the Run

I’ve noticed over the years how the major networks and newspapers are very good at uncovering and reporting about corruption in government and business, but completely derelict at uncovering and reporting about corruption within their own news industry.

Jack Kelly writes a good piece today about progress in Iraq that starts with a refutation of CNN reporting.
CNN's Michael Ware said in a broadcast Jan. 30 that Ramadi is "the true al Qaida national headquarters." If that were true, al Qaida is in bigger trouble in Iraq than most of us realize.

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt devoted his show last Wednesday to the (overwhelmingly negative) opinions of Iraq war veterans on the demands of Democrats that U.S. troops be pulled out. One call was from "Bruce in Upland," whose son is a soldier currently serving in Iraq.

"I will speak for my son who right now is bored out of his mind in Ramadi, because he hasn't heard a shot fired in combat now in about six or seven weeks," Bruce said.

I am encouraged to see this specific critique of mainstream media.

Mr. Kelly then goes on to describe a dynamic taking place among the Iraqi people.
U.S. intelligence thought there were about 1,000 al Qaida in Baquba when Operation Arrowhead Ripper began June 19. Those who haven't fled have been killed or captured.

The smaller part of the reason for the dramatic improvement in Ramadi and Baquba is the change in strategy embodied by the surge. The larger part is the change of heart of most of al Qaida's former allies.

Mr. Yon was with U.S. troops in the Spring of 2005, when they fought insurgents in the Baquba suburb of Buhritz. Among "the most proficient at killing our people," he said, were the 1920s Revolution Brigades.

In April the 1920s Revolution Brigades attacked al Qaida and asked for U.S. help. Last week Mr. Yon returned to Buhritz with a leader of the group, "Abu Ali."
Mr. Yon asked Abu Ali why his group switched sides. "Al Qaida is an abomination of Islam," he replied. "Cutting off heads, stealing peoples money, kidnapping...every type of torture they have done."

Sheikh Abdul Sattar al Rishawi, founder of the Anbar Salvation Council, gave similar reasons for his change of allegiance.

When al Qaida ran Baquba, it would amputate the two fingers used to hold a cigarette of any Iraqi caught smoking. Men who refused to grow beards were beaten, as were women for the "sexually suggestive" behavior of carrying tomatoes and cucumbers in the same bag, Mr. Yon said. He recounted finding the bodies of beheaded children.

Al Qaida's brutality has alienated the overwhelming majority of Sunnis as well as the Shias who were the primary targets of its attacks. When the U.S. can provide them with protection, ordinary people are turning on al Qaida with a vengeance.

Most of al Qaida's leaders and many of its foot soldiers escaped from Baquba, and probably will try to establish another "capital" elsewhere. But they're running out of places to go.

The U.S. Senate is debating today about a proposal to require withdrawal of American troops. Some of our politicians are either clueless or actually want al Qaida to win in Iraq.

No comments: