Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Alligators are not green, and Iraqis are making plenty of political progress...

Three Marks on the HorizonPlease read Michael Yon's latest titled Three Marks on the Horizon:
False advertising is afoot. I write these words from Indonesia, soaking wet, having just returned from photographing rice paddies in a pouring rain, wearing a Florida Gators shirt. That means there is a green alligator on my chest. While supporting my team, my shirt perpetuates the myth that alligators are green, when in fact they are black when wet, gray when dry.The mantra that “there is no political progress in Iraq” is rapidly becoming the “surge” equivalent of a green alligator: when enough people repeat something that sounds plausible, but also happens to be false, it becomes accepted as fact. The more often it is repeated—and the larger the number of people repeating it—the harder it is to convince anyone of the truth...


Large numbers of Iraqis detested us after the prisoner abuse stories, and some over-the-top attacks on Fallujah, for example. But through time, somehow the American military has managed to establish a moral authority in Iraq. It’s not the only authority, but the military has serious and increasing moral clout. In the beginning, our influence flowed from guns, or dropped from the wings of jets. Later it was the money. Today, the clout still is partially from the gun, and definitely the money is key, but there is an intangible and growing moral clout and it flows from an increasing respect among Iraqis for our military. Washington has no moral clout in Iraq. Washington looks like a circus act. The authority is coming from our military. The importance of this fact would be difficult to overstate.

Also, here's some recent video from Michael:
This is night vision video footage of the launch of Javelin missiles, as told in the dispatch, "Rattlesnake," on Michael Yon's Online Magazine. C Company of the Duke of Lancasters infantry was part of a coordinated ambush on insurgents emplacing IED's along the roads in Southern Iraq. This is only one small element in a mission that involved multiple units attacking from different positions.

Read the full story here.

Related: From Dennis Prager's latest - If It's Bad for America, It's Good for Democrats:
The most obvious area in which this rule currently applies is the war in Iraq. The Democrats have put themselves in the position of needing failure in Iraq in order to win the next election. And again, perceptions matter more than reality. Even if America is doing better in the war, what matters most for the Democrats are Americans' perceptions of the war. The worse the stories from Iraq, the better for Democrats.

That helps to explain why the mainstream media, who ache for a Democratic victory, feature stories of wounded American soldiers, grieving families of killed soldiers and atrocity stories - such as the apparently fictitious story printed in the New Republic. But they almost never feature stories about military heroism and altruism. Americans read and watch far more stories about soldiers who commit atrocities than about soldiers who commit heroic actions and who show love to Iraqi civilians.
Read it all.

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