Thursday, January 25, 2007

More Good News In Iraq Ignored By The Media


Surely you've heard that insurgents shot down one of our helicopters in Iraq this past Saturday. Unfortunately, 12 of this nation's finest lost their lives, and the tragedy doesn't stop there either. The real story has become that this crash came on the third bloodiest day in the war for U.S. troops. This fact has become the msm's weekend money maker, the Democrat's talking point, the pessimist's new low, and the terrorist's propaganda all rolled into one neatly formatted news bulletin. Meanwhile, the military is shaking its collective head at just how stupid we can all be. While having a new third bloodiest day for American troops might seem significant ... it isn't.

Let's take a look at some of the headlines following the crash courtesy of Blackfive.

The AP -- Saturday's toll was the third-highest of any single day since the war began in March 2003, eclipsed only by 37 U.S. deaths Jan. 26, 2005 and 28 on the third day of the U.S. invasion. U.S. authorities also announced two U.S. combat deaths from Friday.

The Washington Post -- 20 U.S. troops killed in Iraq - day is third worst since war began.

NY Times -- On one of the deadliest days for United States forces since the Iraq war began, an American Black Hawk helicopter crashed in a Sunni area north of Baghdad on Saturday, killing all 12 soldiers on board, the United States military said today.

LA Times -- At least 19 U.S. troops were killed in a helicopter crash and insurgent attacks across Iraq on Saturday in the deadliest day for the American military here in nearly two years.

So which two days have been even more bloody for U.S. troops? Well, one was in March of 2003 ... the same day Jessica Lynch was captured. The other was January 2005 when 37 Americans lost their lives ... 31 in a helicopter crash. To recap: 28 during the invasion in 2003, 37 in 2005 (31 from an accident), and now 19 in 2007. It would seem that every two years we have bad day in Iraq, and the majority of U.S. personnel lose their lives in a single helicopter crash.

Once again Blackfive notes: In reality today's news is another reminder that the toll in Iraq has been extraordinarally low. A helo crash makes "the bloodiest day since the last helo crash" - a future bus crash could break the record; a plane crash may someday result in "the bloodiest month (or even year) of the war".

Guess what was happening at the same time, but didn't receive a fraction of the coverage.

Reuters -- The U.S. military said on Monday 93 rebels were killed and 57 captured in a 10-day operation against al Qaeda-linked insurgents northeast of Baghdad. In an unusually detailed video news conference broadcast to journalists in Baghdad from Diyala province, Colonel David Sutherland said Iraqi troops had fought well in the operation and were improving their capabilities every day.

You can hop over to the Jawa Report to read the whole story.

This is nothing new to those of us who pay attention to what is happening. It's a shame we are few and far between. The average Joe will pick up the paper and find out that it was the third bloodiest day of the war, but will never know about a successful op in Baghdad.

Also over the weekend ... I found an interesting tidbit out of NBC. NBC Nightly News with

Brian Williams had NBC News correspondent Jane Arraf just back from Baghdad. Among the more noteworthy things she had to say was:

  • Life in Iraq “isn't entirely what it seems” from the constant media focus on bombings.

  • She acknowledged how journalists are “really good at getting across the relentless bombing and the violence, but it's really a lot harder for us to portray those spaces in between.

  • "I mean, for us, we live in the city. It's as secure as it can be, but we wake up to the sound of car bombs. We feel the mortars sometimes. And in a horrible, inevitable way, it becomes sort of like the weather, and it's kind of the same for Iraqis. Unless they're in the middle of it, life looks amazingly normal."

Williams then asked: "We get asked all the time ... where's the good news we know is going on there?" Arraf responded by saying that there is good news such as boys and girls walking to school, but they can't do those stories because it would put their lives ... and the lives of those children at risk.

I know, many of you are ready to nail her to the wall. However, what she had to say about not reporting good news for the safety of Iraqi children is not far fetched. Her words were the echo of Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, chief spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq. He spoke to Cybercast News Service last November, and spoke about the process for putting out good news. They determined the risk to Iraqi civilians by reporting on the good news stories because they new the insurgents would immediately attack that area to discount it. Sounds like something that could be used to ambush some bad guys to me. I guess the secrecy of this administration may be preventing some good news from getting to us. After all, the Pentagon didn't want us to know about the sarin and mustard attacks on our troops in 2004 either.

Truth is there has been a LOT of good news out of Iraq lately. We've killed one of Sadr's top aids, and captured another. We've captured top ranking Iranian officials and military officers aiding the insurgents, and captured the mastermind behind the kidnapping of Pfcs Menchacha and Tucker. Don't forget that Iraq's economy is booming as well, they are running the Houston marathon in Fallujah, Iraq, and the U.S. military is reporting a dramatic and unexpected increase in the number of police recruits in Anbar province. Non of this compares to the best news of all ... every year since 2004 the number of U.S. personnel killed or wounded in Iraq has declined.


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