Thursday, June 23, 2005


CNN: We report, you ...just don't read too close!

CNN headlines this story "General: Insurgency not weakening". You have to read more than halfway down to find out that Senator Levin (a Democrat) actually made the comment about the insurgency not getting weaker. But of course they manage to get the total number of US troops killed above the fold.

So what did General Abizaid actually say on the subject? That the insurgency "is about the same" as 6 months ago. Fair enough. It would be more surprising if a band of fascists who've ruled with an iron hand for 30 years didn't have the will and fortitude to keep murdering civilians and a few coalition troops here and there until they get their way. Especially when they undoubtedly have plenty of support from (at least) 2-3 moderately wealthy neighboring governments with a vested interest in making sure their people can't look out the window and see a functioning Arab muslim democracy nextdoor.

This isn't rocket science, and while I'm not shocked that Teddy Kennedy and Carl Levin don't get it, I am losing patience with Rumsfeld's refusal to see the pickle we're in. Which is that our military has its hands completely full in Afghanistan and Iraq and everyone knows it. So, for example, Bashar Assad feels free to have Lebanese democracy activists assassinated, while Syria continues to provide safe houses and training areas for terrorists on their way to both Israel and Iraq. Most of the signs are that stability (at least by Middle Eastern standards) has largely arrived in Iraq; the journey to achieve peace there as well will take us through Damascus, Riyadh, and maybe Tehran.

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