Thursday, May 12, 2005


Another Day, More Dismal Iraq Coverage

Here is the above the fold headline for the SAEN's Iraq coverage today" "Iraq violence seems to have no end." Ah, nothing like a little editorializing passed off as news to really get the juices flowing! What I really found interesting about the story that follow (and continues on 7A) is that it barely touches on Operation Matador. Isn't that odd that the story drones on and on about what the terrorists have done, but pretty much ignores what our Marines our doing? So I feel it is my duty to direct my readers to some of the best info on the web about Operation Matador. You can find it over at Bill Roggio's The Fourth Rail. Bill is writing some of the best reports and commentary around about the a**-kicking we are giving the terrorists along the Syrian border. So what is Operation Matador? I am glad you asked:
The Coalition effort to interdict, deny and destroy the insurgent's capabilities in the Western regions of Iraq bordering Syria is dubbed Operation Matador. Colonel Bob Chase, the chief of operations for the Second Marine Division, reports that insurgents are standing their ground and fighting, and all the better:
"When we get there, they are deciding to fight, and as such they are dying." As marines we'd rather engage them that way than through an I.E.D. The enemy honestly felt that they had a sense of security up there. It had been a safe haven, and a lot of folks up there were former Baathists. Now it is no longer a safe haven, and it will never be a safe haven again. We are going to continue this for a number of days. The objective is to totally disrupt the safe havens and rat lines that have allowed them to bring those materials across the border. This had been a very secure area for the insurgents."

The importance of these enemy strongholds leaves the insurgents little choice but to stand and fight, as this is the rear area and critical supply line of the insurgency, without which their effectiveness would be diminished.

Operation Matador in the Western desert is the natural progression of operations designed to sweep through Iraq to engage the insurgency region by region. The operations began late last summer in the Southern Shiites areas surrounding Najaf, then moved to Fallujah and the Sunni Triangle in the fall, and to Mosul in the North, the Triangle of Death south of Baghdad and along the Euphrates River west of Baghdad throughout the winter.

Here is an excerpt from the May 11th update on Matador:
The Marines are methodically pushing westward, conducting detailed searches in the towns along the Euphrates. The Marines are driving the insurgents and terrorists towards the blocking force of the Marines in the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment in Qaim and the platoon(s) providing over watch along the ridge overlooking Rabit. Col. Bob Chase reports the local population is proving helpful; "We are getting a lot of information from the locals in the area and a very positive reception. They are giving up locations of where these people are hiding out, and each one drives another operation."

Notice that local Iraqis are providing information to our troops. Also, many of the terrorists being killed aren't even Iraqis:
Davis said his assessment was based on the examination of dead insurgents as well as the interrogations of captured fighters. Some, he said, wore white clothes favored by Yemeni or Saudi men, contrasted with the colorful garb favored by local Iraqis. One dead man wore a beard trimmed in a manner common to Saudi Arabia, compared to the Saddam Hussein-style mustaches seen among Iraqis.

During interrogations, many prisoners speak with foreign accents or use foreign phrases, said an interpreter who asked not to be identified. And some prisoners "just flat out admit" that they were from other countries, Davis said, without identifying the countries.

Qaim is considered to be the backbone of the terrorists infrastructure in Iraq, but apparently that isn't very important to the editors at the SAEN:
Military officials think that foreign fighters have been using the region as a sanctuary on their way from the porous Syrian border to cities such as Mosul, Ramadi and Baghdad, where they have carried out kidnappings, assassinations and suicide bombings aimed at destabilizing Iraq's nascent government.

Some U.S. commanders believe the area contains insurgent training camps and high-ranking members of the Iraq arm of the Al Qaeda terrorist network, including its leader, Abu Musab Zarqawi. As of early today, no camps or Al Qaeda leaders had been found.

Please visit The Fourth Rail for more information on Operation Matador. Information the SAEN won't report.


Mike Thomas writes the following comment to this post:
Sorry, but the news sounds pretty dismal to me. And never ending.

Mike has unwittingly bolstered my argument that the SAEN's coverage of Iraq is just short of criminal. Bob Rivard has forced his paper to color the news from Iraq to conform to his personal views about the situation. I don't know if he just doesn't like President Bush or doesn't believe freedom in the Middle East is worth fighting for, or both, but he has forsaken his journalistic integrity in pursuit of partisan goals, and he is dragging everyone at the paper down with him. So, Mike, this is just for you. When you get done reading all the links I am supplying, come back here and tell me you honestly don't think progress is being made in Iraq and that the SAEN's biased coverage of Iraq is justified. If you can honestly tell me that nothing good happens in Iraq then go for it. Please follow these links to Arthur Chrenkoff's "Good News from Iraq" series:
part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7
part 8
part 9
part 10
part 11
part 12
part 13
part 14
part 15
part 16
part 17
part 18
part 19
part 20
part 21
part 22
part 23
I have never said that there aren't bad things happening in Iraq, and the SAEN should report them. What I have said, and proven, is that there are good things going on in Iraq and the SAEN should, but won't report them, and anybody who can't admit that positive things are happening in Iraq isn't being honest. It's that simple.

You can read about the hope that Iraqis have for their country over at Free Iraqi. Somehow I am guessing he knows more about it than us.
Sorry, but the news sounds pretty dismal to me. And never ending.
Of course the news as reported by outfits like the SAEN is dismal, but we here at SAEN Watch have reported tons of good news from Iraq including in the post. Operation Matador is going great. Furthermore, nobody said this would be quick and easy. In the first month after D-day the allies lost 60,000 soldiers. It's a good thing today's press wasn't around then or the Third Reich would still be around. Many on the left call Iraq a quagmire and want us to leave so tell me, what happens if we leave? Won't that embolden the terrorist, much as our failure to act in the 80s and 90s did? What happens to American prestige if we are suddenly shown to run from a tough fight? How will allies like South Korea or Taiwan feel when they realize they can't count on us. Finally, when did freedom become so unimportant to the left that it isn't worth fighting for?
I gotta admit, Commando, that I admire your tenacity. Of course, I disagree with your assessment of the press coverage and, as importantly, your view of developments in Iraq. And while you reference WWII in your most recent post, I couldn't help thinking of Vietnam instead. Your concern about American prestige and emboldening the enemy is a loud echo of the arguments in support of staying the course in Vietnam year after year.

Please note that I'm not suggesting Iraq is our Vietnam. Nothing of the sort; the Iraqi war is its own unique event.

I appreciate your comments. I was not really attempting to compare WWII and Iraq. I was only trying to point out how silly it is for the press in this country and many on left to scream quagmire because of the number of KIAs in Iraq when you compare it to WWII. Besides, just because the press rarely reports good news from Iraq does not mean it isn't happening as we show on the blog regularly. Bottom line: why can't the SAEN report a fair and blances picture of Iraq? Is that asking to much?
What I find most incredible is that here I am saying that there are good things happening in Iraq and there are bad things happening in Iraq, but I have yet to hear one of the critics of this post even admit that somewhere in some tiny corner of Iraq there might be something good happening. So who is more close-minded?
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