Thursday, May 22, 2008

"A Rare Success" in The New York Times

Perhaps it's because of cutbacks in the paper's news staff, perhaps it merely reflects a notoriously constipated worldview. However it happened, The New York Times front page characterization two weeks ago of the successful reassertion of central government authority in Basra as "a rare success" was odd.

Over the past year, successes in Iraq, while not easy, uniform or to be taken for granted, have been anything but rare. Beginning with Anbar province a year ago, a development completely missed by The Times, the rollout of security has been spectacular. A majority of Iraqi provinces are now protected by Iraqis, with American troops assisting with logistics and air support. A majority of the major cities, the same.

Violence, whether against Americans, Iraqi security forces or Iraqi civilians, is down. Terrorist attacks have been reduced by 80%. AQ is on the ropes, with thousands of it followers caught and killed on the Iraqi flypaper.
The "rare success" is most easily seen in the reporting by what was once the newspaper of record.

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