Good news from Iraq?

Posted by lex, on April 10th, 2007

In a mainstream newspaper? Well, yes.

According to Dennis Bryne in the Chicago Tribune:

Iraqi coalition forces have shut down a major network of car bombers that was responsible for the deaths of at least 650 civilians.

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces there, also reported the recent capture of “more than the usual numbers” of weapons caches. One consisted of more than 120 improvised explosive devices, some of which were the “particularly lethal” anti-armor munitions being used against U.S. troops.

“There have been some encouraging indicators in Baghdad, in terms of a reduction in sectarian murders,” he said. “There have been some families returning; there have certainly been revivals in the markets,” which he called one of the main measures of progress. He particularly noted the return of “tens of thousands” of Iraqis to an enormous, vibrant, milelong market because of increased feelings of security. “… [T]here are soccer leagues out here. The national soccer team is on its practice fields. There are signs of normality in Baghdad, albeit, again, in a city that may have been hit by violence on that given day.” He pointed to a “major development” in Anbar province, a place that “many were ready to write off as a lost cause.”

“[A]ll of a sudden you have cities all the way from the border, Al Qaim through Haditha, Hit, Ramadi and Fallujah, where tribes have volunteered for the Iraqi security forces.” He said it is a “stunning development and reflects the frustration that the Sunni Arab tribes in Anbar have had with Al Qaeda and what Al Qaeda has done to them, to their sheiks, their families, their young men and, frankly, to their businesses and livelihoods. It has really had a devastating effect. And they have said, ‘No more,’ and stood up and voted with themselves and with their young men.”

Well, it was in the opinion section. And Byrne had a larger point to make:

Just as so many stories don’t report the good news, I’m leaving out the bad. It seems only fair when The New York Times, for example, reported Petraeus’ comments deep in a story headlined: “Bush Acknowledges Americans Weary of Iraq War.” And only briefly, missing the positive comments. In the news business, what’s “normal” isn’t usually reported because, by definition, it isn’t news. Unless it is in a country that is supposedly in ever-deepening chaos. Then the rare appearance of normality, indeed, should be news. But the appearance of normality in Iraq doesn’t get reported. Maybe that means that the media consider the increasing normality in Iraq the norm. Or maybe it’s just bad reporting.

Just so.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, GWOT

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