Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Myths of Iraq

In an article at realclearpolitics.com, an author and retired Army officer named Ralph Peters wrote a very impressive piece dicrediting many of the myths Americans are force fed about Iraq. He begins it this way:
During a recent visit to Baghdad, I saw an enormous failure. On the Part of our media. The reality in the streets, day after day, bore little resemblance to the sensational claims of civil war and disaster in the headlines.
No one with first-hand experience of Iraq would claim the country's in rosy condition, but the situation on the ground is considerably more promising than the American public has been led to believe. Lurid Exaggerations and instant myths obscure real, if difficult, progress.
I left Baghdad more optomisitic than I was before the visit. While cynicism, political bias, and the pressure of the 24/7 news cycle accelerate a race to the bottom of reporting, there are good reasons to be soberly hopeful about Iraq's future.

During the rest of the article, he attempts to disprove many of the myths about Iraq that we so commonly hear through the vision of his own personal experience over there. It is a very good and comprehensive story and everyone should read it. Enjoy.



The Transprogressive Pragmatist said...
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The Transprogressive Pragmatist said...

That was a well written article and he argues the points well. I think the most important part of the piece is our reliance on stringers to mine for information. Relying on Iraqis that may have hidden agendas is a dangerous way to procure news sources.

He makes some bold assumptions about the "average citizen". If he did not take a unbiased poll, his assertian of Iraqi attitudes is weak at best. If you are a retired American general out in the field, of course those who are interested in talking to you are going to be pro-american. Those who are anti-american are already fighting in the insurgency or want nothing to do with an american general. There is also the threat that if you are candid about what you think, the shiite relgious mafias will "take care of you". Assassinations have been a common occurance, according to many sources(granted the reports may be tainted, but i have seen them from the military itself).

I hope his view is more correct than the reports we read in the papers everyday.

Scott said...

I read the article too. All i want to say is this: isn't it possible that he's just blowing sunshine up our a$$? That this retired army dude is just spinning rhetoric? Even when it appears that I'm agreeing with an article's stance on an issue, which I try not to do--I try to stay removed from the author's bias and look at it objectively, deep down inside I question it's truth. Why should I take Fareed Zakaria's word over the retired army dude? They are both capable of lying.