Comments
Cone of silence indeed, but the second an IED goes off, Erb runs in(almost verbatim from the Antiwar.net talking points)to let us know we cannot win

Written By: shark
URL: http://
It’s the top story at Fox News right at the moment (11/16/07 11:14AM EST.)

That line quoted above struck me also.
The nightmare is ending. Al Qaeda is being crushed. The Sunni tribes are awakening all across Iraq and foreswearing violence for negotiation. Many of the Shia are ready to stop the fighting that undermines their ability to forge and manage a new government. This is a complex and still delicate denouement, and the war may not be over yet. But the Muslims are saying it’s time to come home. And the Christians are saying it’s time to come home. They are weary, and there is much work to be done.
The important point is in bold above. A civil society forswears violence for negotiation. An effective government can result from a civil society, but there’s no guarantee of that. Look at our own government and say that it is effective. Sure, in some ways it is, but in others it is corrupt, or ineffective, or both.

I think if we see these gains strengthen in the next 3 months, our troops will be less needed, Iraqis will be in charge of their own security.

I still look for the Democrats to complain that all the "benchmarks" haven’t been met. That will take more time, but less troops.

I’m tired of having to state caveats. Right now the main one is, if the Democrats don’t cut funding and under-cut the success we are having on the security front.

Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I await the other-worldly justifications of the anti-war contingent on why it’s perfectly appropriate that our cynical, biased professional journalist caste should ignore such events and don the "cone of silence" now that Iraq isn’t satisfying their narrative.

Mike Yon has a good story. I’m sure any journalist would agree. There is no cone of silence. The only question here is why you and your ilk are so hell-bent on weaving an ideology of mutually reinforcing victimization.

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Chaldean Catholics, cool! Yet another bit of excellent reporting by Yon.

Written By: John
URL: http://averagegayjoe.blogspot.com
If Yon has a good story, then why aren’t other journalists reporting similar good stories? Why is it that Yon seems to be the only journalist capable of finding this story?


Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
OK, I’m convinced. We won. Can we come home now? If so, when exactly? If not, why not?

Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Hey, Davey, the Japanese actually surrendered to us in 1945 and we’re still there. Can we come home yet?

The Germans quit in 1944-45 (can’t remember, don’t care to look it up) but we’re still there. Can we come home yet?

Can we, Davey, huh? Can we?

Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
the Japanese actually surrendered to us in 1945 and we’re still there. Can we come home yet? The Germans quit in 1944-45 (can’t remember, don’t care to look it up) but we’re still there.
Got it. BushCo says we’re staying in Iraq forever. Good thing there isn’t any cost . . .

Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Good thing there isn’t any cost . . .
And we all know bailing out would have no costs at all, right?


Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Um, BushCo never said any such thing, Davey. You did.

Keep raging against the machine, dude.

Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Oh, and Davey, I’ve been meaning to ask you:

How many calories per day do you burn arguing against strawmen?

Is that better than cardio for burning calories? I’ve been running recently and have dropped some weight, but I’m wondering if your workout might be more effective.

Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Funny how Davy’s logic never seems to bring him quite that far.
Let’s not give him any wiggle room, however...

David, I’m asking you directly;
Do you really suppose there’s be no cost in terms of lives for leaving the place with the speed with which you’re asking us to?

I can only think of one battlefield we left quite so quickly, in history... that being Vietnam. I seem to recall a few million dying as a result of folowing the peacenik’s edicts, in that case. Aside, of course from a lessening of our status in the world.... something the left is complaining about loudly...(In spite of the facts)

Are you really sure this is a road you’d rather travel, Davy?



You really want that repeated?

Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The Left must love war. Because running from it like DS would like is the best way to ensure even more in the future.

Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I can only think of one battlefield we left quite so quickly, in history... that being Vietnam.
What about the War of 1812?

Written By: Retief
URL: http://
A very moving story and Yes, it did bring tears to my eyes. I tried counting the number of times, before today, that I heard about Middle Eastern Muslims reaching out a hand of friendship to Christians in the last 6 years and I coud not get past the number 0.

What really got to me though, was how much credit those Iraqi Muslims wanted to give the US military.

Awesome. This is just another in a long line of positive stories coming from Iraq in the last two months. I E-mailed the Yon article to several friends. This news needs to get spread around.

Written By: Doug Purdie
URL: http://www.accidentaldesigns-photo.com

Speaking of the "Cone of Silence", Every single Michael Yon post gets Pulitzer ravings, but the NYT doing the same thing... crickets.

Chirp

Chirp

Chirp.

That’s three positive Iraq stories - available from the Times website... from today. Just today. I could find one hundred in the last month. Pick any MSM new outlet and I’d bet $1000 I could find several positive stories a week, in just about any week.

You know what I couldn’t find?

Three US soldiers apparently died two days ago. I didn’t even know. Note that I’m not arguing a conspiracy by the MSM to keep bad news away from Americans.

The "Cone of silence" is bullsh*t from people who don’t even read the MSM listening to other people who don’t read the MSM talk.







Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Please tell me what must happen before we can leave Iraq? The violence is certainly down significantly. By most accounts AQ in I is already defeated and the populace has turned against them in any event. Clearly, the approved benchmark of Iraqi national reconciliation is no longer the operative goal. What else must happen before we leave?

Here’s my prediction: Not one of you will hazard a declarative statement because you must be prepared to defend whatever the Bush Adminsitration does in the future, regardless of how moronic, counterproductive and indefensible that might turn out to be.




Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Please tell me what must happen before we can leave Iraq? The violence is certainly down significantly. By most accounts AQ in I is already defeated and the populace has turned against them in any event. Clearly, the approved benchmark of Iraqi national reconciliation is no longer the operative goal. What else must happen before we leave?
Once again, the same questions apply to Japan and Germany, etc.
Are these also "moronic, counterproductive and indefensible"?
Or is Iraq a special case because GWB is cnnected to it, and your BDS won’t abide it?

Getting through, yet?

Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Please tell me what must happen before we can leave Iraq?
Once again, the same questions apply to Japan and Germany, etc.
Are these also "moronic, counterproductive and indefensible"?
Or is Iraq a special case because GWB is cnnected to it, and your BDS won’t abide it?
Like I said: There will be no answer from the BushBots because you just don’t have an answer. You can’t even think for yourselves. All you can do is defend whatever The Decider decides to do.

(World War II? Yikes! You better cut back on the KoolAid.)



Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Clearly, the approved benchmark of Iraqi national reconciliation is no longer the operative goal.
And where did you get this straw man. National reconciliation doesn’t require an effective national political surge of effectiveness. If all the regions, and all the tribes are getting along fine, even without a fully functioning national government, then isn’t that "national reconciliation." What does "national reconciliation" mean to you?
Not one of you will hazard a declarative statement
Hmmmph, wonder what this is...
I think if we see these gains strengthen in the next 3 months, our troops will be less needed, Iraqis will be in charge of their own security.
And so, if our troops are less needed... we’ll remove those troops who we don’t need there.

I figure if things go reasonably well, we will see a draw down to 100K by the end of next year. Assuming of course, that the Democrats don’t cut funding and the Iraq security situation gets worse as a result of having to withdraw troops prematurely. While things are better, there could still be a resurgence of violence, for any number of reasons. Having enough of our troops there to give the Iraqi troops and citizens the backbone to stand up to, AQI, and the militias is still critical.

After that it’s anyones guess, since there will be a new administration here. I don’t see us going down below 50-60K in the next 4 years. We need troops and bases in the Middle East.

Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
That’s three positive Iraq stories - available from the Times website... from today. Just today.
Good! Finally, we are starting to see those stories. That’s exciting, and I’m happy to see the "cone of silence" retracting.

Now, if you think those stories have been common all along, and the MSM has had a nice, evenly-balanced presentation of Iraq news for the last year, then you’ve simply not being paying attention.

Yon was reporting on these things months ago, when MSM outlets studiously stuck to the line of how bad everything was. Yon, Totten, and others made many observations of how their reporting was at odds with what was then appearing in the NYT, etc.

If the herd mentality of the MSM is starting to kick in and they’re afraid of being left in the cold on this front, then it’s welcome and long overdue. Thanks, glas, for finding some evidence to that effect.

Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
That’s three positive Iraq stories - available from the Times website... from today. Just today.
And where we they featured in the NYT paper?

Front page, A19 or even further back?

And where will the major networks have this news in their broadcasts?

That is where the disparity has been.

Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Now, if you think those stories have been common all along, and the MSM has had a nice, evenly-balanced presentation of Iraq news for the last year, then you’ve simply not being paying attention.

I’m not paying attention? Pardon me, but: bwahahahaha!

The point is not that "today" the "MSM" "woke up" and "started" reporting on "good news" in Iraq. The point is that this stuff is in there all the time and that anyone properly motivated to bother could do what I just did for a single day for one newspaper one hundred times for the last two hundred days.

Let me make that absolutely clear: this coverage is typical of the past few months. Not unusual: Typical. I’m sure that I could find more positive NYT stories in 2007 than there are Michael Yon dispatches, total.

It’s not typical of 2004, 2005 and 2006 because everyone basically agrees that many more bad things were happening in 2004, 2005, 2006 (and the first half of 2007.)

Furthermore, bad things are still happening out there- this is a Bill Roggio link - and not being well-reported by the "MSM". How does that fit with your myth?

The point is that conservative bloggers who bash the MSM don’t actually read the MSM and look to see if reality matches their spin. What they do, in fact, do, is find articles that aren’t as positive on a given event as conservative bloggers think that they should be, and fabricate a narrative of "ignoring" good news.
The standard is that if the NYT- or the "MSM", whoever that is - doesn’t personally email you to tell you about an article, it doesn’t exist.

If the herd mentality of the MSM is starting to kick in and they’re afraid of being left in the cold on this front, then it’s welcome and long overdue. Thanks, glas, for finding some evidence to that effect.

Infuriating. This is not a "cone of silence" retracting. It’s a demonstration of your ignorance of what the "MSM" is actually reporting on any given day. You have no freaking idea what the MSM is or is not doing, because you don’t bother to find out. Instead, you make things up.





Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Um, Davey, your questions have absolutely zero to do with point of this post (Michael Yon’s exceptional reporting from Iraq).

However to humor you:
So our strategy going forward has both a military track and a political track. The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists, and that is why we are on the offense. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.
(my emphasis)

Oh, and Davey, that’s from 2005, so please don’t pretend that you couldn’t have known about this strategy.

Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
I figure if things go reasonably well, we will see a draw down to 100K by the end of next year. Assuming of course, that the Democrats don’t cut funding and the Iraq security situation gets worse as a result of having to withdraw troops prematurely. While things are better, there could still be a resurgence of violence, for any number of reasons. Having enough of our troops there to give the Iraqi troops and citizens the backbone to stand up to, AQI, and the militias is still critical. After that it’s anyones guess, since there will be a new administration here. I don’t see us going down below 50-60K in the next 4 years. We need troops and bases in the Middle East.
Keith:

I appreciate the serious response. Your best case scenario posits 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2008 and 50,000-60,000 there indefinitely. OK. I know where you stand.

For the moment, I will ignore all costs — direct and opportunity. Purely in terms of counterproductivity for Iraq itself, here is my problem with what you suggest:

I thnk we are inviting more trouble for ourselves by staying even after the violence has been quelled and AQI subdued. After all, it is NOT our country. You assume that massive (100,000) U.S. troop presence will continue to improve the Iraq security situation. I’m not so sure. In fact, I think we are in a sweet spot right now and this is the best time to get out. Let’s let the Iraqis sort it out now. Think about this: Now that everyone’s enemy (AQI) is whipped, how long do you think it will it be before Iraqi ire again turns against "the occupiers"? Just a matter of time. Probably a very short time.





Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.
Brilliant. And it fits on a bumper sticker! Now please run along while the grownups talk.

Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
October 1-7.
Another one.
And A third (straight US Army Press Conference restatement).
Oh, and a fourth.

That was October 1-7. No, I didn’t cherry-pick the week selection. It was literally the first week I randomly searched. My perspective on this comes from... reading the paper and website regularly.

Do I need to keep doing this?

There were also several negative stories in that week. The shocking point was - those stories were about bad things that happened in Iraq.

Admit it. You make this up. You skim conservative blogs to find out what the "MSM" is alledgedly saying or not saying and report their opinion as if it was literal truth. You have no idea how many positive stories have been written by the "MSM" on Iraq.

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Glasnost-

Just curious, how are the positive articles you’re citing played up- more or less than the bad stuff?

Written By: shark
URL: http://
why you and your ilk
McQ is ilk??

Is there a secret handshake as well Glassnose?

Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
As for the MSM "bias," get over it. The MSM is just big business chasing ratings and revenues. It is barely news anymore except for serious print and even that can be manipulated (Hello, Judith Miller). I was watching CNN yesterday when I realized that their target market must be 8 year olds. Dumb 8 year olds. And FOX is worse. Watch C-SPAN instead. It’s pretty cool sometimes. Other times . . . well, there’s always Law & Order. Have a nice weekend.

Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Davey-boy,

You can’t even stay on topic and you’re pretending you’re the grown up? You asked a question (not on topic) and I answered it. Just because you’re burning all those calories flailing against the strawmen in your head doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t see right through you.

Now, put your helmet back on, get back on the short bus, and get out of here. You’re out of your element, Davey!

Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Glas, do you even read the links you post? Or just do a search and then post whatever comes up?

The first one you posted for Oct 1-7 has nothing to do with good news from Iraq. In fact, it’s mostly about their reaction to Senate happenings here in the US.

If you’re going to cherry-pick, at least pick cherries.

Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
You know... I could be wrong, but I think I am — and always was — a lot harder-core on Iraq than most, if not all, of you. I say that Bush & Co. made abject fools of themselves by even glancing in the direction of the United Nations. The rational approach to all this was an announcement to the world at large: "We’re going to go chop that bastard Saddam’s head right the f*ck off in the middle of Baghdad, and you people don’t like it, then that’s just too bad, and your best move is to shut up, sit down, and stay out of the way." Before Day One, I was down for The High Plains Drifter approach, wherein the last officer on the last flight out of Iraq stops at the door of the airplane and announces to the locals, "Don’t make us come back." What I wanted was concentrated Terrible-Swift-Sword murder delivered unto the bad guys and all who would truck with them in any way, and nothing but that.

With all that, however, and in fact because of all that, there is nothing in the world irrational about this:
"Please tell me what must happen before we can leave Iraq?"
And not one of you has seriously answered it.

Why not?
"Hey, Davey, the Japanese actually surrendered to us in 1945 and we’re still there. Can we come home yet?

The Germans quit in 1944-45 (can’t remember, don’t care to look it up) but we’re still there. Can we come home yet?"
Yes, goddammit. Right now. Before I get this comment online. And if it happened that fast, it would be at least a generation later than it should have happened.

To hell with Iraq. Leave them to themselves, except when they cannot keep to themselves peaceably, and then blow up the bad guys as discriminately as our ingenuity affords, as often as it takes, until they cower in mortal fear at the very idea of trying to do us harm.

God damn George C. Marshall, and everyone who has taken him to heart, right down to the present day.

I mean it.


Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The first one you posted for Oct 1-7 has nothing to do with good news from Iraq. In fact, it’s mostly about their reaction to Senate happenings here in the US.

If you’re going to cherry-pick, at least pick cherries.


So, you’re telling me that an article describing Iraqis voicing their support for a unified Iraqi state is not a positive news story about Iraq?




Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Just curious, how are the positive articles you’re citing played up- more or less than the bad stuff?

I don’t feel like doing the work neccesary to figure that out, but you’re free to do it yourself. Before you do it, though, you should come up with a metric for what is or is not "played up". Second, you’ll have to make some attempt to control for the actual size of the news event being described, as well as biases that have nothing to do with "liberalism" or "conservatism", such as longstanding divisions in most Section A’s of a given paper into functional sections. Which is a long version of saying most international stories "buried" on page 17 were just categorized as less significant than A1-A3 and everything in between is domestic.
I’m sure that varies, but you get my point.

I think building a case of media bias based on the relative placement of stories on higher-numbered pages is fairly weak, which is why we have "cone of silence" arguments instead.

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
And
- here’s
- August 1-7
.

How many positive articles do I need to find between August 1 and the present day for you to carve out a front-page update to your post stating that I’ve clearly demonstrated that the "cone of silence" is clearly inaccurate regarding the NYT?
Fifteen? Twenty? I’m halfway there already. Thirty? Fifty? What kind of "cone of silence" is this?

And if I switched over to the Washington Post- holy moly. Forget about it. I’d expect to find thirty a month.

Boy, this gets easier when you find the "HTML Tools" section in the comment window. Ha!

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I’m with Billy Hollis on the October 1-7 article: it’s not positive. To summarize it: Democrats propose something that Iraqis don’t like; more disease, more violence. I guess I don’t look at the news with the same rose-colored glasses glasnost possesses. But read for yourselves:
BAGHDAD, Sept. 30 — The American Embassy on Sunday reiterated its support for a united Iraq as six political parties together voiced their objection to a United States Senate resolution that endorsed partitioning the country into three states.

In a statement released Sunday, the embassy said: “Our goal in Iraq remains the same: a united democratic, federal Iraq that can govern, defend and sustain itself. Attempts to partition or divide Iraq by intimidation, force or other means into three separate states would produce extraordinary suffering and bloodshed.”

The statement rebuffs the nonbinding Senate measure, sponsored by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, and approved last week, which calls for Iraq to be divided into federal regions "consistent with the wishes of the Iraqi people and their elected leaders," with the likely outcome of separate Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni states. The proposal resembles the power-sharing arrangement used to end the 1990s war in Bosnia among Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

Many Iraqi politicians have reacted angrily to the proposal, suggesting that at the very least they find it presumptuous. Opposition to it has even found currency on the street, where Iraqis have volunteered their opinion to American reporters they encountered. Said one, “So you are going to divide our country?”

At a joint news conference on Sunday, six diverse political parties that are discussing the removal of the current government objected to a divided Iraq.

“We think this would complicate the security problem and Iraq would undertake a long-term war and a civil war more than we have witnessed already,” said Basim Shareef, a member of the Fadhila Party, told reporters.

The Kurdish parties and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, led by the Shiite cleric Abdul Aziz Hakim, however, strongly support an arrangement in which much of the central government’s power is devolved to the regions. The Kurds already run a semiautonomous state in the north, and the Supreme Council hopes to see the nine majority Shiite provinces in the south band together to form a Shiite region.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health announced that the toll from cholera had reached 14 deaths. Its spread is worst in northern Iraq, with the city of Kirkuk and surrounding Tamim Province reporting 2,096 cases of infection. There are also 655 people infected in Sulaimaniya, and 106 in Erbil. In Mosul, Baghdad, Tikrit and Basra the cases are still in the single digits.

There is no information on the provinces of Diyala and Anbar, where the security situation has made it difficult for health workers to reach the areas for testing.

In violence across Iraq, three Sunni imams were assassinated in Mosul on Saturday, and American and Iraqi forces reported clashes with armed insurgents over the past two days that they said they believed killed at least 60 gunmen.

Khalid Ansary and Qais Mizher contributed reporting from Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Mosul, Kirkuk and Diyala.

Correction: October 2, 2007


An article yesterday about Iraqi anger over a United States Senate nonbinding resolution on Iraq’s future political structure sponsored by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. referred incorrectly to the measure’s proposal. It calls for the United States to support a political settlement that would create “a federal system of government and allow for the creation of federal regions, consistent with the wishes of the Iraqi people and their elected leaders.” It did not call for doing so along ethnic and sectarian lines so that Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, the three major groups, would each control one region.


Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
How many positive articles do I need to find between August 1 and the present day for you to carve out a front-page update to your post stating that I’ve clearly demonstrated that the "cone of silence" is clearly inaccurate regarding the NYT?
Well, the first thing I have to ask is this: Now that you’ve unearthed all that positive news in the NYT on the Iraq effort, how does that change your own position on the issue?

Second, I presume you know a bit of statistics, and therefore know better than to over-simplify the case the way you have. How many pages does the NYT put out every day? How many did they devote to bad news? Over how long a time period? Where were the articles placed? Did the bad news get front page treatment vs page A37 for the good news? Is there a de facto policy to accentuate bad news and bury good news, thereby both putting their spin on the situation while simultaneously being able to maintain, as you have, that they are doing a good job reporting both aspects of the situation? To make the sweeping claim you make about the good news getting out, it would be necessary to look at some of those questions.

And let us note that you were finding three or so a week back when, but you found three just today. Does that not suggest a possible trend to you?

Look, I’m happy that they do report these things, and that they have been reporting more of it than I knew about. I don’t normally read the NYT; I pick up USA Today much more often because it’s lying around restaurants in my area and the NYT isn’t. And from what I’ve read in USA Today through October, it’s been heavily weighted negative, with a couple of reasonably upbeat front pagers that still had a lot of "on the other hand" stuff for "balance". If the NYT is indeed doing better than USA Today and the national broadcast networks, that’s great. I’m not yet convinced because of some of the questions I asked above, but I’m certainly prepared to be open minded about it. If I see your opinion confirmed by similar trends in other major media, that would make a great post, and I appreciate the idea for it.

And, hey, I also really appreciate you finding all that info in the NYT is about the good news in Iraq. I’ll be able to use some of those links the next time one of the anti-war contingent tells us that it’s all a failure, it can’t possible succeed, etc.

But none of that changes the fact that Yon has been doing his thing a long time, and for much of that he was rather a lone voice (along with a few others like Totten). I’m inclined to think the influence of Yon and others brought the NYT to the point that they had to do a more balanced job, and that fulfills something I hoped would happen when I posted this. (Note the date on that post.)

(I was going to respond about the Oct 1-7 article, which I don’t consider a positive one, but Steverino did a great job on that, so I’ll just defer to his answer.)



Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Like I said: There will be no answer from the BushBots because you just don’t have an answer. You can’t even think for yourselves. All you can do is defend whatever The Decider decides to do.

(World War II? Yikes! You better cut back on the KoolAid.)
Bush bot? Cram it, Davy.You clearly have not been reading me very long or you’d know I’ve taken a major chunk outta GWB’s backside several times in the last 7 years.

The fact is that we’re still in theater of every major engagement our military has been involved with in the last 60 years, except Vietnam.

That’s your answer Davy.
Same answer for you, Billy; there is none other, except in your case to add;
To hell with Iraq. Leave them to themselves, except when they cannot keep to themselves peaceably, and then blow up the bad guys as discriminately as our ingenuity affords, as often as it takes, until they cower in mortal fear at the very idea of trying to do us harm.
News flash, Bro... we’re not gonna do that from Bombers based in Okinawa. And even if that was possible, it wouldn’t stabilize the region, which is why we’re there. Leaving that region to their own devices as you suggest, is what has been causing the radical movement against the west in the first place.
That’s not an option., now.. nor was it when Clinton tried it. This issue is the biggest single reason I think Ron Paul a nut case. Isolation doesn’t work. It never has.



What I’d like to know from YOU, Davy is why you think Iraq is a special case, in light of the long history I’ve just pointed up.



Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well, the first thing I have to ask is this: Now that you’ve unearthed all that positive news in the NYT on the Iraq effort, how does that change your own position on the issue?

Not a whole lot. I read most of these stories when they were put out the first time, because this happens to be the paper I read the most often, and also happens to be a popular target for bashing among conservatives.

Second, I presume you know a bit of statistics, and therefore know better than to over-simplify the case the way you have. How many pages does the NYT put out every day? How many did they devote to bad news? Over how long a time period? Where were the articles placed? Did the bad news get front page treatment vs page A37 for the good news? Is there a de facto policy to accentuate bad news and bury good news, thereby both putting their spin on the situation while simultaneously being able to maintain, as you have, that they are doing a good job reporting both aspects of the situation? To make the sweeping claim you make about the good news getting out, it would be necessary to look at some of those questions.

Oversimplifying? This indeed does not constitute a formal assessment or empirical survey, but I’m lowering the level of simplicity from where we started in this point from "zero evidence" to "some evidence".
Off the top of my head: lots of stories: don’t know, but probably not large multiples more than "good news" stories, and quite possibly even or favorable ratios during the past couple of months: as for placement, i have no idea.
Why don’t you go look? You have an opinion about MSM treatment of the Iraq war that is not informed by evidence. However, don’t come back with two "good news" stories that aren’t on the front page and two "bad news" stories that were on the front page and claim it as an "unspoken policy", because the significance of the event is a separate metric aside from the goodness or badness of the event.

I’m inclined to think the influence of Yon and others brought the NYT to the point that they had to do a more balanced job,

Please. The goal is not 50% good and 50% bad stories (has Mike Yon ever written a story containing information that reflected badly on the US army?). The goal is to have coverage of "good" and "bad" events that roughly correspond to how many "good" and "bad" events are actually happening in the country in question.

I have no idea how many good and bad events are happening in Iraq. I’m willing to believe that things are in some nebulous average "better", not as much because of Mike Yon but because various other places aren’t contradicting him. But when Mike Yon makes it look like the kinetic war in Iraq is over - and the church peace heads in that direction he earns my strong skepticism, because information is coming out in plenty of places that contradict it.



Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I await the other-worldly justifications of the anti-war contingent on why it’s perfectly appropriate that our cynical, biased professional journalist caste should ignore such events and don the "cone of silence" now that Iraq isn’t satisfying their narrative.
Oh I get it. This was rhetorical. We weren’t meant to take that seriously.

Because from what I can tell, Billy’s vast knowledge of this “cone of silence” from the “cynical, biased professional journalist caste” is obtained from copies of The USAToday he finds lying around in restaurants.

If Billy meant for us to take that seriously, he surely would have to have some foundation.



This is why one should always read the comments section.



Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Because from what I can tell, Billy’s vast knowledge of this “cone of silence” from the “cynical, biased professional journalist caste” is obtained from copies of The USAToday he finds lying around in restaurants.
Well, actually I read the Wall Street Journal more because I’ll actually pay money for it, but they’re behind a firewall and hard to link to. And I can’t say their Iraq coverage has been very good either, though their balance wasn’t as bad as USA Today, and the last few weeks have been somewhat better.

Now, I won’t watch network news because it’s such a waste of time, but until recently based on occasional reports I’ve read they seemed averse to positive Iraq coverage. The Media Research Center says ABC began giving some coverage about a month ago, and NBC and CBS finally started this week. That’s good news, though I’ll admit I was unaware of it. I’d grown so used to hearing about broadcast networks sitting on positive Iraq news I rather assumed they were still doing so.

As with the NYT, I’m happy for the change. Overdue, but I’m still glad to see it. Though of course no amount of good news is going to affect the opinions of some, including Democratic members of Congress it seems.

Always glad to see you stop by for some snark, Pogue.

Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
To hell with Iraq. Leave them to themselves, except when they cannot keep to themselves peaceably, and then blow up the bad guys as discriminately as our ingenuity affords,
Exactly. That’s how sovereign nations behave. We should get out now, while an orderly exit is possible. We have other things to worry about. Much bigger things. Like Pakistan: A de-stabilized nuclear-weaponized nation half-overrrun by Islamofacists, including those who attacked us on 9/11. A country where, because of our idiotic foreign policy, even being associated with the U.S. is the kiss of death for any democratic Pakistani political leader, actual or potential. Some people here seem to think that Iraq is an American colony; it isn’t. Iraq should be left to the Iraqis. We’ve already done plenty there and we have other things to deal with.



Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Exactly. That’s how sovereign nations behave. We should get out now, while an orderly exit is possible. We have other things to worry about. Much bigger things. Like Pakistan:
And you’re deluded enough to consider us able to keep the situation in Pakistan under control while Iraq falls under the control of the Iranian Radical islamists?

This is a regional problem, not one inside arbitrary borders.



Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
And you’re deluded enough to consider us able to keep the situation in Pakistan under control while Iraq falls under the control of the Iranian Radical islamists?

This is a regional problem, not one inside arbitrary borders.
It’s even more complicated than that. The problem, I think we agree, is Islamofacism and specifically the fact that the Islamofacists — with AQ in the lead — have declared war upon and actually attacked the U.S.. It is certainly a regional problem, at least. It is in fact a global problem. That said, the solution must account for national sovereignty issues. That is simply part of the equation whether we like it or not. To pretend otherwise makes us less likely to find a solution that benefits us. The more hated the U.S. is in the larger Muslim world, the more difficult it will be for us to foster democratic solutions in the dangerous countries, most of which are Muslim-dominated. Without national democratic solutions we are left only with supporting dictators. While that is sometimes necessary in an emergency, it almost always fails fantastically in the end. We cannot afford such mistakes in these times.

In my opinion, staying in Iraq hurts the U.S. more than it helps. It is simply a matter of time before the Iraqis turn on us again or we get caught in renewed sectarian cross-fire. (Let’s face it: The Shi’ites and Sunnis have not worked out their differences in any national way.) No one likes to be occupied and the Iraqis are more fanatical about this than most. Let’s get out. If Iraq splinters into three, so be it. If Iraq unites in national unity, great. If Iraq threatens us in the future, we will deal with them then.

I am NOT saying that there are no risks associated with leaving Iraq. I am simply proposing that we exit in an orderly manner now that relative calm has been restored. We are in a mess and there are no perfect solutions. We can only pick among the bad ones that exist. I think that, on balance, the risk from staying in Iraq is greater than the risk in leaving. Remember, the primary reason we went into Iraq was the fear that Iraq had WMDs and that they might be used against us idrectly or, more likely transferred by Saddam to the Islamofacists. Well, the Islamofacists are this close to taking over Pakistan. And we know that they have, not just WMDs, but the mother of all WMDs — nuclear weapons. We must keep our eye on the ball.


(Again, this is without even accounting for the actual costs of the war.)

Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Always glad to see you stop by for some snark, Pogue.
My pleasure. Anytime.

Cheers.

Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
If we are going to be whining about when our troops can come home, might I suggest a non-partisan system would be to do this chronologically:

Germany
Japan
Korea
Balkans
Aghanistan
Iraq

By the way, basing troops in Iraq, even if it is relatively peaceful gets our guys accustomed to Islamic and Arabic environments. That’s probably more useful than speaking Dutch or figuring out how to use chopsticks at this point.






Written By: Harun
URL: http://
and when thinking about this cone of silence, may I suggest a simple comparison to Abu Ghraib reporting. That would be the apt metric.

Written By: Harun
URL: http://
It’s even more complicated than that.
Ah. Not enough ’nuance’. John Kerry would be So proud.
That said, the solution must account for national sovereignty issues.
Which is why there’s been such an effort to reinforce the governments involved... Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly, though to a lesser extent, Pakistan as well.

I think that, on balance, the risk from staying in Iraq is greater than the risk in leaving.
Quite the reverse, rather, until such time as the Iraqi government is established enough to deal with it’s own security matters... which would include, for example, a re invasion by radicals to use it as a stage for attacking Pakistan and Afghanistan. Iraq is the key to making the remainder of the region stable. That risks making the whole thing a failure... which interestingly, is EXACTLY the path the left would have us take.

Remember, the primary reason we went into Iraq was the fear that Iraq had WMDs and that they might be used against us idrectly or, more likely transferred by Saddam to the Islamofacists
You’re STILL chewing on that wad of cud? That was one of many reasons. One of them was the ability to use raq as a base, and to ensure Iraq wouldn’t be used against us as we deal with the remainder of the region.

Consider; Do you really think attacks on Pakistan can be handled effectively while Iraq is still a security concern? Again, this is a regional thing, not a border war.





Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Just curious, how are the positive articles you’re citing played up- more or less than the bad stuff?
I don’t feel like doing the work neccesary to figure that out, but you’re free to do it yourself. Before you do it, though, you should come up with a metric for what is or is not "played up". Second, you’ll have to make some attempt to control for the actual size of the news event being described, as well as biases that have nothing to do with "liberalism" or "conservatism", such as longstanding divisions in most Section A’s of a given paper into functional sections. Which is a long version of saying most international stories "buried" on page 17 were just categorized as less significant than A1-A3 and everything in between is domestic.
Heh....you just answered my question for me. Positive articles buried, negative articles prominent.

Thanks

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Heh....you just answered my question for me. Positive articles buried, negative articles prominent.

Feel free to misinterpret and draw erroneous information from my statements anytime you like, Shark. On the other hand, I’m impressed with your recent ability to avoid trash talk. Maybe you’re not entirely beyond civilized discourse after all.

When I say, "I didn’t look into that", I mean "I didn’t look into that". The reason is that I think it’s a stupid concept to begin with.

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://

 
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