Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Can Not See the Forest for the Moss.

Two posts from separate blogs work together very nicely.

Late yesterday I read on Powerline
One wonders how past wars could have been fought if news reporting had consisted almost entirely of a recitation of casualties. The D-Day invasion was one of the greatest organizational feats ever achieved by human beings, and one of the most successful. But what if the only news Americans had gotten about the invasion was that 2,500 allied soldiers died that day, with no discussion of whether the invasion was a success or a failure, and no acknowledgement of the huge strategic stakes that were involved? Or what if such news coverage had continued, day by day, through the entire Battle of Normandy, with Americans having no idea whether the battle was being won or lost, but knowing only that 54,000 Allied troops had been killed by the Germans?
Source: Powerline - Some Thoughts on Casualties in Times of War and Peace

It all seems a chaotic mess because this is the way the MSM is reporting it (and perhaps because as Michael Yon points out there seems to be no rhyme or reason why the army releases its information). 20 Marines killed in Haditha just seemed to happen for no reason at all. There is no explanation of why Haditha and Rawa are important. There is no reminder the Marines were fighting the core of the terrorists in Fallujah last year (much closer to Baghdad). Thank God for The Belmont Club and The Fourth Rail and other such blogs!

But it is entirely possibile [sic] this story is true. At this stage in the Anbar Campaign, Coalition forces are not devoting many resources to occupying cities. Operation Quick Strike, which was directed at Haditha and surrounding towns, was another cordon and search operation designed to keep the insurgency off balance. Once the Coalition switches to clear and hold operations, towns such as Haditha will no longer remain open to enemy infiltration.

There is another item to consider here. At this time last year, Fallujah was the capital of the Zarqawi empire that stretched across the Anbar province. If the Guardian is correct, Haditha and a couple of backwater farming towns along the Euphrates are now the core of his empire. Zarqawi's area of operation is shrinking, and his support, particularly among Sunnis, is waning. He may be able to occupy Haditha and run it as his personal Islamist state, but he is a far cry from where he was last year, and even further from disrupting Iraq's political process.
Source: The Fourth Rail - The Islamic Republic of Haditha?

The instigation of Bill's blog above was a report in The Guardian on the state of terrorists and how they still control Haditha and the surrounding area. The article's sole source consists of a terrorist. The terrorists can provide one source but no number of sources from the good guys will ever suffice.