Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Iraq: The Good News

It's time again for Arthur Chrenkoff's biweekly roundup of the "good news" from Iraq. If you only see what little is reported in the major media, you can be forgiven for believing that a car bomb is detonating on every street. It is easy to get the impression that the only things our troops do in Iraq are either mill about on street corners waiting for a suicide bomber to plow into them, or drive around aimlessly until they hit an IED. As Arthur convincingly shows, this is absolutely not the case. To quote Michael Yon, a journalist currently on the ground in Iraq:

Unfortunately, the "Sunni triangle" is a region churning with an insurgency that shows no sign of letup. But by focusing on the flames, the media does not give the world a fair or accurate representation of what's happening for most Iraqi people, or for most of the Coalition forces. I, too, have spent most of my time in Iraq in these dangerous provinces, so even these dispatches might indicate that Iraq has more problems than is actually the case.

Yet even here in the warring provinces, progress is clear. I have endured many tedious meetings with agendas focused on roadside trash, local business development, or Iraqi police training. These normalities do not make good news.

Though "the media" zooms in on the flames, viewers are equally complicit. After all, who among us is more likely to tune in or read about another successful Iraqi adopt-a-highway initiative, when the other option is dramatic footage of the fighting that our people face every day inside these jagged borders?

NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski stated last week on the Don Imus show that US troops in Iraq spend 75% of their time working on humanitarian and reconstruction projects. Yet, as Cori Dauber noted, we hear almost nothing about these efforts in the media. Thankfully, Chrenkoff takes the time to tell this overlooked part of the Iraq story. Please give it a read:

Thanks, Tony
(also available via Chrenkoff)


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