The Fourth Rail:
Good analysis. Read it all.
The media’s portrayal of Iraq as a miserable failure proceeds apace. Dexter Filkins and David S. Cloud, in an article titled Defying U.S. Efforts, Guerrillas in Iraq Refocus and Strengthen,, declare the following about the insurgents: “They just keep getting stronger.” The Sunday Herald claims Zarqawi is moving terrorists out of Iraq and into Europe because of an abundance of fighters. John Burns states a civil war is being fought in Iraq, and asks if we know it? Edward Wong maintains Fallujah is becoming a terrorist haven all over again without providing much evidence other than bombings that occurred 20 miles outside of the city (the article is archived…it is not worth your coin). Eric Schmidt reminds us the Iraqi Army is not prepared to fight independently from US forces. Contrary to the claims of Daniel Okrent, the former Reader’s Editor of the New York Time, that al Qaeda are always referred to as terrorists, Messrs. Cloud, Filkins, Burns and Wong continues to refer to Zarqawi as a “militant” and refuse to label al Qaeda as a terrorist group.
The common thread among these articles is the “militants” of al Qaeda and the insurgency have grown in strength while the Coalition is unable to stop their rise in power. But the facts do not support these assertions.
Strategy Page (July 24, 2005 entry) explains the real nature of the civil war - the resistance of Saddamists to the Coalition’s attempts to reestablish full control in the insurgency’s rear area, and notes participation in the Iraqi army is only increasing. Austin Bay notes the Sunni representatives on the constitution committee have returned to the negotiating table, and many Sunnis are the enemy of the insurgency. As far as the capabilities of the Iraqi Army, the “unable to operate independently” meme falls short as Iraqi units are engaged in combat daily and the restrictions to independent operations are logistics and heavy weapons, not morale, leadership and fighting capabilities.