Things Aren’t Going As Badly As The Mainstream Media Would Have You Believe
Things Aren’t Going As Badly As The Mainstream Media Would Have You Believe: For some reason, the mainstream media has a tendency to give a very negative spin to war news. Maybe it’s because they tend to lean to the left or because of the media’s tendency to accentuate the negative aspects of stories, but it’s something we saw a lot of in Afghanistan and something we’re seeing in this war.
We’re already hearing about “Black Sunday”, “Vietnam”, “major setbacks”, etc, etc. Of course, things have gone far from perfectly — that is always the case in a war — but on the whole we’re doing really well. Let me tell you why I say that…
— All available evidence seems to indicate that our strike on the opening night of the war either killed or incapacitated Saddam Hussein and other top Iraqi leaders. That’s good news that may help us end the war faster.
— There were early indications that as much as 20% of the Republican Guard was involved in surrender talks. If that came to pass, it would severely weaken Iraqi defenses and moral.
— Best estimates appear to put us at less than 35 casualties so far. When you look at the size and scope of what we’re doing, that’s not bad.
— We’ve seen less than a dozen oil wells set on fire. Since that number could have easily gone up into the hundreds if things had gone poorly, seeing that small a number is a big plus.
— Although we’re still crushing pockets of resistance in Umm Qasr, we can prevent Saddam from dumping millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf again and we should be able to get humanitarian supplies into Iraq relatively soon.
— Keep in mind how far our troops have moved in a short time. “Shock and Awe” started on Friday and we already have troops within 50 miles of Baghdad.
— Civilian casualties appear to have been kept at minimum up to this point. To the best of my knowledge, the Iraqis are claiming less than a 100 civilian casualties and whatever number they come up with we can probably slash by 2/3rds at least. So far so good on that front.
— For the most part, we have gotten a good reception from the Iraqi civilians.
— Iraq has yet to kill anyone with a SCUD missile or even get off any shots at Israel. That’s a testament to the excellent job our men are doing and the improved effectiveness of the Patriot missile.
— So far, we don’t have any evidence that the Iraqis have used any chemical weapons on our troops. Reportedly they have loaded them up only to have us blast them into oblivion before they could use them. There’s also the possibility that some of the SCUDS were loaded up with WMD but either missed or were shot down. Either way, they didn’t hit our troops.
— While Saddam has successfully mounted some guerilla operations against our Coalition forces, they haven’t significantly slowed our forward progress towards Baghdad.
— Although Turkey has proven to be a throbbing pain in our rear ends, our worst fears have not come to pass. There has been no Turkish land grab and the Turks haven’t gotten into it with the Kurds. Again, so far so good.
— Also, our allies have really been punching above their weight class in Iraq. The Brits have been doing great work all across Iraq, the Aussie SAS has been tearing into Iraqi soldiers in Western Iraq, and the Polish GROM commandos have been involved in the fighting in Umm Qasr.
— So far, we haven’t been hit with any terrorist attacks on the homefront. That was and remains a real threat, but it’s encouraging that Al Qaeda and Iraqi forces have been unsuccessful so far.
Now, all of that being said, keep in mind that I’m not trying to paint an overly optimistic picture for you. The hardest fighting is expected to be around Baghdad and it has yet to occur. Furthermore, the chances of WMD being used around are going to go up a lot as we get closer to Baghdad. We’re also going to see more Coalition Forces killed and captured, more “friendly fire incidents,” and more collateral damage. Furthermore, we may very well be surrounding Baghdad for weeks rather than risk street to street fighting that would cause extensive Coalition & civilian casualties.
I thought it was worth bring all of this up because of all the emotional peaks and valleys that go along with war. On Friday things were going so well that I actually heard someone speculate that the war might be almost over by Monday. On Sunday we had reporters asking if it was a new Vietnam.
All I can say is, “don’t get too high, too low, or overly emotional”. I know that’s hard to do — especially given the way that the Iraqis have treated our prisoners — but this war is just getting started and we need to be patient and give our military time to work.