Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ground Truth in Iraq

If you really want to know what's going on in Iraq there's no substitute for first-hand information. I strongly recommend that you follow the reports of Michael J. Totten, an independent journalist who has embedded with the U.S. military repeatedly over the last several years. His accounts over the last year of the awakening in the Sunni province of Anbar have been excellent. I hope he gets a chance to go to Basrah soon and give us the real story there, too.

Michael Yon is another independent journalist who has repeatedly embedded with our troops. His reports tend to emphasize the military aspects of the struggle and he is more overtly opinionated in his commentary. Yet both he and Totten provide the ground truth in Iraq that is almost completely absent from reports in the major media. Most reporters sit in the Green Zone in Baghdad and write their reports from the U.S. and Iraqi press releases or perhaps a few phone calls. But these guys go straight to the front lines and tell you what really happened.

The major media obsesses over counting explosions and casualties, without bothering to investigate whether the price we are paying in money and lives is actually accomplishing anything for the average Iraqi citizen. If the only thing you know about Iraq is that a) we are spending billions and b) our guys are getting killed, you are going to have an overly negative opinion of the situation. That's just reporting all the costs and none of the gains. Totten and Yon will show you both sides.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well put.

Your Nephew Theophilus.