Iraq: Violence is down – but not because of Americas surge

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by ABrighter2006, Sep 14, 2008.

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  1. Not sure how widely known Patrick Cockburn is known, outside of the UK, but interested to hear the views of US members on the following article:

    Have quoted a few paragraphs, but the whole article is worth a read.

    Particularly interested in views on the US media coverage, and whether the para quoted in blue is the way it is seen in the USA? Comments?


    Source: Patrick Cockburn - Independant on Sunday
  2. Patrick Cockburn is just an anti-American leftist who runs that crackpot website CounterPunch. He's an extremely biased source.
  3. Okay - what about the comments referring to US Media coverage - fair or not?
  4. I think the US news-media are biased, lazy, and incompetant just in general anyway. But not biased in the sense that they are pro-American, just that the MSM here in the US is so ratings and entertainment oriented and they all seem to hire Brit's, Canadian's, Australian's, and South African's as their foreign correspondents which probably should tell you something about their interest in foreign affairs.

    I personally don't believe anything Cockburn says because I know he's got an extreme anti-American agenda.
  5. I lived in Toronto for a bit and get Canadian TV out of Vancouver here in Seattle. Canadian news ain't no intellectual walk in the park either. It's pretty much like American news with a different accent and focus by and large.

    A non-news example in sports was this; I spent a lot of time on CBC watching the Olympics. The Michael Phelps hype was as strong in Canada as the US down to the stupid network announcer who asked an American swimmer if he thought Phelps would win his next race by a large margain. The swimmer looked at the reporter with disgust and replied "I hope not, I'll be trying to beat him". Nice to know their reporters are just as dumb as ours.
  6. AB2006, this my perspective as a Brit living in the US, but must point out I do tend to avoid US news media and stick to BBC America and news website, so this is probably worthless!...

    As I see it there is a general presumption that things are improving considerably in Iraq because of the massive reduction in American causalities and this being the result of the Surge. The rightwing Republican media particularly emphasise that the Surge has worked.

    However, at the moment the media is pre-occupied with the Presidential race and this appears to be the main reason for the reduced coverage on Iraq.

    More interesting for me is the almost non-existent coverage on Afghanistan, even before the Presidential race took over. Also there is rarely any mention of Coalition contribution or casualties in either Iraq or the Stan. Actually the rightwing media like to criticise Europe for their lack of effort in the War Against Terror and for being a safe haven to Muslim extremism.

    Come next year with a new President, whoever it maybe, I'm sure Iraq will be back firmly in the media's radar and how the new incumbent is going to proceed. Also it looks like Afghanistan might get more airtime here as more US troops are transferred from Iraq there.

    Also it must be realised that the US media is very partisan based on whether it has a Democratic or Republican bias. The leftwing are still looking at Iraq with doom and gloom while the rightwing think it's all going peachy. Most of the time the media seem more interested in slagging each other off than actually reporting the news.
  7. You igit they aren't reporting about Iraq because they have nothing bad to report from it. The MSM declared it lost just like Harry and Nancy did, now they are focused on destroying Gov. Palin and getting their stooge Obama in.

    Oh please do tell where is this "right-wing" media you refer to? It would be a pleasure hearing that then the drivel we are subjected to......
  8. Not sure what point you're making. You are basically agreeing with what I said but criticising me for it - or have I missed something?
  9. Both the Surge and Anbar awakening played a role in the current downturns, and the civilian toll is down as well, not just American troops. However, I think there is truth in this, and as mentioned, Petraeus said as much himself. It's NOT over. Now the Sons of Iraq and the Shia need to learn to play nice (a possible, but difficult task). Other issues include the safety of former and current Iraqi employees of the coalition (most notably interpreters), corruption in the central government, and the need to reboot the infrastructure and economy. Hopefully policy makers will utilize the breathing space the allowed by the Awakening and the surge to address these issues before the situation relapses.

    And yes, I believe there is ALOT of truth to the blue portion. Nobody, pro or anti-war wants to talk about it anymore. Everyone has their mind made up, and are convinced that either we lost or that we won. And don't get me started on the absolute ignorance of the war in Afghanistan, I get red in the face when I try to discuss it with my countrymen.
  10. The problem there is that the Administration did not know what they wanted to achieve by invading Iraq/toppling Saddam; consequently the win/loss is entirely in the eye of the beholder. I think we didn't win, but equally we have not lost (yet). A more important question is have the Iraqi population won or lost? Perhaps someone should ask them.
  11. I think it wanted oil... nevermind. Anyway, yes, someone does need to talk to talk to the iraqis and figure out the issues of the SOI and Shia dominated ministries, lack of accessible power and clean water, as well as rampant corruption/laziness/incompetence in their government. These are among the "stuff" I mentioned.
  12. If that really was the case, they'd have been better off cosying up to Saddam like the French and the Russians did, and arranging a free run for the oil majors. Had those idiots never heard of real politik? :roll:

    Like you say, economic growth and public amenity is the fastest way to stability; if the average joe has water, electricity, a home and a job to pay for it all, he's much less likely to volunteer for wearing one of those exploding waistcoats.
  13. Fair one. Clearly it wasn't purely oil. Still, the amount of attention the CPA spent on securing oil pipelines as opposed to hospitals and training police is a bit dodgy.

    Eek, I need to get this tinfoil hat off. Ah that feels better. I think I've gotten myself out of conspiracy mode
  14. Thanks for the responses guys - think the overall "higher awareness" of the US people where military matters are involved, probably helps in this.

    Outside of those "close" to the mil in the UK, the general populace in the UK (IMO) is largely ignorant, apart from the soundbites - and that's if they can be arrsed to watch / read / listen to anything relating to the mil, in the first place.
  15. True, but he was right about the "Red Menace": in the early 1980s he countered the prevailing view of the GSFG as the "Fantasian Army" that could be at the Channel Ports in 2-3 weeks if the Kremlin gave the order, with a reasoned analysis which drew on sources largely ignored in the West. Cockburn asserted that the USSR was a socioeconomic basketcase on the verge of collapse whose armed forces, although large, were poorly equipped, badly trained/ led, with very low morale, who'd be incapable of sustaining any attack in the face of even moderate NATO resistance.

    Cockburn was dismissed by all & sundry (notably by the CIA & academic "Soviet experts" of Group B) as a lefty loon with an axe to grind who wilfully ignored the "strategic realities". Well, thankfully, the crunch never came, but his analysis of the state of the USSR was spot on.

    He may be wrong here, but maybe he's more perceptive than some are willing to acknowledge? As before, time will tell...