February 13, 2006
Unreported History in Baghdad
Colonel John M. Kanaley
The silence was deafening and the seats were empty. The western
press was nowhere to be found. The location was Baghdad and the
event was a February 10th, 2006 press conference announcing the
final verification of December's election results. Although the
final allocation of parliamentary seats did not change from last
month's tentative reports, the conference was nonetheless significant
for American and Iraqi history. What was equally significant was
the absence of members of the western press.
If the pre-release
of the topics to be discussed included reports of widespread voter
fraud, complaints by detained terrorists of maltreatment, or a
sudden clamoring for the return of the deadly former dictator,
certainly, the major news networks and the print media would have
found time to attend. Of course, their reports would have consisted
of their own perceived failure of western style elections in a
part of the world that they deem to be unprepared for democracy.
Since they were unable to report a "disastrous" event
of this war, apparently, their budgets did not allow for attendance
significance of this announcement is the underlying theme which
the anti-war crowd refuses to recognize: the war has been successful
and there is verifiable progress within the country of Iraq. Not
only did we defeat a murderous despot, we have gained an ally
in the war against terrorism. Just three short years ago, these
same people were being terrorized by a vicious regime whose primary
responsibility was supposed to be to protect its own citizens.
After being victims of this brutal state, free Iraqis are now
fighting their former oppressors who consist of remnants of the
Ba'ath Party and the foreign terrorists who have taken it upon
themselves to determine what is best for the Iraqi people.
What is feeding
the success of the Iraqis is that they are fighting for a legitimately
elected government which they now have a genuine part in. No longer
are they forced to support the narcissistic and sadistic ways
of a tyrant. Instead, Iraqis learned at this press conference
that their efforts to defeat terrorism through the ballot box
have been legitimized by local and international organizations.
Now, the business of forming the government begins.
It is said
that success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan. In
the pessimistic world of the western press and the anti-war left,
they continually turn their backs on momentous accomplishments
while simultaneously failing to acknowledge this turning point
in the defense of freedom. The press never hesitates to report
on the so-called surges of attacks in Iraq. Logically speaking,
if there is a surge at any given point, then there must have been
a previous decrease in attacks as well, yet, that is never reported.
are peaks and valleys in the number of attacks. What is not reported
when these supposed surges take place is the failure of most of
the attacks. The bombings and shootings have not adversely affected
operations, they have not disrupted our logistics, nor have they
resulted in the enemy gaining one inch of territory. More importantly,
they have not hindered the desire of the Iraqis to continue on
with everyday life, despite the attempts of the terrorists to
target innocent civilians. Yet, the intensity and constant reporting
of every negative occurrence in Baghdad would lead one to believe
that we have walked into the shadow of death from which there
is no return.
of the failure to report on the importance of this success was
demonstrated at the conclusion of the press conference. Several
hours later, the only related news on CNN International were reports
of two bombings in Iraq and the all important notice from Cindi
Sheehan that she will not run for the Senate and send Diane Feinstein
At a time
when American troops deserve a good headline in the major newspapers
or a positive top-of-the-hour news flash on the network stations,
the press and the left instead continue to focus on more mundane
topics of discussion. This is the beginning of the most pivotal
year in this war, and once again, the mainstream media finds itself
on the wrong side of history.
M. Kanaley is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army.
He serves in Baghdad, Iraq.
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