All The News That’s Not Fit To Print

Did you know there was a media roundtable at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad on Wednesday with Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin? Not from watching the evening news or reading the mainstream U.S. newspapers. ( A brief account is found on page eleven of the Wall Street Journal.) Austin had some interesting things to say, according to this report:

Today, the Iraqi government is “firmly in control of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul,” Austin said. “We’ve made some significant gains here in terms of security, and we hope that we can continue to build upon those.” Coalition forces in Anbar province are in the process of handing over full control to the central government as well, he added. A major reason for this change is the progression of Iraqi security forces, the general said. Since late March, when major operations began in northern, central and southern Iraq, violence and attack levels in the country have dipped to the lowest point in four years. Attack levels are down more than 90 percent during the past year. And as Iraqi army and police units continue to mature, the coalition and Iraqi government have been able to shift more focus toward central services and other issues affecting Iraqis, according to military officials in Baghdad. “Our efforts in conjunction with the efforts of the Iraqi security forces have been significant in reducing the number of attacks throughout the country,” Austin said. “[Iraqi security forces] have collected up a number of caches, and they’ve also conducted operations in Basra and Amarah. And as we watch that unfold, we see them take out a tremendous amount of lethal accelerants off the battlefield.” Austin said he’s pleased with his force’s hard work, but continues to focus against finishing the fight with al-Qaida in the north and efforts against Iranian-backed “special groups criminals” in the south.

There is still much to be done, Austin concedes:

As security maintains progress, coalition forces have the opportunity to shift more of their efforts toward central services for the Iraqi people, the general said. “We have a long way to go, but we’re here to help ensure the Iraqi security forces provide sustainable security that’s going to allow the government to continue to grow and allow the economy to flourish,” he said.

My first question is: which media outlets attended this roundtable (and presumably others like it) and why don’t their stories get published in the U.S.? My next question: while progress has accelerated recently, this rather extraordinary transformation did not happen overnight, so why weren’t the Democrats in Congress — including those who have been traveling to Iraq — reporting back this same information?

0
Shares
Google+ Print

All The News That’s Not Fit To Print

Must-Reads from Magazine

Playing Transgender Politics

Posturing, not policy.

On Wednesday morning, at 8:55 a.m., President Trump tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…” Many in the Pentagon wondered if he was announcing military action against North Korea, which, according to new intelligence estimates, is set to field a nuclear-tipped ICBM as early as next year. Not until nine minutes later was the suspense lifted with another presidential tweet: “…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

3
Shares
Google+ Print

A Secularist vs. the Progressive Faith

A double standard is, in fact, a standard. Just an immoral one.

Really it should come as no surprise that the scientist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins is the latest public figure to have fallen victim to a disinviting mania. After all, if a darling of the left feminist like Germaine Greer can face a campaign to silence her over her views on transgenderism or a woman of color like Ayaan Hirsi Ali can face similar attempts to have her free speech on campus canceled, why should Dawkins be spared?

39
Shares
Google+ Print

Unmasking Is Not a Distraction

Democrats will regret treating this as a partisan issue.

Whenever a former Obama administration official’s name comes up in the process of investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russian sources, Democrats take the position that the right’s penchant for “whataboutism” neutralizes the implication of wrongdoing. The Democratic objective is to shame those who are committed to crafting a full and unbiased portrait of the events of 2016 into ignoring inconvenient facts, but the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee remains unintimidated.

13
Shares
Google+ Print

Will Mattis Betray the Gulf Allies?

Has Mattis gone rogue?

At the core of the Qatar dispute is the question of Qatar’s support for extremism. While many Gulf states have histories of donating to or promoting radical Islamism, many have made real reforms. Saudi Arabia, for example, became much more serious about the need to curtail support for radical groups after the Kingdom started suffering blowback with terrorists targeting foreigners living in Saudi Arabia and senior Saudi officials. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, meanwhile, has cracked down not only on the Muslim Brotherhood but has also moved to sever the life-line Egypt often provided Hamas leaders in Gaza. Qatar, however, continues to set itself above the rest in its support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

12
Shares
Google+ Print

Partisanship Masquerading as Wisdom

Anger over health care clouds the left's judgment.

Nate Silver spoke for most of the liberal blogosphere when he objected to the mainstream media’s coverage of Senator John McCain’s speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

35
Shares
Google+ Print