Two important articles, and a comment on the coverage
Here are two essential articles I’ve enjoyed reading recently:
John Keegan and Bartle Bull, ‘What is a civil war?’ Prospect Magazine (UK), December 2006
Frederick Turner, ‘Baghdad Vigilantes and the Dark Side of Civil Society,’ TCS Daily, October 25, 2006
My only qualm about Turner’s thought-provoking piece is that the Sadrist ‘death squads’ are not directing their viciousness at Sunni insurgents exclusively but rather at lay Sunnis too. I think that Keegan/Bull’s point about chaos in Iraq being mistakenly characterized (conveniently for some, I may add) as civil war is spot on.
My little quip of the today: I have this sneaking suspicion that most Western news bureaus in Baghdad are being subjected to a very sophisticated disinformation campaign. I've been looking at the recent coverage and something does not add up; it goes beyond the bias most of these reporters have against the war to begin with, or the backgrounds of their Iraqi stringers and fixers. I think they are being played. I don't have much information to back it, just instinct at this point. But played by whom? And how? Editors back in the States should look into revising sourcing methods for Iraq before it becomes apparent that they may have been duped.