Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Happy Sunday

Ouch, what a gloomy Sunday for Washington’s doom-n’-gloom crowd! The Washington Post ran a front-page story on Basra that opens up into two whole pages deeper inside; who in DC can turn their backs on such genuine aspirations for liberty?

Then, there’s a lead editorial in the same paper “warning” Obama & Co. that Iraq is turning into a success, and that he needs to come up with a strategy quick to build on that victory, rather than retreat, and retreat, and retreat so more.

Now for those of you who’ve followed my reporting on Basra from Day 1 of Operation Cavalry Charge, isn’t it satisfying to have gotten two months’ prior notice of what is now universally being billed as a success?

For its part, the New York Times grudgingly describes another success story in Mosul in its Sunday edition, but they got the name of the military campaign that’s still unfolding there wrong. Otherwise, the NYTimes rehashes the sob story of Iraq’s Jews that had been covered in detail five and four and three years ago in the New York Sun, among other publications. Sure, the story of the Jews is saddening, but it’s quite a thing for the NYTimes to retell it just to keep the momentum of gloom going—could it be because they’ve run out of other gloomy tales to tell?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following your reports for some time now, and really enjoy watching the MSM slowly trying to catch up. It must hurt them a lot to have been so wrong for so long.

2:12 PM, June 01, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will find another way to destroy credibility for the US position against al-Qaeda and Ba'ath to which Bush dedicated his presidency. The whole anti-Bush program was, as was the whole anti_Nixon program, to gain control of the Congress and the courts in order to cause mayhem.

The next attack will be to maintain with a straight face that Obama's peace monergering broke the will of al-Qaeda.

6:20 PM, June 01, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experience in the US has been that most people are completely unaware that there have been massive victories and improvements in security. When I speak with them, they continue on the same old line of "how we got there". It is frustrating to say the least. They are also unaware of the numbers of combined forces that are involved in those successes, that the US is not fighting this fight alone.

When the battle for Basra began and the Iraqi security forces had some minor defections, that is all that I heard of with no numbers for comparison. While the media portrayed this a some sort of crisis, I viewed it as an intelligence bonanza! They already knew that they were infiltrated, so that's not big news, but what I saw was, on every single person who walked away they had everything, from a retinal scan right down to their shoe size. Now, I do believe that some left due to fear, but many, many more times that stood their ground and continued to fight for their country along side and in many cases, in front of or independent of coalition forces. That side of it was never reported, yet the information was not unavailable, as I, sitting at my politically unconnected desk, knew about it. When the defections were reported, I actually started cheering. It was a harmful to moral and effectiveness the brave Iraqi's who were loyal, to have moles with them. The reporting of just that event was totally dismissive of the tenacity and sacrifice of the Iraqi security forces and bordered on bigoted.

Most of the people that I speak with appear to be living in the past and clinging to old rhetoric. In response to this, I have asked many, "Do you feel that it is moral or the right thing to do to leave millions to a possible blood bath because we don't want to be there anymore?" To this question I usually receive a stammering reply, of no logical content. The successes are so under reported as to be non-existent to the general public.

Afghanistan isn't even on the radar, for the complete vacuum of reporting on the actions there. I went to a Memorial day service where a local politician spoke. In his speech, he spoke of the deaths in the "current conflicts", only mentioned Iraq, got the number of US dead wrong by more than fifty and didn't even mention Afghanistan at all. Scandalous! Needless to say, he won't be getting my vote in the next election. If you can't even go to Icasualties the night before a speech, what is the point in including a number?

From what I have read, reporting in the US has ceased to be clear-cut reporting and instead has become an endless stream of op-ed pieces disguised as news.

Sorry about the rant, yesterday I was treated to yet another social occasion where I got to experience a lot of people who are living in the past and are woefully uninformed!

Thank you so much for being here, you keep me sane.

4:24 AM, June 02, 2008

Blogger mercutio said...


Thank you for your reporting. Keep up the good work.

7:57 AM, June 02, 2008

Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 06/02/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

8:26 AM, June 02, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

[ I went to a Memorial day service where a local politician spoke.
only mentioned Iraq, got the number of US dead wrong by more than fifty ]

That's okay, we'll kill another 50 for you.

[ I have asked many, "Do you feel that it is moral or the right thing to do to leave millions to a possible blood bath ]

What blood bath, you've won, remember? Having a little trouble keeping track of fake declarations of victory?

A supporter of "Shock & Awe" is now worried about casualties, how fascinating.
Of course, the truth is that you can't withdraw because you lose everything; and you can't stay because you bleed to death.

Says the Exalted:

إِنَّہُمۡ يَكِيدُونَ كَيۡدً۬ا
وَأَكِيدُ كَيۡدً۬ا

(innahum yakeeduna kayda; wa2akeedu kayda)

As for them, they are but plotting a scheme (against you O Muhammad).
And I am planning against them.
(The Morning Star 86:15-16)

5:18 AM, June 03, 2008

Blogger bg said...


Jaguar b. p. @ 5:18 AM..

lol, and we thought Baghdad Bob was funny!!


9:20 AM, June 03, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...


What do you know, if anything, about the claims made here:


10:25 AM, June 06, 2008

Blogger Nibras Kazimi نبراس الكاظمي said...

Hi amagi,

Patrick Cockburn is an activist journalist in the tradition of Robert Fisk. In exercising his leftist bias, and in serving what he thinks is an "anti-imperialist" agenda, Cockburn often exaggerates, concocts, misquotes and distorts, and sometimes even plagiarizes the work of others.


Cockburn's chief interpreter on Iraq is Laith Kubba, and depending on how much one knows about Kubba, one's opinion on Cockburn is likewise inferred.

I have yet to modify my opinion of Cockburn: he's still the scuzzbucket that I've always thought he was. And that's not the only reason why I think that this account in The Independent is false.



11:09 AM, June 06, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for that! Could we get your reading on the negotiations over the status of forces agreement? Is it all smoke and handwaving? Is there something else going on? Different news sources are running the same quotes, and there is much hemming and hawing over the difficulty of reaching an agreement, but I have yet to see a single publication with anything substantive about what either side is specifically asking for.

9:42 PM, June 06, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am sorry to be so persistent, but I read these reports with no comprehension. 58 bases? Is the American side simply playing for time, or are negotiations really as heated as they are reported to be? The narrative as it is being presented doesn't make sense to me. What am I missing?

1:21 PM, June 11, 2008

Blogger bg said...


amagi @ 1:21 PM..

Negotiations Continue on U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework

[Some Iraqis have protested against any agreement, saying it is a way for the United States to place permanent bases in the country. “We have said repeatedly that we are not seeking permanent military bases in Iraq,” Whitman said. “U.S. forces in Iraq will not be used for offensive operations against any of Iraq’s neighbors.”]

[First, he said, is full respect for Iraqi sovereignty. “There isn’t going to be any sort of agreement that infringes on Iraq’s sovereignty,” Whitman flatly declared.

The second principle is that the agreement is fully transparent. There will be no secret deals in the negotiations, he said.

Third, it will be an Iraqi national decision. Any agreement will be submitted and debated in the Iraqi parliament, as required by law.]

Bush Calms Rumors

[And as I said clearly in past speeches, this will not involve permanent bases, nor will it bind any future President to troop levels. You know, as to -- look, Eggen, you can find any voice you want in the Iraqi political scene and quote them, which is interesting, isn't it, because in the past you could only find one voice, and now you can find a myriad of voices. It's a vibrant democracy; people are debating. There's all kinds of press in the Iraqi scene, of course to the benefit of the Iraqi society.

And I deal with Prime Minister Maliki. He appreciates our presence there, and he understands that we're returning on success; as the situation merits, and the situation improves, we're bringing our troops home. And I'm pleased with the progress. I don't know whether or not it's -- the progress has made it here to Germany or not yet, but the progress in Iraq is substantial, and it's going to help change the Middle East for the better. And I love the idea of having -- giving people a chance to live in a free society. The blessings of freedom are -- shouldn't be just a regional blessing; I believe freedom is universal and I believe freedom yields peace.]

hope that helped..


1:32 PM, June 11, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you might be interested in this...

10:20 AM, June 12, 2008

Blogger bg said...


Anonymous @ 10:20 AM.. (thumbsup)

"if only" *sigh*

passing that on asap, thanks!!


10:26 AM, June 12, 2008

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