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September 18, 2004

I See Your MP and Raise You a Marine

In a comment to my "Credibility Miser" post, Chris Allbritton writes:

You're right to take Chrenkoff -- and me -- with a grain of salt, but I think I and my sources are probably better positioned to know what's happening here than some guy reading press releases from CENTCOM.

Well, fair enough. Chris had reported on the frightening state of affairs in Iraq and reprinted a letter from a freelance writer turned Reservist MP. The truth of the matter is that I've seen many, many more first-hand accounts like that of a Marine Major whose letter Ed of Captain's Quarters reprints:

Boom, boom, just like that two major "hot spots" cool down in rapid succession. Does that mean that those towns are completely pacified? No. What it does mean is that we are learning how to do this the right way. The US commander in Samarra saw an opportunity and took it — probably the biggest victory of his military career and nary a shot was fired in anger. Things will still happen in those cities, and you can be sure that the bad guys really want to take them back. Those achievements, more than anything else in my opinion, account for the surge in violence in recent days — especially the violence directed at Iraqis by the insurgents. Both in Najaf and Samarra ordinary people stepped out and took sides with the Iraqi government against the insurgents, and the bad guys are hopping mad. They are trying to instill fear once again. The worst thing we could do now is pull back and let that scum back into people's homes and lives.

Moreover, the point of my post was that recent experience has piled into a higher barrier to credibility for those declaring doom and gloom and decrying the mess made by that fundy wacko in the White House. That President Bush has patiently endured the myriad times he's been besieged by those who would knock him from office suggests that he's a leader who understands that war is unpredictable in scope, degree, and duration. Frankly, I think more Americans join him in that understanding than domestic reportage might lead us to believe.

Posted by Justin Katz at September 18, 2004 10:17 PM
Middle East