web counter Media Lies: Iraqis paying the price for freedom

Sunday, September 26, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Iraqis paying the price for freedom

I watched CSPAN yesterday (the number one reason my wife refuses to get cable - I'd be watching that "boring" channel all the time) during the Senate hearing on global posture review (repositioning) of US forces. Sec. Rumsfield was responding to a question when he mentioned something that I really hadn't thought about. The old media and liberals want to make a big deal of the "thousand" troops we've lost in Iraq. What you never hear them talking about is the fact that the Iraqis have lost more troops than we have in the battle against terrorists.

The video is available on CSPAN if you want to view it (click on Sec. Rumsfeld & Gen. Myers Testimony on Global Posture Review (09/23/2004) ). (If you're interested, you can download a pdf copy of the Secretary's opening statement.) I don't recall the exact numbers, but the Secretary said something like the Iraqis had lost 641 since May 2003, and we have lost 587 (I'm sure my numbers aren't correct. I'm doing this from memory.) I confess I really hadn't even considered that aspect of the problems in Iraq.

With all the whining and complaining about our losses and the constant carping that the Iraqis ought to be doing more in their own defense, the reality of the situation on the ground is lost. The Iraqis are doing more. They're dying in larger numbers. They're fighting side by side with us. They're being blown up as they stand in recruitment lines. Yet they continue to volunteer to serve in the Iraqi National Guard and in the Iraqi Police. Old media should be ashamed of themselves for not reporting this, and for distorting the reality of the Iraqis' committment to the fight for their freedom.

I don't recall where I read it now, but I recently read a statement from an American military person who said that the Iraqis want to support freedom but they're scared to death that we will cut and run and leave them to deal with the aftermath. The US track record is abysmal. We abandoned both the Kurds and the Shiites after the Gulf War and left them to die by the thousands at the hands of Sadaam. Why should they believe us now?

I suspect that once the election is over and they have a better idea where we stand, they will be much more supportive of our efforts. If Bush is re-elected, the situation in Iraq could change dramatically for the better. If Kerry is elected, then I suspect the Iraqis will take a wait and see atttitude rather than committing more fully to the fight for freedom.