Jul 17 2005

Live Bloggin CNN’s Take on Iraq

Published by at 8:12 pm under All General Discussions,Iraq

TigerHawk planned on a live blog of CNN’s special on Iraq and asked for assistance, so I am giving it a try. I will try and come through and italicize my comments vs what they are saying on CNN.

Coming in 5-6 minutes late, the first thing I heard was a bogus claim that the invasion pushed recruitment into the insurgencies. Some silly claims about how Sunnis are big on revenge and that is what drives the insurgency. BS – what drives it is they are not the dominant power anymore and they thought they could push us out. Wrong

9 minutes in: CNN goes to supposed insurgent meeting with their ‘source’ (missed who it was), while they pumped him up a bit, the source fails to come through with any insurgents at the meetings. It’s all mixed and unclear. They either want to do harm to the US or they want to make a deal with the new government. And, unsurprisingly, there is no one voice for the insurgency or the plan forward. Which means we are winning because they are fractured and considering negotiation. But not the foreign dead enders, they will not give up.

Commercial break! – Time for cleaning up the writing. Somehow CNN was able to find a single focused statistic for their commercial factoid that has not improved since the invasion. Wonder how many inprovements they had to get through to find that one non-improvement!

14 minutes in: how to control the insurgents. Another idiotic claim that the Iraqis are not helping with the insurgency. That is BS. Check out this act of bravery by the Iraqis. Of course they had to be stood up, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Another basesless claim that the insurgency is growing, but all indications is that many provinces are ready to be handed over to Iraqi’s within the next few months.

160,000 Iraqi forces (mostly police – and as Rumsfeld points out they are not deployed to fight combat). 3,000 can fight by themselves. That makes them the third or fourth largest coalition force in country. But what number can easily take on the job backed up by the US? That fact was not mentioned – just repeated the end points (all US or all Iraq, nothing on combined efforts). How classically liberal MSM of them.
CNN pushes Iraq needs a police approach. Not many police have the right and authority to come in and take out people with tanks, attack helicopters and jet fighters.

Gratuitous whining clip of McCain making unsupported claims more troops would have done more.

One good observation, the effort is a war of wills.

20 minutes after: Next commercial

Iraqi civilians suffering the most in this battle, which makes it too difficult for foreign reporting, so they went to two Arab journalists. CNN says there is hope! Of course there is.

Report one: The atmosphere in some areas or locals is very much non-sectarian, very open. They did find a hard hit place which has little basic resources. So far it sounds very balanced. They want a good, fun life (which was impossible under Saddam) and yet they have fear. The press is amazed Iraqis go to the track.

CNN Question: “regret staying?” Answer: “Sometimes, but no”. Another answer; “We have to make this our country, we must change it.” [all paraphrasing through out here]

CNN commentary: “No one said it is great, better, working” – duh

CNN commentary: “Iraqi’s do not want the US to leave. They are not sure they can make it work. They are not sure they can handle the security needs”.

Overall it seemed balance, but we know there are more tangible positive things they could have reported on.

Commercial, halfway through. Quick glance over at Tigerhawks’ site and he is doing better at this than me, but he is TiVo supported and I am not (that TV is being used by the family at this moment).

35 minutes in: Freedom of the press has taken hold, 170 newspapers and similar number of independent TV channels (not sure on this last number).

Pessimism reigns on Iraq’s path to democracy. For example, even if the timetable is met, can still be hard. One election does not a democracy make, etc. Some really dumb assessments – e.g., hard to live the life you want to have with insurgency attacks. No? Really? . Now they bring out the history of Iraq as some huge hurdle. While they hint it is going to be nearly impossible, they keep sprinkling in the fact it is happening. Kenneth Pollack, Brookings Institute whiner, says making milestones is not going to lead to democracy. What a truly idiotic thing to say. Without reaching each phase you cannot get ANYWHERE.

They sprinkle good questions (like what is the balance of Islam and Democracy) then they get some western expert to claim they know what would work for Iraqis. Why would they rely on these desk-bound experts as opposed to letting the Iraqis make their statements.

OMG, the Hitler analogy with Islam. Some deskbound idiot brought up the scenario where a muslim leader is voted in, and like Hitler, democracy disapears in one vote. Sounds more like Galloway in the UK, but that was a fairly bigoted comment IMHO.

43 minutes in, cut to commercial and a gratuitous clip of some unknown person saying America cannot keep its promises. No liberal propoganda there.

Good start, they can express themselves unlike anything they could do under Saddam. But they live in a war zone. (obviously too focused on Baghdad and not other, more peaceful areas). They were able to show all the positives of a wedding, all the looking for the future, all the sacrifices for the next generation. Really good stuff. She is surprised by their optimism. But the fear and stress comes out in private. No surprise there. The bride’s father appreciated Bush’s words of confidene in Iraq. He does not want to believe too hard it will work ,obviously.

Next segment on filmakers and their freedoms to make films on any subject in any manner with any message. Again, very positive. They understand they are in the middle of a violent fight – but they see the positive, the potential, the shining city in the ME. m Amazing.

49 minutes in, commercial break. final segment.

Commercial factood: War costs $200 Billion,$2,00o per person – how much did 9-11 cost?

Back to Fallujeh. The city looks terrible, but people there say it is their best days. 10 percent of US casualties here. Highway in is the deadliest part of the trip. Segments of the city leveled, but now being rebuilt. The reporters returned to a battle area in the north, to a house they were in during the battles, to find the family there renovating it, along with neighbors. The family is ‘so happy to be home again’. Husband trusts US marines more than Iraqi forces. That is interesting, but expected. OOOPs – they used the Vietnam war analogy! Worst fighting they have seen since the Vietnam war….Ugh. Future of the city in hand of city leaders and military leaders. They believe there are many to take the place of any lost to terrorism, and they will not make the mistake of boycotting the elections again. There is little trust of Iraqi soldiers because they are seen as being too rough, too wild. They are stationed in schools needed for the children. Lots of rebuilding to do. Great piece actually.

Summary (Arron Brown): “Insurgency is number one threat to success and will be a long and nasty fight. The sooner the Iraqis take over the sooner we can leave. We understand the steps to get to democracy and how hard and unknown that path will be. Overall, Iraq remains a grueling, sometime painful, work in progress”.

Good, reasonable summary. They need to lose some of the liberal reporters and rely on the younger, fresher and more balanced journalists.

Tigerhawk: Hope this was of some value. Sorry for the late notice, I did not see your request until after the show started. Great idea and I enjoyed the project!

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