Sunday, April 29, 2007

Press Ignorance

This Time article asks if the surge is backfiring:

It remains to be seen whether the dozens of other combat outposts popping up around Iraq amid the surge will come to face similar attacks aimed at sending U.S. troops back into heavily fortified compounds and, in the hopes of insurgents, ultimately home to the United States in defeat.

Um, yes, our outposts will come under attack. But that is not the purpose of the surge--it is a result of the surge. The purpose of the surge is to directly fight the enemy and protect the population until the Iraqis can do the job with less help from us.

When I saw the headline, I wondered what the article would address. Is the strategic effect we are seeking backfiring? Are Iraqis turning against the surge?

But no, in a typical display of a failure to understand their beat that our press would never tolerate in a theater critic or food reporter, this story on the surge fails to understand the difference between what the new strategy is trying to do and what the military is enduring to achieve that objective.

We did not surge to reduce our casualties (not in the short run anyway). Increased casualties are a perfectly predictable result of the surge as our forces engage the enemy continuously and in greater numbers.

I'd say that I expect better from a major publication like Time magazine, but I don't.