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An interesting read -- 'Iraq History Lesson'

by Edward ODaniel / June 6, 2004 12:00 AM PDT
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, June 4, 2004; Page A23

"Today the guns are silent. . . . The entire world is quietly at peace." So said Douglas MacArthur in September 1945. Last week, seeing that quotation, now inscribed in stone at the new National World War II Memorial in Washington, I was struck, touched, by its optimism. ...

A few days after my encounter with that MacArthur quotation, I read a brilliant and impassioned article by the eminent British military historian John Keegan, skewering the commonplace and ahistorical idea -- claiming World War II as a model -- that wars end cleanly, neatly and completely. Keegan's article (London Daily Telegraph, June 1) detailed the bloody aftermath that continued for years after MacArthur's words on the battleship Missouri.

Keegan's larger point was contemporary, however. "The British and American media retail with evident satisfaction every scrap of information" -- bad war news, coalition soldiers' misconduct -- that "undermines any expectation by readers and viewers of a successful outcome to the Iraqi involvement." That the transition from the coalition conquest of last April 9 to whatever new Iraq emerges will be difficult, bloody and contentious is the historical norm, argues Keegan. Yet it has been used by critics to discredit both the war and Bush and Blair for having undertaken it.

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As he goes on to say and other reporters/columnists in other papers are also reporting, the nay sayers are wrong yet again. There is an Iraqui Iterim Government in place and it is a pretty well balanced one.
Of the 36 mew ministers ONLY 4 are from the interim Iraqi Governing Council contrary to the claims of their simply reappointing themselves.

Wouldn't it be nice if the media REPORTED the news rather than trying to MAKE it?
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PS - link to original story
by Edward ODaniel / June 6, 2004 12:20 AM PDT
History tells us that most conflicts end in chaos
By John Keegan
(Filed: 01/06/2004)

What monopolises the headlines and prime time television at the moment is news from Iraq on the activity of small, localised minorities struggling to entrench themselves before full peace is imposed and an effective state structure is restored. The news is, in fact, very repetitive: disorder in Najaf and Fallujah, misbehaviour by a tiny handful of US Army reservists - not properly trained regular soldiers - in one prison. There is nothing from Iraq's other 8,000 towns and villages, nothing from Kurdistan, where complete peace prevails, very little from Basra, where British forces are on good terms with the residents.

I have been recovering from major surgery for the past few weeks and so have overdosed myself on daytime television - Richard and Judy, Crucible snooker, I Want that House, A Place in Greece. Most of it is entirely forgettable. There is, however, an undeniable fascination in watching Jon Snow, of Channel 4 News, energise himself for his early evening denunciation of Anglo-American activity in Iraq. About 5.30 he comes on to rehearse his sense of outrage. At 7pm we get the full display of apoplexy and hysteria - raised voice, flushed face, physical trembles.

... Iraq 2004 is not Greece 1945, not Indochina 1946-54, not Algeria 1953-62 and certainly not "Vietnam".

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Would that those who claim extensive expertise actually have that about which they speak.
by Kiddpeat / June 6, 2004 4:54 AM PDT

As you and Evie point out, a knowledge of history would be good for starters.

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Re:An interesting read -- 'Iraq History Lesson'
by C1ay / June 6, 2004 6:05 AM PDT
Wouldn't it be nice if the media REPORTED the news rather than trying to MAKE it?

It would be nice if the media reported all of the news instead of just reporting the bad news.

I can't remember the last time, if ever, that I saw a smiling Iraqi citizen in the news, particularly the american news. We've been bombarded for weeks on end over the horrendous actions of a half a dozen soldiers (cretins) at Abu Ghraib but we hear nothing of the positive efforts of the other 160,000 troops in Iraq.

The media fails to reports that all 240 hospitals and 95% of the clinics have reopened with health care spending 26 times what it was under Saddam.

The media fails to report that the CPA has spent $9 million to clear over 18,500 kilometers of irrigation canals that were previously weed choked from years of neglect to bring water thousands of farmers.

The media fails to report that the CPA has provided funding to repair more than 1,040 schools, built playgrounds and sports fields, provided youth centers, and repaired child care centers. The Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi workers built a new school in Hilla, Babil Province. Liberation School, so named by local school officials, will provide more than 400 boys and girls an opportunity to attend primary school in their own neighborhood.

The media fails to report that the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (HACC), operated by the Polish Army, has provided medicine, food, and toys to the Iraqi people. The HACC donated 450 cartons of antibiotics and painkillers to hospitals in Hilla and Al Kut. Toys collected by Polish children were distributed by HACC to Iraqi children at a primary school in Hilla. The Polish Army also donated 1,200 kg of food to villages near Karbala and an orphanage in Hilla.

The media fails to report anything even remotely positive achieved by the majority of troops in Iraq. Why doesn't the media report the on progress made for the benefit of the Iraqi people? Why does the media seem intent in smearing america at every chance it gets? Me thinks the media is a disgrace and should be ashamed of itself. I, for one, turned away from the TV and radio media for my news long ago. I would just as soon spend my time searching for the news that interests me instead of taking the crap they want to feed me.

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Conspicuous by their absence - the nay sayers
by Edward ODaniel / June 7, 2004 4:49 AM PDT

expected but disappointing none the less.

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(NT) NAY!!! NAY!! ;-)
by Josh K / June 7, 2004 5:52 AM PDT


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ROTFL! -nt
by Dan McC / June 7, 2004 11:22 PM PDT
In reply to: (NT) NAY!!! NAY!! ;-)


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Clever Josh and appreciated ;-)
by Edward ODaniel / June 9, 2004 1:41 AM PDT
In reply to: (NT) NAY!!! NAY!! ;-)

any comment on the history lesson or its accuracy in remarking the inaccuracies of your past comments regarding quagmire, no government, etc.? (I say YOUR because you were the only self proclaimed nay sayer who had the courage of his convictions to answer even if in joshing.)

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