Yon: Green Alligators and Political Progress (Iraq)

Michael Yon brings up an important subject today. Read the full post (Three Marks on the Horizon) as it is more detailed, particularly in reference to the Iraqi military’s massive improvements. Excerpts:

False advertising is afoot…The mantra that “there is no political progress in Iraq” is rapidly becoming the “surge” equivalent of a green alligator: when enough people repeat something that sounds plausible, but also happens to be false, it becomes accepted as fact. The more often it is repeated—and the larger the number of people repeating it—the harder it is to convince anyone of the truth: alligators are not green, and Iraqis are making plenty of political progress.

To say there has been no political progress in Iraq in 2007 is patently absurd, completely wrong and dangerously dismissive of the significant changes and improvements happening all across Iraq. Whether or not Americans are seeing it on the nightly news or reading it in their local papers, Iraqis are actively writing their children’s history.

Yon’s closing statement is a keeper:

Today, the clout still is partially from the gun, and definitely the money is key, but there is an intangible and growing moral clout and it flows from an increasing respect among Iraqis for our military. Washington has no moral clout in Iraq. Washington looks like a circus act. The authority is coming from our military. The importance of this fact would be difficult to understate.


3 thoughts on “Yon: Green Alligators and Political Progress (Iraq)

  1. I’ve discussed this before with a comment on another post.

    Nevertheless, the media’s responsibility is to provide us a clear picture of the war zone (good and bad) and they have not (their agenda and focus was to push the bad news). It has taken others like Yon, Totten, Roggio, and mil bloggers etc to bring balance and clarity by actually embedding with (or being a part of) units and staying with them for extended periods of time rather than running stringers from the green zone or embedding for a day or two and going back. It should also be noted that Yon, Totten et al have not only reported the good news but provided us with warnings (see Totten’s latest post, for example) as well as challenges and the bad.

    With respect to the story you quote, my understanding is that it was an al Qaeda op – exactly the people who those in Anbar and Diyala (Iraqis) are joining with us to fight. I don’t expect al Qaeda to quit right away (look at Afghanistan – I hope you aren’t suggesting we quit there too), they will have to be stamped out. I also expect al Qaeda to continue with these sorts of bombings to tweak public opinion and foment violence in Iraq, here, and elsewhere.

    In terms of the monetary figure, I, personally, don’t let it dictate when we should leave (ie no arbitrary “let’s fight ’till we hit $1 trillion”). Further, I think we’ve ‘only’ spent $500 billion in Iraq (as evidenced by this story: Analysis says war could cost $1 trillion), not $1 tril. More important to me than the money is the ultimate outcome for ours, Iraq’s, and the world’s security from terrorists.

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