The Iraq Disconnect (and how to help)

Michael Yon has another excellent post up about the major disconnect (or “glass dome” we live under) regarding the Iraq war and what the current situation is in the country. The post is a sobering wake-up call on the importance on accurate AND timely information. I will excerpt the first few paragraphs of Yon’s post, but before I do so, I would beg of you to go directly to his post and read it in its entirety.

Additionally, I would ask that you consider assisting Michael Yon in his critical endeavor. I will be pitching in and for those of us who never want anything for Christmas (seriously annoying your mother, wife, etc) – consider putting Mr. Yon on your list. You can securely donate through Yon’s homepage (click “support the next dispatch”) or through the link at the bottom of each post (or click here).

Here is the excerpt from “Resistance Is Futile“:

All describe the bizarro-world contrast between what most Americans seem to think is happening in Iraq versus what is really happening in Iraq. Knowing this disconnect exists and experiencing it directly are two separate matters. It’s like the difference between holding the remote control during the telecast of a volcanic eruption on some distant island (and then flipping the channel), versus running for survival from a wretch of molten lava that just engulfed your car.

I was at home in the United States just one day before the magnitude hit me like vertigo: America seems to be under a glass dome which allows few hard facts from the field to filter in unless they are attached to a string of false assumptions. Considering that my trip home coincided with General Petraeus’ testimony before the US Congress, when media interest in the war was (I’m told) unusually concentrated, it’s a wonder my eardrums didn’t burst on the trip back to Iraq. In places like Singapore, Indonesia, and Britain people hardly seemed to notice that success is being achieved in Iraq, while in the United States, Britney was competing for airtime with O.J. in one of the saddest sideshows on Earth.

No thinking person would look at last year’s weather reports to judge whether it will rain today, yet we do something similar with Iraq news. The situation in Iraq has drastically changed, but the inertia of bad news leaves many convinced that the mission has failed beyond recovery, that all Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, or are waiting for us to leave so they can crush their neighbors. This view allows our soldiers two possible roles: either “victim caught in the crossfire” or “referee between warring parties.” Neither, rightly, is tolerable to the American or British public.

Today I am in Iraq, back in a war of such strategic consequence that it will affect generations yet unborn—whether or not they want it to… [click here to read the rest!]

5 thoughts on “The Iraq Disconnect (and how to help)

  1. Looks like Michael Yon has found a great business model. You pay him, he writes good news from Iraq. And he’s pretty much cornered the market, because you can’t find good news anywhere else!

  2. Pingback: One Utah » Blog Archive » What’s Really Happening in Iraq?

  3. Have you even bothered to read any of Yon’s new or old posts? He certainly was never the bearer of good news (was first to call/consider Iraq a civil war, among other things). If you even bother to read his posts, they include the good and bad. Unlike us, Yon is actually in country and in the front lines. Take a look at his links and his old posts before running with your embarrassing ad hominem attacks.

    Actually, I would encourage everyone to take a look at as many of Yon’s posts as they can before donating – it will only solidify the desire to do so.

  4. Your use of Rosen’s article exactly demonstrates what Yon discusses in his post (using old rather than current information) to assess the situation. Rosen’s article is a year old drawing on his observations which also predate the article.

    Nevertheless, I read Rosen’s article despite some potential reservations. I found that the article was, indeed, dated. It was written of a time during the pinnacle of al Sadr’s power which is now significantly diminished (but not gone). It was also written on experiences either just before or just after Zarqawi’s death and at al Qaeda’s time of relative power, at a time were some of the Sunnis were in support of al Qaeda. Before the Anbar Awakening and the Sunni revolt and partnership with the US against al Qaeda.

    In other words, the information is mediocre background (the author seems to take Mahdi folks at their word and disbelieve US forces – I’m referring to the bit about Maj. Gen. Lynch and the Mahdi line of innocents being killed etc, among other issues) and is old – it doesn’t come close to describing current conditions. As Yon stated: “last year’s weather reports to judge whether it will rain today”.

    I hope you will take the time to read some of Yon’s posts.

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