Saturday, August 06, 2005

U.S. military launches anti-insurgent operation

The USA Today carries an AP story today on a new joint US/Iraq crackdown, dubbed Quick Strike, that has been launched in the Euphrates River Valley.

The primary thing that I am going to highlight in this article is that the word "insurgent" appears exactly 7 times (including the article title) as compared to the phrase "foreign fighter", which is used 3 times.

Insurgent, by the way, means "one who rises up against established authority" -- the implication in this case being Iraqi citizens who are unhappy with the new government and the US "occupation". The press likes this word a lot -- much better than "foreign fighter" or "terrorist" when writing about the Iraq war.

In fact in one paragraph from today's article, they even parenthetically have U.S. Brigadier General Donald Alston using the word:

"We still have deaths. We still have suicide car bombs," he said. "But the numbers we see indicate (the insurgents) can't generate the same tempo, and I think that's because we've had some degree of effect in interdicting these forces."

I'm sure General Alston appreciates the clarification on his behalf.

I would like to think that this is mere laziness on the part of the press -- that they use these words interchangeably without giving much thought to the meanings. But why not just use a more generic term then, such as "attacker" or "enemy combatant"? No, there is clearly a gentle form of indoctrination happening here, and it probably plays no small factor in the public's dissatisfaction with the Iraq war at the moment. If the general public is viewing these fighters as disgruntled Iraqi citizens rather than terrorists, then indeed what are we still doing over there?

On another note, I noticed that the AP also mentioned -- as they now mention in every single Iraq war story -- the total number of soldier deaths that have occurred. It is 1,826 at the time of this writing. My prediction: when that number reaches 3000, at least one mainstream newspaper will fill the entire top third of their front page with a big bold "3000" as the headline. Why? Because that is the magic number (rounded off of course) that will correlate to the number of deaths on Sept. 11. This is supposed to show how senseless the Iraq war is. Yes, the press is watching that number with great anticipation and hope.

Pray for our soldiers. Pray certainly for a speedy end to this war. But don't fall prey to liberal thinking at this crucial time in our history. It may be difficult to understand why the US is conducting things the way they are in Iraq. But I do believe there will come a day when we will be able to look back and see what was really at stake, what our intelligence really knew, what our soldiers were really accomplishing in that region of the world.

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