August 08, 2003
BAD NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN? Maybe. I can't find any more on this story than Grim has, so we'll have to see.
Meanwhile, StrategyPage has this report about Iraq:
August 8, 2003: In the last four weeks, attacks on American troops have declined from about 40 a day to about three dozen. Defining what is an "attack" is sometimes difficult. US troops hearing nearby gunfire often discover they have come upon a crime being committed, or two groups of Iraqis settling a dispute. But the lethality of the attacks is going down. In the past week, there were four straight days without an American fatality.
American intelligence efforts have gathered a growing mountain of information on what's going on among Iraqis and that has made it possible for troops to more effectively go after the Baath Party resistance. The same "battlefield internet" that was so useful doing the fighting is now enabling commanders to quickly share information on the situation inside Iraq. This has led to the rapid development of new tactics and understanding of the rapidly changing situation in Iraq.
And don't miss this firsthand report from Iraq, either. And I think that Daniel Drezner is right when he says that we shouldn't look too hard for a single narrative on Iraq.
UPDATE: This post from Iraq by Chief Wiggles is worth reading, too. Excerpt:
This is the classic struggle between good and evil that has been going on since the beginning of time. These people have been in bondage, chained by the ruthless hands of Saddam Hussein. They have been forced to live according to his evil desires, teaching them for the past 30 years that if you are going to get ahead in life, you need to take what ever you can get anyway you can get it. Life according to Saddam is about acquiring wealth, power and fame through being deceitful, dishonest, ruthless, willing to go to extreme means to get what you want, at the expense of others. Thus perpetuating the evils of society in every aspect of their lives, creating the very things I spoke of earlier in my journal, such as; distrust, disbelief, dishonesty, greed, strife, selfishness, and on and on.
I am not saying all the Iraqi people are like this only that this was their example and they were rewarded for pursuing an evil course of action. So many of them followed the path to fame and fortune outlined by Saddam himself, through being abusive, taking advantage of those weaker, it was survival of the fittest. The wild west of the Middle East.
We came to their rescue bringing a new freedom perhaps for most never before experienced; the large majority of people welcoming our relief from the chains of Saddam, cutting his evil control of their lives. Even now that I drive around Baghdad people waive, kids run out to greet us, people all over the country giving us thumbs up. Just yesterday, a car full of young men pulled up along side of us to express their great joy for what we have done for them.
There is good happening all around us. So many good people are stepping forward to bring us information about bad activities going on against the coalition forces. Little by little we are weeding the society of those that would desire to perpetuate the evil doings of their former ruler, still seeking to take control of these people. Evil doings of people wanting power or wealth through wicked means.
Every day people come to our office to inform us of activities in their community that are illegal or pro-Saddam or are against the coalition forces. We dispatch a team to conduct a raid on the location to take down the bad people. We do this almost every night. It is happening, one raid at a time, one good act of kindness at a time, one honest deed, one kind gesture, it is catching on and the wave is building. It is going to happen.
Read the whole thing. There may not be a single narrative on Iraq, but the press has certainly tried to create one. These first-person reports make clear that there's more going on than we're hearing from Big Media.
STILL MORE: Sylvain Galineau has some thoughts that are worth reading.