Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Operation "Negative Media Coverage."

Jack Kelly quotes Army veteran Bill Roggio on the news coverage in Iraq:

"The reporting on Operation Swarmer is a microcosm of the sub-par reporting on the Iraq war," Mr. Roggio said. "Events are immediately placed into a political context. Commentary is often mixed in with reporting. There is little understanding of operational intent or how the military even works. Operations are viewed as individual events, and not placed in a greater context. Failure and faulty assumptions are the baselines for coverage and analysis. Success is arbitrarily determined by a reporter or editor's biases. The actions of the U.S. and Iraqi military are viewed with suspicion and even contempt."

via Blogs for Bush

What do you think Roggio is referring to? Well, let's see. Here is a description of what happened with Operation Swarmer from Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Operation Swarmer included more than 1,500 troops from the Iraqi Army’s 4th Division, the U.S. 101st Airborne Division and 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. The Soldiers isolated the objective area in a combined air and ground assault.
More than 50 Attack and assault aircraft and 200 tactical vehicles participated in the operation. Troops from the Iraqi Army’s 4th Division, the “Rakkasans” from the 187th Infantry Regiment and the “Hunters” from the 9th Cavalry Regiment assaulted multiple objectives. Forces from the Iraqi 2nd Commando Brigade then completed a ground infiltration to secure numerous structures in the area.
Initial reports indicate a number of weapons caches were captured, containing artillery shells, IED-making materials and military uniforms. Iraqi and Coalition troops also detained 41 suspected insurgents.

And what about the Iraqi forces we have been training?

The Iraqi security force continues to take the lead in operations – last week 35 percent , 174, of the 502 operations were ISF-independent operations which were completely planned, rehearsed and conducted by Iraqi forces.
One example of a fully-independent operation was a counterinsurgency operation March 15. Soldiers from 7th Iraqi Army Division conducted the operation in an area known as the “Triad” region in western Al Anbar Province. It was the first time an operation was planned, rehearsed, and executed entirely by the Iraqi Army in this area. A Coalition Military Transition Team accompanied the Iraqi soldiers as they searched for insurgents and weapons caches in the towns of Albu Hayatt and Khaffajiah.

But THIS is how Time.com reported Operation Swarmer with the headline "On Scene: How Operation Swarmer Fizzled":

"But contrary to what many many television networks erroneously reported, the operation was by no means the largest use of airpower since the start of the war. ("Air Assault" is a military term that refers specifically to transporting troops into an area.) In fact, there were no airstrikes and no leading insurgents were nabbed in an operation that some skeptical military analysts described as little more than a photo op. What’s more, there were no shots fired at all and the units had met no resistance, said the U.S. and Iraqi commanders."

No mention of the insurgents captured or IED making materials found (which probably saved untold number of lives) Which story do you think the American public will read? And we wonder why the American people are discouraged with Iraq. I don't expect the stories to be all positive, just fair.

Too much to hope for I suppose.