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The Most Overlooked News Story of 2008

Comment

Have you noticed lately that mainstream media are giving less attention to the war in Iraq, especially concerning our troops' progress? Who doesn't recognize by now that we live in a time in which there's little, if any, publishing space for positive military stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

CNSNews.com recently reported: "There were only two front-page New York Times stories that mentioned 'Iraq' in the headline in October 2008 — there were 11 in October 2006 and 17 in October 2004. The Washington Post ran four front-page stories that had headlines using the word 'Iraq' in October 2008 — in October 2006 there were 17 stories, and 27 stories in October 2004."

In July, The Times, a newspaper in the U.K., ran a column that commended American and Iraqi forces in making significant progress in Mosul, Iraq, and reaching the "final purge" of al-Qaida in Iraq. Investor's Business Daily echoed the same sentiment but sharply criticized American mainstream media for completely overlooking that military success. The media indictment became so widespread on the Internet that it left the global audience wondering whether such an oversight was an urban legend.

TruthOrFiction.com, an urban legend-debunking Web site, affirmed this media Mosul omission by saying: "At the time of our investigation, US media reports of this were hard to find but we did manage to find a report of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's announcement on the Fox News site. For the most part, it appears the mainstream media missed this one."

Here's what they missed:

During the surge in 2007 and early 2008, U.S. forces intensified efforts in Mosul by pushing out into small-neighborhood bases — a strategy that proved successful in routing insurgents from other large cities in the country.

In February 2008, Col. Michael A. Bills, commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, predicted that U.S. and Iraqi troops would be in full control of the city by the end of July.

By March 2008, Brig. Gen. Tony Thomas, second in command of coalition forces in northern Iraq, already was reporting: "So again, we can go anywhere we want to in Mosul and we're now forcing the enemy — boxing them in, if you will — into areas that they otherwise had free play in the city. So we've seized the initiative, and we're slowly but surely eliminating their toehold in the city."

By June 2008, this city of 2 million people had 14 Iraqi army battalions, 10,000 Iraqi police and 4,000 coalition force soldiers. And they were utilizing the "Sons of Iraq" (paid volunteers by the U.S.) to control neighborhoods better. And it was working.

Despite the fact that July 2008 saw an increase in insurgent activity, Lt. Col. Robert Molinari reported that it was really "nothing out of the norm." A senior Iraqi commander added: "We've limited their movements with checkpoints. They are doing small attacks and trying big ones, but they're mostly not succeeding." American and Iraqi forces clearly were getting the upper hand, demonstrated then through the dip in the number of U.S.

casualties to the lowest number since the start of the war — 11 deaths in the entire country.

Overall, attacks in Mosul and in Ninevah province have declined from 50 a day at the start of the year to the present number of 10 a day — almost the same as the number was in 2006. Open street fighting is a rarity. That is why Maj. Ra'ad Jalal, an Iraqi officer, said: "The security situation in Mosul is improving. It's safe here now. I'd be happy to come here even without all of this protection."

Of course, assaults continue. But they don't diminish the momentous progress. Capt. Hunter Bowers, who presently is serving on the battlefield in Mosul, summarized his upbeat thoughts about their progress to me by e-mail Monday: "We have had some great success here and a lot of it has to do with the integration of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police."

Unfortunately, instead of reporting these substantial advances being made in Mosul, mainstream American media have chosen to ignore them, favoring to continue to report only negative news from the war zones or repeated jabs by Democratic leaders about the unfounded grounds for the war. (I've been sadly amazed and gravely amused how often progress in war is played out not on the battlefield, but in the backrooms of news broadcasting studios.)

With another Pearl Harbor anniversary approaching and in a Christmas season when the sacrifice of our troops is accentuated by their absence from loved ones, it's fitting to honor, not overlook, those who fight for freedom. Find ways to commemorate their courage and commitment. Admonish others to watch positive and honorable tributes to our service members, such as those on the Military Channel and those created by director Mike Slee of Zaragoza Pictures, a documentary filmmaker whose mission also is to capture the progress of our troops — including those in Mosul. (See his Mosul footage at http://homepage.mac.com/zaragozapictures/iMovieTheater99.html.)

The fact is American coalition forces have reduced the number of al-Qaida fighters in Iraq from roughly 12,000 to 1,200, have cornered them in Mosul, and are successfully gaining the upper hand on their remaining strongholds. That is why Gen. James Conway, the head of the Marine Corps and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, summarized, "Iraq is now a rear-guard action on the part of al-Qaida." In fact, he says that security is so good around the country that for the first time, it "smells like victory," adding that next year, as many as 20,000 Marines currently deployed will return home.

And just in time for President-elect Barack Obama to begin his withdrawal of our troops — an act that likely will be a signal broadcasting victory in Iraq and likely will earn the new commander in chief credit for military success. Now there's a 2009 news story that America's mainstream media will be guaranteed to run over and over.

(In the spirit of Christmas, Chuck is giving away a free chapter from his current New York Times best-seller, "Black Belt Patriotism." To obtain yours, go to www.ChuckNorrisNewBook.com. "Black Belt Patriotism" makes a great Christmas gift for anyone!)

To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CHUCK NORRIS

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

4 Comments | Post Comment
Mr. Chuck Norris, Thought you might want to see this article.
We could save zillions of Taxpayers money, wouldn't have to build any more jails or prisons, send them all to Sheriff Joe's Arizona, and this is too good for the common criminals and speaking of criminals, here's a lot of them - Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Citicorp, BIG 3, and the dirty policians who have taken money from them and bankrupted America!
To think that our military folks have to endure bad conditions, no hot baths, no clean clothes, eat up with bugs and fleas, can't see their families every day or so, bagged food, to 'PROTECT AMERICA' and we have all these 'illegitimates' getting the best of housing, best of food, hot showers, TVs, a warm bed and a roof over their heads all paid for by Taxpayers, because the politicians saw fit to shower them with 'social and welfare programs' so they can stay in office, steal more money and borrow, without Taxpayers' consent, trillions of dollars to support their causes. Sheriff Joe's place is where they all should go, or put them on the first boat, far away, with no return to America.
NO MORE 'DISCRIMINATION TO HARD-WORKING TAXPAYERS - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
================================================================================
The following was sent to me and I'm sending it along!
You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well.........SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN!!
Oh, there's MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe!
Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay.
The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.
The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78. The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.
I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.
Yup, he was reelected last year with 83% of the vote.
Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's kind of a 'Git-R Dun' kind of Sheriff.
TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO
HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF
AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the ' Tent City Jail':
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.
He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights Cut off all but 'G' movies.
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For Discrimination.
He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.
When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It's Gonna Be While They Are Working On My Chain Gangs.
He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value.
When the inmates complained, he told them, 'This Isn't The Ritz/Carlton.....If You Don't Like It, Don't Come Back.'
He bought Newt Gingrich's lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.
More On The Arizona Sheriff:
With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:
About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts.
On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 Degrees inside the week before.
Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.
'It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,' Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. 'It's Inhumane.'
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: 'It's 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear, But They Didn't Commit Any Crimes,So Shut Your Mouths!'
Way To Go, Sheriff!
Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.
If you agree, pass this on. If not, just delete it.
Sheriff Joe was just reelected Sheriff in Maricopa County , Arizona
Comment: #1
Posted by: Shirley deLong
Tue Dec 2, 2008 5:07 PM
Sir;... They are doing great in Iraq... I'll bet you could hold the place all by yourself, and I only wish you would try...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Dec 2, 2008 5:43 PM
Re: Shirley deLong; Ma'am, have you ever heard the old and tried expression: You don't know what you are talking about... I try that on my kids when they say something really stupid, but then I work on their thinking, and point them toward some books, but I honestly would not know where to begin with you... So, as long as I am on the same line, let me tell you what I tell my kids when they say something really, really stupid, which to be fair, all kids sometimes do... I say: for example, you can just shut up, and furthermore, you might decide it is in your best interest to just shut up... Now, between the two of us, saying shut up to some one is not a rational argument... It is just that- IT- gets too thick to spread sometimes, and you have to give the thought a little more time to mature, and to grow out of childish nonsense into semi adolesent nonsense.... We all hope that children will grow up right and to always seek to make reasoned and logical arguments even if, when blessed with the insanity of youth they some times try the patience of their parents, so their parents have to invite them to Shut Up and stuff a sock in it.... I mean, You too can act as mature as my fourteen year old, but then, no one would be wanting to throw a net over you, and put you in a human zoo... Think of all the places in America where human beings live, and Christians too, where you could be exhibited as a curiosity for paper money.... Does that not hand you paws??? Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Dec 2, 2008 6:07 PM
The on-going military progress is encouraging and the possibility of substantial Coalition troop withdrawals next year even more so. It is to be hoped, as I indicated on WND, that the new President and Secretary of State will ensure that the apparent Allied war aims of stabilising Iraq and helping pacify the Mid East as a whole can be realised long-term. Unfortunately, while not detracting from your article, Chuck, very readable and informative as always, I see an uncanny parallel between events now and those of 90 years ago, at the end of WW1, in what was then Mesopotamia, now Iraq. Especially with the apparent significance of the town of Mosul for the Coalition forces. In his book The First World War, published in 1956, British military historian, the late Captain Cyril Falls explains, p 383-5 that "When it was clear [by early October 1918] that the Turks were definitely seeking an armistice, Mosul and its oil potentialities at once became an extremely attractive goal." Fighting continued for another month, by which time, the victorious British, having shattered the Turkish army, were nearing Mosul. Captain Falls explains "The [British] cavalry brigades were ordered to make for Mosul as soon as possible...On 1 November, twelve miles south of Mosul, they learnt that the armistice had become operative at noon the day before. The Turks expected to be allowed to remain in Mosul and even requested the British to go back to the point reached at noon on 31 October. Not at all, wired [the Commander-in-Chief, General] Marshall when he heard of this pretension; Clause 7 [of the armistice conditions] gave the victors the right to occupy any strategic point. Now what Clause 7 actually authorized was such occupation 'in the event of a situation arising which threatens the security of the Allies.' Here one could not find a threat with the strongest magnifying-glass. But the British were going to have Mosul. In the discussions that followed the Turkish Government was told that if the Turkish remnant would take itself off quietly the British Government would not insist on demanding its surrender under Clause 16, which laid down that all garrisons in Mesopotamia...must surrender. The [Turkish] Army commander argued with some point that his army, or what remained of it, was not a garrison but a field force, so the clause did not apply. But the British were going to have Mosul. In the end, the matter was amicably settled. The Turks marched out and the British marched in." Captain Falls describes the British offensive as "a very fine one" though he notes that the British occupation of Mosul, though "It could not be called immoral...some foreign observers and historians have found it slightly unseemly." He notes further that "Mesopotamia [1915-1918] cost 92,501 casualties, 15,814 killed in battle, 12,807 dead from disease" and concludes that "It is hard to believe that the oil-wells and pipes could not have been protected more cheaply...." It is to be hoped, therefore, that the current US-led military campaign in the same area 90 years on, as finely conducted, no doubt, as the British operations of 1918, will eventually yield results worthy of the 4,000+ Coalition dead so far, mostly US and the 30,000+ wounded sustained, again mostly US, since the start of the war in March 2003. Certainly results better than merely the securing of "the oil-wells and pipes."
Comment: #4
Posted by: Alan O'Reilly
Wed Dec 3, 2008 3:22 PM
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