Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Who Do You Trust for Accurate Iraq Info?

Earlier today Drudge's main headline said that nine more U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Compare this NewsMax article, quoting Major General Peter Ghiarelli, the commanding officer for U.S. troops in Baghdad. He says that he told reporters in Baghdad that attacks are down, and then noted that no one is reporting that fact. Obviously, the two sources aren't mutually exclusive, but they paint very different pictures.

My brother-in-law tells me about friends of his who came home from Iraq and didn't want to go back. I hear from other military people that many soldier want to go to Iraq (one said he asked to go, and was denied).

In our partisan times, it seems like the only way to get an accurate picture of how things are really going in Iraq is to compare reports by both critics and supporters of our presence there - although such an approach can also be misleading, because there's no way to know if the elixer you end up with has the appropriate portions.

Then again, in an important sense my question is a bad one. Who do you trust for accurate Iraq info? Iraq is a big place, and Mosul is not Kirkuk is not Basrah is not Baghdad is not Fallujah. Just because one report says that attacks are down in Baghdad does not mean things are any better in Mosul. But I do frown very heavily upon the reluctance of reporters to mention good news.