War of the fleas, from the hair of the dog

It started with questions about the credibility of a news story. That lead to questions about identity of a frequently cited AP source. That lead E Jordan to invite some of those raising questions to come see Iraq in person. Michelle Malkin reports in Back from Baghdad what she found, what she saw, and what really is going on from the point of view of the boots on the ground. If Iraq is in a war of the fleas, as the ground troups call it, this is perspective from within the hair of the dog with the fleas.

I came to Iraq a darkening pessimist about the war, due in large part to my doubts about the compatability of Islam and Western-style democracy, but also as a result of the steady, sensational diet of “grim milestone” and “daily IED count” media coverage that aids the insurgency.

I left Iraq with unexpected hope and resolve.

If you are looking for a more accurate picture of the struggle in Iraq, Michele’s blog entry is a good place to start. There are pictures and promises of more to come. Meanwhile, if you want to better understand why there is a need for a more accurate picture, see Powerline’s All Iraq, All the Time. That is highlighting yet another MSM problem with intellectual integrity.

Actually, the U.S. is trying to win the war in Iraq, not “extricate itself” from a “failing” conflict. But in the eyes of the liberal media, that’s not the U.S., it’s just the Bush administration. In the mainstream media, failure is already a fact. Not only that, the Iraq-as-disaster meme infects coverage of just about everything else, even when the story at hand–like China’s economy–has little or nothing to do with that conflict.

It is the implicit assumptions, the ones taken for granted, that can lead one astray. These show, as in John at Powerline’s entry in the words used. They fall when meeting direct description of events and behavoir as Michelle’s report. It emphasizes the need for an appropriate skepticism, multiple sources, and an openness to examine our own presumptions.

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