"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Long Live Free Fallujah!

>> Saturday, November 20, 2004

Stephen Schwartz has an excellent article at the Tech Central Station.
Here's a sample to entice you to read the whole thing...

The Fallujans have learned the same lesson the Shias learned before them, and the Afghans before them: U.S. boots on Muslim soil may be onerous, but American military action is preferable to the unspeakably vicious criminality of Islamist extremists financed, recruited, and otherwise encouraged by Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia.

When Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge almost 30 years ago, Western media reported it as the liberation of a city. Noam Chomsky hailed the forced evacuation of Cambodian towns as a noble social experiment. But many journalists were soon forced to record the truth about Khmer Rouge cruelty.

It took longer for Western, and especially American media, to stop glamorizing the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Stalinist guerrillas in El Salvador, and to admit that the masses of people in those countries rejected their claims to represent them. An editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, where I worked, on the day after Violeta Chamorro (remember her?) won election in Managua in 1990, told me, "Nicaragua is no longer a news story for us." I asked, "is that because there will be no more violence?" He said, "No, it's because the U.S. is no longer a target." I am sure he meant "a target of our reporting."

Strangely, throughout the Iraqi struggle, Western media have joined Western politicians in a reluctance to name the "foreign fighters" in Fallujah as what they are -- mostly Wahhabis, and mainly Saudis. Those who monitor Arab media know this to be true because when jihadists die in Fallujah, their photographs and biographies appeared in newspapers south of the Iraq-Saudi border. Western media "analysts" added to the fog of disinformation by alleging that the Shia rebels of Moqtada ul-Sadr would join the Wahhabis in Fallujah. But Islamic media around the world began to produce curious items: Moqtada ul-Sadr issued an order for the execution of any Wahhabis caught infiltrating the Shia holy cities; Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in turn, supervised the beheading of an Iraqi Shia accused of spying for the Americans. Top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a fatwa saying that anybody who obstructed the U.S.-sponsored elections in Iraq is destined for eternal fire. And the 26 leading Wahhabi radicals in Saudi Arabia published an open letter to the Iraqis calling for stiffened resistance in Fallujah and forbidding any cooperation with the U.S. forces. Little of this was reported in or digested by American media, which stuck to their story: Americans bad, terrorists in Iraq good.

PowerlineBlog has a great followup.
If the Fallujah campaign had been long and difficult, and had given rise to many casualties, the hysteria in the media would have been unrestrained. Instead, however, the Fallujah campaign was one of the most stunning successes in the history of urban warfare. Consequently, it has dropped off the media radar screen. Newspaper attention immediately turned, not to the important strategic advantages of depriving the terrorists of their home base, or to the horrifying discoveries of torture and murder chambers, the "Iraq al Qaeda" headquarters, or vast quantities of munitions that have been captured in Fallujah, but to: 1) video footage of a Marine shooting a wounded terrorist, and 2) terrorist attacks in other parts of Iraq. The point of the latter coverage is not subtle; the reader is intended to conclude that the battle of Fallujah has been futile.

UPDATE: I'm number 189677:

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