Isn't there a war going on?

You'd never know if from the wall to wall coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but we're still engaged in a war against Islamofascist terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Dan Goure, military analyst at the Lexington Institute, joked, 'Iraq must be doing really well —— I'm not reading anything about it in the papers.'

Certainly one of the worst natural disasters in American history is deserving of such extensive coverage, but the near total absence of any talk about the war over the past couple weeks is worthy of mention, and causes one to wonder how terribly it's actually proceeding. 

Katrina virtually obliterated the mainstream media's coverage of Cindy Sheehan, as even liberal journalists will flee an anti—war protest when there's indiscriminate death and destruction in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Nevertheless, when a hurricane affords you the best opportunity to criticize a war (see here and here), I'm compelled to take their constant drumbeat of consternation with a grain of salt.

But since it's unlikely we'll be introduced to many positive developments in our battle for civilization even on a slow news day, I figured I'd share some encouraging news that many may have overlooked since Katrina made landfall.

For instance, on Tuesday, August 30th, the day the 17th Street Canal levee in New Orleans began to give way and allow water from Lake Pontchartrain to pour into the city, U.S. jets launched a series of air strikes near the Syrian border which killed several known terrorists.

On September 6th, in what one would presume to be a monumental achievement, the U.S. Army handed over its base in Najaf to the Iraqis. Lt. Col. James Oliver presented the keys to new Iraqi commander, Col. Saadi Salih al—Maliky, in a transition ceremony, signaling a first step in transferring security across the country and taking yet another step toward reducing our presence in the region. According to the Associated Press, this is just the beginning of a plan that will allow the United States and its allies 'to begin drawing down their troops next year and focusing on the insurgency—ridden Sunni Arab areas to the north.'

The Pentagon also announced that it is replacing the body armor for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as for civilian employees and news reporters. This new armor is expected to withstand the strongest of attacks from 'insurgents,' and has been part of an ongoing effort to upgrade body armor since ceramic plates were installed in protective vests in 2004.

And in what can only be described as the most important disregarded story of the week, U.S. and Iraqi troops arrested 200 suspected foreign terrorists around the city of Tal Afar, Iraq, a city near the northern border of Syria known as a main terrorist stronghold. That's right, that's 200 terrorists that won't be detonating a dirty bomb in your city anytime soon.

Lest I forget, I'll mention now that the commission investigating the U.N. oil—for—food program concluded just this week that top leadership overlooked corruption as it allowed Saddam Hussein to pocket over $10 billion that was earmarked for the Iraqi people. That's right, 10 billion dollars —— merely one of numerous U.N. violations by Saddam that prompted George W. Bush to 'lie us into war.'

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't point out the case of Jose Padilla, the American who has been detained for over three years on suspicion of training at al Qaeda terrorist camps. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled on Friday that U.S. citizens deemed 'enemy combatants' by the president can be detained indefinitely in the absence of criminal charges.

Liberals and civil libertarians alike were similarly outraged at this ostensible threat to our individual freedoms, though I'm happy to know that one of our federal courts has finally consulted the Constitution when passing judgment.

I don't like the idea of detaining American citizens, but I was happy to see the court defend a U.S. president's constitutional authority to suspend Habeas Corpus when, according to Article 1, Section 9, "the public Safety may require it." Of course, it goes without saying that I also don't like the idea of American citizens trying to kill me. I'll sleep quietly at night knowing that if Padilla's lawyers haven't been able to get him off in over three years, he's probably a terrorist.

Well, there you have all the good news on the war that I've come up with during the past two weeks. It's just too bad a Category 4 hurricane had to prevent our elite media from sharing all of it with us. Oh, wait...

Trevor Bothwell is a freelance writing living in Maryland. He is a contributing writer at Democracy Project and can be contacted at bothwelltj@yahoo.com.

You'd never know if from the wall to wall coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but we're still engaged in a war against Islamofascist terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Dan Goure, military analyst at the Lexington Institute, joked, 'Iraq must be doing really well —— I'm not reading anything about it in the papers.'

Certainly one of the worst natural disasters in American history is deserving of such extensive coverage, but the near total absence of any talk about the war over the past couple weeks is worthy of mention, and causes one to wonder how terribly it's actually proceeding. 

Katrina virtually obliterated the mainstream media's coverage of Cindy Sheehan, as even liberal journalists will flee an anti—war protest when there's indiscriminate death and destruction in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Nevertheless, when a hurricane affords you the best opportunity to criticize a war (see here and here), I'm compelled to take their constant drumbeat of consternation with a grain of salt.

But since it's unlikely we'll be introduced to many positive developments in our battle for civilization even on a slow news day, I figured I'd share some encouraging news that many may have overlooked since Katrina made landfall.

For instance, on Tuesday, August 30th, the day the 17th Street Canal levee in New Orleans began to give way and allow water from Lake Pontchartrain to pour into the city, U.S. jets launched a series of air strikes near the Syrian border which killed several known terrorists.

On September 6th, in what one would presume to be a monumental achievement, the U.S. Army handed over its base in Najaf to the Iraqis. Lt. Col. James Oliver presented the keys to new Iraqi commander, Col. Saadi Salih al—Maliky, in a transition ceremony, signaling a first step in transferring security across the country and taking yet another step toward reducing our presence in the region. According to the Associated Press, this is just the beginning of a plan that will allow the United States and its allies 'to begin drawing down their troops next year and focusing on the insurgency—ridden Sunni Arab areas to the north.'

The Pentagon also announced that it is replacing the body armor for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as for civilian employees and news reporters. This new armor is expected to withstand the strongest of attacks from 'insurgents,' and has been part of an ongoing effort to upgrade body armor since ceramic plates were installed in protective vests in 2004.

And in what can only be described as the most important disregarded story of the week, U.S. and Iraqi troops arrested 200 suspected foreign terrorists around the city of Tal Afar, Iraq, a city near the northern border of Syria known as a main terrorist stronghold. That's right, that's 200 terrorists that won't be detonating a dirty bomb in your city anytime soon.

Lest I forget, I'll mention now that the commission investigating the U.N. oil—for—food program concluded just this week that top leadership overlooked corruption as it allowed Saddam Hussein to pocket over $10 billion that was earmarked for the Iraqi people. That's right, 10 billion dollars —— merely one of numerous U.N. violations by Saddam that prompted George W. Bush to 'lie us into war.'

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't point out the case of Jose Padilla, the American who has been detained for over three years on suspicion of training at al Qaeda terrorist camps. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled on Friday that U.S. citizens deemed 'enemy combatants' by the president can be detained indefinitely in the absence of criminal charges.

Liberals and civil libertarians alike were similarly outraged at this ostensible threat to our individual freedoms, though I'm happy to know that one of our federal courts has finally consulted the Constitution when passing judgment.

I don't like the idea of detaining American citizens, but I was happy to see the court defend a U.S. president's constitutional authority to suspend Habeas Corpus when, according to Article 1, Section 9, "the public Safety may require it." Of course, it goes without saying that I also don't like the idea of American citizens trying to kill me. I'll sleep quietly at night knowing that if Padilla's lawyers haven't been able to get him off in over three years, he's probably a terrorist.

Well, there you have all the good news on the war that I've come up with during the past two weeks. It's just too bad a Category 4 hurricane had to prevent our elite media from sharing all of it with us. Oh, wait...

Trevor Bothwell is a freelance writing living in Maryland. He is a contributing writer at Democracy Project and can be contacted at bothwelltj@yahoo.com.