Michael Yon and "Resistance is Futile"

Rick Moran
The refrain has been sung by our soldiers, by many politicians, and even by some journalists; the coverage of the war in the mainstream media has been abominable.

There are noble exceptions to this rule. But the fact is, agenda-driven journalism has obscured what is going on in Iraq for going on 4 years. It's not that everything is peaches and cream in that violence torn place; it is that a reality that is so complex has been over simplified until coverage has become little better than a means to count the bodies of the dead while failing to pick up the nuances and exceptions to the rule that Iraq is a lost cause and we should leave as soon as possible.

Thanks to a precious few journalists who have embedded themselves in allied units, we can get a different view of Iraq; a place of violence and mistrust but also of hope and courage. Michael Yon is one of those journalists and his dispatches have been a godsend to those who truly want to know what is happening there - both the good and the bad.

Yon's piece today is one of his best and shows why all is not as it appears to be in Iraq - especially given the improvements over the last 6 months:

America seems to be under a glass dome which allows few hard facts from the field to filter in unless they are attached to a string of false assumptions. Considering that my trip home coincided with General Petraeus’ testimony before the US Congress, when media interest in the war was (I’m told) unusually concentrated, it’s a wonder my eardrums didn’t burst on the trip back to Iraq. In places like Singapore, Indonesia, and Britain people hardly seemed to notice that success is being achieved in Iraq, while in the United States, Britney was competing for airtime with O.J. in one of the saddest sideshows on Earth.

No thinking person would look at last year’s weather reports to judge whether it will rain today, yet we do something similar with Iraq news. The situation in Iraq has drastically changed, but the inertia of bad news leaves many convinced that the mission has failed beyond recovery, that all Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, or are waiting for us to leave so they can crush their neighbors. This view allows our soldiers two possible roles: either “victim caught in the crossfire” or “referee between warring parties.” Neither, rightly, is tolerable to the American or British public.

Today I am in Iraq, back in a war of such strategic consequence that it will affect generations yet unborn—whether or not they want it to. Hiding under the covers will not work, because whether it is good news or bad, whether it is true or untrue, once information is widely circulated, it has such formidable inertia that public opinion seems impervious to the corrective balm of simple and clear facts.
No one shoots as straight as Yon in his dispatches. Reading his past writings, you can get a good idea of how the war has progressed (or not progressed) over the years. His latest tells it straight with no hyperbole or recognizable agenda - save the respect he has for the individual soldier.

He is this war's Ernie Pyle. And he deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his accomplishments. Read the whole dispatch and you'll see why.
The refrain has been sung by our soldiers, by many politicians, and even by some journalists; the coverage of the war in the mainstream media has been abominable.

There are noble exceptions to this rule. But the fact is, agenda-driven journalism has obscured what is going on in Iraq for going on 4 years. It's not that everything is peaches and cream in that violence torn place; it is that a reality that is so complex has been over simplified until coverage has become little better than a means to count the bodies of the dead while failing to pick up the nuances and exceptions to the rule that Iraq is a lost cause and we should leave as soon as possible.

Thanks to a precious few journalists who have embedded themselves in allied units, we can get a different view of Iraq; a place of violence and mistrust but also of hope and courage. Michael Yon is one of those journalists and his dispatches have been a godsend to those who truly want to know what is happening there - both the good and the bad.

Yon's piece today is one of his best and shows why all is not as it appears to be in Iraq - especially given the improvements over the last 6 months:

America seems to be under a glass dome which allows few hard facts from the field to filter in unless they are attached to a string of false assumptions. Considering that my trip home coincided with General Petraeus’ testimony before the US Congress, when media interest in the war was (I’m told) unusually concentrated, it’s a wonder my eardrums didn’t burst on the trip back to Iraq. In places like Singapore, Indonesia, and Britain people hardly seemed to notice that success is being achieved in Iraq, while in the United States, Britney was competing for airtime with O.J. in one of the saddest sideshows on Earth.

No thinking person would look at last year’s weather reports to judge whether it will rain today, yet we do something similar with Iraq news. The situation in Iraq has drastically changed, but the inertia of bad news leaves many convinced that the mission has failed beyond recovery, that all Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, or are waiting for us to leave so they can crush their neighbors. This view allows our soldiers two possible roles: either “victim caught in the crossfire” or “referee between warring parties.” Neither, rightly, is tolerable to the American or British public.

Today I am in Iraq, back in a war of such strategic consequence that it will affect generations yet unborn—whether or not they want it to. Hiding under the covers will not work, because whether it is good news or bad, whether it is true or untrue, once information is widely circulated, it has such formidable inertia that public opinion seems impervious to the corrective balm of simple and clear facts.
No one shoots as straight as Yon in his dispatches. Reading his past writings, you can get a good idea of how the war has progressed (or not progressed) over the years. His latest tells it straight with no hyperbole or recognizable agenda - save the respect he has for the individual soldier.

He is this war's Ernie Pyle. And he deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his accomplishments. Read the whole dispatch and you'll see why.