Michael’s observations have not been popular with the Administration or mainstream media, but he has been on the front lines long enough that his words are ignored only by the terminally indifferent.
When he writes that General Petraeus has launched the largest battle since “major hostilities” ended more than four years ago, it is a good idea to see what he is talking about.
Michael wrote in early 2005 that Iraq was in Civil War and that was generally ignored in the euphoria of the first Iraqi election. He caught some flak for his choice of words, but it appears that Michael’s on-the-spot observations were more accurate than all the ruminations and ponderings of the Administration or mainstream media.
Michael confines his dispatches to what he sees in his area or what he hears directly from the forces he is embedded with, so his observations are localized and have been downplayed by others as a result. My take on it is that a careful and unemotional observation of even a small area is more useful than glowing or hysterical reportage of an entire sector. A small truth is better than a giant generalization.
In his latest dispatch Michael discusses the mistakes that have been made which have led to the growth of Al Qaeda and announces an impending battle of epic proportions against Al Qaeda in Diyala Province. The City of Baquba is the Al Qaeda stronghold this time and it appears that our people may have learned enough from Fallujah to create a more favorable result.
Read Michael’s dispatch now and compare it to the mainstream media news next week, if ever.
Today’s key word is Baquba. See how long it takes for it to surface on Google, then how long it takes to appear in print. I’ll guess 2 weeks. UPDATE: I was wrong. It was on ABC news tonight.