HERE’S A LENGTHY BIG PICTURE POST from Michael Yon. It’s beyond excerpting, but I’ll excerpt this bit: “Iâ€™ve been back in Iraq now for about three months, and sadly have to report that, despite signs of progress in many key areas of the battle space, the conditions on the media/military front have not improved since early 2005. . . . One overarching message from the front is that our combat forces are overwhelmingly good to the Iraqis and extremely accommodating to media, but there is a deeper substrate. We simply cannot beat the terrorists if we do not learn how to embrace media realities. With all the focus on training Iraqi Security Forces, it might be worth considering training our own team, too.” As I said yesterday, someone with a clue in the White House or the Pentagon needs to intervene.
UPDATE: Rick Richman emails:
Glenn — Thank you for the link to Michael Yonâ€™s remarkable post. You were correct that it defies summarization, and needs to be read in its entirety, but I think your brief excerpt may obscure an equally important point closer to the end of the post:
â€œ[I]t bears frequent reminding that General Petraeus has won complex battles before in Iraq. He is extremely open with the media, and nobody with PhD from Princeton would invite a bunch of writers to document an historical fight he plans to lose. Heâ€™s invited press to a process he aims to resolve.â€
COMMENTARY has posted a forthcoming article from its April issue by Arthur Herman, entitled â€œHow to Win in Iraq — and How to Lose.â€ The article sets forth General Petraeusâ€™s new strategy and makes it clear it is far beyond a simple increase in troop levels. The article provides considerable insight into the reasons Petraeus wants the media around.