Last week, the New York Times heralded the beginning of a major offensive against al-Qaeda in the Diyala River Valley by declaring that Coalition efforts at secrecy had failed, and that many insurgents had escaped days before the operation began.
I’m here in the Diyala River Valley participating in the very operation the Times describes, and I have a very different perspective.
As a bit of background, I’m a mobilized reservist (in my civilian life, I’m a senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund and regularly contribute to NRO’s “Phi Beta Cons” blog) supporting 2nd (Sabre) Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, one of the Army’s most storied units. I serve as the squadron’s judge advocate (lawyer), and I’ve been pushed forward as part of “Operation Raider Harvest.”
In my new job, I’m beginning to understand a reality of reporting from Iraq. The media is not generally getting its facts wrong (although no one is infallible); its emphasis, however, is different from ours. Reporters here often exhibit amazing courage (I recently met a Los Angeles Times reporter that has been in Iraq almost continually since the initial invasion, and has been embedded with combat units more times than she can count) and typically have a real commitment to the truth. It is simply not inaccurate to report a glass as half-empty if the glass is half-empty. But it is just as accurate to report the glass as half full. In this case, the glass is more than half full.
Read the rest here.