The StarTribune ran this Washington Post story in the upper right hand corner of its front page this morning, proclaiming “Wounded Civilians in Iraq Get Little Help.”
My first thought was the article and its placement are another attempt to suggest “quagmire” or paint a hopeless picture. My own filtering system suggests that such a strategy of subtle psychological warfare may be “false but still plausible” but I’m not going to fisk this article. Instead, the image that immediately came to my mind when I read the headline was this photo that Michelle Malkin featured last month (click to enlarge):
The photo was by freelance journalist Michael Yon, embedded with a brigade of Marines in Mosul at the time. Follow the link to read his account of what happened and a postscript on the effects of the photo.
Whatever its motives, the WaPo article couldn’t help but point out that over the past 18 months the civilians have suffered greatly at the hands of the terrorists (the article called them “insurgents”). It’s bloody, not subtle, but it is still psychological warfare in the name of the Fear of Man, not of God. At its heart it is really all about the all-too-human desire for power. And, as the photo shows, it has an all-too-human cost.
To that extent the war may be “unwinnable”, be it Northern Ireland or the Sunni Triangle. How much better, however, to put the focus on those trying to change things for the better. Run the same WaPo article but include the picture above and the reader comes away with a different perspective.
Finally, if for some strange reason your picture of Iraq is of a sinking sand quagmire, it’s worth going back to Yon’s blog to read his latest accounts and see the pictures he’s taken about what things are like.