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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What if U.S. Won a War But Nobody Reported It?

Go to Google and do a search on "captured al-Qaeda documents" and the first entry you will find from an MSM outlet is a February story in USA Today. Go to Captain's Quarters blog here and you find a complete report by Ed Morrissey on captured al-Qaeda documents in which insurgent leaders all but admit defeat.

Actually, Ed posted that report several days ago, so the mainstream media folks have had more than sufficient time to get up to speed on this story. How big a story is it? Well, ask yourself how big it would be if those captured documents claimed victory and described the insurgents' plan for the first 30 days after U.S. troops are out of Iraq. That would be on the front page of every major daily.

But the captured documents instead include insurgents all but admitting that they have lost the war in Iraq and have a steadily weakening capability of launching militarily significant operations there.

For example, Ed quotes from one of the documents in which the author acknowledges that al-Qaeda's "strategy" is to influence the media, not occupy and control territory:

"The policy followed by the brothers in Baghdad is a media oriented policy without a clear comprehensive plan to capture an area or an enemy center. Other word, the significance of the strategy of their work is to show in the media that the American and the government do not control the situation and there is resistance against them.
This policy dragged us to the type of operations that are attracted to the media, and we go to the streets from time to time for more possible noisy operations which follow the same direction.
"This direction has large positive effects; however, being preoccupied with it alone delays more important operations such as taking control of some areas, preserving it and assuming power in Baghdad (for example, taking control of a university, a hospital, or a Sunni religious site)."

Ed also quotes a passage in the documents in which the author describes how U.S., allied and Iraqi forces have absorbed al-Qaeda's best shots, adjusted accordingly and come back stronger, which is a prescription for continued defeat for the insurgents:

"At the same time, the Americans and the Government were able to absorb our painful blows, sustain them, compensate their losses with new replacements, and follow strategic plans which allowed them in the past few years to take control of Baghdad as well as other areas one after the other. That is why every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin’s control and influence over Baghdad."

Every year is worse for the insurgents? Why haven't we seen that story in The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Los Angeles Times. Why did we first read that news from al-Qaeda in the Blogosphere?