The most overlooked news story of 2008

by Guest Columnist

The most overlooked news story of 2008

Have you noticed lately that mainstream media are giving less attention to the war in Iraq, especially concerning our troops’ progress? Who doesn’t recognize by now that we live in a time in which there’s little, if any, publishing space for positive military stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? recently reported: “There were only two front-page New York Times stories that mentioned ‘Iraq’ in the headline in October 2008 — there were 11 in October 2006 and 17 in October 2004…. The Washington Post ran four front-page stories that had headlines using the word ‘Iraq’ in October 2008 — in October 2006 there were 17 stories, and 27 stories in October 2004.” In July, The Times, a newspaper in the UK, ran a column that commended American and Iraqi forces in making significant progress in Mosul, Iraq and reaching the “final purge” of al-Qaida in Iraq. Investor’s Business Daily echoed the same sentiment but sharply criticized American mainstream media for completely overlooking that military success. The media indictment became so widespread on the internet that it left the global audience wondering whether such an oversight was an urban legend., an urban-legend-debunking website, affirmed this media Mosul omission by saying: “At the time of our investigation, US media reports of this were hard to find but we did manage to find a report of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki’s announcement on the Fox News site. For the most part, it appears the mainstream media missed this one.” Here’s what they missed: During the surge in 2007 and early 2008, US forces intensified efforts in Mosul by pushing out into small-neighborhood bases — a strategy that proved successful in routing insurgents from other large cities in the country. In February 2008, Col. Michael A. Bills, commander of the 3 rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, predicted that US and Iraqi troops would be in full control of the city by the end of July. By March 2008, Brig. Gen. Tony Thomas, second in command of coalition forces in northern Iraq, already was reporting: “So again, we can go anywhere we want to in Mosul… and we’re now forcing the enemy — boxing them in, if you will — into areas that they otherwise had free play in the city. So we’ve seized the initiative, and we’re slowly but surely eliminating their toehold in the city.” By June 2008, this city of 2 million people had 14 Iraqi army battalions, 10,000 Iraqi police

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