Friday, June 09, 2006

Al Zarqawi and the ghost story teller

[News as of yesterday, I know] Al-Zarqawi, the most prominent terrorist insurgency leader in Iraq, has been killed by US forces who tracked him down with the assistance of tips and information from Iraqi civilians. News of a high-level meeting between him and Al-Qaeda officials tipped off his possible presence in the area and US forces bombed his location and then verified his presence from his remains.

This is very good.

But naturally, we will have press cynics sneering upon the news and pretending that all US citizens likewise do so, playing down the actions that led to the destruction of the most wanted terrorist in Iraq as merely this-or-that unintelligent thing; one correspondent effusively urging viewers to trust him on this (that link is only liked by Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Media Player, I think).

Trust him on this? Who the blink is this TV correspondent that he should be trusted over the military claims? That question aside, his prattle is certainly a distraction from the point that the US is doing some seriously damn nasty business against terrorists and apparently winning. But let us follow this lead-away anyway; following Al-Zarqawis' spiritual advisor is no discredit to the method of finding Zarqawi, it's a logical way to find him. And checking the corpses is no discredit to the certainty of the intelligence which led to his death either; it's simply validating it. Remember learning to multiply a division quotient by the divisor and making sure it matched the dividend, to see if the quotient is correct? Bingo. But this fellow would apparently be happier if they did not check the quotient. Although it may appear that what has been divided would in reverse be regarded as Admiral Akbar's legs times Darth Maul's torso (wait a minute, shouldn't that be addition and not multiplication?), it will be clear to us without checking that these legs times this torso are in fact Al-Zarqawi.

And back to the trust question: was this correspondent there in the operational procedures when they were gathering the intelligence? Have his military sources told him they didn't collaborate with civilians? And their supposed non-collaboration with other military units is a separate question from whether they rely on civilian tips and information, which logically they would, but that he never even addresses that question makes me wonder whether he doesn't know or doesn't care. There's no reason in his arguments, and in all seriousness I all-encompassingly declare that there is no evidence to suggest anyone should really trust him, either. I trust military leaders to dispense accurate information on their activities when it is in their security interest to do so; I more or less rely on liberal press to spin information into illogical and drastically unsupported conclusions often without a shred of evidence. The implicit assumption of his urging viewers to trust him says viewers should not trust the military, that he has better information then them, that they are unknowledgable and untrustworthy while he, the couch critic of the war, is more knowledgeable about the operation than the military and he is to be trusted over them. He's another "don't trust the military" guy preaching to the choir of liberal press, and his smug smirk when the anchor introduced his challenge to the military sickened me. It's even worse than this though; the implicit assumption that he should be trusted over what the military says has an even worse assumption behind it which is never even mentioned, it is so glibly taken: if the military is not to be trusted because, as this correspondent claims, contrary to their claim they did not rely on civilian intelligence sources, it must be that his military sources (whom he does not mention) lied. This fellow is founding his claims as if self-evident on a ground doctrine (yet taken completely for granted) that his sources lied - sources he does not give. Well, that's a dandy believable ghost story, isn't it? What we have here is conspiracy theory gone mainstream.

Of course, I'm giving that this reporter actually has valid military sources on this, since he doesn't mention them. And if he really does have such sources, I'm also giving that they are telling the truth and he is disbelieving them as a rule, as his offered reasons for going against them are not provided. Not one speck.

List your sources and believe what they say, unless you have some very substantive reasons to go to the contrary. That's the kind of reporting I believe, not this liberal ghost story.


Post a Comment

<< Home