The piece went on to argue that leaving with our tails between our legs was perfectly honorable, and not a surrender at all because we weren't giving our troops up as prisonoers.
The image in Tuesday's newspapers was of a sea of Iraqi flags, as tens of thousands of Iraqis paraded in Najaf against the occupation of their country by the United States. If anyone were looking for an Iraqi answer to the "surge," it is in that photo.
There are those in America who still believe that a measured increase in manpower could bring about order and safety in Iraq. To them, we say: Look at the photos from Najaf. There is what they think of your idea. Ponder that crowd. See how many flags are in it. Think of the last time you saw American flags flying everywhere — what event had just happened. That was 9/11. Recall how people felt then. That is Najaf now. "Death to America," the crowd said. Thousands said it.There is no arguing with a force like that.
Daring to, in fact, "argue with a force like that," I wrote the following letter to the editor. I've included links in this version.
Editor, The Times:I'm looking forward to their correction, of course.
Your absurd editorial, “The Flags of Najaf,” represents perfectly the complete disconnect between the reality of Iraq and the head-in-the-sand leftist media vision of it.
You paint a picture of a popular uprising, a spontaneous demonstration from everyday people who just want America to leave so they can get back to their lives and businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, you claim there were “tens of thousands” of demonstrators, when in reality, the numbers were closer to 5 – 7,000. Even the protesters themselves only were able to claim 10,000 – at most half of your claim. Either this is a sloppy oversight or flat dishonesty.
Second, you fail to mention that the demonstration was orchestrated by murderer Muqtada al Sadr from his hiding place in Iran, likely with logistical support and funding from Iran itself. This demonstration is actually a profound sign of this villain’s weakness, not strength. When the best he can do is get a few thousand people to waive flags as opposed to besting joint American/Iraqi forces in the field, things are definitely looking up. This was a failed attempt at enemy propaganda, and it takes a willful blindness to see it as anything other than that.
Finally, you laughably argue that leaving on a timeline demanded by those who have sworn to destroy our nation is not a surrender, as if Iraq is locked away in its own little hermetically sealed bubble. No serious person believes that leaving Iraq won’t have deadly consequences for the brave Iraqis still risking their lives to form their democracy, or for the safety of the United States itself. Iran’s fingerprints are all over the Najaf “protest” – does anyone seriously believe they aren’t a threat to us?
I urge the Times to stop going out of their way to shill for the enemies of America. Your readers deserve facts, not false jihadist propaganda.
Update: Shockingly, the Seattle Times didn't print my letter, or even include it in the "online only" letters. Oh, well. I suppose I understand, though - they had to make room for the guy informing us all about "Halliburton and the other fattening merchants of war" and "The unborn generations of Americans whose future has already been mortgaged by the Bush administration".
Journalism at its finest.