News from the Fallujah Front

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has an exclusive report from embed Matt Sanchez in Fallujah. He has an interesting report on how really inaccurate the media are in their reports from Iraq:

If the press is the eyes, ears and voice of a nation, we in the United States, are currently deaf, dumb and blind. Like most Americans, I wasn’t sure about the reporting coming from Iraq, but after spending much time in the Green Zone before transitioning to Fallujah, I realize the press out here is about as credible as an unsolicited e-mail from your bank requesting a social security number to update their records. There’s a semblance of legitimacy, but if you enter your personal data, you’re going to get ripped off.

Last week, I was witness to one of those media con jobs. The 5/10 Marine civil affair unit out of Camp Lejeune, works with the local police and Iraqi army. It’s a tough job, lots of danger, but the word across the board is that the strategy of getting the Iraqis to stand up and defend themselves is working here in Fallujah. Officers have referred to the Anbar Awakening with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I interviewed bored Marine infantry men, many on their second tour, who told me they were in less danger because the Fallujan police and Iraqi Army were picking up the slack, responding to tips from locals and responding to attacks. In fact, that day, the police was so effective they even prevented a suicide bomber from entering the building. We heard the boom, and as if on cue, RPG and small arms fire. The Marines of the 2/6 infantry unit grinned as they pulled on their equipment and took positions, but in reality, the Iraqi police had prevented a major suicide attack. There was, however, one victim–the suicide bomber.

So, how did the death of a sole suicide bomber become the Wall Street Journal headline of “Suicide Bombing in Fallujah Leaves 25 Dead, 50 Wounded”? To be fair, NPR, CBS, Sky News, and CNN all parroted the same numbers, as they rushed to report something–anything! The answer is a 20-minute helicopter away in Baghdad. Where the majority of “reporting” is done from the Green Zone.

There is a lot more interesting information in Matt’s post. I recommend you read all of it.

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