I am not huge on coincidence and never have been and since I follow the Centom daily news releases, perhaps that is one reason why I notice this trend, but I am not the only that notices it and it is not a coincidence.
The Corner notices it also.
If you want to see about roadside bombs in Iraq, you can go to page one in Wapo. If you want to know about Blackwater, you can go to page one in almost any major newspaper and CNN. If you want to know about those that want the war funding cut, go to page one of Wapo.
If you want to see that "U.S. and Civilian Deaths Decrease Sharply in Iraq: American Military Credits Troop Influx.", go to page 14 in Wapo.
If the top story is Iraq, then I don’t see how you can put those three stories on the front page, while burying the other one on page 14. Arguably, an actual report of substantial positive progress in Iraq is more important, and more dramatic, than any of those other stories. By rights it ought to have been headlined on page one. The Post seems more interested in fighting our political battle over the Iraq than in reporting on it.
IBD Editorials also notices this phenomenon about the mainstream media hiding the good news from their readers.
That the media are no longer much interested in Iraq is a sure sign things are going well there. Instead, they're talking about the presidential campaign, or Burma, or global warming, or . . . whatever.
Why? Simply put, the news from Iraq has been quite positive, as Petraeus related in his report to Congress. Consider:
• On Monday came news that U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 64 in September, the fourth straight drop since peaking at 121 in May and driving the toll to a 14-month low.
• Civilian deaths also have plunged, dropping by more than half from August to 884. Remember just six months ago all the talk of an Iraqi "civil war"? That seems to be fading.
• The just-ended holy month of Ramadan in Iraq was accompanied by a 40% drop in violence, even though al-Qaida had vowed to step up attacks.
• Speaking of al-Qaida, the terrorist group appears to be on the run, and possibly on the verge of collapse — despite making Iraq the center of its war for global hegemony and a new world order based on precepts of fundamentalist Islam.
• Military officials say U.S. troops have killed Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a Tunisian senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who was responsible for bringing foreign fighters into the country. Not surprisingly, the pace of foreign fighters entering Iraq has been more than halved from the average of 60 to 80 a month.
• Last month, 1,200 Iraqis waited patiently in line in Iraq's searing heat to sign up to fight al-Qaida. They will join an estimated 30,000 volunteers in the past six months — a clear sign the tide has turned in the battle for average Iraqis' hearts and minds.
• Finally, and lest you think it's all death and destruction, there's this: Five million Iraqi children returned to school last week, largely without incident, following their summer vacations.
None of this, of course, is accidental. The surge of 28,500 new troops announced by President Bush last February, and put in place in mid-June by Gen. Petraeus, seems to have worked extraordinarily well. Al-Qaida, though still a potent foe capable of committing mass atrocities, has been backpedaling furiously.
"They are very broken up, very unable to mass, and conducting very isolated operations" is how Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson described al-Qaida's situation in comments this week.
If the public wants the good news coming out of Iraq, they have got to look for themselves these days.
Separately, because I do actively hunt news about Iraq, we have bought you all those news stories as they came out, but I did have to hunt them, they weren't blasted on the front pages of major newspapers.
The good news coming from Iraq deserves more than a "token mention" or hiding it on page 14, our troops deserve to have the good work they are doing trumpeted just as loudly as the previous years reporting every death and every violent act that occurred.
How many news sources brought you the last letter sent from a desperate al-Qaeda chief, Abu Usama al-Tunisi, the one we showed above that was killed by our U.S. troops?
On Sept. 25, the U.S. military killed an Al Qaida chief deemed responsible for transporting foreign operatives to Iraq. The Al Qaida commander, identified as Abu Osama Al Tunisi, was killed in a U.S. air strike as he met his colleagues in Musayib, about 60 kilometers south of Baghdad.
Shortly before he died, Al Tunisi wrote a letter that warned of a threat to Al Qaida operations in Karkh. The lettter, found by the U.S. military, sought guidance from Al Qaida leaders amid coalition operations that hampered Al Tunisi's network.
"We are so desperate for your help," the letter read.
"This was a dangerous terrorist who is no longer a part of Al Qaida in Iraq," U.S. Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, chief of staff of the Multinational Corps Iraq, said. "His death deals a significant blow to their operation. Abu Osama Al Tunisi was one of the most senior leaders within Al Qaida in Iraq."
Anderson said Al Tunisi and two other Al Qaida operatives were killed in the U.S. Air Force bombing mission. The brigadier told a Sept. 28 briefing that an F-16 multi-role fighter leveled the building where Al Tunisi had been meeting Al Qaida operatives.
Al Tunisi was said to have been a leading adviser to Al Masri, officials said. They said Al Tunisi, a Tunisian national, might have been designated Al Masri's successor.
"The inner circle of leadership with Abu Ayoub Al Masri consists of foreigners, and Al Tunisi was in this top tier of leadership," Anderson said.
This was the second leading aide of Al Masri killed in less than a month. On Aug. 31, another member of Al Masri's inner circle, Abou Yaakoub Al Masri, was killed near Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. Anderson said the two remaining foreign leaders of Al Masri's inner circle remain at large.
"The top two Iraqis, Abu Shahed and Abdallah Latif Al Jaburi, have also been captured or killed," Anderson said.
Al Tunisi was termed the emir, or commander, of foreign operatives in Iraq. Anderson said Al Tunisi was responsible for the arrival of Al Qaida recruits into Iraq and their placement in operational cells.
You would think that the level of desperation seen in the letter, from al-Qaeda in Iraq, would be news the American people would be happy to see....
How many of you have seen it before now?
The lesson from this type of journalism is that we have to search for our own news because the media is not going to report anything that does not fit with their political agenda.