The officials are correct, it is too soon.
First lets deal with the Wapo article, then I am going to give you my personal analysis of why it is too soon to claim that al-Qaeda is crippled and how our unethical journalists of today, to which I will name and show examples of two such journalists with no ethics, (one is a Wapo writer to boot) are part of the reason that it is too soon.
The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.
But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.
"I think it would be premature at this point," a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known. Despite recent U.S. gains, he said, AQI retains "the ability for surprise and for catastrophic attacks." Earlier periods of optimism, such as immediately following the June 2006 death of AQI founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. air raid, not only proved unfounded but were followed by expanded operations by the militant organization.
There is widespread agreement that AQI has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a "cascade effect," leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason and are concerned that the broader al-Qaeda network may be diverting new recruits to Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The deployment of more U.S. and Iraqi forces into AQI strongholds in Anbar province and the Baghdad area, as well as the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters to combat AQI operatives in those locations, has helped to deprive the militants of a secure base of operations, U.S. military officials said. "They are less and less coordinated, more and more fragmented," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, said recently. Describing frayed support structures and supply lines, Odierno estimated that the group's capabilities have been "degraded" by 60 to 70 percent since the beginning of the year.
Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of the Joint Special Operations Command's operations in Iraq, is the chief promoter of a victory declaration and believes that AQI has been all but eliminated, the military intelligence official said. But Adm. William J. Fallon, the chief of U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, is urging restraint, the official said. The military intelligence official, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity about Iraq assessments and strategy.
Senior U.S. commanders on the ground, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. forces in Iraq, have long complained that Central Command, along with the CIA, is too negative in its analyses. On this issue, however, Petraeus agrees with Fallon, the military intelligence official said.
For each assessment of progress against AQI, there is a cautionary note that comes from long and often painful experience. Despite the increased killings and captures of AQI members, Odierno said, "it only takes three people" to construct and detonate a suicide car bomb that can "kill thousands." The goal, he said, is to make each attack less effective and lengthen the periods between them.
I am stopping there, you can go finish the article yourself, but that last paragraph is where our dishonest, unethical journalists come into play as one reason it is way too soon to declare any sort of victory over al-Qaeda and I will come back to that paragraph after listing the ways we have crippled al-Qaeda and then explain why those journalists, as well as others, make it impossible to acknowledge it.
Recent success and progress in Iraq:
Just yesterday it was reported that Iraq death tolls have again dropped significantly, and has fell to lowest number in recent history.
The civilian death toll in Iraq fell to its lowest level in recent memory Saturday, with only four people killed or found dead nationwide, according to reports from police, morgue officials and credible witnesses.
Saturday marked the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr feast for Shiites, the three-day capstone closing out the Ramadan month of fasting. Sunnis began celebrating the holiday on Sunday.
The daily number of civilians killed, not including those on days when there were massive casualties from car bombs, had climbed above 100 at the end of last year and the beginning of 2007.
Saturday's decline in deaths was in line with a sharp drop in September of both Iraqi civilian and U.S. military fatalities.
In the last few months we have seen evidence that would support claims that al-Qaeda is on the run and severely crippled, some examples are:
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."
Other good news that has come out of Iraq in the recent weeks:
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."
Five million Iraqi children returned to school last week, largely without incident, following their summer vacations."
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 amazingly well. Al-Qaida, though still a potent enemy capable of committing mass atrocities, is on the run."
Al-Qaeda will still try for what they call "spectacular" bombings and massive deaths, they have been trying but we have the momentum against them.
More importantly, the Iraqi people have turned their back on al-Qaeda and are working with our forces.
Just yesterday we saw that another Sunni chief struck a deal with U.S. military.
Protein Wisdom has 50 other stories that many Americans, that get their news from our major newspapers or television, probably have never seen.
Perhaps one of the most telling signs that al-Qaeda is severely crippled is the number of failed terror attacks that they have tried, unsuccessfully to implement over the last year.
Germany, September, 2007:
Three men in German, Islamic militants, have been arrested as suspects in a large scaled plot to attack an air base at Ramstein and the Frankfurt international airport, all frequented by Americans.
Danish Police arresting eight men with al-Qaeda links in connection with another terror plot.
Eleven raids carried out in the greater Copenhagen area, leading to eight arrests is being credited with preventing a terrorist bombing linked to al-Qaeda.
Not long ago, you might remember police arrested two men in Goosecreek, SC., for being in possession of explosive devices. Goose Creek, S.C., according to U.S. Today is the home of the Naval Weapons Station which houses a military brig where enemy combatants have been held.
Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin, we see that those two men have been indicted on charges of carrying explosives across state lines and one was indicted on terror charges.
June 29th, reports from London, yet another incident involving two cars with explosive materials.
The London bomb plot allegedly planned by a cell of doctors failed early last Friday morning because a medical syringe used as part of the firing mechanism caused a malfunction, ABC News has learned.
June 2007, a plot regarding the JFK Airport.
May, in Wapo, a terror plot foiled to kill our soldiers at Ft. Dix.
Lets go back to August of 2006 when 21 people in connection with a terrorist plot to blow up aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States.
The trend? All failed terror plots by Islamic extremists with the same ideology as bin Laden.
Why unethical journalists are preventing us from acknowledging how crippled and disorganized al-Qaeda is becoming.
Now back to that last paragraph I quote above from the Washington Post:
Despite the increased killings and captures of AQI members, Odierno said, "it only takes three people" to construct and detonate a suicide car bomb that can "kill thousands."
Now, one might wonder, rightly so, how I can list all the ways al-Qaeda is failing, all the foiled terror plots they have tried to commit unsuccessfully, all the progress we are seeing in Iraq, all the good news for us and the bad news for al-Qaeda, and still maintain that we cannot acknowledge or say clearly that al-Qaeda is crippled and I say that we cannot claim any sort of victory against al-Qaeda.
It is because of our journalists.
Ask yourself a couple of questions here.
#1. After following the links above about the foiled plots, how many of them have you heard on the news or seen in the newspapers?
#2. After seeing the news of the progress, the portions I listed above and the 50 additional recent good news stories from Iraq that was at the Protein Wisdom link, how many of those have you heard on the news or seen in the newspapers?
Do you know why you haven't heard any of those stories, or perhaps you heard only a quick mention of them?
Well two journalist actually told us, flat out that good news from Iraq should not be reported to the American people.
Good News Isn't News, Bad News Is Bad News and No News Is Good News.
They said it.
Robin Wright of Washington Post and Barbara Starr of CNN, said: (NewsBusters brought this to everyones attention last week)
Increasing casualties: news. Declining casualties: not news.
To Kurtz's obvious frustration, his guests - Robin Wright of the Washington Post and Barbara Starr of CNN - both supported the press burying this extremely positive announcement.
Alas, not seeing the stupidity in this position, Starr, with a straight-face nonetheless, agreed with Wright:But that's the problem, we don't know whether it is a trend about specifically the decline in the number of U.S. troops being killed in Iraq. This is not enduring progress. This is a very positive step on that potential road to progress.
Hmmm. So, I guess a "very positive step on that potential road to progress" isn't newsworthy, huh Barbara? Even Kurtz recognized the hypocrisy here, which led to the following:
KURTZ: But let's say that the figures had shown that casualties were going up for U.S. soldiers and going up for Iraqi civilians. I think that would have made some front pages.
STARR: Oh, I think inevitably it would have. I mean, that's certainly -- that, by any definition, is news........
It doesn't matter how much progress is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, it doesn't matter how many foiled terror plots we see and document, it doesn't matter how many al-Qaeda operatives we capture or kill, it doesn't matter how much rebuilding is being done,it doesn't matter that local Iraqi's have turned against al-Qaeda and are working with American and coalition forces.
None of that matters if the media and these unethical journalists do not tell the American people it is happening!
America is only seeing a small portion, therefore when one bomb goes off and kills dozens, according to Barabra Starr, thats news, but when all those good news stories that are listed above happens.... thats not news and shouldn't be told to the American public.
When you understand that if 100 lives are taken it will be reported and blasted on all the front pages, but when a couple of thousand lives are saved it isn't considered news at all, it makes it far easier to understand why our officials and our military cannot even acknowledge publicly the good work our fine troops, coalition, and Iraq security forces are doing.
It is a sad thing that most of our MSM today is more interested in reporting our losses than they are our success and progress.
Even worse that those writers would even see nothing wrong in admitting that fact.
Tracked back by:
Jihadists in America, or not? from Right Truth...