Agam's Gecko
Saturday, January 27, 2007

ere are some links to the work which Michelle Malkin and Bryan Preston have produced following their return last week from Iraq, after a short embedded period at Forward Operating Base Justice, in northern Baghdad.

Bryan's lengthy initial assessment is here, and Michelle's first post on her own blog is here. They've put together a number of video reports which are very good. The most recent one documents a patrol operation in Khadamiyah, and links to all the earlier video reports are on that page.

Bryan does some more analysis on counter-insurgency strategy here, and a nice little piece about the football-loving kids he met there. Overall, some very different pictures emerge from these articles (and they're rich in photos, too), and particularly the video pieces, from the overwhelming and hopeless failure depicted in many media circles.

Oh yes, they also show us the four mosques that the AP claimed were completely destroyed back in November (they are all standing and in use, with minimal damage in two of them, apart from the one which had been abandoned and empty at the time of the alleged incident). This was part of the issue with AP's "Jamil Hussein"-sourced reports, upon which over 60 AP stories were based. Another contentious part was the report that 6 Sunni worshippers were immolated by a Shia gang while Iraqi police looked on. By all accounts Michelle and Bryan tracked down on the scene, this simply did not happen. There is still no comment from the AP, which earlier promised to stand by their man.

Iraqi authorities, after stating that no such "Jamil Hussein" worked for them, eventually did an about-face and said that the source actually did exist (although perhaps under a different name). The AP has been using him for two years. One wonders how many stories in this period, having blanketed the earth through the AP wire service, were equally inaccurate.

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