Originally created 09/29/03

'This is worth doing'



Something is getting lost in the translation here.

Nearly all of what you see of Iraq in the U.S. news media is gloom and doom. Soldiers killed. Friendly fire incidents. Distrust. Restlessness. An Iraqi desire for coalition troops to leave. Protests. Anti-Americanism.

The U.S. media aren't presenting the truth, or at least the whole truth.

In truth, according to a recent Gallup poll, a whopping two-thirds of Iraqis - 67 percent - think things are getting better. They believe the ouster of Saddam Hussein was a good thing, and that their lives will be better than they were under Saddam within five years, thanks to coalition efforts.

Only 8 percent think things will be worse. And that's plus or minus a few really stupid people.

Moreover, at least one Georgia Democrat - U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon - reports after having visited Iraq that things are actually going much better than Americans think.

"In Mosul last Monday," he wrote in an op-ed, "a colonel in the 101st Airborne put it to me quite simply: 'Sir, this is worth doing.' No one I spoke with said anything different."

But Marshall says he fears the news media's gloom-and-doom obsession is hurting coalition troops' chances of success.

"The falsely bleak picture weakens our national resolve, discourages Iraqi cooperation and emboldens our enemy," Marshall wrote.

"We may need a few credible Baghdad Bobs to undo the harm done by our media. I'm afraid it is killing our troops."

We applaud the Democratic congressman. He isn't supporting President George W. Bush - he's supporting our troops and their mission. We wish the remainder of the loyal opposition would be as enlightened.

And we wish our colleagues in the national and international media would start telling the whole story.