Michael Novack's NRO column is very insightful and I recommend it to anyone who wants to gain some perspective on what is going on in Iraq. It is a good complement piece to Victor Davis Hanson's editorial of last week (see here for a list of all VDH's columns):
The foreign brain — including al Qaeda's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, the Iranian intelligence, and others — can see November 2 on the calendar as ominously as John Kerry does. They want the equivalent of a Tet Offensive — lots of American blood — a shock like that given Madrid — before November 2. But, above all, they turn the calendar to the end of January. They have to stop the Iraqi election. They have to do something dramatic in Iraq before then.
Don't think we Americans cannot read a calendar too. Don't think we are remaining passively in our bases in our Iraq, wearing little signs saying "Hit me!" Our guys are out on multiple offensives just now, and will be out on the attack in a gathering crescendo all during the next 45 days. Watch the towns to the East of the Sunni Triangle, the towns guarding the routes fresh supplies of foreign terrorists must traverse on their way to Fallujah and Ramadi. Three of them have either fallen into American hands in the last couple weeks or will soon.
And that's not all Novack has to say:
It is odd how American journalists are not reporting this war from the side of American strategic officers and American frontline units, whose officers and men are now enjoying their own professional capacities and daily successes.
Reading the blogs of our own military guys in the field is infinitely more satisfying to intellectual curiosity than reading (or hearing) the ordinary empty droning of journalists. Compared to bloggers in America, American journalists seem like amateurs; compared to military professionals on the battlefield, journalists (whatever their age) seem like undisciplined college kids. When one compares these professions as professions, the military profession to journalism, journalism really is dropping fast — and not only because of Dan Rather.
This is why I got into blogging in the first place. It started by my trying to find out everything I could about what was going on aft 9/11 and during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. I felt increasingly unsatisfied with what I read in the paper and what I saw on TV. A friend suggested I check out the Command Post and Instapundit and I did (at the time, I didn't even know what a blog was). I started linking to other blogs and other sources of information. I could read all the newspapers I wanted; and all the opinion I wanted and judge for myself what was going on. Then I started reading the Iraqi bloggers and the Military bloggers (guys who were right there on the front lines--someplace most of the journalists avoided) who knew what was happening and WHY. I'm telling you, it was a complete eye-opener for me.
I stopped depending on the NY Times, the Detroit News and the Ann Arbor News (all of which I subscribed to at the time). I started checking what they were saying and found them very frequently lacking in knowledge about what was going on and --even more importantly--WHY things are going on. It seemed to me they had NO PERSPECTIVE in their stories, only an agenda that was all too familiar to someone who had grown up during the Vietnam War.
I will never go back now. Information and the individual knowledge of millions of people are an intoxicating brew; and noone tells me how to evaluate it all or what to think--I get to do that for myself.