Is Basra in chaos?

posted at 8:58 am on October 9, 2007 by Bryan

Newsday says yes.

The British troop pullout from Iraq announced yesterday leaves Basra, Iraq’s second largest and most strategically important city, in near total chaos both politically and militarily.

It comes at a time when at least four Shia militias are fighting over the city, which is surrounded by most of the nation’s tremendous oil reserves and provides Iraq’s only gateway to the sea.

Equally vital for U.S. strategists, the city also controls the southern portion of the road from Kuwait to Baghdad, along which mostly all U.S. supplies are brought in.

But Confederate Yankee heard from Michael Yon, who is in Iraq and gives us an entirely different picture of Basra.

I know which one I believe.

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I’ve lost the ability to be shocked by MSM bias any longer. Their collective reprehensibility grows by the hour.

pistolero on October 9, 2007 at 9:03 AM

Basra is not in chaos. In fact, crime and violence are way down and there has not been a British combat death in over a month. The report below is false.

Must be a rightwing bush supporter, couldn’t be the truth.
/troll impersonator

Gwillie on October 9, 2007 at 9:08 AM

I loathe the MSM more every day.

bbz123 on October 9, 2007 at 9:17 AM

This story should be all over the news … no, not the story about Basra, but the story about “News”day making up phony news and being busted by Yon.

Tony737 on October 9, 2007 at 9:31 AM

Newsday is the local Long Island newspaper. Many might not know that it’s a far-left rag. O’Reilly recently referred to it as the most liberal paper in America. It is a Tribune Co. newspaper (LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.) It was recently embroiled in a circulation scandal of mammoth proportions, and readership is plummeting.

Federal agents made the first arrests Wednesday in Newsday’s yearlong circulation scandal, charging that three former officials at Newsday and its sister publication Hoy were involved in schemes to inflate the publications’ circulations, costing advertisers millions of dollars.

Investigators detailed some of the methods used to inflate the number of copies reported sold, including dumping papers, arranging for phony sales by street hawkers to fool auditors and coaching distribution agents to lie to auditors.

Growing up on Long Island, one did not see a home that didn’t get Newsday. It’s getting harder to find one that does today. About 3 million people live in Newsday’s immediate backyard, plus about 5 million more in nearby Queens and Brooklyn. Most recently, Newsday’s circulation dropped the most of any of the top 20 newspapers in the US. More than twice as many people read Murdoch’s NY Post than do Newsday. No one seems to have accurate circulation numbers for Newsday anymore, but it appears to be in the low 300,000′s. Pathetic for such a big market.

Moral of the story. Even the NY Times is a better read than Newsday. Ignore everything they say. Even the largely liberal locals do.

JiangxiDad on October 9, 2007 at 9:39 AM

Newsday’s report seems to be based upon news that is a month old. Early last month Basra was in worse shape than today. With the recent peace deal between Shiite groups we may see a trend to an more stable Basra. But the situation is still fluid there.

bnelson44 on October 9, 2007 at 9:45 AM

Newsday = associated (with terrorists) press.
~nuff said.

Why is Mr. Yon not a high profile correspondent for Fox News?

locomotivebreath1901 on October 9, 2007 at 10:06 AM

Michael Yon’s never given me any reason to doubt his reporting. The enemedia rarely give me anything but reasons to doubt their reporting.

ReubenJCogburn on October 9, 2007 at 10:10 AM

I loathe the MSM more every day.

bbz123 on October 9, 2007 at 9:17 AM

I have long since past the point where it is possibly for me to loath the MSM any more than I already do. In fact I can no longer even view them as misguided but well intending useful idiots. Their intentions have in my opinion be become indiscernible in difference from those of Benedict Arnold.

When Benedict Arnold betrayed George Washington and the Continental Army his reasoning was that the revolution was doom to failure and a quick decisive victory by the British would spare many of the Colonists lives. His treasonous actions were not taken out of spite, but of a desire to end the suffering and death he saw as inevitable.

Likewise the treasonous actions of the MSM have equally misguided humanitarian roots. Their initial premise is slightly different in that they believe American imperialistic expansionism to be the root of all evil in todays world. Yet the core of their rational remains the same, in order for lives to be saved and suffering to be brought to an end America must lose. Only through such a humiliating loss can America be convinced to give up its imperialistic expansionism.

Regardless of their misguided faux humanitarian emotions their actions remain treasonous and they should no more be considered patriots than Benedict Arnold was and to this day is.

doriangrey on October 9, 2007 at 11:05 AM

The British troop pullout from Iraq announced yesterday leaves Basra, Iraq’s second largest and most strategically important city, in near total chaos both politically and militarily.

When the cat is away, the mice will play.

MB4 on October 9, 2007 at 11:08 AM

Well said ‘doriangrey’. Good piece!

countywolf on October 9, 2007 at 11:09 AM

When Benedict Arnold betrayed George Washington and the Continental Army his reasoning was that the revolution was doom to failure and a quick decisive victory by the British would spare many of the Colonists lives. His treasonous actions were not taken out of spite, but of a desire to end the suffering and death he saw as inevitable.

I had thought that spite had a lot to do with it, Arnold was broke and Congress had turned down his expense reimbursement and was investigating him for corruption. He was especially bitter at Horatio Gates who villified him after the Saratoga Campaign, and at being turned down for promotions.

dedalus on October 9, 2007 at 11:46 AM

I had thought that spite had a lot to do with it, Arnold was broke and Congress had turned down his expense reimbursement and was investigating him for corruption. He was especially bitter at Horatio Gates who villified him after the Saratoga Campaign, and at being turned down for promotions.

dedalus on October 9, 2007 at 11:46 AM

That is an understandable position considering the fierce animosity most historians have brought to the record of his deeds. However I believe when one removes the personal opinions of historians the record actually suggest otherwise.

On 19 June, as he was still too lame for field service, Washington put him in command of Philadelphia, which the British had just evacuated. The Tory sentiment in that city was strong, and had been strengthened by disgust at the alliance with France, a feeling which Arnold seems to have shared. He soon became engaged to a Tory lady, Margaret, daughter of Edward Shippen, afterward chief justice of Pennsylvania. She was celebrated for her beauty, wit, and nobility of character. During the next two years Arnold associated much with the Tories, and his views of public affairs were no doubt influenced by this association. He lived extravagantly, and became involved in debt. He got into quarrels with many persons, especially with Joseph Reed, president of the executive council of the state. These troubles wrought upon him until he made up his mind to resign his commission, obtain a grant of land in central New York, settle it with some of his old soldiers, and end his days in rural seclusion. His request was favorably entertained by the New York legislature, but a long list of charges now brought against him by Reed drove the scheme from his mind.

The charges were investigated by a committee of congress, and on all those that affected his integrity he was acquitted. Two charges — first, of having once in a hurry granted a pass in which some due forms were overlooked, and, secondly, of having once used some public wagons, which were standing idle, for saving private property in danger from the enemy–were proved against him; but the committee thought these things too trivial to notice, and recommended an unqualified verdict of acquittal. Arnold then, considering himself vindicated, resigned his command of Philadelphia. But as Reed now represented that further evidence was forthcoming, congress referred the matter to another committee, which shirked the responsibility through fear of offending Pennsylvania, and handed the affair over to a court-martial. Arnold clamored for a speedy trial, but Reed succeeded in delaying it several months under pretence of collecting evidence. On 26 Jan., 1780, the court-martial rendered its verdict, which agreed in every particular with that of the committee of congress; but for the two trivial charges proved against Arnold, it was decided that he should receive a reprimand from the commander-in-chief. Washington, who considered Arnold the victim of persecution, couched the reprimand in such terms as to convert it into eulogy, and soon afterward offered Arnold the highest command under himself in the northern army for the next campaign. But Arnold in an evil hour had allowed himself to be persuaded into the course that has blackened his name forever.

Three years had elapsed since Saratoga, and the fortunes of the Americans, instead of improving, had grown worse and worse. France had as yet done but little for us, our southern army had been annihilated, our paper money had become worthless, our credit abroad had hardly begun to exist. Even Washington wrote that “he had almost ceased to hope.” The army, clad in rags, half-starved and unpaid, was nearly ripe for the mutiny that broke out a few months later, and desertions to the British lines averaged more than 100 a month. The spirit of desertion now seized upon Arnold, with whom the British commander had for some time tampered through the mediation of John Andre and an American loyalist, Beverley Robinson. Stung by the injustice he had suffered, and influenced by history surroundings, Arnold made up his mind to play a part like that which Gen. Monk had played in the restoration of Charles II. to the British throne. By putting the British in possession of the Hudson river, he would give them all that they had sought to obtain by the campaigns of 1776-’77; and the American cause would thus become so hopeless that an opportunity would be offered for negotiation.

Arnold was assured that Lord North would renew the liberal terms already offered in 1778, which conceded everything that the Americans had demanded in 1775. By rendering a cardinal service to the British, he might hope to attain a position of such eminence as to conduct these negotiations, end the war, and restore America to her old allegiance, with her freedom from parliamentary control guaranteed. In order to realize these ambitious dreams, Arnold resorted to the blackest treachery. In July, 1780, he sought and obtained command of West Point in order to surrender it to the enemy. When his scheme was detected by the timely capture of Andre, he fled to the British at New York, a disgraced and hated traitor. Instead of getting control of affairs, like Gen. Monk, he had sold himself cheap, receiving a brigadier-general’s place in the British army and a paltry stun of money. In the spring of 1781 he conducted a plundering expedition into Virginia. In September of the same year he was sent to attack New London, in order to divert Washington from his southward march against Cornwallis.

doriangrey on October 9, 2007 at 12:06 PM

I have long since past the point where it is possibly for me to loath the MSM any more than I already do. In fact I can no longer even view them as misguided but well intending useful idiots. Their intentions have in my opinion be become indiscernible in difference from those of Benedict Arnold.

doriangrey on October 9, 2007 at 11:05 AM

It is my intent, that when they hang Pinch Sulzberger and his editorial staff, and the news editors at CBSNBCABCCNN for treason for leaking damaging national intelligence secrets, to have applied for the popcorn concession for their execution.

Okay, that was a joke.

But until they start making arrests and prosecuting the editors, publishers, and reporters who are trying to sabotage the war through mal-reporting, this will go on.

There is case law, even two US Supreme Court cases dealing with the behavior of people trying to sabotage the country while it is at war. There is a standard (of a sort) for prosecuting people who are trying to undermine the nation while it is at war.

Both prosecutions were for activities during WWI. The successful prosecution was Schenk v. US, 249 US 47, 52 (1919), who was convicted of printing and distributing pamphlets to draftees urging them to refuse to go. I’ve supplied this citation before, but the point remains:

“When a nation is at war many thing which might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its efforts that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and no court could regard them as protected by any Constitutional right.” [Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Schenk v. US, 249 US 47, 52 (1919)]

Three days before Pearl Harbor, the Chicago Tribune, a feverent FDR hater, obtained and published the Army’s secret plan for fighting Hitler if the USA ever went to war with Hitler. The data was classified and was leaked to the Trib by someone in the War Department, just like the New York Times was leaked the electronic eavesdropping and tracking program.

Four days later America WAS at war with Germany (12/8/1941), and the published plan became the genisis of how we actually defeated the Germans in Europe.

J. Edgar Hoover was on the verge of arresting the publisher and editorial staff of the Tribune (and they knew it), but was ordered not to by the Attorney General (or perhaps FDR himself). But the Tribune, after war was declared became VERY GOOD BOYS as far as the war effort was concerned.

The Espionage Act is on the books. The media is NOT IMMUNE from their actions. The sooner we make an example, the better. We should have put Sulzberger and Kellor in jail for publishing classified material that was illegally obtained, and let them spend Pinch’s millions in lawyer’s fees trying to dig their way out of a 10 year prison term.

We still can, the statute of limitation has another 3 years+ to go. I hope we do.

georgej on October 9, 2007 at 12:13 PM

“I know which one I believe.”

Yup.

Dusty on October 9, 2007 at 12:24 PM

That is an understandable position considering the fierce animosity most historians have brought to the record of his deeds. However I believe when one removes the personal opinions of historians the record actually suggest otherwise.

Thanks for the post Dorian–an informative read.

dedalus on October 9, 2007 at 12:36 PM

georgej on October 9, 2007 at 12:13 PM

Hear hear. Appreciate your comments always.

JiangxiDad on October 9, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Hear hear. Appreciate your comments always.

JiangxiDad on October 9, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Thanks!

georgej on October 9, 2007 at 1:02 PM

I sure would like to be a fly on his wall when Mr. Phelps gets around to reading the comments section to his “report” on Basra in chaos, the blogosphere has put a big ol’ stake in his heart… LOL!

Texas Gal on October 9, 2007 at 1:25 PM

It is my intent, that when they hang Pinch Sulzberger and his editorial staff, and the news editors at CBSNBCABCCNN for treason for leaking damaging national intelligence secrets, to have applied for the popcorn concession for their execution.

georgej on October 9, 2007 at 12:13 PM

Hear! Hear! Hear!

(as I clean my monitor… ;) )

Texas Gal on October 9, 2007 at 1:29 PM

It is my intent, that when they hang Pinch Sulzberger and his editorial staff, and the news editors at CBSNBCABCCNN for treason for leaking damaging national intelligence secrets, to have applied for the popcorn concession for their execution.

georgej on October 9, 2007 at 12:13 PM

I’m angling for the beer concession myself…

doriangrey on October 9, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Woo Hoo!!

Basra is doing well AND another false media outlet discredited!!

This is worth a JIG!!!!!

allrsn on October 9, 2007 at 2:02 PM

As soon as I read that the story was written by Tim Phelps a huge bell starting ringing in my head. Tim Phelps was a neighbor of mine up until about 1999 when he took the job for Newsday as their foreign head or some such and moved to D.C. I heard him and his wife speak at a small League of Women Voters get together in about 1998. I could not believe what nutcases the two of them were… And this was during the Clinton go-go stock market years where EVERYONE was rich and the world was a happy place! Even back then the U.S. was evil imperialists in their minds and terrible injustices were being committed every day by evil Americans.
True lunatics.

Babs on October 9, 2007 at 2:20 PM

After reading through comments and challenges on Confederate Yankeee, I don’t exactly feel like doing a victory dance. Man, that is one contentious thread. It makes Allah’s Atheists v Christians lionfest look like a spring garden party.

Yon getting blasted by guys with Jughead marine nicknames? WTF? I would be quite cautious before feeling all warm and fuzzy about the Good News.

Jaibones on October 11, 2007 at 9:24 PM