Michael Yon on Iraq: “The progress is unbelievable”; Update: Yon’s book excluded from military bases?

posted at 11:19 am on May 22, 2008 by Allahpundit

“Why aren’t we hearing about this in the news?” asks Alisyn Camerota. Well, increasingly we are, most notably in the pages of the righty blogosphere’s favorite whipping boy. CNN traditionally has been good about reporting gains too, including having Yon himself on to explain them. As I write this, this story is beaming out to AP affiliates worldwide. The problem with the coverage is that it takes spectacular gains, like the Iraqi army rolling onto Mookie’s home turf in Sadr City, to break through the media narrative while even minor setbacks, which fit the narrative, are easily assimilated and thus coverage-worthy. How many spectacular gains will it take, I wonder, before the narrative itself starts to change. Presumably the answer is as many as it takes to warrant further troop reductions — in which case, behold.

Link: sevenload.com

Update: Your guess is as good as mine.

My publisher and literary agent have been working with the private companies who handle book distribution on military bases in order to get “Moment of Truth in Iraq” on their shelves. The process is arduous, to put it mildly.

They have succeeded in getting the book into overseas bases. But as the publisher and my agent are slowly working their way through US distributors who cover different geographic regions, they have been told “no” by the largest distributor, the Anderson News Company…

Stunning response. Over the past weeks, as my literary agent spoke to Anderson while they reviewed the book, Anderson told him that the desires of the base exchange customers would have no influence and play no role in their decision making process. Anderson also stated that even appeals from high ranking military officers could not persuade Anderson to carry a title. Apparently, in Anderson’s mind, they outrank the Joint Chiefs of Staff when it comes to doing business on military bases.

Follow the link for Anderson’s contact information.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Could be a bit dingy, I don’t no. It’s just, you write so much! You really think you have that much to offer?

dingbat on May 22, 2008 at 6:35 PM

Same line over and over, then the personnal attacks.

dingbat on May 22, 2008 at 6:36 PM

You are so predictable.

dingbat on May 22, 2008 at 6:37 PM

M4b,

Ah, are you looking for a little help from the moderator?

If you have a problem with Jimmy Buffet’s song drop him a line he might give you a free download.

And to repeat you have a special kind of hate.

patrick neid on May 22, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Here’s an idea MB4. Change your format. Throw out Mark Twain and get some fresh quotes (takes a half a second to spot him in your posts). And then go for quality over qauntity. Get out, read more. Take a day off from posting and get some perspective. Do you good.

dingbat on May 22, 2008 at 6:50 PM

“…If anything Petraeus is nervous because, although this is the truth now, there is always the chance of things changing… and it being held against the military by people who don’t know anything about military operations, let alone have a shred of common sense. dominigan on May 22, 2008 at 1:00 PM

As a student of history and soldier of great merit, General Petraeus is all too familiar with the “false surrender” gambit of the clever guerilla warrior.

As I have posted earlier the method and consequence is well known and of considerable concern to competent and initiated leaders…

“…“To live to fight another day, to lose a fight or competition but not be completely defeated and therefore be able to try again in the future… Such are the guerillas means! Such are the goode General’s dilemmas!”

To expand on that thought…

They do not throw down their weapons and flee… they melt into the dark of night and place them under the earth, in an unseen place.
The battle shall never be won on the ground…unless the mind of the warrior and [the mind of the] people be in [the same] state.”

Oh well…

J_Gocht on May 22, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Doesn’t this sis-boom-bah Yon guy have the first clue as to how much he is sharpshooting General Petraeus? He sure doesn’t seem to.

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM

MB (i.e., Mostly Bull): I just finished reading ‘Moment of Truth in Iraq’, and you, sir, are not fit to walk on the same ground Michael Yon does. You are understandably so deficient on the facts on the ground that you cannot speak with ANY authority whatsoever that it’s amazing you know how to even log in and comment here.

I’m not a military person either, but it takes little to understand that you, sir, are extremely uneducated.

MsUnderestimated on May 22, 2008 at 7:38 PM

Why would we want a former Spec Ops guy telling us what’s going on when we can have latte sipping liberals report from the lobby of some hotel???

Mojave Mark on May 22, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Apparently, others have discovered MB4.

Abandon hope all ye…

BTW, that’s not Twain.

SteveMG on May 22, 2008 at 8:00 PM

MB4 and the Democrat party gets their wish: American soldiers die by the tens of thousands and are forced into retreat and disgrace. But hey, MB4 gets the pleasure of being right and showing all you Polyanna schmucks up.

Michael Yon gets his wish: American soldiers come home to a grateful nation with a mess of medals on their chest.

I’m with Yon. And with our troops. They will win, MB4. They’re that good. You go ahead an bet against them.

You’ll lose.

spmat on May 22, 2008 at 8:44 PM

American soldiers die by the tens of thousands and are forced into retreat and disgrace. But hey, MB4 gets the pleasure of being right and showing all you Polyanna schmucks up.

He can defend himself but I must say that I don’t think that is his position at all.

He believes that Iraq is a lost cause no matter what we do (Muslims simply can’t govern themselves and we won’t be able to make them do so) and that it’s better to leave now before we suffer more losses.

I’m not as pessimistic (I guess he’d say realistic) about our and the Iraqi people’s ability to put together some sort of democratic government that is pro-US.

SteveMG on May 22, 2008 at 9:11 PM

Two t’s in Buffett.

Typhoon on May 22, 2008 at 10:24 PM

I don’t know how the matter got narrowed down to just bases

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 4:46 PM

Here’s how:
You said:

If that is anything like true, pretty much all American troops should be out of Iraq within a year or so.

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Then, various people proposed that, as with Germany and Japan, we wouldn’t get all out troops out but would leave several bases there.

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Then, you tried to prove your point by pointing out the differences between how we treated the Japanese and their state religion and how we are treating the state religion of Iraq.

Then, I said that how we treated state religions had nothing to do with it. We keep bases in foreign countries in order to keep an eye on our enemies.

Then, you responded with a survey of military officers’ opinions about which countries benefited from our invasion of Iraq.

So, how did a discussion of why we’re going to keep troops in Iraq become one about state religions and opinion polls? I know! Because you can’t stay on topic.

Kafir on May 22, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Here’s an idea MB4. Change your format. Throw out Mark Twain and get some fresh quotes (takes a half a second to spot him in your posts). And then go for quality over qauntity. Get out, read more. Take a day off from posting and get some perspective. Do you good.

dingbat on May 22, 2008 at 6:50 PM

:)

Is poor old MB4 still sticking with that quoting shtick.

He was doing that well over a year ago. And it was pathetic (yet amusing) even way back then.

Then again, if you saw his attempt at logic earlier (if we have troops in a country, we must be losing!), you can understand the need to quote the thoughts of others.

—————-

For what its worth, I don’t know if MB4 has any first hand knowledge. Or third-hand knowledge, for that matter. Personally, I’ll know a lot more after my own first deployment. If MB4 can set aside his Dostoevsky and Voltaire long enough to speak for himself, maybe he’ll tell us which unit he deployed with – since surely he must have spent significant time in Iraq, to know so much more than someone with many months in country like Yon.

All I know is that I spent last weekend with 45+ soldiers, at least 90% of whom had done at least one tour in Iraq.

And their collective opinion echoed Yon’s. Almost perfectly.

Especially those who’d done tours in 2003 or 2004 and returned more recently. They said the progress in those 3-4 years was actually pretty “unbelievable.”

Take it for what its worth. But its worth more than Mark Twain quotes and logic a third-grader would laugh at.

Professor Blather on May 22, 2008 at 10:44 PM

I’m at Osan Air Base (in South Korea) and Mr. Yon’s book is available at the BX. I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere though.

NickJ on May 22, 2008 at 10:50 PM

The light at the end of the tunnel just got another bump. General Petreaus deserves the opportunity to take a bow, as do the brave men and women who have served or currently serving in Iraq.

The Iraqi government and people want the U.S. out of there as soon as we are no longer needed, and that’s OK, I want us out of there too, just as soon as we don’t accidently create another terrorist safe haven.

Another step forward and this time no steps backwards. Very happy to see the Iraqi military actually conducting themselves like a professional military. Big change for them, taking on armed opposition instead of gassing unarmed civilians. Get a few more “W’s” under their belt, get a taste of thinking for themselves and acting in their own best interests…. the possibilities are endless.

Hog Wild on May 22, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Same line over and over, then the personnal attacks.

dingbat on May 22, 2008 at 6:36 PM

That’s what you have been doing. Don’t you even read what you write?

And to repeat you have a special kind of hate.

patrick neid on May 22, 2008 at 6:47 PM

And to repeat, you are like a not so special kos of huffpo type with that hate schtick of yours.

MB (i.e., Mostly Bull): I just finished reading ‘Moment of Truth in Iraq’, and you, sir, are not fit to walk on the same ground Michael Yon does. You are understandably so deficient on the facts on the ground that you cannot speak with ANY authority whatsoever

You seem to have a profound case of hero worship for him. Reading his book and liking it is one thing, but to take it to that degree is not healthy. I will walk on any ground I like, with or without your royal permission. And talk about being “deficient”, you are so deficient that you seem incapable of doing anything but ad hominem attacks.

that it’s amazing you know how to even log in and comment here.

You sound silly and that it is “amazing” to you says a lot more about you than it does about me.

I’m not a military person either

Well I was.

but it takes little to understand that you, sir, are extremely uneducated.

MsUnderestimated on May 22, 2008 at 7:38 PM

Again you sound silly, put you do seem to have little, very little. I will give you that part.

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 11:14 PM

If you kids don’t pipe down, it’s no dessert AND early bedtime for the whole bunch of you!

Rodney sez can’t we all just get along?

/sarc

platypus on May 22, 2008 at 11:26 PM

For what its worth, I don’t know if MB4 has any first hand knowledge. Or third-hand knowledge, for that matter. Personally, I’ll know a lot more after my own first deployment. If MB4 can set aside his Dostoevsky and Voltaire long enough to speak for himself, maybe he’ll tell us which unit he deployed with – since surely he must have spent significant time in Iraq, to know so much more than someone with many months in country like Yon.

Professor Blather on May 22, 2008 at 10:44 PM

Well I can certainly understand you not taking my word, particularly with you being a professor and all, but is rather amazing that you ignore General Petraeus and his very un-Yonish giddy “The progress is unbelievable” view.

“[Gains that there have been in Iraq are] fragile and reversible.”
- General Petraeus

“We haven’t turned any corners, we haven’t seen any lights at the end of the tunnel. The champagne bottle has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator.”
- General Petraeus

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 11:29 PM

platypus on May 22, 2008 at 11:26 PM

That won’t work with me as I have already had my dessert.

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 11:30 PM

My apologies if I missed and did not respond to any ad hominem attacks intellectual discourse.

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 11:33 PM

MB4 and the Democrat party gets their wish: American soldiers die by the tens of thousands and are forced into retreat and disgrace.

spmat on May 22, 2008 at 8:44 PM

You are one profoundly disturbed individual.

MB4 on May 23, 2008 at 1:02 AM

Well I can certainly understand you not taking my word, particularly with you being a professor and all, but is rather amazing that you ignore General Petraeus and his very un-Yonish giddy “The progress is unbelievable” view.

“[Gains that there have been in Iraq are] fragile and reversible.”
- General Petraeus

“We haven’t turned any corners, we haven’t seen any lights at the end of the tunnel. The champagne bottle has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator.”
- General Petraeus

MB4 on May 22, 2008 at 11:29 PM

You seem to be oblivious to anyone from the current administration, or the military, testifying before that pack of jackasses in Congress.

Yeah Petraeus didn’t get on the table and dance a jig, and may not have sounded as optimistic as Yon, who you have to admit has spent a considerable amount of time on the ground with the troops in both theaters over what? three years at least?

If Petraeus said anything other than bland, carefully couched words, any incident that happened in either theater from the point of his testimony onward would have been pounced on by the drive-by media and the jackasses in Congress. They would happily hound him right out of the military if they had the chance….after all, didn’t he Betray Them?

Yon’s words are from what he has witnessed over a long period of time…words that have mostly conflicted over a long period of time that goes against the left’s narrative…that the war was lost. Wasn’t that what Dingy Harry said?

Also, you conveniently forget the alarm Yon was sounding a couple years ago, before Fallujah if I remember right, that the war there could still be lost, without a serious change in tactics. I believe it was even before Petreaus took command.

91Veteran on May 23, 2008 at 2:28 AM

good news, keep up the good work.

Chakra Hammer on May 23, 2008 at 2:41 AM

You seem to be oblivious to anyone from the current administration, or the military, testifying before that pack of jackasses in Congress.

Also, you conveniently forget the alarm Yon was sounding a couple years ago, before Fallujah if I remember right, that the war there could still be lost, without a serious change in tactics. I believe it was even before Petreaus took command.

91Veteran on May 23, 2008 at 2:28 AM

And Yon and you seem to be, to use your words, “oblivious” and “conveniently forgetting”, the overriding matter of what do we win, if we “win”, which has always been my main point.

Well, what do we win?

Getting to stay in a Muslim country where ever time one of our soldiers is caught disrespecting Islam or their evil Koran, an American General has to grovel before a bunch of ungrateful, never satisfied Muslims?

A country that has Sharia enshrined in it’s constitution?

A natural fellow Shiite ally for Iran?

You and he can’t see the forest for a few trees.

You see, even if we “win” it’s a boobie prize.

MB4 on May 23, 2008 at 3:54 AM

Well, what do we win?

Getting to stay in a Muslim country where ever time one of our soldiers is caught disrespecting Islam or their evil Koran, an American General has to grovel before a bunch of ungrateful, never satisfied Muslims?

Did you ever see that episode of Fawlty Towers where they were having guests from Germany and Basil kept bringing up the war? I’m sure that US soldiers stationed in Germany eventually learned not to say and do stupid things that upset the citizens of the host country (There’s that comparison again. Damn, that must get your goat).

A country that has Sharia enshrined in it’s constitution?

Because, you know, constitutions can never be amended and the cultures living under them never change. That’s why I’m typing this while sipping a mint julep on the veranda of my plantation watching the darkies pick cotton. Oh, how I do love hearing them sing their sprituals….

A natural fellow Shiite ally for Iran?

Don’t underestimate Arabs’ animosity for Persians.

Kafir on May 23, 2008 at 8:28 AM

This just doesn’t make good business sense. You know those books would sell like hotcakes to soldiers.

pecan pie on May 23, 2008 at 8:39 AM

I was down in Fort Benning, GA a few weeks ago (home of the infantry) to visit an old Army buddy and was stunned by the books in the PX. ONE Ann Culter book and the rest was all a bunch of liberal tripe. It was weird to say the least…

I got used to it in the college bookstore during undergrad, but Fort Benning?

watchmen on May 23, 2008 at 8:59 AM

MB4, I understand your concerns about the future of Iraq but it doesn’t change the fact that the situation is much better over there. My brother is in Mosul and says they’ve only been hit by four IEDs in the last couple of months. When he first got there it happened several times a week. They also rarely take any kind of small arms fire. My brother can definitely see a difference, but like you, wonders what is going to happen after they’re done cleaning out the bad guys. I think most of us here have serious concerns about the Iraqis joining the modern world but Yon’s view of the military situation seems to be correct.

kongzilla on May 23, 2008 at 12:46 PM

“Well, what do we win?…”
“…A country that has Sharia enshrined in it’s constitution?
A natural fellow Shiite ally for Iran?
You and he [Yon] can’t see the forest for a few trees.
You see, even if we “win” it’s a boobie prize.
MB4 on May 23, 2008 at 3:54 AM”

I’m not the only one that agrees with the wizened, reasoning of MB4…

“…The above short description of Sunni-Shiite relations seems to indicate that the trend toward conflict is on the rise. This may be attributed to the situation in Iraq, however, this in itself is not enough. The Sunni-Shiite impasse in Iraq is but a reflection of a wider phenomenon, fanned by the traditional Wahhabi view of the Shia as an apostasy. The ascendancy of the Shiites in Iraq in place of a Sunni—albeit evil and Ba’thist— regime only serves to reinforce the above view; the heterodox, even heretical Shiites, the natural allies of Shiite Iran, came to power in Arab Iraq on the points of American bayonets and through an alliance with the secular and non-Arab Kurds, ostensibly in a democratic process, but actually in order to promote the American plan for a Greater Middle East in which the Arabs will be diluted in the non-Arab components (Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Israel) and Islam will lose its status. This development is viewed not only from the most radical wings of the Sunni world, but even in traditional Wahhabi circles in Saudi Arabia, as a strategic challenge not only to the predominance of the Sunnis in Iraq, but to their supremacy in the Muslim world in general…”

Fifteen hundred years of often vile and vicious ethnic and religious animosity and violence will never be quenched by even the very best efforts of a foolish and ignorant third party; such as our present, misguided presence in Iraq.

J_Gocht on May 23, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Fifteen hundred years of often vile and vicious ethnic and religious animosity and violence will never be quenched by even the very best efforts of a foolish and ignorant third party; such as our present, misguided presence in Iraq.

J_Gocht on May 23, 2008 at 5:52 PM

That would certainly hold true if one never tried.

Glynn on May 24, 2008 at 1:06 AM

“[Gains that there have been in Iraq are] fragile and reversible.”
- General Petraeus

“We haven’t turned any corners, we haven’t seen any lights at the end of the tunnel. The champagne bottle has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator.”
- General Petraeus

MB4

Anyone in this thread who is or was military knows that you do not celebrate victory while in the middle of a battlefield. Not until you are home and you make sure evil does not show its ugly head again.

Why are there more people proudly serving multiple tours in Iraq and are speaking out for the war to win than there are veterans advocating cut and run, against the war, who most of which only served one tour, some of which turned out to be frauds and never served (a long with their fake war crime claims)? And then you have those who never served who think they know more than you, even though you were “over there”. Their feelings trump the facts you learned and want to reveal.

I think this is causing so much stink because you have not only a veteran, but a Special Forces veteran risking his life as an independent journalist going back to Iraq as often as he can, even raising money to fund his own trips, and his story is not doom, gloom, and defeat that matches the media and liberals’ portrayal. It totally contradicts the media and the Democrappy party, in the middle of a Presidential election year. That is why it causing so much of a stir.

El Guapo on May 24, 2008 at 1:49 AM

I live on a military post. I visited our PX (post exchange) yesterday and saw Jimmy Carter’s book, Ricardo Sanchez’s book, Barack Obama’s books, Penthouse, Playboy… but no Michael Yon???

I’m starting to lose my faith in the Army.

Amy Proctor on May 25, 2008 at 12:16 AM

I think most of us here have serious concerns about the Iraqis joining the modern world but Yon’s view of the military situation seems to be correct.

kongzilla on May 23, 2008 at 12:46 PM

That tree is not the one I have the big problem with.

MB4 on May 25, 2008 at 4:51 AM

Did you ever see that episode of Fawlty Towers where they were having guests from Germany and Basil kept bringing up the war? I’m sure that US soldiers stationed in Germany eventually learned not to say and do stupid things that upset the citizens of the host country (There’s that comparison again. Damn, that must get your goat).

Kafir on May 23, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Don’t believe everything you see on sitcoms.

MB4 on May 25, 2008 at 4:57 AM

I was down in Fort Benning, GA a few weeks ago (home of the infantry) to visit an old Army buddy and was stunned by the books in the PX. ONE Ann Culter book and the rest was all a bunch of liberal tripe. It was weird to say the least…

I got used to it in the college bookstore during undergrad, but Fort Benning?

watchmen on May 23, 2008 at 8:59 AM

Maybe they stock what their customers buy. That’s the way things usually work anyway.

MB4 on May 25, 2008 at 5:00 AM

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