Importance of images and perceptions

On framing US domestic images, Why the Military Hates the Left

On the importance of Iraqi domestic perceptions, see the second half of Sean Smith’s film at the Guardian.

Also, see Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack’s article in today’s New York Times.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

Another surprise was how well the coalition’s new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working. Wherever we found a fully staffed team, we also found local Iraqi leaders and businessmen cooperating with it to revive the local economy and build new political structures. Although much more needs to be done to create jobs, a new emphasis on microloans and small-scale projects was having some success where the previous aid programs often built white elephants.

Good news and bad news in a single sentence: “Wherever we found a fully staffed team…”

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