To read the MSM, you would think that Iraq is an unmitigated disaster, that US losses are unsustainable and that the war is ultimately unwinnable. Every story is framed around this view so good news rarely gets out. The reality is that Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster for Al Qaeda, the Sunni insurgency is running out of steam, and the end result will be a Democratic Iraq and a US victory over the evil of radical Islam.

How has it been a disaster for Al Qaeda? Simple. They lost any support they had from the Iraqi population with their brutal attacks against civilian targets. They have also lost a lot of experienced leaders and fighters, a point made in this comment at Bill Roggio’s Fourth Rail blog. Ayman al-Zawahiri’s mob even ended up fighting with their erstwhile allies in the Sunni insurgency. The wedding bombing in Jordan cost them a lot of moral support across the Arab world.

The Sunni insurgency is losing steam as the political process has advanced and the tribal leaders have realized that there is no way the Baath party is coming back to power. Three successful elections have put the democratic process on track. There will be a lot of wheeling and dealing but Iraq will end up with the most democratic government in the Arab world. The leaders know that Uncle Sam will be looking over their shoulders and any un-democratic power-grab will not be tolerated.

By the standards of any major conflict, US losses have been low, as this commentary by James J. Na at Real Clear Politics makes clear:

In fact, during World War II, more American soldiers died in one week on average than in all of 32 months of operations in Iraq. Despite the tragically higher fatalities rate of World War II, the media of its day kept respectful distance, and allowed the families of the fallen to grieve privately in dignity.

There was no complaint that American soldiers were dying “needlessly in a war of aggression” against a Nazi Germany that did not bomb Pearl Harbor. There was no talk of a “quagmire” as thousands of American died on the beaches of Normandy in one day and as thousands more died in the jungles of the Pacific, facing suicide attacks from a fanatical foe. No one was accused of hyped intelligence when the actual German atomic weapons program turned out to be substantially less advanced than estimated.

Instead, the families of the Greatest Generation, already having survived a crippling Depression, quietly endured the deaths and supported the military endeavors to defend American interests and to extend the boundaries of freedom.

Today’s mainstream media, on the other hand, sensationalize — almost herald — the war deaths in a highly partisan political effort to paint the Iraq war as a failure, emphasizing its flaws with minimal — if any — references to its successes or even its context, such as toppling a murderous dictatorship, defeating a sponsor of terrorism and bringing self-determination to a region crippled with corrupt monarchies and repressive socialism.

Clearly, the comparisons to the past military deaths do not imply that the American casualty in the current war is insubstantial or less tragic. On the contrary, every one of the military sacrifices in Iraq was a noble, meaningful one, suffered by an all-volunteer force that needed no draft, no compulsion to fight for our nation.

An honest media would have drawn its inspiration from the way the MSM worked for the national good during World War II and the first twenty years of the Cold War.

Katrina was a major natural disaster that devastated a huge area of the gulf coast and flooded the city of New Orleans. The Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana were clearly not up to the task of dealing with Katrina. Republican run Mississippi and Alabama managed their emergency response efforts far better, a point missed by the MSM. The media exacerbated the problems in New Orleans by reporting wild rumors as fact thus causing delays in the provision of aid. While it is not the function of FEMA to be the first responder in a natural disaster, the MSM cast FEMA in that role and blamed the organization for all the failings so clearly seen in the harsh light of 20-20 hindsight. Of course there were problems in the response to Katrina. The scale of the disaster was enormous. Yet, despite that, relatively few lives were lost. The Coast Guard and Navy, out of sight of the MSM, rescued thousands of people from the flood waters of New Orleans. We should be celebrating the efforts of the tens of thousands of professionals and volunteers who saved so many people. Instead, we have a MSM-driven frenzy trying to blame the Bush Administration for what has been portrayed as an utterly incompetent response to Katrina. The politicians have been suckered into playing the blame-game. Instapundit links to a Popular Mechanics response to the Congressional Report On Katrina. Key quote:

The Committee report also criticizes the DHS and FEMA for not including the Department of Defense in their pre-storm and immediate post-storm planning. However, the same August 28 transcript shows that DoD was included from the beginning. In reality, despite organizational shortcomings, the rescue spearheaded by the National Guard and the Coast Guard turned out to be the largest and fastest in U.S. history, mobilizing nearly 100,000 responders within three days of the hurricane’s landfall. While each of the 1072 deaths in Louisiana was a tragedy, the worst-case scenario death toll would have been 60,000.

(my bold).

The General who chooses the battlefield has the battle half-won. The blogosphere has been great at keeping the MSM honest but that is only half the battle. The larger fight is to stop the MSM from framing the agenda in the first place.