The Beholder

Prof. Hanson makes a great point:
War-torn Iraq has about 26 million residents, a peaceful California perhaps now 35 million. The former is a violent and impoverished landscape, the latter said to be paradise on Earth. But how you envision either place to some degree depends on the eye of the beholder and is predicated on what the daily media appear to make of each.

As a fifth-generation Californian, I deeply love this state, but still imagine what the reaction would be if the world awoke each morning to be told that once again there were six more murders, 27 rapes, 38 arsons, 180 robberies, and 360 instances of assault in California — yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every day. I wonder if the headlines would scream about “Nearly 200 poor Californians butchered again this month!”

How about a monthly media dose of “600 women raped in February alone!” Or try, “Over 600 violent robberies and assaults in March, with no end in sight!” Those do not even make up all of the state’s yearly 200,000 violent acts that law enforcement knows about.
Much is made of the inability to patrol Iraq’s borders with Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. But California has only a single border with a foreign nation, not six. Yet over 3 million foreigners who snuck in illegally now live in our state. Worse, there are about 15,000 convicted alien felons incarcerated in our penal system, costing about $500 million a year. Imagine the potential tabloid headlines: “Illegal aliens in state comprise population larger than San Francisco!” or “Drugs, criminals, and smugglers given free pass into California!”

Every year, over 4,000 Californians die in car crashes — nearly twice the number of Americans lost so far in three years of combat operations in Iraq. In some sense, then, our badly maintained roads, and often poorly trained and sometimes intoxicated drivers, are even more lethal than Improvised Explosive Devices. Perhaps tomorrow’s headline might scream out at us: “300 Californians to perish this month on state highways! Hundreds more will be maimed and crippled!”
So is California comparable to Iraq? Hardly. Yet it could easily be sketched by a reporter intent on doing so as a bank rupt, crime-ridden den with murderous highways, tens of thousands of inmates, with wide-open borders.
Many would love to see the Iraq project fail, with the MSM's defeatism never more apparent with headlines along the lines of as "Attacks continue despite selection of Prime Minister", to create feelings of futility, as if magically they would all suddenly stop. That point of view is all the more infantile as the gloominess is largely of their own determined making, as VDH shows above.

As for the much heralded (and wished for) "Civil War" in Iraq, Belmont Club notes that Iraq was in an unreported Civil War since long before the invasion, and that we've merely changed the balance of power and hopefully can create conditions for some political solution.

And the jihadist/Baathist military insurgency was basically defeated months ago. What remains are tribal feuds and a political struggle.

Some have pointed out that there are hints we and the new Iraqi government will have to soon move against the militias, and it will look like chaos and conflict breaking out again when it's really the endgame. We are warned that the MSM will spin it as a sign of defeat, like they did with the Tet offensive. So don't believe them.

The REAL Civil War, which the MSM doesn't want to name, is in the Palestinian Territories, ha ha ha:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Violent clashes and mass protests erupted Saturday across the West Bank and Gaza Strip between followers of the militant group Hamas and Fatah rivals, after a Hamas leader accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of treachery.
Watch for this to escalate.