It is quite astounding how the TV press coverage of Iraq has dropped off; it's almost as if the war does not exist. Kudos to the New York Times and the Washington Post for their continued extensive coverage of Iraq. From a recent report from the Times as General Petraeus prepares to leave Iraq:
The arrival of the 30,000 extra soldiers, deployed to Baghdad’s neighborhoods around the clock, allowed the Americans to exploit a series of momentous events that had begun to unfold at roughly the same time: the splintering of Moktada al-Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi Army; the growing competence of the Iraqi Army; and most important, the about-face by leaders of the country’s Sunni minority, who suddenly stopped opposing the Americans and joined with them against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and other local extremist groups.
The surge, clearly, has worked, at least for now: violence, measured in the number of attacks against Americans and Iraqis each week, has dropped by 80 percent in the country since early 2007, according to figures the general provided. Civilian deaths, which peaked at more than 100 a day in late 2006, have also plunged. Car and suicide bombings, which stoked sectarian violence, have fallen from a total of 130 in March 2007 to fewer than 40 last month. In July, fewer Americans were killed in Iraq — 13 — than in any month since the war began.
The result, now visible in the streets, is a calm unlike any the country has seen since the American invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in April 2003. The signs — Iraqi families flooding into parks at sundown, merchants throwing open long-shuttered shops — are stunning to anyone who witnessed the country’s implosion in 2005 and 2006.
However, TV is the manner by which most Americans get their news, and relative silence on Iraq by the MSM networks when the violence has dropped so dramatically will produce a dated and skewed view of Iraq in advance of the November election.