The News Magazine of the Mysteries 2
Hat tip commenter Taumarunui. Excerpts from a television interview with Michael Ware provide an excellent background to his Time article, Chasing the Ghosts in which he depicted what he saw as the futility and apparent failure of the Tal-Afar operation; and indeed, of the whole war. The interview was on ABC Television (in Australia). The interviewer is Tony Jones on January 2004 (Hat tip: Cosmo)Erratum. The Michael Ware interview is actually dated July 2004. The Australian way of writing dates is day/month/year.
TONY JONES: Michael, why are they letting you get behind this curtain? Is there a message they are wanting you to get out through Time magazine to the rest of the world?
MICHAEL WARE: Clearly, these men, just like the American military I deal with and the public affairs officers who stick to me like glue and only let me see what they want me to see when I'm with them, so it is with the Jihadis. They're showing me what they want me to see, which is, to be truthful, quite a lot, but they know anything I see or hear is public record. It's their responsibility to confine their information.
This is what I do. Yeah, they do want to get a message out.
They're so media savvy. If they weren't before, they've learnt it, they've polished it.
Even a year ago when I was meeting these nationalist guerrillas who then were ill formed, not yet in clear command and control organisations, even then they were saying to me, "This war is not going to be won on the battlefield. We can't hope to defeat the Americans. It's going to be won in the living rooms of Iraq and Middle America, it's going to be won on television."
They were saying, "We can maintain this, we can, we have, we can sustain this longer than your political will will last. Before your people call you home." Again, that's a part of it now, they're saying, "We're here and we're not going away," and they want to say that to the West. They can tell Arabic channels this until the cows come home, but to have it coming through an American iconic publication like Time magazine, people will listen.
And look, the fact is it's true.