Having read countless articles on the Iraq war and having just been an embedded reporter in Anbar province, I can say with some authority that the June 10 front-page article "Building Iraq's Army: Mission Improbable" is the most miserably biased piece I've seen on the conflict.

A recurrent theme was that the Iraqis get inferior and even downright dangerous equipment. For example: "The Americans drove fully enclosed armored Humvees, the Iraqis open-backed Humvees with benches, the sides of which were protected by plating the equivalent of a flak jacket." It continued, "As an American reporter climbed in with the Iraqis, the U.S. soldiers watched in bemused horror. 'You might be riding home alone,' one soldier said to the other reporter. 'Is he riding in the back of that?' asked another. 'I'll be over here praying.' "

Sorry, but when I rode through the improving but still hostile city of Fallujah, I also chose an open-backed Humvee -- horrifying nobody. Both types of Humvee provide protection against AK-47 rounds but are readily penetrated by rocket-propelled grenades and can be demolished by a decent-sized, improvised explosive device. The advantage of the open-backed Humvee is that if fired on you can instantly just pop up and fire back, without the need for the vehicle to stop (dangerous in an ambush) and without clambering out and exposing your whole body instead of exposing just enough to peer out and fire.

-- Michael Fumento


The writer is a senior fellow at the

Hudson Institute.