AIDING THE ENEMY?
GOP CALLS CNN TAPE “ENEMY PROPAGANDA”
By Tony Perry, L.A. Times Staff Writer, October 20, 2006
SAN DIEGO — CNN cable news has become “the publicist for an enemy propaganda film” by broadcasting a tape showing an insurgent sniper apparently killing an American soldier, said the chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee here Friday.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, called for the Pentagon to oust immediately any CNN reporter embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq.
“I think Americans like to think we're all in this together,” Hunter said. “The average American Marine or soldier has concluded after seeing that film that CNN is not on their side.”
Click here for the rest of the story. [ http://www.latimes.com/la-fg-snipers21oct21,0,5649519.story?track=mostviewed-storylevel]
AL QAIDA RELIES ON AMERICAN MEDIA
GEN ABIZAID'S NAVAL WAR COLLEGE SPEEECH
Forwarded by Dave Benson
General John Abizaid, COM USCENCOM, spoke to at the Naval War College in mid-November 2005. Most of those in attendance were mid-grade/senior military officers who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, so there was a real understanding of the dynamics of these regions. The following are capsulated highlights of his comments:
“As he goes around the country and as he testifies before the Congress, he can’t believe how many of our countrymen do not know or understand what we are doing or how we are doing. There are very few members of Congress who have ever worn the uniform of our armed forces. He said that the questions from some in Congress convince him they think we are about to pushed out of Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no relation between this and the reality on the ground!
“On the contrary, in his talks with troops and junior officers, he is highly impressed by their morale and their achievements. They are confident that they are capable of defeating the enemy.
“You seldom see a media story in the U.S. about an Iraqi school opening or a power station coming on line, or a community doing well. Only the negative things seem to get the media coverage. He told the War College students to go to their local Lyons Clubs when they go home and tell the people what we are doing. If they don't get the word out, the American people will not know what is really happening.
“The insurgency is in four of 18 provinces in Iraq, not all 18. You do not hear about the 14 provinces were there is no insurgency and where things are going well. The insurgency in Afghanistan is primarily in Kandahar province (home of the Taliban) and in the mountain region on the Pakistani border. The rest of the country is doing well.
“Iraq now has over 200,000 soldiers/police under arms and growing. They are starting to eclipse the U.S. and coalition forces. Their casualty rate is more than double that of the U.S. There are more than 70,000 soldiers under the moderate government in Afghanistan and growing.
“He the insurgencies in the four Sunni provinces in northern/central Iraq and in Southwestern Afghanistan will be there for the unforeseeable future, but they will be stabilized and become small enough so the moderate governments will be able to keep them under control.
“2006 will be a transition year that will see the Iraqi forces take much more of the mission from U.S. forces. This is necessary to bring stability to Iraq. We need to be less in numbers and less in the midst of the people for the moderate Iraqi government to succeed.
“Our primary enemy is not the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is Al Qaida and their ideology. We are at a period now that is similar to the 1920s where Communism had not taken hold in Russia and Nazism in Germany. The ideology of Al Qaida is out there and it has not taken hold in any country in the Middle East. We need to make sure that it does not and we are doing that, but it will be a long problem with a long commitment.
“We are focused on the things that we Americans have done wrong, like Abu Ghraib, but we are NOT talking about this enemy. We need to talk about this enemy. Al Qaida is all over the world. Their goal is to get the U.S. out of the region and come to power in the Islamic countries of the region. From there their goal is to establish a Caliphate under a single Islamic ruler that goes from the Atlantic in North Africa to Indonesia in the Pacific.
“Since Desert Storm in 1991 US forces have not lost any combat engagement in the region at the platoon level or above. Al Qaida has no beliefs that they can defeat us militarily. They see our center of gravity as being the will of the American People. That is influenced by the media and they are playing to that. They don't need to win any battles. Their plan is keep the casualties in front of the American people in the media for long enough that we become convinced that we can not win and leave the region. This would be tragic for our country and for the Middle East.
“The battle against Al Qaida will not be primarily military. It will be political, economic, and ideological. It will require the international community to fight, too. We must not let Al Qaida get hold in any country. It will result in our worse nightmare. Picture life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. That is what Al Qaida's ideology has as a goal for the world.
“If you look at the geography of Al Qaida, there is no place to put a military solution. They are networked all over the world. They are a “virtual organization connected by the internet.” They use it to proselytize, recruit, raise money, educate and organize.
“They have many pieces that we must focus on: Propaganda battle in the media, safe houses, front companies, sympathetic members of legitimate governments, human capital, fighters and leaders, technical expertise, weapons suppliers, ideologically sympathetic non-government charities, financers, smugglers and facilitators.
“We are winning but we must maintain constant pressure over time with the international community and across the U.S. government agencies. No one is afraid that we can't defeat the enemy. Our troops have the confidence, the courage and the competence. We need the will of the American people to sustain us for the long haul.”
Click here for background information on GENERAL ABIZAID [http://www.centcom.mil/aboutus/cdrbio.htm ].
AMERICAN MEDIA - THE NAYSAYERS
Forwarded by AirByrd
When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more. But that's probably not how he would tell it. He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and he got them out of trouble, ooh-rah, and drive on.
What this war hero's citation says in its entirety, few Americans will hear or read. It isn't making the evening news.
The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it's not covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are doing.
Accounts of American valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity.
It makes you wonder if the role of the media is to inform… or to depress - to report… or to deride - to tell the truth… or to feed us lies!
But, if you'd like to hear the truth, for a change, it can be found primarily on the Internet in such heroic stories as this one [http://www.wtv-zone.com/Mary/THISWILLMAKEYOUPROUD.HTML ].
By Ralph Peters, June 28 2006
Let's just hang those Marines accused in the Haditha incident. Get it over with. They don't need a court martial. They're guilty. The media already decided the case. A few other Marines and soldiers are also accused of murder in Iraq. Save our tax dollars. Just hang them, too.
Forget the stresses of combat. Forget that war really is hell. Whatever you do, don't mention the atrocities committed by the terrorists or insurgents. Those two young American soldiers tortured to death a few weeks ago? Bury that story fast. The terrorists are the good guys. We're the only torturers.
Don't close Guantanamo. Put our troops in the cells. There's no surer way to quell the media's outrage over Gitmo than freeing the terrorists held there and filling it with our soldiers. Don't worry about individual charges. Collective guilt applies. Ignore history. Let's pretend that warfare can be waged with absolute sterility, without so much as giving the enemy a broken fingernail. War isn't about fighting. It's about making people happy. Civilian casualties? The thousands of Iraqis slain by terrorists were legitimate targets. Iraqi civilians are only innocent victims when Americans kill them.
And avoid the true potential parallel with the Vietnam War—after we cut and ran those peace-loving Communists killed at least ten million civilians in cold blood in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Let's all get on-message: America is the real evil empire, American troops are homicidal maniacs, and the world would be a better place if we just surrendered and let a non-partisan committee of Islamists, Chinese, Russians and Europeans run it.
Think of how much better off the world would be without us: If American imperialist thugs had stayed out of World War II, we wouldn't have that nasty Israel problem. The European Union would've come into being decades earlier (speaking German, but what's not to like?). The Japanese would've solved China's over-population dilemma. And the Soviet Union would still be building the workers' paradise.
As for Iraq, not only should we get out now and let all those flower-child terrorists, insurgents and militias inaugurate the Age of Aquarius, we must get our barbaric troops under control.
That means punishing a young Marine if he so much as writes a playful song about the war that turns into an internet hit. Forget the real lyrics to “Mademoiselle From Armentieres,” or that old marching song from the Philippines, “The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga.” Forget all those hilarious “Jody” calls and cadences. Just punish that guy with the guitar and the sense of humor (the WWII cartoonist Bill Mauldin should've stood trial at Nuremberg).
Thank God, we have the media to tell the world how rabid we are. And we won't mention what would happen to every journalist in Iraq tomorrow if our troops disappeared overnight. Bad taste to hint that our enemies might not be champions of free speech. And let's not pile on while the press is still mourning Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Okay, now let's be serious:
I do not condone criminal acts in wartime. If any of our soldiers or Marines charged with murder or other serious crimes are found guilty, they should be sentenced accordingly under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
But let's give them a fair trial first. And let's remember that an act committed in the heat of battle is different from walking into a McDonald's and killing a half-dozen people for meth money.
Isn't it remarkable that, to the media, our troops are guilty until proven innocent, while our enemies are innocent even after they're proven guilty? Compare the media feeding frenzy over Haditha with the utter lack of detailed human-interest reporting on the thousands of victims of terrorist atrocities. And just wait: In no time, we'll hear that those terrorists arrested last Thursday in Miami were unfairly entrapped by the feds.
There is no question: Discipline must be maintained within our military. And discipline is maintained. Anyone who knows anything about wars throughout history has to be astonished at how few criminal incidents our troops have been involved in during their time in Iraq. We have a humane, magnificent military. Given the nature of counter-insurgency operations, we've set a statistical record for good behavior.
Our troops will never be given credit, though. To get the media's attention, an American soldier must die, suffer a crippling wound, or commit a crime.
But the media aren't the worst of it, in the end. Who expects responsible, moral behavior from our media any more? No, the worst of it is the cowardice of our political and even military leaders. Four-star generals may be lions on the battlefield, but turn a camera on them and they're jellyfish. Want to send President Bush into a defensive crouch? Mention Guantanamo.
Our leaders need to stand up for those in uniform. While criminal actions must be investigated, when challenged with media exaggerations or outright lies our leaders need to fight back - and to hammer home that there is no such thing as an immaculate war. Instead of blubbering that he, too, wants to close Guantanamo, our president should state manfully that, if necessary, we'll keep Gitmo open for the next hundred years.
The United States is history's most virtuous power. Our soldiers are valorous and decent. Our cause is just. Why don't our leaders have the guts to say that?
How can they cower while our troops are crucified? Instead of Joshua's trumpets, we get Peter's fretful denials.
At this point, I doubt that any of our accused Marines and soldiers can get a fair trial. I don't want the guilty to go free. But I do think that, if Bill Clinton could pardon his criminal friends, President Bush should consider pardoning any soldiers or Marines convicted of violent crimes under combat conditions.
The hate-America bigots in the media shouldn't get away with lynching our troops.
SEPIUS EXERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATER INFINITAS.
“Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever.
NEW YORK TIMES SMEARS HOUSTON
By Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of The American Thinker
Forwarded by Spence Eggleston in San Antonio
The New York Times Company is facing an abyss, and seems to be doing its best to hurtle faster into the realm of public scorn and business disaster. For a company whose most valuable asset is its prestige as a news source, the now-frequent willing publication of distortions and outright lies makes no business sense. Marquee names Paul Krugman, Jayson Blair, Alessandra Stanley, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, and especially hereditary publisher and ex-Sixties radical Pinch Sulzberger are emerging as cartoon figures in the public eye, driven mad with their hatred of conservatives and President Bush.
Today, a different kind of line was crossed. The Times has messed with Texas. You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit in the wind, and most of all you don't mess with Texas if you have even a shred of common sense.
KTRK-TV, the ABC affiliate in Houston has caught the New York Times Company slurring Houston's rescue efforts in a sneaky yet stupid maneuver. How do like this for the first sentence in a story about Houston's sheltering efforts on behalf of the evacuees, by Houston-based NYT reporter Simon Romero?:
“No one would accuse this city of being timid in the scramble to profit from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”
Excuse me? The City of Houston has thrown open its heart, pocketbook, homes, churches, schools, and all public facilities to its neighbors in need. The Astrodome was prudently stocked with disaster supplies because nearby Galveston might need them in the event of a big hurricane. Without a thought, Houston stepped up and became evacuation central. It will cost Houston taxpayers a lot of money, but nobody is giving a thought.
And you paint this city as a crass profiteer on its neighbor's misery. That is beyond despicable. It is crazy.
These offensive words did not appear in the above-the-fold story printed in America. But Romero's story was printed with these words as the lead in its Paris edition, quaintly still known as the International Herald-Tribune, even though it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the New York Times Company, and is in effect the European edition of its flagship paper.
So the New York Times Company has an editorial policy of pandering to the sneering European image of Houston and Texas, while bowdlerizing the domestic editions of the patently offensive language. Apparently the theory is that nobody in Houston has a computer, and that all those passengers on the Air France and Continental jumbo jets coming in from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Bush Intercontinental every day won't bring a copy home with them.
Bad bet, Pinch. They have a pretty sophisticated city, take it from me.
I know that you can't bear to hear it, but Houston is on the rise, and has been for a century. No other American city (except those other Texans in Dallas-Ft. Worth) can hold a candle to it in growth, real world importance, and contributions to our (gasp!) culture. Without the continuous pushing of the frontiers of oil exploration technology (mostly done in Houston), the world would almost grind to a halt. Without the space exploration effort managed from Houston, your worldwide publishing empire would not be able to coordinate its operations. Without Houston-pioneered medical innovation, you might not be alive today.
Houston is the example New Orleans should have learned from decades ago. While New Orleans and its insular elite made it difficult for outsiders to gain social acceptance, its banks focused on local established borrowers, and its government proved more interested in squeezing taxes out of companies than encouraging their growth, Houston established itself as the headquarters of the world oil industry. There were plenty of reasons to have expected New Orleans to claim that crown.
My guess is that tens of thousands of Louisianans, forced to leave their beloved New Orleans, will settle down in Houston. They will find jobs, housing, and a vital community which welcomes newcomers. In no time there will be many New Orleans-style restaurants enhancing Houston's formidable culinary scene. New jazz clubs will join then honky-tonks, the Houston Grand Opera, and many other musical adornments of Houston's civic culture.
They will augment the large numbers of Mexicans, Central and South Americans, Chinese, Indians, Europeans, and other immigrant groups, now populating and enriching Houston. There are even many people from New York City, and they have brought their own exotic cuisine.
That's the way it works with dynamic cities. They grow, thrive, and attract talented and energetic newcomers, who keep the virtuous cycle going. Houston is spiraling upward. It will only get more important in the ranks of world cities.
Houstonians are a proud lot, but they are not indifferent to slander. I don't think they will forget, Pinch. You can write off any circulation growth for your national edition in the nation's seventh or eighth largest market.
DID YOU KNOW?
From email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]. Forwarded by JayDJay
Did you know:
….. that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq?
….. that the Iraqi government employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?
….. that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?
….. that Iraq’s higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers?
..… that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2004 for the re-established Fulbright program?
..… that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5- 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a navel infantry regiment.
….. that Iraq’s Air Force consists of three operation squadrons, 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 bell jet rangers?
….. that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?
….. that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?
….. that five Police Academies in Iraq produces over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?
….. That more than 1100 building projects are underway in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.
….. that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of five have received the first two series of polio vaccinations?
….. that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?
….. that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?
….. that Iraq has an independent media that consist of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?
….. that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?
….. that two candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate?
IF YOU DID NOT THIS IT IS BECAUSE OUR LIBERAL MEDIA WOULDN’T TELL YOU!
The above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense website.
But, instead of shouting these accomplishments from every rooftop, the Bush-hating Liberal media would rather show photos of what a few perverted malcontent soldiers have done in prisons - in many cases never disclosing the circumstances surrounding the events.
Instead of showing our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at presidential motorcades.
The lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves only one purpose. It undermines the world’s perception of the United States and our soldiers.
It would seem that our liberal media would rather see terrorism succeed than our Republican President!
DOOM AND GLOOM? NOT FROM WHERE I SIT
A THOUGHT FROM IRAQ - 9-20-04
By Keith.T.Sefton@nasa.gov [mailto:Keith.T.Sefton@nasa.gov]
Forwarded by JayPMarine
For those of you who haven't received my “Thoughts” before, I'm a Major in the USMC on the Multi-National Corps staff in Baghdad. The analysts and pundits who don't see what I see on a daily basis, in my opinion, have very little credibility to talk about the situation - especially if they have yet to set foot in Iraq. Everything Americans believe about Iraq is simply perception filtered through one's latent prejudices until you are face-to-face with reality. If you haven't seen, or don't remember, the John Wayne movie, The Green Berets, you should watch it. Pay special attention to the character of the reporter, Mr. Beckwith. His experience is directly related to the situation here. You'll have a different perspective on Iraq after the movie is over.
The U.S. media is abuzz today with the news of an intelligence report that is very negative about the prospects for Iraq's future. CNN's website says, “[The] National Intelligence Estimate was sent to the White House in July with a classified warning predicting the best case for Iraq was 'tenuous stability' and the worst case was civil war.” That report, along with the car bombings and kidnappings in Baghdad in the past couple days are being portrayed in the media as more proof of absolute chaos and the intransigence of the insurgency.
From where I sit, at the Operational Headquarters in Baghdad, that just isn't the case. Let's lay out some background, first about the National Intelligence Estimate. The most glaring issue with its relevance is the fact that it was delivered to the White House in July. That means that the information used to derive the intelligence was gathered in the spring - in the immediate aftermath of the April battle for Fallujah, and other events. The report doesn't cover what has happened in July or August, let alone September.
The nay-sayers will point to the recent battles in Najaf and draw parallels between that and what happened in Fallujah in April. They aren't even close. The bad guys did us a HUGE favor by gathering together in one place and trying to make a stand. It allowed us to focus on them and defeat them. Make no mistake; Al Sadr's troops were thoroughly smashed. The estimated enemy killed in action is huge.
Before the battles, the residents of the city were afraid to walk the streets. Al Sadr's enforcers would seize people and bring them to his Islamic court where sentence was passed for religious or other violations. Long before the battles people were looking for their lost loved ones who had been taken to “court” and never seen again. Now Najafians can and do walk their streets in safety. Commerce has returned and the city is being rebuilt. Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops are welcomed and smiled upon. That city was liberated again. It was not like Fallujah - the bad guys lost and are in hiding or dead.
You may not have even heard about the city of Samarra. Two weeks ago, that Sunni Triangle city was a “No-go” area for U.S. troops. But guess what? The locals got sick of living in fear from the insurgents and foreign fighters that were there and let them know they weren't welcome. They stopped hosting them in their houses and the mayor of the town brokered a deal with the U.S. commander to return Iraqi government sovereignty to the city without a fight. The people saw what was on the horizon and decided they didn't want their city looking like Fallujah in April or Najaf in August.
Boom, boom, just like that, two major “hot spots” cool down in rapid succession. Does that mean that those towns are completely pacified? No. What it does mean is that we are learning how to do this the right way. The U.S. commander in Samarra saw an opportunity and took it - probably the biggest victory of his military career and nary a shot was fired in anger.
Things will still happen in those cities, and you can be sure that the bad guys really want to take them back. Those achievements, more than anything else in my opinion, account for the surge in violence in recent days - especially the violence directed at Iraqis by the insurgents. Both in Najaf and Samarra ordinary people stepped out and took sides with the Iraqi government against the insurgents, and the bad guys are hopping mad. They are trying to instill fear once again. The worst thing we could do now is pull back and let that scum back into people's homes and lives.
So, you may hear analysts and prognosticators on CNN, ABC and the like in the next few days talking about how bleak the situation is here in Iraq, but from where I sit, it's looking significantly better now than when I got here. The momentum is moving in our favor, and all Americans need to know that, so please, please, pass this on to those who care and will pass it on to others.
It is very demoralizing for us here in uniform to read and hear such negativity in our press. It is fodder for our enemies to use against us and against the vast majority of Iraqis who want their new government to succeed. It causes the American public to start thinking about the acceptability of “cutting our losses” and pulling out, which would be devastating for Iraq for generations to come, and Muslim militants would claim a huge victory, causing us to have to continue to fight them elsewhere. Remember, in war “away” games are always preferable to “home” games.
Reports like that also cause Iraqis begin to fear that we will pull out before we finish the job, and thus less willing to openly support their interim government and U.S./Coalition activities. We are realizing significant progress here - not propaganda progress, but real strides are being made.
It's terrible to see our national morale, and support for what we're doing here, jeopardized by sensationalized stories hyped by media giants whose #1 priority is advertising income followed closely by their political agenda; getting the story straight falls much further down on their priority scale, as Dan Rather and CBS News have so aptly demonstrated in the last week.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
A LETTER TO THE MEDIA
By Dr. Ted Miller, Professor of Military Studies USAF Academy 5/25/04
I have long perceived a bias in the mainstream media and have for years been frustrated with its implications for our society and nation. The political slant inherent in modern journalism is no longer unexpected and is even tolerable when social and political issues are the topic of debate.
When media bias begins to affect our national security, however, the threshold of acceptability is crossed. When media takes the side of our enemies because of political differences with our president, it's time to say ''enough is enough.''
My conviction that our mainstream media has indeed crossed that line was cemented last week. Love him or hate him, Michael Savage is a bold, in-your-face radio personality who regularly points out ''the enemy within,'' the politicians and journalists who work against the United States' best interests, whether by pushing backward legislation, distorting the Constitution, or supporting our foreign enemies.
He notes that, whether consciously or blindly, by underhanded political tricks, dishonesty, or left-biased news reporting, they consistently oppose policies, programs, strategies necessary to preserve the strength, freedoms, and prosperity of our nation, and they even obstruct and sabotage our efforts to defeat our terrorist tormentors. The media's big contribution to this effort is reporting that gives the benefit of the doubt to our terrorist enemies, often actually apologizing for American actions against them.
On his radio program last week, Savage painted a vivid picture of the deterioration of American media and the depths to which it has sunk in its opposition to American efforts in our war on terrorism and in its support and encouragement of our enemies.
Savage used simple comparison to highlight the disturbing evolution that has degraded the mainstream media since World War II. Although grammar and semantics were quite similar, the journalists of the 1940s differed from modern journalistics in one important sense. The journalists of that period allowed bias to creep into their stories just as modern media members do. But in contrast to the current focus on American wrong-doing, criticism of policies, attacks on Administration officials, civilian deaths, collateral damage, second-guessing of strategy, angry locals, harsh treatment of captured enemy fighters, and frustration with the U.S. occupation, those journalists were biased in SUPPORT of the American war effort.
They made it clear they were Americans, despite their political orientations, they knew that the support of the American people was vital if we were to defeat the sinister forces threatening the world, and their reporting reflected that understanding and patriotism.
Frequent use of terms like ''enemy,'' ''foe,'' ''bad guys,'' ''Jap,'' etc., to refer to our WWII opponents contrast sharply with the ''insurgents,'' ''freedom fighters,'' ''opposition forces,'' and other benign terms used today. Instead of stories praising heroic Marines decimated by treacherous ''Japs'' who lured their prey in by flying a flag of truce or by whistling the Marine Corps hymn, modern journalists use military setbacks to suggest that the entire military campaign is wrong-headed.
Rather than proudly reporting the story of allied paratroopers who killed over 200 German soldiers on a Dutch bridge when they refused to surrender, modern reporters ignore the hostile fire taken by our helicopters from an Iraqi gathering and report that American troops murdered dozens in a wedding party.
Rather than reporting the military victory the U.S. Navy narrowly won vs. the Japanese at Leyte Gulf and minimizing stories of the campaign's command-and-control failures, modern journalists now, as a rule, focus on the failures and negatives and minimize the positive.
Rather than celebrating our armies' victory against the fight-to-the-death Germans in the Ruhr valley and ignoring the destruction of nearly every house and factory, our reporters today decry the wall of a mosque damaged in a firefight and ignore the fact that terrorists were firing at our boys from this supposedly sacred site.
I am fully aware that sensationalism sells and that capturing scandal, mistakes, and death is your goal. Nevertheless I call on you - editors, producers, writers, reporters, anchors, and on-line media journalists - to take Michael Savage's lead and spend an afternoon in the library, archive, or micro-film room. Peruse the war coverage of the past and then ask yourself what is different about your own coverage.
Once you recognize the shameful deterioration that has occurred since 1941, I call on you to reassess your practices, your biases, and your patriotism. No doubt many of you will be offended that I have questioned your loyalty, but if you honestly weigh your handiwork against past journalism, you will question YOUR OWN patriotism. Consider this an integrity check. How many of you will pass?
Again, I am not surprised and generally not offended by the generic liberal bias of the mainstream media - it's become your trademark. The use of this bias to denigrate, demonize, and undermine the efforts of our military forces and our Commander in Chief and his staff in a time of war, however, does offend me. Your falling subscribership and ratings should tell you that many Americans are equally offended.
I call on you to examine your biases and your practices … and start supporting our troops, our President, and our nation in a non-partisan manner. Your political differences, as during World War II, should not be forgotten, but they should be put on the back burner when reporting on our war effort or national policies.
EUROPE, THY NAME IS COWARDICE
Food for thought — from Joe Lingg: It's fascinating that this should come out of Europe. Mathias Dapfner, Chief Executive of the huge German publisher Axel Springer AG, has written a blistering attack in DIE WELT, Germany's largest daily newspaper, against the timid reaction of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat. History will certify its correctness. - Forwarded by RAdm Wm Thompson, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG
A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, “Europe - your family name is appeasement.” It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.
Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.
Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.
Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.
Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word “equidistance,” now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.
Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush. Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.
And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a “Muslim Holiday” in Germany.
I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State “Muslim Holiday” will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.
One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European “Peace in our time.”
What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.
It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by “tolerance” and accommodation”, but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.
Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.
His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.
In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.
On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those “arrogant Americans,” as the World Champions of “tolerance”, which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.
For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake - literally everything.
While we criticize the “capitalistic robber barons” of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive!
We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation. Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to “reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive.”
These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.
Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.
HEADLINES AND SOUND BITES
A long-time friend and former head of Navy Public Affairs who knows the American media as well as anyone, forwarded this interesting little vignette - an e-mail message between two relatives, one of whom was in the middle of the New Orleans disaster.
FIRST PERSON REPORT FROM LOUISIANA
Two cousins, one who lives near New Orleans in Houma, LA, have been corresponding since he got back on line. Here is his interesting report on the devastating situation there:
Sep 4, 2005 - Well Ray, I hate to say this, but the ones that are complaining right now are mostly the ones that were dependent on the government before the storm! Know what I mean? We are right here in the middle of things. We see who showed up and how many. Our federal and local governments were here on day one! Maybe there wasn't quite enough help at first, but how in the world could anyone know what would be needed?
Believe me, the media is worse right now than they were with Iraq. Trust me. Yes there is some looting, yes there are bad things going on, but that happened with 911, it happens with earthquakes, tsunamis, etc., not just here for a hurricane.
A good share of the info the media gets hold on and builds on, then broadcasts, are blown out of shape. For example - there was a report about the Super Dome being on fire. It was broadcast on every channel. Wasn't true! It was in a dumpster OUTSIDE OF THE DOME. The fire was put out right away.
Don't get me wrong, it's horrible for New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama. And, there is a negative element in every situation. But, Audrey's sister, for example, in an area that nobody can get to, that has no power, water, sewer or ANYTHING ELSE, is meeting a FEMA truck every day and getting meals and water! Our government IS ON THE JOB, BIG TIME!
You wouldn't believe the WONDERFUL stories out there. We actually see them all around us. Where is the media?
They don't tell of the private folks with their personal boats going up and down the bayous getting folks out to safety.
They don't tell of neighbors helping neighbors, etc.
But, if an ex-mayor of New Orleans says it's a “racial thing,” boy-oh-boy, the media is right there! (That particular ex-mayor is under investigation, big time, since his reign as mayor.)
The above item is a small, but telling incident that showcases most American mainstream news media as generally negative and single- minded. It seems they are more interested in sensationalism than balanced reporting.
Based on my own knowledge and experience in the media realm, I have become increasingly concerned about the gradual, subtle transition over the years from responsible journalism of stating facts and letting the reader or listener decide… to… editorializing the news for the publisher's aims and purposes. Today, one must delve deeper than headlines and sound bites to discover any truth buried below - if it is there at all. Jug.
IS IT JUST ME?
By John O'Connell
From Neal Boortz’s Program Notes
Reuters is reporting from Islamabad that the Pakistani government remains unhappy with Newsweek.
Well, don't feel pregnant, Pakistan. But Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad pushes things just a bit with his statement that we need to work harder at understanding the sensitivities of the Islamic people. He says “The apology and retraction is not enough. They (Newsweek) should understand the sentiments of Muslims and think 101 times before publishing news which hurt feelings of Muslims.”
Sorry, pal, I'm not buying it. I'm getting just a bit beyond the point where I'm all bent out of shape trying to understand Islamic sensitivities. If there is something about your religion that should make me feel badly about poor Muslims getting their feelings hurt, you had better get it out there on the table now.
All I see is a religion that seems to take great pleasure in passing condemnations and “death sentences” on various people around the world for all sorts of meaningless infractions of some great system of Islamic law.
I'm just not going to get all worked up worrying about the sensitivities of devotees of a religion that will stone a woman to death for adultery, while letting the man go unpunished.
Sensitivity would not be the word to describe how I feel about a religion that is in some way involved in more than 95% of the actual shooting conflicts and wars around the world.
Muslims shoot school children in the back! Remember Chechnya? They brag about bombs in schools in Israel! Tell me about how I need to be sensitive!
The daughter of a devout Muslim gets violently raped. The devout Muslim takes a knife and, in front of the entire family, cuts his daughter's throat because she has dishonored her family by being a rape victim. Yeah, sport. Let me pour out my sensitivities to this practitioner of the “religion of peace.”
There's a school on fire outside Riyadh. It's a girls’ school. The girls are trying to escape! But wait! Their faces aren't covered! It's the Islamic defenders of the faith to the rescue! They block the doors to keep the young Muslim girls from escaping from a burning building! The dignity of the great and wonderful “religion of peace” must be protected, even if young women burn to death. Yeah, my respect for your sensitivities is on the way!
These insurgents who are killing innocent civilians in Iraq? The suicide bombers in their cars and trucks? Haven't you heard? Most of them are from Saudi Arabia. They're crossing borders to kill innocent women and children because they don't like the idea of people being able to choose those who will rule them. I'm feeling sensitive to that.
Tell you what: When you stop killing your own daughters; when you stop trying to lock young girls into burning buildings; when you eschew shooting school children in the back; and when I can look in a newspaper and read that Muslims are NOT involved in one way or another in revolts, insurrections and hot wars around the world —- and when you're not working so hard to kill American
civilians —-and when you start to show some tolerance and respect for the world's other religions, then maybe I'll feel a bit more warm and fuzzy toward your incredible religion of peace.
IT DIDN'T MAKE THE NEWS
By Bob Lonsberry [http://boblonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=1400&go=4] © 2004, May 7
Forwarded by JayPMarine
Maybe you’d like to hear about something other than idiot Reservists and naked Iraqis. Maybe you’d like to hear about a real American, somebody who honored the uniform he wears.
Meet Brian Chontosh - Churchville-Chili Central School class of 1991. Proud graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband and about-to-be father. First lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. And a genuine hero. The secretary of the Navy said so yesterday.
At 29 Palms in California Brian Chontosh was presented with the Navy Cross, the second highest award for combat bravery the United States can bestow. That’s a big deal. But you won’t see it on the network news tonight, and all you read in Brian’s hometown newspaper was two paragraphs of nothing. Instead, it was more blather about some mental defective MPs who acted like animals.
The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it’s not covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are doing. Oh, sure, there’s a body count. We know how many Americans have fallen. And we see those same casket pictures day in and day out. And we’re almost on a first-name basis with the pukes who abused the Iraqi prisoners.
And we know all about improvised explosive devices and how we lost Fallujah and what Arab public-opinion polls say about us and how the world hates us. We get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom.
But we don’t hear about the heroes. The incredibly brave GIs who honorably do their duty. The ones our grandparents would have carried on their shoulders down Fifth Avenue. The ones we completely ignore. Like Brian Chontosh.
It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee. When all hell broke loose. Ambush city. The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in charge. It was do or die and it was up to him.
So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire. It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish. And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them. And he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them.
Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun and Chontosh was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines. Over into the battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed, carrying an M16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps pride.
And he ran down the trench. With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers. And he killed them all. He fought with the M16 until it was out of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man’s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead man’s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.
When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon’s flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more.
But that’s probably not how he would tell it. He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and he got them out of trouble. Hoo-ah, and drive on.
“By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.” - That’s what the citation says.
And that’s what nobody will hear. That’s what doesn’t seem to be making the evening news.
Accounts of American valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you wonder if the role of the media is to inform, or to depress – to report or to deride. To tell the truth or to feed us lies.
But I guess it doesn’t matter.
We’re going to turn out all right. As long as men like Brian Chontosh wear our uniform.
IWO JIMA - IF COVERED BY TODAY'S MEDIA
By Zell Miller, U.S. Senator (D-GA)
Forwarded by p38bob
What if today's reporters had covered the Marines’ WWII landing on Iwo Jima, a small island in the far away Pacific Ocean, in the same way they're covering the war in Iraq? Here's how it might have looked:
With the aid of satellite technology, Cutie Cudley interviews Marine Pfc. John Doe, who earlier came ashore with 30,000 other Marines.
Cutie: “John, we have been told by the administration that this island has great strategic importance because if you're successful, it could become a fueling stop for our bombers on the way to Japan. But, as you know, we can't be sure this is the truth. What do you think?”
Pfc. Doe: “Well, I've been pinned down by enemy fire almost ever since I got here and have had a couple of buddies killed right beside me. I'm a Marine and I go where they send me. One thing's for sure, they are putting up a fight not to give up this island.”
Cutie: “Our military analysts tell us that the Japanese are holed up in caves and miles of connecting tunnels they've built over the years. How will you ever get them out?”
Pfc. Doe: “With flame throwers, ma'am.”
Cutie (incredulously): “Flame throwers? You'll burn them alive?”
Pfc. Doe: “Yes ma'am, we'll fry their asses. Excuse me, I shouldn't have said that on TV.”
Cutie (audible gasp): “How horrible!”
Pfc. Doe (obviously wanting to move on): “We're at war ma'am.” (A Marine sergeant watching nearby yells, “Ask her what does she want us to do - sing to them, 'Come out, come out, wherever you are. Pretty please.' “
Cutie: “Pfc. Doe, what's that mountain in the background? Is that the one they say is impregnable?”
Pfc. Doe: “I don't know what that word means, ma'am, but that's Mt. Suribachi, and we're going to put a flag right up on top of it just as soon as we can. I gotta go.”
Cutie to camera: “No one has yet really confirmed why this particular battle in this particular place is even being waged. Already, on the first day, at least 500 Marines have been killed and a thousand wounded. For this?
(Camera pans to a map with a speck of an island in the Pacific. Then a close up of
nothing but black volcanic ash).
For this? For this?” (Cutie's sweet voice becomes more strident as it fades out.)
At 7 a.m., Cutie's morning show opens with a shot of hundreds of dead bodies bobbing in the water's edge. Others are piled on top of each other on shore. After a few seconds, one can see Marines digging graves to bury the dead.
Cutie: “There is no way the Marines could have expected this. Someone got it all wrong. No one predicted this. This has been a horrible 24 hours for our country. This is a slaughterhouse. After all this fighting, Marines control only about a mile and a half of beach and the casualties are now over 3,500 and rising rapidly. We'd like to know what you think. Call the number on the bottom of the screen. Give us your opinions on these three questions:
“1. Were the Marines properly trained?
“2. Is this nothing of an island worth all these lives?
“3. Has the president once again misled the American people?
“After the break, we'll ask our own Democratic and Republican analysts, both shouting at the same time, of course, what they have to yell about all this. It should make for a very shrill, provocative morning.
“But before we leave this horrible - some will say needless - scene, let us give you one more look at this Godforsaken place where these young Americans are dying. Volcanic ash, cold, wet miserable Marines just thankful to be alive. And still no flag that we had been promised on that mountain. Things have gone from bad to worse in this obviously misguided military operation. One thing is certain, there should be and there will be a high-partisan - make that bi-partisan - congressional inquiry into this.”
Cutie: “Marines continue to be locked in a life-or-death struggle over this worthless piece of real estate in the middle of the Pacific. The word 'quagmire' is being used in the U.S. Senate, a body very familiar with quagmires. Senator Blowhard has called it 'a colossal military blunder.' And Senator Bombast maintains it was a fraudulent scheme hatched while the president was on his sixth vacation at the Little White House in Georgia.
“The recently organized Senate Squeakers Group may ask for the president to resign. They maintain that politics should not stop at the waters edge in times of war, calling that tradition an old-fashioned idea that has no place in the new century of dysfunctional government. Over forty special interest groups concurred and all issued identical news releases.
“We now turn to our political analyst, James Crank Ville.”
James: “Cutie, the overnight poll numbers have hit this president right between the eyes. Nationwide, an overwhelming 98 percent said that if possible, they would like to see this country fight a war without a single American casualty. That is nearly the same percentage we saw three days ago when the American public said they would be in favor of going to war if we could win without firing a shot. So, you can see there is a trend developing here that spells trouble for this administration.
“That this president is going ahead with this war is just unbelievable. The witty New York Times columnist, My Scream Loud, wrote in her inimitable fashion that 'The president's policy is as crippled as his legs.' (giggle) Last week she said he had reached the point where no one will flea's him. F-A-L-A, his dog, get it (more giggles)? Has that woman got a way with words! Go girl.”
Cutie (holds up front page of the New York Times): “This morning, the New York Times had this photo on the front page. As you can see, the Marines have finally raised a flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The fighting is still going on but it looks like this battle is over. We tried to find Pfc. Doe, the young Marine I interviewed that terrible first day, but he was unavailable. Here is Corporal Smith though. (With girlish enthusiasm). “Well, we see that flag flying. It's pretty much over isn't it?”
Cpl. Smith: “Oh, no ma'am, it's not over by any means. We've got weeks of fighting and dying to go yet. This place is a long ways from being secured. But we did get that flag up there and it sure makes us all proud.”
Cutie: “I can't tell much from the photo. Their faces are not even visible, making it impossible for us to descend upon any of their families. Corporal Smith, do you know any of the flag raisers? And do you know who ordered it put up there? Did the order come directly from the president for political reasons?”
Cpl. Smith: “All I know is that I heard some colonel put the word out that he wanted 'a flag put up there where every son of a bitch on this island could see it.' Excuse me, ma'am.”
Cutie: “We know you've been in the heat of battle so,…”
Cpl. Smith: “Still am, ma'am.”
Cutie: “Yes, of course, but it's all over. (Nervous giggle). Except here on Capitol Hill, of course. Corporal Smith, I wonder if you know the gender, race and ethnicity of the group that put the flag up. In other words, did that group 'look like America?' ”
Corporal Smith: “Look like America? They are Americans, ma'am. United States Marines.”
Cutie: “Any females?”
Cpl. Smith: “No, ma'am.”
Cutie: “Any African Americans?”
Cpl. Smith: “I don't know, ma'am. But there is an Indian in Easy Company.”
Cutie: “You mean Native American?”
Cpl. Smith: “Whatever, ma'am, I've got to cut out. My outfit is moving on and we've got a lot to do.”
Cutie: “And we've got a lot to do here too. Spring training has started and the sun is shining brightly in Florida. But first this word from our sponsors.”
Historical note: In one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, when it was said “uncommon courage was a common virtue,” 7,000 Marines were killed and 20,000 wounded at Iwo Jima. Some 21,000 Japanese were killed. The island itself is still barren and only a handful of people live on it. But after it was secured by the Marines, B-29s made over 2,200 emergency landings on it, saving the lives of more than 24,000 crewmen.
AP photographer Joe Rosenthal won a Pulitzer Prize for the flag-raising photo. Of the six men in the photo, three were buried in that black volcanic ash, one came out on a stretcher. Only two walked off the island.
Jug's Comment: Those of you who weren't around during WWII will have no idea of just how inconceivable the above “reporting” could have been in those times. (Of course, TV… communication satellites… computers and all the other wonderful inventions of today hadn't yet been invented).
U.S. citizens of all ages, young or old, military and civilian, supported the war effort and all made sacrifices in their own way before victory was assured. Somewhere along the way amid our rising quality of living, great growth and the gradual creep of liberalism in our schools and politics, things began to change.
Thank God we still have a hard corps of patriotic Americans among the youth of our nation who are giving their all for our future, in a manner that thrills those of us who are veterans of previous wars and now watch it from the sidelines.
But the strong forces of a “politically correct” liberal media and ultra-liberal educatiors (in excess of 92% of all professors acrtoss the land) do not bode well for our future as a nation, Nor would the election of an ultra-liberal president such as John Kerry - who can soothe you with a silvery tongue - but whose three-term history in the Senate is anti-military, and generally all negative talk and little positive action makes him truly “the wrong man at the wrong time” for this nation.
I hope you will think seriously on this when you go to the polls in November. America's future life depends on your vote.
JUST ONE OLD ERNIE PYLE
By Russ Vaughn, May 27th, 2006
As a boy of four in ’44 I missed out on his style;
But at thirty-six in ’76 I learned more of Ernie Pyle.
To read his tributes to our troops always brought the question why,
That my own war’s correspondents didn’t hold our troops as high.
I’d witnessed acts of bravery as great as World War Two,
But press accounts of those same acts were seldom, they were few;
More likely to be displayed in morning print or evening news,
Were American acts of cruelty to prop up protestors’ views.
Ernie placed himself in battle’s midst, not seeking safer shelter;
He sought the trenches sought the fight, sought out the helter-skelter.
He told the folks back in the States grim truths about their brave,
Providing families insights they could reread, they could save.
Ol’ Ernie gave the folks back home proud memories they could treasure,
Unlike sly Walter Cronkite feeding enemies evening pleasure.
Nope, Ernie wrote of men he loved up until his final deadline,
Unlike Arnett and other creeps seeking only a bigger headline.
Where did they go those of the press who believed America good?
The ones who’d write about our troops and for the things they stood?
What madness does possess them that they now extol our losses,
Finding fault in all we try to do, debasing all our causes?
We serve, we fight so that they might have freedom to convey,
The good things that we’re doing, the good we do each day.
But instead they undermine us in their sniping, gloating style;
I’d swap every damned one of ‘em for just one old Ernie Pyle.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
KINZEY - ON MEDIA BIAS
Forwarded from 1stAdmPAO
Bert Kinzey, a former Army officer who became an expert in military aviation, has authored literally dozens of books, principally aimed at the aviation enthusiast and scale modeler, and they are definitely apolitical. However, with his research efforts on military subjects, he has gained a wealth of contacts within the U.S. military, and is one of the premier authorities on military subjects in this country. While his following article is slightly dated, you will appreciate its content if you are a clear thinker who is concerned about today's blatant media bias in Iraq:
Media Bias - CNN's Reporting Of The War
“As some of you know, I wrote a book about the Gulf War shortly after it ended in 1991, entitled, “The Fury of Desert Storm - The Air Campaign,” published by McGraw Hill. While its primary focus was on the air war, much of it also addressed the news coverage. I pointed out how there were two big losers during that war - Iraq and the news media. They had many things in common, one of which was that they brought their problems on themselves.
“I explained how the news media, particularly CNN, inaccurately reported the war, misstating the facts, and in many cases deliberately telling outright lies. I dedicated an entire chapter to a dishonest CNN report about the B-1 bomber and evaluated its inaccuracies line by line. I illustrated that the report was full of lies, and these were about clearly established facts and not about someone's opinion.
“I spoke in person to the people in the Pentagon that CNN had interviewed and
filmed for that report, and they told me how CNN edited what they said to make it seem like they were saying exactly the opposite of what they actually said. I spoke with CNN's people here in Atlanta and at the Pentagon, including Wolf Blitzer, and he admitted he knew nothing about the military.
“A CNN employee in Atlanta admitted to me that they did not care if they got their reporting accurate. They only wanted to get it on the air first and in the most dramatic manner possible. Their primary purpose was to make money by selling ad space, not reporting the news. The story goes on and on.
“Unfortunately, twelve years later, the situation has not improved at CNN. I have watched them as well as other news sources recently, and their lies and inaccuracies are even more common than they were in 1991. Their bias is also beyond belief. They are showing almost exclusively an anti-war stance by people who are so delusional that they believe peace is merely the absence of war.
“While everyone, including news organizations, have their own bias, it is neither professional nor honest to concentrate almost exclusively on one side of an issue, particularly one so important as this. To do so presents an inaccurate and dishonest view of what is actually happening, and this does not allow viewers to form informed and valid opinions.
“For example, CNN concentrates almost exclusively on those few nations that are against us in this effort and makes almost no mention of the many more that are supporting us. They ignore and do not report on our success in Afghanistan, where we have returned women to classrooms and professional occupations and where people are returning to that country with expectations for a bright future free of terror — all thanks to America. Before we drove out the Taliban, people were fleeing Afghanistan.
“CNN also makes the viewer believe that those who protest the war are in far greater numbers than those who are supporting it. This is clearly not the case, and even CNN's own surveys show that 66% of Americans support military action to disarm Iraq. (ABC and FOX surveys place that percentage in the upper 70s.)
“For example, on a recent Saturday, over 3,000 people turned out in Atlanta, the home of CNN, to support the war on a dreary and rainy day. At the same time, there was an antiwar rally in Atlanta that was attended by twenty-two, that's right, TWENTY-TWO protesters. Anyone care to guess how CNN covered it?
“I recently heard the percentage of students that protested the war at universities across America, and in almost every case, it was less than one percent. That means that ninety-nine percent did not protest against the war, and in many cases the number gathering to support President Bush and our troops far exceed the number who protested against it. But which side does CNN report?
“Clearly, all sides need to be presented in a balanced manner, and CNN skews their coverage extremely in one direction. In my view, their coverage with its inaccuracies, lies, distortions, and blame-America-first bias is nothing short of criminal.
“CNN has seldom reported much about the continuing atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein throughout his time in power. Here is a man who has attacked his neighbor to the east and his neighbor to the southeast. Here is a man who has fired missiles at his neighbors to the southwest and the west. Hussein has gassed his own people and habitually tortured those who disagree with him. He has had the wives and children of dissidents brought in and tortured, raped, and killed those family members before their very eyes. Here is a man who would destroy oil wells and dams to create ecological disasters and kill the Iraqi people.
“On the other side of the coin are the Americans who will bring freedom from this oppression to the Iraqis, who will bring food and medicine to them, who will protect Iraq's infrastructure, and who will humanely treat Iraqi prisoners who surrender.
“But CNN makes America out to be the bad guy. How does that work? If you are
like me and believe that the freedom of the press carries with it an obligation to be accurate, fair, balanced, and honest, I ask you to do two things:
“First, please share this e-mail (with friends) so that they may realize what CNN is doing. Second, I ask you to stop the lies, turn off CNN, and send them an e-mail that you are doing and look elsewhere for your news coverage.
“I find FOX News Network, News Hour on PBS, and MSNBC to be far more fair. Sure, there is some bias anywhere, but it is neither as extreme nor calculated. On these networks I hear both sides about equally. I hear about France like I do on CNN, but I also hear about Japan and Australia as well as the many other countries that are backing us in so many ways.
“As of today, three countries in Europe are against us, and twenty-two have come out in support of us. Most of the twenty-two have never been mentioned on CNN, but representatives of France and Germany are on CNN almost hourly. So please take a look at several news choices and find one that is accurate, fair, and balanced. It is only that way that you will get an honest view of what is going on. I am not telling you which one to choose; I'm only asking you to turn off CNN.
“It is not in my present plans to write another book for the general public on this war. But that may change. I am so sickened by the reporting of CNN that I may just do so. If I do, I will not focus on the air war this time. Instead I will simply state the facts that clearly prove that CNN is lying and distorting the news about our country, our leaders, and our military.
“Finally, I would like to remind you to do a third thing. As most of you know, I have a son who is a Navy pilot and who has been flying missions in the Middle East since last November. So, as the father of one of our deployed military personnel, and as a former Army officer myself, I ask all of you to remember our troops, support them, and pray for them even more than you usually do in these critical days ahead.
“I know many of you also have family members or friends who are over there ready to do their jobs in support of our country. It is those troops who keep us free, and who are ready to lay down their lives to protect our country. It is not the movie stars nor the news reporters that have ever protected us. For those of you who pass this on to your friends, I thank you for your help in spreading the word about CNN. God bless America. Bert Kinzey.”
AMERICA - WHERE THE MINORITY RULES
By Jug Varner
Although the average American may not be aware of it, the ultra liberal minority in this nation, (i.e., most of the mainstream media, 90-plus percent of all colleges and university professors, a number in Congress and government, and their would-be “politically correct” adherents) would have us believe they are in charge of how our government should be run.
They are certainly in charge of mind control… and are quick to chastise or disparage anyone who thinks differently - yet scream the loudest when anyone dares to criticize their criticism. President Bush, his administration and the Iraq War are their favorite targets.
In the long run, this ultra liberalism may be enough to push this nation totally into the abyss of decay and the ultimate decline that began in the 1960s. In his The Fate of Empires, British General Sir John Glubb wrote:
“The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be: The Age of Pioneers. The Age of Conquests, The Age of Commerce, The Age of Affluence, The Age of Intellect, and The Age of Decadence.
“Decadence is marked by: Defensiveness, Pessimism, Materialism, Frivolity, An influx of Foreigners, The Welfare State, and A Weakening of Religion.
“Decadence is due to: Too long a period of Wealth and Power, Selfishness, Love of Money, and the Loss of a Sense of Duty.”
By that description, one must agree that America is obviously in the DECADENCE stage.
Unfortunately today, the average American is too busy with his or her own problems of earning a living, trying to make financial ends meet, raising and educating kids and grandkids, etc., to give much thought and attention to what is happening outside their own little world. They simply “go with the flow,” believing whatever pap is doled out by the media.
Here is a case in point:
In a rare act of defense against the media, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a letter to the Philip Bennett, Managing Editor of the Washington Post, objecting to the tasteless political cartoon by Tom Toles that featured an Iraq War multiple amputee as the butt of its criticism of SecDef Donald Rumsfeld. Perhaps you have seen the cartoon and read the letter.
One of those who contributes poetry to my web site - Vietnam War veteran Russ Vaughn - saw the cartoon, and it raised his hackles to the point of originating the following poem about the Washington Post (which he calls WAPO).
In his note to me he said, “This may be too strong for some tastes. My usual forum, The American Thinker, turned it down because of the implied violence. Use your own judgment in deciding whether to post it or pass on it.”
As one who believes in free speech, I posted it here. After you have read the poem, be sure to read the paragraph that follows.
Wanna draw a soldier, Toles? Here I am,
Back with all four limbs from Vietnam.
You wanna draw pictures of fighting men?
Just tell me where and tell me when.
I’ll give you a pose to impress any viewer,
Your punk arty ass comatose in the sewer.
Like all of your kind you don’t have a clue
Who fightin’ men are and what fightin’ men do.
That you, your kind, you effete panty waists,
With Hollywood morals, metrosexual tastes,
Would taunt a brave warrior’s fight for life,
Mock his loss, his pain, deride his strife;
And use his sorrow to support your screed,
With no concern for the warrior’s need,
Tells me you are clueless of the facts of war,
You’re a cut ‘n run, spineless, media whore.
Go to Walter Reed hospital, smug Mr. Toles,
To see those you’ve mocked, grave injured souls.
View wounded warriors with bodies so broken
And think again of the message you’ve spoken,
So abysmally ignorant, so smug, condescending
That even most liberals won’t waste time defending.
So Toles it’s a fact that your most famous work
Will proclaim you forever as a pitiless jerk.
And Washington Post:
You’re as bad as this weasel.
You gave him the forum,
Provided his easel.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Now that you’ve read his poem click on American Thinker [http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5221 ] and read his synopsis of the matter, including, “The diametric differences in the responses from military readers and liberal readers made me, once again, all too aware of the curious relationship that exists between those who protect and defend and those who are defended.”
LIBERAL MEDIA REACTION
Forwarded by JackMack. No original source given.
Here's a good comparison of the Liberal American news media slant on U.S. foreign policy events of the past decade or so - in their continuing effort to convince the American people how to think:
Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good.
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad.
Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good.
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad.
Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good.
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad.
Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists - good.
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad.
Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good.
Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad.
Clinton commits felonies while in office - good.
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad.
Clinton says mass graves in Serbia - good.
Entire world says WMD in Iraq - bad.
Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good.
Recession under Bush - bad.
Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good.
World Trade Centers fall under Bush - Bad.
Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good.
Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad.
Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good.
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad.
Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good.
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad.
No mass graves found in Serbia - good.
No WMD found Iraq - bad.
Milosevic not yet convicted - good.
Saddam in custody - bad.
(We won't be seeing this in the NY Times, Washington Post and other Liberal newspapers, nor hear it from the three stooges on network TV news, but that doesn't mean the comparisons aren't for real.)
MEDIA CONTROL AND PUBLIC APATHY
By Jug Varner (with partial input from an article by Floyd Sears)
As a unified nation, America has not been totally at war (i.e., where practically everyone was involved) since World War II.
Back then, all able-bodied men and women who were not in the military were somehow involved in building war machines or otherwise supporting the war effort.
Those of us still living today who experienced it remember it well. On the home front, many things were rationed. If you didn't have the rationing stamps you did without. Everywhere you turned you saw and felt the effects of the war and most all Americans participated in the oneness of resolve to win it.
Support was not unanimous, of course, but only a miniscule percent opposed it.
During the Korean, Vietnam and lesser wars, however, nobody except those actively involved felt the awful effects of war. Today, it is much the same. Only those in the military, their families, those who were victims of 911, and those who actively support the War on Terror are involved. Together, they make up only a slight majority of the population.
The Liberal media, Liberal educators, and the rest of the Liberal “politically correct” crowd are totally involved in another kind of war - POLITICS - and are stirring the muddy waters of discontent among their peers, not for what is best for America, but what (they think) is best for themselves.
American journalists for the most part no longer present the simple facts and let the reader decide. They mostly editorialize and slant the “news” by parroting what the controlling interest of their TV, radio or publishing editors want the public to believe. And when it comes to reports about the war in Iraq, it is mostly negative, rarely if ever highlighting the good results of our war fighters or the truth Americans want and need to know.
Many Americans blithely go about their business as if nothing is happening, getting little true information through TV news sound bites, rarely reading any in depth coverage, unaware of the insidious efforts of the millions if our Muslim enemies and their absolute willingness to die for their cause.
Such apathy of Americans is just one more giant step toward the downfall of this great nation. Perhaps even equally as likely a cause as the rabid enemy who vows to kill us all - one way or another.
The valid questions of today have become:
- Do the American people have the will to survive?
- What will it take to WAKE UP the apathetic?
Unfortunately, the liberal media massively supports congressional Democrat naysayer leaders Kerry, Kennedy, Reid, Pelosi, et al, who obviously are more concerned about political power than about the dangers that confront us. God help America if the Liberals prevail!
America’s so-called silent majority must once again rise in November and let their votes repudiate these un-American Liberal concepts.
MEDIA OMITS GOOD NEWS
It has been a while since I have written to my friends about what's really going on here in Iraq. The news you watch on TV is exaggerated, sensationalized and selective. Good news doesn't sell.
The stuff you don't hear about? Let's start with Electrical Power production in Iraq. The day after the war was declared over, there was nearly zero power being generated in Iraq. Forty-five days later, in a partnership between the Army, the Iraqi people and some private companies, there are now 3200 mega watts (Mw) of power being produced daily, one-third of the total national potential of 8000 Mw. Downed power lines (big stuff, 400 Kilovolt (Kv) and 132 Kv) are being repaired and are about 70% complete.
Then there is water purification. In central Iraq between Baghdad and Mosul, home of the 4th Infantry Division, Water treatment was spotty at best. The facilities existed, but the controls were never implemented. Simple chemicals like Chlorine for purification and Alum (Aluminum Sulfate) for sediment settling (The Tigris River is about as clear as the Mississippi River) were in short supply or not used at all - and when chlorine was used, it was metered by the scientific method of guessing. So some people got pool water and some people got water with lots of little things moving in it. We are slowly but surely solving that. Contracts for repairs to facilities that are only 50% or less operational are being let, chemicals are being delivered, although we don't have the metering problem solved yet (It has only been 45 days).
How about oil and fuel? Well the war was all about oil wasn't it? You bet it was. It was all about oil for the Iraqi people because they have no other income, they produce nothing else. Oil is 95% of the Iraqi GNP. For this nation to survive, it MUST sell oil. The Refinery at Bayji is at 75% of capacity producing gasoline. The crude pipeline between Kirkuk (Oil Central) and Bayji will be repaired by tomorrow (2 June). LPG, what all Iraqi's use to cook and heat with, is at 103% of normal production and WE, the US ARMY, at least 4th ID, are insuring it is being distributed FAIRLY to ALL Iraqi's.
You have to remember that 3 months ago, ALL these things were used as weapons against the population to keep them in line. If a town misbehaved, gasoline shipments stopped, LPG pipelines and trucks stopped, water was turned off, power was turned off.
Now, until exports start, every drop of gasoline produced goes to the Iraqi people, crude oil is being stored, the country is at 75% capacity now, they need to export or stop pumping soon, thanks to the UN for the delay. ALL LPG goes to the Iraqi people EVERYWHERE. Water is being purified as best they can, but at least it's running all the time to everyone.
Are we still getting shot at? Yep
Are American Soldiers still dying? Yep, about 1 a day from the 4th ID, mostly in accidents, but dead is dead.
If we are doing all this for the Iraqi's, why are they shooting at us?
The general population isn't. There are still bad guys, who won't let go of the old regime. They are Ba'ath party members (Read Nazi Party, but not as nice) who know nothing but the regime. They were thugs for the regime that caused many to disappear in the night and they have no other skills. At least the Nazis had jobs they could go back to after the war as plumbers, managers, engineers, etc… these people have no skills but terror. They are simply applying their skills and we are applying ours. There is no Christian way to say they must be eliminated and we are doing so with all the efficiency we can muster.
Our troops are shot at literally every day by small arms and RPGs. We respond and 100% of the time, and the Ba'ath party guys come out with the short end of the stick. The most amazing thing to me is that they don't realize that if they stopped shooting at us, we would focus on fixing things and leave. The more they shoot at us, the longer we will stay.
Lastly, realize that 90% the damage you see on TV was caused by IRAQIs, NOT the war. Sure we took out a few bridges from military necessity, we took out a few power and phone lines to disrupt communications, sure we drilled a few palaces and government headquarters buildings with 2000 lb laser guided bombs (I work 100 yards from where two hit the Tikrit Palace), he had plenty to spare. But, ANY damage you see to schools, hospitals, power generation facilities, refineries, pipelines, was ALL caused either by the Iraqi Army in its death throws, or the Iraqi civilians looting the places. Could the Army have prevented it? Nope. We can and do now, but 45 days ago the average soldier was lucky to know what town he was in much less be informed enough to know who owned what or have the power to stop 1,000 people from looting a building by himself.
The United States and Britain are doing a very noble thing here. We stuck our necks on the world chopping block to free a people. I've already talked the weapons of mass destruction thing to death. Bottom line - who cares? This country was one big conventional weapons ammo dump anyway. We have probably destroyed more weapons and ammo in the last 30 days than the US Army has ever fired in the last 30 years (Remember, this is a country the size of Texas), so drop the WMD argument as the reason we came here, if we find it GREAT, if we don't, SO WHAT?
I'm living in a “guest palace” on a 500-acre palace compound with 20 palaces with like facilities built in half a dozen towns all over Iraq that were built for one man. Drive down the street and out into the countryside five miles away (I have) and see a family of 10 living in a mud hut herding two dozen sheep. Then tell me why you think we are here.
Eric Rydbom, Major, Engineer
Deputy Division Engineer
4th Infantry Division
Forwarded by 1stAdmPAO.
MODERN NEWS REPORTING
As one who learned news writing years ago when facts and truth were important journalistic requirements, I found the following item (intended as a joke, but actually realistic) to be an excellent typical example of mainstream news reporting today.
Item forwarded by Russ Vaughn
Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when a rabid Rottweiler dog attacked one of them. Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off a nearby fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and twisted it, breaking the dog's neck.
A Boston newspaper reporter who witnessed the incident rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline:
Brave Young Red Sox Fan Saves Friend From Jaws Of Vicious Animal
“But I'm not a Red Sox fan,” the little hero interjected.
“Sorry,” replied the reporter, “but since this is Boston, I just assumed you were.”
Hitting the delete key, the reporter began:
John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Dog Attack
“But I'm not a Kerry fan either,” the boy responds.
The reporter says, “I assumed everybody in this state was either for the Red Sox or Kerry or Kennedy. What team or person do you like? “
“I'm a Texas Ranger fan and I really like George W. Bush” the boy says.
Hitting the delete key, the reporter begins again:
Arrogant Little Conservative Jerk Kills Beloved Family Pet
NBC PICTURES OF THE YEAR
Sent by Kay in The Woodlands
To view some interesting news photos of the recent past …
click on this LINK [http://www.bmrsd.net/misc/pic%20of%20the%20year2.pps ] …
right click for full screen,
and left click for each photo.
NEGATIVE POTENTATES OF THE PRESS
By Oliver North
Forwarded by gunshipII@aol.com
As of this writing 2,802 young Americans have been killed during three and a half years of war in Iraq. That’s roughly the same number killed at Iwo Jima during the first three and a half days of fighting against the Japanese.
Every life lost was precious and every loss grievous to those who loved them. Unfortunately, our media intends to use every one of those killed to make their point.
It’s a lesson they learned in Vietnam. On Feb. 27, 1968, after a month of brutal fighting and daily images of U.S. casualties on American television, Walter Cronkite, then the host of the CBS Evening News, proclaimed that the Tet Offensive had proven to him that the Vietnam War was no longer winnable. It didn’t matter that Tet had been a decisive victory for the United States and South Vietnam.
Today’s potentates of the press are trying to deliver the same message: that Iraq, like Vietnam, is unwinnable. One television network has gone so far as to broadcast images of U.S. troops being killed by terrorists - making Iraq the first war where Americans get their news from the enemy.
The war in Vietnam wasn’t lost during ‘Tet 68’ no matter what Cronkite said. It was lost in the pages of America’s newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses and, eventually, in the corridors of power in Washington.
We need to pray that this war isn’t lost the same way.
NEGATIVE REPORTS HIDE PROGRESS
Disdain, Ill-founded Criticism Relates To 2004 Elections
By Former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger in Forbes Magazine. Sent by 1stAdmPAO
One of the problems of our postwar results in Iraq is that most of the principal U.S. press outlets have been reporting, to the exclusion of almost anything else, the negative events since our military stunningly toppled Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. It's time to redress the balance and present our readers with some facts that demonstrate how well America's goals in Iraq are being achieved.
Let's begin by acknowledging that all is not perfect in Iraq. Crime rates are high, almost as high as New York City's. Our forces have had to deal with the depredation and senseless destruction loosed on the country by some 100,000 of Iraq's criminals, whom Saddam released from jail shortly before our troops went in.
What we are seeing now is the uniform disdain and ill-founded criticisms of those who opposed the war from the beginning; those who, because of next year's presidential election, oppose everything the Administration or President Bush does or says; and those countries, such as France and Germany, that are angered by any suggestion of American success anywhere and which fear their huge and improvident prewar loans to Iraq may not be repaid. Many of these countries are also motivated by equally tawdry reasons of trade.
But despite all the negative reportage there is a great deal of good news —especially for those who hope to see a free and democratically led Iraq living in peace with itself and its neighbors.
Nearly all of Iraq's schools are open, and data from 10 of the primary and secondary schools showed an encouraging increase in enrollment. All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes are also open. In October universities received 1,500 computers, and South Korea is helping establish Internet centers.
Teachers now earn 12 to 25 times their former salaries. The Economist reported that before the war a Baghdad primary school teacher was paid the equivalent of $6 a month; her husband, a factory overseer, earned $13 a month. Today their combined monthly income is close to $450; for the first time they are able to buy many standard consumer goods.
All 240 hospitals and 1,200 primary health clinics are open. Spending for public health is more than 26 times what it was during Saddam's regime, and doctors' salaries are 8 times what they were. More than 22 million vaccine doses have been given to children, and more than two-thirds of drinking water supplies have been restored.
By Oct. 24 we had trained some 85,500 Iraqis: 55,000 police; 6,400 border guards; an 18,700-man Facilities Protection Corps; 700 new Iraqi Army graduates, with the goal of 27 battalions trained in a year; a 4,700-man Civil Defense Corps; and an additional 10,000 Iraqis in training for these forces. In addition, 32 countries have more than 24,000 troops on the ground in Iraq, including the Polish-led forces that are in command of the south-central part of the country.
Our training and recruiting personnel have had to deal with the fact that, in order to survive, most Iraqis had to have had some association with or given some support to Saddam and his Baathist Party regime. It is therefore slow work ensuring that those we are training are suitable for the work in the new Iraq.
Years of neglect wreaked major damage on Iraqi water, power and sewerage systems. All are being repaired and improved. Oil production, even from oilfields urgently in need of modernization following decades of calculated neglect, averaged 1.9 million barrels a day in October and is moving closer to the prewar level of 3 million.
Power generation reached 4,518 megawatts of electricity in early October, compared with 300 megawatts, prewar. Three-fourths of the prewar level of telephone service has been restored.
The courts are in session, and some 50,000 claims against the old government have been filed with the bar association.
A new currency has been issued and the independent central bank opened two months after the war ended. It took three years for post-WWII occupied Germany to do this
On July 13 Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator Paul Bremer appointed the all-Iraqi Governing Council. On Nov. 15 the CPA and the Council committed to a political timetable for Iraq. As the White House announced, the plan “meets a key mutual objective of the Coalition and the Iraqi people: the restoration of sovereignty to a body chosen by the citizens of Iraq and based in a legal framework. It also commits Iraq to a process for drafting a permanent, democratic constitution that protects the rights of all citizens.”
On Nov. 6 President Bush signed the Iraq and Afghanistan supplemental appropriations bill into law. This will bring $87 billion to our global war on terror. It will help support our servicemen and -women with weapons, equipment and salaries; build stable democratic societies in these two countries, as well as train and equip those citizens who are fighting to defend and secure their rights; upgrade schools and hospitals; and repair infrastructure and improve services, such as water, electricity and sanitation.
It wasn't until last month that papers began reporting on the progress that's been made in Iraq. We must keep in mind that it has been only seven months since our military brought down Saddam and that it will take time for the Iraqis to build the foundation for a free, self-governing country.
NEWS COVERAGE LOSERS
By Mona Charen, nationally syndicated columnist
Dec 27, 2005, The Washington Times [http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20051226-095629-8971r.htm ].
Reviewing the falsehoods, myths and misrepresentations spun by the press, politicians and pundits after Hurricane Katrina, one is reminded of Nora Ephron's bon mot: “No matter how cynical I get, I can't seem to keep up.”
Most recently, we have word from the National Hurricane Center that Katrina was not a category 4 storm at all, but rather, a category 3 when it slammed into the Gulf Coast Aug. 29. So much for the notion the levees were built to withstand anything less than a category 4.
This is only the latest in a string of stories correcting, amending and often reversing what we were told at the time. The string is so long the fabric of Katrina reporting has unraveled utterly. It's enough to encourage caution, if not outright cynicism, about all reporting, particularly during emergencies.
In the hours and days after the hurricane struck, the press reported conditions inside the Superdome and Convention Center had descended to Boschian (Hieronymous) depravity. We were told “little babies” were being raped, and that stabbings and murders were widespread. The mayor and police chief of New Orleans repeated these rumors on television, thus transforming them from scuttlebutt to “news.”
FEMA, believing the stories broadcast worldwide, showed up at the Convention Center with a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies. They were expecting, reported the Seattle Times, at least 200. How many actually died in the two locations? Six. One died of a drug overdose, another committed suicide and four more died of natural causes.
Eddie Compass, New Orleans police chief, conceded that badly needed resources, like police and rescue workers, were diverted to deal with emergencies that proved nonexistent.
Another popular convention of the Katrina aftermath was the notion that because National Guard troops were “spread thin” by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. lacked manpower to deal with a domestic crisis. But as James Robbins noted in National Review Online, only 10.2 percent of the U.S. Army, including guard and reserves, is stationed in Iraq — fully 74.2 percent are stationed in the United States.
If people are sure of anything, it is that poor African-Americans were hardest hit by the storm and its aftermath. There is no question poor blacks suffered terribly, but according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of Louisiana data, those who died came from rich and poor neighborhoods in about equal numbers.
We were told that if federal officials had invested in strengthening the levees around New Orleans, the disaster could have been averted. But as The Washington Post has reported, Louisiana has actually received more money over the last five years for Army Corps of Engineers projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion. California, with a population sevenfold larger, received $1.4 billion.
Katrina was a monster, and the misery it caused was heartbreaking. But the instant analysis was beyond tendentious. We were told poor people died or suffered because they had no way to escape the storm and were offered none by local, state or federal officials (most of the press reserved its severest scorn for the federal response). But according to a careful examination of actual storm victims by the New York Times, most of those who stayed behind either owned cars or were offered rides by others and chose, for a various reasons (some good, some stupid), to remain.
Now comes the next deluge: the cash that will rain down on New Orleans and the surrounding area. Louisiana lawmakers have demanded $250 billion in aid. Karl Zinsmeister estimates this is the equivalent of handing each Louisianan a check for $56,000. This is on top of whatever insurance reimbursements and charitable contributions hurricane victims receive.
In the last days before Christmas, Congress worked on legislation to spend $29 billion on levee repair, new pumping stations and various other services to Louisiana residents. Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, called it a “down payment.”
All this spending will go to the most corrupt state in the nation, doubtless primarily to the good friends of politicians. This public policy miscarriage will be due entirely to myths.
Copyright © 2005 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. For more great articles, CLICK HERE [http://www.washingtontimes.com ].
NO RIGHT ANSWER GAME
By Jeff Edwards, former Navy Chief Petty Officer
Forwarded via Koenig/Clements
America's military can win wars. We've done it in the past, and I have absolute confidence that we'll continue to do it in the future. We've won fights in which we possessed overwhelming technological superiority (Desert Storm), as well as conflicts in which we were the technical underdogs (the American Revolution). We've crossed swords with numerically superior foes, and with militaries a fraction of the size of our own. We've battled on our own soil, and on the soil of foreign lands — on the sea, under the sea, and in the skies. We've even engaged in a bit of cyber-combat, way out there on the electronic frontier. At one time or another, we've done battle under just about every circumstance imaginable, armed with everything from muskets to cruise missiles.
And, somehow, we've managed to do it all with the wrong Army.
That's right, America has the wrong Army. I don't know how it happened, but it did. We have the wrong Army. It's too small; it's not deployed properly; it's inadequately trained, and it doesn't have the right sort of logistical support. It's a shambles. I have no idea how those guys even manage to fight.
Now, before my brothers and sisters of the OD green persuasion get their fur up, I have another revelation for you. We also have the wrong Navy. And if you want to get down to brass tacks, we've got the wrong Air Force, the wrong Marine Corps, and the wrong Coast Guard.
Don't believe me? Pick up a newspaper or turn on your television.
In the past week, I've watched or read at least a dozen commentaries on the strength, size, and deployment of our military forces. All of our uniform services get called on the carpet for different reasons, but our critics unanimously agree that we're doing pretty much everything wrong. I think it's sort of a game.
The critics won't tell you what the game is called, so I've taken the liberty of naming it myself. I call it the NO RIGHT ANSWER GAME. It's easy to play, and it must be a lot of fun because politicos and journalists can't stop playing it.
I'll teach you the rules. Here's Rule #1: No matter how the U.S. military is organized, it's the wrong force..
Actually, that's the only rule in this game. We don't really need any other rules, because that one applies in all possible situations. Allow me to demonstrate:
If the Air Force's fighter jets are showing their age, critics will tell us that Air Force leaders are mismanaging their assets, and endangering the safety of their personnel. If the Air Force attempts to procure new fighter jets, they are shopping for toys with money that could be spent better elsewhere. Are you getting the hang of the game yet? It's easy: Keeping old planes is the wrong answer, but getting new planes is also the wrong answer.
There is no right answer.
It works everywhere. When the Army is small, it's TOO small. Then we start to hear phrases like 'over-extended' or 'spread too thin,' and the integrity of our national defense is called into question. When the Army is large, it's TOO large, and it's an unnecessary drain on our economy. Terms like 'dead weight,' and 'dead wood' get thrown around. I know what you're thinking: We could build a medium-sized Army, and everyone would be happy. Think again. A medium-sized Army is too small to deal with large scale conflicts, and too large to keep military spending properly muzzled. The naysayers will attack any middle of the road solution anyway, on the grounds that it lacks a coherent strategy. So small is wrong, large is wrong, and medium-sized is also wrong.
Now you're starting to understand the game. Is this fun, or what?
No branch of the military is exempt. When the Navy builds aircraft carriers, we are told that we really need small, fast multipurpose ships. When the Navy builds small, fast multi-mission ships (aka the Arleigh Burke class), we're told that blue water ships are poorly suited for littoral combat, and we really need brown water combat ships. The Navy's answer, the Littoral Combat, isn't even off the drawing boards yet, and the critics are already calling it pork barrel politics and questioning the need for such technology.
Now I've gone nose-to-nose with hostiles in the littoral waters of the Persian Gulf, and I can't recall that pork or politics ever entered into the conversation. In fact, I'd have to say that the people trying to kill me and my shipmates were positively disinterested in the internal wrangling of our military procurement process. But, had they been aware of our organizational folly, they could have hurled a few well-timed criticisms our way, to go along with the mines we were trying to dodge.
The fun never stops when we play the 'No Right Answer' game. If we centralize our military infrastructure, the experts tell us that we are vulnerable to attack. We're inviting another Pearl Harbor. If we decentralize our infrastructure, we're sloppy and overbuilt, and the BRAC experts break out the calculators and start dismantling what they call our 'excess physical capacity.' If we leave our infrastructure unchanged, we are accused of becoming stagnant in a dynamic world environment.
Even the lessons of history are not sacrosanct. When we learn from the mistakes we made in past wars, we are accused of failing to adapt to emerging realities. When we shift our eyes toward the future, the critics quickly tell us that we've forgotten our history and we are therefore doomed to repeat it. If we somehow manage to assimilate both past lessons and emerging threats, we're informed that we lack focus.
Where does it come from - this default assumption that we are doing the wrong thing, no matter what we happen to be doing? How did our military wind up in a zero-sum game? We can prevail on the field of battle, but we can't win a war of words where the overriding assumption is that we are always in the wrong.
I can't think of a single point in History where our forces were of the correct size, the correct composition, correctly deployed, and appropriately trained all at the same time. Pick a war, any war. (For that matter, pick any period of peace.) Then dig up as many official and unofficial historical documents, reports, reconstructions, and commentaries as you can. For every unbiased account you uncover, you'll find three commentaries by revisionist historians who cannot wait to tell you how badly the U.S. military bungled things. To hear the naysayers tell it, we could take lessons in organization and leadership from the Keystone Cops.
We really only have one defense against this sort of mudslinging. Success. When we fight, we win, and that's got to count for something.
When asked to comment on Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. Army's LtGen Tom Kelly reportedly said, “Iraq went from the fourth-largest army in the world, to the second-largest army in Iraq in 100 hours.”
In my opinion, it's hard to argue with that kind of success, but critics weren't phased by it. Because no matter how well we fought, we did it with the wrong Army.
I'd like to close with this invitation to those journalists, analysts, experts, and politicians who sit up nights dreaming up new ways to criticize our armed forces:
The next time you see a man or woman in uniform, stop for ten seconds and reflect upon how much you owe that person, and his or her fellow Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, and Airmen. Then say, “Thank you.”
I'm betting you won't even have to explain the reason.
Our Service members are not blind or stupid. They know what they're risking. They know what they're sacrificing. They've weighed their wants, their needs, and their personal safety against the needs of their nation, and made the decision to serve. They know that they deserve our gratitude, even if they rarely receive it.
Two words — that's all I ask: “Thank you.”
If that's too hard, if you can't bring yourself to acknowledge the dedication, sincerity and sacrifice of your defenders, then I have a backup plan for you:
Put on a uniform and show us how to do it right.
© 2005 Jeff Edwards
HERE IS A HISTORICAL FACT THAT THE FOREGOING IS AN AGE-OLD PROBLEM TO MILITARY MEN:
LUCIUS AEMILIUS PAULUS, a Roman Consul, who had been selected to conduct the war with the Macedonians, B.C 168, went out from the Senate-house into the assembly of the people and addressed them as follows:
“In every circle, and, truly, at every table, there are people who lead armies into Macedonia; who know where the camp ought to be placed; what posts ought to be occupied by troops; when and through what pass that territory should be entered; where magazines should be formed; how provisions should be conveyed by land and sea; and when it is proper to engage the enemy, when to lie quiet.
And they not only determine what is best to be done, but if anything is done in any other manner than what they have pointed out, they arraign the consul, as if he were on trial before them.
These are great impediments to those who have the management of affairs; for every one cannot encounter injurious reports with the same constancy and firmness of mind as Fabius did, who chose to let his own ability be questioned through the folly of the people, rather than to mismanage the public business with a high reputation.
I am not one of those who think that commanders ought at no time to receive advice; on the contrary, I should deem that man more proud than wise, who regulated every proceeding by the standard of his own single judgment.
What, then, is my opinion?
That commanders should be counseled, chiefly, by persons of known talent; by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience; from those who are present at the scene of action, who see the country, who see the enemy; who see the advantages that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger.
If, therefore, any one thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am to conduct, which may prove advantageous to the public, let him not refuse his assistance to the state, but let him come with me into Macedonia.
He shall be furnished with a ship, a horse, a tent; even his traveling charges shall be defrayed.
But if he thinks this too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not, on land, assume the office of a pilot.
The city, in itself, furnishes abundance of topics for conversation; let it confine its passion for talking within its own precincts, and rest assured that we shall pay no attention to any councils but such as shall be framed within our camp.”
Source: Titus Livius, born 59 B.C., died A.D. 57, “history of Rome,” Vol. 7, Book XLIV, Chapter 22, Translation by George Baker, A.M.
NOT ALL THE NEWS IS BAD
A letter from Iraq by Iowa Army National Guard Medic Ray Reynolds
Forwarded to Keeping Apace by MSgt Spencer Eggleston, USAF (Ret)
As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say to all of you who did not believe the media that they have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two week leave back home. And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you. (Please share it with your friends and compare it to the version that your paper is producing.)
This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently:
* More than 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.
“ School attendance is up 80% from levels BEFORE THE WAR.
* More than 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of weapons stored there so that education can occur.
* The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.
* The country had it first 2-billion barrel export of oil in August.
* Some 4.5 million people have clean drinking water FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER in Iraq.
* The country now receives 2 times the electric power it did BEFORE THE WAR.
* 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% BEFORE THE WAR.
* Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in place.
* Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
* 60,000 or more police are patrolling Iraq streets.
* 100,000 or more Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
* Some 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with US soldiers.
* More than 400,000 people have telephones FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.
* Students are learning field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
* An interim constitution has been signed.
* Girls are allowed to attend school.
* School textbooks don't mention Saddam for the first time in 30 years.
Don't believe for one second that these people do no want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will. We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts.
So, if you happen to run into John Kerry, be sure to give him my email address and send him to Denison, Iowa. This soldier will set him straight. If you are like me and very disgusted with how this period of rebuilding has been portrayed, e-mail this to a friend and let them know there are good things happening.
Ray Reynolds, SFC
Iowa Army National Guard
234th Signal Battalion
AND WELL SAID!
NOT AS GOOD AS THEY THINK THEY ARE
Former naval aviator Pete Peterman lives in Ohio and winters in Sarasota. He attends our Naval Aviation Golden Pelican Squadron luncheons when he is here. Today, I received the following E-mail from him and decided to share it with you:
A few days ago, there was an editorial in our local paper praising the media and what a wonderful job they were doing telling us the truth about Iraq. The writer ended by saying that all critics should either apologize or shut up.
Enough is enough and it made me mad. I sent the editor a response about it and he published it in the paper! All I wanted to do was rant to someone in the business rather than to guys at the golf course or at the Knights of Columbus, over scotch & soda. Our son made a copy of it, which I will share with you:
MEDIA IGNORE GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ
zanesvilletimesrecorder.com Article published Jun 5, 2006
In response to “Mournful Milestone in Iraq” from Wednesday, May 31, in the Another View section, I must get something “off my chest,” as they say, instead of grumbling and privately complaining.
The writer from Scripps Howard ends by saying that people who criticize journalists and news organizations should either apologize or just shut up. The great majority of journalists are indeed professional but there are exceptions - just as allegedly with our troops. I'd like to offer a rebuttal.
Recently, I spoke with a young Army Special Forces soldier just home from his second (voluntary) tour in Iraq. He said that there was an embedded journalist with them during his second tour and asked me to not identify the newspaper - but I will say that it is a large one and a familiar name.
During his tour their unit:
- Rebuilt a school and soccer field and gave the children clothing and school supplies. No pictures. No report.
- Helped improve and expand a women's hospital. No pictures. No report.
- Didn't respond when gunmen shot at them, taunted them and dared them to shoot back. The gunmen were in a school occupied by screaming children. No pictures. No report.
- Captured a gunman who had just wounded one of the soldiers.
During interrogation, the gunman spit in the interrogator's face and was slapped in response. The reporter snapped a picture of the incident and said he was writing a story. When asked why there wasn't a report on the helpful things, he responded that Americans “don't want good news and are bored by it.” He was tasked by his superiors to look for sensationalist things and to pay particular attention to acts by our soldiers. The young soldier said that the troops are very wary of the embedded reporters and go out of their way to stay “on their good side,” for obvious reasons.
The unit Commanding Officer told the journalist he was no longer welcome if all he would report were only bad things. The journalist angrily declared that he would destroy the unit in his next report, to which the C.O. responded that he already had by his one and only story.
Good! Now I feel better! In my opinion, the troops deserve better than they presently receive from much of the mass media.
Roy “Pete” Peterman
2011 Norwood Blvd.
Zanesville, OH 43701-2146
PHOTO FRAUD IN LEBANON
Forwarded by Don and Beth Waterworth
The fine art of media misinformation - to “cloud men’s minds“ by subtle trickery - is alive and active today - as this brief film clearly demonstrates. It is now a much more sophisticated form of propaganda to sway the masses than even Hitler dreamed up in WWII!
Turn up your sound volume and take a look HERE [http://www.aish.com/movies/PhotoFraud.asp ].
PREFERS BAD NEWS OVER GOOD
WHY IS TODAY'S VALOR NOT THE NEWS IT WAS IN WWII?
By Bing West From the Houston Chronicle [http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/editorial/outlook/3395618 ] Forwarded by JayPMarine
West, a former Marine officer and former assistant secretary of defense, is the author of “No True Glory: A Firsthand Account of the Battle for Fallujah.” This article originally appeared in The Washington Post.
Recently the refractory city of Fallujah re-emerged as a front-page story. Fallujah first leaped to national attention last November when it became the scene of the fiercest urban combat in the past 35 years.
During that battle, 100 Marine squads engaged in more than 200 firefights inside small, dark cement rooms against suicidal jihadists. A single such ferocious gunfight between police and gangs anywhere in America would receive overwhelming and immediate press attention. The Marines did that 200 times in one week in Fallujah.
Since then Fallujah has received scant press attention. I was in Fallujah in September, shortly after the 160th American, Pfc. Romano Romero, 19, was killed by a roadside bomb. The Marines staked out the area and days later shot two Iraqis brazenly placing another explosive device at the same spot. This grueling routine of counterinsurgency did not merit front-page coverage.
Yet Fallujah has suddenly popped back up as major news. Why? Because allegations have emerged that American soldiers beat prisoners there two years ago. The allegations were about beatings, not about torture or murder.
At the time of the alleged incidents, in late 2003 and early 2004, violence in Fallujah was escalating. The 1st Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment had suffered 94 casualties inside the city - one every other day. They warned the Marines who were rotating in that they would be bloodied, because the insurgents were massing. The paratroopers were right. Over the next nine months, Fallujah grew into the stronghold of the insurgency and the vipers' nest for jihadists infiltrating from Syria. The fighting escalated in ferocity.
Among the Marines, acts of courage became common. 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal, for instance, threw his body over a wounded Marine and shot jihadists two feet away. Cpl. Tim Connors, 20, battled inside two adjoining concrete rooms for four hours before killing five jihadists and recovering the body of a fallen squad member. So it went, day after day. Hundreds of gripping stories of valor emerged that would have been publicized in World War II.
Although there are far more heroes than louts in the ranks, stories of the abuses at Abu Ghraib and now at Fallujah vastly outnumber stories of heroism and sacrifice. Not to take anything away from The Greatest Generation, but the behavior of our soldiers today will stand scrutiny when compared to the performance of those in any past war. The focus of the press on abuse is not due to any relaxation in military discipline or social mores.
Why was valor considered front-page news in 1945 and abuse considered front-page news in 2005? Poor conduct, like shipwrecks, makes news. On the other hand, saving a ship should also make news. For saving a Marine in what is called “the house from hell” in Fallujah, Sgt. Kasal has passed into Marine legend. Yet Fallujah Redux as a front-page story is based on allegations of bad conduct, not of heroism.
If a story about louts two years ago merits the front page today, then stories of heroes merit equal attention today and tomorrow.
Many say they oppose the war but support the troops, meaning that policy can go awry but the nation always needs its guardians. As a nation, we'd best be careful about what we choose to accentuate about ourselves. This is not a plea for cheer leading; it is an argument for balance.
To subdue hostile cities such as Fallujah, our country needs stout infantrymen such as the Marines and the paratroopers. Fed a steady diet of stories about bad conduct and deprived of models of valor, the youth of America will eventually decline to serve.
As the poet Pindar wrote: “Unsung, the noblest deed will die.”
PROPOSED WHITE HOUSE LETTER
A Suggested Response to Ultra Liberals Who Think the Iraq War is a Lark
Forwarded by a visitor to this site. (Author unknown or unstated).
Politics being what it is, a letter such as this would never be sent - but it should be, and the editors and news directors of the liberal media should be on the mailing list as well.
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Thank you for your recent letter criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the “Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers” program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.
Your detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation to your residence next week. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.
Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his “attitudinal problem” will help him overcome this character flaw. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.
Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless you feel that this might offend him.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him. He has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he considers appropriate, but I'm sure that over time they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka. Just remind them that it is all part of respecting his culture and his religious beliefs.
Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you inform us of the proper way to do our job. Take good care of Ahmed and good luck!
REPORTING FOR THE ENEMY
By Deborah Orin, Washington Bureau Chief, New York Post
Forwarded by J D Johnson
June 16, 2004 — The video only lasts four minutes or so, gruesome scenes of torture from the days when Saddam Hussein's thugs ruled Abu Ghraib prison. I couldn't bear to watch, so I walked out until it was over.
Some who stayed wished they hadn't. They told of savage scenes of decapitation, fingers chopped off one by one, tongues hacked out with a razor blade - all while victims shriek in pain and the thugs chant Saddam's praises.
Saddam's henchmen took the videos as newsreels to document their deeds in honor of their leader. But these awful images didn't show up on American TV news.
In fact, just four or five reporters showed up for the screening at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, which says it got the video via the Pentagon. Fewer wrote about it.
No surprise, since no newscast would air the videos of Nick Berg and Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl getting decapitated, or of U.S. contractors in Fallujah getting torn limb from limb by al Qaeda operatives. But every TV network has endlessly shown photos of the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib. Why?
Because most [journalists] want Bush to lose,” says AEI scholar Michael Ledeen, who helped host the screening of the Saddam video.
It's not just journalists. The Pentagon has lots of Saddam atrocity footage but is loathe to release it, possibly for fear it would be taken as a crude attempt to blunt criticism of Abu Ghraib.
So the world sees photos of U.S. interrogators using dogs to scare prisoners at Abu Ghraib. But not the footage of Saddam's prisoners getting fed alive to Doberman pinschers on Saddam's watch.
Former Pentagon official Richard Perle raps “faint hearts in the administration,” saying they've bought into the idea that it's “politically incorrect” to show the horrors of Saddam's regime.
But he also faults the media after all, AEI's briefings on Iraq have been standing-room-only, but the room was half empty for the screening of the Saddam torture video. But part of the issue is simply that Saddam's tortures, like al Qaedas tactics, are so awful that they're unbearable to watch.
If I couldn't watch them myself, I'm hardly arguing that others should have to. Yet it raises a very complex problem in the War on Terror. It's worse than creating moral equivalence between Saddam's tortures and prisoner abuse by U.S. troops. It's that we do far more to highlight our own wrongdoings precisely because they are less appalling.
In this era, a photo is everything. We highlight U.S. prisoner abuse because the photos aren't too offensive to show. We downplay Saddam's abuse precisely because it's far worse so we can't use the photos. And that sets the stage for remarks like Sen. Ted Kennedy's claim that Saddam's torture chambers have reopened under “U.S. management.”
Terrorism is sometimes called asymmetric warfare America had to adjust to new tactics to deal with small bands of terrorists who were able to turn our airplanes into weapons against us. Now it turns out that we also face asymmetric propaganda where the terrorists gain a public relations advantage precisely because what they do is so horrific that our media aren't able to deal with it.
The U.S. military hasn't figured out a strategic way to deal with this problem. But neither has the press.
Media analysts like Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler admit it sounds “sanctimonious” to justify publishing prison abuse photos but not al Qaeda beheading videos in the name of showing “the reality of war.” But that is just what he did.
AEI spokeswoman Veronique Rodman, puzzled by the minimal interest in the Saddam torture video, is sure that if it was a video of equally horrific torture committed by U.S. troops, the press would find ways to show or report it.
Reporters have to face up to the fact that right now, if we highlight the wrongs that Americans commit but not out of squeamishness the far worse horrors committed by others, we become propaganda tools for the other side.
This isn't to argue in any way against reporting the Abu Ghraib scandal. But reporters have to face up to the problems and find ways to achieve a more balanced account.
Saddam's torture videos may be too awful to show, but it's hard to explain the low media interest in the story of seven Iraqi men who had their right hands chopped off by Saddam's thugs and then got new prosthetic arms and new hope in America.
They're eloquent, they're available, they're grateful for the U.S. liberation of Iraq. No one can better talk about Saddam's tortures and no one is more eager to do so. Yet, as of yesterday, the New York Times had written 177 stories on Abu Ghraib with over 40 on the front page. The self-proclaimed “paper of record” hadn't written a single story about those seven Iraqi men.
TERRORISTS AND THE MEDIA
Excerpts from a report by Army Sgt Sara Wood, American Press Service
WASHINGTON, 10/26/06 (AFPN) – “The center of gravity in the Iraq war is in America, with the American people, not on the battlefield - and the media is a powerful tool that influences the people's will,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Oct. 24.
Some of his other comments were as follows:
- “This is the first war that's been conducted in the 21st century with all the new media realities of 24-hour talk radio and Sony cams and digital cameras and news constantly on television. But the American people have a pretty good center of gravity. They've got a good inner gyroscope, and it may be disorienting for a time; it may blow us off course somewhat, but we tend to re-center.”
- “America's wars always have had critics, but the difference in this war is the prevalence of the media. Terrorists recognize the influence the media has, so they use their own media committees to determine how best to manipulate the American public through the media.”
- “The terrorists plan their attacks to deliberately dishearten the American people and make them think the cause isn't right or that America makes terrorism worse.”
- “I just don't happen to believe that America is what's wrong with the world. And I know that's a fact,” he said. “And these terrorists have been determined to dishearten the American people, and we simply must not let that happen.”
- “Despite negative media reports, Iraq is making progress. An aerial tour over the country will show people going about their daily activities, such as driving, shopping and eating in restaurants. The troops also see the progress made.”
- “Everywhere I go with the troops around the world — in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa — invariably they will ask me, 'Why is the impression in the United States so notably different from what we see? Why is the general impression of what's taking place so different?' And it's because of the media. They decide to do that.”
- “The insurgency in Iraq is tough right now, and as more progress is made, the terrorists become more determined to throw the government off track. However, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a strong person who is committed to the country's success, and U.S. troops serving on the ground are doing amazing things.”
- “I never cease to be impressed. If I want to be inspired, I go visit the troops. And they are doing just a superb job for the country. They're proud of what they're doing. They're professional. They are highly skilled at what they do.”
- “The U.S. is constantly changing its tactics to better fight terrorists, who are a smart enemy and adjust their tactics. However tough the fight might be, the coalition and Iraqi government are committed to defeating the terrorists and bringing peace to the country.”
- “It's serious, and it's important, and our task is to see that our country prevails and that we succeed in this effort. The consequences for our country were Iraq to be turned over to the terrorists and terrorist training camp, as Afghanistan was, with their water and their oil and their size and their geographic location — it would impose an enormous threat to our country and to our friends and allies around the world.”
THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON
By Karl Zinsmeister is the Editor-in-Chief of The American Enterprise.
WEB SITE [http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleID.18615/article_detail.asp ]. June 20, 2005
Forwarded by email@example.com via 1stAdmPAO
Your editor returned to Iraq in April and May of 2005 for another embedded period of reporting. I could immediately see improvements compared to my earlier extended tours during 2003 and 2004. The Iraqi security forces, for example, are vastly more competent, and in some cases quite inspiring. Baghdad is now choked with traffic. Cell phones have spread like wildfire. And satellite TV dishes sprout from even the most humble mud hovels in the countryside.
Many of the soldiers I spent time with during this spring had also been deployed during the initial invasion back in 2003. Almost universally they talked to me about how much change they could see in the country. They noted progress in the attitudes of the people, in the condition of important infrastructure, in security.
I observed many examples of this myself. Take the two very different Baghdad neighborhoods of Haifa Street and Sadr City. The first is an upper-end commercial district in the heart of downtown. The second is one of Baghdad's worst slums, on the city's north edge.
I spent lots of time walking both neighborhoods this spring-something that would not have been possible a year earlier, when both were active war zones, where tanks poured shells into buildings on a regular basis. Today, the primary work of our soldiers in each area is rebuilding sewers, paving roads, getting buildings repaired and secured, supplying schools and hospitals, getting trash picked up, managing traffic, and encouraging honest local governance.
What the establishment media covering Iraq have utterly failed to make clear today is this central reality: With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over. Egregious acts of terror will continue-in Iraq as in many other parts of the world. But there is now no chance whatever of the U.S. losing this critical guerilla war.
Contrary to the impression given by most newspaper headlines, the United States has won the day in Iraq. In 2004, our military fought fierce battles in Najaf, Fallujah, and Sadr City. Many thousands of terrorists were killed, with comparatively little collateral damage. As examples of the very hardest sorts of urban combat, these will go down in history as smashing U.S. victories.
And our successes at urban combat (which, scandalously, are mostly untold stories in the U.S.) made it crystal clear to both the terrorists and the millions of moderate Iraqis that the insurgents simply cannot win against today's U.S. Army and Marines. That's why everyday citizens have surged into politics instead.
The terrorist struggle has hardly ended. Even a very small number of vicious men operating in secret will find opportunities to blow up outdoor markets and public buildings, assassinate prominent political figures, and knock down office towers. But public opinion is not on the insurgents' side, and the battle of Iraq is no longer one of war fighting-but of policing and politics.
Policing and political problem-solving are mostly tasks for Iraqis, not Americans. And the Iraqis are taking them up, often with gusto. I saw much evidence that responsible Iraqis are gradually isolating the small but dangerously nihilistic minority trying to strangle their new society. With each passing month, U.S. forces will more and more become a kind of SWAT team that intervenes only to multiply the force of the emerging Iraqi security forces, and otherwise stays mostly in the background.
Increasingly, the Iraqi people are taking direction of their own lives. And like all other self-ruling populations, they are more interested in improving the quality of their lives than in mindless warring. It will take some time, but Iraq has begun the process of becoming a normal country.
TRUST THE MEDIA TO GET IT WRONG
RUMSFELD’S VISIT - AS IT REALLY WAS
By 1SG Timmy Rikard, FOB Marez, Mosul, Iraq
This is a shotgun blast response at media reports on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's visit to our Camp. I was fortunate enough to be there and even shake the man's hand.
When the media reports were released concerning the event, I could not believe what I saw and heard. There are over 12,000 troops on our base. Only 2,000 or so had the opportunity to attend the gathering and I can tell you, those seats were a hotly contested item - not as the media would have you believe “so we could voice our displeasure,” but rather - to have the opportunity to see and hear the man we admire.
The Secretary spoke for 10 minutes or so on the war in Iraq and what freedom meant to the people of Afghanistan. He was there for the recent elections and shared his wonderful insight. After his prepared remarks he opened the floor for questions and made it very clear that nothing was off limits.
Folks, this is extremely unusual for a dignitary to do. Also we, as leaders, were instructed to not screen our soldiers' questions. They were to be honest and from the heart. Mr. Rumsfeld fielded a number of questions, took down notes for the ones he did not have answers to and genuinely enjoyed talking to the soldiers. Afterward, he spent over an hour with the enthusiastic troops who literally mobbed him and would not let him leave. He smiled for all, shook hands and had pictures taken. It ended only when his security forced us away.
He was applauded, he was given a standing ovation and he was loved.
He stood there like a professional, like a man, and he took the heat because that's what leaders do. And yet somehow, the American media turned that wonderful event into a “disgruntled troops meet with Secretary Rumsfeld” headline. Incredible!
The morale is high, the equipment is good and improving daily. Disregard what you read and hear from the media and trust in the American fighting men and women to do the right thing. We have excellent leadership and are doing what we signed up to do.
Geraldo Rivera, on Fox News. Forwarded by 1stAdmPAO
“They have a saying in the news business,” Geraldo Rivera related this week. “Reporters don't report buildings that don't burn.” And with that introduction, he told a TV audience about the story that is being systematically denied to our entire nation: the success story of post-Saddam Iraq.
Are we losing some soldiers each week? Yes.
Is there some frustration in the public about electricity and water service? Yes.
Are some Saddam Hussein loyalists scurrying throughout the land, making trouble? Yes.
Has this opened a window for some terrorist mischief? Yes.
But that's all we hear. No wonder the country is in a mixed mood about Iraq. If you hear about the buildings that are not burning, though, it is a different story indeed.
Rivera is no shill for George W. Bush. But Bush, Condi Rice and Colin Powell together could not have been as effective as Geraldo was recently on the Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes program.
“When I got to Baghdad, I barely recognized it,” he began, comparing his just-completed trip to the two others he made during and just after the battle to topple Saddam. “You have over 30,000 Iraqi cops and militiamen already on the job. This is four months after major fighting stopped.
“Can you imagine that kind of gearing up in this country? Law and order is better; archaeological sites are being preserved; factories, schools are being guarded.”
But what about the secondhand griping that the media have been so efficiently relating about power, water and other infrastructure?
“To say that Iraq is being rebuilt is not true,” answered Rivera. “Iraq is being built.. There was no infrastructure before; we are doing it. I just think the good news is being underestimated and underreported.”
At this juncture, one must evaluate how to feel about the voices telling us only about the bad news in Iraq, whether from the mouths of news anchors or Democratic presidential hopefuls.
At best, they are under informed. At worst, their one-sided assessments of post-Saddam Iraq are intentional falsehoods for obvious reasons.
If I hear one more person mock that “Mission Accomplished” banner beneath which President Bush thanked a shipload of sailors and Marines a few months back, I'm going to spit. That was a reference to the ouster of Saddam's regime, and that mission was indeed accomplished, apparently to the great chagrin of the American left.
No one said what followed would be easy or cheap, and that's why the dripping-water torture of the cost and casualty stories is so infuriating. Remember we pay our soldiers whether they are in Iraq or in Ft Bragg, North Carolina.
We should all mourn the loss of every fallen soldier. But context cries out to be heard. Our present news media is not performing this task.
As some dare to wonder if this might become a Vietnam-like quagmire, I'll remind whoever needs it that most of our 58,000 Vietnam war toll died between 1966 and 1972, during which we lost an average of about 8,000 per year. That's about 22 per day, every day, for thousands of days on end.
Let us hear no more Vietnam comparisons. They do not equate.
What I hope to hear is more truth - even if we have to wrench it from the mouths of the media and political hacks predisposed to bash the remarkable job we are doing every day in what was not so long ago a totalitarian wasteland.
Local elections are under way across Iraq, Rivera reported. “Where Kurds and Arabs have been battling for decades, things have been settling down. Administrator Paul Bremer is doing a great job.”
So does Geraldo think his media colleagues are intentionally painting with one side of the brush?
“I'm not into conspiracy theories…there's just more bang for your buck when you report the GI who got killed rather than the 99 who didn't get killed, who make friends, who helped schedule elections, who helped shops get open for business, who helped traffic flow again.
“The vast majority of Iraqis are very happy to have us there… I would like to see a bit more balance.” This needs to be reported to the American Public who are presently being duped. I expect the dominant media culture to nitpick Bush, and Democrats to blast him with reckless abandon.
But when that leads to the willful exclusion of facts that would shine truthful light on the great work of the American armed forces, that level of malice plumbs new depths .. some call it -TREASON
WHERE ARE THE MEDIA HEROES?
By Thomas D. Segel, Tomsegel@joimail.com [mailto:Tomsegel@joimail.com]
On the wall of my office is a treasured photograph of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising. Famed Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Joe Rosenthal signed the picture and gave it to me as we sat together on a flight from Chicago to San Francisco. Joe is a distinguished member of the United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association. The San Francisco chapter of that organization is named in his honor.
In the bookcase across from my desk is a collection of writings by Joe Galloway. To my knowledge he is the only civilian reporter ever awarded the Bronze Star for valor. He earned it rescuing wounded soldiers in the la Drang Valley of Vietnam.
Galloway, more famed for his co-authorship of We Were Soldiers Once - And Young is still writing on military issues.
It is with great respect that I call these two combat correspondents my friends. However, the list of quality reporters and photographers covering war zones doesn¹t run very deep. For every Joe Rosenthal or Galloway on the scene, there are a hundred who do their war reports from the daily situation room of the military command or the bar of their well-protected hotel.
The comprehensive reporting of the initial war correspondents in Iraq pleasantly surprised most Americans. Embedded with the military units they were detailed and very fair in everything they reported during the major combat of the war. If only they had remained in place to report on the events of winning the peace.
Instead, these media heroes were replaced by a band of reporters who seldom venture far from the secure Green Zone of Baghdad and have failed miserably at putting a human face on the people of Iraq or reporting the humanity displayed by the men and women of our armed forces.
These failed journalists and photographers provide us with the daily body count, roadside bombs and burning vehicles. They report on prison degradation and insurgent attacks. They have their pulse on bombed pipelines, electric outages, damaged mosques and failed diplomacy - all long after the events have become items in the military press briefings.
American losses are the main thrust of most stories coming out of Iraq. But, even these reports fail to give a clear picture to the readers. Have they ever told readers in this country that the human losses we have suffered are the lowest of all our military conflicts? I think not.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944 alone, more than three times the number of servicemen lost in a year of Iraq combat, perished in the attack.
As of now we have lost less than 700 service personnel to hostile fire in Iraq. When it is understood that almost 350,000 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen were involved in the war to date, this is a casualty rate of 1.5%. If we use the same method of computing casualty rates based on the size of military troops deployed, we had a rate of 6.2% in Vietnam, 6.6% in World War II and 6.8% in World War I.
And where are the stories about soldiers adopting children in a kindergarten class? Where is the news about a National Guard company training more than 3,500 Baghdad police? Where are the stories of schools renovated and hospitals being reopened? They can¹t be written from behind the protective walls of the Baghdad Hilton.
During this political year, the American public cannot expect media heroes to step forward. Even if their stories were written or produced, chances of fair presentation are remote. The liberal faction in the United States desperately wants an election victory. Toward that objective they view everything as fair game. It matters not if they savage the Commander in Chief while he is engaged in the serious business of warfare, or they refuse to print the accomplishments of our men and women in uniform. Doing what is right for the country is not part of their political agenda; doing what is politically explosive is!
The media today ranks itself as being 34% liberal and 59% moderate (which for most is a back door way of not admitting liberal bias). Only 7% of those in the media admit to being conservative.
This is in sharp contrast to the national population which rate itself as 20% being liberal and 33% being conservative.
So, where have all the media heroes gone? There were never more than a few Joe Rosenthals and Joe Galloways. We can hope those who walk in their shadows will step forward again. If they do, what they report to the people will burn brightly.
WHY DO LIBERAL MEDIA ELITES DESPISE SOLDIERS?
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
Posted Jun 6, 2006, HUMAN EVENTS ON LINE http//www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15515.
Forwarded by Russ Vaughn
Rabbi Spero is a radio talk show host, a pulpit rabbi, and president of Caucus for America. You may contact him at his website [http://www.caucusforamerica.com/blog.php ].
Every six months or so, the liberal media search for any story that casts our soldiers in a bad light. Abu Ghraib was portrayed as indicative of almost the entire U.S. Army when, in fact, it consisted of less than 1/1000 %. Besides which, in the scheme of possible war atrocities, it doesn't even rank. It was more uncouth behavior than atrocity.
As soon as a scenario is found where our soldiers defended themselves from enemy fire, road bombs or check-point crashing cars, the media indict our boys, without first considering the circumstances which necessitated the shooting response. Guilty! Guilty until proven innocent.
It is quite obvious the media have a preconceived attitude toward our men and women in uniform and look for events to affirm their view. It is equally obvious that the media do not wait to issue its guilty judgement, even before the facts come in. For in the media's mind, the guilty outcome is a foregone conclusion given the liberal media's notion of who our soldiers really are. They want to believe the worst.
In the mind of most of today's smug liberals, our soldiers are rednecks — and rednecks, when let loose and not under control of “civilized” liberals, do what comes natural to rednecks — they act rednecky. Liberals feel that way since, in their parochial view, who would enlist and volunteer unless one is poor, has no chance for upward mobility, and has a tendency and lust for violence?
They believe this since most have no friends or family in the military. These elitists perceive the soldier and the military as below their class. Perhaps they heard of a grandfather who served back in the days when there was a draft, but not today.
Why do they so despise our military? Why do they never come to its defense? Why do they never understand the frightful plight of the soldier who, when fired upon by the enemy, has no recourse but to fire back if he wishes to stay alive? Why does the liberal not understand what he has seen countless times, namely, that the Jihadist enemy positions women and children in his front while shooting at our soldiers?
It is because the liberal moralizer deep down knows that he does not have the physical courage and might of the soldier. Compared to the soldier, he is a coward and weakling. His strength lies only in bringing law suits and sounding morally superior to the rest of us.
The liberal moralizer needs to tear down the U.S. soldier as a way of guaranteeing that the soldier is never elevated to a more honored level in American life than is he, the liberal moralizer. Tear down the soldier and you destroy the honor we feel toward that soldier. Find anything to show you are better than the soldier so that you and your smug liberal friends can celebrate your superiority. Liberal media guys cannot abide that America has heroes who are not them.
For the media, the heroes are Woodward and Bernstein or Washington Post and New York Times reporters who splash across the world U.S. national security secrets. They admire not those who defend but who tear down. Many entered the business for precisely that reason: to indict our institutions and ways.
By and large, certain very liberal cosmopolitan men are jealous of what the soldier can do, and have a desire, a need, to destroy the object of their envy.
By pressuring our government not to allow our soldiers engaged in urban battles to respond quickly, liberals — especially the media — are heightening the possibility that our young men will be killed. Their school yard “legalities” are handcuffing our soldiers and are, I'm convinced, precipitating American deaths and casualties. Our soldiers are now hesitating to defend themselves out of fear of being brought up on charges at the hands of the ACLU.
Our home-grown leftists must know how their 24/7 finger pointing and accusations are endangering the lives of our boys. Perhaps that is why they do it, not to mention a desire to humiliate our military and cause the defeat of the U.S. They have become accessories to and instruments for death.
If we in the West decide that our soldiers can never fire back at the enemy when women and children are present, then we have handed the enemy a sure-fire method for our defeat. We might as well roll up the streets of the West, now, since the enemy can move forward with immunity house-by-house, building-by-building, in every urban setting in which they choose to fight, including London and New York.
Thank God our safety is in the hands of these guys from the Midwest and South and not those snivelly effeminates from Brown, Brandeis, Columbia and NYU. If it were so, we'd by now all be prayer rugs.
Copyright © 2006 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.￼
YOUNG AMERICANS DOING US PROUD
Forwarded by several readers
Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with four young marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.
He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his videophone to call home. The 19-year-old marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his call to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request shook his head and the young marine ran off to get the sergeant.
Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first? The marine closest to him responded without a moments hesitation, “Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call the parents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida, who was killed on March 23 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing.”
At that, Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was “Where do they get young men like this?”