Indigo Insights

Saturday, January 15, 2005
Another authentic report from Iraq, via Jennifer Martinez.

Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: the Media in Iraq
A Battalion Commander reports from Iraq:
By LTC Tim Ryan, CO, 2/12 Cav, 1st Cav Div

All right, I've had about enough. I just read yet another distorted and grossly exaggerated story from a major news organization about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. "The most trusted name in news" and a long list of others continue to misrepresent the scale of events in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a small fraction of the events in Iraq and more often than not, the events they cover are only the bad ones. Many of the journalists making public assessments about the progress of the war in Iraq are unqualified to do so, given their training and experience. The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq. The result is a further erosion of international public support for the United States' efforts there, and a strengthening of the insurgents' resolve and recruiting efforts while weakening our own. Through their incomplete, uninformed and unbalanced reporting, many members of the media covering the war in Iraq are aiding and abetting the enemy.

The fact is the Coalition is making steady progress in Iraq, but not without ups and downs. War is a terrible thing and terrible things happen during wars, even when you are winning. In war, as in any contest of wills with capable opponents, things do not always go as planned; the guys with the white hats don't always come out on top in each engagement. That doesn't mean you are losing. Sure, there are some high profile and very spectacular enemy attacks taking place in Iraq these days, but the great majority of what is happening in Iraq is positive. So why is it that no matter what events unfold, good or bad, the media highlight mostly the negative aspects of the event? The journalistic adage, "If it bleeds, it leads," still applies in Iraq, but why only when it's American blood?

As a recent example, the operation in Fallujah delivered an absolutely devastating blow to the insurgency. Though much smaller in scope, clearing Fallujah of insurgents arguably could equate to the Allies' breakout from the hedgerows in France during World War II. In both cases, our troops overcame a well-prepared and solidly entrenched enemy and began what could be the latter's last stand. In Fallujah, the enemy death toll has already exceeded 1,500 and still is climbing. Put one in the win column for the good guys, right? Wrong. As soon as there was nothing negative to report about Fallujah, the media shifted its focus to other parts of the country. Just yesterday, a major news agency's website lead read: "Suicide Bomber Kills Six in Baghdad" and "Seven Marines Die in Iraq Clashes." True, yes. Comprehensive, no. Did the author of this article bother to mention that Coalition troops killed 50 or so terrorists while incurring those seven losses? Of course not. Nor was there any mention about the substantial progress these offensive operations continue to achieve in defeating the insurgents. Unfortunately, this sort of incomplete reporting has become the norm for the media, whose poor job of presenting a complete picture of what is going on in Iraq borders on being criminal.

Battalion Commander LTC Tim Ryan has a lot to say to set the record straight. The excerpted paragraphs above are only the beginning of his letter. Please read it here in its entirety: Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: the Media in Iraq.

with Lynx

>^..^< In talking with a friend about Baldilocks' post regarding the Indonesian government’s request that Americans leave them alone, I wondered what would happen to the millions, if not billions, of aid funds already collected. My friend had an epiphany of an idea and suggested the funds be deposited into Social Security as a charitable donation to help extend the years that seniors could benefit. Of course, that could never happen. Could it? heh

>^..^< Acidman calls it like he sees it -- as usual.