January 23, 2005

More "they're on the other side"

I started to scribble a comment to this post last night, and then realized there were already a gazillion comments, so I'll just post here. The piece is a reply by a journalist, Derek Rose, to the letter of Lt. Col. Ryan about the poor coverage of the Iraq Campaign by journalists. (Via Chrenkoff) He makes many interesting points, though I am not persuaded by them. My comment:

You say you care about American deaths, not sewer plants. But the sewer plants are part of the mission of our soldiers. And sewers might seem un-newsworthy in America, but in places like Sadr City the streets often flow with raw sewage! Fixing the sewers there will have a tremendous effect on the people, which is why terrorists try to stop such projects, and we are fighting to push them through. The sewers of Sadr City are battle fronts just as much as police stations in Mosul. You remind me of those politicians who proclaim that they "support the troops," and then disparage every thing connected with them.

If American deaths were reported in the
context of the mission, then the deaths have meaning. If the enthusiasm of many Iraqis for the election, or for just having new jobs and opportunities and freedoms was prominently reported, that would give meaning to our sacrifices. That's why those things get little news play, not because they are uninteresting. Most Americans don't even know that there have been many local elections in Iraq already, and moderates have won them all! Go on, tell us how that's not news-worthy, but car bombs are.

You say it's not your fault that car bombs are going off every day. In fact, it is your fault. Those attacks, especially those against Americans, are intended for
press consumption. Think a minute: Do you really believe the "insurgents" are trying to defeat the US Army? They don't even pretend that. [Which in my mind makes them something closer to terrorists than "insurgents."] They are intended to discourage the American people, and guess who's been enlisted to help...

You people of the press are in mindless symbiosis with the terrorists. In your post you display oh-so-much skepticism for the information you get from American soldiers. But
none for the information you are given daily by terrorists. You are blind to the way Americans and Iraqis are being killed for no other reason than to control YOUR headlines and broadcasts. The bombings and beheadings are just like press releases, but these press releases you accept with no skepticism at all.
Posted by John Weidner at January 23, 2005 8:47 AM
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