06 May 2006

Media Mismanagement

(This started out as a response to a comment by Blogging One's Own Trinkets, but it grew into what I felt was worthy of a post)

Given the nature of the Green Zone and the city surrounding it, most journalists rarely travel outside the wire and as a result they're only exposed to this small patch of "Little America" and they never get to figure out why things are the way they are inside the wire. This journalist in particular talks about State Department people who serve 3 month tours and compares it to people like me in the military who server 1 year tours. My question to this guy is, how long do you plan to stay and where do you plan to go?

The people who make the best "war correspondents" are those who have served in the military because they have a better understanding for what it is that a Soldier faces on a daily basis. I understand how someone could percieve the things that this guy wrote about. I wasn't born here, I showed up one day and stood mouth-agape as troops played volley ball in the pool and sang bad karaoke wondering if I was really in a war-zone. What he doesn't realize, and in all fairness he couldn't unless he knew how the military worked, is that the troops that you see playing in the pool today are back on guard duty the next day and that you just happened to catch them on their half-day off for that month.

Generally, we in the military don't let biased or false reporting get to us. We're able to see the truth and know that what we're doing is for the greater good. It's unfortunate that the media focus is on the negative things, but people want to hear about body counts and drama, not building schools, hospitals, and police stations.

What get's to me is watching people stand at a podium and screech about "quagmire" and how we're losing the war. They couldn't be any more wrong and it's very disappointing to me to hear that people are believing them. Let's try and turn the tables on these knuckleheads; we're winning the war and it's up to the nay-sayers to prove me wrong. Iraq has a democratically elected government. Zarqawi, arguably the 'Ho Chi Minh' of this fight, commented that this was "a poisoned dagger in the heart of the Muslim nation." He's saying this because he knows that it signals another step towards his defeat. If he's losing then, wait a second, that must mean that we're winning. I'm sorry to be offering factual support to my wild claim, but I was beginning to feel a little dirty for a second there.

I challenge anyone to offer a logical, factual explanation for why we're losing this war.


Blogger Rob said...

I agree with everything except the idea that Zarqawi = HCM. I think they couldn't be any more different. HCM was a popular nationalist leader. He had the support (to a certain extent) of the locals who had been fighting outsiders on their turf for centuries. He gave them a sense of national pride. They fought the Japanese and then the French and then us. Zarqawi on the other hand is an outsider. He doesn't appeal to the Iraqi people's sense of national or ethnic identity. He uses religion and hate to fuel his fight. I guess it remains to be seen if he can successfully fight an insurgency given the major differences. I tend to doubt it. I think in the long run the Iraqis will deal with him. I also think it's vital that they have a strong government. That's another reason we failed in Vietnam. Their "president" was worthless. Anyway, ramble ramble.

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

wow, you dug a bit deeper into the analogy than I was intending for it to go. I was saying that Zarqawi = HCM because they are/were the figureheads for the opposing force. I picked the figurehead of the Vietnam War because of the people who go on about 'quagmire'.

Blogger Robert F. Griffing said...

Regarding the News Media (sort of) I have decided that one could carry on with any of these guys, interview-like, a conversation using only about 20 words or phrases. Hmm, let's see...: Bush lied, all about oil, no blood for oil, didn't catch OBL, Cheney, quagmire, Rumsfeld, Halaburton, Halaburton, Halaburton. Well you get the picture.

Blogger Justin said...

go Ben go. rock that logic. and other things too.

i don't really have anything else to add, good explanation.


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