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dispiriting news

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006

Bill Roggio is posting from Iraq:

In nearly every conversation, the soldiers, Marines and contractors expressed they were upset with the coverage of the war in Iraq in general, and the public perception of the daily situation on the ground. [They] felt the media was there to sensationalize the news, and several stated some reporters were only interested in "blood and guts." They freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war. They felt the media had abandoned them.

You can read the whole thing.

74 Responses to “dispiriting news”

  1. Unfortunately, the media has a different agenda to follow than our armed forces. They seem to actually wish our soldiers harm by underminding their efforts on every occasion. This is sad because there is so much the media could do to help if they put their mind to it.

  2. Attacking the "media" is a diversion from the actual issues.

  3. I dont think so. It is part and parcel of the problem. It is the media that al qaeda uses to spread its propaganda after all. And the troops have a point as they are the ones on the ground. There is little done to project an image of the work they have done that has brought so much. I posted on this a week or so ago. Where are these images in the media? It is very fair to bring them into it as the media do fuel the islamist machine.

  4. Alsion: The "media" is an awful big brush, and while there are clear examples of bias in some, there are also examples of bias in the other direction. The media is a convenient punching bag for the left and the right, but not necessarily an accurate one.

    The media is our way (the public) of gaining insight inot what is happening in Iraq and other places. It is in those places that control it where freedom is in its greatest danger (see ex. North Korea).

    I assure you that you would not wish to have our lives dictated by random opinions of the troops. For example they would probably vote to have Pamela Anderson in the White House instead of Bush (of course based on the theory that two boobs are better than one).

  5. No but the media use stringers. It is far too dangerous to get american journos in properly so we rely on ground opinion and as was proven recently with the ‘dowsed on fire sunnis’ story, very unreliable. They took a tragic story and made it even more hideous. For what purpose? It would be fair to say that we havent seen any of the humanitarian work in Iraq – i mean if i can get hold of these pictures why cant they? If Iraq the Model can comment on this work why cant the press? I think that would be fair comment.

  6. They werent talking bout Pammy either ! "freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war. They felt the media had abandoned them". Fair acknowldgement and an interesting point. I se the reporting from Afghanistan acknowledges the diificulties our troops face but has been far more reflective on the need for a good outcome. I wonder when that will change. Presumably when the next mass rally is held in Hyde Park with people singing and dancing about STOP THE WAR, effectively jumping up and down and singing for tyranny.

  7. If by the media you generally mean news reporting then it has always been the case that bad events trumpet good deeds as a news story. ‘Bomb explodes people killed’ is a news story. ‘No bomb explosion , everybody goes about their normal business isn’t. It has always been thus and always will.

  8. Alison,

    I totally agree with your comments re the media, they do seem to have an agenda, and I think that Mahons is being a tad naive, or maybe even ingenuous in suggesting otherwise. There have been just too many instances of, not just bad news being reported, but downright lies being reported as news.

    It seems that the spite which a lot of the media feel for GB has overriden their loyalties to the overall national endeavours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In that respect, this conflict bears a strong resemblance to VietNam, where, while beating the enemy, we lost to the media, and the anti-war brigade.

    I guess that Cindy Sheehan and co. make better news than any military success might do. The former reflecting badly on the GOP and GB, while the latter may have enhanced them. Not that there was much chance of us finding out if that if that would have been the case, as the knocking began from day one…party politics is a very dirty business!

    Sure it is easy to criticise the way a war is conducted, whichever side you are on, but to use that criticism to undermine your own soldiers is utterly indefensible. After all, they are our soldiers fighting on behalf of all of us, they are not the Republican’s, GB’s or Blair’s private army, and for that reason alone, and whether you like or dislike the reasons for fighting, they deserve something better than is currently being dished out.

    Win the war, and then castigate the politicians, but don’t undermine the military to get at them while the battle is still in progress.

  9. Ernest
    When you think what happened in WW2 can you imagine how that would be reported today. On the plus side you would have had much more awareness of the atrocities committed by the the Nazis – probaly no badthing. On the flip side you would have had judgements made, constant lobbies on every aspect of every failure. Morale both abroad and at home would have been rock bottom and we may well have lost the war.

    It is always JUST as essential to hold the media to account or indeed new media – where we have made mistakes put them right (a lot easier to hold someone to account here and argue with them). I do not understand why we would hold our givernment to account and assume the media to be reporting accurately or not question their assumed moral authority. Especially when they are making a killing. If you’ll excuse the hideous pun.

  10. Alison

    We do have a way of holding our media to account (ok albeit the licence fee issue).

    We can refuse to buy newspapers whose reporting we dislike, and refuse to watch news programmes/channels whose broadcasting we dissaprove of. Ratings and circulation are what matter to them.

  11. Well yes to a degree. But at the same time limited broadcasting and press means you dont always have a choice as to where you get your news and in turn they are all reliant on news sources AP and Reuters etc

    Certainly the BBC situation is a scandal.

  12. Alison,

    Of course, it is all about morale, – then and now. My point is that accountability should, both the plus’ and the minus’, not be done during the conflict, but later.

    A disunited enemy is a beaten enemy. In the case of western countries, it seems that they have lost the will to defend that which has been so hardily won in the past, e.g. freedom.

  13. >>>I dont think so. It is part and parcel of the problem.<<<

    alison.

    not it isnt. its the "inconvenience" of having free press that you seem unable to grasp. it wasnt the torture at abu ghraib that was the problem. it was that some bastard had the gall to investigate it and report about it. same goes for mai lai etc etc.

    you would just rather not know, obviously.

  14. And it must be even more of an inconvenience to you then when blogs expose the msms false reporting and statist TVs political bias. Conflate some issues and project what you think. Obviously Daytripper. Yes obviously. LOL

  15. Mahons,

    "The media is our way (the public) of gaining insight inot what is happening in Iraq and other places."

    If the reporting is factual and not opinion based.

    Unfortunately it seems that most of the popular sources seem to have some sort of politicl agenda,…

  16. I would say that most people both those who work in it and control it and those who read/watch it use the media to feed our own prejudices whatever they are.

  17. >>>And it must be even more of an inconvenience to you then when blogs expose the msms false reporting and statist TVs political bias.<<<

    not really. the door swings both ways on that.

  18. Reporting is rarely totally accurate and where it is, it is even more rarely comprehensive.

  19. >>>Reporting is rarely totally accurate and where it is, it is even more rarely comprehensive.<<<

    maybe god could lend a hand.

  20. Eh?

  21. Aileen,

    It’s OK – his medication has just kicked in!

  22. if only. ive done in my ligaments in the lower back.

  23. Daytripper

    Sorry about your back but my "Eh?" still holds.

  24. twas me being flippant. dont read too much into it 🙂

    cheers. it bloody hurts. im hobbling round work like a 90 yo.

  25. <Q>Eh?</Q>

    You missed out the oh Aileen!

    Hope the back eases soon Daytripper.
    Have you tried a wintergreen rub like deep heat ?

  26. Daytripper

    never mind "much", I couldn’t read anything into it! :o(

    If you were able to move like the 90 yr old I was talking to at a funeral on Monday, you would have little to worry about.

    I wonder what my generation will be like when we hit 90, if we live that long.

    I’ve gone way way way OT!

  27. makes no difference mad. i have a list of exercises to do. and have to sort out my posture etc *sits up straight*

    tho with all the grumbling im still glad i havent slipped a disc.

  28. Enough of this civility folks, its making me feel uncomfortable…get back to the arguments, I mean, informative discussions 🙂

  29. Kloot

    Just @#*& you $%^&@#**!

  30. Now thats more like it Aileen 🙂

  31. Well hope it shifts soon mate – back pain is miserable.

  32. No probs Kloot, but Mad has spoiled the bear pit tone.

    Daytripper. Shouldn’t you get someone to walk up your spine?

    Monica may be about later ;o)

  33. Ernest. Off most of yesterday, sorry for the delayed response. I have no problem with criticism of the media. But when it descends to juvenile claims like the media was responsible for the Vietnam debacle, I have to cringe. The media didn’t fail to provide our troops in Iraq with proper equipment, proper numbers of personnel or a proper strategy.

  34. mahons, when will history be made – the first sane thread posting on ATW? Give these Organies hell. Remember you have DeValera peering over one shoulder and Joyce peering over the other!

  35. "Remember you have DeValera peering over one shoulder and Joyce peering over the other!"

    Mahons, quick! If you duck sharpish and draw your elbow back you should be able to break Dev’s nose!

  36. Whats an Organie?

    Mahons: There is an article on this ill link in so you can see just how crap the msm is then! 😉

    Cunningham when will you say something smart then eh? 😉 Shall i lead you to the gallows? You overly liberal fellas…

  37. Cunningham: Sanity is clearly not in danger of overexposure on this site. As for Dev and Joyce watching over me, you could have choosen two guardians who had better vision (in a literal sense). Besides, now that you’ve listed two Irish icons Mad will likely chime in with their alleged failings and how the media has given nationalists a free hand since the Battle of Killballyknockaditty in 1610.

  38. "The Vietnam war was not lost on the battlefield, but in the American media’s treatment of news from the front line"

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/10/20/do2002.xml

  39. Frank: I would never assault a fellow Yank like Dev.

    Alison: Umm, are you suggesting that in spite of my erudite teachings on this site and brillant insights that I have been absent from the planet and have had no exposure to the MSM? Please. I am fully aware of the bias in many segments of the media. It hasn’t caused the failings.

  40. Alison: I called my Uncle Tom this morning who served with the Green Berets in Vietnam. He could not recall be shot at by any member of the press.

    Tet was a military defeat for North Vietnam but a public relations disaster for the U.S.(Vietcong in the American embassy didn’t sit well). But some armies don’t have to fight for success on the battlefield, rather just continuing to exist serves their purpose.

  41. It was a bit tongue in cheek really – stay cool m. I know you know. Its an interesting take nonetheless. And we will have to disagree on what has gone on in the media regards Iraq then possibly. FWIW: My feeling remains they will happily go overboard on our soldiers errors (rightly when they are correct) but fail to highlight any other humanitarian missions they have successfully fulfilled thereby giving more and more sway to the stoppers. That will inevitably extend to afghanistan. That and the appauling coverage of the war in the mid east this summer lends itself well to the argument that ‘we’ undermine ourselves happily and oil the islamists wheel. They feed off our own propaganda. All I would like is balance. And that extends beyond the war. In the UK we had one publication falsify a story alleging soldiers abuse. The editor may have been sacked but when stories continue as they did in the summer re Lebanon we have to hold them to the same levels of scrutiny that we hold our government. I think the media issues differ between the US and UK though.

  42. Sorry i should have added in here to be clearer:

    It hasn’t caused the failings.

    It certainly hasnt highlighted the successes either.

  43. Sanity is clearly not in danger of overexposure on this site

    I agree. We should ban Frank 😉

  44. Alison: Don’t worry I am staying cool despite my rhetoric (hard not to -winter finally hit New York despite all the global warming).

    I agree that there probably are different media issues in UK/US. Good point.

  45. My sis lives in LA and relies on the BBC (argh!) to give her a better outsight on world affairs (made up word ‘outsight’ good tho’ eh). She says she lives in a cocoon on global affairs and that the tv media is pretty dire there.

    I mostly hate our print journalism here. I work ‘in it’ too so i get to see just how dire it really is! I think blogs have had a positive affect. On line the msm now gives you a chance to offer an opinion on articles which is largely down to the success of e-democracy! That doesnt extend to people who just buy print media though. I think we should challenge the MSM to the death, LOL /as she loses her job

  46. Alison: Repent!

  47. >>better vision (in a literal sense)<<

    LOL. Nicely spotted.

    So you can now write entire uninhibited..

    In any case, be like you Marines in Fallujah and take no prisoners!

  48. If only I had their mettle.

  49. "Sanity is clearly not in danger of overexposure on this site

    I agree. We should ban Frank ;)"

    Won’t work. I have been banned before but still the nutbars kept posting. :p

  50. Well, we seem to have got stuck in today.

    "The US military says it has killed 20 suspected al-Qaeda militants in a ground and air assault in central Iraq."

    See
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6220518.stm

  51. and the bbc seem so thrilled

  52. But it doesn’t say if they were prisoners!

  53. Peter,

    For us Yanks, could you please translate "we seem to have got stuck in" ?

  54. I get a kick out of the phrase al-Qaeda militants. Are there al-Qaeda pacifists?

  55. Alan

    Get stuck in = roll sleeves up and make an effort.

  56. mahons,

    "I get a kick out of the phrase al-Qaeda militants. Are there al-Qaeda pacifists?"

    There are militants that are not al-Qaeda.

  57. Frank: Golly, Frank I was unaware of that. Thank God Alison’s wish to have you banned was not granted.

  58. mahons,

    "Golly, Frank I was unaware of that."

    That’s good. I’m sure you would have felt silly posting as you did had you been aware of it.

  59. >>I get a kick out of the phrase al-Qaeda militants<<

    Maybe it was to distinguish them from al-Qaeda children, which some of the victims were.

  60. No. I would have thought that a simple joke about the redundancy of the phrase "al-Qaeda militants" would not have gone over your head, just like the sarcasm of "Golly, Frank I was unaware of that" seems to have.

  61. So putting it all together, the news is:

    We have been rolling up our sleeves and making an effort to kill non-pacifist children.

  62. whilst theyve been rolling up their sleeves gathering human shields

  63. "No. I would have thought that a simple joke about the redundancy of the phrase "al-Qaeda militants" would not have gone over your head, just like the sarcasm of "Golly, Frank I was unaware of that" seems to have."

    <—– The Point

    Mahons ——->

  64. Frank: Nice arrows but I still say your true milieu is crayon.

  65. Yes, Jonz, if you subscribe to the Troll’s philosophy there are no innocent bystanders in a war zone (or at the US Department of state, for that matter).

  66. Hey, Mahons, are the Jets playing the Bills this Sunday?

  67. Alan: Talk about dispiriting news. I believe that is the case. Before you make any upstate cracks about the Bills being the only New York team allow to say one word "Norwood." Peace, I am off.

  68. Mahons, I see your understanding of the word ‘milieu’ is about as good as your understanding of ‘redundant’.

  69. Frank – enjoy the weekend.

  70. You too 🙂

  71. Alan McDonald posted:

    "So putting it all together, the news is: We have been rolling up our sleeves and making an effort to kill non-pacifist children."

    Sorry Alan, I don’t get this. The news item I linked states that those killed were suspected Al-Quaida. How does that equate to "non-pacifist children"?
    Friday, December 8, 2006 at 11:10PM | Registered CommenterPeter

  72. Peter, a police spokesman for the district, and other local officials, say that of the 20 dead, six were women and five were children.

  73. peter – no i dont get it either even with cunningham’s explanation. not sure of the point

  74. Good afternoon, Alison and Peter. Let me see if I can explain my comment to you.

    1. Peter referenced the BBC story using a colloquialism (we seem to have got stuck in) I didn’t understand.

    2. Mahons commented on the "al-Qaeda militants/pacifists" implications of the BBC headline.

    3. Peter explained the meaning of the colloquialism.

    4. Cunningham coined the term "al-Qaeda children" to point out that exactly who was killed was in dispute. [In the BBC story Peter linked to it says "Police spokesman Nasser Abdul Majeed told Reuters news agency that six women and five children were among the dead."]

    5. I decided to put all these conflicting comments into one sentence, furthering the confusion by translating Cunnigham’s "al-Qaeda children" into "non-pacifist children" in an attempt to include the concept that any civilian killed in a war zone deserved it.

    Understand?