Monday, July 11, 2005

Media Bias and The War on Terror

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the MSM coverage of our efforts in the War on Terror. It's something which anyone reading this blog is all too aware. One of the purposes of sites such as Love America First is pointing out the positives that are all too often ignored.

I have been thinking over how to put all my thoughts down for a few days now, and Lo and behold, Old Rummy does a great job pointing out the negativity in the MSM himself, on June 27, 2005.
"Everyone I talk to who goes to Iraq and comes back, say they are just amazed at the difference between their impressions from what they've heard in the media and see on television, and what they actually saw first hand in Iraq,"
Rumsfeld said. However,
"they do carry every act of violence that occurs in Iraq it seems, over and over and over."
He said that school openings, the new Iraqi stock market, and new hospitals just don't make it to the press.
"Those things seem not to get emphasized to the same extent that the violence does," he continued. "So the impression that the people have here is of violence, and the impression people have in Iraq is of a more balanced situation."
How long have we all been saying exactly the same things? One aspect, however, that I have been working with is the fact that this is not like any war we have ever fought before. The President pointed this out from the get go. On September 20, 2001 he said:
This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.
That is exactly the part that I had been thinking about. I was watching some shows on the History Channel about WWII, and it occurred to me that I was watching footage of Japanese Ships being sunk, German U boats being destroyed, supply trains being shot up, the kinds of things that an organized, state sanctioned army has were being destroyed.

That's when it hit me that we not only have a Mainstream Media that is bent on ignoring our successes, but we also have a very non-traditional kind of fight ongoing. When a helicopter or plane is shot down it is ours. The enemy does not have helicopters and fighter planes. When an RPG destroys a tank, it is ours. The enemy does not have them. There is no naval battle to speak of, the enemy has no ships. So in terms of getting victories in the press, we have to fight that even harder. Every little thing that happens needs to be pushed to the public, because we will not be able to say we destroyed a key aircraft carrier, or took down 24 fighter jets. There will be no spectacular footage of enemy tanks being destroyed. The enemy is covert, as are many operations to destroy the enemy.

That being said, I will leave off with a few tidbits of good news:
Part-Time Forces on Active Duty Decline Steeply: WASHINGTON, July 10 - The number of Reserve and National Guard troops on domestic and overseas missions has fallen to about 138,000, down from a peak of nearly 220,000 after the invasion of Iraq two years ago, a sharp decline that military officials say will continue in the months ahead.
Of course the New York Times tries to frame this as being a bad thing, and tries to make it sound like we will run out of troops, but we wouldn't cut the number of troops unless we didn't need as many anymore.

U.S. Steps Up Offensive Against Insurgents: Monday July 11, 2005 BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP)- U.S. soldiers killed 14 insurgents in two days of fighting in a strategic northern city, the American military said Monday, and gunmen killed 10 Iraqi soldiers in the central Sunni heartland.
This is in The Guardian of all places.
Soldiers of the U.S. 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment killed four insurgents in a gunbattle Sunday, and 10 more were killed Monday as fighting raged in Tal Afar, 260 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. command reported. American troops suffered no casualties, the statement said.
We are winning. Let's keep the message out there.