Archive for January, 2008

Two versions of the Truth

I disagree with Vin Suprynowicz’s views about the war in Iraq – I believe we should be there. However, his assessment of the media’s coverage of the war is dead on accurate.

Isn’t it interesting the way Iraq news gets reported in our media.

A Jan. 10 Associated Press story begins: “Nine American soldiers were killed in the first two days of a new offensive to root out al-Qaida-in-Iraq fighters holed up in districts north of he capital. …

“The losses came as many enemy militants fled U.S. and Iraqi forces massing in Diyala” — a lot of those guerrillas fleeing north into the province of Salahuddin — AP correspondent Christopher Chester continues.

Read down to the seventh paragraph — halfway through the story. There, we finally learn that our troops “killed 20 to 30 insurgents in the first two days of the operation,” including some in attacks in Salahuddin province.

Now, I’m one who thinks we shouldn’t be in Iraq, at all. In the end, we’ll tacitly endorse some strongman who’ll let us maintain a few military bases in the region — a deal we probably could have cut with Saddam Hussein. Then we’ll declare “victory” and come home.

But if the news report above had been written by the kind of reporters who covered our advance through German-occupied France in 1944, I’ll bet it would have started off:

“Badly disciplined enemy fighters dressed in dirty rags, abandoning the women and children they had vowed to protect, scampered like scared rabbits ahead of advancing American soldiers and their allies in Diyala Province this week. They thought they could find safety in Salahuddin province to the north, but Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling’s boys were ready for them there, too. Hertling estimates 20 to 30 enemies died, despite the fact they ran like shrieking monkeys ahead of a forest fire.

“Nine American soldiers died, six in a booby-trapped house in Diyala. The reason American soldiers die in booby-trapped houses, soldiers at the front explained, is because our rules of engagement place the protection of civilians — even those who have harbored the enemy — above the safety of our own boys. Otherwise, neighborhoods could be ‘cleared’ by artillery fire, rather than more dangerous house-to-house searches designed to spare civilian lives.”

The newspaper stories on June 7, 1944, didn’t lead off, “Thousands of Americans died on some beach in France yesterday,” implying Congress should investigate how those sad sacks in the U.S. Army had bungled things again, did they? No, I think they said something more like, “The issue is not yet decided, many brave boys gave their lives yesterday, but the liberation of Europe has begun. Our guys hit the beaches at dawn, overran all opposition by noon, and kept on going.”

Each way of reporting the news is “true.” But the second version gives you a little different feeling about how things are going, doesn’t it?

He continues from there and it’s worth your time to pop over and read what he says. Another hat-tip to freema for pointing me to this article!

Lest anyone still believe the Old Grey Witch is unbiased..

I am late to the party on this one, for sure. A hat-tip to freema at FreeRepublic for pointing me to this, and to PJ-Comix for posting it from NewBusters. The NY Slimes, in an editorial called Looking at America on Dec 31st, 2007, put their agenda out there for all to see, and man is it ugly!

Published: December 31, 2007

There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.

if (acm.rc) acm.rc.write(); It was not the first time in recent years we’ve felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement, not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.

The country and much of the world was rightly and profoundly frightened by the single-minded hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President Bush and his advisers panicked — how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.

Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.

In the years since 9/11, we have seen American soldiers abuse, sexually humiliate, torment and murder prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few have been punished, but their leaders have never been called to account. We have seen mercenaries gun down Iraqi civilians with no fear of prosecution. We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant.

We have read accounts of how the government’s top lawyers huddled in secret after the attacks in New York and Washington and plotted ways to circumvent the Geneva Conventions — and both American and international law — to hold anyone the president chose indefinitely without charges or judicial review.

Those same lawyers then twisted other laws beyond recognition to allow Mr. Bush to turn intelligence agents into torturers, to force doctors to abdicate their professional oaths and responsibilities to prepare prisoners for abuse, and then to monitor the torment to make sure it didn’t go just a bit too far and actually kill them.

The White House used the fear of terrorism and the sense of national unity to ram laws through Congress that gave law-enforcement agencies far more power than they truly needed to respond to the threat — and at the same time fulfilled the imperial fantasies of Vice President Dick Cheney and others determined to use the tragedy of 9/11 to arrogate as much power as they could.

Hundreds of men, swept up on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, were thrown into a prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, so that the White House could claim they were beyond the reach of American laws. Prisoners are held there with no hope of real justice, only the chance to face a kangaroo court where evidence and the names of their accusers are kept secret, and where they are not permitted to talk about the abuse they have suffered at the hands of American jailers.

In other foreign lands, the C.I.A. set up secret jails where “high-value detainees” were subjected to ever more barbaric acts, including simulated drowning. These crimes were videotaped, so that “experts” could watch them, and then the videotapes were destroyed, after consultation with the White House, in the hope that Americans would never know.

The C.I.A. contracted out its inhumanity to nations with no respect for life or law, sending prisoners — some of them innocents kidnapped on street corners and in airports — to be tortured into making false confessions, or until it was clear they had nothing to say and so were let go without any apology or hope of redress.

These are not the only shocking abuses of President Bush’s two terms in office, made in the name of fighting terrorism. There is much more — so much that the next president will have a full agenda simply discovering all the wrongs that have been done and then righting them.

We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.

So many lies in there, you just don’t know where to start. And very little actual facts — we’re just supposed to believe the editorial staff of the Times that all these things happened just as they say? Hogwash! The New York Slimes has lied about everything from remarks of John Kerry’s to photos of a dead guy in Tyre to publishing a photoshopped image of an airstrike in Pakistan to who knows what else? And I mean that seriously. How much more have they gotten away with and no one caught them on it? How do you trust someone who lies so brazenly and then implies that the problem is everyone else’s when you point out their “mistake”? They are so eager to publish anything that furthers their agenda that either they do not check the facts or they knowingly publish falsehoods. Either way, they have squandered the public trust in such a way that they are ringing their own death knell.

Closure for Abu Ghraib – and the “human rights activists” whine

From the USA TODAY

Human rights advocates complained that the case did not go higher up the chain of command and said the decision sent a troubling message.

“It could not be more clear that prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan resulted from policies and practices authorized by high-level officials, including military and civilian leaders,” said Hira Shamsi, an attorney with the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. “Although the abuse was systemic and widespread, the accountability for it has been anything but.”

Mila Rosenthal, deputy executive director for research and policy for Amnesty International USA, said: “I think we’re emboldening dictators and despots around the world. We’re saying that it’s OK to allow these kinds of abuses to flourish.”

No, we’re not Mike. We’re saying that this punishment fits that crime. This is what it says…

“In light of the nature of the offense that Jordan had been found guilty of committing and the substantial evidence in mitigation at trial and in post-trial matters submitted by defense counsel, Rowe determined that an administrative reprimand was a fair and appropriate disposition of the matter,” Joanna P. Hawkins, a military spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Fair and appropriate and I have to agree. Abu Ghraib was an embarrassment – it should NOT happen again. But we didn’t cut anyone’s head off. No one was raped. No one had their genitalia connected by wires to an electrical current. Get some perspective.

Mr. Gates is either delusional on this, or very smart

According to the New York Slimes article titled “For Pentagon and News Media, Relations Improve With a Shift in War Coverage,” SecDef Gates is denying the enemy status of the media.

And, perhaps most important, their boss, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, has stated a view never heard from his predecessor, Donald H. Rumsfeld. “The press is not the enemy,” Mr. Gates tells military audiences, including at the service academies, “and to treat it as such is self-defeating.”

Mr. Gates, the media is NO friend of the military. If you really believe that they are, it is to your own detriment. Reading further into the story goes on to prove it…

…however, the success of the lightning-quick invasion became not the full story, but merely the early chapter of a frustrating and deadly narrative of war in Iraq.

Frustrating for who? Certainly for those of us who knew you weren’t telling the whole story!

As insurgent violence rose in 2003, echoes of that earlier conflict in Southeast Asia could be heard.

Because you kept the drumbeat going and tried to get us to believe it was headed in that direction.

The downturn accelerated with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2004. The credibility of the armed forces fell even further in the eyes of reporters when it was disclosed that military contractors in Baghdad had paid Iraqi reporters for stories in the local news media.

And exactly who gives a rats patootie what the reporters think — and isn’t that mutually exclusive? Reporters and thinking??

In return, the military’s familiar complaints resumed: There is no coverage of the good news from Iraq, officers said. The focus is on violence and daily casualty counts, and not progress. Reporters cannot or will not get out and about in Iraq to tell the whole story. Editors and reporters are biased.

And those complaints are the Truth — and the Slimes can’t hide it, because the Truth has been told by many, many bloggers with boots on the ground. If it weren’t for them, I have no doubt that the Enemedia would have had a much easier time turning this WOT into another Vietnam.

“The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas,” General Sanchez said in comments that earned far less coverage than his equally harsh statement that the Bush administration had mismanaged the war.

“What is clear to me,” General Sanchez told a media group, Military Reporters and Editors, “is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.”

Well gee — wonder why that statement got less coverage? Is the Slimes actually condemning themselves for that? That the New York Slimes is covering the coverage on the Iraq war and ends up patting themselves on the back while using the words of others to excuse themselves for not being more accurate is just rich.

“In general, I thought the majority coverage was very accurate and fair,” said Colonel Bleichwehl, who has served twice in Iraq. “There were not always enough reporters there full-time to provide the complete story of what was going on in a city with seven million people, much less the rest of the country.”

Hey Helen – BITE ME!!

From Patterico’s Pontifications comes this bit that is so rich, it has to be read to be believed! I first saw it ar Free Republic — Helen Thomas *cough* says that bloggers don’t have the standards and ethics of the media dinosaurs.

“What I really worry about is that I think the bloggers and everyone, everyone with a laptop thinks they’re journalists,” Thomas said. “And, they certainly don’t have our standards. They don’t have our ethics, and so forth. There’s a deterioration.”

I am literally laughing out loud at this old windbag! She must be worried about going the way of Dan Rather! Wouldn’t that be nice!

Al Qaeda learned from Vietnam. Have we?

From an article titled Rumsfeld’s victory: a retrospective look at our de facto flytrap strategy in Iraq, Alec Rawls just rocks — it’s a must read….

The problem for al Qaeda was that they had no viable options. Allying with the Western media was it. Military victory on the ground was simply impossible:

… however far our capabilities reach, they will never be equal to one thousandth of the capabilities of the kingdom of Satan that is waging war on us. [Section 5]

On the other hand, the media strategy still offered a real chance for victory, given that the West’s anti-war media had succeeded in creating American defeat in the past:

Things may develop faster than we imagine. The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam-and how they ran and left their agents-is noteworthy. [Second section A.]

Al Qaeda’s only real choices were to either bypass Iraq, or to pursue a media strategy in alliance with the West’s anti-war, anti-Bush media. Here Zawahiri and Zarcawi were of one mind that that Iraq was the central battle for the heart of the Islamic world. Their religious convictions would not let them abandon Iraq:

I want to be the first to congratulate you for what God has blessed you with in terms of fighting battle in the heart of the Islamic world, which was formerly the field for major battles in Islam’s history, and what is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era, and what will happen, according to what appeared in the Hadiths of the Messenger of God about the epic battles between Islam and atheism. [First section A]

And so it was settled. Al Qaeda’s would attack Iraqis, creating media events that the Western media could use to try to lose the war at home. It was understood that this strategy would turn the Iraqis against al Qaeda, losing the war on the ground, but maybe not before the Democrats and their media allies managed to lose the war in America. It would be a race: could the Democrat/ al Qaeda alliance create defeat in America before the American military would win the war in Iraq?

He goes on to explain that Al Qaeda planned and executed the entire civil war in Iraq farce in order to manipulate our support of the war, and our anti-American media was more than happy to give them a hand.

WaPo buries story – bias by placement?

A fellow poster at FR, RDTF, posted a story today about the Haditha Marines titled No Murder Charges Filed In Haditha Case from the Washington Post. Remember when John Murtha railed against those Marines who killed in cold blood and all that other baloney? Where was that located in the paper? Front page? And as each member of the group known as the “Haditha Marines” has gone thru pre-trial proceedings, those stories have been front page news as well. So you’d think, when it’s decided that there will be no murder charges filed, it would be BIG news right? Maybe below the fold, but definitely on the front page. Nope. According to RDTF…

To: RedRover; jazusamo; freema; StarCMC

In the WaPo today page A05

2 posted on 01/04/2008 7:47:39 AM CST by RDTF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies | Report Abuse ]

An oldie, but a goodie…

Anti-American Media are Perverse Propagandists by Barry Farber from June 2004….

Mark Twain said a lot of things wittier and funnier. But he never said anything more valuable than this: A man who can read – but does not, has no advantage over a man who cannot read.

He’d probably also agree that a nation free to tell itself the truth -but does not, has no advantage over a dictatorship. Media coverage of Iraq these days makes me fear we have become that nation. Some comparisons, please.

God bless the blogosphere!

Time to take a second look, when you see how bad the bias is on stories about Fred.

National Review Online calls it being “Simonized” in dubious honor of Roger Simon at the Politico. The Politico trying to make him look bad is really no surprise. Neither should it be a surprise when the USA Today paints a less than rosy picture of an interview that Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence did with Fred. The Enemedia must be shaking in their no-animal-killed-to manufacture-these boots at the fact that they are losing the ability to pull these lies off. Bloggers are everywhere, and there’s always one who will know the lie when they see it. And then they blog about it, and big Enemedia outlets like USA Today and CBS News and their Dan Rathers end up with egg on their petulant faces. God bless the blogosphere!

Eric Volz is FREE! (Off-topic post)

This is an off-topic post for this blog, but Eric is the grandson of family friends of ours. Eric was being held in prison and convicted of murder in Nicaragua despite his solid alibi. He is now FREE!!!

DECEMBER 21, 2007

Statement from the family of Eric Volz – Friday, December 21, 2007 – 8:30pm Central

“Eric Volz was released from a Nicaraguan prison hospital earlier today and will be in hiding, due to reports of threats against him.
We have reason to believe he is being followed and are taking every precaution to assure his safety.

Our family is overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of support of Eric’s innocence over the past year. In the center of an impossible situation, we have experienced the most abundant love from friends and total strangers, and we thank you.

We are grateful to the courageous individuals in the Nicaraguan government who fought for truth and justice to prevail in this case as well to those in the US government who provided assistance in securing Eric’s release.

This ordeal has taken an incredible physical and emotional toll on all of us, especially Eric. We thank you in advance for respecting our privacy and allowing our family to recover.”

CNN Video
Associated Press story

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