Balancing Iraq’s good news and bad news

2019-04-09 News No comment

what does that mean? Is there a suicide bomber clip, then a new school open? Sounds good, isn't it? But what does this mean? What is fairness and balance in war? This means that there is some sort of 50/50 split between terrible and exhilarating. I think it may be true in Iraq. In the north, Kurdish rule and sectarian issues have been minimized and progress is being made. In the south, Shiites control large areas of desert and oil, and infrastructure can be rebuilt and survived. Gee … cut off these geographical and cultural islands from the war and there are many good reports.

But this is not the problem. In the troublesome place, this is not a split. Today the new Baghdad police station is the target of tomorrow’s rebellion. I think if a person is standing in a place long enough, he or she can report good and bad even without moving. But what does it prove? progress? failure?

As an enthusiastic supporter of the President’s “Victory Plan” marketing campaign, Laura Ingram challenged the mass media to report good news to Iraq and pointed out that journalists can surpass the safety balance of their green areas and see mortar round and roadside explosion. She suggested setting up a show today in the Iraqi victory camp and then trying to report only bad news. In the challenge of David Gregory, she indignantly mentioned her recent visit and dared to let everyone do the same thing.

Fortunately, she posted her travel diary on her official website. It seems that the only fair thing is to read it and understand that the good news she suggested was suppressed by the media.

Her weekly trip took place in early February 2006. You can read it yourself, but you will find this is a very fair summary of her journal [most of the text is copied from her website]:

Day 1, Victory Camp [Baghdad]: The army is inspiring. The security situation is very bad. There are practical limits on where she can go. The good news is that the training of the Iraqi army is still going on, and more security actions are handed over to them every month. She said this sentence: "I hope that every American can see this small part of the action I have seen so far.

Day 2, Camp Taji [North Baghdad]: Briefly introduce her team to the goals of daily action. The good news is that everyone who travels outside the camp is equipped with an armored vehicle, and any problems with bulletproof vests are completely misplaced. The troops she met were all good people. The improvised bombings have been declining since December and she met with 30 trained Iraqi soldiers. They are friendly and seem to be very focused. Their American counterparts seem to really like these people, and they are not happy that the whole story has not been told by the "main media." "Thank you for coming here, Laura," Brigade Cmdr. McVillie said he waved goodbye. “How do we let other people in this country see the great work these men and women do here?” “You just did it,” I said.

Day 3, Victory Camp [Baghdad]: I started a one-day patrol briefing and went to the local village near the Victory Camp for the 18-member Humvee team. When we arrived at the village, the children circled our vehicles and waved their smiles. The children are gorgeous – especially those girls with big, curious almond eyes. When they saw my helmet filled with Tootsie Pops, I became their immediate new American friend. [The big mistake is only two bags!] She met the village head and looked forward to expressing her heartfelt thanks to all the coalition forces. She met more troops that night. They spoke softly. She played a show that night and the soldiers thanked us for the prayer.

Day 4, Central Baghdad: When we walk through cement barriers, through dilapidated shops and rubbish-filled streets, I feel both sloppy and fringe. Don't be too dramatic, but I find myself often scanning the sidewalk [possibly a bomb blast] or a car parked on the roadside [possibly with timed explosives] on my mobile phone. I tried to put myself in my shoes, but it was hard. Most people just walk to work, or look for work, trying to pass. It is undeniable that the security situation is very bad. Her team went to the orphanage and lived with 25 children. Later they went to a children's hospital. That's too bad. The good news: Due to the generosity of the American people and the hard work of USACE and its contractors, they will soon have a new wing newborn and pediatric wing. That night, she accepted an interview with General George Casey. Bottom line: Iraq is a complicated, difficult, and incomprehensible place. But we need to do this. There is hope and success in sorrow and pain here.

Day 5, Victory Camp [Baghdad]: She visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier [to commemorate the Iraqis who lost their lives in the Iranian Iraq War]. She met an Iraqi soldier and asked him: If the US military did Murtha and dropped out of school immediately, what would happen in Iraq? "Disaster! Everything is terrible. Disaster!" He suggested waving his fingers in the air. During her eight-mile trip back to the camp, she asked her rhino driver – a heavily tattooed heavy metal hearing contractor – when he thought people could travel between Greyhounds, not the city of Rhinos, he answered no Expression, "200 or 300 years." So far, it has taken us 5 hours to drive 8 miles on the ground. Army life means danger, sacrifice, commitment and waiting a lot. [Note: Rhino is a heavy armored transport vehicle]

Day 6 Camp Victory [Baghdad]: Briefly briefed her on how the Iraqi forces occupied the battlefield slowly but surely. At lunch, she likes to shoot weapons at the target. She played two of her radio shows from the media center. That night, she ended her visit to the Cigar Club, learned the story and teased with these guys and a few girls.

So the good news is that the troops are brave warriors we can be proud of. Well, I have heard senators, members of Congress and congresswoman and ten times all mainstream media programs, and most notably Al Franken, I want to make three USO tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Frankly, I don't need anyone to tell me that this is something we all agree with.

I don't think this is the good news she has to point to being deliberately suppressed. Then she mentioned how she was told that the Iraqi forces took over more and more security. She is very brief about this. She talked about the powerful features of military brass. This is not what she saw with her own eyes. What she observed and wrote in her diary was that the 30 trained Iraqi men she met did not want to take pictures because they were worried that they would be executed at home if they were recognized. This fully demonstrates their courage and regrets that there is still danger.

She was told that the body armor problem was misplaced [not sure what it meant, assuming it was no longer a problem]. That is good news! But I have a feeling that "negative" reported two years ago that the Pentagon was in an embarrassing situation. As for the orphanage and children's hospital, what is the good news about the facility?

If this is all the optimistic news she found and forced her to challenge today's show, it's hard to understand what good news has not been reported, because I've heard it all before, with one exception. When CNN drags the camera into an orphanage or children's hospital, it suddenly becomes "negative". As for the soldiers who want to know why these stories are not told in the home press, it seems to me that they are. So who is telling them that they have not been reported? Laura maybe?

The last thing. I deliberately skipped her constant mention of terrorist behavior. Through her diary. She never called them insurgents, gangsters or secular militias. It’s just a terrorist. Use the word "terrorist" casually. Describe how everyone shoots or blows up a car. It clearly covers the picture and deliberately misleads people. This is not news, but I am sure she is not a journalist because she knows that her number of journalists [84] in Iraq is more than any conflict since the Second World War.

She also continued to sneer at the false statement of Murta’s position on the immediate withdrawal. Murta’s point of view is simple. Killing is a secular hatred. As part of an evolving internal civil war, Iraqi insurgents are doing this work. Therefore, he believes that our troops should retreat to the lower levels and extract figures as quickly and safely as possible; six months, nine months, one year. Laura misled us to believe that he never talked about the weekend exit. And he didn't dream of this himself. After many informal back-office conversations with the most active military leaders, he has already made this proposal [rarely attended; certainly not Ingram].

Finally, she suggests that if we see their actions, we will be more proud of our army; somehow, she is more dignified than those who have been plagued by this war. If we learn one thing from Vietnam, it is that we can support our army in wars that we do not belong to. I was the first person to recognize Vietnamese soldiers who were treated harshly on return. Those of us who participated in it are very wrong! Learning from the wrong anger, I only admire and respect those who find the way to fight. Stupid notice, if you hate war, you hate the army is a myth that is used to promote a position that unnecessarily damages what it is trying to protect: force support.

Fairness is fair. I brought great honor to Laura Ingram. It must be…

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