2,808 Americans have died in Iraq the past 43 months. Another 282 have met such a fate in and around Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Likely all are rolling over in their graves as fellow countrymen who sent them to war are threatening to boycott Election Day.
Particularly disheartening to these fallen heroes must be the conservative abstentions, as likely 90 percent of such Americans were in favor of sending soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, while probably 100 percent supported invading Afghanistan after 9/11. It must be unfathomable to these brave souls that the very people who rallied politicians to risk lives for these efforts are now turning their backs on the honored dead, and what they died for.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.—Thomas Paine
During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Lynne Cheney turned the tables on the cable network and bluntly asked if Blitzer wanted the U.S. to win in Iraq:
Lynne Cheney: "Right, But what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorist shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?"
Wolf Blitzer: "The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about it. You think we want terrorists to win?"
The Vice President’s wife was referring to an October 23 segment with Congressman Duncan Hunter, in which he criticized the network for airing footage of insurgents killing Americans. Mrs. Cheney, who appeared on the October 27 edition of "The Situation Room," continued her harsh analysis of CNN. "Why," she wondered, "are you running terrorist propaganda?"
With all due respect to Rush (his rant is behind his firewall), Michelle Malkin (also at Hot Air in a vid with O'Reilly), Allah at Hot Air, and all the others who are justifiably "Venting" at CNN -- You're STILL missing a BIG, BIG point -- We aren't getting "the unvarnished truth" from our military, because they are constrained about issues relating to the safety of soldiers and their families HERE, IN THIS COUNTRY. Since they are limited in what they can show of our soldiers' exploits, it is incumbent on media outlets to be VERY restrained in what they will show of the enemy's.
Let me break it down as briefly as I can (more detail is at my post Sunday at BizzyBlog):
Imagine you're a leading news magazine. You've published a major story claiming that Afghanistan is a brewing disaster in which Al-Qaeda can once again roam with impunity. So bad is the situation, say you, that for purposes of your article you've dubbed the country "Jihadistan."
Now comes the Pentagon, and in painstaking, point-by-point fashion, refutes so many of your article's assertions as to call its overall validity into question. How do you respond?
A. In a rigorous, systematic manner, you contest the Pentagon's arguments and prove that you were correct in the first place.
How much of a network newscast depends on anonymous sources? And isn't it more suspicious when the anonymous sources all agree on the liberal-media thesis (actually, the John Kerry thesis) that the best we can hope for in Iraq is a stable dictatorship? Friday night's NBC Nightly News led with a British general saying all is lost, and notice how Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski presents Pentagon opinion constantly through anonymous sources (and a couple of prominent and regular Bush war critics). Apparently, all the finest military minds are unanimous, and a debate is unnecessary:
Brian Williams, beginning the show: "It was the shot heard around the world, and it came from the commander of the British Army. He is on the record as saying British troops have no business in Iraq and should come home. While he has since changed his stance a bit, his words sent shock waves through British forces. It wasn't what American forces needed to hear, either, as they are already facing an unraveling and violent situation on the ground, counter to their goal of democracy taking hold. We begin here tonight at the Pentagon with our Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. Jim, good evening."
A phalanx of Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, claims the Bush administration is to blame for the N. Korean nuclear test. John McCain responds, pointing out that it was the Clinton administration's failed "agreed framework" that let Kim Jong Il merrily go about his bomb-and-missile-making ways.
So how does Hannah Storm of CBS' Early Show frame the state of play?
"Sen. John Kerry said that you must be trying to burnish your credentials for the nomination process, he's referring of course to your presidential aspirations. I mean, what do you say to those who say that you're [her voice breaking into a horrifed squeak] politicizing this issue?"
NBC anchor Brian Williams was criticized for skipping out on the Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony that he had agreed to MC. He had another engagement: a two-minute appearance on Saturday Night Live.
“NBC Nightly News” nabob Brian Williams came under fire yesterday after he reportedly beat a hasty retreat from his MC duties at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society soiree in Boston to appear on “Saturday Night Live.”
One event participant griped to the Track that the newsie “was there for the reception, then kicked off the program around 7:30 and was out of there by 8:30.”
With one of his inimitable montages, Rush Limbaugh documented today the way in which the MSM got hung up on a handshake - one the media reported didn't come off between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf during their recent White House visit.
Though WH spokesman Tony Snow has reportedly indicated that the pair did shake hands off-camera, the media tea-leaf readers seemingly imbue The Handshake That Didn't Happen with dire implications for the achievement of US goals in the region. Ironically, on the very same day, the MSM has yet to report on a major, positive development in the region - one that would bring a smile to the lips of even a Nancy Pelosi or a New York Times editorialist - were they not solemnly sworn to ac-cen-tu-ate the negative from now till Election Day.
The establishment news media places too much emphasis on the negative events happening in Iraq, so Defense Department employees need to side-step the media and get a positive message out to the American people, said Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to an article by www.CNSNews.com, Pace was asked by a soldier what the department is doing to confront what the soldier called the "negativity in the press [that] is absolutely detrimental to the morale of our forces."
He said the limited coverage now tends to focus on what "captures people's attention" and "not the schools being built."
He said the military is finding ways to have soldiers bring good news about the war directly to the American people. "One of the things we've changed," Pace said, "is as troops come home ... they are given the opportunity to take an extra day or two of leave if they will stay at home and just talk to their local communities, not from a script ... [but] tell the people in their hometown what their experience was like."
Soldiers and others from DoD, according to Pace, have the responsibility "to be very open, forthright about not only the bad, but the good and to present it in a way that our fellow citizens can understand and accept."
A soldierasked the Secretary to define just who is the enemy. In professorial, avuncular fashion, Rumsfeld carefully described how a limited number of Muslim extremists have hijacked their faith and sought to impose their warped vision on their co-religionists. That others were seeking to regain power lost when the United States deposed dictatorial regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. And that still others are simply criminal elements.
The New York Times and Washington Post are now attacking provisions of a defense appropriations bill that would ensure that military chaplains can pray in accordance with their own personal beliefs (i.e., pray in the name of Jesus). A Times editorial calls the bill “an attempt to license zealot chaplains to violate policies of religious tolerance.”
A Washington Post article goes a step farther – calling for calling for a “no prayer” policy at public events, according to an article in CNSNews.com, saying the “best resolution” (to its perceived problem) is to “discourage prayer…as inherently and unnecessarily divisive.”
There are moments when you wonder why, when some legislative initiatives are absolutely doomed to defeat, that liberal newspapers publicize liberal lobbying that’s totally in vain – except for the publicity. Thursday’s New York Times promised on its front page an article on how "gay groups" are once again pushing for a repeal of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, instituted in the Clinton administration. One "centrist" group told the Times said the proposal has "zero chance" of passing, but Lizette Alvarez wrote a story completely promoting the pro-gay point of view. Shocking.
The gay group in question here is not the usual one, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, but rather the group called "Soulforce," led by Mel White, the gay former aide to Jerry Falwell. Alvarez set the stage right where the gay left wanted it, at a Wisconsin recruiting office:
Keith Olbermann's ongoing campaign against the Bush administration is now resonating so well with liberals, Democratic leaders in Washington are starting to quote the MSNBC host publicly. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was so impressed with Olbermann's August 30 attack on Donald Rumsfeld for a speech in which the Defense Secretary referred to the appeasement of Nazis before World War II, the Democratic leader read from Olbermann's comments while making a speech on the Senate floor. In turn, Olbermann was so proud of this recognition that he played a clip of Reid's speech during the "Top Three Sound Bites" segment on Wednesday's Countdown show. (Transcript follows)
Looking back, it all seems so predictable. The relentless criticism, the countless sneering jabs from Keith Olbermann directed at the Bush administration were building to an inexorable climax. It came tonight. Olbermann flatly accused the Bush administration of representing "a new type of fascism."
Though the denouement was inevitable, the proximate cause of Olbermann's tirade was Donald Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion on Tuesday in which he suggested that opponents of the war in Iraq have adopted the same attitude that slowed a military response to Hitler. Rumsfeld asserted that radical Islam represents "a new type of fascism."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld finally articulated at least a portion of what conservative bloggers have been pointing out for some time - Islamist terror groups have had considerable success in planting and slanting stories within the Western mainstream media:
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners. "What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror. "They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. "They can lie with impunity."
Rumsfeld stopped short of pointing out what became obvious during the Israeli-Hizballah conflict in Lebanon; that the mainstream media's use of local reporters and photographers has virtually ensured its infiltration by terrorist sympathizers. Likewise, Rumsfeld did not mention that the tainted reporting serves the purposes of Democrats running on anti-war platforms.
Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha has become a liberal media darling for his non-stop pounding of the surrender drum, and his jumping on the bandwagon to accuse the Marines of misconduct and covering up an alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq.
The Haditha talk got started after Marine general Michael Hagee briefed certain members of congress about the start of an investigation into the deaths of at least 20 Iraqi civilians. After some of the briefings, Murtha almost immediately began accusing the Marine Corps of engaging in war crimes.
Trouble is, though, Murtha had not been briefed on the investigation before he began his media campaign. That is not what the L.A. Times reported, however. The paper said, over the protests of Patterico who argued the opposite, that Murtha had been briefed before making his remarks.
Failing to convince the Times to double-check its sources better (whodathunkit?) and with Murtha's office unwilling to correct the record since it might have made the congressman look bad, Patterico took matters into his own hands:
Imagine Bill Clinton in the setting shown here. Would he be standing at arm's length, tentatively extending a finger? Never! He'd be right down there hugging the child, probably - for that matter - getting an arm around Mom too.
That,in a nutshell, captures the problem campaign ad makers have in softening Hillary's frosty image.
There I was on the couch this morning in full pajamahadeen mode, searching for nuggets of MSM bias with which to titillate NB readers, when for the first time a Hillary campaign ad popped up. It's standard stuff. The theme is Hillary 'Standing Up': standing up for jobs, for military bases, for health care - seems the senator never sits down! As I type this, a freeze frame shows a nicely-coiffed Hillary in a striped pink shirt and sporting a single strand of pearls. On a desk in the background you can discern family photos: Bill, Hillary and Chelsea in one, what looks like a young Chelsea as a ballerina in another.
This is a classic MSM mistreatment of the US military. That it comes in the midst of war is distressing, but not unexpected from them, unfortunately.
The AP (it sure seems that they are more busy spinning than reporting stories these days, doesn't it?) has posted a story that The New York Times placed on their news feed today about how Military recruiters have "increasingly resorted to overly aggressive tactics" to get new recruits.
But, it seems that an undue focus in the report on the rhetoric obscures the fact that there really aren't that many abuses statistically. Certainly one abuse is too much (perfunctory exclamation over), but the tenor of the story is that there is some catastrophic rise in such abuse. The numbers, however, say differently, despite the overblown rhetoric.
NBC reporter Richard Engel sure has some severely selective sources. On the one hand, he's overflowing with information reinforcing the image of Hezbollah as a kindly humanitarian organization that was providing "supplies and relief" to the residents of Qana. On the other hand, he has "no evidence" that Hezbollah was using Qana residents as human shields for purposes of launching rockets.
Engel reported live from Tyre in southern Lebanon during this afternoon's 'The Most' on MSNBC, with host Alison Stewart. Speaking of events in Qana, Engel claimed:
"I got no indication [the people of Qana] were being held against their will. Just the opposite, it seemed Hezbollah was helping these people, providing them with food and water. These were some of the [poorest] people in the town, those with money had already left. They were staying in this section of town because there was food and water. Hezbollah were giving them supplies and relief."
Not only is America in a quagmire, but Israel is, too. Via Hot Air, here's the first few grafs of a Salon reprint of a Der Spiegel article headlined "Is Israel Facing a Quagmire?:"
On the map the war looks so straightforward. An Israeli commander has marked Hezbollah strongholds in south Lebanon red for the purposes of our briefing -- lately practically all of the towns north of the Israeli border are colored red. Marked with blue crosses are the strategically important positions, mostly crossroads, now controlled by Israel. "Now we have to just go in and deal with the Hezbollah boys," the commander, who asked not to be identified, said. "There isn't much more to say." [...]
The mission, christened "Just Reward," now appears much more difficult than was first thought -- above all in terms of casualties. Since the small targeted ground operations began Israeli soldiers have been dying on a daily basis in heavy firefights. Wednesday was especially bloody. In an attempt to take the Hezbollah stronghold of Bint Jbail, as many as 14 Israelis lost their lives.
Military analysts and politicians talked confidently at the beginning of the mission of targeted, surgical assaults against Hezbollah and an estimated conflict duration of about a week. Now Israel is increasingly preparing for a long war.
Well, sports fans, The Terrorist…er, I mean The New York Times is at it again. One of America’s allies purchased a variety of weapons last year, and now that it is being attacked by a shared enemy, has asked that the shipment of these arms be sped up to allow it to better defend itself.
Sadly, The Times felt it was important to report this shipment Saturday – on the front page no less – so everyone – including the sworn enemy that is currently attacking our ally – would be fully aware (hat tip to Michelle Malkin):