« April 2005 | Main | June 2005 »

May 2005

War on Terror the Military - Part 2 - John Cole and Hugh Hewitt

John Cole of BalloonJuice (one of the first blogs I read)  is having issues with some things that Hugh Hewitt has said about the media and the military. 

Hugh Hewitt's so-called 'support' of the military does it far more harm than it does good.

What is particularly disturbing is how he and others have artificially conflated the Newsweek error and the NY Times story. This is no accident, but an act of intentional and outright propaganda. The Newsweek story may have been inaccurate, but the NY Times story was not. To read Hugh, you would think both were inconsequential and simply the result of a media hostile to the military. "Nothing here- just the military-hating mainstream media."...

Is the media anti-military?

For the record, I don't believe that it's anti-military.  While the biases of many journalists lean left, there's nothing to indicate that they are inherently anti-military.  There are many positive MSM stories about the military (just maybe not in the big outlets).

However, there are some very left-wing, anti-Bush, people in the media, and they look for anything to make the administration suffer.  In their search for Nixons, they also want to uncover "Failure". "Quagmire". Etc.  If they have to run over the good work of our military, they will.  If they have to highlight for months the scandal created by a clerk and a few MPs, so be it (bear with me a moment).  If they foment hatred around the world for Americans, no big deal...

There are some great journalists out there.  But the statements made by the management/representatives/editors of the MSM - por ejemplo, Dan Rather, Eason Jordan and Linda Foley - represent slander.

And Newsweek, here and abroad, is stoking the fires of Anti-American sentiment.  Why?  I don't know, but I suspect it is to sell magazines (and, yes, for me it's personal with Newsweek).  I don't so much blame the reporter as I do the management/editors. 

Is Newsweek that naive to think that the pictures they put on the cover and the stories that they write won't affect our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or our ability to fight and win the War on Terror?

You might have been able to argue against that statement before the Koran in the toilet fable.  But not now. 

Not anymore.

Check out this story that features the blog Riding Sun (which was recently linked to here) that discovered that the Japanese Newsweek had a different and more Anti-American cover than the US version.

I want a fair media (just as John Cole does).  If the New York Times published one positive Iraq story for every ten Abu Ghraib stories during the Abu Ghraib fever of last year, I would be surprised.  So, are there no success stories worth mentioning in the New York Times?

Abu Ghraib was a legitimate story that should have been reported.  I've written that many, many times and probably mentioned that in every single interview I've given over the last six to nine months. The soldiers involved in Abu Ghraib should be and are being punished.  And Abu Ghraib is being rehashed in the latest assault on the military (they see a pattern in prisoner abuse).  However, stop the comparison to My Lai.

Abu Ghraib was no My Lai Massacre.

Not even close.

Yet Abu Ghraib was on the front page of the New York Times over thirty times during the initial run of the story.  I don't have issue with the reporting of the story.  I take issue with the way it was used and milked dry in order to influence people's opinion of the war, of the military and of the Bush Administration.  Those are management and editor decisions - usually not not in the purview of journalists. 

I agree that media should be free to report the truth.  And I think that the media should be held just as accountable as the troops who commit abuses.  If the media commits slander against those troops, they should be taken to task.

So how is the Fourth Estate held accountable?  Not by the government.

They are held accountable by us -  the consumers.   

While we agree on most of my points above, John Cole misses the main point of Hugh Hewitt's post.  I believe that Cole reads Hewitt's post, intended to be critical of the media, as Hugh supporting Soldiers who abuse prisoners and calling for the media to cover those abuses up.  That's more than a bit of a stretch. 

I read the quoted passages and just don't see Hugh calling for the media to not report abuses.  I do see Hugh criticizing the media for the way it reports those stories as Watergate-like government cover-ups...the way suppositions are used, intermingling with the facts, to make a story seem more sexy than it is, more damning to the administration than it is (or was).  And, now there's a theme in the media about there being a "policy of abuse".  [BTW, I just had lunch on Friday with one of the Army's Interrogation trainers from the MI schoolhouse at Fort Huachucha.  He wrote the book on how to Interrogate prisoners.  If anyone knew of a policy of abuse allowed during interrogations, it would be him.  As most of you suspected, there is no such thing.]  But the rehash of Abu Ghraib and other cases of abuse at Gitmo will be used to build another conspiracy theory. 

Rather, Jordan, Foley, Newsweek - fake stories, forged documents, and baseless accusations - must be addressed and not swept under the rug.  And their lies would have continued if not for ordinary Americans looking into their accusations.

Soon, I'll be asking for some help from some of you, as consumers, to counter people like Linda Foley.  I'm not calling for censuring the media.  I'm calling for the lies to end, the slander to stop.

Our troops deserve better.  I'm no wingnut, John, but that's what Hugh is talking about.

Combat the Moonbats - Part 2

Thanks to those who took up the mission and visited recruiters throughout the weekend to show their support despite the moonbat protests on Armed Forces Day.

Thank you.  You people ROCK!!!

Here's a picture sent by Darrell of one of the protests in Seattle (check out the signs):


Barb of Righty in a Lefty State was there and has a report complete with photos (I've got to get that bumper sticker).  She actually got to meet some other bloggers and Sergeant First Class Due.  This is one post you don't want to miss.

Here's an email I received from Janie:

Hello Matt,

I did go down to the recruiting station at noon.  I arrived a few minutes after 12 and I was surprised that there were about 30 people or so( I really didn't count them) for the protest.  I looked around for a friendly "Support the Troop" face but I couldn't find any.  Now I was wearing my Support the Troops sweatshirt so I didn't mingle to long.   I went into the recruiting office.  Yes, it was opened and all desks were filled with Soldiers.  I talked a little bit with the first Soldier closest to the door and proceeded to say thanks and to let him know I think recruiters should be in the schools and support Soldiers 100 % in their job.  Well, as we were talking, in my head I'm thinking...the office is open...maybe SFC Due is available.  He and I traded a couple of emails...so I thought to say hi too.  I look at this Soldier in front of me to his name tag...DUE was right there.  I blurt out OH IT's YOU!!   All the Soldiers in the place started laughing!  Poor guy I embarrassed the heck out of him...and that got the ribbing going!  Anyways just wanted to share with you my little visit to the Army. I didn't stay real long (15 min or so) but I hope more people showed up to say hey to them in the office.

And yes I did give the Soldiers some Starbucks Ichiro gift cards to go get some treats.  I didn't walk away empty handed either!  (hey its a recruiting station!)  Army pen - Army pin and Army stickers for the kids of my daycare! 

Thanks for posting the story.  I really don't like the people in this town sometimes. I enjoy living in Seattle.  I have for 25 yrs now...

Thanks, Janie, and thanks to all who showed their support on Saturday.  I'm glad the protests were peaceful and the recruiters were on duty.

Armed Forces Day


Here's a link to events around the nation honoring Armed Forces Day.

This is from the History of Armed Forces Day - an excerpt from the New York Times which seems very appropriate for today:

...According to a New York Times article published on May 17, 1952: "This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces ... to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won't be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty."...

There are protests scheduled for today at recruiting stations around the country, and many of the stations that will be heavily protested will close.  Of course, that doesn't mean that the recruiters won't be working.  So, if you see a recruiter out today (or anyone in uniform for that matter), buy him a coffee or lunch.

That would send a supportive message on this Armed Forces Day.

Viva Cuba Libre! - La Parte Dos

Val Prieto is live blogging from the Cuba Nostaglia Convention.  He's put together a Babalu Booth and has blogging stations to show visitors the blogosphere.  Val and I started blogging at about the same time.  He's been informing people about Cuban issues.  Be sure to stop by his site to see what's happening throughout the weekend.

For those of you who would like more of a military post, read on (something I posted for Val's Blog Cuba event)...

I hear about the promise of Cuba a lot and hope that the $2 billion dollar Cuban tourism industry will get an infusion once Castro and company are gone. Predictions are about an extra one million American tourists per year. Right now, there aren't enough hotels, let alone good hotels, to handle that kind of increase.

Speaking of hotels, did you know that the Cuban Armed Forces are in charge of a large part of the tourism industry in Cuba? Fidel's brother is the Tourism Minister and recently cleaned house of civilian staff and replaced them with his tenietes de tropa de linea.

From the July 29th Economist (subscription only):

Tourists: by the left, march
Military command and control for the hotel industry
<...> Earlier this year, in a video circulated among Communist Party members, Raúl Castro, the president's brother and defence minister, likened the industry to “a tree born twisted that must be uprooted and planted anew.” Pruning has been brutal: out have gone the tourism minister, three deputy ministers, and dozens of other top managers and officials. The new tree, it turns out, is a military one: the ministry is now full of staff from Gaviota, a hotel company set up by the armed forces in the early 1990s. <...> The military takeover of tourism is part of a broader campaign against corruption. In his speech, Raúl Castro claimed that “lack of respect” for the government and the Communist Party permeates the industry. Even though most tourism jobs are held by party members, money that should flow into state coffers was winding up in individuals' pockets, he said. <...> Another interpretation of the tourism shake-up is that the reforms were having the predictable effect of loosening party control over life in Cuba. That is something Fidel Castro was only prepared to contemplate out of desperation in the wake of the Soviet collapse. Now, he is using George Bush's hostility to his regime as a pretext to extinguish anything that smacks of capitalist penetration of his revolution. Whether the military takeover will end up turning a holiday in Cuba into a more regimented affair remains to be seen.

Kind of boggles the imagination , doesn't it?

    "Daddy, what did you do in the military?"

    "I was a concierge."

Strange. Just strange.

Anyway, I look forward to the day when I can take my family to visit Cuba and toast Cubans ("Libertad!") with an authentic mojito in the La Bodeguita del Medio bar in Old Havana.

The War on Terror the Military

Get your kit ready.

First off, let's set the record straight.  There are some really wonderful journalists out there.  There are some really great news organizations in the MSM.  Quite frankly, I wouldn't be able to post about Someone You Should Know without them.  But the President of the Newspaper Guild, Linda Foley, has made some comments that need to be addressed.

Let's start with this piece from Editor & Publisher (covering the "jouralism industry"):

...According to a video of the session available on the conference's Web site, her only comments on this specific subject were:
"Journalists are not just being targeted verbally or politically. They are also being targeted for real in places like Iraq. And what outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq. I think it's just a scandal."
"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity. This is all part of the culture that it is OK to blame the individual journalists, and it just takes the heat off of these media conglomerates that are part of the problem."...

She then goes on to claim that saying the "U.S. military" is deliberately targeting journalists is NOT the same thing as saying the "troops" are targeting journalists.

..."I was careful of not saying troops, I said U.S. military. Could I have said it differently? There are 100 different ways of saying this, but I'm not sure they would have appeased the right."...

Do you have to be on the right to think Linda Foley is full of @#$%?  No, of course not.  Someone explain to me, por favor, the difference between "troops" and the "U.S. military"...Was she talking about Taliban "troops"?  And since when is the military, the plaything of the Republicans?  Don't make me look at how many Democrats have taken us to war...

Is the EasonGate team going to take this on?  You'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Rodger Morrow takes a look at the Editor & Publisher article and blasts Linda Foley's baseless accusations.

And there's lots more on this topic from Bill Roggio at Winds of Change and USMC Vet.  The blogosphere has been responding in spades.

I've been watching to see the reaction of the MSM.  There's been some reporting of this in the more right-leaning media outlets, but nothing from the biggies, yet. There will also be a MSM defense in depth around Linda Foley.  Just watch.

Her statements definitely echo the sentiment of Eason Jordan.  A lot of you asked about how I felt about Eason Jordan resigning.  It wasn't victory.  It wasn't satisfying.  We didn't gloat (well, maybe a little - he is a deluxe asshat).

It was more disheartening than anything else...to know that there are very powerful people in the MSM who don't care who they run over with their political agendas.  They are almost Wahhabi-like in their fanaticism about taking down the President via the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And they don't care if they tarnish the successes of millions of Americans serving to protect their right to do so.

I am sure that a lot of you will join me when the time comes to expose this nonsense and protect the great work and reputations of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.  We'll see how the MSM handles this, but don't hold your breath waiting for a defense of our military.  Get your kit ready...

The Case For Ilario Pantano - Part 6

I haven't commented yet on the Pantano Case since the recommendation that is in front of the Commanding General is to drop the charges.  I saw it Saturday, and Eric and I raised our glasses of Caol Ila upon hearing the news.

Riding Sun - a biker blogger in Tokyo - responds to the news that the prosecution is not happy with the recommendation and are complaining publicly about it.  Kit Jarrell at Euphoric Reality has been covering the case from the beginning also has a post about this.

[The other posts on Ilario Pantano: The Case for Ilario Pantano Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5]

Generations of Valor

Anne Morse is writing an article for the National Review Online and got an idea from B.G. Burkett, author of Stolen Valor.  She would like to write about the sons and daughters of Viet Nam vets winning the War on Terror.  To me, it sounds like a great opportunity to highlight the great work our men and women are doing now and honor the service of their fathers.

If you are or know of a veteran of the War on Terror who is the son or daughter of a Viet Nam veteran, please contact Anne.

You can read some of Anne's other articles here, here, and here.