Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New York Times Goes After Our Military-Again

"All the news that's fit not to print"

The NY Times article about disproportionate crime and violence among military veterans-based on interviews, police reports, newspaper articles, anecdotal and other non-empirical measures, is just another in the long line of hit pieces on our military. What is also remarkable is the fact that the Times, which has always opposed the War in Iraq, continues to criticize everything about the war-while ignoring the success of the "Surge" and the fact that our troops are now winning.

Up until the Surge, the Times (and most other mainstream news outlets) delighted in reporting all the bad news coming out of Iraq. Whether it was soldiers killed in action, Sunnis vs Shia killings, car-bombs, Abu-Ghraib, soldiers killing civilians, the Times made sure we all knew about what a bad thing this war was.

Now that the Surge is working, and our forces have gained the cooperation of Sunnis against Al-Qaida (a good thing, right?), the Times has chosen to find other things to write about. Echoing the Democratic line, the message of the day became the failure of the Iraqi government to form a stable regime. Now it's returning veterans as marauding psychopaths. Of course, we have been getting that line from Hollywood movies for years, ever since the Viet Nam War. Now it's the New York Times, our "most prestigious" newspaper, the one that carries the slogan "All the news fit to print" on its masthead.

We should not be surprised at the advocacy journalism being practiced by the Times. After all, what they report is only a reflection of what their owner, Arthur Sulzberger, wants them to report. He is a far-left type, and he would never tolerate one of his reporters going against the party line. But is that any way to run a newspaper? Isn't the job of a paper to report the news? Of course, every paper has an editorial page devoted to opinion. The problem with the Times (and the problem with most of the mainstream media) is that they manage to insert their opinion into the front page. More than ever, it is the responsibility of the reader to read critically and read between the lines.


Anonymous said...

See, this is the sort of thing that I read from a lot of conservatives that tends to befuddle me. I mean, if bad things happen in Iraq, that is news, right? Should they or should they not report on it?

Now, I can see the point that perhaps they don't report on the good news enough (if at all) but that doesn't make the bad stuff any less true, does it? I mean, we're getting close to 4000 dead Americans or we aren't, right? The reasons that we were told for getting into this war changed once the WMDs weren't found, right? The "Mission Accomplished" sign was a bit premature, right? Cheney was full of crap when he said that the insurgency was in its "last throes", right? (And even more full of crap when he tried to redefine what "last throes" meant.) Let's also not forget that not enough soldiers were sent in the first place(despite recommendations from military personnel who knew what they were talking about) and that our President didn't seem to know about the Sunni/Shia rift until it exploded in our faces. (The scary thing is, I called that one! How come our leaders couldn't see that coming? I'm hardly a genius when it comes to this kind of thing, but it didn't take Nostradamus to see that train wreck approach!

I don't read the New York Times, but conservative letter writers are complaining about the same thing that you are about my local paper, yet I know about the surge's success and how the tide seems to be turning. (I think that the term you used, "winning" seems to be a bit premature though. Not that I don't wish with all my heart that you're right.) How do I know about it? From my local paper!

You're a smart guy, Gary, but sometimes conservatives remind me of a mother who enables her alcoholic son. When he does something good, she makes sure that everybody knows about it. When somebody tries to point out that he's a drunk and needs help, she accuses them of hating her son and makes all sorts of excuses for him. (Even though the person cares just as much and actually wants her son to get better.)

I'll say it again; I love this country. That's precisely why I'm critical of this war. And dammit, where the hell is Osama bin Laden already?!

Gary Fouse said...


Let me see if I can put this in perspective. I don't begrudge any paper printing bad news even if it goes against us. They should also print the good news-even if it goes against their agenda.

Reasonable people can disagree on the Iraq War. The historical verdict will not be for another generation at least. There is a case to be made that it was a noble venture if you consider what Saddam was doing to his own people. Had we not gone in, the tortures, mass graves and rape rooms would still be in operation. Why didn't the UN, the Europeans and the international community do anything about him? Because they were bought off by Saddam with oil vouchers.

I understand the disagreements. There is certainly a part of me that says we shouldn't sacrifice one soldier to make the Middle East free, especially if they don't want it or don't appreciate it.

At any rate, now that we are there, I think we need to come home-with victory. It is vital that Iraq not be left as a terror haven for Al-Qaida or a satellite of Iran.

As for the NYT, when did you ever see them wish for victory?

As for WMD, something was there. He used chemical weapons against Iran and against Iraqi Kurds. To me, it is obvious that in the run-up to the invasion, he got rid of them somehow, maybe thru Syria.

One last note: Don't think that I-or conservatives in general are pimps for Bush. (i am not Republican-just conservative). There are many areas where we criticize Bush (and of course, we criticized Pres Clinton all day long). In my view, Bush has been a failure in dealing with illegal immigration and also in cutting spending and reducing the size of government. It is maddening to us that he cannot better articulate his views and policies, but that doesn't make him stupid-just inarticulate.

In summary, I think the far-left and the media in this country actually want us to fail in Iraq, mostly because they detest Bush so much.

Anonymous said...

I have two problems with the idea of "victory" in Iraq.

1. What exactly would that be?

2. Is it even possible?

I think the problem is that many critics of the war don't see it as even being possible. (As you pointed out, they don't seem to even want our help.) If it's not possible, then we shouldn't keep throwing our soldiers into harm's way. This isn't the sort of thing where all we have to do is defeat an enemy. We have to change the hearts and minds of people - something that doesn't really work with a military solution.

I doubt you've seen No End in Sight, but you might want to take a look at it. It's not some Michael Moore type thing, as it pretty much just lets the people who were there at the beginning of the invasion talk about what happened.

What's really disappointing to me is that I know that America has the capability of doing the right thing and winning hearts and minds. We certainly did it in Germany and Japan. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be much thought given to that when we went into Iraq.

You're right though; we'll have to leave it to history to judge. From this point though, it doesn't seem like the Iraq War is showing us at our best.

Gary Fouse said...

My idea of victory in Iraq would be to leave behind a country with a stable government (I really don't care if it's a full democracy) that can fend for itself and would not be a base for terrorists or a satellite of Iran-not an adversary of the US. In other words, a country along the lines of say, Jordan. I think that is possible.

Also keep in mind that we won the hearts and minds of Germans and Japanese after we won wars against them. To a certain extent, we are doing good things there like helping build hospitals, providing electricity and water etc. And there are many Iraqis who are grateful, but you won't read these things in the mainstream media. Of course, there are veterans who come back and criticize the effort in Iraq. There are also veterans who belive in the mission. Which veterans do you think will be reported on by the NYT?

Everybody acknowledges that mistakes were made in the palnning and post-war, but if we leave now, what happens? The country will belong to Ian and other terrorist elements. Anyone who worked with us will have to be evacuated or they will be slaughtered. No one will ever trust us again-and the 4,000 Americans who have died will have died in vain-just as 58,000 Americans died in vain in Viet Nam.

Finally, since 9-11, I firmly believe that the war on terror-multi-faceted as it is, must have a military component. Clinton treated it as a law enforcement problem. After 9-11, we can no longer afford that option-in my view.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know how I feel about us getting out now. You're right, it might just make things worse. I'm not convinced that staying will make things better though. Too bad we don't have a time machine where we could either a) stop us from going there in the first place or b) plan it better (You know, actually listen to the generals - the failure of so many leaders as a history buff like yourself is no doubt aware of.)

I agree that the war on terror needs a military element to it. I just think that Iraq was a part of it. (The very best that I could say about it is that it should have been much lower on the totem pole. I mean, I think that Saudi Arabia is a far bigger threat to us. And I'll say it again - where the hell is Osama bin Laden?! I'm outraged that guy is still breathing and that we STILL don't have something in place of the two towers.)

Gary Fouse said...

I am also outraged that bin Laden is still alive. I also believe that the Islamic terrorists world-wide need to be killed-either by us or by moderate Muslims. Then we can get back to the business of living in peace together.

Anonymous said...

Woops, just read that I left a word out. I meant that I didn't believe that Iraq was part of the war on terror. But you probably figured that out for yourself.