Saturday, February 12, 2005
Damn the media..Where's the good news about Iraq?
of the Iraq mess. These writings all have the same theme:
" Why are not the media talking about all the good things that are happening in Iraq? What about all the schools opened and the private enterprise and the uplifting of women and all that other stuff". Some other examples:
" Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in
Did you know that the Iraqi government employs 1.2 million
Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364
schools are currently under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are
under construction and 38 new schools have been built?
Did you know that the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
in Iraq consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges within the
Community College system, two Commissions and two Research Centers?
Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January
2004 for the re-established Fulbright Program?"
That's all good stuff, but when I read stuff like that, I cannot help but
think about the conversation that was reported to have occurred some time
after the end of the Vietnam war between an American military officer and
a Vietnamese general:
American: "You never defeated us on the battlefield"
Vietnamese: " That is true. It is also irrelevant".
The same statment is true about the occupation of Iraq. Of course we are doing good things, of course we are slowly rebuilding the country, of course there are folks going to school. We are Americans, we know how to good things. All these items are good things, but not central to the problem at hand. Iraq is not a secure place to live. Its a dangerous place to live and be doing those things. And remember, as advertised by the administration...IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPENING THIS WAY. 135,000 US troops have been engaged there for over 2 years and that deployment is coming at a huge cost to the United States. 1400+ great Americans cut down in the prime of youth. God knows how many Iraqi's killed and in the end our position in the Middle East is not as strong as it once was.
The media recognizes that the occupation and the planning for it and the execution of it, are the central issues. So they report because that is what they do.
Like it or not the violence is news. Its made more visible by the spin meisters attempts to reassure us that "all is well" and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And finally ,I believe, that all the good news stories in the world will mean nothing to the average American till they can be assurred that the troops will get home someday. The elections have been held and at this point it still looks like the troops will be there for 2 more years. That's the only thing that matters to me, getting this little adventure over with.
Till then...well, bad news sells papers. Like it or not.