In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Friday, November 19, 2004

Me vs. the media

I am fed up with the media. We recently had a reporter publish secret facts he was privy to and put American soldiers at risk after he was specifically told not to print the information. I know soldiers who have been interviewed and nothing they said was printed. Rather, the reporters made up quotes to meet editor’s demands. Since we get media here and I too am a journalist, I often ask them questions. They are always uncomfortable about talking to me; ironic, eh?
I should clarify. Not all reporters and journalists are bad, some have been quite nice and were actually very reputable. I applaud the media networks and newspapers that try tell both sides of the stories. FOX News reports the negative facts like every other network, but they also capture the positive stories. But a lot of the journalists who embed with us, I’d rank just above plankton in terms of the world’s most useful creatures.

Let me tell you why I feel this way. We are fighting a war here against several groups of people with atrocious ideals. The reporters seem to always stack the facts against us and question our every move, while the terrorists, the same people who have captured, beheaded and killed more than 30 reporters, are given the opportunity to speak their ill-conceived thoughts.
Recently, a U.S. Marine allegedly shot an unarmed Iraqi, which completely overshadowed the death of a British aid worker killed by the terrorists. In reality, it’s like the media just wants to paint a picture of us raping and pillaging Iraq, as if they want the American opinion to turn against the soldier.

First, let me just say that I am not passing judgment on this Marine, but people watching the news are viewing this war from their couches and have no idea what it’s like. When bullets start flying, people die. However, from my experiences, there always seem to be a lot of onlookers at these firefights. They perch up on their rooftops just watching explosions, gunfights and people dying. I guess they don’t have satellite television. And again, I am not defending this Marine, if he did indeed shoot this woman. I just wish the journalists were fair and balanced, like WTMJ, and told the other stories.

Let me tell you about a few people I’ve known killed who were interpreters and missionaries or completely innocent. You probably didn’t hear about them because the media couldn’t possibly put the terrorists in a bad light, like they do the soldiers.

In April, two missionaries visited Mosul. On the very first day they arrived, their bodies were filled with 7.62 mm rounds, fired from the bad guy’s weapon of choice – the AK 47. Were they innocent? They were here to spread the Gospel of Jesus, and since they visited with American soldiers, they were considered infidels.

The best Iraqi friend I’ve made to date was Samir, one of our interpreters. He was gunned down on his way to work one day in September. All he did was call the local media, informing them about school openings, etc., and interpret Arabic newspapers. Is that a crime?
In August, a suicide car bomber attempted to hit one of our bases. The car prematurely detonated and only injured a few soldiers, but took the lives of a little girl and her mother. They were just walking on the side of the road and had no affiliation with us whatsoever.

But you don’t hear about that on the news. Instead, we’re under a huge magnifying glass while our enemy is given every benefit of the doubt. It’s almost like the media are attempting to turn the public against us. I just hope the day never comes when soldiers, those who are truly defending our liberties, are referred to as baby killers again. All deaths are tragic. It’s the world’s reaction that is scary.

5 Comments:

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

right on.........

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey-

We're reading every day! Reading your posts let's us know you're safe!

xoxo
EN and RN
:)

 
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