War Being Decided on Op-ed Pages instead of Battlefield?

Adam's Apple

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Op Eds Now More Central in War than Bullets
by Daniel Pipes, New York Sun
October 17, 2006

Soldiers, sailors, and airmen once determined the outcome of warfare, but no longer. Today, television producers, columnists, preachers, and politicians have the pivotal role in deciding how well the West fights. This shift has deep implications.

for full article:
http://www.danielpipes.org/pf.php?id=4059
 

insein

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Sad but true. I mean when you have the terrorist groups sending videos to CNN of them killing our soldiers weeks before an election, our enemies know how to win this war. They obviously know they have no shot at a military struggle as they are almost wiped out but they can still win if they get rid of the Republicans. They know that by doing this they can get America to leave Iraq and Afghanistan and thus allow them a major victory for their cause.

Why else has the fighting escalated 10 fold over the last month or so. They know that Western Media will replay their violence 24/7 and echo it into every head they reach in order to push the MSM agenda of getting rid of Bush. Which ironically (or disturbingly) is the terrorist agenda as well. They know that getting rid of Bush's power is the only way to get American forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop America for at least a few years from taking the fight to them.

A sad world we live in.
 

jillian

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Except that it's total bull... I find it interesting that you have more problem with information being given to the public than WHAT the underlying information represents.

People die in war. How many are dying, how they are dying and whether their deaths are for a good purpose is something the public has a right to know and to decide for themselves.

Or should we do what they used to do in the old Soviet Union and play pro-government propaganda 24/7?
 

insein

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Except that it's total bull... I find it interesting that you have more problem with information being given to the public than WHAT the underlying information represents.

People die in war. How many are dying, how they are dying and whether their deaths are for a good purpose is something the public has a right to know and to decide for themselves.

Or should we do what they used to do in the old Soviet Union and play pro-government propaganda 24/7?
Soviet Russia is exactly the goal of the media. Why do you think they want to push for laws to control the internet? They dont like having their control slowly taken from their grasp.

I think we understood before that people die in war. However, what purpose does it serve to show propaganda foootage of a terrorist sniper shooting our soldiers? It serves to break the will of the American People right before an election. The fact that you accept it is why the terrorists do it. They know they can manipulate people like you who are willing to embrace anything that will serve your purpose of an American defeat. Is this the first soldier to die by an enemy gunshot in the history of the US? Not by a longshot. If you were so naive to think that people didnt die in war, then you dont live in the same world as the rest of us.

This propaganda film is exactly the kind of tool the enemy uses to weaken our will in order to stop us from taking the fight to them. And our media so willingly becomes their delivery system.
 

Gunny

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Except that it's total bull... I find it interesting that you have more problem with information being given to the public than WHAT the underlying information represents.

People die in war. How many are dying, how they are dying and whether their deaths are for a good purpose is something the public has a right to know and to decide for themselves.

Or should we do what they used to do in the old Soviet Union and play pro-government propaganda 24/7?
Nothing bull about it. The liberal MSM began deciding the outcome of wars when Cronkite uttered his infamous "we can't win" statement about Vietnam. Been rolling downhill ever since.
 

Redhots

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Well it seems some people payed attention to the fable The Grasshopper and the Ant when they were kids.

Get your excuses ready early.

Nevermind bungling policy makers that started the war and the architects of the war who basicly blew it after the first year. No it isn't the combination of arrogance, ignorance, and greed that loses the war, its the damn librul media.
 
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Adam's Apple

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Except that it's total bull... I find it interesting that you have more problem with information being given to the public than WHAT the underlying information represents.
It's not total bull. Insein was making a valid point about the MSM's (particularly CNN) penchant for aiding and abetting the enemy. What is the purpose of showing pictures of terrorists killing our soldiers if not to destroy support for the war among Americans? Are you actually saying that the MSM does not aid and abet the enemy in this way??????

No one is opposed to receiving unbiased, factual reports about the WOT; but I, for one, have a real problem with the NYT blatantly printing classified materials in an effort to do harm to the Republicans--and to the country in a time of war.
 

jillian

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It's not total bull. Insein was making a valid point about the MSM's (particularly CNN) penchant for aiding and abetting the enemy. What is the purpose of showing pictures of terrorists killing our soldiers if not to destroy support for the war among Americans? Are you actually saying that the MSM does not aid and abet the enemy in this way??????

No one is opposed to receiving unbiased, factual reports about the WOT; but I, for one, have a real problem with the NYT blatantly printing classified materials in an effort to do harm to the Republicans--and to the country in a time of war.

And I think it's nuts to say CNN is aiding and abetting the enemy. Sorry. But I do. As for the MSM, I've said before, and I continue to believe that it's called "mainstream" for a reason.... it's cause it's not extremist....

As for factual reports about the WOT. Most of us don't believe that Iraq has anything to do with the WOT. But that aside, I don't think you (and that's a generic you, not a personal you) do want factual reports. I think you only want things that are pro-Iraq and pro-Bush. Sorry... just how it seems to me. I'm sure I could be proven wrong on that.

As for releasing "classified information"... we know that isn't the case. I remember Gary Hart talking years ago about tracking the money and Kerry being involved in it as well since they had decided to track the money the same way they did with the banking and drug cases.

Now you wanna talk classified info... perhaps we might want to discuss Bob Novak writing about the company that Valerie Plame worked for and endangering every contact that worked with the company.
 

Gunny

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Well it seems some people payed attention to the fable The Grasshopper and the Ant when they were kids.

Get your excuses ready early.

Nevermind bungling policy makers that started the war and the architects of the war who basicly blew it after the first year. No it isn't the combination of arrogance, ignorance, and greed that loses the war, its the damn librul media.
There's plenty of blame to go around. That in no way excuses irresponsible, sensationalist, and biased/politically partisan reporting by the media since it's well-known that a lot of knuckleheads actually believe what it reports.
 

trobinett

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What a sad time in history, really, and I don't mean just for the United States, and her allies, but for human kind in general.

You've got people talking trash against the country they call home, you've got people giving aid and comfort to enemy's, that wish our way of life nothing but damnation.

You've got people, that call themselves patriots, willing to give away all that is held to be right, and moral, just for the sake of a moments peace.

You've got people, that will lay down, and allow themselves to be used by evil people for evil purposes.

The world is looking for soul, and commitment, and people, that have heart, moral character, not for those looking for the easy way out.

The United States, and many of her "allies" have chosen to take the easy way out. There is no salvation, or hope in that direction, there is only misery, and despair.

I pity those that see what is before us now, and wish only for the conflict to end. Nothing worth fighting for is easy, or without lost. Our enemy know this, we seem to show every day, that we DON'T.

Sad indeed.:boohoo:
 

Mr. P

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Media should “report” not influence which IS what they do these days. Main Stream media, J? Come-on, most people believe Iraq is not part of the WOT? Not in my world.

This media free for all started with Vietnam. Any ideas why Reagan didn’t let the press in on Grenada beforehand? Ya think he understood the negative effects the press has in war/armed conflict? You bet yer ass he did. Grenada was a success and the press was pissed. I wonder why. Not!

The media today is not focused on responsible reporting; instead they are focused on influencing Government policy and actions. That’s not their function IMO. We elect leaders to conduct the business of the Country, NOT the media who would like too just because they don’t agree. When ask why do you want to be a journalist, do you know how many I’ve heard say “because I want to make a difference, I want to change things”? Too many to count, way too many! That is NOT journalism, it’s activism with an anything is fair pass under the guise of reporting the news.

I think the imbedded media is a liability and a hindrance to our efforts in the WOT.

I think the Government should shut down the free flow of information regarding plans, operations etc. like a live claim closes itself when touched. In time of WAR we’d all be better off IMO.
 

trobinett

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Media should “report” not influence which IS what they do these days. Main Stream media, J? Come-on, most people believe Iraq is not part of the WOT? Not in my world.

This media free for all started with Vietnam. Any ideas why Reagan didn’t let the press in on Grenada beforehand? Ya think he understood the negative effects the press has in war/armed conflict? You bet yer ass he did. Grenada was a success and the press was pissed. I wonder why. Not!

The media today is not focused on responsible reporting; instead they are focused on influencing Government policy and actions. That’s not their function IMO. We elect leaders to conduct the business of the Country, NOT the media who would like too just because they don’t agree. When ask why do you want to be a journalist, do you know how many I’ve heard say “because I want to make a difference, I want to change things”? Too many to count, way too many! That is NOT journalism, it’s activism with an anything is fair pass under the guise of reporting the news.

I think the imbedded media is a liability and a hindrance to our efforts in the WOT.

I think the Government should shut down the free flow of information regarding plans, operations etc. like a live claim closes itself when touched. In time of WAR we’d all be better off IMO.
GREAT POST.

Don't know what else could, or should be said.

We are "waking up", and the media is "going to take a hit".

It can't come to soon for me.

How about you?
 

Annie

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Media should “report” not influence which IS what they do these days. Main Stream media, J? Come-on, most people believe Iraq is not part of the WOT? Not in my world.

This media free for all started with Vietnam. Any ideas why Reagan didn’t let the press in on Grenada beforehand? Ya think he understood the negative effects the press has in war/armed conflict? You bet yer ass he did. Grenada was a success and the press was pissed. I wonder why. Not!

The media today is not focused on responsible reporting; instead they are focused on influencing Government policy and actions. That’s not their function IMO. We elect leaders to conduct the business of the Country, NOT the media who would like too just because they don’t agree. When ask why do you want to be a journalist, do you know how many I’ve heard say “because I want to make a difference, I want to change things”? Too many to count, way too many! That is NOT journalism, it’s activism with an anything is fair pass under the guise of reporting the news.

I think the imbedded media is a liability and a hindrance to our efforts in the WOT.

I think the Government should shut down the free flow of information regarding plans, operations etc. like a live claim closes itself when touched. In time of WAR we’d all be better off IMO.
There are many problems with the reporting, but it's not from the 'embeds', which number all of nine recently:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/844nigml.asp?pg=1

Censoring Iraq
Why are there so few reporters with American troops in combat? Don't blame the media.
by Michael Yon
10/30/2006, Volume 012, Issue 07


In a counterinsurgency, the media battlespace is critical. When it comes to mustering public opinion, rallying support, and forcing opponents to shift tactics and timetables to better suit the home team, our terrorist enemies are destroying us. Al Qaeda's media arm is called al Sahab: the cloud. It feels more like a hurricane. While our enemies have "journalists" crawling all over battlefields to chronicle their successes and our failures, we have an "embed" media system that is so ineptly managed that earlier this fall there were only 9 reporters embedded with 150,000 American troops in Iraq. There were about 770 during the initial invasion.

Many blame the media for the estrangement, but part of the blame rests squarely on the chip-laden shoulders of key military officers and on the often clueless Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad, which doesn't manage the media so much as manhandle them. Most military public affairs officers are professionals dedicated to their jobs, but it takes only a few well-placed incompetents to cripple our ability to match and trump al Sahab. By enabling incompetence, the Pentagon has allowed the problem to fester to the point of censorship.

My experiences with the U.S. military as a soldier and then as a writer and photographer covering soldiers have been overwhelmingly positive, and I feel no shame in saying I am biased in favor of our troops. Even worse, I feel no shame in calling a terrorist a terrorist. I've seen their deeds and tasted air filled with burning human flesh from their bombs. I've seen terrorists kill children while our people risk their lives to save civilians again, and again, and again. I feel no shame in saying I hope that Afghanistan and Iraq "succeed," whatever that means. For that very reason, it would be a dereliction to remain silent about our military's ineptitude in handling the press. The subject is worthy of a book, but can't wait that long, lest we grow accustomed to a subtle but all too real censorship of the U.S. war effort.

I don't use the word lightly. Censorship is a hand grenade of an accusation, and a writer should be serious before pulling the pin. Indeed, some war-zone censorship for reasons of operational security is obviously desirable and important. No one can complain when Delta Force will not permit an embed. In fact, I have turned down offers to embed with some Special Operations forces because the limitations on what I could write would not be worth the danger and expense. But we can and should complain when authorities willfully limit war reporting. We should do so whether it happens as a matter of policy, or through incompetence or bureaucratic sloth. The result is the same in any case. And once the matter has been brought to the attention of the military and the Pentagon--which I have quietly done--and still the situation is not rectified, it is time for a public accounting.

For generations journalists have been allowed to "embed" with various U.S. military units, including infantry outfits. Infantry is perhaps the most dangerous, underpaid, and unglamorous job on the planet. Infantrymen are called grunts, trigger-pullers, cannon fodder, and ground-pounders. Long hours, low pay, and death, death, death. If they survive, they get a welcome-home party. Sometimes. And that's it: Thanks. In World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, reporters were given wide latitude to travel with the infantry, even if few could stand it for long. Up to last year, this war was no different. A journalist could stay out with the infantry for as long as he could take it. I spent most of 2005 in Iraq, and most of that was with infantry units in combat.

I went to Iraq initially at the behest of military friends who insisted that what Americans were seeing on the news wasn't an accurate reflection of the reality on the ground. Two of my friends died on consecutive days. When the charred remains of American contractors were strung from a bridge in Falluja, I put aside a book I was writing to attend the funerals. In Colorado we laid to rest a Special Forces friend who'd been killed in Samara; then on to Florida for the funeral of the friend who'd been murdered and mutilated in Falluja. A photo of the dang ling corpses won a Pulitzer.

...

I con tacted Major Jeffrey Pool, the Marine officer in charge of tracking media in Iraq. He confirmed the figure of only nine embedded reporters. Three were from Stars and Stripes, one from the Armed Forces Network, another from a Polish radio station who was with Polish forces, and one Italian reporter embedded with his country's troops. Of the remaining three, one was an author gathering material for later, leaving two who were reporting on a regular basis to what you might think would be the Pentagon's center of gravity: American citizens.

Although the number of embeds is in constant flux, on the day of Major Pool's report there was approximately one independent journalist for every 75,000 troops. Most embeds last for a matter of days. So, how are our troops doing in Iraq? Afghanistan? Who knows?

The bulk of the reporting on Iraq comes from the "Baghdad News Bureaus"--the mainstream media correspondents who, because of the danger, generally gather information from the safety of their fortresses by using Iraqi stringers.

...
 

jillian

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Media should “report” not influence which IS what they do these days. Main Stream media, J? Come-on, most people believe Iraq is not part of the WOT? Not in my world.
I realize that. But at this point, even people who started out thinking Iraq was a good idea believe it's been handled so badly that it's a total and complete failure.

This media free for all started with Vietnam.
You think that because then, as now, there was a badly run war for badly run reasons with brave troops being sacrificed for the vanity of a few in power. And in both cases, the flow of information, giving people a chance to make a reasonable assessment of the situation, resulted in the unpopularity of the war.

That said, I think both then and now, had overwhelming force been used originally, the war would have been much different.

Any ideas why Reagan didn’t let the press in on Grenada beforehand? Ya think he understood the negative effects the press has in war/armed conflict? You bet yer ass he did. Grenada was a success and the press was pissed. I wonder why. Not!
The press has no negative effect on war. The run up to Iraq was practically a love letter to George Bush's agenda. People yell about the NYT, but it was Judy Miller's (untruthful) coverage which helped lead us into this conflict in the first place.

The media today is not focused on responsible reporting; instead they are focused on influencing Government policy and actions. That’s not their function IMO. We elect leaders to conduct the business of the Country, NOT the media who would like too just because they don’t agree. When ask why do you want to be a journalist, do you know how many I’ve heard say “because I want to make a difference, I want to change things”? Too many to count, way too many! That is NOT journalism, it’s activism with an anything is fair pass under the guise of reporting the news.
I think the media has always been a check on government... hence it being the Fourth Estate. Has an old and honorable history... Ben Franklin really liked his printing press, no?

I think the imbedded media is a liability and a hindrance to our efforts in the WOT.
I agree... but probably for the opposite reason you do. I think embedding journalists gives government control over the message instead of the truth being reported.

I think the Government should shut down the free flow of information regarding plans, operations etc. like a live claim closes itself when touched. In time of WAR we’d all be better off IMO.
I certainly don't think information about things like troop locations and the like should be published. I'd never want to see otherwise unpublished information being used to hurt troops.

But I don't think not allowing coffins to be photographed is covered by that tent.
 

trobinett

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Jillian posts:

But I don't think not allowing coffins to be photographed is covered by that tent.
WTF, tell me, if you can, what is accomplished by the publication of pictures of coffins?

How does that help, or hurt the war effort for EITHER side?

I await your timely reply.:cool:
 
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Adam's Apple

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And I think it's nuts to say CNN is aiding and abetting the enemy. Sorry. But I do. As for the MSM, I've said before, and I continue to believe that it's called "mainstream" for a reason.... it's cause it's not extremist....
Come on, Jillian. You’re not that blind; a lawyer plying her trade perhaps, but not blind. CNN’s as left wing as they come; they are “mainstream” to left wingers only. In case you haven’t noticed, CNN doesn’t play to conservatives. Oh, I forgot--to your way of thinking, conservatives are not “mainstream”.

As for factual reports about the WOT. Most of us don't believe that Iraq has anything to do with the WOT.
Who is “most of us”? Left wingers? Liberal Californians? Democrats?

You should give thanks every day that the terrorists are being kept busy fighting in Iraq so that you (generic!) don’t have to fight them in California. If your elected reps voted for the Patriot Act, be sure to thank them.

Now you wanna talk classified info... perhaps we might want to discuss Bob Novak writing about the company that Valerie Plame worked for and endangering every contact that worked with the company.
I have never read anything in Novak’s columns that could be considered classified information in the same way that the NYT’s reports classified information. I would remind you that it was common knowledge in Washington that Valerie Plume was employed by the CIA. Aldrich Ames blew her cover in the spy world many years ago. That’s why she was working a desk job at the CIA and no longer under cover. The Plume story was manufactured for political effect in this country. On the other hand, how many of us—including those who work in the media--knew the WOT details leaked to the NYT—and dutifully printed--that could only help the enemies of this country in the WOT?

Now back to the question I asked in my prior post: what is the purpose of showing pictures of the terrorists killing our soldiers if not to destroy support for the war among Americans?
 

Gunny

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Come on, Jillian. You’re not that blind; a lawyer plying her trade perhaps, but not blind. CNN’s as left wing as they come; they are “mainstream” to left wingers only. In case you haven’t noticed, CNN doesn’t play to conservatives. Oh, I forgot--to your way of thinking, conservatives are not “mainstream”.



Who is “most of us”? Left wingers? Liberal Californians? Democrats?

You should give thanks every day that the terrorists are being kept busy fighting in Iraq so that you (generic!) don’t have to fight them in California. If your elected reps voted for the Patriot Act, be sure to thank them.



I have never read anything in Novak’s columns that could be considered classified information in the same way that the NYT’s reports classified information. I would remind you that it was common knowledge in Washington that Valerie Plume was employed by the CIA. Aldrich Ames blew her cover in the spy world many years ago. That’s why she was working a desk job at the CIA and no longer under cover. The Plume story was manufactured for political effect in this country. On the other hand, how many of us—including those who work in the media--knew the WOT details leaked to the NYT—and dutifully printed--that could only help the enemies of this country in the WOT?

Now back to the question I asked in my prior post: what is the purpose of showing pictures of the terrorists killing our soldiers if not to destroy support for the war among Americans?
There is no other purpose. Of course, if you showed a US military sniper taking out some Iraqi terrorists, the headlines would be demanding a murder investigation.
 

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