Jewish World Review April 7, 2003 / 5 Nisan, 5763
When the truth is a casualty
Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about the Iraqi war press
coverage has been the misleading headlines that have appeared in some major
American newspapers. The words "fierce fighting" and "ferocious resistance"
have been used time and time again to describe the Iraqi performance on the
battlefield. On more than one occasion, I thought I was reading about
Stalingrad or Iwo Jima. But there was always one major problem with all the
articles: American and British casualties have been light -- very light.
It is, of course, very difficult to know the truth about
specific battles because even the "imbedded" reporters are often kept away
from the direct action for their own safety. And unfortunately, many in the
American media hype stories all over the place in order to attract readers
and viewers. Can you imagine the reporting on the atomic bombing of
Hiroshima today? I can't.
Also, some media outlets want the war in Iraq to go poorly for
the Bush administration for political reasons. Thus, the more chaos and
uncertainty that war headlines and stories can produce, the better the
ultimate outcome will be as far as they're concerned. These ideologues
masquerading as news people are hoping for a Pyrrhic victory so that the
hawks will not gain power and prestige.
I deeply resent that kind of game playing with news, especially
concerning a story that is vitally important to all Americans. So in this
column I am going to do something about it. A few days ago, I was handed an
email from the Iraqi front. It came from a U.S. Army colonel in the Third
Infantry Division. He is deeply angered over much of the reporting he is
seeing in the American media. I have to protect his identity because the
Pentagon does not like its officers going off the reservation and providing
journalists like me this kind of perspective.
The following is what his email said: "The Third (31D) is making
history here. In the past 48 hours, we have destroyed two (Iraqi) divisions,
and six other divisions decided not to fight or have formally capitulated.
Of course, this is never reported in the news. I do daily air recon in a
Blackhawk escorted by Apaches, and we have probably killed close to 10,000
(Iraqi soldiers). We are continuously sniped at and receive periodic mortar
fire. Bottom line, they shoot -- they die. Every American soldier (here) is
getting a chance to engage and kill the enemy.
"Iraq has these maniacs, death squad guys called Saddam Feddyen,
DGS forces, IIS, and Ba'ath Party forces that we spend most of our day
killing. They continuously make suicidal charges at our tanks, brads
(fighting vehicles) and checkpoints. We are happy to send them to hell. You
would not believe the carnage. Imagine body parts about knee deep, with
hundreds of (Iraqi) vehicles burning, occupants inside. We fill up trucks
with body parts daily.
"The plan is going exactly as scripted. The news is full of
s---. We have almost total control. Don't know how much longer the division
can keep up this pace, but we are prepared to do it."
Compare that account with what you are reading in the papers and
hearing on the television news. Does it compute? If it doesn't, then your
news outlet may not be doing its job.
The email I quoted is genuine in every way. It was not
solicited, it was not hyped. It is an eyewitness report from an American
field commander who wants you to know what your military is experiencing.
And now you do.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author
of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.
03/31/03: Yes, you're entitled to your uninformed opinion
03/24/03: That's the way it isn't, Walter
03/17/03: This loyal Catholic believes that, humanistically, the Pope is one of the many Saddam enablers
03/10/03: The new Nazis
03/03/03: Hey, it's personal
02/24/03: A peace of the action
02/18/03: Cash for what?
02/10/03: Runaway train
02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/30/02: THE TRUTH BE TOLD
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record
© 2001 Creators Syndicate