Wednesday, July 16, 2003

The Vietnamization of Iraq.

David Adesnik on the OxBlog has a great look at what he calls the "Vietnam Mindset". I couldn't be in more agreement and a quick run over to the NY Times finds an article reporting a, "rash of attacks". Just looking at this article you can see the reporter trying to create a feeling of hopelessness. My issues with this Times article are numerable;

"a rash of attacks". Since when do a few attacks, one of which it is questionable to include as the attack was not against America/Collation personal but rather Iraqis, in a nation the size of Iraq constitute a "rash"?

"Thirty-four American soldiers have have been killed by insurgents". What kind of world do you live in where you feel you can label Ba'athists, thugs and radical Islamists as insurgents? What's next, are the Al Quada and Taliban terrorists at GITMO going to be labeled as dissidents? Guerilla Mystic is right.

Body counting. Trying to show how awful things are going for us by constantly repeating death tolls. In this article there four death tolls mentione; (1) 34 dead by attack (2) 49 dead in attack and accident (3) 300 wounded in combat (4) 315 wounded in non combat all since "President Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq on May 1". 34 dead? That seems like an awful lot. The average American probably doesn't know a single person that has died since 5/1/2003 so 34 seems awful high, that is until you provide perspective. Over the course of the Vietnam, American journalism's favorite war, we lost 5 people a day. May 1st to July 16 is 77 days. By the standard set in Vietnam we should be around 385 deaths. The death toll in Iraq is less than 7% of Vietnam but the media won't ever give you that perspective. Want more? In the last 77 days in the US (based on the most resent data), days during which we lost 34 valiant soldiers in Iraq, we lost around 8,800 Americans in fatal car accidents. Newspapers, TV, Radio are full of the death and lose of American blood in Iraq and completely quiet on highway deaths even though we spilt 260 times the blood on our roads than we have in Iraq. They won't ever make this comparison for you lest you come to the conclusion that if we can fix the middle east a little for a tiny fraction of the blood we lose driving to work then it's worth the effort.

Disgruntled Soldier Quotes. You are a reporter with all the power and resources of the NY Times at you disposal and you only quote one soldier? One. What are you tying to get across with your sample of one? I question as to whether or not Spc. Carlos McKenzie even exists.

There are 4 points where in just this one article where you can see the Vietnamization taking effect. (1) Small unrelated and inconsequential attacks are made out to seem like a organized assault. Regardless of the media accounts we won the Tet Offensive. (2) Canonization of the enemy. Thugs, murders and Islamist terrorist are merely, "insurgents" and soon to be freedom fighters while our soldiers are relabeled baby killers. (3) Body count mantras. Repeating the body count over and over and over for no reason other that making is out to be the only thing that matters. Report on progress in Iraq? No. Body count went from 34 to 35? Stop the $##&@ presses! and (4) Making is seem like even our own soldiers don't want to be there by only interviewing the disgruntled.

The media warned us the Gulf War, then Kosovo and recently Afghanastan would all be "another Vietnam". Maybe they miss Vietnam so much they are just going to pretend this is 1969 all over again and angle their reports to make it look as such, truth be dammed.

UPDATE: I have been provided with information that Spc. Carlos McKenzie is a real person and with that knowledge I'd like to say I greatly appreciate Spc. McKenzie's sacrifice for what I believe is the betterment of a world even if he doesn't see it. This doesn't alter the fact that the Times only quoting one soldier, who conveniently is disgruntled, comes across as trying to manipulate the feelings of the reader into thinking no one wants to be there.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?