Media bias apparent in ‘burning bodies’ story

First, the headline:

U.S. Soldiers Burned Bodies of Taliban Fighters, Taunted Villagers

The story:

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) – The U.S. military said Wednesday it was investigating a report carried on an Australian television network that claimed American soldiers in Afghanistan burned the bodies of two Taliban fighters and then used the action to taunt other Islamic militants.

The SBS television network said it broadcast video footage on its respected Dateline current affairs program showing U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of the suspected Taliban fighters in the hills outside the southern village of Gonbaz, near the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

Back to the headline, one word we need to examine is “Villagers”. If you read on in the story, you’ll find that the troops weren’t ‘taunting’ mere “villagers” – their goal was to draw out Islamic militants (and note that they opted to use the words “militant” and “fighters” rather than “terrorist” – surprise, surprise). Later in the story, we read:

Shortly after the bodies were burned, another group of soldiers then sent taunting messages about the act to the nearby village, believed to be harboring Taliban soldiers, according to a transcript of the program. SBS said the troops that sent the messages were part of the U.S. Army’s psychological operations unit.

“Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies,” said one message read by a soldier, according to the transcript.

The only “villagers” here being “taunted” are any who are suspected of either being a Taliban terrorist or harboring them!

The clear implication from the headline is this: US soldiers brutally burned bodies of Taliban “soldiers” (note again that they didn’t use the word “terrorists” :shock:) and then taunted nearby innocent “villagers.” It’s only when you read into the story that you realize that the villagers aren’t so innocent. What we’re supposed to think: ‘This is just like Abu Ghraib!’, an Australian news outlet, goes ahead and tells us that in the last line of this article:

The incident is reminiscent of the psychological techniques used in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

Isn’t it just wonderful how the media enjoys drawing the conclusions forus rather than trusting us to come to them ourselves?

This is yet another classic example of how the media manipulates news to support their anti-war viewpoints. Our fighting forces are in Afghanistan to smoke out (no pun intended) terrorist thugs who want to kill us and turn our country into an Islamic state, yet we get this nonsense about alleged brutality/desecration done by our troops to them? This is such a horribly reported story that it’s pathetic.

Jason Coleman has an extensive post that gives you the *complete* story along with some, shall we say, ‘interesting’ tidbits about Stephen DuPont and John Martinkus, the reporters (who were embedded with American troops) who filmed and commented about this story. You won’t be surpised once you’re done reading it as to why this story ended up getting reported the way it did.

Beth at MY VRWC has more.

Hat tip: Charmaine Yoest.

(Cross-posted at Blogs For Bush)

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