J.R. Dunn writes today in the American Thinker about the speculation going on regarding Haditha, with an emphasis on how the Islamofascist thugs use the media to turn Americans against the war – especially note the third paragraph below :
The war in Iraq is a low-level insurrection slowly â€“ all too slowly â€“ grinding to a halt. The insurgents have attempted to take and hold ground in cities like Tal Afar and Fallujah, and have failed. They have attempted to stop the electoral process through intimidation, and have failed. They have attempted to split the country through civil war, and have failed. Few tactics remain to them, one of which is to take a page from the Vietnam playbook and work the media, hoping that upheaval in the U.S. itself will win their war for them. And that requires a My Lai.
So they’ve been trying to arrange one. To create the conditions for a massacre. Ambushing Coalition troops from houses full of helpless, unarmed civilians, hoping that the soldiers would respond with all the firepower at their command, and exposing the resulting carnage to the full glare of the international media. That was the plan at Ishaqi, and it might have worked if the shooter hadn’t survived. That was also the plan at Haditha—and somebody walked right into it. Some young men angered beyond rationality at seeing a friend blown in half by an IED, driven by impulses we will never know, stormed the nearest homes to kill not only the lone terrorist (according to the account in Time, there were two AK-47s but only one gunman), but everyone else as well—man, woman, and child.
If more proof is needed, consider the May 30 USA Today story in which Marine Captain Andrew Del Gaudio described coming under machine-gun fire this past April after an IED killed four of his men. As he was about to engage, he saw that the enemy had placed a line of children in front of the gun, with two video cameras ready to film them as they were shot down. Del Gaudio held his fire, and was injured by the next rounds. His troops flanked the machine-gun nest before attacking, and the children survived. (Further testimony along the same lines in offered in the Wall Street Journal‘s June 6 “Best of the Web Today” by a unnamed officer under the heading “Letter from Iraq”.)
More: Tony Blankley says Haditha tells us more about the media than it does the Marines:
But what further cuts is to listen to media people casually perpetrate libel against not just the still-presumed-innocent Marines but against our services more generally. To see the gleam in the eyes of reporters happily cackling on about “other possible incidents” — about which they know not whether they even exist — is to be filled with a fury that we have a system of journalism that permits people with such mentalities to poison the minds of the world with their malice.
Of course if an American soldier, sailor, Marine or airman is found by a court martial made up of seasoned officers with a practical understanding of the exigencies of combat to have violated the standards of combat, he or she must face American military justice. But in time of war, there is no reason why military censorship should not be enforced to shroud the carrying out of justice from the eager eyes and ears of enemy propagandists — domestic and foreign.
Pending the implementation of such a policy, journalists should sharply limit their reporting to the bare established facts, preferably reported once on page A36. (You know, the way they report Democratic Party scandals.)
But in the lunatic asylum that is today’s America-at-war journalism, one possibly unfortunate event opens a floodgate of over-reporting, misreporting and just plain lying. Nothing is too harsh or too untrue to say about our military by these (fill in the blank).
The MSM’s coverage of the Haditha allegations brings to mind ABC News’ Terry Moran’s comments about how there was a strong anti-military bias in today’s mainstream press – and it dates back to Vietnam. Via an interview with Hugh Hewitt last year (transcript courtesy of Austin Bay):
HH: Let me ask you something. Major K, a major in the Army who is reporting from Iraq on his blog all the time says, all this being said, it is no small wonder that a gulf has opened between journalists and the general public. I think even the most John Q. Sixpacks know when they are being fed a line of blank blank blank. My brother called me a journalist once during a conversation about this blog. I was offended. That is a general impression among the American military about the media, Terry. Where does that come from?
TM: It comes from, I think, a huge gulf of misunderstanding, for which I lay plenty of blame on the media itself. There is, Hugh, I agree with you, a deep anti-military bias in the media. One that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong. I think that that is a hangover from Vietnam, and I think it’s very dangerous.
Extremely dangerous, I’d say.
(Hat tip for the Blankley link: ST reader Baklava)
For more background on how appallingly bad media coverage of all things war-related only hurts our troops and affects support here at home, visit W. Thomas Smith, Jr.’s archive of opinion pieces.
- Michael Yon: Haditha in context
- Today’s must-read on Haditha
- Chris Hitchens: Haditha is not My Lai
- Mark Steyn on Haditha
- A series of posts on Haditha
- Jed Babbin on Haditha
- Murtha slimes our troops: “â€¦it looks like it’s the policy of our troops to do something like this.”
- The Haditha incident
- Does Rep. John Murtha know something we don’t?
- Gray Lady Down – a slam against the NYT
- “If 1941 Were 2005”
- The media’s war
- Winning in spite of defeatist attitudes
- The undermining of this war