Skip to comments.Rush Limbaugh Live Thread Thursday December 7th
Posted on 12/07/2006 8:49:54 AM PST by MNJohnnie
The Military and The Media
The divide grows
FALLUJAH, IRAQ: I've completed the first leg of the journey to Iraq, after having moved through Dubai, Kuwait and Baghdad. I am now at Camp Fallujah. While in Fallujah, I'll embed with a Marine Police Transition Team (PTT) and also meet with the Civil Affairs Group. The next stop will be Ramadi.
The trip - from my front door to Fallujah - took 3 ½ days, accounting for the 8 hour time shift between the East Coast and Iraq. This is remarkable considering Iraq is a war zone. I spent all of 35 minutes in the Green Zone getting my ID badge and another two hours waiting for a flight to Fallujah. Most of the time was spent waiting at military airbases, trying to catch that next flight out on a plane or helicopter.
During my movement to Fallujah, I was on 3 bases and one camp: At Ali Al Salem (Kuwait), BIAP (Baghdad International Airport), Camp Stryker, and LZ Washington (inside the Green Zone).
The travel is long, and it can be boring if you let it get to you. But you're surrounded by a bunch of soldiers, Marines and contractors that are also traveling, many of them alone. They are either coming back from or going on leave, or moving into or out of the region. Most of them are quite friendly and happy to strike up a conversation. This is an interesting time to speak to them, because they are not as engrossed in the daily grind of Iraq as they are when I see them while I'm embedded. Here is a brief overview of some of the discussions I had with those I met while shuttling around Kuwait and Iraq.
Ali Al Salem:
At the transient tent (where you get to sleep and store your gear while waiting), I spoke to an Explosive Ordinance and Demolitions (EOD) contractor. These are the guys that blow up the leftover explosives and munitions from the Saddam era. He told me about how the media isn't telling the full story about the nature of the enemy, and specifically complained about the manipulation and distortion of the Kay report. He said he's run across bunkers and the equipment and chemical precursors to WMD buried in the deserts of western Iraq.
During a smoke break, an Army private discussed his time in Balad. He said mortars (which are blind-fired) are the greatest threat his unit faces. Not IEDs, I asked? Nope. While waiting to board the flight to BIAP, a Marine Major complained about how the progress in western Iraq has virtually gone unnoticed, and was furious over the characterization of the Devlin report on Anbar province. I gave him my card.
I had the pleasure being the only person on the shuttle bus from BIAP to Camp Stryker, and the driver, an Army specialist, struck up a conversation with me. I needed a SIM chip for my cell phone so I could call the States and in Iraq, so he took me across the base on some extremely bumpy roads looking for a place that sold them. During the drive, he explained his forays into Sadr City, how the residents were largely hostile to U.S. forces, and some engagements he's encountered. Yet he spoke admirably of the Iraqi people. He said they were hard working and willing to fight, and hoped we wouldn't abandon the Iraqi people.
We couldn't find an open store that sold the SIM chip, so he kindly offered to give me his as he knew I was desperate. I paid him for the card and a little extra to call home. He said he'll get a new card tomorrow.
While waiting to catch the flight to the Green Zone, I spoke to two Army captains, one who works in Civil Affairs, the other with the Military Transition Teams. Both explained how the situation could look very different based on your job, but that the Iraqi police and Army were making real progress. They said the Iraqis' skills ranged from poor to excellent, but they always saw improvement.
I also overheard an Army specialist sitting behind me curse the media (and I mean curse), saying they didn't know what they were talking about when it came to Iraq. I talked to him, and explained I'm considered a reporter, and that I won't argue with his points. I made him uncomfortable. Had he known I was 'the press' I think he would have kept it to himself.
While waiting to manifest on the flight to Fallujah, CNN played a news segment of President Bush announcing there would be no graceful exit from Iraq, and that we'd stay until the mission was complete. Two sergeants in the room cheered. Loudly. They then scoffed at the reports from Baghdad, and jeered the balcony reporting.
In nearly every conversation, the soldiers, Marines and contractors expressed they were upset with the coverage of the war in Iraq in general, and the public perception of the daily situation on the ground. They felt the media was there to sensationalize the news, and several stated some reporters were only interested in blood and guts. They freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war. They felt the media had abandoned them.
During each conversation, I was left in the awkward situation of having to explain that while, yes, I am wearing a press badge, I'm not 'one of them.' I used descriptions like 'independent journalist' or 'blogger' in an attempt to separate myself from the pack.
What a terrible situation to be in, having to defend yourself because of your profession. I've always said that the hardest thing about embedding (besides leaving my family) is wearing the badge that says 'PRESS.' That hasn't changed. I hide the badge whenever I can get away with it.
This isn't the first time I encountered this sentiment from the troops. I experienced this attitude from the Marines while I was in western Iraq last year, and the soldiers in the Canadian Army in Afghanistan also expressed frustration with the media's presentation of the war.
Perhaps this tension between the media and the military is nothing new. But it appalls me none the less.
Why Must Democrats Always Meet With the Wartime Enemy?
Yesterday's news was disgusting and theacherous but shocking? ...No!
This news yesterday that democrats were meeting with Hamas terrorists on the sly is disgusting but not so shocking:
Sources close to the Hamas-led government claimed that Hamas representatives recently held talks with officials from the US Democratic Party at a secret location.
This, of course, isn't the first time that democrats have held secret meetings with the enemy during wartime...
This certainly is nothing new for the democrats.
1864- During the Civil War democrats often met secretly with the Confederacy.
A democratic pamphlet handed out during the Civil War. (Wikipedia) Dartemis explains:
Copperheads nominally favored the Union but they strongly opposed the war, for which they blamed abolitionists, and they demanded immediate peace and resisted the draft laws. They wanted Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power, seeing the president as a tyrant who was destroying American republican values with his despotic and arbitrary actions.
Some Copperheads tried to persuade Union soldiers to desert. They talked of helping Confederate prisoners of war seize their camps and escape. They sometimes met with Confederate agents and took their money. The Confederacy encouraged their activities whenever possible.
1970- John Kerry secretly meets with representatives from the Vietcong in France while the Vietnam War is raging in southeast Asia.
Front Page reported:
John and Julia Kerry travel to Paris on a private trip. Kerry meets with Madam Win Thi Binh, the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of Vietnam (PRG) -- the political wing of the Vietcong -- and with representatives of Hanoi who were in Paris for the peace talks.
1983- Senator Ted Kennedy secretly offered the Soviet KGB assistance in bringing down Ronald Reagan in the upcoming US election. HotAir reported:
That document is a memo regarding an offer made by Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts via former Senator John Tunney, both Democrats, to the General Secretary of the Communist Party, USSR, Yuri Andropov, in 1983. The offer was to help the Soviet leadership, military and civilian, conduct a PR campaign in the United States as President Ronald Reagan sought re-election. The goal of the PR campaign would be to cast President Reagan as a warmonger, the Soviets as willing to peacefully co-exist, and thereby turn the electorate away from Reagan. It was a plan to enlist Soviet help, and use the American press, in unseating an American president.
John Kerry (left) and Tom Harkin (middle) on their visit to Daniel Ortega, April 1985. The woman is unidentified.
1985- Senator John Kerry and Senator Tom Harkin during the Cold War met with the communist radical Manuel Orgega in Nicaragua. Hacer.org reported:
You will recall the 1980s, and that decade's fierce debates over Central America policy. At the heart of these debates was Nicaragua: the Sandinistas, Castro, and the Soviet Union versus the Contras and the United States (or rather, not all of the United States: the Reagan administration, in particular). Kerry was an important player in all this. He was part of a group derided by Republicans as "'Dear Comandante' Democrats," for they would address letters to Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista No. 1, "Dear Comandante." ("But that's his title," they would plead, not unreasonably.)
Only months after he was sworn in, Kerry joined Harkin on an infamous trip to Managua, to meet with Comandante Ortega.
2002- Senator Jay Rockefeller took a trip by himself (his own admission) before the start of the war in Iraq and secretly told Syria who is allied with Saddam Hussein that the United States was going to war with Iraq. From National Review:
I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.
posted by Gateway Pundit at 12/07/2006 05:49:00 AM | 0 comments links to this post Trackback Wednesday, December 06, 2006 Quagmire-Shmagmire... Iraqis Control 70% of Battlespace
** And, Iraqis are expected to takeover control of security & combat operations within the next year! **
Excuse me... But, wasn't that our goal all along? ...Wasn't ousting the brutal dictator, bringing freedom and democracy, and securing the nation until the country can successfully take over operations the goal for Iraq?
I realize the Bush Administration has not done a fantastic job getting the message out, but isn't this what we set out to accomplish?
We didn't promise Iraq a rose garden, just freedom from a brutal tyrant and democracy!
The Iraqi forces already control a majority of the country.
Oh... And, it has nothing to do with talking with the mullacracy next door!
Thanks to Freeper EmilyGeiger for the link to this song.
Listen to Rush on Line.
You win! Best post and 1st!
Pearl Harbor Day!
Hi folks; just watching the Bush/Blair conference.
Will be in for the first hour.
Me too, UK. I am so grateful to your PM for mentioning the need to get Shalit released.
Too early--Got lots of work to do. Customers screaming for parts.
Later for sure, though, LOL!
Morning. Thanks for the ping.
I hear Bush is kicking butt and taking names.
Yes, very good!
Here are a couple of things I hope Limbaugh gets to...
Well, so far, the ISG is catching hell from the right.
I think Bush is on the same page as us on this.
Yes that was good.
After a tentative start I enjoyed W giving it to that smug git from the BBC.
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