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July 08, 2004

Comments

Zhang Fei

From the article: "They have reached a level of organization and sophistication that we have not seen previously," Ware said. "They have become incredibly savvy."

Let's see - these guys are taking big casualties, control no territory and are organized and sophisticated, while American troops have taken a few hundred KIA and are incompetent and simplistic. Would Ware know organization and sophistication if it walked up to him and bit him on the rear end?

Diggs

The only way anyone could call these groups savvy and sophisticated is if they are no longer a disinterested third party. If the terrorists were killing Coalition soldiers at an exchange rate of 1 to 40 (approx our current exchange rate), there wouldn't be a single reporter calling our soldiers sophisticated and savvy. I'm with Lileks; wiring a few old artillery shells to explode when you connect a car battery wire isn't sophisticated. Dropping a 500lb bomb from a plane at 30k feet, onto a single house, guided by lasers held hundreds of meters away...now that's sophistication!

marky48

I'm afraid the young soldier who longs for the mountains misses the point of reporting. The concept that reporters are conspiring with the enemy is ludicrous. My Silver Star father who bunked in with Hemmingway at the Bulge would agree. You've been listening to your own propaganda for too long.

Propaganda come from all parties concerned. Reporting comes from ground research. Reporters ARE calling our military savvy but you turned off the switch that can hear it. The question is this: can YOU handle the power? I don't think so, because you srike me as a young punk who likes to blow up things. Maybe you should work on that image? I'm old enough to be your father so don't sass me back youn man.

Zhang Fei

marky48: The concept that reporters are conspiring with the enemy is ludicrous.

Is there any coherence to your arguments, or is it one change of subject after another? What does your age, Hemingway, the Battle of the Bulge and the fact that most journalists out there have an anti-American agenda have to do with each other? They're not conspiring with each other - they're just a bunch of liberals who see things the same way. There's no conspiracy - just a meeting of liberal minds. Note that 90% of journalists are Democrats. The problem is that they are looking to change the world in favor of their liberal views, not report the news.

Zhang Fei

marky48: Propaganda come from all parties concerned.

Actually, propaganda consists of lies disguised as fact. Someone who subscribes to liberal doctrine may not see the difference between truth and falsity, but the rest of us certainly do.

Diggs

Marky 48, if your father was at the Battle of the Bulge, then I doubt very much you could be old enough to be my father.
As for the rest of your comments, I don't follow the logic, sorry.

DeWayne

Flat-earth alert, flat-earth alert!!! We got ourselves another of them either with us or agin us situations. A press that is biased toward the US's official line, a press that can be fed pictures and rides in the big vehicles by the military, a press that can only report the US side is not objective.

Its propaganda. But given so many Americans have experienced little else, they prefer propaganda. And who would want to tell Americans that there is no tooth fairy?

Mark A. York

Let me be blunt: Your're a totalitarian conservative nutbag and like all of this ilk you've never met a fallacy you didn't adopt as gospel. Take a logic course. You hate the press because they report things as they are, not as your peculiar worldview dictates you see it.

Here's the scary part: you're advanced educational accomplishments which are commendable have done nothing to actaully disway these twisted wingnut beliefs. Join the swiftnuts, that's the way they think. Since Lt. Diggs is being cited at pressthink as an authority on media conspiracy with the enemy I'd say I don't follow you logic either. it's fallacious and flat wrong. I feel sorry for you.

I'm 51, that's old enough to be your father.

Mark A. York

What DeWayne said.

Diggs

Mark A. York says "Since Lt. Diggs is being cited at pressthink as an authority on media conspiracy with the enemy"
I'm not sure who said that, it surely wasn't me. Then he follows with the statement
"I'm 51, that's old enough to be your father."
If you were fathering children at the age of three, then yes, you could be my father. Since I haven't read any medical journals covering such an unusual feat, I doubt it.
The rest of your statements are based on assumptions just as false as that one, so I need comment no futher.

Mark  A. York

Then you're one of those young lookers like myself. I didn't request your medical records to check. So be it on that assumption, but don't spread that over the rest because it won't stick well. Tim is a collegue of yours at pressthink. He cited you and unlike me he's ashamed of who he is. He carries the "jounralists are the enemy" fallacy. If you don't, then my apologies.

Diggs

I'm not really sure what pressthink is.
I personally don't think that the press is the enemy. That doesn't mean I don't think that some reporters, this guy in the story is one, truly hate America. There are some who do. And their right to print what they want to print, at least in this country, is sancrosact.
I wrote an earlier post (20 May 2004, Anti-American Media is Not a Military Problem) in response to very vindictive article by a retired military officer, where I say, among other things that, "The media, no matter what they send out to the rest of the world, is not the military’s “enemy”. We have strict requirements for deciding who the enemy is, because once that is decided, it’s okay to kill them with whatever means you have (limited by the Law of Land Warfare). It is not okay to kill the media under any circumstances (unless they are actual armed combatants), even if they are reporting stuff that is likely to look bad, or even end up getting any number of soldier’s killed, or allowing the American public to lose the will to continue the fight. Peters doesn’t say it’s okay to consider them the enemy, but he looks to find a military solution to the problems we are having with the media. There will be some commanders in the field, who, if asked to come up with a solution to fix the “media problem”, will come up with one. That is not in anyone’s interest."
I believe firmly, and will defend with my life if I have to, the Constitutionally protected free press. But I have also seen, first hand, the press in a war zone act as if everything stated by an American was to be viewed with distrust, while reporting as fact something told by a man-on-the-street interview with someone who didn't see what was going on.
I've lost the link, but for a while there was a great picture of a bunch of soldiers sitting on a curb in some Iraqi town, trying to rest. A reporter had tried to interview some of them, and when the photog with him took their picture, one of the soldiers was flipping the bird and no one at AP noticed. Sometimes that is the appropriate response to a reporter, and I'd say that it's protected speech, not that we soldiers have much in the way of protected speech.
I guess it was inconceivable to them that some shit-kicker kid from Arkansas would do that, so it slipped on through all the editors. I hope the soldier gets a framed 8x10 of that one and laughs about it years from now.

Mark  A. York

Unfortunately, the military is anything but free. The press's job is to find the truth not repeat euphamized propaganda from centcom. Jay Rosen's NYU pressthink site. You're a source there.

Zhang Fei

Mark A. York: The press's job is to find the truth not repeat euphamized propaganda from centcom.

Actually, the press's job is to report all the news, not to find the truth. Journalists aren't equipped to find the truth - they're not knowledgeable or unbiased enough to do so.

marky48

That's an appeal to inappropriate authority: you. Invalid.

Mark  A. York

http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2004/08/13/after_911.html">http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2004/08/13/after_911.html

DeWayne

The media functions to be skeptical, especially of those in and with power, and not solely of those challenging power. It represents a check on the exercise of power. Authoritarians prefer an uncheck exercise. If they're of a mind they will justify that exercise by telling us to "trust" them.

The American media has served the American people poorly - inasmuch as it could have helped thwart senseless violence and death - and served the military well but fixating people's attention on the whiz-bang technology of modern warfare. Its necessary for the media to see events from others perspectives. It may well not be truth, but it is certainly news. But obtaining other's take on events and happenings isn't the same thing as endorsing those perspectives or the interests behind them. To act as if the media is endorsing Iraqi insurgents brings us back to the authoritarian take on power

Our friends here - ossifers in the military especially - should know well that the people who are subject to military invasion/occupation/military control don't see them as just Americans but as part of a military machine that will do its thing regardless of what others want or think. There's an aggressive naivete at work here that ultimately will do much harm and little good.

Diggs

DeWayne, I agree with almost all in your last post. The one disagreement, and this is slight, is that the press' fixation on whiz-bang is not in and of itself serving the public poorly. The press is serving the public exactly what they want to see. For thirty years or more, the public has demanded bigger and better special effects in everything it watches, or they just stop watching. A lot of what we do in battle creates a big effect, and the general public can delude themselves that it is just another "special effect", so the media serves that public need, and well.
However, as a soldier (at that time) on the battlefield when this story was written, I'm not an objective observer. If a reporter's story appears to me to be slanted towards sympathy with the enemy that is trying to kill me, you are expecting too much of one human being, and one very passionate human being, me, to expect me to shrug it off as simply a reporter reporting the news.

Mark  A. York

The slant may be a perception from your narrow field of view in the battle. That's understandable, but you need to step back and see that ultimately you're just a pawn of the U.S.Government and the whims of whichever civilian is running it at the time.

As citizens we've come to know what to expect from whom. This is verified by the reporting, but repporting isn't about PR for the military. It's about an accurate picture on the ground. We don't care about how many schools you've painted. I assume you guys are completely competent as painters. What I want to know is how long will your compatriots continue to be blown up one by one and when will a genuine Iraq be able to run itself without you having to risk your life holding their hand?

Call me old fashioned.

Wayne

"If the terrorists were killing Coalition soldiers at an exchange rate of 1 to 40 (approx our current exchange rate), there wouldn't be a single reporter calling our soldiers sophisticated and savvy."

Sounds a lot like Vietnam.

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