In a speech to military journalists the other day, retired Lieut. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former commander in Iraq (June 2003-June 2004), castigated the administration on its effort in that benighted country. He had some tough things to say, one being about the current “surge,” which he characterized as a “desperate attempt.” Sanchez has joined lots of other retired officers in opining about the war, some favorably, and others, scathingly.
The general has a right to his opinion and is reportedly planning to write a book that will include the citing of names…always titillating. Why not? High-profile practitioners of government and/or military matters have practically made a cottage industry of expressing their views (usually in approval of their own conduct) once their official capacity is over. Abu Ghraib, which was never of any significance at all, occurred on Sanchez’s watch, but was so blown out of all proportion by the media that Sanchez has a right to chastise the fourth/fifth estates for penultimate overkill. He proceeded to do that in his speech.
Excerpt: “For some it seems that as long as you get a front-page story, there is little or no regard for the collateral damage that will be caused. Personal reputations sometimes have no value. They report with total impunity, and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct. Given the near instantaneous ability to report actions on the ground, the responsibility to accurately and truthfully report takes on an unprecedented importance. The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media, appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry.”
Translated: You people, who never make life-and-death decisions, are responsible to no one and so can and do become liars of the first order, notwithstanding your plethora of character assassinations and your insensitivity to their objects or their difficult jobs.
Excerpt: “Once reported, your assessments become conventional wisdom and nearly impossible to change. Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases sometimes contribute to this corrosive environment. All these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America, in some instances. Over the course of this war, tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for our country because of the tremendous power and impact of the media -- and, by extension, you individually, the journalists.”
Translated: You and your employers/supporters/political-organizations are driven not by the search for truth or instituting objective commentary, but by sociopolitical agendas that trump any notion of responsibility. Abu Ghraib, during which no prisoner was even hurt, much less killed, is a good example of attempting to make something of nothing to satisfy a personal or media agenda. Disgusting!
Excerpt: “What is clear to me is that you're perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war, in some cases.”
Translated: Because of your petty partisan politics, corrupt on a scale that has made the public perception of the media as low in esteem as that of Congress, American GIs die, the enemy taking note that by waiting out an administration constantly bombarded by negative propaganda it can continue to kill Americans.
Excerpt: “In some cases I have never even met you, yet you feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other examples such as the treatment of Secretary Brown during Katrina....For some, it seems that as long as you get a front page story there is little or no regard for the collateral damage you will cause.”
Translated: You don’t bother with facts and don’t even bother with attempting to get them. You write about people you don’t know and present them to the public not on the basis of who they are but on the basis of whom you’ve decided for them to be in order to satisfy your agenda. Brown is a good case in point. To this day, he is excoriated by the media and was probably thrown under the bus by the president – to his shame – as the result of pressure applied by the media. Brown did better than anyone in the Katrina matter, as was learned in the hearings, but had his hands tied by the combination of bureaucracy, and two hopelessly inept officials – New Orleans Mayor Nagin and Louisiana Governor Blanco, neither of whom had a clue and by whose hands much blood was shed.
The “mainstream media” – NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and various big-city newspapers and news-magazines – are little more than propaganda tools of the Democrat Party. It remains for the conservative columnists, talk-show gurus, and the Fox News Channel to get out the complete message. In retaliation to something talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said and which they completely misrepresented, 41 senators sent a letter to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays demanding that he repudiate Limbaugh’s remarks and ask Limbaugh to apologize for something he didn’t say. The letter is now being auctioned on E-bay, with proceeds, matched by Limbaugh, going to a good cause.
Four of these hopelessly gullible senators are running for the presidency – Clinton, Obama, Biden, and Dodd. They didn’t have enough common sense to realize how they could be used in something this silly. Majority leader Reid even made a seven-minute speech on the Senate floor of the “world’s greatest deliberative body” about Limbaugh the other day. What a laugh! None of the above, now laughable buffoons, has enough judgment to be president.