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HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Questions about the Iraqi war .
Facts that need answers:
A lot of people died in the initial stages before actual combat. Comparisons are made with the 1941 German invasion of Russia where similarly a lot of people were killed initially for no apparent reason.
Of the 10 who died in initial combat, 7 were killed by Americans.

An American tank fired on a hotel for journalists killing journalists and civilians.
An American plane fired a missile on a British news crew on the ground
killing several British and Iraqis
The killing of a Reuters news cameraman and other links
It would seem war correspondents are now a target by American forces.
The Americans have given no answers explaining these incidents.
Answers are required before there is to be another war , if there is to be another war. Even if it's to admit to an element of uncontrollable panic.
These questions are taken from a memorial service by journalists to the 18 British journalists who were killed in Iraq.One of them took his life after his experiences in Iraq.
Great tribute was paid to all who went to Baghdad not knowing the outcome or nature of the war. That takes real courage. Great tribute was also paid to all those who showed compassion to the people of Iraq. There were many accounts of soldiers putting their lives in danger in order to save children who suffered terrible injuries.
This Iraq war will go down as the war when journalists became a target
Philip Knightley- First Casualty
regards
[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Timothy Chen Allen
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Joined: Mar 16, 2003
Posts: 161
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Answers are required before there is to be another war

I fully agree. I for one believe we should not have any more wars until these questions are answered.
In fact, I'd like answers for a lot more questions before I'd say it would be okay to have another war:
0) What is the cure for AIDS? Please be thorough.
1) Many of the religions followed by the combatants and decision-makers in the last war have user's manuals which detail the opinions and advice of the supreme being(s) in these matters. In which section of the user's manual does it say that it is acceptable and advisable to have a war? Please give explicit examples of how you are following the rest of the user's manual. (Bonus points for Christians if the answer comes from the "New" version of the user's manual).
2) It is now 2003. Please explain why I don't have a rocket car yet. What steps are being taken to rectify this? (Negative points will be awarded for attempting to palm off the "Segway" as an alternative).
3) How does sending a bunch of our youngsters over to kill a bunch of their/your youngsters constitute an answer? What was the question? I am a former Marine, so please speak slow and use small words.
[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Allen ]

Timothy Chen Allen
Learn Spanish in Washington, DC
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Another mystery is how do they promise to cut taxes and increase public spend at te same time?
But it is quite a critical issue when jornalists are targeted first.

regards
[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Kevin Thompson
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Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
My questions/comments about the war -
Hitler invaded Poland, and he was "an evil insane murder".
Bush invades Iraq, and he is "the leader of the free world".
I guess the population has been dumbed down, I don't know what else explains it.
I still think the original reason for Gulf War I, was Bush Sr. was impotent one weekend with Margaret Thatcher, and the only "macho" thing he could come up with was an occupation/invasion of foreign barbarians.
All this mess because one rich guy 10 years ago could not get it up and keep it up.
Kevin
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Posts: 10065
My main question is: is Saddam's WMD less dangerous now than it used to be? You remember all these endless conversations about stocks of weapons that threat US national security. I do not think anybody really believed that Saddam would attack the US, but he could sell it to another country or to the terrorists. Ok, now 7 months later no WMD is found and this doesn't seem to scare anybody at all. Both parties are seem more concerned about nibbling each other, than about keeping the population informed, aroused and scared.
What about C. Powell's report to the UN before the attempted second resolution? Wasn't his mission to present proofs of Saddam's WMD? The audio tapes with intercepted conversations between Iraqi officers about fooling UN inspectors (were these guys found after the war? Were they interrogated?) Satellite images showing that Iraq is producing chemical weapons... Mobile laboratories used for producing biological weapons -- what about them? How come all this persuaded nobody but American public...
Before the war, what was considered an acceptable level of casualties from our side? From Iraqi's side? Speaking about American lives, how many more times an American life is valuable than non-American? Is the ratio constant, or does it change over time?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:

Hitler invaded Poland, and he was "an evil insane murder".
Bush invades Iraq, and he is "the leader of the free world".
I guess the population has been dumbed down, I don't know what else explains it.
I still think the original reason for Gulf War I, was Bush Sr. was impotent one weekend with Margaret Thatcher, and the only "macho" thing he could come up with was an occupation/invasion of foreign barbarians.

Hitler and his regime are deemed accountable for the deaths of over 6 million people. The worst you can say about Hitler over Poland, I would think, is that he was brutal and over-the-top.
And no one is praising Bush as leader of the free world, mind you. It's a liberally-applied term to the standing U.S. President. We're fond of calling ourselves world leaders of stuff, you know.
And thanks for the Bush/Thatcher visual. Brrr.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
My question is this:
In a tyranny such as Hussein's, what do you expect your expected lifespan would be after asking the kinds of questions?
You take it for granted that men in jackboots aren't coming to your house at night for asking such things. If it weren't for the free countries of the world defying the Hitlers and Husseins, you wouldn't even be asking these questions.
Joe
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
More questions:
In an emergency, is it okay to become a police state? In which case one could expect men in jackboots breaking into mi casa. Define emergency in finite terms! When does that emergency end ?
How is the attack on journalists an example to the Iraqis who are hoping for a restoration to law and order ?
News from Afghanistan: The Afghanistanis are looking back on their time under the Taliban as their best period for law and order in recent history. The country is in chaos.
Despite Bush's propoganda visit to Asia the gap between US and Asia is growing wider.
More news: The Western workers in the Middle East are seen to be making the most of it while they can demanding huge unjustifiable salaries. Middle Eastern governments will look to replace them with workers from Asia.
"I love free speech" Comment by GW Bush speaking to Australian Congress after a heckler shouted "We are not a sheriff".
Perhaps Bush will like free trade too !
Bush called for $87 billion in new spending on Iraq earlier this year.
And all one sees are signs of war and very little rebuilding be it the Iraqis should be the ones seen to be taking control. If Bush does not get Iraq right in time he could kiss goodbye to the next election.
regards
[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Another question:
Will HS actually answer my question?
My guess is no.
Joe
HS Thomas
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Posts: 3404
In a tyranny such as Hussein's, what do you expect your expected lifespan would be after asking the kinds of questions?

If you mean the questions on the illogical attack on the journalists by the US army I shall live a little longer under Hussein's tyranny. :roll: And if I were a questioning journalist under a US Army regime my expected lifespan would be nil, obviously.
regards
[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
I should have said factions of the US Army regime. I cannot believe the same people who showed compassion to the Iraqi people injured in war coud have fired on journalsts without warning.Heads WILL roll (metaphorically speaking) !
Rommel was never a member of the Nazi party.
regards
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
I was right.
"Never expect a straight answer from someone who's trying to sell you rubbish."
Joe
Spike Spiegel
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Joined: Aug 20, 2003
Posts: 20
And what about Guantanamo Bay?
A lot of people there are held hostage without even being accused of anything, without being able to talk to a lawyer etc. They are held in cages with lights on 24 hours a day...
I think this is very worrying behaviour of the 'land of the free', it is a blatant violation of Intenational human rights. If we allow this, then we could very well be next...
HS Thomas
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Posts: 3404
"Never expect a straight answer from someone who's trying to sell you rubbish."

No one is trying to sell you anything but an opinion. Just connect the dots. Think, is all one asks of you! If you have any new information or thought throw it into the pool. Why are you trying to hide from these questions ? Are you fearful for your life or worse, your mind and soul? Is there only one hard-line thought that is to be considered? I think not. Even hard-core Bush supporters are voting with their feet and money!
Read a broad range of your newsheets sometime! Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But not in war-torn Iraq it would seem in the initial days of the war. Perhaps that goes with the territory. Free speech is not normally part of the fibre of Eastern society with a few exceptions. When Western civilisation loses that most humane right what has it become ?
Deaths in initial combat
Journalists injured in attack on hotel
PS: My first post just repeated what was said in the memorial service to the dead journalists.It was our venerable John Simpson, himself missing shrapnel by inches, who made the parallel with the 1941 German invasion of Russia.
Simpson on Sunday
Interesting point about Forlong's lapse of judgement.

regards
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Is HS Thomas really stupid enough to think that the US military targeted journalists? HS, weren't journalists warned by the US government that they were going to be in a friggin' war zone and might get killed?
From the article that HS posted: "I do remember looking across at that tank. It might not have been trying to hit that hotel but it has grazed the side of it. It might have been trying to hit a target behind the hotel. Journalists realised that they are very vulnerable. There have been tank shells landing either side of the hotel most of the morning and most of the day and indeed most of the night."
So the hotel is in a war zone surrounded by comabt activity and one shell grazes the hotel and wounds 4 journalists. And this is an example of the US targeting journalists? Well, we certainly did a friggin' lousy job of it. There we had a whole hotel full of them and all we could manage was to wound four lousy journalists.


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Comparisons are made with the 1941 German invasion of Russia where similarly a lot of people were killed initially for no apparent reason.
Could you explain what this statement means? Are you saying that the people who were killed initially but then got better? ior are you saying they were killed initially for no reason but then were killed again later for a reason? Or that when the Germans invaded that they killed Russian soldiers for no reason, such as they were fighting a war against them? Who is making these comaprisons besides you?
HS Thomas
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Posts: 3404
Check the link Simpson on Sunday.
Relative to our numbers, and to the small scale of the war - because, let's face it, this wasn't D-Day - these were heavy losses: proportionately higher, perhaps, than anything since Germany invaded Russia in 1941.

In the memorial service Simpson said something along the lines that this war could be compared to the afore-mentioned invasion in 1941. There also wasn't a single member of the British government present at the memorial service. :roll:
Simpson also said:

But given the sheer power of weaponry, and the carelessness with which it was sometimes used, perhaps the fact that so many news people died is not so surprising. And wars like this are fought out in people's minds long afterwards.

Instead of "initially" , read "in initial combat." I apologise. That was bad phrasing. Hey, don't shoot the messenger.
""Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Comparisons are made with the 1941 German invasion of Russia where similarly a lot of people were killed in initial combat for no apparent reason. "
There is consensus among the media that they seemed to be targeted.Check the various links given in the first post. Don't your media tell you anything ?
Apparently they do!
Independent Federation of Journalists condemns killing of reporters- on both sides
The IFJ says that 12 journalists and media staff have died in the war so far. The latest deaths and injuries comes as American troops push into Baghdad. Blasts hit Baghdad's high-rise Palestine Hotel, which houses foreign media, today, killing one journalist working for Spanish Telecinco, and killing one and wounding three journalists working for Reuters. Shortly before the attack another strike was made which shattered the offices of Al-Jazeera Television killing one journalist and injuring another.
"It is cruelly ironic that after the Iraqi regime plays cat-and-mouse with Al Jazeera, first banning them, then allowing them to stay, it appears they have been attacked by American forces," said Aidan White. The IFJ says that this attack is a shocking mirror of the destruction of the Kabul offices of Al Jazeera by American forces during the war in Afghanistan. "It is impossible not to detect a sinister pattern of targeting," said White.
"We are still waiting for a satisfactory explanation for the attack on the ITN crew at the start of the war in which we think three colleagues were killed," said White. The IFJ says that there is eye-witness testimony accusing the US of deliberately firing upon clearly marked television vehicles.
"The United Nations system and the international media community must be fully engaged in finding out what happened in these cases and action must be taken to ensure it never happens again," said White. "We can expect denials of intent from the military, but what we really want is the truth."

Undeniably, this is a new era in news reporting during war:
Simonton and Thomas McPhail, a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and author of the book Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends, both contend that in order for television news to regain a semi-objective hold, to get past mere surface images, it must stop suckling from commercial TV coffers.


as quoted in this thread A Free World needs A Free press
Is Killing part of Pentagon Press Policy
If the media groups and correspondents who have lots of experience in many wars think they are targeted, who is to question them ?
regards
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
If the media groups and correspondents who have lots of experience in many wars think they are targeted, who is to question them ?

I see... we aren't allowed to question the press. Their word must be accepted as gospel. But perhaps you can explain why the US was able to kill so few reporters since we were targeting them? They must be very slippery targets. You would think that once the tank had gotten the range on the hotel it would have been able to level the place. Or why not have a plane bomb it into a crater?
Of course your own source doesn't claim what you say it claims: "There is no doubt at all that these attacks could be targeting journalists." No doubt that they COULD be targeting journalists? That sentence doesn't really parse but why should we expect anything like proper use of English words from journalists.
But I like this quote: "Media and journalists have little choice about covering this war - it is the first real-time war story in history - and their protection, embedded or not, must be paramount." Well, actually no, their protection is not paramount. Winning the war is paramount. American soldiers are not over there to protect the press. Of course, reporters generally have a very high opinion of themselves so I guess it shouldn't suprise anyone that they think they are so important that the US government would try to kill them.
Of course, the one question that they haven't answered is why. Why would the US want to kill a bunch of reporters in a hotel in Baghdad that hadn't had anything to say in a week except, "Look. There's another explosion."
HS Thomas
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Posts: 3404
From the Pentagon's Press Policy link above:
Kate Adie, a British war correspondent during the 1991 Gulf War, told Irish radio prior to the war (RTE Radio1, 3/9/03; GuluFuture.com, 3/10/03) that she had received an even more direct threat from the U.S. military: "I was told by a senior officer in the Pentagon, that if uplinks-- that is, the television signals out of... Baghdad, for example-- were detected by any planes...of the military above Baghdad... they'd be fired down on. Even if they were journalists.... He said: ' Well...they know this.... They've been warned.' This is threatening freedom of information, before you even get to a war."

Kate Adie wasn't killed or injured but is a highly respected reporter.
Gaby Rado was killed on March 30 2003. These are/were hardened reporters used to reporting on wars like those in Bosnia, Kossovo, the Byzantine world of Eastern Europe and brought the tragic wars against humanity to our attention.Moscow, China, Zimbabwe, Belgrade, Benaluca, Gaby was an example of fair journalism and a brave man. Courageous and cool under fire , but his judgement was trusted implicitly by his cameramen. He, himself was a refugee from Hungary when he was a boy. If such journalists say they felt at threat , I would tend to believe them without question. It's almost like losing a relative.They were such a part of our daily lives in a way.
These people left the world a better place than they found it.
Obituary. If reporters like these said they were threatened after what they all have been through in other wars that is concerning.
regards
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Any non-combatant who willingly places himself into a war zone is an idiot. This is doubly true for the press. The press are a very self-serving, self-important lot anyway, so this only make their outrage seem all the more amusing. What makes them think they are so special, or worthy of protections not afforded anybody else? What makes them think they are worth targetting?
The fact is though, that in most of these cases, the journalists are being stupid. A camera looks like a RPG launcher. US forces are not going to wait until somebody shoots to determine whether or not that thing that looks like a weapon from a distance and is being pointed at them really is a weapon.
Here's a good blog entry on the subject: The Penalty for Stupidity is Death.
It has been well known since 1982 that electronic news gathering equipment looks like a rocket propelled grenade launcher through military gun sights. This was demonstrated when a CBS news crew set up to cover an Israeli column advancing towards Beruit in an orchard after the Israeli column had been ambushed a number of times by PLO RPG crews.
The CBS crew was turned to raw hamburger by Israeli firepower as soon as the Israelis came in range.
There was a big stink by the international journalistic community until the Israelis produced a side by side picture of a news crew with a camera and an RPG crew through an Israeli tank sight. After that you saw a lot of long range telephoto pictures of Israeli troops.

"...the No. 1 rule of engagement for covering conflicts involving American forces is quite simple. Don't Point Things At American Forces In Combat Areas."
Jason Menard
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Kate Adie, a British war correspondent during the 1991 Gulf War, told Irish radio prior to the war (RTE Radio1, 3/9/03; GuluFuture.com, 3/10/03) that she had received an even more direct threat from the U.S. military: "I was told by a senior officer in the Pentagon, that if uplinks-- that is, the television signals out of... Baghdad, for example-- were detected by any planes...of the military above Baghdad... they'd be fired down on. Even if they were journalists.... He said: ' Well...they know this.... They've been warned.' This is threatening freedom of information, before you even get to a war."

I suspect that a satellite uplink signal could very likely be viewed from an electronic warfare aircraft as a command and control signal and be targetted accordingly. The aircraft has no way to determine the originator of the signal or to differentiate it between CNN or Iraqi leadership. The military was being prudent in warning this journalist upfront.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
If reporters like these said they were threatened after what they all have been through in other wars that is concerning.
So someone warns them not to send uplink communications and that is a threat? How about a kindly warning to keep them from getting killed by mistake? Reporters are idiots. They think that their press pass gives them the right to do wahtever they want where ever they want and then if someone shoots at them they get all upset. Again, why would the US deliberatly kill journalists? Until you give a believable answer to that question then you are just blowing smoke out of your ass.
HS Thomas
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Oh please,less of the personal attacks.
It's quite clear that European military and American military views on war reporting and reporters have diverged. But political interference on reporting has increased on both sides.
If you have 30 mins this debate is worth listening to :
rtsp://streaming2.rte.ie/2003/0309/sundayshow.ra?start=%2200:49:15%22&end=%2201:16:43%22
audio No 2 on this page Live Audio page
What could be the outcome of such blocking of a free press is
DIY reporting as in Afghanistan and information passed by civilians via the Internet. Find an undercover war reporter you can trust. I even suspect,if the free press invest in new discrete equipment that is not going to deter the military from muzzling the press and allowing only the news that the Pentagon wants the public to see.

The press (infotainment, amongst other things) may also be part of the problem as the audio indicates. But the truth will out eventually.
regards
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
It's quite clear that European military and American military views on war reporting and reporters have diverged. But political interference on reporting has increased on both sides.
Why is that anytime anyone says that something is "clear" it is in reality anything but clear. I see no political interference in any reporting coming from Iraq. What I have seen is that reporters were allowed to travel with the troops and report what they saw free from interference with the exception of revealing locations. Compare Iraq to Grenada and you will see that political interference has disappeared.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
An American plane fired a missile on a British news crew on the ground
killing several British and Iraqis
How many Americans and British soldiers were accidentally killed by friendly fire? Or do you think the US miliatry is out to deliberately kill their own soldiers? All you have demonstrated with your diatribe against the American military is that people get killed in a war zone.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Any non-combatant who willingly places himself into a war zone is an idiot.
Are you including field medics as combatants?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Any non-combatant who willingly places himself into a war zone is an idiot.
Are you including field medics as combatants?

If the unit the medic was in was attacked would the medic grab a gun to defend his unit? Or does he go about unarmed?
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Any non-combatant who willingly places himself into a war zone is an idiot.
Are you including field medics as combatants?

While medics and chaplains are considered non-combatants under international law, this distinction isn't often upheld in a firefight. With this in mind though, let me rephrase my quote to be more precise. Any journalist who voluntarily chooses to run around areas where lots of people are shooting at each other, is an idiot. Any journalist who points something that may be mistaken as a weapon at people with real weapons, is a collosal idiot.
Michael Ernest
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What makes them think they are so special, or worthy of protections not afforded anybody else?
The press performs a service, reporting the action as they see it. At its best, the purpose of this reporting is reveal to the rest of us what combat is like, what events are transpiring, how it changes the face of a very uncertain time. At its best, it gives the rest of us a view of events that is minimally filtered by military or governmental biases. That's not to say there is no bias -- just another perspective.
Why any free-thinking American would object to that is beyond me. Those journalists take a huge risk. Some of them get off on it, I'm sure, but many feel it's their duty.
What makes them think they are worth targetting?
The fact that they may see things neither warring side may want them to see is more than reason enough. I've live footage of journalists getting shot in the back of the head in broad daylight, in the middle of the street. right down to the body going instantly fetal in reflex to the bullet's impact. Someone else was "stupid enough" to capture that evidence on camera so the rest of us would know that soldier's government would be unable to explain it away, or have apologists lining up to proclaim "we would never do that."
I don't have to abandon the notion of loving where I come from to believe our military might do any number of despicable, shitty things if they weren't being watched. Media coverage in Vietnam proved that; if the public reacted violently to such events as My Lai it was due at least in part to the fact their their government wanted them to believe we were fighting a moral war, with goodness in our hearts.
Today you have this profoundly obscene apologism, perpetrated initially by Bush I's propagandists. The gist of Desert Storm's rallying cry sounded to the effect of even if you don't agree with the cause of the war, be there to support our troops. The underlying message seemed to be Don't let this be another Vietnam. In short, by guilting the American people with their "overreaction" to the horrific images of Vietnam, they persuaded the public at large to "get behind the troops," i.e., demand accounts that praise the men and women over there.
From my view, living in northern Ohio at the time, the press did exactly that. I had to dig, and dig hard, to find more objective, not to mention critical, accounts of our actions defending Kuwait. Which illustrates, I think, that the media can be influenced by any shrewd spin, not just liberal bents.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
From my view, living in northern Ohio at the time, the press did exactly that. I had to dig, and dig hard, to find more objective, not to mention critical, accounts of our actions defending Kuwait. Which illustrates, I think, that the media can be influenced by any shrewd spin, not just liberal bents.

So if the media disagrees with your opinion then they are being spun by the government? It couldn't be that the media accurately reported the war and that is what has your panties in a knot?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
The fact that they may see things neither warring side may want them to see is more than reason enough. I've live footage of journalists getting shot in the back of the head in broad daylight...
Which doesn't answer the question although it does make one wonder about the things you like to collect. Why do you think the American military would target reporters but also do a fairly poor job of it? Do you think that if the military was really targetting reporters that they would have grazed one hotel with one round from a tank? Why not a lob 6 or 7 into the hotel? Or why not "accidentally" drop a 10,000 pound bomb on the hotel? Wouldn't randomly firing into a hotel be just as likely to kill "good" reporters as "bad" reporters?
Jason Menard
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While it may have been true once, the job of the press is no longer to report the truth. Nowadays, the job of the press is to sell something. It may be newspapers, it may be a particular editorial perspective, but whatever it is they are peddling something for profit, not for truth.
I think most people recognize that these leeches aren't out for the greater good of mankind, but mostly out for themselves. That they hold themselves on such a pedastal to believe that they should be protected more than others while doing stupid things in dangerous places is beyond rational thought. At the very least, they should dispense with the outrage when one of them gets killed after they place themselves in a bad situation.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

So if the media disagrees with your opinion then they are being spun by the government? It couldn't be that the media accurately reported the war and that is what has your panties in a knot?

"The media" at their best report the same events from different perspectives. When they all report the same facts, that's one thing. When they all apply the same perspective, that is indeed time to worry. Wars are probably best viewed through a kaleidoscope, not a monocle.
Or are you suggesting that not only should history be written by the victors, but that the losers should remain silent and deferential?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Or are you suggesting that not only should history be written by the victors, but that the losers should remain silent and deferential?
I thought we were talking about the media. Aren't they supposed to report the news and not spin it to a point of view? You said this: "I had to dig, and dig hard, to find more objective, not to mention critical, accounts of our actions defending Kuwait." So you are annoyed because you found it hard to find news reporters who spin the news to your point of view. In any case, if you really had to dig hard then I would suggest that you need to stop digging and look around. You could have found plenty of anti-Bush Sr. coverage right in Time and Newsweek.
Vinod John
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

So if the media disagrees with your opinion then they are being spun by the government? It couldn't be that the media accurately reported the war and that is what has your panties in a knot?

In my view the government (of any country) is a political organisation, so you can't always expect the truth, one of their main priority is to get reelected. Just the take the case of Jessica Lynch if the meadia hadn't dug deep the Pentagon might have branded the Iraqi army and doctors as barbarians.


While it may have been true once, the job of the press is no longer to report the truth. Nowadays, the job of the press is to sell something. It may be newspapers, it may be a particular editorial perspective, but whatever it is they are peddling something for profit, not for truth.

We can't blame it squarely on the press, they give what their customers want. When you compare the quality of new programs broadcast by CNN internationally and locally in US the difference is drastic. In some part of the world, particularly in US, there is thin line that seperates entertainment and current affairs programs. If news channel can increase viewership by following JLo's unsuccessful 3rd wedding, they are forced to do that otherwise they may risk going out of business.
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: Vinod John ]
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

TP: I thought we were talking about the media.
ME: We are talking about the media. What is reported by the media is the stuff of historical accounts, in part. What journalists write is part of history. If it wasn't, who'd care what they reported?
TP: Aren't they supposed to report the news and not spin it to a point of view?
ME: How things get said is an issue, but a bigger one is what gets covered, and what doesn't. "Spin" as we've discussed it so far is an explicit manipulation of events to a point of view that favors the spinner. All that jazz depends very heavily on a) persuading your loyal audience that their beliefs in your credibility are well-founded, and b) signalling to your detractors that any event can be recast in a positive light to your position.
The best possible spin, though, consists simply of limiting coverage to those subjects you want people to talk about. The value of coverage from many angles is that someone will always say the atrocities of war alone condemn the act. Someone will always say the war is liberating. Someone will always say the war is economically motivated. And still someone else will do nothing more than cite the events of the day, tally the numbers of dead and wounded, and echo the claims of the two sides.
One expects warring parties to spin the news of the day. That's the least surprising thing to notice; there are few other ways to persuade one's people that the death tolls are worth it. So the value of the journalist is to cast aside what biases he can and report just what he sees. But in a war, as in some other sectors of human endeavor, what you can see can be influenced by people who are at the heart of things.
My point: the Bush Sr. administration managed in large part to accomplish this with a domestic hearts-and-minds campaign that virtually droned out the need to challenge and criticize a war that, at least to my way of thinking, had no virtue to it other than protecting an oil supply. And I am not saying that's a bad thing, either. But we weren't asking: how important is that oil to us? We were talking about the freedom of Kuwait here. The freedom of Kuwait? Are you fucking kidding me?
I want the administration to explain to me why I'd watch my son go out to defend Kuwait, because that's where the test lies for me (albeit for me that reality is still 10 years or so away). To protect freedom at home we must protect some oil-rich shits in the Middle East who couldn't help us fix a hangnail? Puh-LEEZE. If my boy is going out there it had best be for something we need. My government can kiss my hairy ass if it thinks I'm content to hear assurances of a grander scheme of things to which we must all pay sacrifice. If my boy is out there on the front line, no silver-spooned oilman turned shit-kicker who made sure his own never had to take that chance is going to tell me it's all going to be ok, and this is the right thing to do. He better have something real to show me. And when I lose that argument, which I know I will, all I have left is some amount of journalistic coverage to keep The Man honest, to show me how things went down.
TP: You said this: "I had to dig, and dig hard, to find more objective, not to mention critical, accounts of our actions defending Kuwait." So you are annoyed because you found it hard to find news reporters who spin the news to your point of view. In any case, if you really had to dig hard then I would suggest that you need to stop digging and look around. You could have found plenty of anti-Bush Sr. coverage right in Time and Newsweek.
ME: I couldn't ask you to miss my point more cleanly. The President had a soaring popularity index during and immediately after the war. Let the glossies criticize all they want, if that's what they did: Bush Sr. was bulletproof. Now read again what you excerpted above: objective, not to mention critical, accounts of our actions defending Kuwait. Show me where Time or Newsweek examines, much less questions, the tactics of the US military in Kuwait.
I'm not saying something unsavory happened. I'm saying no one really looked, and that's a black eye on journalism. You're supposed to ask all sorts of unpopular, chafing questions. All the time. That's the job.
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Where is your outrage at Bosnia and Haiti?
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

C'mon Paul, don't pull punches now! Ask me where my outrage is over Somalia, too.
I presume you wonder if my "outrage" is directed only at the doings of all things Republican in the Oval Office. You can assume, for the sake of argument, I hold the same "my son on the line" test to any standing President.
I signed up for Selective Service in 1981 because that was the law, but I wasn't happy about it; I don't remember too many class of '81's that were. But would I have gone to Iran to liberate American hostages? I would have enlisted for that mission. Semper Fi, hoo rah. Military service in my family is a tradition. You can count a World War II SeaBee, a Korean War pilot, and a Vietnam Marine among me and mine. The only mistake I made that my Uncle (the Marine) didn't: he told the family after he enlisted. Had I known that and followed suit, I'd probably be a nice 5'8", 210-pound rage-driven leatherneck right now. As my family was quick to point out, I might like hell as much as my Unc but was a lot more likely to take it personally. Couldn't really argue with that. (And I can still remember that look on my mother's face. Wow.)
But the Falklands? Well, I can tell you I signed up for Selective Service because that was the law. I can also tell you I looked up what a Conscientious Objector was defined as, and tried to figure out how to qualify. Unfortunately, thinking a conflict is "stupid" doesn't qualify. Which should tell you how it was my family stopped me on the way to the recruiting office...not exactly a rank-and-file thinker. Willing to fight, but let's not get stupid. What precisely do my family and my country get by defending a tiny island group off the coast of Argentina?
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Michael Morris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451

I signed up for Selective Service in 1981 because that was the law

You that young ME? I signed up in '71 during that conflagration we called Viet Nam. I must admit that for the two years that I was eligible, I drew lottery numbers in the 300s and was much relieved. I hope we never go back to a conscripted military. I know that I wouldn't want my sons to be forced into service, but would support them if they decided to volunteer. It seems to me that an all volunteer system is a better way to go because in theory they are willing to lay it all on the line.


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
How many Americans and British soldiers were accidentally killed by friendly fire? Or do you think the US miliatry is out to deliberately kill their own soldiers? All you have demonstrated with your diatribe against the American military is that people get killed in a war zone.

If any military , and I repeat any, starts using such tactics I would hope a free press would be there to report it.
The veteran reporter, who spent time with American forces in Tikrit, praised British troops for their conduct during the war but said in an interview with Soldier magazine that the Americans "lost control".
"They lost all control - screaming, shouting and kicking people," Simpson said, adding that US soldiers' fear of snipers led to a 'shoot first, ask questions later' attitude.
"One of the marines shouted 'Snipers!' and put up his gun, pointing it at a man on a rooftop. I could see it was an old boy putting out a blanket to air and I said to him in a quiet voice that I would be the witness at his trial for murder if he pulled the trigger. He stopped," said the BBC reporter.
Simpson said he believed British troops had handled the situation better because of their years of experience in Northern Ireland, where he began his career as a reporter in 1969.

Simpson berates 'trigger-happy' troops
The media has turned into a business and a side-show but at least some (Americans and British) know where they can turn to for accurate and fair reporting, for now. The BBC , Channel 4. I believe CNN is quite credible. I am not sure about other news networks. There was some article about Rupert Murdoch courting Colin Powell's son, Michael (?) to do some business. With the explosion of media it is very difficult to block out the crap. Pardon me if I stick with the old time and tested channels.
And I hope they are training some young 'uns about fair reporting.Well, those with a brain learnt how to use it and grew up learning to criticise and examine what the media told them.
During a post 9/11 fire fighter strike here I have heard a five-year old say that the fire-fighters should go back to work and ask for more pay later otherwise more people would die. ( my nephew : pride
War has also turned into a business. Not only did the American press hand out pool cards unfairly to the worlds press but the American government basically gave all contracts to rebuild Iraq to American companies before the war.
What is this war that ,let's face it, America is fighting ? It would seem the British troops are there for a more altruistic reason.
Our politicians may not be, though. Like vultures ready to pick any bones bare they hover.
regards
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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