Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It made me mad

As part of a discussion last week about the ill-fated and short-lived (thank God!) decision to kill Army milblogging, these comments about the effect of milblogging made me angry. From the interview:

HH: Yup. What about the impact on understanding the war? I keep coming back to the fact, I linked earlier today to the Lawrence Wright Terror Web piece from the New Yorker a few years ago, on how the jihadists have this mastered. They pump information propaganda, and their view of the world, into the internet, 24/7, from a thousand portals. A lot of civilians try and put stuff up there, but the guys who know and the gals who know what’s going on are in uniform, and have seen the enemy face to face. It doesn’t compare. And there’s only one Michael Yon, there’s only one Bill Roggio. If we don’t have the milbloggers writing this stuff, it doesn’t get to us, because John Burns is about the only guy who leaves the Green Zone.

MB: Pretty much. That’s pretty accurate. And I would add probably Arwa Damon’s probably one of the most well-regarded reporters, and she happens to work for a network I don’t really care for. But CNN…

HH: Yeah, there are others. That’s hyperbole. There’s ten or fifteen, but…

MB: But right, but there’s…maybe. Maybe there’s ten. And absolutely, I agree, but also, they’re not giving the first-hand experience. You know, Burns is going to try to balance the article out, he’s going to try to say what else is going on, and how it affects Iraqis, which is important. But another facet of that is really what’s the soldier’s opinion. The other aspect of this, the part that really irks me, is the fact that a lot of the keeping the media honest pieces will be missing. So for instance, I happen to know in Anbar, because I have friends in Anbar, and you do, too, you just don’t know that right now, Hugh, and I could tell you about that off-air.

HH: Actually, I do know one Colonel Don in Ramadi, but I hope there are others.

MB: Well, you’ve had some guests on that I know of that are in the fight right now.

HH: Oh, cool.

MB: And they’re telling me that we own al Qaeda in the west, and that we have effectively shut them down, that the Iraqi politicians can’t wait for the elections, that they are working with us. And these are staff sergeants, sergeants first class. These are not full bird colonels, these are not careerists. These are the kind of people we need to be hearing from. And this is where the ground truth comes from. This is not, you know, and these are e-mails, these are posts, all this stuff, will be lost if this regulation gets enforced.

Have you seen this anywhere? I certainly have not.

Big Media has abdicated it's responsibilities in regards to telling the story of Iraq. They refuse, on the whole, to print or broadcast anything that doesn't include car bombs, dead Iraqis or dead Americans.

To their shame.

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