On Sept. 11 of this week, I had an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, entitled "Dont Abandon the Iraqis Now," which basically laid out the case as I see it from the ground here in Iraq for the effectiveness of the so-called 'surge,' and explained why more time needed to be given in that country if we actually care about achieving a positive outcome there.
Now, unlike most MSM journalists (*cough* Keith Olbermann, Dan Rather *cough*) I don't try to hide my background, affiliations, or point of view -- rather, I am quite open about where I am coming from, so that people can know exactly who and what they are dealing with as they read my reporting from here. The reason for this is simply honesty -- just because MSM 'reporters' claim to be unaligned and completely objective in every word, thought, and deed does not mean that they actually are such (in fact, they decidedly are not). Rather than engage in what is tantamount to a lie on those grounds, and attempt to snow my readers and listeners into thinking that what they are getting is a completely down-the-middle, free-from-all-biases and uncolored-by-any-personal-experience 'reporting' (which would be a lie, as it is when MSM personalities make that claim), I simply state where I'm coming from right off the bat, so that it is clear to all involved. Yes, my conservative bent colors how I see things; yes, my military experience not only helps shape my view of Iraq, but allows me to actually understand what I am seeing over here much more fully than most of the MSM yahoos who come here and think that they're experts after their first two weeks around the Army.
Some people, though, enjoy being lied to, it would appear. If they are told by the MSM that the reporters they are seeing are objective and honest, well, then they must be so!
Take this letter to the editor, published today in response to my article, for example:
Surge, strategic planning a little too lateThis is exactly the kind of easily-duped (and, based on the third paragraph, self-loathing "if America has made a mistake in the past then it forfeits its right to do anything on that subject in the future") person who makes the MSM and the American left what it is.
Jeff Emanuel wrote a lovely, patriotic piece ("Don't abandon Iraqis now," @issue, Sept. 11). However, even though he wrote of all his experiences in Iraq, his job as a director of Redstate.com makes it pretty clear how he would see anything going on in Iraq and how he would interpret it. This is why I trust reporters. There is a much better chance of nonbiased reporting.
If Emanuel looks back at how the war in Iraq began, he might see that Gen. David Petraeus, nice guy that he is, is way too late. Where was the expertise, the planning, the sufficient amount of troops and appropriate equipment when we invaded Iraq?
Yes, the Iraqis are brave to fight back for their country. They would have done that from the start if we hadn't come in and destroyed their police and security system, if we hadn't deBaathificated the country.
No one should be surprised that the surge is beginning to work. However, too little too late.
PATRICIA ALEXANDER, Marietta
But the kickers are these amazingly oblivious-to-reality sections:
even though he wrote of all his experiences in Iraq, his job as a director of Redstate.com makes it pretty clear how he would see anything going on in Iraq and how he would interpret it. This is why I trust reporters. There is a much better chance of nonbiased reporting.So you would rather take the word of people who not only aren't even seeing things there with their own eyes, AND who lie to you about their own biases and "objectivity," over someone who is an eyewitness -- and who dares to be honest about their own background and point of view?
If Emanuel looks back at how the war in Iraq began, he might see that Gen. David Petraeus, nice guy that he is, is way too late. Where was the expertise, the planning, the sufficient amount of troops and appropriate equipment when we invaded Iraq?Sadly, given the word limit and column space in the AJC, this portion was axed from the article (but will be in the future, much more lengthy version if and when it ever goes to press:
Re-fighting 2002 through 2006, while apparently a worthwhile cause to some, is neither productive nor worth the time and energy spent on it. Though history is an extremely important learning tool, the situation here in Iraq is what it is – and, for the sake of Iraq (and its people), and of the U.S., the focus must be on where to go from here – be it changing certain aspects of the current strategy, or maintaining what is at the moment the most successful direction taken in this country yet – rather than on things that simply cannot be changed.If you cannot see that, Patricia -- and if you continue to prefer getting your information from people who simply lie to your face, because then you can pretend that their actual opinions and biases do not exist -- then I cannot help you any further; I can only wonder how in the world such an existence can make you feel happy and fulfilled.
The present debate comes down simply to this: is America willing to do what it takes to actually succeed in the Middle East, or not? If electoral politics are the metric by which future (and present) courses of action in this war are determined, then this war has likely already been lost. While not guaranteed, victory is, at this point, still possible in Iraq. The reverse, though, is guaranteed unless we make the conscious decision not to continue going through the motions until a better option, or a more politically expedient course of action, presents itself, but to do whatever it takes to succeed.
Having to be lied to in order to be satisfied -- as well as not being able to move on, regardless of the current situation, from the past -- would sure take its toll on me. Fortunately, despite their wild attempts at projection, that's a liberal affliction, and -- as you well know, due to the fact that I am honest about my own views -- I do not suffer from such leanings, nor from the afflictions that accompany it.