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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Friends And Allies Of Rome: Live-blogging Michael Ware

It's another "emperor" interview by Hughus Hewittus. This time he's interviewing Time's Michael Ware. Mr. Ware and Hugh have faced off a couple times recently. Needless to say, it wasn't pretty. It wasn't necessarily Hugh beating him up. He beat himself up. He showed some level of mental block or incapacity to see anything worthwhile in Iraq. There are questions that are coming up to set the table, so to say, about the ideology that Michael Ware adheres to. It's important because Mr. Ware is the Baghdad bureau chief for Iraq. A level of bias is likely present in how Mr. Ware views and reports the news. (All Times listed are AZ. Time, and are p.m.) My "commentary about what I'm hering will be inbetween each of Hugh's breaks.

5:07 p.m.: Second hour opens. Brief introduction of Michael Ware, his credentials, and a quick overview of the recent skirmishes they have had. Hugh prefaces this by stating that he does believe that Mr. Ware is "disturbed" individual. He does point out that Mr. Ware is an extremely accomplished war correspondant. He starts off by asking him how he got to Time magazine. He has a law degree, but fell into journalism via Rupert Murdoch's outlets in Australia. He has covered the front line of the aftermath of Iraq with US Special Forces, and he has been in Afghanistan. He admits, after Hugh brings it up, that Mr. Ware has covered the war from the insurgency's point-of-view. He seems marveled at watching the insurgency grow from fledgling guerilla attacks to a well-organized outfit. He does reveal that there were command and control functions within the insurgency, but also states that the insurgency is there because a number of reasons. The rival factions do work together, he assures Hugh. Hugh asks him if he has spent time with the jihadis; he admits that he was allowed to be within Zarqawi's circle of camps and safe houses. He claims that he has even had his life threatened--publicly, on the street--by Zarqawi's people.

5:17: FIRST BREAK. At this point I'm convinced of one thing, for sure. He is an accomplished war correspondant. And one could even argue that he's "balanced" because of his "embed" within the insurgency and Zarqawi's forces. However, I still have a problem with journalists that decide to go that route, and then refuse a debrief by the coalition forces there. His fellow Australians are still in this fight, especially in Iraq. Isn't there a point where you draw the line and go "Yeah, I got a cool story, but I don't want my fellow countrymen getting killed," and you tell you fellow countrymen? Is this the level of balance that journalists proclaim to have? That's morally repulsive to me. I understand "balance," but there's a point where you start to root for one side or the other. Which brings me to this: He sounded very enthusiastic when describing the insurgency. Bear that in mind.

5:21: Back from break. Another quick intro for Mr. Ware, and we're back on track. Hugh asks him about the amount of time he spent with both groups. The majority of it has been with the native insurgency; he states that the jihadis were much more difficult to be with. Hugh presses about the time with the jihadis. He states that his times meeting with the with jihadis were around a dozen, couple dozen times. The insurgency was more open to him being there. Hugh nails him on 18 with the jihadis and 30-40 times with the insurgency. He does this because he feels that the people have no idea what their enemy. In his opinion, the line we're getting officially isn't true. He brings up the point that the administration entered into negotiations with the nastier elements of the insurgency, which basically blew the official line. He asks him if the Islmamicists are evil. He somewhat evades this question, and gives an answer that shows a level of fear. He launches into a story about a tape he listened to a tape of Zarqawi, and published the contents of that tape.

5:30: SECOND BREAK. This was important to establish--his contact with the enemy. Again, the enthusiasm is evident when he's speaking of either the insurgency or the jihadis (Islamicists--Hugh refined the point). But when pressed about the "evil" concept, he was evasive. He started in about this tape that he published; one that once Zarqawi found out it was, he threatened to kill him. Now, I'll buy that to a point, but after the firsat tantrum by Zarqawi, why would you go back? Whereas I commend him slightly for publishing the piece, his continued association with them is still repulsive to me. Call me crazy. But his evasiveness was what prompts me to question whether or not his stories were "colored" after incidents like this. Was it actual reporting, or propaganda.

5:34: Back from Break. Should Media in the West be providing an information outlet for the Islamicists? He asked if his stories have been colored? He says that at times, yes it may, but he uses the excuse that there's a lot of pressure on such a correspondant. He claims that the Iraqi gov't has even come to his house to demand documents he has. Hugh asks him to compare what he does to what it would have been like if the media covered the Nazis the way he's covered the Islamicists. He blows it off as it couldn't have happened based on the warfare that played out. But Hugh insists on the point, giving him a hypothetical about being able to cover them. He said that there would be no objective view of the Nazis.

5:40: THIRD BREAK. This is especially distressing. He cites what we knew of the Nazis, cites that Hitler's plan was on paper for a decade prior to his rise to power. The view wouldn't be objective at all. Personally, I don't think there was a journalist back in World War II that was willing to risk his neck getting that sort of a story. But were it to happen, was the question hit him with. Again, Mr. Ware went evasive. He's not willing to confront some of the worst evil in his lifetime. He gives no real answer regarding the Islamicists, other than their motives are more complex than the insurgency. It came to Hitler, and he immediately threw up defenses that with all we knew of Hitler it made the idea absurd. His evasiveness regarding the confrontation of evil--even identifying it--is most troubling. He did admit that yes, the murder of innocents is evil, but still.

5:45: Back from Break. He asks is Mr. Ware would encourage such reporting. He evades it, claiming he wasn't there, and couldn't comment. Hugh questions him again whether there's a line that he's crossed, and whether he has any misgivings. Mr. Ware says that his assessment of himself is correct. He points out that he's been with every major aspect of US combat forces--every spec-ops unit--and that the military would be the one to dislike his coverage of the Islamicists or insurgents. Hugh stresses he's prefer Mr. Ware not do that. Mr. Ware points out that this is a propaganda war as much as a military war. Information is critically important. He asks him the #1 question: Was it right to go into Afghanistan and Iraq? He agrees on Afghanistan; al Qaeda had to be ousted. Iraq is a different point altogether. He believes that the conduct of the Iraqi war was badly done, either by incompetance, or other things. He states the gov't is shaky. He states Iran and al Qaeda are stronger because of the fight.

5:52: FOURTH BREAK. This part was tough to keep up on. I know, I was typing and listening as fast as I could. Personally, the military's lack of voice regarding his coverage of the jihadis is irrelevant. He's with them, they're responsible for him. The Iraq points he brought up (which were more than I listed) are the same old talking points we hear from the Left and the MSM. No offense, but Hugh pointed out that Christopher Hitchens crushed every point he made regarding the "shaky" Iraq. The conduct of the war, while it did have it's moments, was not as bad as he levels it out to be.

5:55: Back from Break. Hugh hits him with the Hitchens just brutalized his points. He asks him if Iraq is better off today? Mr. Ware stated that while Saddam was in power, he was in the Kurdish north, out of Saddam's reach. Hugh asks him about living under Stalin or Khruschev? Mr. Ware claims that he's not an expert on such things, and won't answer it.

5:58: TOP OF THE HOUR BREAK. The interview will conclude in the first segment of next hour. Before he leaves, he gives a quick overview of the baby steps of freedom dealing with the Soviets. Hugh will be back. He states that the transcript will be up on Radioblogger later tonight for our readers that would like to see what all he had to say. When we find it on Duane's site, we'll post it here. This claim that he can't comment on people like Hitler, Stalin, Khruschev, and Saddam is telling. These are some of the most evil people our world has ever seen in the 20th Century, and Zarqawi is making a big splash for that title in the 21st Century. The inability for the MSM, and it's reflected in Mr. Ware, to differentiate between good and evil is disturbing to me. Maybe it's me. I doubt it, but this is extremely important for the public to understand. We don't need to "humanize" our enemy. Our enemy needs to be destroyed, not understood.

6:07: Third Hour Opening. We're back for (hopefully) the last segment of this interview. Not that I'm sick of it, but my fingers are getting a bit tired. LOL. We pick up where we left off. He agrees that yes, a vicious dictator was removed and it was good. But he stands on a human right's side. Fair enough. But he accuses the administration let the "genie out of the bottle." Hugh asks him if he has an investment about the "genie out of the bottle" comment? He asks him if the accomplishments to the detriments he states are worth the cost. He stated that he has no clue. "I call it as I see it." He reinforces that he has no bias. Hugh brought up Eason Jordan's admission about CNN's behavior under Saddam, and asked him if he has the same "hostage syndrome" as CNN. Mr. Ware brings up that he's been given latitudes by Zarqawi. He asks him if it's worth the price. Mr. Ware brings up the risks he's gone through, as well as his staff. This includes torture and kidnappings. Hugh asks him if the price of what he's seen is worth it. He says yes. Mr. Ware brings up the fact that Time has agreed that Zarqawi was in Iraq before the war. Hugh asks him about the WMDs. Mr. Ware goes through the gamut of high ranking people stating that the WMDs were destroyed in the early 1990s. He also states that records he has seen of the regime shows a large amount of corruption within Iraq, and many "lied" about the progress. END OF INTERVIEW.

I'm not happy with the answers he gave regarding evil in the past. Nor am I happy with his coverage of Iraq. Hugh brings up fear, and that could be it. I noticed what seemed enthusiastic when talking about the insurgency, yet somber and secretive about his dealings with Zarqawi, despite the "exposes" he's written. Eason Jordan refused to compromise CNN's bureau there regarding those on his payroll and those not. Jordan admits that he made a mistake, and that mistake prolonged the years of suffering under Hussein. That sounds much like what I get from Mr. Ware, but there's something beneath that. I doubt that Mr. Ware enjoys watching the evil he sees, however at what point do you turn away from it? Worse, at what point do you admit the enemy is "evil?" Is that too biased for him?

This interview was definitely interesting to hear. What's telling about this is as the bureau chief, he chooses what people see. And while being "balanced" in his coverage, so to speak, I still have a problem with this. There is a definite possibility that there is a level of indoctrination that was involved here. That is a possibility. But as a listener shortly after the interview point out to the information war that Mr. Ware alluded to. Which side is he on in that war?

I could never tolerate this sort of behavior from a journalist if I were an honest editor. There is a point where journalistic ethics have to be drawn. Some people may look at Mr. Ware as a hero; a poineer in the field of journalism. I disagree. I find this idea of his questionable, at best. I wish he'd take Hugh's advice and not cover these people. If Mr. wAre believes that he's being balanced in his reporting, I hate to correct him. And in that correction, I state that his reports show that he has chosen his side in the propaganda war.

He wants our enemy shown as human beings. Fine. But he wants emphasis on the human side. "Why" are they doing what they're doing? I could honestly care less, but al Qaeda hit this nation. Al Qaeda is in Iraq. We're in Iraq to fight them so we don't have another 11 September. That's all I care about. I don't care whether they're fathers or brothers, and I could care even less about "legitimate" gripes they may have over the "infidel occupation." Let them complain. But we're staying until the job is done. I hate to break that news to Mr. Ware, but it's the truth.

Publius II

Welcome Hugh Hewitt Readers!

The Transcript Is Up! Duane has it up here.

Hugh tossed out a challenge to the blogosphere. Find the quote. The quote in question is Michael Ware admitting Zarqawi was in Iraq prior to the war. Moving quickly, I hit Time's site with the search I ran here. The ONLY piece I found that contained even a passing reference to Zarqawi being in Iraq prior to the war is right here. The following passage comes half-way through the first page:

This is also a statement of Zarqawi's rise in the jihad community. Prior the Iraq war he was a marginal figure in the larger al-Qaeda cluster of militant groups. The invasion and subsequent invasion of Iraq gave him and other insurgents a stage upon which to make their mark as mujahideen heroes, akin to the veterans of the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. In this video, what is believed to be Zarqawi's voice is heard only once, part of an audio tape he released last month threatening the new U.S.-backed Baghdad government and reinforcing to Islamic extremist recruits and financiers that he is the one to follow.

Now, does this mean that Michael Ware is a liar? No, not really. If he could just come forward to Hugh Hewitt, and pass on the link to that story, I'm sure Hugh would be happy to put that up for us to see. As it stands right now, Michael Ware's made a comment, in regard to the news magazine he is a bureau chief for, that his magazine had admitted a key point of contention in the debate over Iraq. At the very least, I'd like to find that link. I think the man is a respectable journalist who very well may have "gone native" on the world. If so, his reporting is biased irrespective of the reasoning.

At the least, we'd like that link, please.

And for those wanting to, follow this link and buy Hugh's new book. It is integral to the elections in 2006 and 2008 as we must make gains, in more ways than one, for both years. And I'll be blogging a book review of itr on Thursday. (Yes, this was a shameless plug.)


Anonymous Andy Dobbs said...

Very Good blow by blow on Hughs awesome interview with Michael Ware. Like you I'm very suspect of Michael views. And his non comment about Stalin is very troublesome to me. I enjoy your site and have bookmarked it. (now I have another blog to look at each day LOL)

10:58 PM  
Blogger Syd And Vaughn said...


TY very much for stopping by. Michael Ware does have some questions behind him. Among them I include his integrity (he cited a Time article that doesn't seem to exist) and his ethics (by throwing in with the insurgents/Islamicists).

As I stated in the live-blog, I find this singular fact repulsive. And yes, in addition to that there is the question of why he can't identify "evil?" He can't say Hitler was evil, or Stalin, or Khruschev, or even Saddam Hussein. He acknowledges that from a "human rights POV" that Saddam was bad, but he didn't acknowledge that he was evil.

Like many in the MSM, there is a tendency to draw moral equivalents, and in my opinion, there are none between the terrorists and the United States. I just can't see it.

Publius II

6:53 PM  

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