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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

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

General Abizaid, The MSM, And What It All Means

Tuesday of this week, Hugh Hewitt sat down to have a conversation with General Abizaid, Commander of CENTCOM to discuss the war. In his column this week Hugh makes a couple of seriously interesting points while highlighting that interview. Those points, sadly, are not being presented in the dinosaur media. Indeed, Hugh points out that the media's attention seems to be focused on peripheral issues that, while they may serve the interests of the few, they do not serve the needs of the many:

Mike Wallace was eager to bring us Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's worldview to American living rooms, but have any of the networks been as busy setting out before the public our military's view of the stakes of the conflict and the nature of the enemy?

While I will grant some that the interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might have seemed important, even telling at times, it was a propaganda piece nonetheless. Trotting out the formerly retired journalist to have a sit down with a lunatic, giving him air time to speak his peace was perhaps the most dimwitted idea from CBS since taking Dan Rather's word that the memos he was about to present were legit. Since that interview, Wallace has been rightly criticized by bloggers and pundits alike who recognized the dog-and-pony show on 60 Minutes that Sunday evening. But as Hugh quotes from the interview, even General Abizaid wishes the dinosaur media would focus on the matters at hand:

HH: General Abizaid, is the American media, and I understand fully your commitment to 1st Amendment freedom, as every member of the American military is always quick to say. But is the American media making your job easier or harder in securing stability, and in ending extremism in the region?

JA: Well, I don't know that I want to characterize what the American media is doing or not doing, other than to say it would be a huge help for everybody if we started talking about our enemies out here, what they stand for, what they want, what their vision of the world is, why they're dangerous, and how this is a worthy fight to fight at this level now, rather than letting it wait to get worse. And I think that's the unspoken story, it's the enemy.

General Abizaid is correct. Again, the media only wishes to discuss the periphery issues. They will thump their chest at how brave they are to report the death toll of United States soldiers in Iraq, the Abu Ghraib, media-driven, non-scandal, the unproven, unfounded allegations of abuse at Gitmo, and as we see now, a potential civil war in Iraq. But they will not discuss the achievements made in that nation. Nor will they discuss our enemies.

And as an American citizen who supports our troops and our mission 100%, I have to ask where the wisdom of the media is when they refuse to discuss what our enemies want? Why is it that they take the talking points from the politicos in DC who are lying through their teeth. Still, the Democrats disavow the fact that we have found any WMDs in Iraq, and proclaim that the president took this nation to war based on lies. Rick Santorum's impromptu press conference where he revealed that we did have records showing that our troops did find WMDs there should have sealed the debate, once and for all. The dinosaur media completely ignored the story. It had its "fifteen minutes of fame," but was quickly hushed up by the media; an obvious embarrassment for them as it shows them pushing the same agenda as the antiwar, anti-Bush crowds.

But why are they not discussing our enemy? Could we chalk this up to continued fallout from the Danish cartoon incident? Are they afraid that if they say the wrong thing that they could be targeted at home and abroad? The answer is far simpler than those thought-provoking questions. The dinosaur media dislikes this president. No, scratch that--they abhor him. They do not like how he is running the country, and the cowboy in Texas is constantly portrayed as a war-monger. I suppose you could say had we not been attacked on 9/11. But we were, and our enemy is determined, more than ever, to deal as much damage to us as possible, and force us from the field of battle.

And that is the key to this whole war. Osama bin Laden stated he wanted the United States out of Saudi Arabia. We pulled out. Using the dinosaur media's twisted logic, that should have been the end of our war. But then more demands erupted from the animals we fight. They hate Israel's very presence in the Middle East, and because we support them, they hate us still. There is no way that we can make nice with these people. Death and destructiuon of anything that does not fit into their bloody and oppressive ideology is what their mindset is. The West is corrupt, decadent, and not good at all for their virulent strain of Islam.

And why is that? Simply put, they know that to introduce Western ideals, unfettered int he region, will lead to a loss of power to them. People, when given the opportunity to have what the West has, will always choose us over them. Freedom is inherent in mankind. We all want to be free. Free to worship as we see fit; free to speak our minds; free to got to school, even if we are female; free to own a satellite dish and sit at home and watch football on the weekends. And to show the flip side, we only need to see what is happening in Somalia (Hat-Tip--Hugh Hewitt) to see what Islamic rule brings the world. Anyone remember the world Cup soccer matches just a couple of short months ago? The story about Islamic radicals shooting the soccer fans there? This is what our enemies adhere to. Yet the media refuses to touch on these stories.

Sure, they will show a pixelated video of a beheading and it is not because it is "news," per se, but because they know that the simple minded people will take to the streets, and start demanding a removal of our presence from that country. It will embolden the side they are rooting for. They are not necessarily cheering for our enemy to win, but they are hoping that our enemy can do enough to destabilize any morale the nation still has left, and force our retreat as we did in Vietnam. The dinosaur media's overall bias is not anti-America; it is anti-Bush. It is Bush Derangment Syndrome at its worst, and the media refuses to recognize that such bias is doing serious damage to the nation.

Every once and awhile, we civilians catch a glimpse of the barbarians at the gate, as when the details of the London bombing plot leak out, or when the carnage of Mumbai is recalled.

But then Reuters gets to doctoring its photos, and Mike Wallace hauls off to Tehran and doesn't bother to ask President Ahmadinejad about the torture and the disappeared, the use of indiscriminate weapons by Hezbollah against civilians or the routine declaration of intent in jihadist websites, we begin to forget the reality of the war.

It isn't as though these are hard stories to find, or the intentions of the enemy difficult to discern. The MSM could in fact be doing its job of informing the public of the key facts of their lives.

Hugh has a very valid point here, and that is the MSM would rather have us forget about the atrocities of our enemies. Instead, they hype up the supposed atrocities of our soldiers. Ah, how easily we forget when not instructed ...

In World War II, our soldiers witnessed, both firsthand and the aftermath of, atrotcities committed by the Axis powers on an unimaginable scale. From the Bataan Death March to the Final Solution, our soldiers knew, but more importantly, the public was informed. The media once did a good job for this nation during World War II. And their bias against FDR and the war was not kept silent, but it also was not sprawled out across practically every news page, or radio news broadcast. AND, they always balanced it. The general public was kept informed--through the media and the White House--of precisely what our enemies were like. And there were no apologists; at least none within the mainstream that could mount a solid argument in favor of Nazi fascism or Japanese imperialism.

Yet the media wants to paint such a bland picture of our enemy, or make excuses for them. "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was an abused child." "They wouldn't be angry with us if we'd just get out of the Middle East." "They're only fighting us because we're there for their oil." And on, and on, and on. It is positively sickening at times to see the talking heads trot out to their shows, and, in a subtle way, defend our enemies. The media's job is to keep the public informed of the facts, and then allow them to figure things out. But, that is not their goal. They now know that they can still manipulate the public with how things are presented to them.

If you do not believe me, you only need to look at Little Green Footballs. Under the banner at the top of the page is a mint-green box filled with several links. These are links to stories where the media was caught doing precisely that. From Reuters to AP, and the links within those posts to others who have found more, the Israeli/Hezbollah war showed more media manipulation than I have seen in years, and it is as clumsy as Dan Rather's faux story in 2004 about the president's National Guard record.

The point that is being made by Hugh, by General Abizaid, and by bloggers--on a semi-daily basis--is that the media has failed to do its real job. It does not want to keep people informed because they know in our hectic, and sometimes chaotic lives, we will forget about things soon enough. Best to let certain stories come up, make a quick comment, and move onto the next media-driven scandal, story, or crime. (After all, how much Iraq news has the media focused on since the supposed killer of Jon Benet-Ramsey was taken into custody? Our papers here in Arizona have had that as an above-the-fold, front page story since the story broke. Even state politics knocks the war off the front page.)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is wrong. We were reminded about the war in Europe and the war in the Pacific almost every day on the front pages when World War II was raging. Yet most papers are lucky if a war story ends up on the front page at all, or even in the "highlight" column on the front page directing them deeper into the paper. For two straight months, the Arizona Republic had a running death toll on their front page in that column; it cited United States deaths, and civilian deaths. It did not even cite coalition deaths. There are many people who thinkour only partner in this war is Great Britain. They miss the other forty-to-sixty nations assisting us. Again, the public needs reminders.

And it would also serve the media to begin calling a spade a spade. Our enemy is not militants, or guerillas, or even insurgents. They are terrorists, and they worship at the altar of Islamofascism. They want ussubjugated, enslaved, or otherwise broken and destroyed. And no amount of negotiation will help. Go back to that link above for the Bataan Death March, and scroll down about halfway through the page. On the right hand side of the page is a poster from World War II. The caption reads:

"What are you going to do about it? Stay on the job until every murdering Jap is wiped out!"

That was a sobering reminder then. But the media refuses to give any such reminder now. It does not fall into their view of the world. As a matter of fact, General Abizaid makes that point succintly in the interview, and Hugh cites it:

"I can only say that as I...when I go home and spend time where my headquarters is in Tampa, or when I spend time where I'm from on the West Coast, it's hard to really notice that there's much of a war going on, thinking that there's a World War II level of effort going on in the middle of the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa, is hard for most people to appreciate. I think it's important that people understand the dangers of not contesting this area. If we let the extremists get embedded, if we let the extremists gain ground, if we let the extremists have time and resources, then I believe they'll eventually insinuate their way into the mainstream. They could then gain territory, gain time, gain weapons of mass destruction. And over time, they'd move us to the war that we're all, the big war that we're all trying to avoid. So I can only tell you that what we're doing out here is very, very important for our security. We were actually fighting these people well before 9/11, and it takes a little bit of time and effort, but people need to educate themselves about why we're fighting who we're fighting, and what it means if we back away from them. I think our young troops that are out here fighting are doing a wonderful job, and an absolutely necessary job. And I'd also like to say, just to kind of close up, Hugh, is that I don't believe it's necessary to stay out here in this huge force size forever. We can, over time, get our own forces down as long as the moderates in the region are willing to stand up, take responsibility, and move against these extremists on their own. So helping them help themselves is really the key to our success. I believe we're doing that in a lot of places. It's a hard fight, it's a long fight, but with patience and perseverence, we can do it. We certainly have got the courage of our troops to rely upon, and they won't let us down."

Here, here, General. You hit the nail on the head. When the media fails in its job, it falls to the role of the public to educate themselves. Bloggers help in this endeavor. Anyone who has read Bill Roggio or Michael Yon know of their contributions to news coming from the front lines. At the very least, bloggers are helping to keep the public informed. It is certainly better than relying on news outlets who would rather make excuses for our enemies, or doctor the news to elicit a response favorable to them.



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