There’s an old expression that implores us not to blame the bringers of bad news.
This “don’t shoot the messenger” maxim was probably left over from some distant time when rival tyrants would assassinate each other’s couriers to make a point.
However we do not live in an age when messages about the world are conveyed to us to by unbiased envoys dressed in flashy colors with feathers in their caps reading from scrolls of parchment.
The 21st century has new kids of messengers, television and newspaper reporters, who gather the news and return it to their home base for repackaging and redistribution to us.
But the question remains, are the messages we are receiving the whole story?
Regarding the operation to win the peace and stability of Iraq; we are not receiving the whole side of the story. Instead of hearing about all aspects of the war and its progress, we are hammered on a daily basis by a deluge of negative reporting.
There are so many examples that I don’t know where to begin.
Since the Vietnam War we have seen the activists in the media attempting to bring about change in government policy. Refusing to let go of this mantra we hear many media outlets today running stories comparing Iraq to Vietnam.
Folks let me layout the facts. Vietnam was 40 years ago. Things have changed.
Though every death is terrible, we lost 58,000 soldiers in Vietnam as compared to a much lower 1,800 today.
There’s no draft, no Iraqi civil war, no major outside powers (like the Soviet Union) supplying arms and training, no jungles, no Platoon, no Apocalypse Now, etc.
Besides the constant misuse of history, the media has neglected to mention the scores of good news that has been streaming from Iraq.
Saddam has been dethroned and arrested and his murderous rapist sons Uday and Qusay are dead. The Iraqi people are free to finally exercise their creative and entrepreneurial talents.
Artists, farmers and businesspeople alike are permitted to create and conduct free enterprise without an oppressive statist regime.
Money in the millions and billions of dollars is pouring in from the United States, other allied countries and worldwide organizations for schools, hospitals, infrastructure and social programs for women to name a few things.
Clean water and electricity have been delivered to places where they have never had them. Classes are open with an 80 percent attendance rate and hundreds of hospitals are being built and renovated.
Most importantly the people are free to participate in democratic government and have done so braving the dangers of terrorist attacks, voting in a real election and waving their purple stained fingers in the air.
These courageous people have proved all of the naysayers wrong turning out in high numbers despite the 44 people who would eventually die in suicide and mortar attacks on polling stations.
Yet, instead of this true and encouraging information, much of the news is of the doom and gloom type about the number of soldiers and civilians getting killed, but with hardly any mention of how many insurgents we have dispatched.
I suspect this has a large part to play in the president’s low approval ratings.
Moreover, the mainstream media has been more than content to cover the Cindy Sheehan movement ad nauseum in an attempt to convince America that she speaks for a large number of military families or soldiers. Neither could be further from the truth.
Although I stated this last week, I feel it necessary to reiterate that a majority of soldiers and their families view the war in a drastically different way than the likes of Cindy Sheehan and her disgraceful anti-war ilk.
Overwhelmingly, our servicemen and women support our president, understand the mission and believe our cause to be an honorable one.
It is mind boggling that the anti-war left in this country can claim to speak for and support the same troops whose ideological stances are so drastically different from theirs.
Radical anti-war leftists and their cronies in the media don’t support the troops’ choices in leaders, are repulsed by the mission the troops think is noble and worthy of great sacrifice, and are constantly underestimating, ignoring, and denigrating the sucesses the soldiers of the United States have made.
These leftists who view them with utter contempt in their rallies and protests cannot possibly support our troops, yet the media would have you believe otherwise.
The only support you can squeeze out of the anti-war left is a pathetic, “I hope our soldiers don’t get hurt…” This is not support, this is near-apathetic well-wishing.
Yet our troops continue in their worthy mission despite little support from the media or the anti-war left.
In closing I would like to refer to Captain Sherman Powell’s revealing comment to Matt Lauer, who was desperately trying to get him to falsely admit that his troops’ morale was failing. “Sir, if I got my news from the newspapers also, I’d be pretty depressed as well.”