Saturday, July 12, 2008

CBS War Correspondent Asks HuffPo for Fairness

CBS news correspondent Kimberly Dozier, author of the book "Breathing the Fire" which chronicles events and her experiences after having nearly been killed on Memorial Day in 2006 by an explosive device while reporting in Iraq, asked Arianna Huffington a question on Facebook yesterday. I'll let her comment and question stand on its own. I think it shows just how complicated, indeed, is the question of where the U.S. needs to go on Iraq. It goes far beyond anyone's given ideology, political posturing, and respective choice of Presidential candidate.

It's fairly obvious that the news network's front-line correspondents do not wish to be used for anyone's political purpose in this Presidential campaign season. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have used the Iraq war as a political tool and have treated the mainstream media..sometimes with success, disappointingly... as little more than their personal stenographers. It's happened for so long now...with far less success lately on the Bush administration's part .. that I think we've become perhaps too suspicious about the reporters who lay their own lives on the line every day to report what's actually happening on the ground.

Ms. Dozier asks the owner of the Huffington Post:

"Question for you -- I've been reporting that security is improved for Iraqis thanks to the surge in Iraq, but that US military commanders themselves say the situation is still 'reversible,' and that most everything else has failed to catch up, and could turn the situation south in an instant, like the government's failure to start integrating some 100,000 Sunni awakening fighters in Iraqi majority Shi'ite forces...(they've only integrated 10%, despite heavy US pressure, and the Americans are actually only aiming to integrate up to what happens to the 70,000 other Sunni fighters?)...

If I report the success of one part, and ALL those other does that get turned into "the mainstream media buys into the propaganda that taking out Saddam was the right thing at the right time?" I never reported that!

I've frequently been misquoted on my book tour on other subjects, so I'm a little over-sensitive about this one."

I know it's not a great analogy, but have you ever been the one person in a dysfunctional family situation who's held everything and everyone together...knowing all the while that once you backed away, all hell would break loose again because you were never, in reality, able to fix what was broken on your own?

Well, it sounds like that's the military in Iraq today.

Perhaps the reason the military - and the Surge- is the only part of the Iraq war being placed in focus by the major networks is because someone sitting behind a desk at corporate headquarters has been pressed into not telling the whole story...while our best war correspondents risk, and in the case of CBS' cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan, lose their lives.