Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MEDIA ALERT : Michele Bachmann is RIGHT !

Fresh from her Iraq / Pakistan fact-finding Congressional trip, MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports “Bachmann also wants the news media to do a better job reporting on what she views as the larger war on terror. "For instance, the day after I left Baghdad, 26 people were killed in one suicide bombing, 130 in another, " Bachmann said.
Congresswoman Bachmann is right … the media has ignored the Global War on Terror™.

Iraq gets minimal attention.
Take Bill O’Reilly who on discussed Fox News coverage of Iraq by stating on his June 12th radio program: Did you report every fire fight? No. The reason that CNN and MSNBC put it on is because they want to give the impression that the war is a loser and Bush is an idiot. That may be true. The war is a loser and Bush may be an idiot. Okay, that’s for you to decide. But that’s why they’re doing it. They’re not doing it to inform anybody about anything. The terrorists are going to set off a bomb every day because they know CNN and MSNBC are going to put it on the air. That’s a strategy for the other side. The terrorist side. So I’m taking an argument that CNN and MSNBC are actually helping the terrorists by reporting useless explosions. Do you care if another bomb went off in Tikrit? Does it mean anything? No! It doesn’t mean anything.
In my opinion, Fox avoids Iraq news. Listen to their radio news feeds and Iraq barely gets mentioned as the top news story … and their TV is quite adept at celebrity news, weather news, natural disasters … but not Iraq. Just check their website and see where Iraq is mentioned.

So what do they miss? Let's just look at world news.

An Al-Qaeda-aligned rebel group previously known as the Salafist Group for Dawa (Call) and Combat has claimed responsibility for a triple suicide bombing in Algiers on April 11 that killed 33 people and injured 222 others while just today another attack occurred in the same country killed eight (plus the suicide bomber) and injured 30.
Also, today eight people were killed Wednesday as a market in the Somali capital came under grenade attack for the third consecutive day ahead of a weekend peace conference. Five civilians were killed in similar attacks on the sprawling market on Monday and Tuesday which are blamed on Islamist insurgents.
While on the Basilan Island in the Philippines, Islamic militants killed 14 Philippine marines searching for a kidnapped Italian priest during a major gunbattle, and later beheaded 10 of them, the military said Wednesday. Another nine were injured in the gunbattle with about 300 militants near Tipo-Tipo town on Tuesday. The Abu Sayyaf is an Al Qaeda-linked group of self-styled Islamic fighters blamed for the country's worst terrorist attacks and many kidnappings however on an Internet posting a rival Islamic rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, claimed credit .
And last week the violence in southern Thailand continued. In all 32 people and three militants were killed, and 94 were wounded. In the week, there were 23 IEDs detonated and three defused.

The media did give lip service to the militant cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and the Red Mosque situation in Islamabad which was resolved after two days of fighting which resulted in at least 50 people inside and 10 Pakistani soldiers dying after commandos stormed the complex.

The UK terror plot investigations did get a lot of play by Fox. But is that due to the fact that Fox News has reporters in London already? Also, since London attack was averted, it could be construed as a “success” in the Global War on Terror™; thus a story that some would want to promote. But the real question that needs to be asked, were these attacks really authorized by al Qaeda, or just to work of a group of angry people?

As the examples above indicate, it is a mistake to think that al Qaeda is only in Iraq. Even if Iraq was free of al Qaeda, al Qaeda is active all over the globe. That silly catchphrase that “we’re fight’ng in Iraq, so we don’t have to fight them here” is just plain wrong.

So Media, please heed Congresswoman Bachmann’s plea … it is a Global War.

And not only do we need to know about what is going on, so does Congresswoman Bachmann.
The St. Cloud Times reported : The delegation's visit was harrowing at times. While visiting with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker at the U.S. Embassy inside Baghdad's walled, high-security Green Zone on Friday, mortar blasts landed inside the American-controlled territory. "This recorded message played four times while we were there, asking us to move away from any windows, to get on the ground and move to the center of the building," Bachmann said.
Security conditions in Iraq prevented Bachmann from meeting any Iraqis, leaving the Green Zone or staying in Iraq overnight. She and other congressional members were required to wear full body armor, including Kevlar helmets, during the entire trip

This reporting makes it sound as if Bachmann had no idea of the conditions in the Green Zone, much less the rest of the country. According to a U.N. report, in March there were 17 mortar and rocket attacks in to the Green Zone which grew to about 39 attacks in May. The U.S. Embassy advised its personnel on March 28 that body armor and helmets were required for all "outdoor activities" within the embassy's grounds. A May 3 directive told Green Zone residents to "remain within a hardened structure to the maximum extent possible and strictly avoid congregating outdoors." A May 19 notice went further, saying that "congregating outdoors is strictly prohibited until further notice," and ordered the closing of "the palace pool area" because of "the threat of indirect fire" -- the term used for rockets and mortars.
And on Tuesday, an intense mortar attack on the Green Zone killed 3 people and wounded 18. Buried deep in the story : Tuesday's attack came the same day gunmen kidnapped Iraqi Police Col. Mahmoud Muhyi Hussein, who directs security inside the Green Zone, as he was driving in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Jadriya.
COMMENT : If the person responsible for security can be kidnapped, there is no security.

Conclusion : Congresswoman Bachmann has a lot to learn ... although the media needs to do thier job, the Congresswoman needs to read what is already being reported. Heck, if I can read the papers, why can't she ?