Media Bias Costs Soldiers' Lives
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Individuals and groups are actively working to have the U.S. lose in Iraq, while others would see an American defeat as helpful to their political interests or careers, according to retired U.S. combat pilot and former Air Force aide to U.S. president Bill Clinton, Lt. Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson, during an exclusive interview with International News Analysis Today.
The lives of American soldiers are placed in greater peril, and the war in Iraq is prolonged unnecessarily, due to the distorted media reporting and partisan attacks by certain U.S. politicians, stated Patterson, author of Dereliction of Duty (2003) and Reckless Disregard (2004).
INA Today asked if the press is aiding the terrorism.
"Absolutely," Patterson responded.
Tying slanted media reporting to domestic politics, Patterson stated that, "Consciously or not, influential segments of the mainstream media advance the agenda that anything that besmirches the Bush administration is good, and if it comes at the expense of the war in Iraq - that's fine."
"The troops see that, they see that very clearly," Patterson observed.
Recently returned from visiting U.S. armed forces in Iraq, Patterson expressed to INA Today his concern about the media and political manipulation of the Iraq war. While troop morale remains high, U.S. military personnel are, nevertheless, dismayed at the image the established media convey to the American public regarding their efforts in Iraq.
Ceremony for Louisiana National Guardsmen killed in Iraq on Jan. 6, 2005
Some troops believe that distorted media reporting is a greater threat to their personal safety than direct enemy attack, because the message the media give to the public encourages terror gangs to redouble their efforts, Patterson told INA Today.
Patterson noted that the troops are disturbed that positive developments, including the passage of a democratic Iraqi constitution - the first such event in that nation's 5,000 year history - receive little attention, and are never permitted to disturb an otherwise dismal image painted by the established media journalists.
Al Qaeda carefully watches and reacts to U.S. public opinion, and considers media image an extremely important aspect of their military effort, Patterson told INA Today.
The use and manipulation of the established U.S. media has been a major tool of guerrilla efforts directed against America since the Vietnam war. Successful manipulation of the media is an essential part of any "peoples war," and there are reports that Vietnamese military and governmental authorities have passed along their experience in media-driven guerrilla warfare to Islamic terror groups.
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro recognizes that the major elements of the U.S. media can be his ally, and Castro has openly stated that he works to influence established U.S. news outlets in order to advance his Communist agenda both in Latin America and in the United States itself. Castro's efforts have resulted in the established media ignoring the crimes of the tropical Stalinist gulag, but at the same time giving legitimacy to Cuba's Marxist regime.
The discussions with U.S. troops in Iraq, and his own research and observations form the substance of his latest book, War Crimes: The Left's Campaign to Destroy Our Military and Lose the War on Terror, due for release July 2006. "I am letting them [U.S. military personnel] tell their own story," Patterson stated.
Patterson said his book will challenge many Americans who are "unaware" or have difficulty believing that some elements in American society would favor U.S. losing in Iraq if it means political advantage.
During his interview with INA Today, Patterson cited continuing Democrat Party attacks on the Iraq war effort as an example of partisan politics endangering U.S. military personnel. Referring to leftist disputes over the launching of the U.S.-led attack on the Saddam Hussein regime, Patterson rhetorically asked, "What does it say to the troops when American politicians tell U.S. soldiers that they are there because of a ruse, that the whole thing was false from the get-go"?
Patterson urged politicians to consider the safety of the troops in harm's way, to put off partisan debates. "Stop playing political hardball," Patterson urged, and "let the troops come home first."
Based upon his access to military intelligence while an active Air Force officer and White House military aide, and his analysis of public Al-Qaeda statements, Patterson strongly believes Iraq's weapons of mass destruction not only exist, but are carefully buried in Syria, or possibly on the Iraqi side of the border with Syria.
Reported movements of Russian truck convoys going into and away from identified Iraqi WMD storage and development areas support Patterson's observations. Looking ahead to future challenges to the United States, Patterson stated that North Korea, and its close ally, Communist China, present a serious danger to America.
"It will be just a matter of time" before the Stalinist nation of North Korea provokes the United States, Patterson speculated, and he urged America to take a realistic look at the challenges the nation faces around the world.
Posted November 15, 2005
Toby Westerman writes and edits
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