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Author Topic:   Is the media hurting the war?
taylor_31
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 86
From: Oklahoma!
Joined: 05-14-2007


Message 1 of 145 (408014)
06-29-2007 9:44 PM


I recently had a discussion with a neoconservative about the "war on terror" and the Iraq war. His central claim was that the American media has undermined the war effort, and he advocated a media restriction for wartime affairs.

He said that the media has blurted out every policy and tactic that we propose; this is akin to "telling the defense what play the offense will run." He also claimed that if America had had today's media during World War II, we would be "speaking German right now." Imagine having Normandy on the evening news across the country, he said. Would the people have supported the war effort?

I personally think that restricting the media is a dangerous idea, but I couldn't help but be shaken by some of his examples, particularly the World War II example. Is the media hurting the war effort? Do we really need to know everything that happens on the ground?


Replies to this message:
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Adminnemooseus
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Posts: 3879
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Message 2 of 145 (408016)
06-29-2007 10:28 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 3 of 145 (408023)
06-29-2007 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
06-29-2007 9:44 PM


Considering the content of the "Family Jewels"
Considering the content of the "Family Jewels" which was just released, I would say that there is definitely a greater need to watch what our Government is doing than ever before. There is absolute proof that the Government, FBI and CIA as well as other agencies committed crimes including dealmaking with gangsters, assassination attempts, spying on US citizens and illegal wiretaps. There is also evidence those practices continue today. Further, it is the same folk leading much of the operations, leftovers from the Nixon Administration like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. The Attorney General of the US, Alberto Gonzales may well face criminal charges.

If one thing is clear, it is that Americans should NEVER trust their government.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 145 (408075)
06-30-2007 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
06-29-2007 9:44 PM


His central claim was that the American media has undermined the war effort, and he advocated a media restriction for wartime affairs.

Surely that's hilariously stupid to you. Clearly nothing has undermined the "war" so much as the boneheads that have been in charge of it from the beginning. Your friend overestimates the importance of "looking tough." Sure, it's important - but so are tactics and strategy, and precious little of that has been applied in Iraq.

He said that the media has blurted out every policy and tactic that we propose; this is akin to "telling the defense what play the offense will run."

They haven't "blurted out" anything that the Bush Administration didn't specifically tell them to say. That's what all those Tony Snow press conferences are for.

Imagine having Normandy on the evening news across the country, he said.


Click to enlarge

I'm not sure what the hell he thinks he's talking about, but then, you're almost certainly talking to someone who has no real idea what the media was like in WWII.

Is the media hurting the war effort? Do we really need to know everything that happens on the ground?

The only things that have hurt the war effort has been the ridiculous blunders made by war leaders at every level. From failing to plan for an insurgency (after guaranteeing that there would be one, by dismantling the army), to failing to send enough troops to quell violence, to failing to keep dangerous munitions out of insurgent hands (al-Qaa-Qaa), to failing to establish order and a functional government; the media has had nothing to do with any of that. Indeed, the media was the Administration's single best ally in the first few years of the war, and they still couldn't help but fuck the war up this badly.

Your friend is a moron. He needs to start pointing the finger where it belongs - to the failed policies of George Bush.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Chanced image to a "thumb"..


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by taylor_31, posted 06-29-2007 9:44 PM taylor_31 has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16333
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 5 of 145 (408091)
06-30-2007 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
06-29-2007 9:44 PM


taylor_31 writes:

Do we really need to know everything that happens on the ground?

The media has a repsonsibility to report what they know.

If the government has secrets, it's their responsiblity to keep them, not the media's.


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This message is a reply to:
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taylor_31
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 86
From: Oklahoma!
Joined: 05-14-2007


Message 6 of 145 (408114)
06-30-2007 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
06-30-2007 10:55 AM


Clearly nothing has undermined the "war" so much as the boneheads that have been in charge of it from the beginning.

Yes, I agree. I think it's a common copout of conservatives to blame the media for the war's progress, but clearly the President and his administration are responsible.

But still, the point remains: has the media been a detriment to the war effort?

They haven't "blurted out" anything that the Bush Administration didn't specifically tell them to say.

I think I misrepresented my friend's argument.

What he meant by "blurting out" was the media reporting and scrutinizing everything that the military does - everything from civilian casualties to common screw-ups. He cited the recent murder trials of several soldiers. "Soldiers being charged for murder in a war?" he exclaimed. In addition, he also called our torture policies "soft" and "flabby" and dangerous to the country.

My response was that we are America, the miliary, economic, and supposedly moral leader of the world. We should try to set a good example for other countries, and we shouldn't act like a terrorist nation. To this, he said that we can't restrict our military in such a way; we can't play "nice" with our enemies; and he claimed that we must "get in the gutter" and fight these people with our gloves off.

Does he have a point? Should we become more aggressive in our war efforts? Or is he pulling facts out of his ass?

I'm not sure what the hell he thinks he's talking about, but then, you're almost certainly talking to someone who has no real idea what the media was like in WWII.

I'm pretty sure they didn't have the extensive media coverage like we have today, and they didn't have television. There were probably many atrocities committed during World War II that we will never know about. Obviously, even with our ignorance of those atrocities, the war was won. (Of course there are still atrocities that we don't know today, but we probably know much more because of the greater capabilities of the media.)

The question is, was it because of the public's relative ignorance that World War II went so well? Did the ignorance help the war effort?

My opinion right now is that it didn't really matter, and it still doesn't today. Like you said, this war's troubles are due to the policies and actions of the Bush administration, not to some bad deeds of a few soldiers. World War II was won not because of "playing dirty", but because of strong policy decisions.

Therefore, if our ignorance doesn't matter, then why not make our military more morally accountable?

Edited by taylor_31, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 7 of 145 (408117)
06-30-2007 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by taylor_31
06-30-2007 6:30 PM


The War in Iraq was not the War on Terrorism
What he meant by "blurting out" was the media reporting and scrutinizing everything that the military does - everything from civilian casualties to common screw-ups. He cited the recent murder trials of several soldiers. "Soldiers being charged for murder in a war?" he exclaimed. In addition, he also called our torture policies "soft" and "flabby" and dangerous to the country.

All the more reason such things, and his objection to them, be public knowledge. It is not the Islamic Terrorists that are a threat to the US, but people who hold beliefs like his.

The only connection between the War on Terrorism and the Invasion and occupation of Iraq, is that the Invasion of Iraq provides a continuing justification for terrorist acts.

Soldiers who kill and rape non-combatants should certainly be charged and tried. Frankly, I place a lot of the blame though on the Administration that placed them in the position.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5380
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 7.0


Message 8 of 145 (408118)
06-30-2007 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by taylor_31
06-30-2007 6:30 PM


To this, he said that we can't restrict our military in such a way; we can't play "nice" with our enemies; and he claimed that we must "get in the gutter" and fight these people with our gloves off.

An echo of Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter and such.

Bullshit, say I. Those folks scream like hell when someone other than America violates, say, the Geneva Convention. But it's OK for us to do so? Only if you're a cynical hypocrite.


"The wretched world lies now under the tyranny of foolishness; things are believed by Christians of such absurdity as no one ever could aforetime induce the heathen to believe." - Agobard of Lyons, ca. 830 AD
This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 145 (408120)
06-30-2007 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by taylor_31
06-30-2007 6:30 PM


"Soldiers being charged for murder in a war?" he exclaimed.

Yeah. Oddly enough, when you shoot a 14-year-old girl's family to death so that you can take turns raping her, that's murder.

Your friend is a fucking moron.

Does he have a point? Should we become more aggressive in our war efforts?

Do you think that we should fight terrorists by becoming terrorists? I don't. Torture doesn't produce information; the point of torture is torture.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by taylor_31, posted 06-30-2007 6:30 PM taylor_31 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by taylor_31, posted 06-30-2007 8:55 PM crashfrog has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 10 of 145 (408122)
06-30-2007 7:21 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
06-29-2007 9:44 PM


Is the media hurting the war effort?

Am I missing something? What is wrong with undermining an unjust war? Would your friend have complained if the "media" had been undermining, say, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980?


Q: If science doesn't know where this comes from, then couldn't it be God's doing?

A: The only difference between that kind of thinking and the stereotype of the savage who thinks the Great White Hunter is a God because he doesn't know how the hunter's cigarette lighter works is that the savage has an excuse for his ignorance. -- jhuger


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 Message 1 by taylor_31, posted 06-29-2007 9:44 PM taylor_31 has responded

Replies to this message:
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AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 509
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 11 of 145 (408125)
06-30-2007 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by taylor_31
06-30-2007 6:30 PM


Terrorist alert orange!
It is worth noting that in WW2 the Germans and Japanese "got in the gutter" and "fought with their (kid) gloves off". They committed uncountable atrocities, unrestrained torture, and didn't hesitate to use any means available to further their war plans. Most notably, they completely controlled the media and only reported the 'good' news. Now, have your friend check one or two history books. He might be amazed to learn the the Japanese and Germans actually lost that war! What your friend is actually proposing is that we follow exactly those policies that were followed by every country that has lost a war in recent years. You should shut down your EvC page, bring up your mail server and immediately email the Homeland Security Department and report your 'friend' as an obvious terror suspect who is trying to undermine all of our efforts at homeland defense (which includes maintaining a well informed citizenry). In that email, you might want to list several other people in Washington who are trying to do the same thing.
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1395 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 12 of 145 (408127)
06-30-2007 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by jar
06-30-2007 6:45 PM


Re: The War in Iraq was not the War on Terrorism
jar writes:

Soldiers who kill and rape non-combatants should certainly be charged and tried.


Jar, I'm curious to what you think about the movie Word of Honor? If you haven't seen it, you should rent it. It deals with an extreme case of what we are talking about.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


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taylor_31
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 86
From: Oklahoma!
Joined: 05-14-2007


Message 13 of 145 (408132)
06-30-2007 8:55 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
06-30-2007 6:56 PM


Oddly enough, when you shoot a 14-year-old girl's family to death so that you can take turns raping her, that's murder.

Of course I agree with you. But don't expect your scenario to get in the way of the typical Republican.

"It's just part of war," he or she will say. "War is dirty."

Now, I do think war is dirty, and there will always be civilian casualties in war. These are unavoidable. However, we should certainly minimize them whenever possible, unless there is a greater strategic goal in mind.

Torture doesn't produce information; the point of torture is torture.

I find torture reprehensible. But are there scenarios where it might be necessary to our protection?

I don't think torture is the best way to obtain information. But what if every other tactic had failed, and the situation was desperate? Should we use every tactic we know of to prevent an attack?


This message is a reply to:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 14 of 145 (408133)
06-30-2007 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by taylor_31
06-30-2007 8:55 PM


But are there scenarios where it might be necessary to our protection?

No. What scenarios are you talking about? The so-called "ticking bomb scenario" which, in the entire history of torture, has never occurred?


Q: If science doesn't know where this comes from, then couldn't it be God's doing?

A: The only difference between that kind of thinking and the stereotype of the savage who thinks the Great White Hunter is a God because he doesn't know how the hunter's cigarette lighter works is that the savage has an excuse for his ignorance. -- jhuger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by taylor_31, posted 06-30-2007 8:55 PM taylor_31 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by taylor_31, posted 06-30-2007 9:18 PM Chiroptera has responded

taylor_31
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 86
From: Oklahoma!
Joined: 05-14-2007


Message 15 of 145 (408134)
06-30-2007 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Chiroptera
06-30-2007 7:21 PM


Would your friend have complained if the "media" had been undermining, say, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980?

Those are the Soviets, though! The Soviets are evil like that!

:rolleyes:

Many people - conservatives in particular - find it offensive or even treasonous when someone admits that America has made a mistake. They think that whatever America does, it must be the righteous thing to do.

I say, what is wrong with being constructively self-critical? It's how we improve ourselves as a country, after all, and actually patriotic.


This message is a reply to:
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