It's hard to explain the shock I got when I finally got into Iraq. Unlike what I had read in the newspapers, I didn't find demoralized troops complaining about a dangerous quagmire in Iraq, and believe me, I asked.
So often, the business of reporting seemed to deal less with what was happening in Iraq and more with what was happening outside of Iraq.
To my surprise, most Iraqis knew little or nothing about [Abu Ghraib] and cared even less. The most important topic was security.
A sheik from Ramadi put it best: "We have our own bad people and they are much worse than yours." I was surprised to learn many Iraqis were angry the prison had been closed down, because it showed American weakness.
The big con job the media has inflicted on the American people, by systematically distorting so many details about the conflict in Iraq, does more than skew politics back home; it makes Americans distrust the sources of their information and is an assault on democracy.
Today, the news from Iraq is increasingly positive – deaths among troops are down by over 70 percent, and Iraqis have largely rejected al-Qaida. But while sectarian violence has plummeted, too many media outlets have stopped reporting on what is, by far, the most defining event of this century.
A free people need a free press, but through omission, exaggeration, bias and just flat-out deceit, the American public has been taken for a ride – and we will all be paying a price.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Former soldier, and current historian and embedded reporter
... Matt Sanchez is risking his life to get the truth to us.