In my previous post, I mentioned the know-thy-cultural-enemy file. The Redhunter has another entry of a visual nature. Be certain to check the “After 100 Years” section in the lower right corner of the graphic.
First, here’s a somewhat interesting, though rarely insightful, look at the friction between the American media and military.
“There’s an irony here, because when you had embedding, there was a sense that the reporting was better than ever,” says Dan Goure, a military analyst with the Lexington Institute. “But since the end of major combat operations, the relationship has really gone to hell. There is a strongly held perception in the military â€“ particularly the Army â€“ that the media is doing the enemy’s work. You guys are seen as the Jane Fondas of the Iraq war. And so the military attitude is, ‘why should we level with you, because you’re going to screw us.’”
That attitude apparently goes all the way to the top: Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that “the steady stream of errors [by the media] all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and to give heart to the terrorists and to discourage those who hope for success in Iraq.”
Goure says the relationship between the press and military has been bad since the time of the Vietnam War. In World War II and the Korean War, he says, the military had a sense that the press was on their side. But today, he argues, “both the military and the media have unrealistic expectations of each other,” as they have for the past 40 years. “The military expects the media to be a kind of public affairs arm, and the media expects the military to move faster and more agilely on these kinds of issues than they can. When the military is dealing with a problem, it has to go through the chain of command, there are reviews â€“ it’s a very laborious process.”
All of that seems pretty dead on, but then there’s the following:
Many of the reporters I spoke to say the military’s secrecy has helped them control stories, which suggests there may not be a change in press strategy anytime soon, despite the embarrassment caused by the Tillman case. Fidell, who has crusaded for more openness on the part of the military, characterizes the situation bluntly. “At the moment,” he says, “they’re winning.”
The media want more openness from the military, but essentially refuse to cover any positive story that they’re able to dodge. Sure, big tales like successful elections cannot be buried, but I’ll wager that I could go to CENTCOM or Defend America and find a wealth of positive news releases that have received no media play. Heck, while talking about military secrecy or hesitant forthcoming, this story doesn’t even mention the fact that it was indeed the military that broke the news on the Abu Ghraib abuse story.
Second, Elephants in Academia takes an look at SecDef Donald Rumsfeld’s interactions with wounded American troops and the dichotomy of how this relationship is presented when drawn by an editorial cartoonist and captured by a camera (hat tip to Confederate Yankee).
I gave writing this post a fair amount of thought for a couple of reasons. For starters, it’s about that Tom Toles Washington Post cartoon from late January, and I hate to give it any more play. And it’s about Donald Rumsfeld, and I’m aware that I’ve had more than enough to say about him recently. But I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind because I found the visual comparison between the two pictures so striking. And ultimately I hope the post is about more than Toles and Rumsfeld–it’s about the disconnect that I see between public perception of the military based on the way it is portrayed in the press and the reality of the military as I understand it. I know it’s somewhat unfair to compare a stylized drawing like a political cartoon with a photograph because of its attendent aura of verisimilitude, so I would like to start with the disclaimer that both are constructs since, of course, all photographs are shaped by the person who pushes the button and by the way the subjects deport themselves. But in this case, I think that, as in the cartoon, the construct is instructive.
Don’t let the hedging in that intro dissuade you from what is a very intriguing read and a striking visual contrast.
A Muslim rape epidemic in sweeping over Europe — and over many other nations host to immigrants from the Islamic world. The direct connection between the rapes and Islam is irrefutable, as Muslims are significantly overrepresented among convicted rapists and rape suspects. The Muslim perpetrators themselves boast that their crime is justified since their victims were, among other things, not properly veiled.
What is the psychology here? What is the significance of this epidemic? And how do we face it when our own feminists, with a few exceptions, are deafingly silent about it?
I’ll admit I haven’t finished reading this lengthy piece yet but, so far, I’d say it’s safe to tuck it into the know-thy-cultural-enemy file.