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Geraldo - in and about Iraq

by Del McMullen / March 5, 2004 5:56 AM PST

I cannot verify or provide a link, but this certainly aligns with other reports I've seen from military personnel in or recently returned from Iraq.

Probably each of us has wondered if things could be as bad in Iraq as Brokaw, Jennings, et al, have been painting it.

"They have a saying in the news business," Geraldo Rivera related recently. "Reporters don't report buildings that don't burn." And with that introduction, he told a TV audience about the story that is being systematically denied to our entire nation: the success story of post-Saddam Iraq.

Are we losing some soldiers each week? Yes.
Is there some frustration in the Iraq public about electricity and water service? Yes.

Are some Saddam Hussein loyalists throughout the land, making trouble? Yes.
Has this opened a window for some terrorist mischief? Yes.

But that's ALL we hear. No wonder our country is in a mixed mood about Iraq. If you hear about the buildings that are not burning, though, it is a different story indeed.

Rivera is no shill for George W. Bush. But Bush, Condi Rice and Colin Powell together could not have been as effective as Geraldo was Thursday night (2-26) on the Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes program.

"When I got to Baghdad, I barely recognized it," he began, comparing his just-completed trip to two others he made during and just after the battle to topple Saddam. "You have over 30,000 Iraqi cops and militiamen already on the job."

"This is four months after major fighting stopped. Can you imagine that kind of gearing up in this country? Law and order is better; archaeological sites are being preserved; factories, schools are being guarded." But what about the secondhand griping that the media have been so efficiently relating about power, water and other infrastructure?"

"To say that Iraq is being rebuilt is not true," answered Rivera. "Iraq is being built. There was no infrastructure before; we are doing it. I just think the good news is being underestimated and under reported. At this juncture, one must evaluate how to feel about the voices telling us only about the bad news in Iraq, whether from the mouths of news anchors or Democratic presidential hopefuls. At best, they are under informed. At worst, their one-sided assessments of post-Saddam Iraq are intentional falsehoods for obvious reasons."

"If I hear one more person mock that "Mission Accomplished" banner beneath which President Bush thanked a shipload of sailors and Marines a few months back, I'm going to spit. That was a reference to the ouster of Saddam's regime, and that mission was indeed accomplished, apparently to the great chagrin of the American left. No one said what followed would be easy or cheap, and that's why the dripping-water torture of the cost and casualty stories is so infuriating."

"We should all mourn the loss of every fallen soldier. But context cries out to be heard. Our present news media is not performing this task. As some dare to wonder if this might become a Vietnam-like quagmire, I'll remind whoever needs it that most of our 58,000 Vietnam War toll died between 1966 and 1972, during which we lost an average of about 8,000 per year. That's about 22 per day, every day, for thousands of days on end."

"Let us hear NO MORE Vietnam comparisons. They do not equate. What I hope to hear is more truth, even if we have to wrench it from the mouths of the media and political hacks predisposed to bash the remarkable job we are doing every day in what was not so long ago a totalitarian wasteland."

"Local elections are under way across Iraq", Rivera reported. "Where Kurds and Arabs have been battling for decades, things have been settling down."

"Administrator Paul Bremer is doing a great job."

"I'm not into conspiracy theories,..but there's just more bang for your buck when you report the GI who got killed rather than the 99 who didn't get killed, who make friends, who helped schedule elections, who helped shops get open for business, who helped traffic flow again."

"The vast majority of Iraqis are very happy to have us there. I would like to see a bit more balance. This needs to be reported to the American Public who are presently being duped. I expect the dominant media culture to nitpick and attack Bush, and Democrats to blast him with reckless abandon. But when that leads to the willful exclusion of facts that would shine truthful light on the great work of the American armed forces, that level of malice plumbs new depths."

It's too bad, unfair to the troops in Iraq, and to the American public, that the mainstream media paints the picture with only one side of the brush.

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Where'd you get it? -nt
by Dan McC / March 5, 2004 6:06 AM PST

.

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It fits what returned troops say here to.
by Kiddpeat / March 5, 2004 6:13 AM PST

Very interesting if true.

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Exactly what I have been saying Dell - a good post
by SteveGargini / March 5, 2004 6:36 AM PST

"The vast majority of Iraqis are very happy to have us there. I would like to see a bit more balance. This needs to be reported to the American Public who are presently being duped. I expect the dominant media culture to nitpick and attack Bush, and Democrats to blast him with reckless abandon. But when that leads to the willful exclusion of facts that would shine truthful light on the great work of the American armed forces, that level of malice plumbs new depths."

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Good to see your post Steve.
by Kiddpeat / March 6, 2004 5:40 AM PST

I was hoping you'ld reconsider your decision to stop posting. We need your viewpoint here. Don't let occasional deletions bother you.

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Thanks K.P - I think I would miss you all too much to stay away - it can get pretty lonesome out here in the U.K :( NT
by SteveGargini / March 6, 2004 8:51 AM PST

NT

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I noticed several weeks ago,
by Bo Boggs / March 5, 2004 6:54 AM PST

and have watched carefully since to verify the impression.

On any report from Iraq that doesn't take place from the site of an incident, look at what is going on in the background. Discount the architectural styles and the age/condition of the vehicles. Other than that it could be taking place anywhere. People are on the streets, walking places with purpose, waving to or greeting neighbors. Traffic is moving along in an orderly fashion. Shops are open and doing business.

IOW, the country is regaining a sense of normalcy. But the news will not/can not report that.

Bo

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I don't know which political side CNN swings in, but this link seems unbiased Bo
by SteveGargini / March 5, 2004 7:08 AM PST
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(NT)I do wish it was someone other than Geraldo tho, even if the coverage is good balence
by Roger NC / March 5, 2004 8:59 PM PST

.

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Re:(NT)I well everybody is honest occasionally,,,

.

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Re: in and about Iraq -- Yeah, they're going swimmingly!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / March 6, 2004 1:23 AM PST
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Yeah ...
by Evie / March 6, 2004 1:32 AM PST

... and our Founders didn't have any discussions or the like when the US was founded either huh?

Sheesh!

Evie Happy

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At least they're not settling it with
by Kiddpeat / March 6, 2004 5:44 AM PST

AK-47s or suicide bombers.

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Get back On Topic.......
by Del McMullen / March 6, 2004 6:23 AM PST

The Thread was pointing up that main stream media, much like yourself, is prone to report ONLY on burning buildings, and not on the unburned ones. It suggests that all sides of the brush should be used in painting a picture.

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Don't you know that
by Diana Forum moderator / March 7, 2004 10:54 PM PST

people going about their lives is not news? It's boring. I vote for boring. Wink

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Re: swimmingly! -- Shiites relented, for now... (NT)

.

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Surprised? It's been signed. Isn't that
by Kiddpeat / March 8, 2004 12:28 AM PST

very good?

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Re: Surprised? It's been signed. Isn't that
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / March 8, 2004 4:44 AM PST

Hi, KP.

>>a good thing?<<
It would be very good, except apparently the Shiites had their fingers crossed behind their backs:
Sistani: Iraq Interim Constitution Is 'Obstacle'
For the record, I very much want the situation in iraq stabilized, even though a mess would clearly be in Kerry's best political interest. Unfortunately, that's not my prediction -- before the current Bush was elected, I remember "talking heads" comparing Saddam Hussein in Iraq with Marshall Tito in Yugoslavia, namely that all hell would break loose after Saddam was gone and ethnic/religious hatreds were again given free reign. We all remember how well things worked out for the former Yugoslavia -- I very much fear that's how they'll work out in Iraq as well Sad

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Wow, Dave...
by J. Vega / March 8, 2004 5:31 AM PST

Wow, Dave, such a heavy thought. Peace is good, except for the fact that if it ends it would be bad.
I feel like Hedley Lamarr (Blazing Saddles) now, "My mind is aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought, careening thru a cosmic vapor of invention.".

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Re:Wow, Dave... -- As I feared...
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / March 28, 2004 9:00 AM PST
In reply to: Wow, Dave...
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Re:Geraldo - in and about Iraq
by David Evans / March 6, 2004 9:14 PM PST
"If I hear one more person mock that "Mission Accomplished" banner beneath which President Bush thanked a shipload of sailors and Marines a few months back, I'm going to spit. That was a reference to the ouster of Saddam's regime, and that mission was indeed accomplished, apparently to the great chagrin of the American left." (emphasis mine)

That's one of the things that disgusts me and just absolutely stinks about "the American left," or as I would say, the anti-American leftists. They always side with the enemy. Every time. They even hoped, OPENLY, that we would lose in Iraq. And as a predictable result, Kim Jong-Il and the like sides with them. They're allies dedicated to the same cause. Anti-Americans all, at the same low level.

DE
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