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Our defeatist press

By Alan Caruba
web posted November 5, 2001

"With the brutal Asian winter approaching and the US-led bombing campaign in Afghanistan progressing more slowly than expected, a growing chorus of voices in the American intelligence and diplomatic communities is predicting that a resolution of the Afghan expedition may fall short of a decisive military victory."

That is the opening paragraph in a Sunday, November 4th front page article by John Hassell, a reporter for the Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest circulation daily and a member of the Newhouse Newspaper chain. The war is barely a month old. The President has repeatedly said that it will take a long time to secure a victory and warned over the weekend against "an instant gratification" war, but the nation's press seems determined to declare defeat.

The New York Times had a Sunday article about the Afghan rebels calling them "a reluctant force so far." Seems they don't like to train when it's raining. The article noted that "the fiery zeal that rebel commanders and solders once displayed may be faltering." It took the rebels of the American colonies seven years to defeat the British during the Revolution. It took the Afghans nearly a decade of fighting the Soviets who invaded their nation to defeat them and that required a lot of help from the CIA.

On the front page of Sunday's Washington Post, a team of reporters examined "A Deliberate Strategy of Disruption" as the US rounds up and detains 1,147 illegal and native-born Muslims in an effort to deter further acts of terrorism. "When asked directly how many people have been released, Justice Department officials say they are not keeping track." In 1986, following a terrorist attack that blew up a bus, the Israelis arrested, tried and imprisoned the man who did it. As part of the Oslo accords, they were put under tremendous US pressure to release him as one of that nation's "political prisoners." Reluctantly, they did. His name was Mohammad Atta and, on September 11th, he piloted a planeload of people into the World Trade Center.

Suffice it to say, The Washington Post article was very sympathetic to the many Muslims being held, but they were not alone. The lead article in the Sunday Los Angeles times was "Isolation, Secrecy Veil Most Jailed in Roundup." The theme was the same. Oh, how sad it was these poor Arabs and others were having to suffer such an inconvenience at a time when Osama bin Laden is calling for the death of all Americans. Another Los Angeles Times page one article was headlined "Palestinian Militant Kills 2 People in Israel." Apparently there are no "terrorists" in Israel, just "militants."

In sunny Florida, readers of the Miami Herald were informed that "Winter Impedes Low-Altitude Strikes."

All across the nation, our press is trumpeting a defeatist message, telling us in one story after another that the United States will lose this war against the greatest threat to Western civilization since World War II.

Anyone who watches C-Span as it televises the live press conferences at the Pentagon quickly arrives at the obvious conclusion that the reporters are the biggest bunch of idiots to be gathered in one place for the purpose of learning about the progress of this war. They ask questions of such astounding stupidity they have occasionally stunned the Secretary of Defense into a momentary speechless state. During a showing of night-vision video of Special Forces preparing for a mission, a reporter asked a General what it was they were putting into the bags they were taking with them. He ignored her.

We are being subjected to the ignorance and defeatism of a press that is virtually salivating over every possible indication we will not win the war in the next week or so. We are witnessing a press that clearly has no knowledge of military affairs or strategy, and no confidence that our modern military has learned the lessons of Vietnam and other recent conflicts.

We are being told we are going to lose!

We are going to have to tell them we are not going to lose this war; not in Afghanistan and no where else we bring our power to bear on an Islam intent on imposing its will on us and the rest of the world. We are going to have to write letters of protest to the editors of these newspapers, send them and the other media tons of emails affirming our confidence in our military forces and the people leading them.

The press needs to join this war effort. That does not mean it cannot or should not accurately report its events as they occur. The press needs to inform us who the enemy is and his intention. This is not a civil war in Vietnam. This is not a humanitarian mission in Somalia. This is not some peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. The press is going to have to support our government or it will risk losing everything this nation has fought for since it was founded. There will be no First Amendment if Islam wins this one.

Alan Caruba is the author of "A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam", available from the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center and writes a column, "Warning Signs", posted weekly on the website. (c) Alan Caruba, 2001

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