Only rarely does a news story capture the pulse of the american military so completely, that it must be quoted in its entirety. In the space below, noted war correspondent Scott Ott reports on a heart-wrenching story of painful honesty--when the generals finally point out the real problem with Iraq.
April 19, 2006
U.S. Generals Call for Resignation of Media Leaders
by Scott Ott
(2006-04-19) — A growing movement of retired and active-duty U.S. military officers, angry at the mismanagement, arrogance and even deception that have hampered U.S. efforts to secure peace and democracy in Iraq, have begun quietly calling for the resignation of top leaders they blame for the difficulties.
“I believe that it’s time for them to step down,” said one unnamed retired three-star general. “The editors of The New York Times and Washington Post and the news producers at CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC should resign effective immediately.”
“They’ve formed a tight cabal that focuses only on news that reinforces their neo-journ ideology,” said another unnamed general. “Despite the urgent need for actual reporting from Iraq, they have failed to put enough boots on the ground in country.”
“As civilians, they make editorial decisions without any understanding of history or military strategy,” said another retired officer, “and they’re trying to run the war coverage from hotels in the cloister of the Green Zone, without consulting with our leaders and troops on the frontlines.”
The generals who all requested anonymity, in the words of one, “so I won’t be bothered by a bunch of calls from reporters writing redundant stories,” said the leading news media gatekeepers should be replaced by “more centrist voices” who will be honest with America, and not blindly devoted “advancing the neo-journ agenda.”
“We’d like to see leaders in there who will cover the Iraq story as Americans, or at least as those who believe in liberty,” said one active-duty general who has worked closely with reporters and editors.
Meanwhile, New York Times Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. brushed off what he called “the incessant drumbeat of negativity” from opponents of his administration.
“You can’t relieve your top commanders while your side is winning,” Mr. Sulzberger said. “Frankly, the Pentagon doesn’t direct enough attention to the car bombings, sectarian strife and rumblings of civil war which show that we’re making progress in Iraq every day.”