Here is some of what is happening in Iraq according to Amir Taheri:
Last month, Iraq received the U.N.'s special environmental prize for reviving parts of the marshes drained by Saddam, thus saving one of the world's most precious ecological treasures. Almost no one in the media noticed.He explains why you haven't seen this information. Please go read his whole essay.
Also last month, the Iraqi soccer squad reached the finals of the Asian Games - beating out Japan, China, South Korea and Iran. Again, few in the West noticed.
In 2006, almost 200 major reconstruction projects were officially completed and 4,000 new private companies registered in Iraq. But few seem interested in the return of private capitalism after nearly 50 years of Soviet-style control.
Iraq's new political life is either ignored or dismissed as irrelevant. The creation of political parties (some emerging from decades of clandestine life), the work of Iraq's parliament, the fact that it is almost the only Arab country where people are free to discuss politics to their hearts' content - these are of no interest to those determined to see Iraq as a disaster, as proof that toppling Saddam was a modern version of the original sin.
Iraq may still become any of those things - but right now it is none of them. When the real history of the Iraq war is written, posterity might marvel at the way modern media were used to manufacture that original sin.
Here's why the MSM fails in my opinion:
- They fear death at the hands of terrorist killers if they report accurately from the field unprotected by the military. So, they either don't report accurately (AP), hire someone who represents the killers or don't report at all. This is known as propaganda.
- Being embedded poses problems, too. Reporters can't get information from soldiers because the soldiers (rightly so) don't trust them to report their actual views. Embedding is uncomfortable, dangerous and scary. It is untrue that embedding is inherently biased. Reporters in past wars reported from within battles--bombs here, ambushes here, etc. protected by the military. But these reports in Iraq embeds would portray the military as humane and real and courageous. That would not do. The information conveyed by the reporter is influenced by the environment. The reader takes that slant into account.
Bottom line, the MSM wants to be perceived as unbiased, fair and complete, but don't want to risk their own skin or risk showing American troops in a positive light. So they report incomplete, fact-challenged, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated news and pretend to be unbiased, fair and complete. The end result is biased news that harms America which ultimately serves the anti-war agenda.