Newsweek's Exemplary "Faux Pas"
The blunder of Newsweek's May 09 report of US military desecrating the Koran has sparked riots, looting, and death across the Arabic sphere of influence. Seemingly biased and wholly irresponsible "journalism" is to blame for the unrest of late, which stretches from Egypt to India.
It seems to me that Newsweek, who is a MAJOR player in the world stage of "Mainstream News Media Theatre," to say the least, was following the script of the left-leaning press corps. Such acts as defacing any religion's "holy" text or scripture is distasteful to most civil persons, religious affilitation not-withstanding. Such acts by individuals or small extremist groups are inflammatory, and abhorrent by an arm of government. Because of the explosive nature of this subject, and the spin that could be applied against the current administrations policies and goals in the current War on Terror, Newsweek seemed to jump at the chance to publish an article without checking out the source.
By reporting so irresponsibly, Newsweek cost lives, time, money, and added momentum to the undermining of the US presence in the Middle East. Afghanistan has had the largest protests, with tens of thousands taking to the streets, burning our flag, chanting anti-American slogans, rioting, and looting.
I believe Newsweek was attempting to ride the last little ebb of the "Abu Ghraib Scandal" tidal wave that shook the world. Headlines resembling "Prisoner Abuse Scandal at Iraq Prision" come across to the layman as "Americans are heartless, torturing mongrels whose only aim is world domination." I think that Newsweek's aim was to accomplish what they did. Did they intend for life to be lost over irresponsible reporting. I doubt it. Did they intend to inflame the Muslim world against the US?? You bet.
The American MSM (MainStream Media) and the majority of the rest of the world's news outlets (Reuters, BBC, CNN International) daily vilify, but not in an overt fashion, the Coalition of the Willing's effort to stamp out terrorism throughout the world.
I believe that if you control what "the people" read and hear, you control what "the people" think. If all that is reported is prisioner abuse and murder of innocents by a handful of "bad apples," then "the people" will inevitably come to the conclusion that all American soldiers are godless, evil, murderous thugs. This, I assure you, is not the case.
Newsweek has since retracted the story under pressure from the Bush Administration and numerous other groups.
Does saying "I take it back" resolve the issue? No. I equate it to releasing poison into the atmosphere. The toxic lies have permeated the globe, and their repercussions will be lasting and devastating. Lives, homes, businesses, and to an extent, international relations have been shattered or strained.
I can recommend no course of action except for one. Foremost, we as soldiers, must act and fight with dignity and respect towards our enemy. Does that mean not kill him when he threatens? Absolutely not. Does that mean dehumanizing your enemy? No. It means that we should meet threats with resolve and determination, but do it in an honorable way. Only by fighting a clean fight will we have a chance to show the rest of the world that we are involved in a righteous endeavor. When we cease providing the enemy-sympathizing MSM with ammunition to attack us through public opinion, we will have won. The American soldier has 2 enemies: the terrorists who try to kill us, and all who stand for right, with bombs and bullets; and the press, who spew forth metaphorical, yet equally lethal, "missiles" of word and thought at the American Fighting Man.
As it stands, I may never pick up a copy of Newsweek again. Am I calling for a boycott of the popular magazine? No, but I caution readers to be wary of content, and to take a multi-directional look at what is reported, whether from Newsweek or any other source.