The Iraq "Debacle" (Buildings not Burning) - Geraldo Rivera on Fox News

by hawkaw 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • hawkaw

    Iraq "Debacle" Rant Debunked, Geraldo Rivera on Fox - fairly old article but interesting

    The buildings that aren't burning in Iraq By Mark Davis

    Interesting, isn't it?

    The buildings that AREN'T burning in Iraq. "They have a saying in the news business," Geraldo Rivera related this week. "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 public about electricity and waterservice? 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 the 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 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 underreported." 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 underinformed. 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.

    Remember we pay our soldiers whether they are in Iraq or in Ft Bragg, North Carolina.

    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."

    So does Geraldo think his media colleagues are intentionally painting with one side of the brush? "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.

  • Satanus

    Isn't rivera a lefty?


  • hawkaw

    Economy in Iraq grows By James Cox, USA TODAY Iraq's economy is providing pleasant surprises, including booming consumer demand, strong oil revenue and healthy foreign exchange reserves, a top Treasury official said Thursday.

    "The economy is beginning to work and thrive again and grow," John Taylor, undersecretary for international affairs, said by telephone from Baghdad.

    U.S. occupation authorities estimate Iraqis have imported 1 million cars and trucks and more than 500,000 satellite dishes since fighting ended in April, Taylor said.

    Other signs of improvement:

    ?Oil revenue. On an annualized basis, oil exports are running $1.5 billion ahead of projections by U.S. authorities and Iraqi technocrats, who forecast 2004 revenue at $12 billion.

    ?The currency. Iraq's new dinar, introduced in October, has gained value against the U.S. dollar. U.S. officials originally worried Iraq could deplete its foreign currency reserves if Iraqis weren't confident in the dinar.

    ? Building materials. Demand for cement, asphalt and other construction material is boosting the economy, Taylor said.

    He said controls on interest rates for bank loans and deposits will be lifted March 1. A fully functioning central bank and finance ministry should be in place by June 30, when the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority is to hand power to an Iraqi government, he said.

    The Bush administration is leaving politically sensitive issues to the new government: when to lift controls on gas prices, how to privatize state-owned companies and what role to give foreign oil companies.

    Iraq's planning ministry said Wednesday that joblessness stood at 28%, far lower than the World Bank's estimate of 50%. But the Bush administration says 60% of Iraq's 27 million people depend on rations for wheat, rice, dried milk, sugar, tea and soap.

    "The Iraqi people are seeing change in the safe areas, especially the south, and in the far north, the Kurdish areas that are stable. Unfortunately, we don't see it in the rest of Iraq," said A.F. Alhajji, an economist and Iraq specialist at Ohio Northern University.

    U.S. agribusiness interests complain that revitalization of Iraq's farm sector has been given short shrift by U.S. reconstruction planners. The ag sector employs 25% to 30% of Iraqis and is half the non-oil economy, says John Costello, president of Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, a Washington trade and development group.

    "There needs to be an agriculture focus, and there is not one today. It's a huge missed opportunity. If you want to give Iraqis a sense that the future is getting better, there's no more effective way than agriculture," Costello said.

  • hawkaw
    Isn't rivera a lefty?

    He has many democratic party friends. But he also has a way of really supporting the troops.


  • willyloman
    "Let us hear NO MORE Vietnam comparisons."

    How about just one:

    "We can see light at the end of the tunnel. We are winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese."
    -- U.S. Army officials in 1968, just prior to the Tet Offensive.

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