11/29/2004

Daily Kos :: Ha! Success! Chicago Trib Finally Prints Kossaks LTE!!!!

Daily Kos chicagojulie says: "this one was by far the least intelligent, least reseached, and worst written letter to the editor I have ever written. Know what? Not only did they publish it, it's featured in today's "Voice of the People." Go figure.

The letter

As the sister of a Navy pilot who has fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I was outraged by Bruce Heisinger's letter ('Selling out troops,' Nov. 21) stating that the media's reporting of the brutal execution of an injured, unarmed Iraqi soldier was somehow 'selling out' America's troops and suggesting that the U.S. government should put the media on a 'short leash.'

If Heisinger paid attention to recent reports out of Iraq, he would know the situation there is so bad that most foreign reporters, even in Baghdad, cannot venture outside their hotel rooms and rely on incredibly brave Iraqi stringers to bring them news of what's actually going on in the war.

It would be impossible for the U.S. government to put them on a shorter 'leash' than the Iraqi insurgents have them on. Besides if Heisinger hasn't already noticed, the U.S. isn't in control of anything in Iraq right now.

But what has angered me even more is that people in this country cannot make up excuses fast enough for this Marine, who seems to have acted in violation of the Geneva Convention and just about every international treaty regarding conduct during war.

If Americans had seen insurgents killing an unarmed, wounded American soldier in such a brutal way, they would have been outraged and screaming about violations of international law. I agree that war is horrific and forever changes those who are involved, but then perhaps people should take a good hard look at our president, who pushed to send our troops into this seemingly unwinnable war without sufficient numbers or equipment to do the job properly.

And if Heisinger sees fit to criticize the media for 'selling out' U.S. troops, perhaps he should know that a report by Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, which estimated that the number of innocent Iraqi civilians killed in this war is nearing 100,000, has received almost no play in the media. Apparently the media have determined that the only important lives lost in Iraq are those of the Americans.

I am sickened by Heisinger's suggestion that the government be allowed to tell the media what they may report. The media are the 'fourth estate' of democracy and serve as the only effective watchdog of the government on behalf of the American people.

Perhaps if the media had been a bit bolder about questioning the Bush administration in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, we wouldn't be in this mess in Iraq."

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