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View Full Version : Michael Yon's latest: ...and in that moment I knew that Iraq could make it.


patteeu
07-21-2007, 09:09 PM
Michael Yon was allowed to sit in on a meeting between US forces and former insurgents who have shown a willingness to work with us against al Qaeda and other islamist and sectarian insurgents. The US commander proposed 7 rules and 1 oath as the guiding principles of our cooperative efforts. Discussion followed, some changes were made, and another nail was driven into the coffin of those who would keep Iraq off the road to a pluralistic, free society. For those waiting to see meaningful political achievements, read on:

7 Rules: 1 Oath (http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/7-rules-1-oath.htm)

D+30
19 July 2007

Today marks D+30 since the start of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. The initial goal of Arrowhead Ripper was to clear Baqubah of al Qaeda, and then attempt to “jump start” the city back into civic life, which had all but ceased while the terrorists were in control. Though relatively minor clearing operations are still underway, there is little combat in the city.

Today Colonel Steve Townsend, the American commander of the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, presided over a meeting with Iraqi Army officers and former insurgent leaders. The insurgent leaders who seem to be sincerely working toward peace are now collectively referred to as “the Baqubah Guardians.” I was allowed to attend the meeting, but was—understandably—not permitted to photograph or videotape the proceedings.

Colonel Townsend clarified the purpose of the meeting; it was not to formalize relations or to establish a chain of command, but to work out ways of cooperating to bring better days to Baqubah.

Colonel Townsend’s staff had prepared a slideshow that started off with a draft of “7 Rules.” The final version of the 7 Rules were open to discussion and suggestions from those in attendance. The rules were followed by an Oath, also still in draft.

First Colonel Townsend reviewed the 7 Rules, presented here verbatim from the slides:

1) Protect your community from AQI, JAM and other terrorist militia.
2) Accept both peaceful Sunni, Shia and others.
3) Stay in your neighborhood/AO [area of operations] for your safety.
4) Take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of Iraq.
5) Register with Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces [biometrics for CF].
6) For your safety, wear a standard uniform and markings [an example was proposed].
7) Receive hiring preference for Iraqi Police and Army.

Then came the Oath, also presented here verbatim from the slides:

1) I will support and defend the Constitution of Iraq.
2) I will cooperate fully with the Iraqi government.
3) I will guard my neighborhood, community and city.
4) I will bear no arms outside my home without coordination of Iraqi Security Forces or Coalition Forces
5) I will bear no arms against the Government of Iraq, Iraqi Security Forces or Coalition Forces.
6) I will not support sectarian agendas.

After the proposal for the 7 Rules and the Oath were presented, the most interesting—fascinating, really—part of the meeting unfolded.

The Iraqi Army commanders and “Baqubah Guardians” then gave their input, and some of that input was as follows:
1) Protect your community from AQI, JAM and other terrorist militia.

Some attendees did not like that AQI and JAM were singled out, citing that this only validated those organizations, while not fully recognizing the problems from terrorist groups such as the Badr or IAI. Other attendees disagreed and thought the groups should be named, but finally it was decided to strike the names AQI and JAM.
2) Accept both peaceful Sunni, Shia and others.

After some intelligent discussion, the Iraqis wanted this changed to “Accept all peaceful Iraqi citizens without discrimination.”
3) Stay in your neighborhood/AO [area of operations] for your safety.

This needed clarification: Colonel Townsend was not saying they should not travel from their neighborhoods, but that they should not operate out of their neighborhoods, and the attendees agreed.
4) Take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of Iraq.

Now it got interesting. One Iraqi said that even under the Saddam regime, bad as it was, the constitution still kept them together. He made no mention of the wars against the Kurds or Shia. But he went on to say that the current constitution tended to divide Iraq. No serious arguments were put forth on this today, but it was clear that fourth rule could lead to months or years of debate. After all, our own Constitution remains a work in progress, having been amended more than two dozen times. Each time that Americans bring this fact to forefront, it seems to assuage some of the “Constitutional-angst” among Iraqis, but that doesn’t change the fact that their government is about as solid as fog.
5) Register with Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces [biometrics for CF].

The “biometrics” part of #5 was an issue partly because Coalition Forces do not share biometrics with the ISF, and so in fact we are asking Iraqis to submit to photographing, fingerprinting and retinal scans for our use. The Iraqis politely offered their consensus that this was not a good idea, and Colonel Townsend chuckled, saying even Americans wouldn’t go for that. [Can’t blame him for trying.]
6) For your safety, wear a standard uniform and markings [an example was proposed].

The uniform idea was fine with the Iraqis, especially so since we killed at least six of their militia members in the last 30 days. I saw our guys shoot four 1920s guys a few days ago on Sunday, killing two of them. The shooting was the fault of the 1920s guys: had they been wearing uniforms, they would be alive today. The Iraqis agreed that uniforms are a good idea.
7) Receive hiring preference for Iraqi Police and Army.

Point number seven received nods of approval.
On the Oath, the matter was more interesting:
1) I will support and defend the Constitution of Iraq.

Discussion around Point One of the Oath was similar to that around Point Four of the 7 Rules.
2) I will cooperate fully with the Iraqi government.

Point two received some pushback, but again, imagine asking all Americans to swear that “I will comply fully with the American Government.” It would be un-American to agree to that! And here in Iraq, if I were an Iraqi, I would never agree to “I will cooperate fully with the Government of Iraq.” What government? The one in Baghdad that refuses to send legal food shipments to Diyala Province? I saw this with my own eyes and videotaped officials in the “Iraqi government” refusing to help the Diyala Government, calling Diyala (verbatim) a “terrorist province.” Even though Diyala has been a province riddled by terrorists lately, that still doesn’t change the fact that people here went without food because of the government people in Baghdad they are now supposed to pledge allegiance to. No smart person was likely to sign that line.

The other points were subject to briefer discussion and easier agreement, although the easiest of all parts of the Oath was point Six—I will not support sectarian agendas. Every Iraqi in the room immediately was aboard on this one, and they even seemed enthusiastic about it.

I’ve saved an unmentioned point for last. The Iraqi flag appeared on some of the slides. But the graphic showed an Iraqi flag without the traditional words “God is Great.” This was clearly a potential flash point. In fact, one of the Iraqi interpreters nearly recused himself from the conversation. LT David Wallach, whose native tongue is Arabic, told me after the meeting that Saddam had put “God is Great” on the flags so that Iraqis would stop grinding the flags into the dirt with their feet. He said that Iraqis would never trample on anything that had those words written on it.

But other than the interpreter’s sudden jitters, I detected no overt emotion among the Iraqis. In fact, they were all calm, professional, and very polite. An Iraqi Colonel was generous enough to offer that he believed it to be just a mistake that “God is Great” was left off the flag that was used on the slides. But the Iraqis all agreed that nobody was going to sign anything that displayed an Iraqi flag without the phrase “God is Great.”

This might seem ominous to us. “Allah u Akbar!” are, after all, words that we have become accustomed to hearing when someone is doing something bad, like burning an American flag, or blowing up Americans. But these issues are more like the intense legal and media battles over the words “In God We Trust” on the money in our pockets, or the ongoing furor in some sectors over the phrase “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible . . . ” in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Not to mention the dust storms kicked up by the Pledge itself.)

Seeing “God is Great” written on the Iraqi flag might provoke some to protest “Why did we come here just to stand up a country who would write such things on their flag?” But I sat there in that meeting, which was completely civil and professional, and I thought about another flag, the one flying over South Carolina. Some people call that flag “heritage,” while others call it “hateful,” “painful” and “demeaning.” And today in that meeting, I thought about the descendants of slaves who are now top military commanders in the American Army, and in that moment I knew that Iraq could make it.

Logical
07-21-2007, 09:35 PM
I thought this guy was supposed to be neutral. I call BS that is pure unadulterated propaganda that must delight the US government.

patteeu
07-21-2007, 09:39 PM
I thought this guy was supposed to be neutral. I call BS that is pure unadulterated propaganda that must delight the US government.

I don't know who ever claimed he was neutral. My understanding is that he's on the side of truth. He's critical when criticism is warranted and he applauds when applause is warranted. You've apparently gone around the bend too far to recognize objectivity.

NewChief
07-21-2007, 09:40 PM
My understanding is that he's on the side of truth.


ROFL

He's on the side of TRUTH!!!!

Or is that truthiness?


Edit: I should add that I like Yon's coverage a lot and think he does an outstanding job. Just saying that a he's "on the side of truth" is ridiculously propagandistic in itself.

Logical
07-21-2007, 09:42 PM
I don't know who ever claimed he was neutral. My understanding is that he's on the side of truth. He's critical when criticism is warranted and he applauds when applause is warranted. You've apparently gone around the bend too far to recognize objectivity.

I am sure you got that from the Bush administration's Ministry of Truth, mein comrade.

patteeu
07-21-2007, 09:43 PM
ROFL

He's on the side of TRUTH!!!!

Or is that truthiness?


Edit: I should add that I like Yon's coverage a lot and think he does an outstanding job. Just saying that a he's "on the side of truth" is ridiculously propagandistic in itself.

Not if it's true, which you seem to admit, yourself. There is no doubt that Yon, like any human, is going to be subject to bias, but the thing that's different about Yon is that he isn't prone to joining the media herd and saying things just because everyone else is saying them. He goes where most reporters don't go and tells us what he sees and what he thinks about it.

NewChief
07-21-2007, 09:46 PM
Not if it's true, which you seem to admit, yourself. There is no doubt that Yon, like any human, is going to be subject to bias, but the thing that's different about Yon is that he isn't prone to joining the media herd and say things just because everyone else is saying them.

No, but he is prone to moments of jingoist patriotism where he waxes romantic about the great mission which our boys are undertaking over there and seems to envision himself as the Dan Rather of a new even greater greatest generation.

patteeu
07-21-2007, 09:50 PM
No, but he is prone to moments of jingoist patriotism where he waxes romantic about the great mission which our boys are undertaking over there and seems to envision himself as the Dan Rather of a new even greater greatest generation.

Where is the line drawn between jingoist patriotism and regular patriotism? I assume it's jingoist if it's a case of congratulating our own government or our own soldiers, no matter how well deserved, and regular if it's critical. :shrug:

NewChief
07-21-2007, 09:56 PM
Where is the line drawn between jingoist patriotism and regular patriotism? I assume it's jingoist if it's a case of congratulating our own government or our own soldiers, no matter how well deserved, and regular if it's critical. :shrug:

I'd argue that a journalist who is "on the side of truth" should probably not be motivated by patriotism at all (in his writing) whether jingoist or regular. Certainly there are moments when truth and patriotism coincide, but there are just as certainly moments when the two diverge.

Taco John
07-21-2007, 10:14 PM
I sure hope Iraq can make it, because once we re-deploy, they're going to have to. This engagement isn't going to last forever, and at some point, they're going to have to be responsible for their own society.

patteeu
07-21-2007, 10:22 PM
I'd argue that a journalist who is "on the side of truth" should probably not be motivated by patriotism at all (in his writing) whether jingoist or regular. Certainly there are moments when truth and patriotism coincide, but there are just as certainly moments when the two diverge.

I'm still having trouble understanding what your knock on Yon is. Do you think his patriotism is interfering with his reporting? Is it leading him to be untruthful?

I expect American reporters to be Americans first and reporters second. I see no virtue in trying to give equal voice to the pov of our enemies. Truth does not require that.

NewChief
07-21-2007, 10:26 PM
I'm still having trouble understanding what your knock on Yon is. Do you think his patriotism is interfering with his reporting? Is it leading him to be untruthful?

I expect American reporters to be Americans first and reporters second. I see no virtue in trying to give equal voice to the pov of our enemies. Truth does not require that.

I have no knock on Yon, personally. As I said, I like his coverage and enjoy reading it. That being said, truth requires truth, regardless of whose pov that truth comes from. My knock is on your platitude that Michael Yon is on the "side of truth."

nomad
07-21-2007, 10:40 PM
[QUOTE=patteeu]
I expect American reporters to be Americans first and reporters second. QUOTE]


Therein lies a great debate.

BucEyedPea
07-21-2007, 10:47 PM
Sounds like Operation Pollyanna!

NewPhin's right to be suspicious. There's been an information warfare campaign carried out by this administration with the Pentagon even paying journalists, including bloggers imbedded with the military to publish favorable stories without disclosing the military's role in producing them. We already know this administration did this at the start of the war with Judith Miller.

I've been suspicious of Yon for awhile and there's another one named Bill Roggio.There's also the Lincoln Group who's been behind this as well. Roggio claimed to be "invited by the Marines." One quote of his: [I] "have received
media credentials thanks to Dr Michael Ledeen and the American Enterprise Institute." Interesting 'eh?

These two guys seem more like an agitprop to keep the selling the war as viable to those of us who don't live in fantasyland. Kinda like The Weekly Standard's commercial on Fox when they claim to "shape the news."



Here's just one related link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500659.html

Logical
07-21-2007, 11:02 PM
I'm still having trouble understanding what your knock on Yon is. Do you think his patriotism is interfering with his reporting? Is it leading him to be untruthful?

I expect American reporters to be Americans first and reporters second. I see no virtue in trying to give equal voice to the pov of our enemies. Truth does not require that.You can be truthful and not report part of the story. I believe Yon may have reached that point. I have no proof, more of a feeling. If it was all so rosy I would think the foreign press would be all over it.

patteeu
07-21-2007, 11:13 PM
I have no knock on Yon, personally. As I said, I like his coverage and enjoy reading it. That being said, truth requires truth, regardless of whose pov that truth comes from. My knock is on your platitude that Michael Yon is on the "side of truth."

Yon may not be objective as between the US view and the jihadist view, but he seems pretty objective as between the war advocates and the reasonable war critics, IMO, which is what I was thinking when I typed that post. I accept the fact that I didn't adequately express that thought with my "side of truth" comment.

Logical, OTOH, seemed to express himself pretty clearly when he dismissed Yon's observations as unadulterated propaganda.

Logical
07-21-2007, 11:15 PM
Yon may not be objective as between the US view and the jihadist view, but he seems pretty objective as between the war advocates and the reasonable war critics, IMO, which is what I was thinking when I typed that post. I accept the fact that I didn't adequately express that thought with my "side of truth" comment.

Logical, OTOH, seemed to express himself pretty clearly when he dismissed Yon's observations as unadulterated propaganda.Well I am glad I was clear.:p

patteeu
07-21-2007, 11:21 PM
Sounds like Operation Pollyanna!

NewPhin's right to be suspicious. There's been an information warfare campaign carried out by this administration with the Pentagon even paying journalists, including bloggers imbedded with the military to publish favorable stories without disclosing the military's role in producing them. We already know this administration did this at the start of the war with Judith Miller.

I've been suspicious of Yon for awhile and there's another one named Bill Roggio.There's also the Lincoln Group who's been behind this as well. Roggio claimed to be "invited by the Marines." One quote of his: [I] "have received
media credentials thanks to Dr Michael Ledeen and the American Enterprise Institute." Interesting 'eh?

These two guys seem more like an agitprop to keep the selling the war as viable to those of us who don't live in fantasyland. Kinda like The Weekly Standard's commercial on Fox when they claim to "shape the news."



Here's just one related link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500659.html

This has nothing to do with Yon, but it is related to your post. Should our military/government be able to use propaganda as a weapon during a war? It seems obvious to me that we should allow it when it is aimed externally. But, of course, in this age of global communications, most propaganda aimed externally is also going to be consumed internally. Is all propaganda bad?

patteeu
07-21-2007, 11:26 PM
You can be truthful and not report part of the story. I believe Yon may have reached that point. I have no proof, more of a feeling. If it was all so rosy I would think the foreign press would be all over it.

Yon does say, somewhere on his website, that he doesn't always report the entire story. He doesn't report on troop movements or on other aspects of our activities that would jeopardize them. He doesn't report complete agreement in this article, there are several issues that remained unresolved.

More than likely, Yon was one of the only reporters in the room (maybe even the only one).

patteeu
07-21-2007, 11:27 PM
Well I am glad I was clear.:p

:)

Logical
07-22-2007, 12:02 AM
This has nothing to do with Yon, but it is related to your post. Should our military/government be able to use propaganda as a weapon during a war? It seems obvious to me that we should allow it when it is aimed externally. But, of course, in this age of global communications, most propaganda aimed externally is also going to be consumed internally. Is all propaganda bad?

No, but things like Tillman and the contrived stories about the rescued female soldier are clearly bad.

patteeu
07-22-2007, 01:18 AM
No, but things like Tillman and the contrived stories about the rescued female soldier are clearly bad.

What kinds of propaganda are OK?

Logical
07-22-2007, 01:22 AM
What kinds of propaganda are OK?The kind where it is used to trick the enemy or to keep our troops out of harms way by misleading them. Propaganda designed to prop up support of the War is not legitimate.

Ugly Duck
07-22-2007, 01:25 AM
Hey.... I just saw the words "Iraq" and "pluralistic, free society" used in the same sentence.... wutta joke! If they really wanted that, they wudda done it years ago. Ain't nobody could stop those millions of Iraqis from having a pluralistic, free society if thats what they wanted. Total pipe dream at this point....

patteeu
07-22-2007, 01:31 AM
The kind where it is used to trick the enemy or to keep our troops out of harms way by misleading them. Propaganda designed to prop up support of the War is not legitimate.

That's a pretty tough line to draw given that there is so much overlap between what would tend to "trick the enemy" and "keep our troops out of harms way" and what would tend to prop up support for the war.

Logical
07-22-2007, 01:37 AM
That's a pretty tough line to draw given that there is so much overlap between what would tend to "trick the enemy" and "keep our troops out of harms way" and what would tend to prop up support for the war.No it is pretty clear in the case of Tillman and the rescued female soldier, no way to say that was to protect the troops trick the enemy, it was clearly intended to trick the American people.

Taco John
07-22-2007, 01:41 AM
I expect American reporters to be Americans first and reporters second. I see no virtue in trying to give equal voice to the pov of our enemies. Truth does not require that.


News isn't about what's virtuous to report.

Taco John
07-22-2007, 02:31 AM
Personally, I think it's a fair report up to the cheezy sitcom ending...

"...and in that moment I knew that Iraq could make it."

That line reads like something that you might find in the diary of a love smitten sixteen year old. I think it's great what Yon is doing, but he discredits himself when he throws in melodramatic morsels that don't mean anything like that. Especially when you stop to consider the context that he's making that statement in. There is simply no comparing our civil war to theirs. We didn't have a dictator overthrown for us and subsequently descend into civil chaos around thousand-plus year battle lines. The precious resource for our nation was land and the crops that could be grown on it, not a national shared asset like oil that needed to be split out. We had two factions, not three (or more). There wasn't an outside nation occupying our lands and manipulating the outcome. And in the example he cited, once the slaves were free, they had a relatively stable government/society to find a place in (in comparison to what Iraq faces now). For Yon to take this discussion about the Iraqi flag and compare it to our civil war and come away with the conclusion that "in that moment, I knew that Iraq could make it," is absurd. That's not "being on the side of truth."

That's "manufacturing truth."

I hope that he's right and Iraq can make it because it's not going to be long before the training wheels come off.

patteeu
07-22-2007, 07:25 AM
No it is pretty clear in the case of Tillman and the rescued female soldier, no way to say that was to protect the troops trick the enemy, it was clearly intended to trick the American people.

OK, then I take it that your answer is that the only time propaganda is not OK if it's clearly only intended to trick the American people. If it is at all useful against the enemy, it's OK even if it incidentally tricks the American people, right?

patteeu
07-22-2007, 07:28 AM
News isn't about what's virtuous to report.

Being an American reporter shouldn't be about giving America's enemies an equal voice in your reporting. If you accept that American reporters shouldn't betray our troop movements then you accept that complete indifference to this kind of virtue is not appropriate.

patteeu
07-22-2007, 07:30 AM
Personally, I think it's a fair report up to the cheezy sitcom ending...

"...and in that moment I knew that Iraq could make it."

That line reads like something that you might find in the diary of a love smitten sixteen year old. I think it's great what Yon is doing, but he discredits himself when he throws in melodramatic morsels that don't mean anything like that. Especially when you stop to consider the context that he's making that statement in. There is simply no comparing our civil war to theirs. We didn't have a dictator overthrown for us and subsequently descend into civil chaos around thousand-plus year battle lines. The precious resource for our nation was land and the crops that could be grown on it, not a national shared asset like oil that needed to be split out. We had two factions, not three (or more). There wasn't an outside nation occupying our lands and manipulating the outcome. And in the example he cited, once the slaves were free, they had a relatively stable government/society to find a place in (in comparison to what Iraq faces now). For Yon to take this discussion about the Iraqi flag and compare it to our civil war and come away with the conclusion that "in that moment, I knew that Iraq could make it," is absurd. That's not "being on the side of truth."

That's "manufacturing truth."

I hope that he's right and Iraq can make it because it's not going to be long before the training wheels come off.

No one is suggesting that that last line is anything other than Yon's opinion. Every analogy can be nit picked like you've done here. Analogies are valuable because of their similarities not because of their differences.

Baby Lee
07-22-2007, 07:30 AM
You can be truthful and not report part of the story. I believe Yon may have reached that point. I have no proof, more of a feeling. If it was all so rosy I would think the foreign press would be all over it.
Awww, Logical has a 'feeling' about what the 'truth' is, and people say he isn't religious.

BucEyedPea
07-22-2007, 10:04 AM
This has nothing to do with Yon, but it is related to your post. Should our military/government be able to use propaganda as a weapon during a war? It seems obvious to me that we should allow it when it is aimed externally. But, of course, in this age of global communications, most propaganda aimed externally is also going to be consumed internally. Is all propaganda bad?
My problem here is with the source, Yon, who is claimed to be independent in connection with his so called news or propaganda as you're calling it. He's really no more than a public relations rep inside the military.

My gf, a former reservist, was a journalist in the military and she was not allowed to ever print anything negative.

"Is all propaganda bad?" I dunno. Did you like the Soviet Unions? Propaganda seems to be tlaced with points of untruth often through omission, half-truths, or even lies with enough truth to seem completely true but which is a distorted picture overall. I suppose you could call it Public Relations too which many people consider lies too.

Now, I am not saying I think this event is a lie. As I've posted my own thread about former insurgents wanting to fight AQ. But it does not address that these same folks still have issues with US occupation too.

dirk digler
07-22-2007, 10:19 AM
I like Yon alot and believe he is a very honest journalist and he is definitely not a propagandist.

If you go back through his archives he was the first journalist over there calling Iraq a civil war and he still stands by that today while others in the media jumped on his bandwagon and the administration disclaimed the civil war moniker.

BucEyedPea
07-22-2007, 10:21 AM
I like Yon alot and believe he is a very honest journalist and he is definitely not a propagandist.

If you go back through his archives he was the first journalist over there calling Iraq a civil war and he still stands by that today while others in the media jumped on his bandwagon and the administration disclaimed the civil war moniker.
That's true he did call it a civil war first. So did all the libertarian and paleo-conservative sites....some even before the invasion. He's still not "independent" though...and that should be known.

dirk digler
07-22-2007, 10:27 AM
That's true he did call it a civil war first. So did all the libertarian and paleo-conservative sites....some even before the invasion. He's still not "independent" though...and that should be known.

Why don't you believe he is independent? What has he done to not trust his stories?

Adept Havelock
07-22-2007, 11:01 AM
Where is the line drawn between jingoist patriotism and regular patriotism? I assume it's jingoist if it's a case of congratulating our own government or our own soldiers, no matter how well deserved, and regular if it's critical. :shrug:
You assume incorrectly, as you often do. ;)

Seeing this definition, I can understand why you'd want to pretend you don't know what "Jingoism" is. IMO, this particular article strikes me as a prime example.

Main Entry: jin·go·ism
Pronunciation: 'ji[ng]-(")gO-"i-z&m
Function: noun
: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy
- jin·go·ist /-ist/ noun or adjective
- jin·go·is·tic /"ji[ng]-gO-'is-tik/ adjective
- jin·go·is·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb

Must be those damn moonbats at Merriam-Webster.

BucEyedPea
07-22-2007, 11:22 AM
Why don't you believe he is independent? What has he done to not trust his stories?
See my first post in this thread.

patteeu
07-22-2007, 02:16 PM
My problem here is with the source, Yon, who is claimed to be independent in connection with his so called news or propaganda as you're calling it. He's really no more than a public relations rep inside the military.

My gf, a former reservist, was a journalist in the military and she was not allowed to ever print anything negative.

I don't know what that has to do with Yon, he's not in the military. And I'm not the one calling it propaganda. My question about propaganda is a general question and it isn't related, IMO, to Yon or this article.

"Is all propaganda bad?" I dunno. Did you like the Soviet Unions? Propaganda seems to be tlaced with points of untruth often through omission, half-truths, or even lies with enough truth to seem completely true but which is a distorted picture overall. I suppose you could call it Public Relations too which many people consider lies too.

Like Logical, you didn't bother to answer the question. (Although in your case you did at least say you didn't know, right before going off into left field about specific examples of what you'd consider bad propaganda).

patteeu
07-22-2007, 02:25 PM
You assume incorrectly, as you often do. ;)

Seeing this definition, I can understand why you'd want to pretend you don't know what "Jingoism" is. IMO, this particular article strikes me as a prime example.

Main Entry: jin·go·ism
Pronunciation: 'ji[ng]-(")gO-"i-z&m
Function: noun
: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy
- jin·go·ist /-ist/ noun or adjective
- jin·go·is·tic /"ji[ng]-gO-'is-tik/ adjective
- jin·go·is·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb

Must be those damn moonbats at Merriam-Webster.

It's brilliant of you to discover that the word can be found in a dictionary. How impressive!

Even with that though, your definition doesn't support your conclusion. When this definition is applied, don't we end up where I suggested we would? If you are the kind of patriot who congratulates this administration's GWoT efforts, you are applauding a fairly belligerent foreign policy, given the war and all. It's a matter of opinion as to whether such a supporter is extreme enough in his chauvinism or nationalism to qualify as jingoist, but in the case of most antiwardotcoms, its a good bet that they'd consider any support of this administration to be extreme. So there you have it, if you support Bush's GWoT for nationalistic reasons, it's jingoist patriotism and if you say you support the country while condemning Bush's foreign policy, you're a regular patriot. :rolleyes:

Taco John
07-22-2007, 02:35 PM
Analogies are valuable because of their similarities not because of their differences.


Unfortunately for Yon, there weren't too many similarities to even make the analogy worthwhile.

BucEyedPea
07-22-2007, 02:59 PM
I don't know what that has to do with Yon, he's not in the military. And I'm not the one calling it propaganda. My question about propaganda is a general question and it isn't related, IMO, to Yon or this article.
Well propaganda was implied via context so that's how I took it which was not unreasonable.

As for Yon, it's his article. He's the source...so of course it has to do with him.
What I'm saying is I'm suspicious of these independents including bloggers as the administration or those affiliated are paying some of them, embedded with the military or not. I wonder if any journalist is completely independent.


Like Logical, you didn't bother to answer the question. (Although in your case you did at least say you didn't know, right before going off into left field about specific examples of what you'd consider bad propaganda).
I most certainly did answer it. I would think a semantics guy would see it clearly. You just don't accept it as an answer. You have to parse and spin it semantically. The balance of my answer is implied but is still an answer too.

Logical
07-22-2007, 03:12 PM
OK, then I take it that your answer is that the only time propaganda is not OK if it's clearly only intended to trick the American people. If it is at all useful against the enemy, it's OK even if it incidentally tricks the American people, right?How about providing some examples instead of being vague? I provided examples to illustrate my opinion, now you try.

Cochise
07-22-2007, 05:38 PM
Yon is the best blogishthing on the web. The only thing I can read that is always going to bring out a deep response of some kind - be it anger, empathy, sadness, something. I don't know if I'm going to want to break something or if I'm going to well up before it's done, but one of those two things usually happens.

Cochise
07-22-2007, 05:40 PM
I don't know what that has to do with Yon, he's not in the military.

Anyone expressing any opinion other than 'Iraq is a total failure' is anathema. They ought to be shut up, shouted down, or at least have vague aspersions cast upon their credibility or clueless speculation about their motives.

patteeu
07-22-2007, 08:21 PM
Well propaganda was implied via context so that's how I took it which was not unreasonable.

As for Yon, it's his article. He's the source...so of course it has to do with him.
What I'm saying is I'm suspicious of these independents including bloggers as the administration or those affiliated are paying some of them, embedded with the military or not. I wonder if any journalist is completely independent.



I most certainly did answer it. I would think a semantics guy would see it clearly. You just don't accept it as an answer. You have to parse and spin it semantically. The balance of my answer is implied but is still an answer too.

OK, I'll mark you down as an "I don't know".

patteeu
07-22-2007, 08:32 PM
How about providing some examples instead of being vague? I provided examples to illustrate my opinion, now you try.

I can give you an example, but I'm not looking for a thumbs up or a thumbs down on a single specific example. I trying to get you to think about the huge gray area in between the easy cases where propaganda is either exclusively targeted at and consumed by foreigners on the one hand or it is targeted exclusively at a domestic audience on the other.

What about paying to place truthful but favorably spun articles in arabic news outlets in ways that make it look like independent journalists are writing the stories in order to influence our enemies and the uncommitted civilians on the streets of Iraq even though it's likely that many of these stories will end up being repeated in the US media and will tend to have the affect of boosting support at home.

Logical
07-22-2007, 08:43 PM
I can give you an example, but I'm not looking for a thumbs up or a thumbs down on a single specific example. I trying to get you to think about the huge gray area in between the easy cases where propaganda is either exclusively targeted at and consumed by foreigners on the one hand or it is targeted exclusively at a domestic audience on the other.

What about paying to place truthful but favorably spun articles in arabic news outlets in ways that make it look like independent journalists are writing the stories in order to influence our enemies and the uncommitted civilians on the streets of Iraq even though it's likely that many of these stories will end up being repeated in the US media and will tend to have the affect of boosting support at home.

If they are truthful, all is fair, it is buyer beware for US citizens in such cases just like this Michael Yon story is IMO.

patteeu
07-22-2007, 09:35 PM
If they are truthful, all is fair, it is buyer beware for US citizens in such cases just like this Michael Yon story is IMO.

I agree with you.* There have been a lot of people from the anti-war camp who have criticized this very operation.

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* I'd go even farther by accepting even untruthful propaganda if it's aimed primarily at foreigners, but at the very least the truthful stuff ought to be inoffensive.