The Fog of War
By Paul Walfield
March 28, 2003

All we tend to hear from the liberal media is that America is up against "stiff resistance" and while it may not be a quagmire in Iraq, it sure is close.

Moreover, the New York Times, some cable news channels and others in the Left leaning press exclaim as Newsweek did in a story by their imbedded reporter Rod Norland in a March 27, 2003 article entitled, "Not What America Expected," that American troops were "charging ahead into Iraq with a dangerously overstretched and underguarded line of supply, with utter self-confidence in the enemy's military inability to mount a significant challenge and with no interest in a secure line of retreat, just in case. But in the end, it was ignoring those same basic principles of warfare that defeated Custer."

There you have it, American journalists declaring that American military leaders and soldiers don't have a clue, and more to the point, are bound to be defeated by the brave Iraqi military. America, at the time that "journalist" wrote the article, was at war for barely 8 days.

We often hear the term, the fog of war. It refers to misinformation and mistakes in reporting that are first given about a particular campaign. In the "new" view of America by American media, it refers to blatant, unabashed lies, half truths and intentional misinformation to promote an agenda.

The facts on the battlefield are simple, and readily available from the Pentagon. Any reporter worth his salt can get the same information as any other. When a "journalist" chooses to report on the movement and tactics of the American military, and bases his assumptions and conclusions that are in direct contrast to the reality on the ground, he is no longer reporting, he is promoting an agenda.

In the event a reporter is "embedded," with a particular infantry division, he can only see and report from the perspective of that unit. If the reporter chooses to go beyond that perspective he needs to have sources, make it up as he goes or both.

The Pentagon says that after 8 days, the American military controls over half the country of Iraq. The 3rd Infantry division along with the 1st Marines is within 50 miles of Iraq. The 173rd is in Northern Iraq and the airfields and land to the west of Iraq is in coalition hands.

No American or Coalition member has been cut off from supplies and the US has air dominance over all the skies of Iraq. Yet, the reporter for Newsweek wants his readers to understand that in the 8 days of virtually full success of every military endeavor undertaken by the coalition, he knows best. That the military planners have doomed the sons, daughters and spouses of those who read his article and have relatives fighting or waiting to fight in Iraq.

To date, the Coalition has lost a relatively few in action. While every life is sacred, and it is a tragedy beyond language's ability to console the loss of even one soul; in the grand scheme of this war in Iraq, it must be acknowledged by those who know, that the campaign to date is a resounding success in all areas, including casualties.

Yet, the Left leaning media choose to ignore, or in the case of the Newsweek article minimize, any success with a damning of the war planners.

Mr. Norland and his ilk choose to report the war in Iraq, not from the perspective of an American or even a disinterested third party, they choose to portray the war from their perspective, a perspective they held prior to the war.

There has been a liberal bias in the news for as long as anyone can remember, and that fact has never been so blatantly apparent since George W. Bush took office; and has been building ever since. In a word, it is just plain disgusting.

American soldiers are fighting and dying and these so-called reporters are making it up as they go along. While it is probably true that few if any of our brave warriors are reading the drivel coming out of the New York Times, the networks or Newsweek, some might be. Imagine how nice it would be on a battlefield learning that their superiors had thrown away "centuries of military doctrine into the trash heap."

It would no doubt be reassuring to also know that their supply lines had "key choke points." All which lead the Pulitzer Prize winning "journalist" to comment, "I can't remember another modern instance in which American forces operated with such a long and vulnerable tail."

Of course the author's intent is not to frighten and cause discord among the military in Iraq, rather it is to instill in his readers the notion that America has made a grave mistake in going to war in Iraq. The same notion the Left were spewing forth prior to hostilities.

Only now, it is no longer their opinion, it is factual; it is "news."

Sadly, looking at European and other foreign news services, American coverage, America's free press, seems tame in comparison. Nonetheless, it remains a blight on us all that so noble a calling; that was granted the first freedom in America's Bill of Rights has sunk so low as to abuse our trust, to squander its very meaning.

On the other hand, American resolve and determination against the abusers of its ideals have never stood taller.

We need to remember who said what and when.




Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and a California attorney. Paul can be contacted at paul.walfield@cox.net