May 16, 2004

SEMANTICS

Our 1SG just returned to Germany from Iraq; he's on his way to Sergeant Major school. We went to dinner with him Friday night and got to ask lots of questions.

"Sometimes we get Iraqis hiding in palm groves around our camp," he began, when he was interrupted by Oda Mae. "Insurgents. They're insurgents, not Iraqis," she said. "Right," the 1SG said, smiling, "insurgents."

There's a big difference, and Oda Mae was right to argue semantics with him. Insurgents are the ones who come after our soldiers with RPGs; Iraqis are the optimistic citizens of a crippled country. Insurgents hang burnt bodies from bridges; Iraqis say things like “who did this crime is a stranger and he’s not of us for sure.”

If you think the American media is showing you who the Iraqis really are, you need to go read this post at Iraq the Model and check your assumption.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:40 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Great link, Sarah. The story about the Iraqi kids painting that wall should be on every newcast... but we'll never see it. That's just wrong.

Posted by: Jack Grey at May 16, 2004 05:33 AM (3nn57)

2 What a geat story. I was just about to post about, but you beat me!

Posted by: Mike at May 16, 2004 01:15 PM (sndyE)

3 Jack, Sometimes I think it's best that the mud-ia *not* cover these stories because they could taint them with toxic spin: e.g., "COALITION FORCES IRAQI CHILDREN TO PAINT WALL" "COALITION BRIBES IRAQI CHILDREN" And because you can *always* find a spectrum of opinion, a reporter can have his interpreter ask 20 kids what they thought and put the thoughts of the one angry kid in the article. Still, I'm glad that Sarah linked to it. Blogs are the countermedia now. Alas, even if they were read by more than a miniscule percentage of the population - the name Glenn Reynolds probably means nothing to 95%+ of Americans - I still fear that this country as a whole won't grok the war. After all, everyone knew about 9/11 and most forgot about it. How much easier it must be to forget the execution of Nick Berg, especially when his story might be hidden on page 4 of the paper rather than on the front page where it belongs.

Posted by: Amritas at May 16, 2004 05:17 PM (2SaxO)

4 Amritas- Too true. The established media has it's own agenda, and it's not pro-american or pro-military. Sadly, I can't even say that it's neutral. What good does it do us to win the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people when those tasked to report the story... Don't?

Posted by: Jack Grey at May 16, 2004 11:50 PM (3nn57)

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