Opinion as News

From Belmont Club, here is a DoD website that counters a Newsweek article that portrays opinion as fact. For example:
INCORRECT NEWSWEEK CLAIM: “The 2003 invasion of Iraq did more than divert essential resources from Afghanistan; it created a test lab for new insurgent weapons and tactics that have since been adopted by the Taliban.”


The assertion that the Iraq invasion “diverted” resources from Afghanistan is a talking point of critics of the Bush administration. It is an opinion, not a fact.

Resources to Afghanistan have increased since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. In March 2003, the United States had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan. Today, there are more than 21,000 U.S. forces either under U.S. or NATO command in Afghanistan or directly supporting missions there.

The insinuation that Iraq has created new tactics is, at best, exaggerated. Guerrilla warfare techniques and terror tactics such as suicide bombings were not invented in Iraq.

Additionally, the logic of this claim seems to be that U.S. forces should never confront terrorists far from our shores because of the danger that the enemy might fight back -- and learn new tactics in the process. This is not a coherent policy.
And here is a record of the exchange between the DoD and Newsweek in which the latter refuses to acknowledge the rebuttal in print.
You write that you cannot afford us “space in the news hole of the magazine to lay out the government position in detail,” and instead suggest writing a letter to the editor “concisely stating your point of view.”

This is a troubling response. First, a “concise” letter to the editor, of say, 200 words, cannot adequately address an [sic] 2200-word article containing a series of false assertions. Second, the issue is not Newsweek’s position versus the “government position.” The issue is that your readers were given a one-sided, opinion-laced article on Afghanistan based on falsehoods—which is something that journalists and editors are usually concerned about. Your dismissive reply is disappointing, to say the least.
The active workings of the media against the war effort are truly astonishing. One wonders which side they really want to win.

Actually, we know significant elements within CNN want us to lose:
“Anti-Americanism pays off for us over there, no doubt about it,” says the CNN employee. “Questions were raised about this [jihadi snuff] video and the way we got it. Once it was confirmed that it was real, the next question was how did we get it. And the answer was, we promised to give the terrorists a fair shake. I know that we are saying there was soul-searching here about running the tape. But I didn’t see much of that. There were somber people here, but there was also a segment of people on staff, once the tape had run and created a firestorm, that celebrated. They thought they were so courageous.”
During WW2, "The Good War", there was an Office of War Information, that censored every shred of information of possible use to the enemy with an iron fist, and everybody was on board in cooperating because it served the greater good.

I saw last night on one of those history or military cable tv channels, a segment on the strange Japanese Balloon Bombs. Apparently they launched a massive effort to bomb the United States by making 9,000 huge paper ballons that were launched into the jetstream, carrying incendiary bombs timed to drop approximately over the Northwestern states. It is believed about 1,000 of these large balloons and their bombs landed on North America.

And I never heard of them.

Had you?

Probably not.


Because at the time, the Office of War Information demanded a total blackout of news regarding these attacks, so the Jap would have no idea how effective or ineffective their effort had been. They wouldn't know whether to increase or decrease resources to this project, or whether to make modifications for better effects.

No newspaper stories, no radio reports.

Even when hundreds of weird balloons carrying bombs fell out of the skies.

Even when five Sunday School children and a pregnant minister's wife were blown up by one during a picnic outing in the Oregon woods.

That was then.

Today, the "courageous" thing to do is blab all about top-secret programs to monitor the communications and financial transactions of an enemy bent on destroying our entire civilization.

As if that weren't enough, the fact is that the senseless killing in Iraq is fueled by the hope -- kept alive by the media and the Democrats -- that if they're just barbaric and savage enough, we will withdraw. If that message weren't driven home every day, there'd be less motivation for the enemy to continue fighting.

The media and the Democrats are directly increasing enemy morale.

And I'll never forget that.

Drive them out of business. There's no excuse to ever buy another newspaper or magazine or to watch CNN again.

And another thing.

On that same program, it showed the panic in response to the shelling of targets on the coast of California and Oregon by Jap submarines. Nobody knew if an invasion force was going to land at any minute, and the army defenses were woefully inadequate along the impossibly long coastline.

With the panic, came action.

The program showed filmclips of a line of what must have been hundreds of people -- civilians -- all lined up at a firing range practicing how to fire guns.

This was the militia in operation.

Someone had supplied lots of Thompson submachine guns, but it was apparent from the newsreel that there were also many private rifles being used.

Imagine that, privately owned firearms, being wielded by the citizen militia, according to the purpose and vision of the Second Amendment.

The very militia and the very guns that the goddamn gungrabbing Democrats I've been fighting for 15 years have always been claiming were obsolete and totally unnecessary -- a thing of myth -- since 1775.

There'd never be any imaginable way normal people with their own guns would have to repel an invasion, what a ridiculous idea!

And yet 65 years ago, that's exactly what they were doing.

To fully appreciate this scene, you have to realize they were showing, without a hint of frivolity or cuteness, scores of 1940s middle-aged housewives, in their normal housedresses, grimly practicing blasting away at man-sized targets with automatic weapons and hunting rifles on an outdoor range.

Last week, I just bought a new M1 carbine from Auto-Ordnance (Kahr Arms), a fully-functional replica of the famous GI weapon:

And 200 rounds of ammo.