Who Are Those Guys?
The AP claims its source is “Captain Jamil Hussein” of the Baghdad Police and they’ve published several stories since last April based his information alone, each an alleged incident of Shiite violence against Sunnis. Trouble is, nobody but the AP seems to know who this guy is. The Baghdad Police don’t. The US government doesn’t. The Iraqi government doesn’t. Does the Associated Press itself know? Conservative bloggers have challenged the AP to produce him, but so far nobody’s been able to actually see “Captain Jamil Hussein.” The mainstream media - big-city broadsheets, network news and big weekly newsmagazines - are ignoring the story or suggesting that it’s “agenda-driven” by the “right-wing blogosphere.” What could bloggers possibly know? They don’t attend cocktail parties with Katy or Matt so why should anyone take them seriously? CENTCOM has officially asked the AP for a retraction.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about two Lebanese ambulances allegedly rocketed by Israeli warplanes. That probably didn’t happen either. The story was initially released by the Lebanese Red Cross, then spread by the Associated Press. After more than four months, the AP still hasn’t admitted its mistake, if it was a mistake. I’m beginning to have doubts about that. I suspect the AP knows its stringers come from the other side.
Why doesn’t the AP just produce “Captain Jamil Hussein” and let him be vetted? That would clear it all up, wouldn’t it? Maybe it’s afraid of scrutiny since one of its cameramen - a man named Bilal Hussein - was arrested by the US military inside an Al Qaeda bomb factory a few months ago. Old Bilal was producing remarkable photos he couldn’t possibly get without very close access to Al Qaeda terrorists. He took close-ups of “insurgents” firing rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, presumably at American soldiers, and also took staged shots of terrorists standing over the just-executed body of kidnapped Italian hostage Salvatore Santoro. When old Bilal was finally arrested in that IED factory, he had bomb residue on his hands. The AP is indignantly trying to get him released, even using Democrat Congresswoman Louise Slaughter to carry AP water on the floor of the US House.
When I say I have my doubts that all these shoddy AP stories are mistakes, am I implying that the Associated Press intentionally publishes enemy propaganda? That would be a serious charge. Al Qaeda’s former head guy in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (he’s in Paradise with his virgins now thanks to the US Air Force), said his number-one goal was to foment civil war between Sunnis and the Shiite majority as the best way to destabilize Iraq and force Americans out. Considering we’re at war, do AP stories and photos “provide aid and comfort to the enemy”? That would be treason, wouldn’t it?
Over the weekend of November 25-27, NBC’s Matt Lauer decided to start calling the Iraq theater of our war against Islamofascism a “civil war” and cited the “six Sunnis burned alive” story as a tipping point in his decision. Soon, other media followed his lead. On Monday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan did too. Is the “burned-alive Sunnis” story true? Very doubtful. Is it influential? Most assuredly. Is that a problem? You bet it is.
As columnist and author Michael Novak wrote in “National Review Online” two weeks ago: “Today, the purpose of war is sharply political, not military; psychological, not physical. The main purpose of war is to dominate the way the enemy imagines and thinks about the war. Warfare is not, these days, won on a grand field of battle. Nor is it won by the force that wins series after series of military victories. Nor is triumph assured by killing far higher numbers of the enemy. The physical side of warfare no longer holds precedence. The primary battlefield today lies in the minds of opposing publics.”
Our military has made mistakes. So has our Commander-in-Chief. So has every military and every commander in every war ever fought in the history of the world. The biggest problem we face is that our mainstream media, which is more powerful that it’s ever been, focuses on nothing but the mistakes as if they want us to lose. When not doing that, they’re illegally publishing classified information that hurts us and helps our enemies. Thanks to our media, America is losing on the most important front - the propaganda war. Our enemy couldn’t possible beat us on the battlefield, but they’re beating us in our own media with the willing assistance of the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, NBC News, etc. If Novak is right that “The primary battlefield today lies in the minds of opposing publics,” and I believe he is, we have to ask ourselves: Is our mainstream media trying to persuade our public mind that we’re losing? I strongly suspect they are, and that’s the great tragedy.
Americans must demand the Associated Press produce “Captain Jamil Hussein” and let the vetting begin.