Tuesday, October 16, 2007

General Sanchez' view of the press, Congress and the war effort

Ricardo Sanchez' harshest words were for the media, then Congress at his Military Reporters and Editors Address, Washington D.C. I'll excerpt a few items. First the media:
    You feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other examples such as the treatment of Secretary Brown during Katrina. This is the worst display of journalism imaginable by those of us that are bound by a strict value system of selfless service, honor and integrity.

    You seek for self aggrandisement or to advance your individual quest for getting on the front page with your stories.

    The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry. Once reported, your assessments become conventional wisdom and nearly impossible to change.

    The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our servicemembers who are at war.
Holy moly. And for the administration:
    This administration has failed to employ and synchronize its political, economic and military power. The latest "revised strategy" is a desperate attempt by an administration that has not accepted the political and economic realities of this war and they have definitely not communicated that reality to the American people.
And for the Congress
    Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the republican and democratic parties struggled for power in Washington. National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. At times, these partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield.

    Congress must shoulder a significant responsibility for this failure since there has been no focused oversight of the nations political and economic initiatives in this war. Exhortations, encouragements, investigations, studies and discussions will not produce success.

    At no time in America's history has there been a greater need for bipartisan cooperation. The threat of extremism is real and demands unified action at the same levels demonstrated by our forefathers during World War I and World War II. America has failed to date.
These are just excerpts. It's not pretty. But a strong feel of truth.

When Washington Post wrote up the speech, it totally left out his criticism of the media. Oh my gosh, what a surprise!

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