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Thursday, March 23, 2006
 
A Sudden Interest In What Soldiers Think

Lorie Byrd, one of my favorite people in the blogosphere, has a column up at Townhall on the media's newfound fascination with the military and their feelings about Iraq.

More recently, The New York Times decided to let their readers know what Cpl. Jeffrey Starr thought of his service in Iraq, as conveyed in his last letter home to his girlfriend before being killed in Ramadi. They published the following: “Siftng through Corporal Starr’s laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine’s girlfriend. ‘I kind of predicted this,’ Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ‘A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances.’”

Michelle Malkin learned from Cpl. Starr’s family and reported on her blog that the NYT left out the rest of Cpl. Starr’s quote, which continued to say, “I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

So instead of the media worrying about the troops’ feelings, and trying to determine them through polls, many of which are questionable due to the wording of the questions and the logistics of finding representative samples in a war zone, maybe they could just concentrate on honestly reporting the words and actions of the troops in the field. If they did that, the public would at least have enough accurate information to form a fair assessment. Until that happens, I will be reading the milblogs.


Speaking of which, here's an interview Hugh Hewitt did with Michael Yon, whose blog has become extraordinarily influential among those interested in what's really happening in Iraq.

I mean, the mainstream media just focuses on the flames and the bullets. They focus on the terrorism. They don't tell us that the Kurdish areas are a complete success. They're becoming economically viable, they're making a lot of progress, they're sending their children, including their girls, to school. They love us there in the Kurdish areas, and they don't tell us that Mosul is a success now. I mean, Mosul was the only thing on the news last year when I was there. I'm sure you remember that.

I've said elsewhere that Michelle Malkin deserves the blog of the year award for 2005. But if she doesn't win it, Michael Yon would be my next choice. Certainly his report on Mosul here was the single most gripping post of the year.
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