Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Nick Berg

Once upon a time, gunpower replaced the longbow. In WWI, the tank was introduced and changed the battlefield again. In WWII, the airplane took the battle into the skies and air superiority became preeminent. Today we have satellite guided smart bombs.

But our opponents have a new weapon as well. This weapon is the media - our media. There can be no denying that the media by itself has changed warfare more than smart bombs. In Vietnam, The United States lost not one major battle, yet we lost the war. We won the battles in Vietnam, but lost the war at home.

At what point will the media acknowledge that the enemy is staging these events for their mutual benefit. Suicide bombers, gruesome executions and organized protests have little military effect and all are staged expressly for media consumption. Many in the media don't care.

Monday, May 03, 2004


I believed Ted Koppel when he claimed he wanted to "honor" the soldiers who have fallen by reading their names. Such is the mixed up mind of people who are politically left. Koppel and his staff truly believed this was the best way their nationally televised television show could "honor" those who have given their lives. More honestly, it was probably the best way they could think of to do it without having to somehow promote the war effort at the same time. Just don't talk about what these men and women were actually doing over there. In fact, they even chose to ignore those who gave their lives in Afghanistan. Now, why would they do that?

However, in addition to conferring this "honor", Koppel also said "the most important thing a journalist can do it remind people of the cost of war". Really? One problem - this is inherently biased. The problem with discussing the cost of war and not the benefits is akin to focusing on the money leaving your checking account and not the house you're buying with that money. Not inconsequential. Besides, as one columnist put it "the costs of war is the cost of winning it weighed against the cost of losing it".

Reminds me of another great quote: "What do you have if there's one extra tank at the end of a war? Victory. What do you have there's one too few tanks? Defeat."