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Glossing over the war in Iraq

Reported by Chrish - June 16, 2007 -

NOTE: Guest blogged by Bill Corcoran

FOX will cover tabloid and local stories ad nauseum, repeating their "FOX News Alerts" all day and some multiple times in the same hour. It's all very exciting and outrageous and viewers can instantly form opinions and judgments. They feel informed and current and savvy, yet something is missing.

The important news - legislation, appointments, dismantlings, signing statements, power grabs, and of course the war in Iraq - are given at best a mention and then we move on, right back to Paris Hilton, Mike Nifong, and the culture quiz. On some FOX News shows, including the highest rated, there is virtually no news.

Yes, there are AP reports posted on the FOXNews.com website on these topics, but the daily tv programming largely ignores them. Here are just some stories from this week in Iraq that warranted drive-by reportage on FOX, as compiled by guest blogger Bill Corcoran:


FOX NEWS SANITIZES IRAQ WAR COVERAGE

According to every news poll, the Iraq War is what is uppermost on the minds of Americans all across the country. Fox News has made a concerted effort to provide their viewers with as little Iraq War news as possible. Also, Fox News is known for "sins of omission" in their war coverage. It isn't so much what Fox News covers, but what they don't cover about the Iraq War.

NO MORE "YOU TUBE" AND "MY SPACE" FOR TROOPS IN IRAQ

Conditions in Iraq aren't bad enough for U.S. soldiers and Marines, but now the military are prohibiting the troops from accessing certain web sites like "My Space" and "You Tube." In addition to "My Space" and "You Tube" the following sites have been barred for viewing by U.S. troops in Iraq: BlackPlanet, FileCabi, Hi5, IFilm, Live365, Metacafe, MTV, Pandora, Photobucket, StupidVideos, and 1.fm.
During R&R (rest and relaxation), U.S. troops have been using computers to log onto sites like "My Space" and "You Tube," but the military has decided they don't want the soldiers and Marines in Iraq to see what is being said about the Iraq war back home

1 IN 6 IRAQI COPS LOST TO ATTRITION

When Lt. General Martin Dempsey, who was in charge of training Iraqi police, appeared before the House of Representatives subcommittee earlier this week, the Marine General stunned lawmakers when he told them one in six Iraqi cops have been killed, wounded, deserted or just disappeared. While 150,000 American troops deployed to Iraq go out everyday on patrol in sweltering 120 heat, the Iraqi policemen, trained by U.S. forces, cannot be counted on to assume any type of security for Baghdad and all of Iraq


ARMY APOLOGIZES FOR GANG TATTOOS SEARCH

A top Army general has apologized to members of a New Mexico National Guard unit who were ordered to strip to their gym shorts and searched for gang tattoos while on duty in Kuwait. Brig. Gen. Rodney L. Johnson wrote to officers and soldiers of the Rio Rancho-based Task Force Cobra that the May 2006 search was "gravely mishandled," the Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday."Although the search was lawful, it is also critical that my agents ensure that all soldiers are treated appropriately and respectful," said Johnson, provost marshal general of the Army and commanding general of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command. "I sincerely regret that we failed to do so in this case and want to assure you that we have learned from this experience." Members of Task Force Cobra and state National Guard commander Kenny C. Montoya have alleged the unit was targeted for the search because its large number of Hispanic soldiers

VITAL BRIDGES LEADING IN AND OUT OF BAGHDAD DESTROYED

A third bridge has been bombed in Iraq, not by a car bomb, but by Sunnis who planted explosives under the bridge and detonated them. The Sunnis, who wired the bridge, are the same Sunnis who the United States military is arming with weapons in what is supposed to be an effort to help the U.S. in fighting Al Qaeda. Unlike the other two bridge bombings which claimed the lives of three U.S. soldiers and injured six others, this bridge bombing did not create any casualties, but it does disrupt traffic to and from Baghdad. The so-called "surge" plan is having only modest results in Baghdad, however the insurgents have changed their tactics and are now targeting vital transportation links in and out of Baghdad

U.S. MILITARY PLANS TO ARM SUNNIS

Fox News failed to report the U.S. military in Iraq now plans to arm the Sunnis in hopes they will hunt down Al Qaeda terrorists. The Sunnis are the same group who have been killing many American soldiers over the past four years of the Iraq war. On Monday, June 11, the NEW YORK TIMES reported: "With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past"

RETURNING IRAQ VETS HAVE TROUBLE GETTING MENTAL HEALTH HELP

Soldiers returning from war are finding it more difficult to get mental health treatment because military insurance is cutting payments to therapists, on top of already low reimbursement rates and a tangle of red tape. Wait lists now extend for months to see a military doctor and it can takes weeks to find a private therapist willing to take on members of the military. The challenge appears great in rural areas, where many National Guard and Reserve troops and their families live.