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FOX News is Cheerleader for War. Overlooks Major Problems in Iraq. Disses Military Families in the United States

Reported by Melanie - August 5, 2007 -

Guest Blogged by Bill Corcoran

The handwriting is on the wall. The Bush administration and their mouthpiece, FOX News, are going into a full-court press as the September 15 reporting deadline for General David Petreaus' report to Congress about the progress of the "surge" is just a little over a month away. FOX News is desperately trying to sell their viewers on the idea that things are improving in Iraq, and the United States should "stay the course." In so doing, FOX News is purposefully overlooking the reality of what is happening on the ground in Iraq and the fallout from the war with families back in the United States. Far be it from FOX News to ever report on anything negative about the Iraq war, but that doesn't stop us from reporting on what FOX News doesn't report.

For example: This week 15 U.S. servicemen were killed in Iraq, but FOX News was obsessing on the Minneapolis bridge collapse, as tragic as it was, which so far has claimed seven lives. FOX News never even mentioned the deaths of 15 young Americans, but they sent a number of reporters to Minneapolis to cover the bridge collapse virtually 24/7 for several days.

As usual, it is NOT what FOX News reports, but what FOX News DOESN'T report, and this past week we witnessed how FOX News side-stepped any mention of 15 young Americans dying in Iraq. Below is just a sampling of what FOX News also decided was not important enough for their viewers to know anything about because it didn't fit their role as cheerleader for the Iraq War.
Continue reading.....

8 million Iraqis 'need urgent aid'
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/07/30/iraq.humanitarian/index.html#cnnSTCText

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- About eight million Iraqis -- nearly a third of the population -- are without water, sanitation, food and shelter and need emergency aid, a report by two major relief agencies says.

Oxfam and the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Coordination Committee in Iraq have issued a briefing paper that says violence in Iraq is masking a humanitarian crisis that has worsened since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

The paper, called "Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq," is the latest documentation of the misery faced by Iraqis.

"Eight million people are in urgent need of emergency aid; that figure includes over two million who are displaced within the country, and more than two million refugees. Many more are living in poverty, without basic services, and increasingly threatened by disease and malnutrition," said the relief agencies' report. The population of Iraq is 26 million.

US 'loses' 190,000 weapons in Iraq
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22174921-1702,00.html

Thanks to Lori Price and http://www.legitgov.org/ for this news tip:
From correspondents in Baghdad

August 01, 2007 10:49 p.m.

Article from: Agence France-Presse
THE US Government cannot account for 190,000 weapons issued to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, says the Government Accountability Office.

According to its July 31 report, the military “cannot fully account for about 110,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 80,000 pistols, 135,000 items of body armour and 115,000 helmets reported as issued to Iraqi forces”.

The weapons disappeared from records between June 2004 and September 2005, as the military struggled to rebuild the disbanded Iraqi forces from scratch amid increasing attacks from Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

Since 2004 the military “has not consistently collected supporting records confirming the dates the equipment was received, the quantities of equipment delivered, or the Iraqi units receiving the items,” the report said.

Iraqi Sunni bloc's ministers withdrawing from coalition Cabinet
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/08/01/iraq.main/index.html#cnnSTCText
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Upset over being "marginalized," Iraq's largest Sunni political bloc Wednesday made good on a threat to leave the Cabinet.

The move, which will likely further cripple the embattled Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, came on the same day as a wave of bombings shook Baghdad and left dozens of people dead.

The Iraqi Accord Front has been critical of legislative stalemates and the failure to achieve national reconciliation, a key U.S. benchmark for Iraq, and it warned last week that it would pull its six Cabinet ministers.

IRAQI PARLIAMENT HANGS 'GONE FISHIN' SIGN OUT FOR AUGUST

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,291477,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/iraq

BAGHDAD — Iraq's parliament on Monday shrugged off U.S. criticism and adjourned for a month, as key lawmakers declared there was no point waiting any longer for the prime minister to deliver Washington-demanded benchmark legislation for their vote.

Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani closed the final three-hour session without a quorum present and declared lawmakers would not reconvene until Sept. 4. That date is just 11 days before the top U.S. military and political officials in Iraq must report to Congress on American progress in taming violence and organizing conditions for sectarian reconciliation.

The recess, coupled with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's failure to get the key draft laws before legislators, may nourish growing opposition to the war among U.S. lawmakers, who could refuse to fund it.

Critics have questioned how Iraqi legislators could take a summer break while U.S. forces are fighting and dying to create conditions under which important laws could be passed in the service of ending sectarian political divisions and bloodshed.

ARMY SO DESPERATE FOR RECRUITS THEY ARE OFFERING $40,000 BONUS TO ENLIST

Some recruits could get $40,000 to sign up - Military News, Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports .

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/07/army_enlistmentbonus_070727w/

The Army is offering seasonal enlistment bonuses of up to $20,000 for various categories of recruits who agree to enter active duty by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The seasonal bonuses may be combined with the regular enlistment incentives announced in May that range from $1,000 to $25,000, depending on specialty and length of enlistment.

The total bonus amount may not exceed $20,000 for a two-year enlistment, $25,000 for a three-year hitch and $40,000 for enlistments of four, five and six years.

The special bonuses took effect July 25 as part of an aggressive recruiting and re-enlistment campaign designed to bolster end strength for fiscal 2007.

ARMY ORDERS OVER 1,000 RECRUITERS BACK TO DUTY AS ARMY STRUGGLES WITH SHORTAGE OF NEW RECRUITS

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/07/army_recruiting_070724w/

Thanks to http://www.legitgov.org/ for providing information from the Army Times

The Army is immediately ordering 1,106 former recruiters back to that duty. The soldiers are being pulled from their current assignments and sent to recruiting stations across the nation as the army struggles to meet its mission in signing up 80,000 new soldiers this year.

Corps tests small loans to tide Marines over.
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2007/07/marine_lending_070728/
Experiment offers up to $500 to help leathernecks avoid payday lenders

By Kimberly Johnson - Staff writer

The Corps is offering its own zero-interest $500 loans to help leathernecks bridge unexpected financial gaps between paychecks. It’s part of the Corps’ fight against “predatory” payday lending outfits that set up shop near military bases, the Corps’ top officer said.

“We have some very predatory lending policies that take place outside most of our gates that offer you as much money as you need to get you through to the next payday at a return rate of about 4,000 percent,” Commandant Gen. James Conway quipped at a July 11 town hall meeting with Marines and their spouses at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, a private, nonprofit charity, has launched a small-scale test program at the Yuma base that issues small loans to Marines in need, Conway said.

20,000 MORE TROOPS HEADED TO IRAQ IN DECEMBER
The Associated Press

20,000 Soldiers Will Depart for Iraq in December
Washington - Nearly 20,000 U.S. troops based in the United States will begin departing for Iraq in December as part of the regular rotation of combat forces there, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

These Army and Marine Corps units are not related to the buildup of American troops announced by President Bush in January, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Scheduled to deploy later this year and early in 2008 are the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Marine Regimental Combat Teams One and Five, also out of Camp Pendleton; and the 3rd Brigade of the Army's 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

FOX NEWS AVOIDS MENTIONING DEATHS OF GIS

The following is just a portion of the military deaths in Iraq this past week which FOX News decided were not worth reporting:

* Two more U.S. soldiers died Friday in Iraq. Fox News failed to mention their deaths.

* BAGHDAD: A roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier in Baghdad, the military said Monday.

* Police, morgue and hospital officials reported a total of at least 59 people killed or found dead nationwide Monday, and the American military announced the deaths of three soldiers and a Marine.

* BAGHDAD - A parked car bomb exploded near a market in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 21 people and wounding more than 60, police said. The U.S. military also said four American troops had died in fighting northeast of the capital, raising to five the number reported killed.

* BAGHDAD - Two U.S. soldiers in the division operating south of Baghdad were killed and 10 wounded in an attack on Tuesday, the military said on Thursday.

AND FINALLY...

The New Children of War
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1648381,00.html?xid=feed-cnn-topics
By Ceri Au

When Lt. Col. Eric Durr, a member of the New York State Army National Guard, left his Albany, N.Y., home in April 2004 bound for Iraq, his wife placed a framed photograph of him in the dining room. Two years later, when she deployed to Iraq also with the Army Reserves, Durr placed a photo of her, Lt. Col. Heather Brownell, in the same spot. For their kids, Steve, now 13, and Stephanie, 16, the war in Iraq is more than just flickering images on a television screen. To them, it means a life of constantly shifting family dynamics and stresses — what they must now accept as the "new normal." Referred to as "suddenly military kids," or SMKs, Steve and Stephanie are part of a growing group of American youngsters under the age of 18, whose lives are directly and dramatically impacted when a parent is deployed from the Reserves or the National Guard.

Unlike military brats, the term affectionately given to the children of military personnel who live on base, SMKs are not raised in the military culture, because their parents aren't on active duty. So, they don't have the automatic support of peers or teachers who necessarily understand the sudden pressures placed on them when a parent deploys. "They think they are the only one in the situation. They don't know anyone else who has a parent sent away," says Theresa Ferrari, Ohio project director of Operation: Military Kids, a national group founded in 2004 that organizes activities in 34 states to connect SMKs and help them cope. "But there really are a lot of people in the same situation." According to the most complete Department of Defense data for April 2007, more than 60,000 Guards and reservists who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq were parents of at least one child.

Research suggests that military children fare worse when a soldier-parent is deployed for a combat tour. According to a new study published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, when an enlisted parent left home, the rates of confirmed child abuse and neglect rose more than 40%, at the hands of the parent who stayed behind. "These findings were consistent regardless of parents' age, rank or ethnic background," says Deborah Gibbs, the study's lead author, "indicating that deployments are difficult for all kinds of families."

SUMMARY

FOX News continues to be the water boy for the Bush administration in their untiring effort to try to sell their viewers on the idea that things aren't so bad in Iraq, and the U.S. is actually winning the war. There are so many stories FOX News could report on which would show things are not going as well in Iraq as they want their viewers to believe. We have just presented a sampling of them. However, FOX News would rather live up to what should be their new motto: "We Distort. You've Been Had."