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FOX News' Brit Hume Has Mastered the Art of Telling Only Half the Story About Iraq

Reported by Marie Therese - November 11, 2007 -

GUEST BLOGGED BY BILL CORCORAN, VETERAN'S DAY, 2007

If a journalism class for reporters and anchors were conducted at FOX News on how to tell only half the story about the Iraq war, the ideal "professor" would be FOX News' Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief, Brit Hume. Hume has honed to a perfect science the art of giving only the Bush White House point of view on anything to do with the war in Iraq. A case in point is earlier this week Hume boasted about how Iraqi civilians are flowing back into Iraq. Yes, Brit, Iraqi civilians are returning to Iraq but how come you didn't tell the rest of the story? There have been numerous news reports that Syria has been closing its borders to Iraqi refugees and is purging its population of Iraqi civilians by sending them back to Iraq. Brit Hume conveniently forgot this part of the story as he unabashedly bragged about how Iraqi civilians are heading back to Iraq. The implication Hume was trying to convey to the FOX News audience was Iraq has stabilized and the "surge" is working. Hume didn't say it, but he might as well as said that life in Baghdad is nothing but peace and happiness with people relaxing at outdoor cafes, sipping coffee and reminiscing about the pre-war days, i.e. the days before half of their families were killed in sectarian violence or by "collateral damage" from U.S. military forces. In Hume's upbeat report on returning Iraqi refugees, the ace FOX news "reporter" also failed to mention that six U.S. soldiers had been killed in Iraq. In addition to Brit Hume's selective editing of the Iraqi civilian refugee situation, Hume and Fox News manage to look the other way or bury negative reports about the war in Iraq. As for the number of reports, why, it is miniscule compared to the amount of air time FOX News has devoted to Duane "Dog" Chapman, Rosie O'Donnell, O.J. Simpson and the missing suburban Chicago woman, now presumed dead.

Below are a handful of events pertaining to the war in Iraq which FOX News felt were not worthy of coverage or, at best, only a passing mention.

(1) Brit Hume "forgets" to tell Fox News audience why Iraqi civilians are returning to Iraq.

(2) One in four homeless persons are military veterans.

(3) General John Abizaid, who was in charge of U.S. forces in Iraq, says U.S. troops will be in Iraq and Middle East for another 50 years.

(4) Six U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq while Fox News devotes hours to tabloid stories.

(5) Recruitment of African-Americans is up 49 percent in fiscal 2007.

(6) Over one million Iraqis killed since U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq.

(7) The Army needs at least 2,000 military and civilian contractors just to supply the troops in Iraq.

(8) LATE BREAKING NEWS: Six U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan.


BRIT HUME FAILS TO TELL VIEWERS WHY IRAQI CITIZENS ARE RETURNING TO IRAQ

On Fox News' Special Report, Hume omitted key Syrian action from report on flow of Iraqi refugees

Media Matters

During the "Grapevine" segment of the November 5 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume reported, "A worker at the Iraqi Airways office in Damascus [Syria] says the flow of refugees from Iraq to Syria has almost reversed." Hume continued, "Once-full flights from Baghdad are now virtually empty, and flights headed the other way have considerably more passengers." Hume was reporting the Iraqi government's assertion that "more than 3,000 Iraqi families that were driven out of their Baghdad neighborhoods have returned home in the past three months because of the decline in sectarian violence." However, Hume did not report that Syrian officials recently began requiring people entering Syria from Iraq to obtain a visa first, which has reportedly eliminated the flow of refugees from Iraq into Syria almost entirely.

Also, during the November 7 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume, who hosts Fox News' Special Report, the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for the sly way Hume "forgot" to mention how Syria is turning away Iraqi refugees.

According to an October 21 New York Times article, "Syria has closed its borders to all but a small group of Iraqis and imposed new visa rules that will legally require the 1.5 million Iraqis currently in Syria to return to Iraq." The Times article reported that while experts do not expect that Syria will deport Iraqi refugees already in the country, "[t]he immediate effect has been to cut the flood of refugees to a trickle, no more than a hundred people a day, according to the United Nations," down from the "2,000 to 4,000 Iraqis [who] have fled into Syria every day" for the past year.

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Today is VETERANS' DAY. However FOX News has forgotten to report that one in four of the brave men and women who served our country wander the streets, homeless.

One in four homeless is a military vet, study says

Marine Corps Times

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the U.S., though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday. And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job. The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars and says 400 of them have participated in its programs specifically targeting homelessness. The Alliance to End Homelessness, a public education nonprofit, based the findings of its report on numbers from VA and the Census Bureau. Data from 2005 estimated that 194,254 homeless people out of 744,313 on any given night were veterans.

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Mideast Wars Could Last 50 Years

Military.com

PITTSBURGH - It might take as long as half a century before U.S. troops can leave the volatile Middle East, according to retired Army Gen. John Abizaid.

"Over time, we will have to shift the burden of the military fight from our forces directly to regional forces, and we will have to play an indirect role, but we shouldn't assume for even a minute that in the next 25 to 50 years the American military might be able to come home, relax and take it easy, because the strategic situation in the region doesn't seem to show that as being possible," Abizaid said Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University.

Abizaid, the former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, stepped down in March as the longest-serving commander of U.S. Central Command. He retired from the Army in May and now is at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.The rise of Sunni extremism, burgeoning Shiite extremism, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the world economy's dependency on Mideast oil will keep Americans in the Middle East for a long time, he said.

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Six U.S. Deaths in Iraq Make 2007 Deadliest Year Since Invasion

Bloomberg.com

Six U.S. military personnel were killed in Iraq, the Army said, making 2007 the deadliest year for American forces in the country since the 2003 invasion.

Four soldiers assigned to Multi-National Division - North died Nov. 5 when a bomb detonated near their vehicle in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, the Army said in a statement late yesterday. Another soldier and a sailor died from attacks on the same day in al-Anbar and Salah ad Din provinces respectively, it said.

The attacks bring the death toll this year to 850.

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Black recruits up 49 percent in fiscal 2007

Marine Corps Times

An increase in the number of black recruits shipped to boot camp in fiscal '07 reversed a seven-year slide in minority recruiting, though some predict hitting high numbers this year is going to get harder. That's because black communities are most likely to disapprove of the war in Iraq, and black families are more likely to resist sending their children into the service right now, according to a recently released Center for Naval Analyses report on the Corps' minority recruiting efforts. The report recommends that the Marine Corps take steps to raise its profile in the black community, perhaps with an ad campaign outlining the successes of black Marines. Nearly 11 percent of fiscal 2007 recruits (4,440 in all) were black, a 49 percent increase over the 2,980 contracted in fiscal 2006, which marked a low point for black recruiting in recent years, said Maj. Wes Hayes, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.

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1.2 MILLION IRAQIS KILLED SINCE U.S. INVASION

Just Foreign Policy

The number is shocking and sobering.

It is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on a scientific study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003. That study, published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, estimated that over 600,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion as of July 2006. Iraqis have continued to be killed since then. The graphic above provides a rough daily update of this number based on a rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count. The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in September 2007. Opinion Research Business estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed violently since the US invasion. This devastating human toll demands greater recognition. It eclipses the Rwandan genocide and our leaders are directly responsible. Little wonder they do not publicly cite it.

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Here is another story that can be traced right to the Bush administration and their propaganda machine, FOX News, which continues to pull the wool over the eyes of viewers of FOX News.

Army needs 2,000 contracting personnel to supply troops

MSNBC

WASHINGTON - The Army does not have enough personnel or training to adequately supply its soldiers in combat, and it needs an additional 2,000 military and civilian personnel with the authority to sign and manage contracts, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press. Saying that providing forces on the move with ever-changing technologies is not as simple as it once was, the report by experts convened by the Pentagon said the Army "lacks the leadership and personnel (military and civilian) to provide sufficient contracting support." The 106-page report, titled "Urgent Reform Required," says that the Army has seen a 600 percent increase in workload and is dealing with more complex contracts, yet staffing has consistently declined or remained stagnant since 1990.

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The FOX News web site is carrying the story of six U.S. soldiers killed Saturday in Afghanistan, but it remains to be seen if FOX News television will mention their deaths...

'07 deadliest for U.S. in Afghanistan
Six GIs killed in ambush, raising number of Americans killed in '07 to 101


MSNBC

KABUL, Afghanistan - Six U.S. troops were killed when insurgents ambushed their foot patrol in the high mountains of eastern Afghanistan, officials said Saturday. The attack, the most lethal against American forces this year, made this year the deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion. The troops were returning from a meeting with village elders late Friday afternoon in Nuristan province when militants attacked them with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire, Lt. Col. David Accetta told The Associated Press. The six deaths brings the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in 2007 to at least 101, according to a count by The Associated Press — the highest annual death toll for the American military here since it invaded to oust Taliban and al-Qaida fighters after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The war has evolved into an increasingly bloody counterinsurgency campaign. Three Afghan soldiers were also killed in Friday's ambush, while eight Americans and 11 Afghans were wounded. The battle produced the highest number of U.S. casualties — 14 — of any battles in Afghanistan this year, Accetta said.

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CONCLUDING COMMENTS AND A STORY FROM "BOOTS ON THE GROUND" SOLDIERS IN IRAQ

I couldn't put this Veterans' Day post to "bed" without bringing News Hounds readers a heart-wrenching story pertaining to the war in Iraq - yet another report ignored by FOX News on air.

'I Don't Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier's Life'

The Washington Post

After 14 months in a Baghdad district torn by mounting sectarian violence, members of one U.S. unit are tired, bitter and skeptical.

Their line of tan Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles creeps through another Baghdad afternoon. At this pace, an excruciating slowness, they strain to see everything, hoping the next manhole cover, the next rusted barrel, does not hide another bomb. A few bullets pass overhead, but they don't worry much about those.

"I hate this road," someone says over the radio.

They stop, look around. The streets of Sadiyah are deserted again. To the right, power lines slump down into the dirt. To the left, what was a soccer field is now a pasture of trash, combusting and smoking in the sun. Packs of skinny wild dogs trot past walls painted with slogans of sectarian hate.

A bomb crater blocks one lane, so they cross to the other side, where houses are blackened by fire, shops crumbled into bricks. The remains of a car bomb serve as hideous public art. Sgt. Victor Alarcon's Humvee rolls into a vast pool of knee-high brown sewage water -- the soldiers call it Lake Havasu, after the Arizona spring-break party spot -- that seeps in the doors of the vehicle and wets his boots.

"When we first got here, all the shops were open. There were women and children walking out on the street," Alarcon said this week. "The women were in Western clothing. It was our favorite street to go down because of all the hot chicks."

That was 14 long months ago, when the soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, arrived in southwestern Baghdad. It was before their partners in the Iraqi National Police became their enemies and before Shiite militiamen, aligned with the police, attempted to exterminate a neighborhood of middle-class Sunni families.

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THIS IS VETERANS' DAY. REMEMBER OUR VETERANS, PAST AND PRESENT.