He has done some excellent, on the ground reporting but he still sees that the news being reported is old, regurgitated news and as we have shown you here ourselves, reporters are admitting that good news from Iraq shouldn't be reported to the American public at all.
So, after a couple of excerpts showing the disconnect between the actualities on the ground with what we are being told in our MSM, I am going to show you his plan to help us, the American people, get the truth, bad and good, instead of the cherry picked news the media has chosen to report.
All describe the bizarro-world contrast between what most Americans seem to think is happening in Iraq versus what is really happening in Iraq. Knowing this disconnect exists and experiencing it directly are two separate matters. It’s like the difference between holding the remote control during the telecast of a volcanic eruption on some distant island (and then flipping the channel), versus running for survival from a wretch of molten lava that just engulfed your car.
I was at home in the United States just one day before the magnitude hit me like vertigo: America seems to be under a glass dome which allows few hard facts from the field to filter in unless they are attached to a string of false assumptions. Considering that my trip home coincided with General Petraeus’ testimony before the US Congress, when media interest in the war was (I’m told) unusually concentrated, it’s a wonder my eardrums didn’t burst on the trip back to Iraq. In places like Singapore, Indonesia, and Britain people hardly seemed to notice that success is being achieved in Iraq, while in the United States, Britney was competing for airtime with O.J. in one of the saddest sideshows on Earth.
Anyone who has been in Iraq for longer than a few months, visited a handful of provinces, and spoken with a good number of Iraqis, likely would acknowledge that the reality here is complex and dynamic. But in the last six months it also has been increasingly hopeful, despite what the pessimistic dogma dome allows Americans and British to believe.
I wasn’t back in Iraq three days before this critical disconnect rocketed up from the ground and whacked me in the face. There I was with British soldiers, preparing for a mission with a duration of more than ten days in the southern province of al Basra, when someone asked me about the media reports alleging that Basra city had collapsed into violent chaos. Not wishing to trust solely to my own eyes and ears, I asked around and was able to quickly confirm what I’d already noted: conditions in this region had improved dramatically in the months since my previous embed with the Brits.
No one who’s actually been to this area in the last month could honestly claim it was swarming with violence. I’ve been with the Brits here for more than two weeks, during which time there have been only a few trivial attacks that could easily have been the work of an angry farmer with extra time on his hands and a mortar in his backyard. As to serious attacks on British forces, in the last eight weeks, there have been exactly zero. So, any stories that make it sound like Basra is in chaos are shamefully false.
I used Basra as an example because I have read those reports also that claimed that when the Brits turned security over to Iraqi security forces, chaos ensued. The reports head lining that they were leaving too soon.
Reports that were geared for nothing but the readers to see Iraq in a negative light and now we see those reports were false.
Which brings us to Michael Yon's plan to help bridge the disconnect between reality and the bizarro-world of reporting that we are having shoved down our throats by the MSM.
Furthermore, with the help of other clear-eyed individuals, I may actually be in a unique position to do something to remedy this, if the experience I had with the AP response to my challenge to investigate and report on the disturbing gravesites in the Al Hamira village is any guide.
Although I can’t answer to the cause of the problem, I humbly offer permission to media outlets to republish excerpts of the dispatch or the dispatch in its entirety, including my photographs from the story (if used as they are in the dispatch) at no cost during the month of July 2007. I only ask that the site receive proper attribution and that any publication taking me up on the offer email the website with the details.
That offer was dying on the vine until Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee took the Associated Press to task for their bungled reportage of a different mass graves news story, using my dispatch as a comparison. Although it took a little back and forth, and some additional pressure from all the other bloggers who started tracking on the topic, the AP finally dispatched a reporter to the scene. The resulting article was picked up by at least one other major media outlet, reaching thousands more people. This got me to thinking: what if I made a similar offer on a more permanent basis to a large media syndication, say, the National Newspaper Association?
How we can help:
Those readers can first check to see if their local paper is a member of the NNA . Because only NNA members will be able to
” . . . print excerpts of Michael Yon’s dispatches, including up to two of his photographs from each dispatch. Online excerpts may use up to 8 paragraphs, use 1-3 photos, and then link back to the full dispatch on his site saying ‘To continue reading, click here.’”
If their local paper is a member of NNA, readers can contact the editor, urging their participation. [If Bob Owens’ experience is a reliable indicator, this might take several, uh, prompts.] By encouraging their local daily or weekly newspapers to reprint these dispatches in their print editions, more people without internet access can begin to see a more accurate reflection of the progress I have observed and chronicled in dispatches like “Achievements of the Heart,” “7 Rules: 1 Oath,” “The Hands of God,” and “Three Marks on the Horizon.”
Quick guide to helping this effort to get the truth:
To find out more about the NNA syndication project, go here. For more information about how to encourage your local NNA member newspaper to participate, contact our project administrator here. It’s easy to complain about the state of mainstream media coverage of the War in Iraq. Now, it’s also easy to do something concrete to improve it. The hardest part is the work our soldiers and the Iraqi people are doing every day; even the work I do in getting the stories about their efforts out to my readers pales in comparison.
Everyone please remember that Michael Yon is not paid to risk life and limb, he does this for no other reason that to bring the truth, bad and good to his readers and to the American people.
Michael Yon does not receive funding or financial support from Fox News, or from any network, movie, book or television deals at this time. He is entirely reader-supported. He relies on his readers to help him replace his equipment and cover his expenses so that he may remain in Iraq and bring you the stories of our soldiers. If you value his work, please consider supporting his mission.
What I have shown here is but a small portion of his article, please read the whole thing to understand how bad the disconnect between the American people and the reality on the ground in Iraq, really is.
Cross posted @ Stop the ACLU.