As I talked about last night, there has been a drastic decrease in news stories about the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. I used to believe that it was a problem with only the bad news stories being carried; but tonight, I did a small unofficial poll of the major news websites. I went through my personal top five, NY Times, FOX News, MSNBC, BBC, and SKY News. Now I will preface this information with the fact that this was a 5 minute snap-shot at their websites. Most news websites update regularly so I am going to continue watching the trends. But just in a quick unofficial polling, not one had a story about Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I did drill down, and after going one to three layers down I found stories about the war on terror. That in itself was surprising and a bit concerning, but what came next was even more surprising.
I decided to bring up the Al Jazeera Website. I don't go onto Al Jazeera as often as the others but it is a very useful and informative site for understanding the news from a different perspective. On Al Jazeera over 33% of the stories dealt with the War in Iraq. Another 33% of the stories dealt with Iran and the current nuclear development issues and the last 33% dealt with Israel and Palestinian issues. Now it is obvious that a News Agency based out of the Middle East would be focused on that region. BUT when there is a very significant portion of our national defense personnel and economic means being sent overseas in the Global War on Terror I would think that this would be something we would want to know about and be kept informed about.
I understand that there are other very pressing matters on our horizon as Americans right now. There is the issue with the economy, we have a national election fast approaching, and other domestic issues that are also very important. But the question I remain trying to answer is why? Why is there not equal service being payed to all of these subjects; are they not just as vitally important for us to understand? I think more importantly is it a fault of the news agencies or are we as the military not informing the American People as much as we should? I'm not sure what the answer is yet, but I do know that we need to inform the people that we serve as to what we are doing. I think all of you deserve that and more.
Starting tomorrow I am going to highlight one personal memory of mine a night. Some of them will be extremely positive, others sad, and others heart-wrenching for me personally to tell. But I think that it is important to tell these stories to the American People. As we continue living in a state of persistent conflict and fighting the Global War on Terror I believe it is decisively important for all of you to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it, the sacrifices and heroism of your sons and daughters, and the thanks of many grateful Iraqi and Afghan citizens.
God Bless America
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