Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


Selective Hearing

Last Friday afternoon, at the Military Reporters and Editors Luncheon, LTG(ret) Ricardo Sanchez -- former commander of the Army's V Corps and the top U.S. commander in Iraq until 2004 -- leveled a series of broadside blasts at the mainstream media, the ineffectiveness of the National Security Council, and the partisan bickering in Washington.

If you read any of the copious media reports this past weekend (like these gems from AP and the NYTimes), you undoubtedly read the most damning accusations of a national "nightmare with no end in sight", that "America has failed". However, of all the vitriol he let slip last Friday, the only parts covered by the major media outlets were those most critical of the war and the Bush administration.

Too bad the media didn't present the full story. Thankfully, the blogosphere is replete with pundits who have called the media on their fundamental failure to adhere to their own ethical standards of truthfulness and fairness.

First, and most importantly, is the complete transcript of General Sanchez's remarks (c/o his hosts last Friday). It clocks in at just over 3,400 words and about 10 pages, but it is well worth a careful read.

A sampling of blogs who have called the mainstream media on their "selective hearing":
As this 'blog is intended to be a forum for challenging our mainstream opinions, [and] for identifying the Wizards in our midst, I encourage you to each view all the available evidence and decide for yourself what message General Sanchez intended.

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At 16/10/07 19:19 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As harsh as the criticism directed at the Media, The Administration, and Other Politicians, I think the message that he was trying to send is that they are all responsible for the polarized political climate that at least hinders any type of progress in Iraq.

The enemies we face in Iraq and in the greater War on Terror are extremely dangerous. To prevail we need to be united against them. The partisain bickering divides us at a time when we need most to be united.

Thanks for the link...


At 17/10/07 16:58 , Blogger Jay@Soob said...

I think he spoke brilliantly, though I would have added the marketability of bad news and weighed a bit heavy on that as well. I don't view all media elements as grinding some political ax. Dollars and cents play a hefty role in what media spouts forth. Brittany Spears anyone?

Further, I think he spoke honestly and a speech of such naked truth, as it were, by a high ranking politician would be a welcome kick in the ass for our society. The essence for myself isn't so much whether I agree with what he's saying (though much of which I do) rather the blatant, unpolished (yet learned), no bullshit approach he took.

Last bit; every elected or appointed member of every branch of our federal government should be required to read Clauswitz.

At 17/10/07 17:01 , Blogger Jay@Soob said...

Oh, and Sun Tzu.

At 17/10/07 17:22 , Blogger deichmans said...

Darrell, Happy to oblige. Thanks for the added comments on your take.

Soob, You OBVIOUSLY haven't been watching enough TV -- if you had, you'd know it's spelled "Britney". :-)

As for your mandatory reading list, do you think the politicos could get past Chapter 2 of Book 1 in Clausewitz? If they could, our government would be in much better shape.

(I would add Machiavelli's "The Prince" and Musashi's A Book of Five Rings to your two recommendations.)

At 17/10/07 18:10 , Blogger Jay@Soob said...

I don't know that our politicos could make it past chapter 3 in any given Judy Bloom book without either preening for a solid hour or checking the latest polls. I'm that cynical!

As for Machiavelli I agree though I suspect many will miss the more sublime aspects and be "horrified" by the extremism.

Musashi: A better read for a Marine than a politician, I think. I've been through the Book of Five Rings three times now and while some of it applies to strategic thinking (the overall aspect of Ground, Fire, Wind and his Four Ways for example) most of it seems to engage the tactician. Of course no harm in a politico knowing some semblance of tactics.

Now I'm off to write 300 lines of Britney, Britney, Britney...


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