The Iowa City Press-Citizen ran an anti-war puff piece today that clearly demonstrates their disdain for the war, and how they'll try to slant *news* in order to sway people's perceptions.
The piece, titled 'Vet turns against the war after time in Iraq' (editors craft the titles, not the reporter), is an interview with Army National Guard Sergeant Andrew Duffy, who is now the president of the Iowa City chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
The Press-Citizen failed to ask Duffy tough questions, it's clear they simply wanted to craft an anti-war piece. Here are some dubious parts of the article, areas where the PC did not care to live up to their journalistic obligation:
1. Duffy claimed that American soldiers - to include the command structure - are trained to be scared of Iraqi people. That's highly unlikely and the PC didn't probe. American soldiers are trained to be cautious and prepared, but not scared. This is a prerequisite to No. 2, below.
2. The PC failed to mention that American soldiers have been killed and wounded by suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and people dressed like civilians or police or Iraqi military driving civilian or 'official' looking vehicles that ended up being car or truck bombs.
3. The PC failed to ask why Duffy was in a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road. What exactly were the circumstances? The implied, "Just because" by Duffy isn't to be believed and it's clear the PC did not care to properly check out his story.
4. Medical missions to nearby towns were denied Duffy said, but again the PC failed to ask why. If the risk was too great, then yes, the mission gets scrubbed. The Army doesn't unnecessarily put it's people in extremely high-risk situations. Each situation is different, and if the risk outweighs the mission need, then it's a "No-Go."
Something obviously dubious is how the PC was all too willing to make the Vietnam comparison. Duffy claimed and the PC wrote, "At the time, they had some of the drill sergeants who had gone through Vietnam," he said. "They were starting to compare this war to Vietnam. (But) I tried to stay positive."
Vietnam was a very, very long time ago, which would make these drill sergeants Duffy had at least 50 years old. That's possible, but HIGHLY unlikely. These 'drill sergeants' would also most likely not be drill sergeants at the latter stages of a military career and many would have retired at the 20 years of service mark. The Vietnam War ended in 1975, so a drill sergeant at about age 20 would have put in 20 years by 1995. A thirty year retirement would have come in 2005 and that would require the promotions necessary to get to thirty years, well above the duties and responsibilities of a drill sergeant.
The PC completely failed to do some very basic 'check out all angles' reporting with this piece, and that's just irresponsible. For a publication that puts up a front of 'open source' and objectivity, what they put into print should not be taken at face value.