Straight From the Front

by Steve on August 23, 2006

Or “what you don’t see on the news”. Blackfive shares an interview with US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Erik E. Duane:

B5: Has the main stream media had any affect on your ability, your team’s ability or the Iraqis ability to improve their conditions?

No I don’t think so. The Marines don’t get much media intake other than Stars & Stripes, CNN and Fox news and only occasionally. To be honest, when we are done with the days work the last thing we want to do is watch the news. It’s time to unwind and relax. We also operate in a an area where Iraqi people don’t seem to pay much attention to media unless they are in it. We have had our local police chief on Fox news, in the papers and some of our city council members in the papers but none of this has had any negative affects on our operations.

B5: Do you think the media has fairly portrayed our efforts in Iraq?

Not in my experience. During this deployment I have tried to stay away from negative things like MSM because I don’t want it to affect my own morale thereby affecting the mission. Mission accomplishment is every Marine’s priority and I don’t want to be deterred by MSM negativity. In other areas like media embeds we have had great success. Embeds are able to see things from the ground perspective and it usually gives them a positive outlook on what we are doing here.

B5: What is the one story that you would want told that is not being told about Iraq?

How much the people want democracy. I get tired of the MSM articles about how it was better before we came. Maybe it was because all of the life and will of the people had been crushed. Is that any way to live? I think not and I think most Iraqis would agree. There is a lot of healing going on in this country and it is moving forward in baby-steps. It won’t happen over night, but I feel the people here [want to] be allowed to make something of their nation worth being proud of.

We are having a positive effect in Iraq and it continually puzzles me that we don’t get this kind of story in the MSM. They’re so busy looking for the negative and ignoring the positive it’s no wonder that over half of Americans now disapprove of our continued fight in Iraq. Go read the whole interview, it’s well worth it.

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