Troops Aren't Pawns for Antiwar Rhetoric
Exclusive commentary by Trevor Bothwell
Apr 12, 2003
By now most people know which side of the aisle they stand on when it comes to the media coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most people either like
it or they don’t. The media are either biased or they aren’t. Some people are either happy our reporters are embedded with coalition forces, or
they’re not. You get the idea.
I don’t intend to use this occasion to whine about liberal media bias. Do I think it exists? To some degree, of course. I mean, was Peter Jennings not
beating the antiwar drum when he remarked back in August, “It’s no secret, now, that a great many American allies are very opposed to attacking Iraq
unless the President makes a better case for it.”?
At the very least, we’ve got a slight discrepancy when countries like France, Germany, and Russia constitute “a great many,” much less that they were
behaving at all like “allies,” as President Bush rounded up international support for this war.
But I digress. My true gripe is really with journalists and networks that purport, perhaps even truly intend, to cover the war evenhandedly, but still
can’t help but take cheap jabs at our military along the way.
Washington Post Foreign Service correspondent Peter Baker wrote last week what could only be described as a heartfelt account of Mohammed, the brave
Iraqi lawyer who risked his life to help rescue Pfc. Jessica Lynch from the hospital where Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen soldiers held her captive.
“Mohammed was taking a chance” in even approaching the Marine checkpoint outside Nasiriyah, Baker writes, as “Saddam's Fedayeen and their allies had
been dressing in civilian clothes to get close to U.S. troops, sometimes even faking surrender, only to open fire at short range.”