What You Don’t Know About the Iraq War

Fri, June 20, 2008


With the 24/7 media coverage of the presidential campaign, Michelle Obama on The View and stories about what John McCain calls his wife, there’s a news gorilla in the room we’ve been ignoring — the Iraq War.

Sure, we hear on the campaign trail that Barack Obama wants to bring the troops home and McCain, not so much. But the coverage of what’s really going on in Iraq isn’t making it onto the nightly news shows.

Unless you count The Daily Show:

One woman trying to convince the media suits that Americans need to really see — really understand — what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t enough, not even when that one woman looks like Lara Logan.

Logan isn’t the only one who feels this way, though. Kimberly Dozier, the CBS journalist who almost died from the injuries she suffered in an Iraqi car bomb blast, is worried that people have become numb to the coverage and, in a Huffington Post article, said:

“I’m not lecturing people which way to go on the Iraq War, one way or another, but this sort of willingness to ignore what is going on or turn away from it kind of scares me. … I want people to pay attention.”

Others voices are trying to be heard on the war in Afghanistan, as well. For example, did you know about the massive prison break of Taliban rebels in Afghanistan? If you blinked, you would have missed the coverage, according to one of my favorites, Catherine Morgan of The Political Voices of Women, who also ponders a bigger question that gets virtually no coverage:

“Has the war in Iraq hurt the war on terrorism?”

Aside from the overall efforts on terrorism, there’s another aspect that’s been forgotten according to Hanna Ingber Win at HuffPo’s Off the Bus — the humanitarian crisis faced by Iraqis as a result of the war. Win says over 2.5 million Iraqis are now refugees because they’ve been displaced from their homes as a result of the five-year conflict, plus innumerable Iraqi communities lack clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. And as for education for Iraqi students? It’s not faring well, either.

“In a video [I saw] on the difficulties involved in going to university in Iraq, a graduate student explains that many of the professors are missing because they have fled the country due to the ongoing violence. A female student says the situation is improving, but parents have been reluctant to send their children to school because they would hear stories about abductions and the targeting of students.”

More on-the-ground information is available if you know where to look. Alive in Baghdad blog provides weekly accounts of what’s going on there from the viewpoint of Iraqi journalists.

The news on the Iraq war and its status today is out there, but only if you know where to look.

PunditMom is also a Contributing Editor for Politics & News at BlogHer.

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5 Responses to “What You Don’t Know About the Iraq War”

  1. wmw Says:

    I was blown away by Lara Logan, not just for her knowledge and all she’s experienced over there but also for her passion that we would pay attention. I admit it’s hard–life’s busy, other things seem to affect me more directly, doesn’t feel like I can do anything about it, etc.–but it’s important that we do remember.

    Thanks for your blog–I’m a new blog- and Twitter-stalker of yours and a fan already. :)

    Wendy in Oregon

  2. ClizBiz Says:

    Wow. Thanks for posting this. It’s a necessary wake-up call. The stats at the end of Logan’s interview were alarming. Glad to have her on the front lines.

  3. Dorothy Says:

    My 21 year old grandson is a marine and going back to Iraq for the second time July 22. I’m angry scared, and feel hopeless as these guys do not have any control over the armed forces, they are pawns in the war of oil and control..

    Yes you do feel helpless because it doesn’t matter what we say..the lobbyist have taken over our country. They support and fund our career politicians. Most of them couldn’t work or get a real job. There votes support the interest which will keep them in office. Improving their own retirement and benefits while we continue to foot the bill. The constituents.. mean nothing.

    The war will continue because it’s impossible to get out now no matter who we elect.

    Thanks for the information and lets hope some day there is a way out.

    Dorothy from grammology
    remember to call your gram

  4. Mauigirl Says:

    Thanks for all the great links. I agree about Lara Logan – she was great on the Daily Show. And I have to admit I get most of my televised news there!

  5. anniegirl1138 Says:

    How’s that for social commentary when a “fake” news show is reporting the war?

    Let’s not forget the increase in sectarian and religious persecution in Iraq these days as well.

    My cousin’s son is there again. He shouldn’t have to be.

    Decades from now when historians are pondering the fall of the U.S., you can bet that Iraq will be one of the tipping points.

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