F*cking Brilliant Gentile

19 Apr

From Wired.com

Lt. Colonel Gian P. Gentile writes in a recent Army Times column:

From my foxhole-view as a tactical battalion commander in western Baghdad in 2006, the American press, although not perfect, has reported the reality of the Iraq war. Contrary to what most believe in the American military, as well as some conservative columnists and a few politicians, the American press does give a reasonably full, fair and balanced picture of what is happening in Iraq…

And during my tour in 2006, I spent about two hours every day reading about Iraq through stories told by reporters from the major national and local newspapers and news services and, at times, watching TV newscasts from the major networks. The stories told by the American press, for the most part, matched what I saw happening on the ground. It was my sense that the embedded reporters who spent time with my unit during 2006 really tried to tell the story of what we saw as our successes…

It is my opinion that the American military’s ongoing condemnation of the American press’s reporting of the Iraq war has more to do with its own mistaken belief that the American media lost the Vietnam War and has less to do with the current reporting on Iraq. I also believe that because the American military fears so deeply the loss of support of the American people over Iraq as an outgrowth of Vietnam it tends, wrongly, to allay these fears by blaming the American press for not reporting enough of its successes in Iraq.

“I served with him on the 4ID [4th infantry division] staff — he’s fucking brilliant,” says Iraq veteran and writer Phil Carter about Lt. Col. Gentile.  So I’m guessing if a “fucking brilliant” active-duty battalion commander says something like this, we should pay attention.

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