September 25, 2003

HERE’S AN INTERVIEW WITH REP. JIM MARSHALL (D-GA), about media coverage of Iraq:

MARSHALL: Right. It’s Vietnam (search) deja vu. I was a recon sergeant in Vietnam and went through this process of trying to deal with a guerrilla war. It is a very difficult thing to do and could be that things weren’t going well.

Well, I came away with the impression that things are going well. Certainly a good bit better than seems to me, the overall American seems to thinks.

And the important thing is for Americans to understand that the news media tends to dwell on the negative. It happens in your own hometown, the typical TV show, the typical newspaper article focuses on murders and rapes. And that’s what you’re seeing right now. What you don’t see is the progress. . . .

MARSHALL: Well, it is a guerrilla war. And if we don’t appear to have resolve, then Iraqis are going to be a lot less likely to cooperate with us, a lot less likely to be willingly in the Army and willingly out there, going after the guerrillas.

We can’t force freedom on the Iraqis. The Iraqis have to take it for themselves. They can distinguish one from another. We can’t do that. We can’t read the street signs. We don’t know the language. They do. They can go in there and deal with this guerrilla situation.

It’s not like Vietnam. In Vietnam, you had the Chinese and Russians…

HUME: Right. Behind them.

MARSHALL: Behind them. You don’t have anything like that here. We can take care of this as long as the Iraqis step forward. They’re less likely to step forward if we’re pessimistic. We’re more likely to be pessimistic if we’re getting a lot of negative news coverage. And that’s the connection.

I’d be interested in hearing more details about how the CPA is doing. And I’d like to know what ever happened to the Oil Trust idea.

Meanwhile here’s a roundup of other commentary on the negative slant from Iraq.