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Old 04-21-2004, 06:12 PM   #31
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From the Wall Street Journal

[Q]Spirit of America
Here's a way you can help the cause in Iraq.

BY DANIEL HENNINGER
Friday, April 16, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

Thus spake George W. Bush this week: "The people of our country are united behind our men and women in uniform, and this government will do all that is necessary to assure the success of their historic mission." Still, many Americans who support the war don't much like sitting on their hands doing little more than watch it on TV. Some have written here, asking what they can do to help. This column will describe a real project that lets the folks at home lend a hand to the soldiers in Iraq.

Over the past year, a successful technology entrepreneur named Jim Hake has been working with the Marine Corps to help their reconstruction projects in Iraq. The Marines identify local equipment needs, and Mr. Hake's organization, Spirit of America, after raising the money, acquires the stuff, typically for schools and medical clinics. It flies directly out of Camp Pendleton in California. Jim Hake and the Marines are a coalition of the can-do, bypassing the slow U.S. procurement bureaucracy. More on that effort in a moment. Here's where you come in:

The First Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Army in Iraq want to equip and upgrade seven defunct Iraqi-owned TV stations in Al Anbar province--west of Baghdad--so that average Iraqis have better televised information than the propaganda they get from the notorious Al-Jazeera. If Jim Hake can raise $100,000, his Spirit of America will buy the equipment in the U.S., ship it to the Marines in Iraq and get Iraqi-run TV on the air before the June 30 handover.





Now we are getting somewhere. Since day one, the Coalition Provisional Authority's weakest suit has been the war of ideas, images and public relations. Into this use-it-or-lose-it void stepped Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV operation that somehow has wires running to every camcorder in the Arab terrorist world. Punch in english.aljazeera.net for a look at "news" from Iraq spun tirelessly against the coalition. Its photos of "Falluja after the siege" are preposterous, depicting nothing but "destroyed homes" and ominous GIs. The text: "As we drive through the back roads on the way to Falluja, U.S. jets are pounding the area around the tiny village of Garma."
If this hooey is what they feed to the English-language audience, imagine the daily TV diet Al-Jazeera trowels on for Iraqis. Al-Jazeera's Web site Wednesday said it wouldn't air the video of an Italian hostage's murder "in order not to upset viewers' sensitivities." Hours later, I heard an all-news radio in New York recite verbatim Al-Jazeera's tender account.

If the Marines can get these moribund stations back on the air, the coverage area would include Fallujah and Ramadi. The VHF/UHF stations are owned as cooperatives by TV-competent Iraqis already vetted by the Army. Some broadcast Al-Jazeera for lack of other content. In return for the upgrades, the Iraqi operators would be asked two things: Criticism is fine, but don't run anti-coalition propaganda; and let the Marines buy air time to broadcast public-service announcements, such as the reopening of schools or clinics--or indeed, pending military operations.

I can hear the chorus of lamentations about "independence" and "objectivity." Get real. We're in Iraq, not Kansas, Toto. These Iraqis, aided by American soldiers, are manifestly engaged in a death-struggle for their nation. Anyone who has the courage to produce daily television at odds with the goals of the homicidal "insurgents" doesn't need tutorials on journalistic piety from us.





Jim Hake's organizational insight is to deploy the best practices of the modern U.S. economy--efficiency and speed--around the margins of the Iraqi war effort. The Amazons, Best Buys, FedExes and DHLs can get anything anywhere--fast. Why not use the same all-American skill at procurement efficiency and quick distribution to get the soldiers in Iraq (and Afghanistan) the stuff that government red tape will never provide in time?
His operation, in Los Angeles, is wholly New Economy. For past projects he's gotten the word out via Web loggers such as Glenn Reynolds's InstaPundit.com, windsofchange.net and hughhewitt.com. Mr. Hake finds low-cost suppliers on the Internet and negotiates prices. His donor network also suggests suppliers.

Earlier projects for the Marines flew over cargo planes of school supplies, basic medical equipment and toys (turns out Iraqi children love Frisbees). One anecdote: The day before the school equipment was to ship, they found that all the pencils broke easily. On a hunch, Mr. Hake made a morning call to a Staples manager in southern California. By midafternoon the Staples man lined up sources for 120,000 pencils--cheaper than the original buy. Mr. Hake bought and shipped them. Spirit of America is all-volunteer. The accounting for its projects, down to the penny, is listed on the Web site.

Spirit of America's buy-list for the Marines' TV-stations project includes digital video camcorders, desktop PCs for video editing, video editing software, televisions, 21-inch satellite dishes, KU-band universal transponders, satellite decoder/receivers, Philips audio/video selectors (4-in/2-out), VCRs (PAL and NTSC compatible), DVD players (multiregion compatible), step-down voltage converters (220 to 110) and lighting sets. The cost of this equipment is about $100,000.

Mr. Hake, incidentally, insists on paying for all the goods in his projects. He says donor relationships with big companies waste time getting sign-offs by senior management. I asked if he thought they could get the TV stations under way by the June 30 handover: "Absolutely. My goal is to have the gear at Pendleton by May 7. The Marines will fly it over and they are ready to get going on this. Needless to say, plans can always change in a combat zone but this is an undertaking to help turn the tide there." If this works, the Marines and Spirit of America hope to rebuild TV stations elsewhere around Iraq.





Want a piece of the action? Spirit of America's project with the First Marine Division, and how to donate, is at www.spiritofamerica.net, or directly at www.spiritofamerica.net/req_12/request.html or 800-691-2209. It's brand extension of the Marines' now-famous saying: "No better friend, no worse enemy."
Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Fridays in the Journal and on OpinionJournal.com. [/Q]
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Old 04-21-2004, 06:20 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I thought this thread was about the American funded Iraqi Television




Your first post in this thread stated that there were two sides,
and only one side was being reported.


I do not attack the 20-year-olds that killed these innocent Iraqis.


One side might portray them as trigger happy.

What I believe is that they are not properly trained.

There is something wrong with the command structure. Too many erroneous killings of innocent Iraqis are just summarily dismissed.

As I stated before the Iraqis may have hated Saddam, but as time goes on and events like this happen our soldiers will be at greater risks from growing numbers of Iraqis.
The soldiers did everything that could given the situation to protect them. The vehicle did not stop. It would have been irresponsible and a sign of poor training if the soldiers had not fired on the vehicle. Think about how many people have been killed by car bombs.

As far as how the Iraqi's feel, I refer you to the poll in the War forum.

If you still think the soldiers lack training, how about supporting a candidate that has a strong record of funding national defense and the military rather than one that tries to cut it to the bone.
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Old 04-21-2004, 06:29 PM   #33
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Dread,

Thanks for the Spirit of America link.
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #34
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what about Fox News referring to troops as "our troops" or "our heroic troops" instead of American troops? Many international news organizations have pointed to this as being blatant bias coming through on our newscasts.

and while those are nice pics of our soldiers, what about the Bush admin. censoring photos of soldiers' coffins coming home? The photo below was given to the Seattle Times by a relief worker. No journalist is allowed to take pictures of flag drapped coffins arriving home. Isn't something wrong with that?
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:03 PM   #35
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sharky: definetly!
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:41 PM   #36
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While I respect your opinions SHarky and Klaus....the point is that there are many things going on in Iraq that the soldiers in Iraq are doing. If it is left to Al-Hate the USA News.....the Iraqi people are left with the opinions that we are an occupying force there not helping them. When we look at the uprisings of the past month, and the number of Iraqi's that have been killed, I wonder how much of it is inspired by a biased view of what the Coalition is doing. Maybe, just maybe lives could be saved on both sides if a broad picture was presented.


As for your points sharky...they are directed at the administration and the media. Not really relevant when I posted about an organization that has been working hard to do something positive, and not just TV stations if the Wall Street Journal and PBS are correct.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:05 AM   #37
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I see no contradiction in supporting individual soldiers and regreting the actions of a few. Actually I'd rather have them come home and be replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. That seems less likely as time goes on. Antoher country is pulling out in less than two weeks.

I think Al-hate as you call it serves a serious purpose by providing us with the less than rosy picture versus right out of the Pentagon press releases crap that is fed to us by the main networks.

I agree the Iraqi's should also see the good things being acomplished, but what good things does our media show about the US on a nightly basis? Western reporters don't venture out because of security reasons. Why are they not interviewing Sadr or inside Falluja? Maybe if they tried to present a less biased view on a regular basis they would be accepted.
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:01 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
While I respect your opinions SHarky and Klaus....the point is that there are many things going on in Iraq that the soldiers in Iraq are doing. If it is left to Al-Hate the USA News.....the Iraqi people are left with the opinions that we are an occupying force there not helping them. When we look at the uprisings of the past month, and the number of Iraqi's that have been killed, I wonder how much of it is inspired by a biased view of what the Coalition is doing. Maybe, just maybe lives could be saved on both sides if a broad picture was presented.


As for your points sharky...they are directed at the administration and the media. Not really relevant when I posted about an organization that has been working hard to do something positive, and not just TV stations if the Wall Street Journal and PBS are correct.
I completely understand what you are trying to get at Dread, but I also understand the other side of what people are saying. I don't think anyone here is talking out of both sides of their mouth in here. There are multiple sides to every issue and I agree they all need to be shown. All of them need to be shown, not only the ones we want.

But let's be realistic, Iraq is in a transition period(to put it lightly) not even a true democracy yet. The U.S. has been a democracy for over 200 years and we still can't even get fair and unbalanced media. We have a few corporations that own the main media outlets and this administration has now made it even easier for this to happen. This is not going to happen overnight, it may never happen.
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:05 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
I see no contradiction in supporting individual soldiers and regreting the actions of a few.
I'm suprised this wasn't talked about earlier, but even Bush made comments about how he was disappointed in some of the troops actions during his press conference. I thought it was distastful for him to use this medium to express that, but maybe it was just me.
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:52 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharky

and while those are nice pics of our soldiers, what about the Bush admin. censoring photos of soldiers' coffins coming home? The photo below was given to the Seattle Times by a relief worker. No journalist is allowed to take pictures of flag drapped coffins arriving home. Isn't something wrong with that?
And now that relief worker has been fired. They fired her husband too, for some reason.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...coffin22m.html

The article mentions that the policy of not allowing photos of soldiers coffins coming home dates back to 1991.
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:48 PM   #41
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never mind...have fun posting what you wish in the thread.
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Old 04-22-2004, 07:05 PM   #42
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:28 PM   #43
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If I did to an Angel's Alert or to a Data thread what has been done in this one, I would be banned from FYM.

Sorry, I have faith in this place.
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Old 04-23-2004, 02:01 AM   #44
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I don't really see the logic in why that would lead you to be banned
neither do I understand why you posted that here
but ok

I agree with Klaus that I also don't think it's illogical the media focusses on what would be considered "news" for the people in Iraq
and that would indeed be all the crap that goes on in there

it's true that does indeed present a one sided picture
on the other hand it's about the same one sided picture as the rest of the world (except for the USA apparently) is shown since those are the main news facts
like it or not
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:22 AM   #45
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Salome, that was not a dig at the mods. I was trying to make a point about threads that are posted for a good cause. This was one of them. No one disrupts the other threads, and if they did I would expect the mods to take action.
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