War Letter to O'Reilly
From Bill O'Reilly's syndicated column
A few days ago, I was handed an email from the Iraqi front. It came from a U.S. Army colonel in the Third Infantry Division. He is deeply angered over much of the reporting he is seeing in the American media. I have to protect his identity because the Pentagon does not like its officers going off the reservation and providing journalists like me this kind of perspective.
The following is what his email said: "The Third (31D) is making history here. In the past 48 hours, we have destroyed two (Iraqi) divisions, and six other divisions decided not to fight or have formally capitulated. Of course, this is never reported in the news. I do daily air recon in a Blackhawk escorted by Apaches, and we have probably killed close to 10,000 (Iraqi soldiers). We are continuously sniped at and receive periodic mortar fire. Bottom line, they shoot-they die. Every American soldier (here) is getting a chance to engage and kill the enemy.
"Iraq has these maniacs, death squad guys called Saddam Feddyen, DGS forces, IIS, and Ba'ath Party forces that we spend most of our day killing. They continuously make suicidal charges at our tanks, brads (fighting vehicles) and checkpoints. We are happy to send them to hell. You would not believe the carnage. Imagine body parts about knee deep, with hundreds of (Iraqi) vehicles burning, occupants inside. We fill up trucks with body parts daily.
"The plan is going exactly as scripted. The news is full of s---. We have almost total control. Don't know how much longer the division can keep up this pace, but we are prepared to do it."
That a colonel busy killing 10,000 Iraqi soldiers still has time to both watch and criticize the media coverage of the war shows you exactly how powerful our forces have become!
And I guess all those embedded reporters talking about the hard conditions in the desert (constant digging, sandstorms, no cigarettes, scant food rations) have been pulling one over on us. It sounds like this colonel has got cable, Internet access, and maybe even the morning edition of the New York Times.
Or maybe he has none of those things, and just figures that the media is misrepresenting things. But the truth is that mass Iraqi surrenders were well-covered in both print and TV in the first days of the war, and I've read plenty of articles that have put Iraqi deaths for specific battles at over 1000 each.
It is true, however, that the TV news reports haven't been showing trucks filled with body parts.
The colonel's implication is that such images aren't being shown because the media wants to portray the war as a failure, and if you ask me, he's got a point. In fact, I see this as the new measure of media patriotism: if you don't show trucks filled with Iraqi body parts, you're anti-American.
The really curious thing, though, is how O'Reilly acts as if he's not a part of the news media that the colonel is criticizing. After all, as the host of cable TV's top-rated news show, O'Reilly is theoretically in a pretty good position to show the American people the unvarnished, knee-deep-in-body-parts truth of this war.
And if he's deliberately declining to do that, as the colonel suggests, why? And why write articles about the news media's failure to cover the war when he has an hour on Fox News each night to cover it himself if he wants? All it would take is a call to Fox's Iraqi-based correspondents: "Get me footage of Iraqi body-part trucks!"
But for some reason, O'Reilly hasn't done this. For all his personal and professional shortcomings, I always figured him for a patriot. Now, however, I'm starting to wonder...
Note: There is a rumor going around the net that this letter to O'Reilly was a freeper hoax.