Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Michael Prysner

Michael Prysner is a veteran of the war in Iraq and an anti-war activist

October 21st, 2010 7:32 PM

Journalists banned from major Afghan offensive

Washington tries to hide the war

A statement from March Forward!

Remember the massive military operation involving several thousand U.S. troops, heavy bombing and artillery that “made the sky light up,” carried out by U.S. forces in Afghanistan over the first two weeks of October? Probably not. Convenient logistical problems caused all the journalists trying to cover the offensive to lose their embeds.

“A capacity issue” kept the New York Times, AFP and other well-known media outlets away from the battlefield from Oct. 1 through Oct. 15. NATO was quick to claim an unverifiable victory, with one official proclaiming that “The Taliban took a scrubbing.” No one was in a position to contest this.

Of course, the reporters were not denied access because there was no place for them to stay. The Pentagon brass knows that they need to conceal the deaths of innocent Afghan civilians and American GIs to bolster popular support for the war. They knew that this operation would involve especially large numbers of both and decided that they could not take the risk.

The offensive was part of a larger push to avoid the appearance of defeat in Kandahar. GIs who have witnessed both the devastation caused by the occupation and the Afghan people’s refusal to accept foreign domination can see that this war is not only unjust; it is also unwinnable. We see the reality of the war that the U.S. government wants to hide from our families, our friends, people in the U.S. and the rest of the world. If the truth about the war continues to become more and more apparent, the international prestige of U.S. imperialism and the myth of its invincibility will be shattered. Working people in the U.S. will grow more and more outraged over their tax dollars being squandered on a senseless war.

Normally, the top brass can rely on the corporate media to dutifully print misleading stories about “victories” and “steady progress.” However, as casualties reach record highs, the defeats and stalemates are getting harder to ignore. Petraeus and his generals decided that for these two crucial weeks they could not allow even the slightest chance that the truth would get out. During these two weeks, 32 U.S. troops were killed in combat—but the Pentagon does not want us to know about that. They want the war off the front pages.

This shocking exclusion of journalists in one of the largest offensives of the nine-year war is part of a larger effort to hide the reality of the occupation. Embedded journalists already face tight restrictions and censorship. Any story displeasing to the Pentagon will have a journalist yanked from the country and banned from going back.

This is the “great democracy” we live in, with its supposed “free press.” We are sent to die in a war that Washington and the Pentagon are deliberately trying to hide from the public.

When the politicians and generals say that we are fighting for the liberation of the Iraqi and Afghan people, or that we are fighting to defend the United States, they are lying. These wars are about nothing more than profit for military contractors, oil corporations, and other big business interests.

It was also a lie when they told us that we would be taken care of when we got home. Instead, an underfunded and uncaring Veterans' Administration has left us on our own to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and many other physical and psychological wounds. Unemployment and homelessness among veterans is catastrophically high.

Veterans and active duty troops are in a unique position to expose the Pentagon’s lies. We know first hand the horrors of the occupations; no press blackout can take that away. Spc. Bradley Manning, if he indeed did leak documents to WikiLeaks, is a hero and has set the standard for all of us in the military.

If we are expected to kill and die in this war, if our families are expected to wait for us endlessly at home, and if working people are expected to fund the war with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, then we all have the right to know the truth.

The banning of journalists from such a major military operation is more proof that Washington knows that the war is both unjust and unwinnable. It is more proof that they will continue to lie, as they have from the beginning, to conceal the reality of the war. And it is more proof that we have the right to refuse to take part in this war, and should instead stand up and fight against it.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles