The New York Times is not the only newspaper that people across the country read. As Americans know, the coverage of the war in Iraq has been quite extensive, with cable news channels reporting 24 hours a day. Newspaper headlines and front-page stories are essentially all war related, and radio programming includes a great amount of war coverage. There are some that feel media outlets should not report unpleasantness, such as friendly fire incidents and civilian deaths, as vigorously as other war news.
There have been comparisons made between this war and the war in Vietnam, and the way the media covered them. One columnist has written: “Their coverage bears an eerie resemblance to the media’s coverage of the Vietnam war, when the media emphasis was on the bad news, the casualties, the suffering of the Vietnamese people, the deaths of innocent people caught in the crossfire…” There was no “good news” from Vietnam. It was the most disgraceful war, other than the Civil War, the United States has ever fought. There were 56,000 American soldiers killed, and thousands more injured and/or scarred emotionally in this conflict. It spanned parts of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations before it mercifully ended in 1973. My question to Michael Reagan, the columnist quoted to the right, would be: Should the media not report all the war news, good and bad?
In the present war there have been reports of triumph and heroism, such as the rescue of the badly injured Jessica Lynch. This story has captured the hearts of many Americans, and has been shown countless times on all the cable and network channels. This certainly is one of the happier moments of this war. The attack on Iraq could be compared to Vietnam mainly because in each instance our nation was not directly threatened. But the similarity ends there. In Vietnam our troops were fighting in dense jungle, against an enemy that had greater fire power and better trained soldiers than what our forces face today. We did not have near the weapons capabilities that we possess now. The way the Vietnam war was reported should be applauded, because it exposed the horrors of war to those of us that lived during that awful time in our history. People want to know the truth about war, Mr. Reagan, not just partial truth.

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