Why we are going to Iraq
It's time to stop criticizing war reporting, and start participating in it
By Coates and Emanuel Posted in RedState to Iraq | War — Comments (17) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Why do we do this? Because the evidence we see suggests a very different picture of the situation on the ground in Iraq than the one which the media presents day in and day out.
RedState’s cast of Contributors is as intellectually diverse as its readers, and there is no more consensus on Iraq among our writers than there is on immigration, on gay marriage, or on our choice of Presidential candidate for 2008. But within this framework, the two of us share the view of this conflict as an historic enterprise with profound ramifications for Americans and Iraqis--and also for our world. We see hard-won progress and noble sacrifice that can and should lead to victory; however, we see that being threatened by an inexplicable willingness among our political leaders to despair and to capitulate – a willingness which is both fed by, and reflected in, our media, which has embraced the promotion of a vicious and escalating cycle of defeatism.
Against the combined MSM and Congressional juggernaut, our voices can seem very small. We have to wonder every now and again if we are actually seeing the situation clearly – and what we can do to improve our grasp on these events, and on the situation on the ground in the Middle East.
So to that end, we’ve decided to address such doubts by heading over to Iraq ourselves and getting the real story, straight from the source.
After months of emails, telephone calls, offers, and negotiations, the two of us have reached an agreement with the Department of Defense to take part in a trip to Kuwait and to Iraq in late April. This extraordinary opportunity, which stems from the DoD’s renewed emphasis on “new media” outreach, will enable us, and a few of our fellow bloggers, to get some of the first-hand perspective generally reserved for the larger and more heavily financed “old media.”
We are very aware that we're following in the footsteps of New Media pioneers such as Michael Yon, Bill Roggio and Michael Totten, and we look forward to taking similar advantage of this opportunity to bring fresh eyes to Iraq. Of course, in our case, we're going as representatives of the RedState community, and our goal will be to report on the issues that are most important to our readers.
We're very excited about this opportunity to bring you the direct story of what's happening in Iraq, and we hope you'll join us for the journey.
-Victoria Coates and Jeff Emanuel