Military.com (news July 11):
The head of the Marine Corps said he sees some similarities between the Iraq and Vietnam wars, including dogged insurgencies and an erosion of domestic support as each conflict dragged on.
But Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, said he saw as many differences, most notably the absence of a draft today. He criticized the media for reporting a drumbeat of bad news out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"There's a level of negativism in our press today that our young troops find a little bit disconcerting," Conway said Tuesday night while addressing several hundred members of the Marines' Memorial Club. "I've talked to very few troops who have come back from theater who haven't had to go through about a two-week transition of saying, 'That's not what I saw taking place, but that's what the country's being shown every day.'"
Moreover, Conway said, terrorists are using the Western media to advance their causes.
"When they were cutting off the heads of those unfortunate individuals in the orange jumpsuits, that poor individual was the immediate target, you were the real target," he said. "It is truly a tool in the kitbag of the terrorist to have this repetitive battle damage assessment broadcast on a 24-hour basis."
Conway offered an optimistic portrait of the Iraq war even as key allies of President Bush abandon the White House's stay-the-course strategy. Incremental progress is being made on a number of fronts, including the training of Iraqi security forces, he said.
"The fact is, there is no civil war taking place," Conway said, while acknowledging "there is certainly sectarian strife" inflamed by terrorists.
He commanded the Marine Expeditionary Force during two tours in Iraq.
The MSM isn't giving much attention to the progress made their right now either. Even though the reports are smack-dab in front of their faces.
The widely anticipated report, to be released soon, grades the Iraqi government as satisfactory on eight of 18 goals set by the U.S. Congress. It showed that on eight of the benchmarks Baghdad's performance was unsatisfactory, and mixed on two others.
So it's even with the benchmarks set, and we all know that the defense benchmarks are stellar right now. It's the political benchmarks that are lacking. This was also referenced in the Pentagon's report recently which was completely falsified by Harry Reid.