Monday, April 4, 2011

Is Iraq the New Forgotten War?

A few years ago, we were asking the same question about Afghanistan. It is still very hard for me to understand how the general public disregards the men and women serving in combat operations. According to this report, news coverage is less than one percent of the daily news. Is it the lack of coverage or is it the lack of interest from the public? Which came first? Do we really know?

Is Iraq the New Forgotten War?

April 04, 2011
Stars and Stripes|by Megan McCloskey

Before the sympathy, Britney Hocking sometimes gets skepticism when she shares that her older brother was killed last month in Iraq.

“I’ve actually had people ask me: ‘Do you mean Afghanistan?’ ” she said.

Some also have wondered aloud whether Sgt. Brandon Hocking’s death was a freak accident.

That a Soldier could still be killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device surprises people. Our presence there and the potential for violence has largely faded from the American conscience.

Hocking’s death, one of the latest since the official end of combat operations in August, serves as a grim reminder of what is fast becoming a forgotten war. The United States has spent eight years of war in Iraq, with 4,443 servicemembers killed there. About 46,000 troops remain on the ground in “advise and assist” roles, and 23 servicemembers -- 11 this year -- have been killed since the mission change.

Iraq was once the dominant story on any given front page and nightly newscast. Today, attention has dropped to less than 1 percent of the daily news, according to the Pew Research Center.
read more here
Is Iraq the New Forgotten War

With such little interest in Iraq and Afghanistan, do they have any chance of being paid attention to back home? I doubt it.

Last night the "feel good" making a difference story on NBC was about a man restoring children's books. Good story? Sure but how about reporting on veterans coming home, suffering, healing and then helping other veterans? How about reporting on all the work being done to help all of them? When Lifetime can do a show like Coming Home following Army Wivesbut the national news cannot be bothered to cover the men and women risking their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan, cannot be bothered to report on what it is like on any of the families, or what it is like coming back home, then there is a huge problem in this country. We're great at committing them to fight our battles but then our interest dies off. We have a state of A.D.D taking over the country. When our kids have it, parents do everything possible to get them to focus on what they need to be doing. When the media refuses to get the public to pay attention, this is what we get. A nation filled with people that stopped paying attention after a couple of months.

We forgot about Afghanistan as soon as the debate began about Iraq and then Iraq was the center of everything. Then we forgot about Iraq and Afghanistan for a while until a few reports came out about Afghanistan. Now it's all Libya. We should be ashamed to lack interest but more ashamed of our media for not reminding us about what is going on.

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