Last we looked at a Poll of Iraqis who actually live in Iraq.
The Iraqi news media’s effect on the poll was obvious in one question.
When asked about the security situation in the country, Iraqis overwhelmingly say it is horrible.
But, when asked about the security situation in their own town or neighborhood, a majority of Iraqis give security a passing grade.
If their personal experience is not one of daily bombings and violence, where is the impression of disasterous security coming from?
The same thing applies here in the U.S.
Case in point, Sunday evening’s NBC nightly news.
What is the story?
The usual one. Soldiers killed in the line of duty. Iraqi civillians killed and video of a car bombing in action.
But, what is left out of the story?
Well, a couple hostages freed.
The same media effect that is exhibited on Iraqis, is even more intense in the U.S.
Where Iraqis who live in Iraq have their personal experiences as a frame of reference, the American public does not.
Anecdotally, I experience this every time I tell someone I’m thinking of heading back to Iraq in a few months.
They look at me like I’m nuts. Because to them, Iraq is just one big car bomb.
In my personal experience, it is not one big car bomb. And I should know, I spent 5 months in Iraq with a Marine infantry platoon.
4th Generation Warfare–which is what we are engaged in–is media warfare.
And the terrain includes anchors, reporters, producers and cameramen.
Unfortunately, they do not realize they are the terrain.