Newsweek Should Have Reported The Good

Newsweek had a tough time of it last week. They reported a false story and it resulted in a riot in Afghanistan. That riot resulted in the death of 17 Afghanis. But then you already knew that. Perhaps if Newsweek would have looked for the good things our military is doing instead of trying to find ways to discredit them and the Bush administration then things would have been OK. There are more than 31,000 documents and less than a dozen of them discuss any problems with the Qur’an. There is information that the US military went out if its way to ensure the prisoners were afforded the opportunity to practice their religion. Yes, we provided for them and were sensitive to their needs. The prisoners, on the other hand, were the ones, in more than a few instances, who defaced their Qur’ans. It is believed they did this to accuse the soldiers and then incite the other prisoners. This is from MSNBC:

According to Di Rita, when the first prisons were built for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo in early 2002, prison guards were instructed to respect the detainees’ religious rituals. The prisoners were given Qur’ans, which they hung from the walls of their cells in cotton surgical masks provided by the prison. Log entries by the guards indicate that in about a dozen cases, the detainees themselves somehow damaged their Qur’ans. In one case a prisoner allegedly ripped up a Qur’an; in another a prisoner tore the cover off his Qur’an. In three cases, detainees tried to stuff pages from their Qur’ans down their toilets, according to the Defense Department’s account of what is in the guards’ reports. (NEWSWEEK was not permitted to see the log items.) The log entries do not indicate why the detainees might have done this, said Di Rita, and prison commanders concluded that certain hard-core prisoners would try to agitate the other detainees by alleging disrespect for Muslim articles of faith.

..emphasis added.

If Newsweek had concentrated its efforts on telling stories like this then perhaps they would have avoided the embarrassment that they endured last week. The riots might not have happened, or might not have been as bad, and people might not have been killed. In their zeal to find something bad they overlooked a perfectly good story and discredited their organization and gave our nation a black eye. The story does report about a soldier who accidentally knocked a Qur’an on the floor of a cell and many prisoners became upset. The prisoner was taken to many cells to explain that it was an accident. Perhaps this is why there are so many “stories” of Qur’an abuse.

Many claim that the Afghanis were rioting anyway and that Newsweek did not cause the problem. The Afghanis might have been in a state of unrest but there is no way the story did not have an effect. Their rivals find fault with them, why shouldn’t we? Perhaps if Newsweek had reported on the good things there would not have been a riot, or it might not have been as bad, or people might not have died. We will never know because Newsweek took the low road.

Newsweek tried to make our military the fall guy for something the prisoners were doing. If they have no respect for their holy book, at least our soldiers did.



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