Friday, November 26, 2010

Where is the news coverage?

As the mother of one U.S. Army soldier currently serving in Afghanistan, and the mother-in-law of another serving there, I have an urgent question: Where is the news coverage?

My soldiers are serving with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. As I wrote here yesterday, the 101st has been suffering - in my maternal opinion - alarming losses. I have seen very little news coverage of this.

I am looking for the media, along with U.S. and NATO leaders, to do a much better job of telling us how things are going in Afghanistan. What the media owes us is clear, fair, daily reporting on the Afghanistan War, along with good analysis.

Yesterday, I wrote that I was struggling with how to think about this war. Although in the 1960s and 1970s, I had strong political views about Vietnam, that is not the issue for me now.

In his very good book about the Afghanistan war, Sebastian Junger wrote:

It was a weird irony of the war that once you were here - or your son was - the politics of the whole thing became completely irrelevant until very conservative families and very liberal ones - there were some- saw almost completely eye to eye (War, 2010).

My struggles have nothing whatsoever to do with choosing to support or not support our troops in their brave efforts. Rather, it is a frustration born of not knowing, of not having enough information to form a complete picture of the current situation.

Many American and NATO families like ours have skin in this game. We deserve to hear much more about the war and a lot less about Black Friday and royal weddings. Our deployed troops deserve this most of all.