By Manuel L. Morato
As the late TV host Inday Badiday, sister of the late Letty Magsanoc used to say when interviewing actors and actresses on her very controversial TV program where many stars pinagsasabong sa show na bago sumagot ang mga guests niya, “Careful, careful…”!
It’s true, social media must exercise care on what they say on television.
What CNN is broadcasting on what happened in Iraq where the top Iranian General Soleimani was killed, allegedly on a mission in Iraq, must exercise sobriety for CNN came very strong on its reportage, such as “putting America in danger;” and may lead America into war with Iraq. There were reporters who were criticizing President Trump in not consulting with Congress before acting.
On my part, I distinctly remember when then Mr. Donald Trump was a presidential candidate in 2016. He criticized the media during President Obama’s term, his predecessor, announcing the movement of troops in Iraq and elsewhere; including the construction of runways in certain areas. The TV news gave the enemies the advantage of knowing beforehand the movement of the American troops. Naturally, it gave tremendous advantage to the enemies of America who were able to counter when and where the American troops would be assigned.
It’s a strategical “no, no” what the media did then that even fomented violent confrontations where so many lives were lost on the part of the American soldiers; and that irresponsible media coverage giving all the secrets of the American forces’ movement proved so fatal and prolonged the war in the Middle East.
Maybe President Trump should be given a chance to explain what had to be done. Long meetings and discussion on the matter covered what ought to be done immediately for all the department heads of his cabinet were present and knew what was happening on the ground. Prudence dictated that the element of surprise had to be resorted to. Imagine had the plan leaked out, the operation would have been called off for Congress would have divulged worldwide on television all the perorations of the Congressmen. As it was said, there was a planned attack/attacks against the American forces. Had it not been stopped, so many American soldiers would have been sacrificed – again!
I know nothing about strategies of war, but common sense tells me that consultation with the President’s official advisers was sufficient to urgently act on the very sensitive situation. Imagine had it leaked out to those in Congress who want to impeach President Trump, the strategic secret of neutralizing the enemies and saving American soldiers’ lives would have gone to naught. Time was of the essence and the enemies must have planned it during the Christmas Season when Christians solemnly observe the birth of Christ, Our Lord. It was indeed ominous; and THAT could have sparked a war.
I understand the Congressmen belonging to the opposite camp. Their principal objective and concentration, and goal is the coming elections. Those running seek the most media exposure for their campaign, not for the good of the country. That’s politics for you! It’s all self-interest what goes on. It’s different on the side of President. He is the sitting President and the load rests on his shoulders.
America, more than any country, has always sacrificed so much to keep peace in the world. While other countries would grab territories in any way they can, America is only after peace in the world. Thank God that America is the most powerful country in the world because of its noble intentions.
What should bother us is to hear reports on television fomenting danger, giving the opposite camp ideas how to retaliate. That is something to be fearful about. Freedom of the press or whatever they call it is not absolute. It, too, calls for great responsibility. There are TV international reporters who are responsible in handling their reportage; and they are mostly men, if I may add. The women reporters come across rather strong and imprudent, almost warning and exaggerating “retaliation” and even giving the enemy ideas to do wrong, just to get back on President Trump, totally disregarding the danger of inciting the enemy to act harshly just to get back on Trump. Don’t they think what’s good for the American people? Itong girian ng Iran at Amerika has been going on for decades. It was really bound to burst. Una-unahan lang ‘yan.
So many scary consequences were discussed by some lady reporters of CNN that I feel were giving ideas to the enemies how to retaliate by speaking about what the enemies of America can do, just to hit on President Trump.
Although I was educated in the U.S. from high school to college, an intern and led a cloistered life as a young student, my parents so desired for me to be educated in the United States. But to be fair, I was not indoctrinated solely to favor the American ways. Not at all. I was educated in American Jesuit schools; and what primarily was imbedded in our mind is to know right from wrong. That’s the formation of a Jesuit product abroad.
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