CNN Uses Medal Ceremony to Take Shot at Surge

For CNN, any opportunity is a good one to take potshots at U.S. policy in Iraq, even a solemn ceremony dedicated to honoring America's brave soldiers. This afternoon at 12:37 pm EDT, CNN International used the cover of a report on soldiers being honored for their valor to challenge MNF-I commander General David Petraeus on the success of the surge. CNN host Michael Holmes, an Australian, introduced the segment with a skeptical spin.

MICHAEL HOLMES: The U.S. troop surge. Is it working? Well, the top U.S. commander there says it’s too early to know for sure. David Petraeus is also urging patience, as the administration has for some time, despite the increasing number of U.S. casualties.

View video here.

Cut to a clip of General Petraeus, explaining that the soldiers being honored had responded to what’s known as a “Fallen Angel” radio call, a report that an aircraft had gone down. CNN reporter Hala Gorani used the facts of the case as a springboard for her bigger point:

CNN REPORTER HALA GORANI: That day in January 12 soldiers died and there were no survivors from the Blackhawk, and the number of U.S. military deaths has not let up since. Last month, one of the bloodiest for U.S. soldiers and Marines since the war began. Fourteen were killed this weekend alone. The American strategy to increase troops has not reduced U.S. casualties. Why?

GEN DAVID PETRAEUS: It’s happening in part because we’re going into areas that the enemy has had sanctuaries for quite some time. The surge has enabled us to go into these areas and to take them back from the enemy and the enemy is not going to allow us to do that without a fight.

GORANI: Should Americans expect a bloody summer because of this, a bloody summer for the troops in Iraq?

PETRAEUS: I think all the commanders on the ground have said that this will be harder before it gets easier.

Those interested in learning about the heroism of the soldiers who were honored at the ceremony can do so by reading here the official narrative of the Silver Star awarded to Chief Warrant Officer Three Jerry D. Sartin.

It’s a good thing CNN wasn't around 63 years ago this week, or else this is how it might have gone.

CNN REPORTER: General Eisenhower, D-Day began yesterday, and yet Allied casualties are actually up from a month ago. Isn't this a sign that the invasion isn't working?


Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.