Michael Hastings (born in 1980) is a journalist who hates war. He tries to see things from many points of view so he assumes he'd feel differently about violence or war if someone were breaking into his house or enemies were invading his country. And he realizes the flip side of war is adventurism and the excitement of being in life or death situations. That must have been what took him to Iraq and Afghanistan to experience war for himself. When he was a Newsweek correspondent in Baghdad for two years, however, three car bombs woke him up every morning while those in charge of the war were saying how great everything was going in Iraq.
He put himself in the middle of it, not only physically, but also by reporting that got him into deep trouble. He got Afghanistan War commander General McChrystal fired by reporting what his associates said about him in Rolling Stones Magazine in 2010. He reported that General Petreus, taking over a command, made everyone who had gone before him look like an idiot. He reported how the top generals in our country vied to get their pictures on magazine covers and that 27,000 people in the Pentagon have jobs devoted to publicity and marketing. He tells of how journalist John Burns attacked him because he'd heard General Casey had some doubts about the Iraq war and he hadn't reported them. Casey was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 2007 to 2011 and Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq from 2004 to 2007.
Michael Hastings is in love with the truth and has no problems offending people in order to defend it. As a journalist, he's in love with life and death situations. This degree of passion is also found in artists who are uncompromising in their art and their pursuit of their art. Hastings digs deep and has deeply felt and compassionate convictions, traits of the Romantic type in the Enneagram personality system. And he's found the perfect career for expressing himself.
Hastings exposes the way many journalists view themselves as insiders who buddy around with those in power they report on and thus end up serving them. How can they be objective and critical when they're trying so hard to be liked? So in his book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, he has a new name for America, the "Media-Military-Industrial-Complex."
President Eisenhower, a powerful general himself, warned of the Military-Industrial-Complex. Then we went to war with Viet Nam. We keep making the same mistakes. We want to have a great country but we keep killing people, we're too greedy, and we tell too many lies.
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