The man who led British forces during the first Iraq conflict said the Government has been "lucky" that journalists have not reported more from Afghanistan.
Major General Patrick Cordingley told a debate at The Frontline Club in London that the media will have "retrenched and sorted something out by the time the ball goes back on to Afghanistan again. I think in that respect the Government has been quite lucky."
He cited the example, earlier this month, when the British army bombed a school in Nawzad, in the Helmand province near an area where the Taliban had been mortaring British forces.
He said: "You can see where I'm coming from — the John Humphrys of this world would be making hay of this if the Palestinian problem hadn't flared up."
He said that despite being a regular BBC commentator on Afghanistan "nobody has rung me up ever since the Israelis started dropping bombs into Beirut".