October 28, 2005
As I started reading Baldilocks' post In Search of a Survival Plan
, I was thunderstruck. By a completely unoriginal idea.
The concept of the Vietnam WarÂ—rather than the actual war itselfÂ—was shaped by the media of that time and todayÂ’s overwhelming Democrat, leftists, "anti-war" media is attempting, with some success, to shape how the American public thinks about this war.
I've talked to my mom extensively about her generation. I guess it's not hard for me to understand that many people her age think all wars are Vietnam. They lost friends, they sat anxiously and waited to hear the lottery numbers, and they unfortunately participated in America's only half-assed war. I'm sorry they had to go through that. But Iraq is not Vietnam.
When the Guif War started, I was in 7th grade. I saw it on TV and ran to my room, scared out of my wits. I wrote in my diary OH GOD WE'RE AT WAR and went on to write that we would all die. It's hard not to laugh at myself now, since I know I was imagining trench warfare and blitzkrieg. I had no concept of war. Heck, I still have no concept of war, try as I might. I've talked extensively with my husband and his friends, trying to get a sense of what they did in Iraq. But I have managed to figure out one thing, the thing that hit me when I read Baldilocks' first paragraph.
If Iraq really is as bad as the media says it is, why don't I know any soldiers who concur?
Why does Red 6 say that it was "the best year of his life"? Why did my husband's unit softball team love to get together and rehash their "so there we were" stories? Why does my husband think that going to Iraq was the most important and meaningful thing he's ever done? And why does he feel so down in the dumps about being home? If Iraq really is a quagmire, shouldn't he feel relieved?
The soldiers I've talked to think that Iraq was meaningful. They think it was fun, boring, and scary all at once. They think they were helping both Iraq and the United States by being there, and they were proud to serve. Some have already gotten their fill and others are itching to get back, but they all believe a soldier should soldier.
So why don't I feel like the media or the general public groks this?
I think it's sad that my mom says she feels like she has to defend my husband because he wants to continue to contribute to the War on Terror. She says that her friends and extended family simply cannot comprehend that my husband and I are not horrified by the thought of Iraq. And we're just not. If he raised his hand today and volunteered to go back, I'd be extremely proud of him, because I think the only way to win this thing is to see it through to the end, and I'd rather have someone as smart and capable as my husband to lead the way.
My husband is strong enough to go back, and I think it's important enough to let him go. That's why it's so frustrating that the TV is filled with Cindy f-ing Sheehan all the time. That body count and gloom and doom reporting is demeaning to the soldiers who want to see this war through to the end.
Sometimes I get the feeling that the media is as uninformed as I was at 13. Their reports read like a page from my diary, where the sky is falling and we're all gonna die. But "if I got my news from the newspapers also I'd be pretty depressed as well." Thank goodness I have soldiers to give me the straight story.
Maybe some journalists should come have dinner with us and Red 6. Except I doubt he and my husband would let them in the front door...
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this is my last comment on this blog. you need a reality check sarah. go to walter reed or bethseda and ask the troops there if it was as redsix said "it was the best year of my life" i'm positive you'll get a much different answer.cheerleaders for young men and woman winding up in caskets or wheelchairs need to stop and think aboutit .goodbye boiler technician thrid class thomas mullin
Posted by: tommy mullin at October 28, 2005 10:43 AM (NMK3S)
Bye, Tommy. I'm not really sure why you bothered to read my blog in the first place, since you obviously don't agree with me and since you aren't going to change my view of the world. But best of luck elsewhere...
Posted by: Sarah at October 28, 2005 11:18 AM (RSArs)
Tommy, because of the Men & Women fighting to protect freedom you have a bed to sleep in tonight, and you are free to voice your opinion.
Those who have given the ultimate scacrifice and those that have suffered from loosing an arm, or both arms, a leg or both legs or an eye or maybe both eyes, whatever their cost, should cause you to never take for granted those sacrifices. You should also be grateful for your liberties and Freedom. You would have none if it weren't for those who believe in fighting for it.
Posted by: Proud 1AD Army Mom at October 28, 2005 11:49 AM (AeCM/)
Guilt. It's what makes the left go.
Guilt that we Americans have more than the rest of the world, guilt that whiltes are generally born into more affluent and supportive families than non-whites, etc.
It's what makes liberals tick. White, liberal guilt.
And now we have guilt that there are Americans who volunteer for military service, who fight and die, while they would never consider it.
Of course, to cope with their guilt that others are brave enough to serve, liberals (e.g., Democrats, the media, etc.) do all they can to make sure that our involvement in the conflict comes to an end. When it does, they won't have to think about how brave some Americans are, and how "not brave" they are.
I'm not in the military, either. I feel this guilt just as liberals do. The idea that men and women and killed and maimed for something that is very difficult to tie back directly to our national security is something difficult to reconcile yourself with. Men and women signed up to defend our homeland, and it's not always clear that this effort in Iraq (less so in Afghanistan) meets the reason these folks volunteered to put their lives on the line.
But I understand and acknowledge the guilt, but my response is different. It's not self-loathing, like a liberal's.
I know that your husband, Red Six, and every last man and woman who enlists in the military, are better than me.
I may be smart, I may have a good job, but no matter what I do, I know that there are men just like me who are putting their lives on the line, and doing their duty in the name of freedom. My self-worth is downwardly adjusted in the face of the greatness of the men and women who serve in combat. It's natural though.
They're better than me, and I can reconcile myself to that.
Liberals, however, cannot. As a result, they just want to make sure they never have to face the reality of their guilt, so advocating that we pull out or never should have gone there to begin with does the trick for them.
Posted by: Sean at October 28, 2005 04:18 PM (etwyR)
I would be honored to have you and your hunband, who is not Red 6, be my neighbor. Please, please, please.
Posted by: Gil at October 28, 2005 04:57 PM (ZsapK)
There's a lot of sense in what you say. Liberals judge the world in concepts like Justice, (In)Equality and Victim-Oppressor. I happen to think these are valuable social-political constructs, but then I am a liberal. The problem is a profound culture gap in perception. Soldiers, their (general) socio-economic backgrounds and the hardships they bear, neatly fit into liberal definitions of victim, injustice and inequality. We shouldn't blame liberals for that, just as we don't blame non-Indians for failing to consider cows as holy. It's an issue of fundamental differences in perspective. I think of 'soldier' and 'victim' as antonyms, but as a NYC liberal, I doubt I could have reached that understanding if I hadn't been a soldier myself.
Do I think our military men and women unfairly bear the burden and human cost that non-volunteering Americans don't? Yes. But. Our military men and women are in the right and non-volunteers are in the wrong. Too few people understand that, and it's hard to explain to folks who haven't been part of the tradition.
Posted by: Eric at October 28, 2005 09:08 PM (dkUKh)
Liberals like to pretend that any resort to violence is declasse. They lack the comprehension that some people cannot be reasoned with because they want us dead. They consider ANY violence to be a failure. It is bad enough that they hold such stupid views, it is worse that they stop real people from doing what needs to be done.
Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 28, 2005 09:57 PM (wDJE+)
Walter, violence should always be a last resort, at least if you have an IQ over 70 it should. I did my time in the military, and when I was there I would do what I was ordered to. Now I don't have to take orders if I don't want to (if I want to keep my job that is a different story). I thought at the begining of the FUBAR Fustercluck that Iraq has become that it didn't pass the veracity test, I now know that thought was a correct thought. So we should get the hell out, let the three main faction begin their civil war and only when the rest of the neighboring countries beg us to intercede, should we contemplate returning. That is exactly what we did with the former Yugoslavia, why not here, the paralells between them are stunning.
Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at October 29, 2005 12:45 AM (F+lBg)
"This is my last comment on this blog. you need a reality check sarah. go to walter reed or bethseda and ask the troops there if it was as redsix said "it was the best year of my life" i'm positive you'll get a much different answer.cheerleaders for young men and woman winding up in caskets or wheelchairs need to stop and think aboutit .goodbye boiler technician thrid class thomas mullin
I presume you include the amputees who have not only re-enlisted but want to return? The injured who regret that they are not with their unit??
That some injured are unhappy and bitter about their wounds is just human nature... If I'd lost a leg, arm, eye, or other body part.. I'd be feeling the same way or worse..
Lots of soldiers and ex-soldiers feel differently.
Posted by: LarryConley at October 31, 2005 05:34 PM (TKt3d)
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October 22, 2005
SON OF A...
(via Beth) about an Iraqi who trains suicide bombers is just too disturbing for words. I think it's disgusting that Time magazine sat down with this guy...
Al-Tamimi met with TIME in two interviews spanning five hours. He agreed to meet with us after members of the TIME staff approached Iraqi contacts who are close to the insurgency, in an effort to gain information on the ways in which suicide-bombing networks operate.
...but hopefully some good can come of it and someone in the military can learn to identify these dry runs and practice sessions. Still, it's a little too eerily like the North Kosanese issue for me.
Here's my favorite part of the article:
He is so proficient at facilitating suicide bombings that he says his own brother and sister have asked to be considered for "martyrdom operations." He gave them some basic training but advised them to find other, less drastic ways of serving the insurgency. "A suicide bombing should be the last resort," he says. "It should not be a shortcut to paradise."
Let that be a lesson to anyone who thinks being a suicide bomber is honorable. If it were that freaking honorable, al-Tamimi would be proud to help his family members to paradise. But apparently al-Tamimi scruples don't prevent him from making his son into a monster:
He has told his son that he is too young to become a martyr but says he recently taught the child how to make roadside bombs and how to fashion a rudimentary rocket launcher out of metal tubes.
May you burn in hell, al-Tamimi.
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The man should be dead. If we can bomb ball bearing factories we can sure bomb jihad factories.
Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 22, 2005 04:08 PM (wDJE+)
clowns like that are why the troops morale and resolve are so high right now.i've posted many comments before decrying the 43 admin and all the rest that comes with it but this country has no choice but to win this war.these sadists won't win.period.ever.
Posted by: tommy at October 24, 2005 10:31 AM (NMK3S)
Would TIME have conducted an interview with Goering during WWII?
Would TIME conduct an interview in the US with a Mafia don who was planning a string of contract killings? If they did, and failed to inform the authoritites of the location of the criminal so that he could be arrested before committing the crime, wouldn't they face criminal or at least civil liability?
Any lawyers here who could comment on this question?
Posted by: David Foster at October 24, 2005 10:42 AM (7TmYw)
I'm glad to have had the chance to read the interview. I want to understand what we're up against. Some people say that to understand is to excuse, but I don't believe that.
Posted by: Pericles at October 25, 2005 11:21 PM (EpPuP)
I concur with David's comments above. This is crazy!
Posted by: Household6 at October 26, 2005 05:35 AM (T+Tkq)
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October 15, 2005
WEIRD HEADLINE CHOICE
I should've said this a few days ago, but it didn't seem that important at the time. But now that everyone is carrying on about how the conference between President Bush and the soldiers was "staged", I just wanted to say that I thought the weirdest thing was the link from the MSN homepage (now gone, of course): Bush tries to boost morale. I clicked on it out of sheer curiosity, because I thought that it was such a strange headline. It made me imagine President Bush dressed up in Will Ferrell's cheerleader suit
, trying to get soldiers to cheer up and stick with the mission. I don't think the actual interview
had anything to do with cheerleading, so it was bizarre that they said he was trying
to boost morale.
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I'm ambivalent about the value of the story. We do more rehearsing for the average briefing to a one star....pre-brief after pre-brief, happy to glad changes in Powerpoint slides, and the like. Unfortunately, the cameras were on and the satellite feed established. Have to admit, it doesn't look like the event that was advertised.
But does that really matter? For those of us that live in such close proximity to the military, it's no big deal to talk to soldiers every day, but I think that this event was intended to show people locked deep within blue states or so far removed from a military environment a peek inside the kimono as to how soldiers think and speak.
As far as the cheerleading value...I'm more than a little dismayed that we have to resort to these kinds of displays. What happened to the concept of when my nation's at war, I support my troops and my commander in chief.
I know that we've not found any WMD to date (or enough for it to "count" with the MSM.) I know that things look ugly when you tally up a daily body count in Iraq for those falling victim to the cowardly and sinister use of IEDs and suicide bombers. Another thing I know is that we are making progress albeit slow. Rome wasn't built in a day, Germany and Japan weren't pacified in a period of weeks following their surrenders either.
This is an effort that's worthwhile. It's one we should see to the conclusion.
See you on the high ground.
Posted by: MajorDad1984 at October 15, 2005 10:42 AM (tdEnf)
Worthwhile like Vietnam was worthwhile?? Give me a break Iraq was a FUBAR mission designed to preserve their oil fields for "western interests". Blood for oil is always going to be an unfair exchange.
Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at October 15, 2005 08:41 PM (vMq9m)
Thanks, Bubba Birdbrain, for clearly delineating the low ground for all of us. Congratulations to our guys in Iraq - an almost totally peaceful election day, unlike last year. We are making progress AND taking the high road.
Posted by: Oda Mae at October 16, 2005 06:46 AM (Kb1cL)
Well, Bubba...since our economy is so dependent upon fossil fuels, where are we supposed to get our oil?
Apparently we've decided that it's okay for the "brown" people in the Middle East to potential drill for and pump the hazardous stuff out of the ground...as long as an spills happen OVER THERE.
If the folks on what I'll assume are on your side of the "aisle" would yank their heads out of their fourth points of contact (ask a paratrooper) and allow us to drill, pump, and refine our own supplies, perhaps we wouldn't have to put our soldiers' lives on the line to secure our national interest....and yes, that's OIL pure and simple.
I've driven along the Alaskan pipeline...and from what I'd heard, I was expecting a landscape like I saw on the moon for the first time in 1969. Not true at all. Everything was green, lush and the moose I saw didn't seem to mind the millions of gallons flowing along just above their heads.
Open up Alaska for more drilling...and we'll have a concurrent "Manhattan project-like" effort to reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels. Unfortunately, it will be a more expensive proposition. Hope you have a Republican in the White House to blame for the increase in prices!
See you on the high ground...I see you way down there!
Posted by: MajorDad1984 at October 16, 2005 11:52 AM (tdEnf)
The cheerleading reference may have been to Bush's own past as a male cheerleader in college. You know about that, don't you? So he doesn't need to borrow anyone's suit, he could just go to the closet and dig out his old one and remember the good ol' days.
Posted by: WCW at October 16, 2005 04:11 PM (n17hK)
Rehearsed? The Army rehearses everything they do. That is why they win all their wars, this one in exceptionally short time.
Do you think anyone goes on TV without someone saying "You guys stand over there, and someone get over here and comb hair."?
The more goals Bush attains, the louder the shrieking gets and the more trivial the criticisms.
Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 16, 2005 05:16 PM (wDJE+)
Sarah, I saw that article, and had the same reaction. It was the first one I saw about the teleconference, so I was expecting something difference because of the headline. I wanted to blog it, but couldn't remember the exact headline and what news service it was.
Btw, if you still want to find it, just google it and hit "cache."
Posted by: Fuzzybear Lioness at October 16, 2005 08:32 PM (5I8b6)
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JUMPED THE SHARK
A sad day has come: my husband no longer wants to watch The Simpsons
We hadn't seen any new episodes since spring 2003, so we were excited when they started showing them on AFN Korea. But after four weeks, my husband shut off the TV and said that he was through. A global warming joke every week is a bit too much.
I started getting skeptical when I heard Michael Moore was going to be a guest last year, but it honestly feels like every episode is peppered with Democratic Underground memes. The Simpsons used to be about timeless plots: starting a barbershop quartet, going off to summer camp, writing an Itchy & Scratchy episode. The last episode we watched was a glimpse ten years into the future, complete with global warming turning Alaska into a beach, a military draft for Gulf War Five, and the 51st state being Saudi Israelia (I still don't understand what they were getting at there.) And this garbage is from the same genius minds that made Futurama?
Bart and Lisa go on a field trip to Springfield Glacier...which is the size of an ice cube now. Hardy har har. Give me "I Love Lisa" over this crap any day.
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Just wait 'til you get back to the states and watch the new series (any new series). The libs in H'wood are really ramming their philosophy/wisdom down the throats of the unwashed masses.
Posted by: Pamela at October 15, 2005 05:14 PM (oKtxg)
the simpsons have been a left-leaning politically c'mon sarah look at lisa simpson vegeterian,educated,kind to the enviroment,etc... and it is as funny back when it came out as it is now.i guess it's how people's views can change more than show itself.and global warming IS real.
Posted by: tommy at October 15, 2005 05:53 PM (NMK3S)
Nobody is saying that Global warming ISN'T real tommy boy. Catastrophic predictions from the environmentalist crowd predict a few degrees over the next fifty years. Not beaches in Alaska eight years from now. Swiftian satire, perhaps? If that's what they intended, they missed. That's my real objection with the simpsons the last few years. It's not the politics. It's the fact that it's not funny anymore.
Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Reiss and Conan O'brien made the show great when they had creative control over the show. They hit their peak around '97-'98. Yes, there was no secret about their political affiliation. Side show Bob Roberts in season six shows Dracula as a Republican, Homer's adventures into the NRA, etc. The difference was that it was funny back then. Funny and it generally avoided the overtly political and topical humor that made Murphy Brown only watchable to those on the creator's side of the political spectrum. The only instance I can think of this happenning during the Simpsons' golden era was Birchibald T. Barlow's obvious spoof of Rush Limbaugh. Political yes but it was FUNNY.
But in the episode Sarah mentions there are three references to global warming. The Saudi Israelia crack? Principal Skinner is forced to steal computers for the school because, "this is Dick Cheyney's America."? Give me a break. This is the Simpson's of Ian Maxtone Graham. The Harvard educated hack who only got the job from his Conan connections at Saturday Night live. The real Simpson's died when Groening left to create Futurama in 1997.
You can watch seasons four, five or six over and over and still laugh. Topical humor, particularly when it's crammed with way off the scale lefty snickering isn't funny now and it won't be funny when they try and sell the DVDs in a few years. The Simpsons of the last few seasons are the Terry Schiavo of television. We should put it out of it's misery a long time ago.
Posted by: Sarah's Husband at October 16, 2005 07:10 AM (qZ3DI)
i see your point captain.and it's valid to a large extent.all i was trying to say was the simpsons were always satrical politically.and usually on the side of the left like me.BTW it was good to see the elections went off fairly smoothly.american military veterans like myself want to see you guys complete the mission succesfully.we just don't like and far more importantly trust the commander-in-chief.
Posted by: tommy at October 16, 2005 11:30 AM (NMK3S)
Simpsons out, Family Guy in.
Posted by: Tanker at October 16, 2005 11:58 AM (btzDE)
Gore's daughter was the force behind Futurama. Just like there is only one brain in the Kennedy family,and Teddy is still misusing it, there may only be one brain for all the Gores.
Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 16, 2005 05:21 PM (wDJE+)
Well, there's still South Park. Equal opportunity, and simply anti-idiot no matter what side the idiot is on.
Posted by: Kalroy at October 16, 2005 07:22 PM (9RG5y)
American Dad is pretty funny too. It pokes fun at patriotism, etc., but it's so over-the-top that it's hilarious.
Posted by: FbL at October 16, 2005 08:35 PM (5I8b6)
The Simpsons were always left-leaning; look at Mr. Burns, for example, the prototypical robber-baron capitalist. My impression, though, is that the show's quality has declined over the last few years (although I only watch sporadically). Individual jokes may be just as good, but the stories don't have the same coherence. You don't get to the real plotline until you are 5 or 10 minutes in.
The difference between Kennedy and Bush dynasties seems to be that the Kennedy brain gets passed down whereas Bush senior isn't giving theirs up until he no longer has a need for it himself.
Posted by: Pericles at October 17, 2005 08:19 AM (EpPuP)
OK, but left-leaning isn't the same thing as "look at me, I'm a leftie", which seems to be the case now. I mean, "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington" was both patriotic and critical of government...whereas one recent episode had a Canadian say he'd love to go to the US and see the feeble-minded executed. What is that? That's just a dig at the US for the sake of having one. Or the end of the episode where Selma tries to adopt a Chinese baby and the music says that she'll go to the US and get fat and dumb. Remember the good old days when Homer used to shout USA! USA! when anything good happened to him? Those days are gone...
Posted by: Sarah at October 17, 2005 10:16 AM (VW35q)
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October 06, 2005
For God's sake, with a system like this, if the country came under enemy attack, the only people who'd know it would be bloggers!
My mom went to Oklahoma University, so she noticed when the crawl at the bottom of the TV said that someone had blown himself up there. But she searched and searched for additional information: nothing else that night on the TV nor in the local paper in the morning. She told me about it, and I found some info on blogs. But why did we have to turn to blogs for reporting of such an event?
Eric of Classical Values has a post with lots of details about what the media is and is not reporting. Funny how a Muslim convert who tries to enter a sports arena and blow himself up isn't news...
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No, CNN is not a blog. And CNN did not mention anything about the guy's connections to radical Muslims. I'm pretty sure that was the point of Sarah's post, but thanks for giving us the link to MSM's watered down generic non-news.
Posted by: Oda Mae at October 07, 2005 08:00 AM (FmIVz)
Through Googling I saw some blogs which said he had been linked to an Islamic center. Looked like unconfirmed rumor at this point; I saw no hard evidence on the two or three sites I read, anyway. Maybe it will turn out to be true; I can't say it won't. Should the media report it before it is confirmed, though? If they did, and then it turned out to be false, then bloggers would be blasting them for that.
Posted by: Pericles at October 07, 2005 10:20 PM (EpPuP)
Posted by: Sarah at October 08, 2005 05:30 AM (ncie4)
Fair enough. Although I think that the errors in the New Olreans reporting were actually errors in a conservative direction rather than a liberal one. The original reports depicted New Orleans's poor welfare recipients as vicious animals, more or less. I saw several conservative commentators jump on this point in various ways, for example to criticize welfare. You posted a link to the "Two Tribes" essay that was in this vein, and another was all over the Internet. I think that the media has a huge bias toward sensationalism, more than they have any political bias. It comes from the fct that most of the media is now in the nads of a few profit-hungry corporations, and the ethos of serving the public is breaking down.
Also, I think that it is sometimes easy to pick on small mistakes in the details of reports to ignore the substance. Okay, so the Koran wasn't flushed... intstead, it got urine sprayed on it. Would that story coming out have been any better? The fact that CBS ran with faked National Guard memos about Bush was a big win for Republicans, because it distracted people from the other evidence. I remember a great quote from the secretary of the Texas ANG unit. She said she knew the memos were fake, because she would have been the one to type them and didn't and because the commander ould never have put such things on paper. But she went on to add that the memos did capture exactly the sentiments that the commander freely expressed verbally about Bush around the office.
Posted by: Pericles at October 08, 2005 09:27 AM (EpPuP)
Bombs at Georgia Tech and UCLA too.
Once is a fluke.
Twice a coincidence.
Three times is enemy action.
Posted by: Purple Avenger at October 11, 2005 01:26 AM (kRxBU)
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October 05, 2005
October 01, 2005
SAME OLD SAME OLD
Sometimes I just get so frustrated that I don't know why I bother caring.
I was interested in reading this blog entry dubunking the recruiting slump, but as I dove deeper into the comments section, I found we're still arguing over whether Iraq had any ties to al Qaeda. My comments section recently went through a fight over whether Iraq had any WMDs. Everywhere I look, we're still arguing over the same fundamental differences in common ground that we've been arguing over for three years.
The straw that broke my back this morning was one quote from Kersten's article:
"The more play the press gives Cindy Sheehan," [Lt. Col. James] MacVarish concludes, "the better the terrorists' chances are of ultimately succeeding here."
We've heard this before, with CPT Powell being the most famous to point out the difference between the Iraq soldiers see and the Iraq the media sees. But this is nothing new; we've been having these fights with the press since the Tet Offensive. It's extremely infuriating to know that we learned nothing from the last time around. Negative press can lose wars, even if the military is winning. The thing is, I've heard this statement made in just about every letter to the editor and article written by people in the military, yet the media keeps ramming bad news down our throats. They completely ignore the men they're interviewing and continue doing whatever they want.
I'm just tired of seeing the same things played out on the internet over and over. Tired of every discussion turing into WMDs and Bush lied. Tired of reading scores of ignored soldier complaints that the media is being too pessimistic. Tired of nothing changing.
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...and gosh, and one of the guys spewing the same old talking points has appeared in other comments sections as well... spewing the same things. Surprise, surprise.
Sarah: I suspect it's part of what counts as a strategy for them. Keep spewing the same points over and over, ignore any refutations, and when people just get tired of the whole thing and don't bother meeting any or all of the same darned points they keep spewing THEN they claim victory.
It's a tactic older than Usenet. Though when DejaNews came out, that tactic became a bit less useful since one could simply run a search and gosh, find all the refutations the poster claimed never happened actually were made months or years before when the poster tried it the first few times. Then post the results and watch the person making the claims that no one had refuted them sputter and try to pretend they didn't exist.
Posted by: Patrick Chester at October 01, 2005 06:41 AM (74cXW)
I understand your frustration with the way the media seemingly refuses to look at issues through any other lens than the one they choose. If you spend more than 5 minutes at some of the larger milblogger sites, you know as well as I do, that there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines doing things that would make Mother Theresa smile from ear to ear. On the flip side, there are a handful of bad apples that would make her reach for the metal-edged ruler and wield it like a Jedi Knight as well. Unfortunately, the bad apples get all the ink and air time.
Keep the faith...and keep up the fire. While we might not be as highly trafficked blogs as the "big guys" we are definitely making a difference.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
You, me, and all the other like-minded bloggers are doing something!
Posted by: MajorDad1984 at October 01, 2005 09:34 AM (tdEnf)
The soldiers' perspective is certainly part of the story. At the same time, though, I don't think that line soldiers are necessarily the best observers of how the war as a whole is going. The qualities that make for a good soldier woould probably get in the way of objective assessments. It is like asking the players on a football team what their chances of winning the game are. They could be down 28-0 at halftime, but many will probably still be optimistic about their ability to come back. They're competitors, and they've got to convince themselves that they have the potential to come back. If you couldn't get yourself psyched up this way, you wouldn't be a good football player. I always want my Steelers to think they are still in the game, no matter how bad it looks for them. Still, if I'm on the outside trying to decide who is going to win, then I'm not going to take a player's opinion as the final word on the subject. I'm not saying that we are beind 28-0 in Iraq; I am just saying that there is such a thing as being too close to and involved in a situation to be able to see it as it really is.
Also, I think that there is an attitude that military/ex-military people tend to take about dissent during wartime that is understandable but dangerous. When you're in the military, there is little or no role for dissent from the leadership. If you are at the lower levels, maybe it is never appropriate. Maybe higher level offices get to dissent to a point, during planning, but when they are given a legal order they are supposed to obey it. It has to be that way, and it is admirable that people in the military are able to abide by this requirement. A military unit couldn't function if people were arguing and criticizing the leadership; they tried it in the Spanish Civil War and got crushed by the fascists. Even during wartime, though, the U.S. is not a military unit. We are a democracy, and dissent and criticism are always permitted. My impression is that people who have had the importance of getting everyone on the same page and doing what they're told instilled into them sometimes find democracy a little hard to cope with. They expect the country to function as a team united behind its leadership. That isn't democracy, though. We have to choose the leadership, and in order to make informed decisions we have to be able to criticize their performance.
Posted by: Pericles at October 01, 2005 10:13 AM (EpPuP)
Hmm. I'm pretty sure I'm a member of ex-military democracy and I'm pretty sure that I'm behind the war in Iraq and our president because I think it's the right thing - in SPITE of the media telliing me over and over that I'm wrong.
And military leaders do listen to dissent, contrary to what Pericles would like to believe. But reasoned, rational dissent used to discuss various outcomes so that a good decision can be made - we don't listen to people without solutions, just more ways of describing problems. That's not dissent, that's just the jabbering of parrots, to paraphrase that great statesman, Winston Churchill.
The problem with the media is that they do not present a balanced picture of the situation. To use Pericles' football analogy, at halftime the score could be Iraqi Insurgents 3 - American Soldiers 43 and the headline would be "American Soldiers Slip Up - Iraqis Score" and that would be IT, except for interviews with anyone around who agrees with the negative assessment.
Soldiers on the ground might not be able to see the big picture, but they can certainly see it better than persons at home being spoonfed every negative aspect the press can dig up. The point is whether reporters are deliberately trying to help the anti-war movement by over-emphasizing certain stories - *cough, Sheehan, cough* - and ignoring any story that would cause stateside citizens to have pride in the military and the achievements in Iraq that have helped the population and begun to build bridges with the new government. In reality, the large part of the population of the U.S.that supports our efforts in Iraq has no voice.
In today's age, dissent and criticism of the President, the war or anything related are golden cows, to be coddled and presented with dinner on the nightly news (if you still watch it.) And no DISSENT from any other citizen will be allowed in there to crowd the,uh, DISSENT from our Cindy or others like her.
Posted by: Oda Mae at October 01, 2005 02:10 PM (iA6ia)
Sorry, Pericles, I just re-read my post and I don't mean to take you on personally, just the generalizations. (And, of course, add generalizations of my own, as one does!) I guess we're not going to change each other's opinions, but it's fun to try, isn't it?
Posted by: Oda Mae at October 01, 2005 02:38 PM (iA6ia)
Oda Mae---No worries. We disagree, but your post didn't close to any lines of civilized discussion, let alone cross any.
Posted by: Pericles at October 01, 2005 03:39 PM (EpPuP)
I've been thinking a lot about the press over the last few months. But there are a few things new out. More conservatives are on the air with Rush and Fox News. And don't forget blogs. Newspaper articles now quote them and some are a source for articles because they are so well researched. Our kids are also becoming increasingly conservative.
Our press is now selling sensationalism and emotion, not news. To believe our own press we are going to hell in a hand basket, we are a country of greedy, racist wimps, etc. We have problems, and we need to keep working on them, but we are at the top of the world heap in many respects.
My real problem with the press is only whiners get on TV (Hurricane Katrina). Where are the heroes, the people responsible for themselves that will rebuild without help from the government?
Whiners, not heroes. Hopelessness, not hope.
On the brighter side, many see us like our press reports us, not as we are. Al Queda seriously underestimated us, as do many others; including ourselves. DonÂ’t forget the silent majority. Those productive folks in the middle that work day after day, deal with what life throws at them and continue to build this country. Our wimp ratio is much lower than reported.
Posted by: Xopherman at October 02, 2005 10:18 AM (0FvF9)
I don't watch that much TV news, but I just turned on CNN and there was a report the troops in Iraq. They showed a Marine being presented with a silver star, talked some about what he did to earn it, talked a little about an attack in which he was wounded. He did a lot of the talking, and at the end he said quite a bit about how the troops there believe the mission is sound, are glad to be doing it, etc. Nothing the reporter did could be considered as expressing scepticism. It was exactly the kind of report that some people here seem to insist doesn't exist, and it was on the---what do right-wingers call it?---the "Comminust News Network."
Makes me wonder if press negativity about the war is somewhat exaggerated. I don't doubt that the people who talk about it really believe it, but maybe their perception is a little off.
Posted by: Pericles at October 02, 2005 08:02 PM (EpPuP)
On the recruiting slump, by the way, this comes close to lying with numbers. It may look like goals aren't being missed by much, but the thing is that they are reducing the goals. Just in February alone, new enlistments were over 1,900 below the goal. In May, the Army fell over 1,600 below its goal. PLUS, in May the Army actually dropped its goal to 6,070 from 8,050. It missed its original goal for that month alone by about 3,000.
Posted by: Pericles at October 04, 2005 07:55 AM (EpPuP)
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