October 28, 2005

FRUSTRATED

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 War—rather than the actual war itself—was shaped by the media of that time and today’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...

Posted by: Sarah at 05:17 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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October 22, 2005

SON OF A...

This article (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.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:19 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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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.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:20 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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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.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:08 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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October 06, 2005

OU

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...

Posted by: Sarah at 03:45 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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October 05, 2005

1985?

Longtime readers know I think that our popular entertainment is a result of our collective value system; it's the reason I blog so often about Rocky. The American Geek found an interesting article about this very phenomenon: How Hollywood needs to stop worrying and love the flag. It's a very interesting take on why Hollywood is in a slump.

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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.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:37 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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