Enough, Already

Or, Maybe We Should Wear Targets, Too?

The recent stories about the investigation into the alleged Haditha massacre by U.S. Marines have mostly served to show just how irresponsible, mendacious, and un-American our media, and many of our “public servant” politicans, can be.

I thought they’d hit bottom already, but I was wrong.

Tony Blankley has some words of wisdom for these Haditha pile-jumpers, in a must-read piece called “Media Danse Macabre”.

The Marine incident, and its aftermath, at Haditha tells us much more about the media than it does about the Marines. And what it tells us ought to outrage us to the core.

Yes, indeed. That it does.

On every radio and television show I appeared on last week (and all I observed) in which this topic came up, without exception at least one of the media people immediately attempted to implicate not just the still-presumed-innocent Marines, but the American military’s leadership and methods in general.

This shows a couple of things, at least: that most of these media pundits know next to nothing about the U.S. military, and that they don’t have enough respect for it to make the effort to find out about it. Take a poll of journalists and find out how many of them even know somebody who has served, much less have someone from their family that has served; I’m guessing it’s in the 5% range, at the most. This is not a group of people that is in touch with the military itself, or the people who volunteer for it.

Worse, they’re proud of that distinction, as if they’re too valuable to debase themselves by serving their country. But fortunately, we have thousands of highly qualified, college-educated, young military officers, and mature beyond their years 18-22 year old enlisted men, who are willing to risk their lives to protect those too self-absorbed to defend themselves.

The “Drive By Media” (Rush Limbaugh’s scientifically accurate description) has already started to report this story in a manner that is likely to do vast damage that may last for several years to the morale (and possibly recruitment) of our military. It will create a propaganda catastrophe of strategic proportions in our mortal struggle with radical Islam and its terrorist spear point.

And all this is being done by journalists who are seemingly oblivious to the consequences of their acts.

Actually, I think calling them “oblivious” is giving them too much credit. It seems self-evident to me that they are actively fighting against the American side, by offering aid and comfort to the enemy in the form of a general lack of criticism against that enemy. When we capture enemy combatants on the battlefield — wearing no military uniform, fighting under no sovereign flag, and hiding behind little girls in schoolyards — and then get international criticism for interrogation techniques like water-boarding and letting dogs bark too close to their faces, something is seriously wrong. There is senstivity, and then there is moronic.

In the case of enemy combatants, and knowing what we know now, we should probably have just shot their contemptible asses and left them dead in the street for wild dogs to eat. Sure, we’d have lost the potential intel we could have gained by instead capturing and interrogating them, but at this point, looking back, you have to wonder if the intel we may have gained was worth it. It surely did cost us alot in bad press. And that image of wild dogs chewing on the bodies of dead terrorists might have left an impression on a few future terrorists, no? News flash, this is not a needlepoint competition.

It is commonplace to observe that since the dawn of man — and currently — in the crucible of battle, warriors sometimes cannot contain their emotions and their violent actions. It is amazing our troops act as civilized as they do in combat.

It is particularly commendable of our American troops that they willingly go into battle under such restrictive rules of engagement that they are required to constantly risk their own lives in order not to offend civilians/terrorists(?) until they are almost sure they are really combatants.

No other military force in history has been so tightly limited in its defensive actions. And probably no other military force has been sufficiently disciplined to maintain such restrictive rules in the heat of combat. God bless our troops — if not necessarily the policy that so restricts them.

For the parents, wives, husbands and children of our young warriors who are killed because they followed the restrictive rules and didn’t fire first, this is a damned bitter pill to swallow — whatever the geopolitical wisdom of it.

But what further cuts is to listen to media people casually perpetrate libel against not just the still-presumed-innocent Marines but against our services more generally. To see the gleam in the eyes of reporters happily cackling on about “other possible incidents” — about which they know not whether they even exist — is to be filled with a fury that we have a system of journalism that permits people with such mentalities to poison the minds of the world with their malice.

So the larger point here is that the media — yes, nearly the entire media, not just select parts, unfortunately — is filled with boundless joy that it may have another My Lai Massacre on its hands. How many times, I wonder, are we going to see Page 1 stories that amount to nothing more than “The Haditha investigation continues, nothing new today, but we wanted to mention it in case you had stopped thinking about it for 10 seconds”?

OK, we get it, you’re cheering for a guilty verdict, and want to gin that up into national shame and embarrassment. Point taken.

Here’s an idea: have a big tall glass of Shut The Hell Up. If the media is so concerned about Iraqi innocents dying, why did they largely ignore the stories out of Iraq during the 90s of murder and torture — on an institutional scale — by Saddam Hussein? CNN had a choice, well before Operation Iraqi Freedom, to report the truth from Iraq; they instead decided to allow Saddam Hussein to censor their reporting, ostensibly to retain access and to protect their Iraqi sources. Access to what, unfortunately, isn’t exactly clear; what use is access to a murderous regime if you don’t report on the crimes of the murderous regime?

So, if you’re keeping score at home:

  • institutionalized murder and torture by Saddam’s evil minions: not reported
  • rare alleged murder by U.S. military, investigation underway: reported, over and over and over

Reporting like this is not helpful.

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the Haditha allegations are true, and that Marines went on a murdering spree driven by righteous anger over the senseless killing by IED of a fellow Marine. What does this mean, really? How should we process it?

Intuitively, we know that such events are polarizing; there isn’t much of a gray, fuzzy middle ground to trod upon. The obvious sympathies lie with the alleged Iraqi victims, but there are also sympathies for the Marine victims, who we do know for a fact lost a friend to an IED. If they snapped and went on a murdering spree, do we take that as a signal that our entire mission over there, to democratize a nation and bring the same freedoms to them that we so casually enjoy, is fruitless? Why would anybody make that leap? Other than to score cheap political points, that is. Saddam Hussein’s thugs killed more than that on a weekly basis for years.

Or, maybe you sympathize with nobody, and view it as another chapter in a long story called The Fog of War. In the long view of history, this is the best way to view any and all actions that occur during wartime. It’s always complicated. And usually, the side you’re on usually indicates your take on what is right. We firebombed Tokyo in 1945 and burned 100,000 people to death; we did this ostensibly to help win the war. Is that wrong? I don’t claim to know. How do you make the case that you should hold back on any killing power, when the alternative is putting your own armed forces at higher risk?

The point is, the choice one makes here says volumes about what one believes to be important in a battle of life and death. I.e., who you really want to win in a sometimes ugly guerilla war where even dead bodies are rigged with explosives.

The media has weighed in, loud and clear, that they side with the Iraqis. Just like they did in Vietnam.

Which leads to this inevitable conclusion: the U.S. media is guilty of attempting to sway public opinion, and will this war into another long, national Vietnam nightmare. Except to them, it wasn’t a nightmare, it was a victory. A victory for pacifism and protestors. A victory for smelly, skinny draft-dodging hippies who stayed in college for 7 years and learned to play guitar so they could bed skinny long-haired college chicks.

I’m just not sure what to make of all this any more. I’m a trusting soul; I don’t like to assume the worst about people. Or even, in some cases, journalists. But I just don’t understand what the hell is going on in these people’s heads. Again.

Where are the centrists and the “reasonable middle”? Where are the voices that say “we hope this isn’t true, because we actually want America to win, but if it is, we should prosecute and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again”? Instead we get cheerleading. Against the home team.

We don’t need this.

I now have to assume that, generally speaking, U.S. journalists, and those who share their world view, are actively rooting for the other side. And that’s a hell of a thing to do during a war, when young people, some of the best young people we have, are risking their lives for the cause of freedom.

Here’s a truism: when the positions you take are the same as those who intend to defeat you, you are in fact rooting for the other side. It would just be nice to hear somebody admit it for a change. And then, quit yapping about it, pack your stuff, and go somewhere where you can still whine like a little bitch, but blend in better.

I hear the U.N. is hiring.

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