Jewish World Review August 10, 2005 / 5 Av,
Trashing our history: Troops in Iraq
Back in June, this column pointed out that it is impossible to
fight a war without heroism but that you would never know that from the
mainstream media. Nothing heroic done by American troops in Iraq is likely
to make headlines in the New York Times or be featured on the big three
broadcast network news programs.
That fact has now been belatedly recognized in a New York Times
opinion piece, but with a strange twist.
After briefly mentioning a few acts of bravery in Iraq
including a Marine who smothered an enemy grenade with his own body, saving
the lives of his fellow Marines at the cost of his own the Times' writer
said, "the military, the White House and the culture at large have not
publicized their actions with the zeal that was lavished on the heroes of
World War I and World War II."
Think about that spin: The reason we don't hear about such
things is because of the Pentagon, Bush and "the culture at large."
Neither the Pentagon, the White House or "the culture at large"
can stop the newspapers or the televisions networks from publicizing
whatever they want to publicize. They all have reporters on the scene but
what they choose to feature in their reports are all the negative things
they can find.
The very issue of the New York Times in which this essay
appeared August 7th featured a front-page picture of a funeral for a
Marine killed in Iraq. If you judged by the front page of this and many
other newspapers, our troops in Iraq don't do anything except get killed.
The plain fact is that the mainstream media have been too busy
depicting our troops as victims to have much time left to tell about the
heroic things they have done, the far greater casualties which they have
inflicted on their enemies, or their attempts to restore some basic services
and basic decencies to this country that has been torn apart for years by
internal and external wars even before the first American troops arrived
on the scene.
The unrelenting quest for stories depicting American troops as
victims including even front-page stories about the financial problems of
some National Guardsmen called to active duty has created a virtual
reality in the media that has no place for heroes.
Senator John Kerry has called the activation of reservists and
National Guardsmen "a backdoor draft," as if joining the reserves or the
National Guard is supposed to mean an exemption from ever having to fight.
The theme of troops as victims has been a steady drumbeat in the media,
because of the way the media have chosen to filter the news, filtering out
heroes, among other things.
This virtual reality can become more important than any facts.
Even a young lady interviewer on Fox News Channel of all places
recently asked a guest how long the American people will be able to continue
supporting the war in Iraq with all the casualties.
All the American deaths in Iraq since the war began are not even
half of the deaths of U.S. Marines taking the one island of Iwo Jima in a
couple of months of fighting. And Iwo Jima was just one battle in a war that
was raging on other fronts around the world simultaneously and continuing
for nearly four long years.
It is not the casualties which are unprecedented but the media
filtering and the gullibility of those who accept the virtual reality
created by the media.
Even the current Communist rulers of Vietnam have admitted that
they lost militarily in Vietnam but hung on because they expected to win
politically in the United States as they did, with the help of the Jane
Fondas, the Walter Cronkites and a cast of thousands in the streets and on
campuses across the country.
The very people who have been anti-military for years, who
filter out American heroes in battle, are now proclaiming that they are
"honoring" our troops by publicizing every death by name, day in and day
Has the dumbed-down education in our schools left us so
ill-equipped that we cannot see through even the most blatant hypocrisy?
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