Saturday, July 30, 2005
A MUST READ
Good at smearing the Military at every opportunity, making it undesirable in the eyes of future recruits so that the Army and Marines will be down to nothing. So that the Imperial aims of our filthy government will not be attainable. And after all they did have the facts. Some of them, anyway. And this story could be made to look great. To make it even better, they have great “cover” because their target, a Los Angeles based National Guard unit called 1st Infantry Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division had some guys do some bad stuff. Bad stuff they could expose.No human institution can be perfect. The story that the traditional media will not tell is how incredibly focused, disciplined, humane and controlled our soldiers have been in a terribly difficult situation. They will, at every opportunity, announce that the US military is deliberately killing journalists. They will tell you in great detail of the abuses an incredibly small minority have committed and darkly insinuate that much more of the same is probably happening - but they will never tell you about the circumstances on the ground, and what these people are enduring, and their unbelievable achievements.
We have an exceptionally disciplined military that is routinely performing better than anyone has a right to expect, better than anyone who knows a little history could possibly expect, better than any other military force in the world could be expected to perform, better than the UN peacekeeping forces the journalists so love. But the public doesn't know of their awesome accomplishments.
Howard is justifiably angry. Why aren't we all? Why aren't we holding these "journalists" accountable for any lies and distortions? Why aren't we writing letters to protest? Please do read this military blog Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum to which Howard linked:
Yesterday I was angry and ashamed of the behavior of some in this battalion, in this Brigade, in this Division, in this Army. Ironically; John was right, “Yesterday all my troubles seem so far away.” I wanted to detach myself as fast a possible and as far as possible from this unit. I have to say that was yesterday, today I was again in awe of the men here. We were supposed to receive yet another briefing on the “rules”, yet another briefing, on security, yet another briefing on...well you get the idea. Emasculation by power point (the most vile invention ever!) The NCO who was supposed to give said Power Point briefing didn't show up. The soldiers were sitting in the conference room, waiting to patiently sit through yet another brief. As the assistant intelligence officer I said I'd give it. I figured I'd go in spill a few buzz words, and let them go on their way. When I walked into the room I saw a group of soldiers who have had a rough time, they have endured the pains of separation, some have lost the jobs that they thought would be there when they got home. Some have lost friends here, others have lost their girlfriends or wives. The men in that room weren't infantrymen, they were cooks and mechanics, medics, personnel clerks, and drivers. They were admin soldiers. I started the briefing but about half way through mid sentence, I hopped up on a table and looked into their eyes. I just had to smile, and here is why, despite all of the grief that has come our way, and there has been plenty, and more will come. They sat there waiting, some had been up for 2 days with little rest, yet they just sat there solid, like soldiers.Please also read this post from the 19th of July, which begins with a quote from T.S. Elliot:
“Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.” T.S ElliotAnd he's right, the public voice of America has lost the ability to grapple with ugly and inevitable reality. Are we a nation of snivelling ungrateful fantasists who demand more of the impossible from those already doing the impossible? The question must be asked. Perhaps it is simply that we can't look at our military personnel and stand to face the truth that these are, on the whole, better human beings than their untiring critics.
I don't know much, I haven't been alive long enough to be wise. I have seen more of the world than most, but am not worldly. What I do know it this. Chamberlain was right (more than one hundred years ago, near Gettysburg, we are fighting a new kind of war, with a new Army. We are fighting for an ideal. Freedom, such an intangible notion, such a simple thing, such a complex thing. We can quantify the price in blood, we can quantify the price in dollars. What is so simple here in B'dad, is so lost on so much of America... Freedom.
But really, what else do we expect from a people who are raising kids, future voting citizens, as incapable of dealing with the slightest setback, the slightest frustration, the slightest failure so that if any little thing rocks their world, they end up in a puddle? Our chickens...so to speak...are coming home to roost.
And you are right about how the kids are being raised, but in all too many cases the parents aren't at fault. It's the educational theorists that have decided losing a game of softball or seeing a paper marked in red pen would just scar the little darlings for life.
A nation of idiots!
Links to this post: