After the Vietnam War, one of the favorite liberal tropes was that the vets came back as deranged, dysfunctional, often savage subhuman creatures. I never understood that. I was the daughter of a veteran who had served in two wars, one of which was WWII, where he saw hand to hand combat at El Alamein and was strafed for three days in Crete. (The other war was the Israeli War of Independence, and he never told battle stories about that one.) My Dad was often an angry man (not violent, just put-upon), but he was that way before the war, as a result of having been brought up in one of Weimar Berlin’s worst slums before his mother (abandoned by his father before he was born) could no longer handle him and therefore delivered him, at age 5, to an orphanage. The orphanage saved him, but I don’t think he ever got over the anger that went with being abandoned — and that went with being raised a Communist. In any event, my father’s personality, which was mostly compounded of intelligence, wit, humor and hard work, was in place long before war began. I also took note of the fact that, not only did the WWII vets return to extraordinarily productive lives (think of the booming 1950s), but so too did most of the concentration camp survivors, people who experienced things horrors even soldiers couldn’t imagine.
When I’d query my parents about the difference between Vietnam Vets and all other veterans, they could only reply “Drugs. It must have happened because they all came back drug addicted.” The fact that, statistically, that wasn’t true either was something none of us could deal with intellectually. So, we simply accepted the MSM trope and, because we didn’t know any vets personally (my parents were too old and I too young), it really didn’t matter anyway.
The trope — the vet as psychotic killer — is unsurprisingly being recycled. The MSM supported the vets when they could attack the war’s progress. With the war progressing well (that darn Surge), the MSM has now turned on the vets, most recently with the infamous NY Times story about killer vets. Sadly for the NY Times, unlike the golden days of yore when it enjoyed a media monopoly, there is now a way to analyze the story and disseminate corrections — and, boy, does this story need correcting, since it is basically a fraud, not through misstatements, but through omission. That is, it retells several horrific stories about crimes involving vets, without any giving any context about either the vet or the nature of crime in society at large. (As a matter of law, in California, one form of deceit is “The suppression of a fact, by one who is bound to disclose it, or who gives information of other facts which are likely to mislead for want of communication of that fact.” Calif. Civ. Code sec. 1710.)
Thankfully, Bob Owens, who has become something of a specialist at his own blog exposing gross acts of media malfeasance, has turned a jaundiced eye on the Times‘ latest whopper, and produced a clear amalgamation of his own analysis, and the analyses that others have done. You should definitely read the article, but the bottom line won’t surprise you: through the combined sins of fraudulent omission and sheer hysteria, the Times has produced something that is wrong, wrong, wrong. I’d cry shame, but the MSM has none.
UPDATE: It seems appropriate to include year the American Thinker’s catch about the Times’ double standard when it comes to Presidential war powers.