In this world of instant messages, communications, and news coverage, where nothing held back from the viewer and where the phrase “The public has the right to know” is seen as some sort of sacred trust, we have profaned our selves and our society to the god of success. When this is matched with the ubiquitous left slant of anything with a major audience, I tend to suffer periods of rage. Success seems to be defined by the ability to have YouTube, facebook, media, and twitter followers in the millions and enough cash on hand to spend extravagantly without recourse to any sort of “common sense” (which I have become convinced is not at all that common). To continue this diatribe I have seen some things over the past few weeks that have really set me off.
1. There is no restraint because, after all, we might miss some critical element if we used such a thing. Nothing is out of reason.
A young man, mortally wounded and lying on the battlefield has no privacy. This is a picture worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, or whatever award there is for morbid photography. After all this is NEWS! “What about his parents and other family members?” “Forget it, this could…get me money, make me famous, increase my circulation, set me up for life.” Just pick one of the responses that some despicable, cockroach of an editor would use. “Humanity, dignity…PAH! just gets in the way. How can I get rich and famous if I have to play using those outmoded rules? Rules are for suckers, and I know better.”
I don’t know if thoughts of that sort went through the minds of those who were responsible for the despicable act of printing those pictures, but I believe that the media gods of news, “right to know” and fame all went through those minds. What is truly a sign of the times is that the people responsible actually heard from the family who requested that the picture not be published and after considered review some still printed it.
Maybe the ideal of a genteel society is way 1950s, but a certain amount of restraint and civility would be nice to see once in a while. In the same way, but not as tragic, I just don’t need to see three days of funerals for people I would be ashamed of calling my friends.
2. The same week had news stories about UN lawyers (who are worse than ordinary lawyers, some of whom I’ve learned aren’t all bad), with true malevolence in their hearts (or whatever substitutes in them for that organ), from some country or philosophy that has a bone to pick with the US, see our military as the perfect way to get back at any real or imagined slight or offense they think America has committed. Their target is conduct by troops in battle.
If you have never been in combat, it is exhilarating and scary at the same time. My combat was not as close in as the ground troops, but I understand that feelings run hot in combat. Occasionally things go wrong, and I certainly would not condone that, but the best people to review / punish the wrong doer are not those who have never been shot at, never seen that life or death moment up close and personal.
When these … UN parasites came to Bosnia (yes, I was involved in some of that also) they did not really go after the man in the field, they went after the bosses, the generals, the Secretary of Defense, and even the President. They accused them of “war crimes” because we were on the other side of the political fence. The International Criminal Court is an unspeakable mockery of what used to be justice in the US.
It used to be said that the winning side wrote the history of the conflict. No more. Now, it is the Left leaning historians in conjunction with the Left leaning National Education Association of teachers that explain how we, even if we did win, were the worst sort of humans possible. Well, there is some solace, I don’t think that the UN will go after our President this time, even if he probably intends to leave the Afghanistanis out to hang. This will give the terrorists such a boost that all we can expect a future with more and more of the same. Next it will be 3 or maybe 4 Al-Quada groups in the US, and the really horrible thing is that some of them will be US citizens. Enough!
3. I delayed writing this third point so I could get some of the violent passion out of it, but passion doesn’t go away when the news (or maybe rumor) is about a US unilateral nuclear disarmament. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent in airplanes on airfields that weren’t nice, cushy, American garden-spots, but were, instead, hell holes, defending and being an integral part of our nuclear force. I spent a sizable portion of my life in some not very nice places displaying a military presence, and I don’t like it that someone is trying to give up that protection because of a distorted and profane view of the world.
One of the reasons we have such a difficult time in the world is that Americans generally tend to judge people in other countries against a very Ameri-centric viewpoint. It doesn’t work when judging the efforts of other religions, nor does it work while judging other countries who view us as the enemy to be defeated. With just a little travel, open mindedness, observation, and a smattering of intelligence, that childish world view should go away. The world is not a very nice place. People are not our friends. I do not advocate sending the military in for every little thing and beating up friends and enemies alike (as Clinton did). Far from it. The most pacifistic people I know are those who have to go and risk their very lives defending our country. I know that I don’t know many Left wing pacifists, but I have eyes and ears, and I can recognize them when they make the news. I guess it’s good that I no longer watch much TV, although football season is here.
4. One of the worst things that I have heard about recently has to do with our troops on the ground. I am one who advocates that unless we get those dirty boots on the ground, we win nothing. Anyway, in this bright new world, in the combat zones, we are overly concerned with Rules of Engagement (ROE). We need rules of war (engagement) so that we do not become like the ones we are fighting. What has to be taken into account, though, is that the ROE’s have to adapt when your enemy violates every precept of the accepted ROE and fights from churches and schools. Instead of adapting so that we can fight these tactics, wee go out of our way to add more and more restrictions, effectively handcuffing our people.
Not only that, but when we send them to untenable situations, we don’t protect them when they do get in a fight. Currently, in Afghanistan, we have some of those added ROE. If there is a possibility that some civilians may be in the field of view of our weapons, we hold weapons tight (no expending). What does that do? Well the enemy just needs to be in the vicinity of civilians and fire at will. We cannot counterattack, we can’t use artillery or air support because there is a chance — mark that, a chance — that some civilians will get hurt. In the case of ambushes, we lose.
All of this is especially difficult when our enemy look just like the civilians, not just physically, but in manner of dress also. A precept of the Geneva Conventions that many in this great country seem to disregard is that the enemy has to be uniformed to get Geneva Benefits. If they are fighting in civilian garb, they are outlaws and have no Geneva Convention Benefits. I do not believe that we can or should go in and kill everyone in an area, but we must be able to protect our young men and women in combat situations. They are OUR CHILDREN.
5. Lastly, recently there was a NYT reporter who went where he was warned against going. He just had to get the story, and maybe become this generation’s Ernie Pyle. Did he get his story? I guess he did. Was it worth it? Ask the family of his translator who was killed, or the family of the young British soldier who was killed during his rescue. This was so utterly pointless. Why did he go where it wasn’t safe for a story that will be forgotten in a month? Was this bit of journalistic grandstanding worth two, maybe three lives? Did he know that if he got into trouble the military would get him out? This was a reporter from the NYTimes, not a credible newsprint organization and one that has a definite anti-military/anti-American outlook. What the heck was he doing there, and what the heck was his goal? Do you think he and his employers even appreciated that we, the capitalistic, repressive, just plain bad military, risked our people to get him to safety? I actually had someone in my office send around his report and say how good it was. That was followed by a reminder of the cost and comment on whether the story was worth it.
It has not been a great couple of weeks. My hope is that, even if congress (nope won’t capitalize it) passes Obamacare, that before it can be enacted to any great degree the next Congress, with considerably fewer Ds, will rescind it. Maybe we can get SCOTUS to take a hack first. But the former will only occur if we vote the … buggers out. So get your neighborhoods organized and tell the real story of what is going on.