Saturday, February 03, 2007

Time For A Rant

You don't have to have a degree in psychology to realize whether or not someone esteems or respects another person or group of persons. This is readily apparent in how the American media treats our Armed Forces.

First, the New York Times story on the death of Army Staff Sgt. Hector Leija by their news staff. Michelle Malkin has the story here.

I am writing to express my profound disappointment in The New York Times's decision to publish a photograph of a mortally wounded American soldier in its Jan. 29 issue and Web site posting.

I am writing to express my profound disappointment in the way the Army has decided not to do anything about this outrage.

In a nutshell, the Times allowed pictures of this brave soldier's death to be posted on their website before the family could be informed. But there was more then stills. A video was hosted by the Times showing the last moments of Sgt. Leija's life, the collection of his personal effects and the swath of blood left where his friends dragged him from the room where he was ambushed.

This is in direct violation of the NEWS MEDIA GROUND RULES (IAW Change 3, DoD Directive 5122.5) Ground Rules Agreement imposed on the media by the Multinational Corps - Iraq.

Here is a pdf of those rules; the operational section violated by New York Times personnel is at the top of page two, section 11.

11) Media will not be prohibited from covering casualties provided the following conditions are adhered to:

(a) Names, video, identifiable written/oral descriptions or identifiable photographs of wounded service members will not be released without
service member’s prior written consent.

(b) DOD will release names of KIAs. In respect for family members, names or images clearly identifying individuals "killed in action" will not be released. Names of KIAs may be released 24 hours after Next of Kin have been notified. [Emphasis mine]

These regulations were not followed and we will perhaps never know how this affected the family of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija. The offending reporter and cameraman were not punished. They are still in theater, just not allowed to embed with the unit of the slain soldier. They are free to go with any other unit.

Why the Commander allowed this is unknown. It makes no sense to reward this kind of unethical behavior by journalists. The video is still up on the NY Times web site. I refuse to reference it here.

The second item concerns a piece of media trash by the name of William Arkin who works for the Washington Post. First Arkins calls our troops "mercenaries" and then insinuates that they are magnificently remunerated for their sevice.

So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

First, let's examine the pay rate for US soldiers. A private's base salary with two years on the job is $15,282 per annum. That works out to $293.88 per week. Try to raise a family on $7.35 an hour. You can't. And don't give me any nonsense about housing and food allowances. It's still like being the kid next dog working as a grocery bagger and living with your mom.

Actually the private makes less. Wegman's grocery store here in central NY pays $8.00 an hour, that's what they paid my daughter three years ago.
Second, the mercenary bit:

But it is the United States, and the recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.

No comment. It doesn't deserve one.

America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.

Our nation pondered this very question of what we owe those in uniform a long time ago, Arkin. It's called Veterans Day. Memorial Day. Fourth of July. The Veteran's Administration.
Then in his next article, after getting his ass handed to him, Arkin apologizes for calling our service people mercenaries (a one line throw-away) and proceeds to merrily dig himself another hole.

These men and women are not fighting for money with little regard for the nation. The situation might be much worse than that: Evidently, far too many in uniform believe that they are the one true nation. They hide behind the constitution and the flag and then spew an anti-Democrat, anti-liberal, anti-journalism, anti-dissent, and anti-citizen message that reflects a certain contempt for the American people. lEmphasis mine]

Our service people are worse than mercenaries! They are *gasp* CONSERVATIVES!!!

I never said we shouldn't support the troops. I just lamented that "we support them in every possible way

No, you don't. You haven't yet. There was a grace period right after 9/11 that lasted less than 24 hours after the Second Tower went down. Ever since then it's been pure hell.

and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead,

No, just shut up and stop giving encouragement to our enemies. But if you want to make me happy, don't play dead, go for the real thing.

defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?"

If you had testicles and found out that you had testicular cancer, would you defer to a medical expert? Or would you open up the New York Times and seek advice from a nutless journalist?
And what are your rights and responsibilities to speak up? Would this responsibility to speak up include withholding evidence from the public indicating that then Arkansas Attorney General William Jefferson Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick in a Little Rock hotel right before Clinton's Senate impeachment vote? Puhleeeeeese.
There is more of this man's ramblings. I can't make up my mind whether he is insane or merely incompetent.

[...] something is inculcated into the minds of military members from day one of duty. It is not just defense of the Constitution, it is also unanimity of thought and an unwavering regard for hierarchy. Without this, you can't have a military and you can't expect human beings to go against their instincts to put their lives on the line.

It is the military's high regard for the Constitution and hierarchy that stops them from putting a bullet in the back of your head, Arkin. It is this regard that has successfully preempted any thought of a military coup in this country for over two hundred twenty years of peaceful transition of political power. Look around you, how many other nations have fared as well?

I'm not saying that this makes people in the military automatons, or that they are stupid. But this unanimity of thought and this absolute allegiance to a hierarchy of ideas is and should be foreign in the civilian world. That's what makes the two different.

It is not "unanimity of thought," it is sharing a common purpose. That's what makes the two different. The purpose of the military is to defend the Constitution. That is the oath of office I took so many years ago as a cop, to defend the Constitution, not any particular political party or ideology. And unfortunately this concept is becoming more and more foreign in the civilian world. Especially among journalists.
A "hierarchy of ideas" is what gives consistency to our world. There are absolutes that guide us, that provide instruction, that protect us. In the world of liberal relativism, there is no allegiance to anything but convenience. No absolutes or moral conscience to trouble us.

Bush and company, and the Abizaid's, Casey's, and Petraeus's have had years to make their case to the American people that the threat is so great and the mission so noble that the sacrifice is worth it. They clearly have failed to make their case and that is why the majority of Americans no longer support the war.

Wrong again. The media has largely ignored the stories of weapons of mass destruction and the precursors found in Iraq. The American media has downplayed the atrocities committed against us on September 11, 2001. How many times in the past five years have you seen pictures of the WTC collapsing in smoke and flames? Have many times have we not been reminded of the suffering of 3,000 people, fellow Americans, some of whom threw themselves out of 1,000 foot buildings to escape the flames?
Where is this footage being played then? What audience is viewing the coverage of American destruction? It's seen in arab countries where they rejoice at the sight and await more of the same. The same countries that run newspaper articles on how the jews grind up arab babies to make bread.
Why is this? Because the media does not want to incite anti-arab/Islam sentiment in the American people. But we are treated to weeks and months of evil American soldiers putting underwear over the heads of naked terrorists. This man's hypocracy makes me sick.

"give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up"

Arkin you senseless clod. You have abdicated these responsibilities.

The American people have been force fed a systematic denial of Islamic terrorism and the partnership of the Iraqi, Syrian and Irani governments with these bloodthirsty devils.

In the same vein, Palestinian murderers detonate themselves amid defenseless women and children in shopping centers and weddings but the American/European/Islamic media blames Israeli "aggression" for the problems in Gaza and the West Bank. If the Israelis were truly aggressive, they'd own the whole damn Arabic peninsula!

That is what truly threatens this country. Not a strong military but a weak, immoral civilian population.

Remember this - we get our military and police recruits from the civilian society at large, not from a clone factory in Utah.

Iowahawk has an outstanding satire on this idiot (there is some mild profanity).

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