November 21, 2004

Hero or War Criminal?

All of the crap being put out in the MSM and Al Jazeera about the incident involving the young Marine in Falluja "executing" aninsurgent Islamofacist has brought home just what a spot our guys in uniform are going through. The fact is that this is the same thing soldiers have gone through for time immemorial,. The only thing that has changed is that with modern comunications being as good as they are, now the general population hears about these incidents as the echo of a gun shot is still hanging in the air.

Small Town Veteran has a post up with a first person account of something similar that occured in Viet Nam in 1969. The results were different, but the situation wasn't all that dissimilar.

The general population has no right to judge any of these incidents; unless you have been there in a split-second life or death decision moment, you can not know what is really going on in the minds of any of these men. The ironic thing is that this young Marine is being hoisted on the petard by one of the representatives of one our most cherished rights, that of a free press with free speech as the standard norm, and what he is there in Iraq defending.

The problem as I see it is that the press has forgotten that with the right of free speech comes the responsibility of presenting ALL the facts surrounding any story, and thinking of how their reporting may affect the attitudes of the general population, our soldiers, and our enemies.

This was true in Viet Nam as well. In fact, I would contend that this lack of living up to the responsibilities led to our "loss" in that conflict. We lost not a single military encounter in that conflict, but biased reporting made it seem as if we were losing not only the battles, but that we were animals in pursuit of combat operations.

People that had no experience of combat and guerilla warfare were sitting safe at home decrying the actions of men who were living moment to moment with death as the reward of a wrong decision made in less time than it takes to take one breath. And only the "brutal" decisions made under such circumstances were portrayed, with none of the background surrounding those decisions being shown. You can not judge combat under civilian conditions.

This is not to say that we should not hold our soldiers accountable for their decisions, we can, for we MUST; but you must have all the facts before coming to any judgement, and the MSM is doing a very poor job of that.

It is time that we as a people must demand that the MSM is held as accountable for their actions as are our soldiers.

If we applied the same standards to the media as we demand of our soldiers, I sincerely believe that the media would be found more derelict in their duties than 99.8% of our men and women in uniform.

We still have Abu Gharib thrown up as the definitive example the "brutal" conduct of our soldiers, and yet how much do we hear of the prosecutions of those same soldiers?

During WW2 my father was a member of the Dutch Underground. One of the activities he participated in was lying in wait as his sister would lure a lone German soldier into a dark alley with a promise of sexual favors, whereupon he and and a compatriot would slit the soldier's throat and steal whatever was of use in his possession. Had they even been observed on the streets, they would have been shot by the Germans without even a second thought. They were fully aware of that fact. This was an accepted risk of their activities.

They knew the possible consequences of their actions and accepted the risks. They never held the Germans wrong in doing this, because they knew that in war both sides accepted the consequences.

It seems that our media has forgotton that standards of behaviour in war are different than in a safe civilian environment. It is up to all of us, especially those of us who have experienced the horrors of war, to remind them of the difference and demand that they be held as accountable for their actions as are our soldiers.


update: Lest you still run into Moonbats crying about how Eeeevil our Marines are; refer them to THIS and ask THEM if they still think that Marine was overreacting, or protecting himself and his compatriots...INCLUDING the MSM cameraman that made him the focus of possible war crimes charges...

Posted by Delftsman3 at November 21, 2004 01:46 PM

Thanks for the link. I'll be linking back to your comments on the subject as well.

I minor gripe: I'm "Small Town Veteran". "Conservative Insurgent" is Jack's site, isn't it? (The link goes to my post. You just got the blog title wrong.)


Posted by: Bill Faith at November 21, 2004 08:35 PM

Sorry about that Bill, I was trying to juggle too many things at once and got confused. I corrected it. My sincerest apologies to both you and Jack.

Posted by: delftsman3 at November 21, 2004 11:35 PM

Great Post Deflts

Posted by: LC NeilV at November 22, 2004 09:51 AM

No problem. Love *your* post, btw. I just copied a big piece of it into a follow-up post on my blog, and also included the comment Jack left on my original post. Come by and check it out if you get a chance.

Posted by: Bill Faith at November 22, 2004 12:05 PM

Great post Delftsman3, no apologies needed here, Blog-City hosed up over the weekend, hacker attack, playing catch-up now. Bill's got a super post that begs to be checked out.

Posted by: Jack at November 22, 2004 11:18 PM
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