May 24, 2007

Funk You

Joe Klein, Keith Olbermann, Brian Ross, etc., I think this is directed at you:

"Hello media, do you know you indirectly kill American soldiers every day? You inspire and report the enemy's objective every day. You are the enemy's greatest weapon. The enemy cannot beat us on the battlefield so all he does is try to wreak enough havoc and have you report it every day. With you and the enemy using each other, you continually break the will of the American public and American government.

"We go out daily and bust and kill the enemy, uncover and destroy huge weapons caches and continue to establish infrastructure. So daily we put a whoopin on the enemy, but all the enemy has to do is turn on the TV and get re-inspired. He gets to see his daily roadside bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber or mortar attack. He doesn't see any accomplishments of the U.S. military (FOX, you're not exempt, you suck also).


"Media, we know you hate the George Bush administration, but report both sides, not just your one-sided agenda. You have got to realize how you are continually motivating every extremist, jihadist and terrorist to continue their resolve to kill American soldiers."

That refrain should be familiar to you by now, as similar thoughts are echoed across the blogosphere and in conversations with active-duty American servicemen almost universally.

But Funk isn't done. He doesn't leave out those of you who say you "support the troops, but not the war."

"We're treading water," the Ames man told the people closest to him. "We continue to kick butt on missions and take care of each other, even though we know the American public and government DOES NOT stand behind us.

Ohhhh, they all say they support us, but how can you support me (the soldier) if you don't support my mission or my objectives. We watch the news over here. Every time we turn it on we see the American public and Hollywood conducting protests and rallies against our 'illegal occupation' of Iraq."

Feel ashamed yet? Probably not. After all, he's just one soldier, and he's no Jesse MacBeth.

(H/T Blackfive)

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 24, 2007 01:52 PM

I'm sympathetic to this, I am, but I couldn't disagree more. And shame? Tell it to the people who have screwed the pooch on this war that's made this prolonged occupation necessary.

How can I support the troops and not support their mission? Easy. I was one of the troops, and there were several missions I was involved in that I didn't think were, in the long term, the right policy. But I went, I did my best, and I came home to resume my life as a citizen.

My great-great-grandfather was the color bearer for the 42nd Georgia Infantry and although I'm proud of his heroism and honorable service, I think the Confederacy was a mistake.

The common foot soldier of the Wehrmacht fought bravely and tenaciously, and from a military perspective, I can honor his service and courage in battle, but no one can say he fought for a noble cause.

So it is possible to support soldiers and oppose the war. In fact, I make the argument that wanting to bring these soldiers home and not wanting to squander their service in a mission that is unsupported in tangible ways by this administration, is backing our troops and their families.

Those who make this statement, in my opinion, are swallowing the hard right's line as the GOP scrambles to find a scapegoat for their failures and the media and the left are awfully convenient bogeymen.

I often wonder when it is OK to protest our government's decision to go to war. If Americans listened to you and other well-meaning people, we couldn't speak before we sent troops, because that's undermining the mission before it begins, and we can't say anything during the conflict because that's not supporting the troops, and we can't say anything after the men come home because that's just pointing fingers and living in the past.

So, if you disagree about a war, when can you speak?

I find it disingenuous to hear people like Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner and other voices of the right make this claim. I remember what Rush said during Kosovo, and I've read about the legislation Boehner proposed, calling for a timetable to pull out of Somalia. Politics over principle, as usual. There's your shame.

So, while I am sympathetic, I believe soldiers like this one are being ill-used by people much more concerned with playing CYA than they are in actually conducting this war in a way that might lead us to victory.

The soldiers, as always, are doing their jobs. It's the people who were supposed to rebuild Iraq and instead used it to enrich themselves or were too inexperienced or incompetent to do their jobs that have let our troops down and inspired our enemies, not the voices of outrage on the left.

Far too many people in America seem to think that liberty and love of country means shutting up. Nothing could be further from the truth. This nation was built on dissent and since men were brave enough to die for my right to speak freely, I'm at least brave enough to use that right.

That's one reason I attach my name to every one of these comments.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 24, 2007 03:51 PM

Well said, David. It boggles the mind to think that "supporting the troops" means keeping them indefinitely in an intractable sectarian conflict, being killed at a clip of 100 a month, while the idea of redeploying our forces out of Iraq, which will SAVE hundreds if not thousands of our soldiers' lives, would somehow be doing them a disservice.

Posted by: Arbotreeist at May 24, 2007 06:04 PM

thank you for your comments. you sound like a realist with a true grasp of what is and is not happening in this war. thank you for your service to our country, on the battlefield and back home.

Posted by: miss lou at May 24, 2007 06:42 PM

Well said, David.

CY, if you really want people to know about when the troops are kicking butt over in Iraq, write about it more. You seem to have plenty of military connections and you've had a good smattering of stories in this vein in the past. So let's bulk up the coverage. Bloggers are supposedly the new journalists, so instead of playing media of watchdog on the Washington Post which 1,324,308,665 other blogs already do on a daily basis do some reporting and report on the troops over in Iraq.

Or I'll put it this way: I really don't care if the media mis-reported what model of gun some psychopath in Nebraskahoma used to kill some people. I want to read the stories you claim the MSM is ignoring.

Posted by: dmarek at May 24, 2007 07:28 PM

I'm sorry, David, but you're dead wrong. To oppose the mission is indeed to oppose the soldier. I do not believe you have ever been a soldier yourself. The internet protects you; you can say what you like.
You are indeed ill-using this soldier, and the soldiers in my family who are fighting honorably. The soldiers in the Wehrmacht did NOT fight honorably when they fought for that ignoble cause. If your claim is that it is honorable for soldiers to shut up and do the wrong thing because they are ordered to, you have a very strange idea of honor.

Yes, use the term "hard-right" and buzz-names like Rush Limbaugh to stir up hatred against our troops, knowing full well that that is what you are doing. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

You have every right to come out against the war and our troops, and say so every chance you get.
If you were honest, you would stop lying. You are lobbying against our troops, and against all that is decent. You should be ashamed of yourself, but I doubt you have even that much humanity.

Patricia K. Larkins

Posted by: Trish at May 24, 2007 08:15 PM

Yes, use the term "hard-right" and buzz-names like Rush Limbaugh to stir up hatred against our troops, knowing full well that that is what you are doing.


It would be hard for me to hate the troops as I have two nephews in theater right now. One is a career officer, a Major, with a Stryker Brigade. The other is a surgeon with an FST.

I hear the anger in your voice, and I understand. I believe your anger is misplaced, but that's OK. If it makes you feel better to think I'm working against our soldiers, I think that's sad, but understandable.

But I am not lying. I just have a different idea of what it means to be an American.

You can assume I haven't served, and that's your right. But I've given you no reason to doubt me.

I know this won't help, but I'll trot out my bona fides anyway. I enlisted in 1969, was trained at Fort Monmouth, Fort Huachuca and Fort Bragg. That should give you a pretty good idea what my MOS was. I spent the next two years in Central and South America. Had I studied French, my service would have been far different. So it goes.

My brother served as an officer in Vietnam. My sister was a career officer, retired a few years ago as a Major. She's a veteran of Desert Storm and proudly displayed her airborne and air assault wings.

My father was an officer in WWII in the Pacific, his brother was KIA on Iwo, with the Fifth Marines.

My wife's father was with the 82nd, dropped into Normandy in the early hours of June 6. Her grandfather was an aide to Omar Bradley, a graduate of West Point and her brother is an Annapolis grad and a Navy flier out of Pensacola.

I was short-listed to write Tommy Franks' memoirs, but did not get the contract. It was an high compliment to be considered.

It is my pleasure to shoot competitively with graduates of the three military academies every year, the only enlisted man extended that honor.

No one has a greater respect for the warrior profession than I do.

But I don't have a lot of respect for politicians, especially those politicians who ducked service when their time came, and I have no respect for a party that thinks so little of a soldier's sacrifice that they put a Purple Heart on a band-aid and work behind the scenes to cut our soldiers' combat pay.

So, you and I may disagree about whther I can support our troops and still oppose this war, but don't ever doubt my loyalty, patriotism or sincerity.

We have a difference of opinion. As Mark Twain said, that's what makes a horse race.

I hope your family members come home soon and whole. And thank you for your sacrifice. Being a military family is never easy.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 24, 2007 09:50 PM

David T.,

You should really have your own blog. Your comments are way too long and obscure to be worth reading most of the time. If you want to write lengthy diatribes, maybe CY would let you guest blog. Other than that - get your own!

You talk about average americans and what they believe. But how hard is it to gauge those reactions when all you see in MSM is how terrible the war is. ALL YOU SEE. Show me how the majors portray it any differently than that. Yet we know that the whole story is not out there where "average" people read it. And you are disingenuous every single time you say it. You know this is true, but you will never admit it. So show me MSM stories about the progress in infrastructure, about burgeoning economy, jobs, schools, security in many areas, etc. etc. etc. You can't and you know it. And I guarantee for every one you can find, I can show 50 from that day that are negative to the US. Put up.....

Posted by: Specter at May 24, 2007 10:04 PM

You talk about average americans and what they believe.


No, I don't. I talk about what I see and what I believe. I would never presume to talk for anyone else.

And yes, I agree with you that too much of the media focus on the bad things happening. I'd like to hear more of the positive side of the soldiers' accomplishments. Believe it or not, I want us to succeed in Iraq. Nothing would make me happier.

But it's tough when reporters can't get out into Baghdad because it's too dangerous. How many journalists have died covering this conflict, 60-70? That tells you something right there.

I want to be wrong about this war, but everything I read, and I read widely, not just the MSM, tells me that the Bush administration has made our situation worse than before, that their incompetence has made us less safe than before.

But I put my hope in Petraeus, the man who literally wrote the book on counter-insurgency. I'm hoping he can figure this out.

As for my writing long posts, I'm a novelist, I tend to write long. Sorry. But you obviously don't read them so why do you care?

And I do have my own blog, but it covers far different subjects than this blog.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 24, 2007 10:34 PM

In WWII what did the media report?
How many enemies we killed that day.

In the Iraq War what did the media report?
How many of our soldiers died that day.

Nuff said.

Posted by: jbiccum at May 25, 2007 04:45 PM

In WWII what did the media report?

The media weren't working for the enemy in WWII.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at May 25, 2007 09:45 PM

The media weren't working for the enemy in WWII.

PA, please read about the Dolchstosslegende. Just like in Weimar Germany, all the socialists back home are to blame for your defeat. (To make the circle complete, you should throw some blame toward Jews, too. There's a good right-wing tradition for that kind of thing.)

Posted by: Random Guy at May 26, 2007 03:55 AM

Random Guy, of course Socialists are right-wing, as in National Socialists. Moron.

Posted by: SDN at May 26, 2007 09:36 PM