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thedrifter
11-16-03, 09:24 AM
11-14-2003

Lynch Story Reveals More Than Media Deception





By Ralf W. Zimmermann



First it was a story of unprecedented military heroism.



Ambushed by vastly superior Iraqi military forces, a female U.S. soldier had courageously fought to her last bullet, suffering numerous and critical injuries. After fiercely resisting her captors and possibly being raped, Jessica Lynch quickly became the focal point of a daring rescue raid, involving everything and everybody labeled “special” in the U.S. military.



Pentagon film footage, shot with thermal imagery cameras, flashed around the world, touting U.S. capabilities and invincibility. American film producers and book publishers smelled bucks and cranked up their sales machineries.



But shortly after the raid, the BBC and AP, among other media sources, criticized the rescue as overblown and dramatized. Soon the claims of rape, multiple gunshot wounds and a fight to the last bullet faded. With a book release, TV movie and a “Primetime” interview, all superbly marketed around Veterans Day, a more complete truth has emerged.



The truth came from Jessica Lynch herself. In the “Primetime” interview, Lynch openly questioned the necessity to make her the focal point of a fine-tuned Pentagon propaganda campaign. She confirmed that her convoy was lost and that her gun jammed in the ensuing chaos. According to her own account, she didn’t shoot a single bullet.



Despite the media and hero hoopla, the Pentagon propaganda story about Lynch’s convoy ambush remains a disturbing mess. It’s an and endless list of tactical and leadership blunders that occur in many military units. The 507th Maintenance Company’s failures included:



* The unit relied on bad maps and became lost.



* Critical weapons malfunctioned, their maintenance neglected.



* Vehicles ran out of fuel.



* The unit had inadequate means of communications and wasn’t tied in with a quick reaction force.



* The unit’s soldiers carried no grenades and anti-tank weapons for close-in defense.



Most critical failures fell into the categories of bad leadership, shoddy training, omitted pre-combat checks and lack of personal discipline. Ultimately, unit leaders and especially commanders are responsible for success and failure in combat. How else could major screw-ups, such as lack of fuel, dirty weapons and lack of protective ammunition have been overlooked? Why did the chain of command not insist on better maps, security and adequate communications?



Many soldiers have written me that all too often, their chains of command ignore the concerns of subordinate leaders for fear of career repercussions. It seems that many senior leaders still live by the principle: “Do what we tell you to do or you’ll read it in your efficiency report.”



But in real combat, this “CYA-attitude” can’t stand! When combat survival is the issue, efficiency reports mean zip. To protect soldiers’ lives, good leaders must and will do what’s right for the mission, the unit and its people. If they can’t, they must abdicate!



In the end, Jessica Lynch’s comments and the official findings surrounding the 507th Maintenance Company debacle are important lessons for all supply and support units. They are the most vulnerable and exposed elements in modern war or peace-enforcement scenarios.



Have no doubt, in the ongoing Iraqi guerilla war, the enemy will continue targeting trucks and other soft-skinned vehicles before taking on U.S. armor. Consequently, tactical training and combat preparations for the “softer” support outfits must be more than fancy slide shows and cover-your-butt briefs. Rigorous drill and brutal pre-combat checks must become the norm.



Although the 507th ambush lessons were bloody, the truth can’t take away from individual courage by members of the company when faced with a bad situation. Soldiers like Pvts. Patrick Wayne Miller, Jessica Lynch and First Sergeant Robert Dowdy did their best to preserve lives. For that, they deserve our respect.



Is Jessica Lynch a genuine war hero? No, and she says so herself. Jessica is, however, an American soldier and a human being with dignity and character. She did her duty for America as expected from a proud soldier. She is a veteran who ultimately demonstrated the courage to tell the truth about war, human fears, suffering and doubts. And she had the guts to recover from it all by the power of the truth.



In a time when the truth is constantly spun to meet the demands of political expedience, we should feel encouraged that a young soldier stood tall for the truth. Despite pressures to act otherwise, she rejected a burdensome life of deceit and fiction.



I salute her as a true American and wish her the best for her future with her fiancé in Colorado Springs.



Ralph W. Zimmerman is a Contributing Editor of DefenseWatch. He can be reached at r6zimm@earthlink.net.

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=DefenseWatch.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=254&rnd=987.4546093717394


Sempers,

Roger
:marine:

JRtheSTAR
11-16-03, 02:20 PM
Kind of makes me wonder what medal I would hve gotten if I was in the Army.

Sparrowhawk
11-16-03, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by JRtheSTAR
Kind of makes me wonder what medal I would hve gotten if I was in the Army.

wE GOT our media coverage. But then again we weren't "An Army of One," we stood as a unit.

And the media reported, political lies, not dreamed about by our unit commanders but by the liberal leaders in Washington.

Our stoy has yet to be told, by those that served with honor.

greensideout
11-16-03, 09:08 PM
I don't think Zimmerman has a clue about what he is writing here and he takes us for a ride on the train of poor training, poor leadership and jambed weapons.

All are just an excuse for soldiers not doing their job, knowing their job, or they are in the wrong job to begin with.

I think Jessica should have been doing something else.

Sixguns
11-16-03, 09:17 PM
Didn't I tell you this was all about the media and making the Army look good?

Doc Crow
11-17-03, 02:15 AM
Ok Gang why is everyone so surprised about all of this????? Have we not seen it before and this is a woman so it is going to be blown out even more

Joep
11-17-03, 04:49 AM
it could only happen in the ARMY

bobpage
11-20-03, 01:34 PM
What the @#%&%*@$? She admitted nothing. What she did was quickly blame someone else for saying all those things so she would not be exposed as a liar. A lot of us were there and know that it is bull!