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Thread: Casual Defamation?
05-26-09, 09:02 AM #1
Posted By McQ
You know I honestly don't go looking for these things. And in this case, I could be persuaded that the author of the objectionable line below just said it poorly and didn't mean it the way it came out. But it still struck me as an almost casual defamation of the many heroes that the war in Iraq has produced.
In a less puckish moment on the same tour, he jumped out of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in the middle of a firefight to rescue an Iraqi woman on a bridge near the Euphrates.
That event was captured by an embedded Associated Press reporter and broadcast around the world, putting Carter in the uncomfortable position of being an early hero in a war with few heroes.
The story, on the whole, is a positive story. It's about Army MAJ Chris Carter and his third deployment to Iraq. And like I say, perhaps the author, Bo Emerson, meant something else - like Carter was an early hero in a war which had not recognized many heroes at that time. But that's not how it sounds - at least to me.
Of course we all know that we've had scores of heroes in that war - 4 Medal of Honor recipients, probably 20 or so Airforce, Navy and Distinguished Service Cross recipients, and well over 200 Silver Stars awarded. Additionally hundreds of Bronze Stars with "V" device have been awarded as well.
Now I don't mean to rain on MAJ Carter's parade. He's a hero in anyone's parlance and deserving of the accolades. I wish him an uneventful and successful third tour with my profound thanks for his service and his family's sacrifice.
But I can't let the line about "few heroes" pass without remark. If it was a mistake and Mr. Emerson meant there were few heroes evident early in the war, then he needs to clarify that. However, if, as I read it, he meant there are few heroes in that war at all, then he's simply wrong and needs to be called on it.
The problem isn't that there are few heroes in that war. The problem is that the many heroes of that war have gotten little media coverage. We certainly know that, because for years we have been covering those heroes and telling their stories when the media didn't. However the media's lack of coverage has created a "conventional wisdom" within the press that Iraq is a war with "few heroes".
They're wrong, they need to understand they're wrong and they also need to be called on it every time they trot this canard out there. If you're inclined to let Mr. Emerson know his remark is unfounded, please be polite and use facts. Like I said, his, for the most part, is a positive article, and those are always appreciated. His email address is at the end of the article.
06-07-09, 02:28 PM #2
The Iraq war is saturated with heroes! I read about them nearly every week in the base newspaper. I NEVER see these same heroes (local Marines and sailors) mentioned in the local civilian newspapers, much less the national ones.
One in particular (not sure if he was a local Marine, though he received a full-page article in our base newspaper): a Marine Corps Captain who single-handedly cleared a 200-yard trench of several dozen Iraqis/insurgents who had ambushed a convoy. He fired until his pistol was empty, then began to use the AK-47's that his attackers had dropped after he killed them. He became the recipient of the Navy Cross for his quick, selfless actions in the defense of his Marines, despite the threat of certain death. The medal was not posthumous...he did survive the attack, along with the members of his convoy.
This Captain was not mentioned in any national papers that I had seen. Instead, the national papers showcased a Soldier who had nearly been killed in another ambush, and who had not been able to defend himself. He certainly had not repelled any attackers, saved his fellow Soldiers, or been awarded any medals for valor.
I see this all the time. It's almost like a double standard: publicly honor our war fighters, but avoid telling their stories, unless they are victims...and of course, we think they may have killed innocent civilians, then plaster news of their killing all over the news for weeks. Killing for justified reasons? Who wants to hear about that?
It's sickening, if you ask me. Iraq and AFGHANISTAN (remember that place) has more true heroes than we could possibly give air time to. So why is it that we only hear about a few positive incidents here and there, and spend most of our time hearing the latest and greatest about the new successes of Taliban and Al Quaida?
Last edited by Brent2651; 06-07-09 at 02:30 PM. Reason: spelling error
06-10-09, 02:56 PM #3
In my experience, and I speak solely from experience, the media is too busy portraying our military as a bunch of war criminals to the point that our brave men and women in the military are afraid to defend themselves now. It disgusts me because, still in my opinion, the media has no business in war. If the American people want to know what war is like they need to swear in, attend their boot camp, pick up a rifle and defend our country. But then again, they can only be expected to believe what the media is showing them, which is usually dramatized and negative so that it can make the front page.
We had reporters embedded with us during the invasion of Iraq. Did they tell the stories of us passing out humrats to the villages? Did they tell the stories of us stopping and providing aid to wounded Iraqi civilians (that credit goes to all you docs!)? Did they tell the stories of how we tried writing letters and responding to people sending us packages when they never met us? No! But when my friends died, my platoon sergeant had to level his 9mm at the reporter's heads to get them to back off because they were all over the bodies like flies.
I don't know, I think I just turned this thread into a venting session. I apologize everyone, I know you guys probably don't want to hear my whining, and I honestly cannot remeber why I wanted to respond because I got consumed with anger. Bottom line is that I don't trust the media and I don't think they should be in iraq or afghanistan playing "big brother" with our forces. It is only getting people hurt or killed. There are many heroes of iraq and afghanistan, and they are all former or current members of the military.
And I personally think the word "hero" is thrown around too much by the media and has lost its meaning, but that is not a discussion for this thread.
06-10-09, 03:13 PM #4
Agreeing with the general sentiment that the media only pays lipservice to our warfighter (in the best of times), in this case I think the reporter was commenting more on the school situation and probably trying to be a little light hearted about it.
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