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Obama Administration Will Allow Media To Exploit Fallen Soldiers

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The Obama administration lifted the 18 year ban on allowing the media to cover the return of coffins carrying American soldiers killed in war. The left rejoiced at this move, suggesting that this was true sunlight (which is apparently less important during the passage of laws like the stimulus bill), and that Americans need to see the cost of war first hand. The media implied that this was a silly law, put in place because of former President George H.W. Bush's vanity. Bush Sr. enacted this law after being shown in a split screen laughing as coffins were being brought back from the Gulf War. Furthermore, as the media is quick to point out, such media coverage was allowed during Vietnam, so it's about time we put aside these Bush era practices and move forward, right?

The real question we should be asking is what does this give us? According to some sources, a majority of military families do not want the media to potentially politicize the personal sacrifice they have made. And if the whole rationale is to make Americans keenly aware of war costs, then what proponents are really looking for is some sort of media sponsored guilt trip. Does this make our country safer, or better? Does it help military families in any way? Not that I can tell.

I object to the idea that without this, Americans are not keenly aware of the sacrifices of our soldiers overseas. I think about our troops overseas on a daily basis, and I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through. When I read some of the coverage of the sacrifice of our brave American soldiers, it makes me unbelievably sad. Perhaps I am unique, but I don't think so. I believe that most Americans appreciate what the very best Americans do for us each and every day and we are thankful. If there is a segment of Americans that don't get this, than that's a problem we should be fixing through better education, and perhaps not stigmatizing the ROTC in our colleges and returning war veterans in general.

It seems to me, the only thing removing this ban accomplishes is to make America even more soft and squishy in the center. Removing the ban has a dual effect. Firstly, it scares would be enlistees with the obvious message that "this can happen to you." Second, it gives our enemies a double-sided win with each kill — the kill itself, and the resulting impact it has here in our media and on the psyche of Americans who should be focused on supporting the country during war. The purpose of going to war isn't to have a debate or to make a philisophical point, it's to win the war. Do proponents of this action realize that?

Yes, this was the normal practice during Vietnam, and we lost in Vietnam. Back in those days, there wasn't a 24 hour news cycle, or a completely rabid left wing media (at least not like today). And while Bush Sr's enactment of the ban was cast as vanity in the media, the fact is, the media at the time was doing the very thing I am talking about here — politicizing the return of America's war dead by showing the president in an inopportune split screen.

It's worth noting that Bush was a naval aviator who served this great country proudly during World War II, fighting along side fellow Americans. Yet, serving as President of this country, he was lambasted by media whom likely never served a day in the military for laughing at an arbitrary moment of the media's choosing. Americans don't join the military, and then make the ultimate sacrifice, in order to help make the point for the anti-war left. Americans join to help fight for freedom and to help America win the conflicts we face.

The military has wars to fight on behalf of America, and our enemies are not wasting their time hand-wringing over issues such as this. Rather, they are focused on how best to kill us, so as to have even more of those coffins pass through Dover. Our enemies are starting to see a new administration with little experience, that is cutting military funding, closing Gitmo, setting terrorists free, and now letting the left wing media politicize our war dead. Our enemies realize today that with every American soldier killed in action, they've not only won a battle but also gained a propaganda victory with the help of their (hopefully) unwitting accomplices in the American government and media.

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About The Obnoxious American

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    “Firstly, it scares would be enlistees with the obvious message that “this can happen to you.”

    By all means, we wouldn’t want the young whelps clamboring to join up for the cause to take a moment and think about what doing so could really mean, now would we? Any recruiter worth his or her salt downplays that possibility. Only after it’s too late, only when the recruit starts being brow beaten in basic training is it first brought home to him or her that they may not make it out of this man’s and woman’s army alive.

    Just yesterday I inspected a home of an Army widow. Her husband was just short of completing 20 years in service. He had served two 15 month tours in Iraq and another 12 months in Afghanistan. Upon his return a few months ago, he had put in his papers for retirement which would have been effective sometime this summer.

    Nevertheless, he was redeployed with his unit to Iraq. He was killed by a roadside bomb 2 days after he arrived. His wife is on the verge of losing their home. She is trying to complete a short sale to avoid foreclosure. (Yes, she is one of those low life scumbags who got strapped with a sub-prime adjustable rate mortgage.) She has 3 kids, the eldest only 8 years old, the youngest a toddler. Glory, glory hallelujah! Praise the lord and pass the ammunition! Life is good, by god!

    The old saw about aiding and abetting the enemy is crap. The notion that the MSM is radically liberal is also crap.

    During Vietnam nobody wanted to wind up face down in a rice patty. Today, no one wants to be rendered pink mist by a roadside bomb. There is no glory in war. There is only pain and death. Pain and death! You can paint all the glorious patriotic pictures you want about war, but that’s all bullshit. All it is is pain and death for those fighting. All it is for those at home is pain and loss. Loss for the fathers and mothers, the brothers and sisters, the lovers, wives, husbands and children.

    By all means, if the family chooses, the press should be allowed to photograph and otherwise record the return of our war dead. Perhaps a bit of the “soft and squishy” would sour our stomachs against war.

    B

  • Jordan Richardson

    This is what you consider exploiting the troops, Obnox. Really? Been drinking the CPAC Koolaid?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    B-tone. Nice, sealed coffins don’t convey the pain and death particularly graphically. Why don’t we show the mangled bodies of the dead or live video of soldiers getting shot? Hell, let’s show snuff films in elementary school.

    OA did not suggest anything in this article about glorifying war. I think he just wants the privacy of the soldiers and their families respected. Do you respect the soliders or do you just objectify them as symbols of the evil of war?

    Dave

  • zingzing

    if americans see the names of our fallen soldiers, then good. we sent them to their deaths. you know it, i know it, and now we’ll all know it. we will see their remains coming home. it’s good to see the cost of our ambitions. whether it be state-building (foolish) or oil-grubbing (greedy). what we do comes with a price. time to look at the bill.

    “And if the whole rationale is to make Americans keenly aware of war costs, then what proponents are really looking for is some sort of media sponsored guilt trip. Does this make our country safer, or better? Does it help military families in any way? Not that I can tell.”

    if the media can show our dead coming back from overseas, then, yes, it will prevent further american stupidity.

    “I object to the idea that without this, Americans are not keenly aware of the sacrifices of our soldiers overseas. I think about our troops overseas on a daily basis, and I can’t even begin to imagine what they are going through.”

    i can’t tell you what they’re going through either, but i can tell you what they are traveling home in some of the time.

    “Firstly, it scares would be enlistees with the obvious message that “this can happen to you.””

    well, it can happen to you if you enlist. you had better be prepared for that, shouldn’t you?

    “The purpose of going to war isn’t to have a debate or to make a philisophical point, it’s to win the war. Do proponents of this action realize that?”

    well, the purpose of arguing about going to war is to have a debate and make a philosophical point. once you’ve gone, it’s all the same. blood here, blood there, blood everywhere. the point of arguing about war is not win or lose (that’s what we have wars for) it’s about whether or not we should be doing this in the first place. you can win a war, you can lose a war and you can stop a war. you can walk away. such is the way of life. forget about that option? (see vietnam.)

    “Our enemies are starting to see a new administration with little experience, that is cutting military funding, closing Gitmo, setting terrorists free, and now letting the left wing media politicize our war dead. Our enemies realize today that with every American soldier killed in action, they’ve not only won a battle but also gained a propaganda victory with the help of their (hopefully) unwitting accomplices in the American government and media.”

    maybe they’ll also see we’re not oil-mad opportunistic assholes out on trading our blood for our energy needs. maybe they’ll see we’ve got someone up there who doesn’t have a daddy-fantasy fucking up his reasoning and making us into the most dangerous nation on the planet. maybe they’ll see a guy with the name “barack obama,” which sounds like a lot of their names, who doesn’t hate them and doesn’t think they’re scum to scrape off our jackboots. maybe they’ll see that we’re not the great satan you so obviously see them as.

  • Jim

    Perhaps along with every photograph of soldier’s coffins coming back from the war zone should be a video of the Twin Towers falling so that we might be politely reminded of why we are fighting this war in the first place.
    Let us not forget that the freedom we enjoy has been paid for by the blood of those generations before us, and those yet to come.
    Never has a generation of citizens come along (as now) that has not had to sacrifice for that which we take for granted.
    To politicize those who have made this choice (of their own free will) to sacrifice their all for the benefit of the rest of us, is to cheapen their sacrifice in the name of “political correctness.”

    You tell me what’s right…..

  • Cannonshop

    Here’s a better idea, Jim-along with the pictures of soldier’s coffins, we should include a picture of the balance-sheet of whichever media outlet is showing it, maybe a nice cartoon of a Ghoul wearing a press-badge to remind people that the Media are a for-profit organ, and they only want these pictures so that they can sell more air-time, more papers, etc. etc.

    Essentially, eating from the death of Americans.

  • Mark Eden

    We should burn Whitman’s poems and remove the headstones from National Cemeteries.

  • pablo

    “It’s worth noting that Bush was a naval aviator who served this great country proudly during World War II, fighting along side fellow Americans.”

    It is also worth noting that his father Prescott was actively supporting the Nazis before and during the war through Union Banking Corporation, and Brown Brothers Harriman. So much so that the corporation that he was a Director of had their assets seized bye the federal government for trading with the enemy.

    Your article is absurd, and as usual it is a conservative calling for limits on free speech, all the while cloaking yourself with the mantle of patriotism. I always thought patriots believed in abiding by the US Constitution which clearly mandates that only Congress can declare war, not the president, and not by a resolution which by its very nature, has no basis in law.

    Signed

    an un-obnoxious american

  • Arch Conservative

    I feel sorry for anyone that has an epiphany and only realizes war is a terrible thing and bases their entire opinion on war after having seen a few coffins on NBC nightly news.

    Thank god the leftist moonbats we have to put up with today weren’t around in 1941. Despite the fact that the moonbats idolize FDR he never sat down and try to reason with Hitler, Mussolini or Hirohito. He just told the boys in uniform to kick ass until there was no more ass to kick.

    “If it was good enough for BJ Clinton it’s good enough for you Barry!” It’s sad that it’s come to it but that is going to be more war cry over the next four years.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    We should burn Whitman’s poems and remove the headstones from National Cemeteries.

    I think we should also ritualistically burn Kiling’s poems and turn West Point into an amusement park.

    Dave

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Well Dave, some of what you suggest might not be a bad idea. We have always sanitized war and killing in general. Hell, it wasn’t until the film “The Wild Bunch” that Hollywood even acknowledged that we bleed when we get shot.

    War is messy. Death in war is messy – splattered bone and sinew and gray matter.

    I hardly objectify our soldiers.

    Arch,

    So you equate the war in Iraq with WWII? Interesting. The fact is there were a number of “leftist moonbats” back in the late 30s and early 40s who opposed our entering the war. They had a voice then, and we continue to have a voice now.

    I know you think that our whole purpose as a nation is to “kick ass,” that that is our mandate from, I don’t know, I suppose from god or some such. If you think it’s all so fucking great go over there and shoot a few bad guys. Maybe it’ll get the blood flowing back into your brain.

    B

  • Cindy

    O.A.

    Bush was determined to have been lying to put the U.S. into a war for his own political reasons.

    I won’t bother arguing for all the Iraqi people that were killed. So, I’ll just ask these questions–Is it okay with you that his lies put the U.S. in a war that even the CIA intelligence did not support? Is it okay to use citizen’s lives for your own ends merely because you are a president?

    Is whatever a president does okay with you?

    Senate Intelligence Committee

    The President of the United States told these things to our people and to the world, and they were false. According to the report released this morning by our Committee,

    “Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.”

    The Committee found that multiple CIA reports and a National Intelligence Estimate released in November 2002 – even as the Administration was in the drumbeat to war – “dismissed the claim that Iraq and al-Qa’ida were cooperating partners.”

    It was not true – and yet this President used this claim to convince the American public that there was a link between the Iraqi government and the terrorists that perpetrated the crimes of September 11, 2001.

    Well, the investigation found that Bush lied about everything.

    So, that’s okay with you?

  • Arch Conservative

    “I know you think that our whole purpose as a nation is to “kick ass,”

    As opposed to you whose philosophy is that we should all bend over and take it in the ass from illegals, muslim terrorists, the UN etc…

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Arch, I’m curious as to how you came up with this unusual philosophy that you attribute to Baronius Baritone.

    Are you regularly experiencing fantasies of being buggered by large groups of people? Is it projection or possibly even something you would actually like to happen?

  • bliffle

    #5 Jim says:

    “Perhaps along with every photograph of soldier’s coffins coming back from the war zone should be a video of the Twin Towers falling so that we might be politely reminded of why we are fighting this war in the first place.”

    Uhhh, I guess it’s time to remind Jim that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

  • Cindy

    Big C: You may wish to change it to Baritone :-)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Indeed I do and will, Cinders, thanks!

  • Clavos

    By all means, let’s show the coffins coming home. Open the coffins and invite the news ghouls to film their contents.

    Let’s also show all the dead and injured in auto accidents on the tube, as well as murder victims, assault victims, and battered spouses.

    Don’t forget people killed in floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well.

    Any of these could happen to any of us.

    Let’s show it all; make videos of the gore and blood and show it to the kids in elementary school while we’re at it.

    After all, it’s good to let them know it could happen to them.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Hey, didn”t I already make that comment, Clav?

    Dave

  • Cindy

    I know people who 6 months ago didn’t even know there is still a war in Afghanistan.

    Let’s show it all; make videos of the gore and blood and show it to the kids in elementary school while we’re at it. (I’d save the blood and gore for high school; grammar school children could understand easily using storytelling.)

    After all, it’s good to let them know it could happen to them.

    Rather than it could happen to them. It might change them into people who may wish a world where it doesn’t happen to anyone.

  • The Obnoxious American

    To all the detractors of this article, I had one question for you:

    How do you read this article, then raise questions about it, that are covered in the article? Could it be that you never read the article fully?

    Rather than respond, I’m going to resort to once again quoting the contents of the article above. This should answer the queries of Baritone, Cindy and Zing. Next time, give the full article a read before commenting, as this is not your best form.

    “The purpose of going to war isn’t to have a debate or to make a philisophical point, it’s to win the war. Do proponents of this action realize that?”

    “Our enemies are starting to see a new administration with little experience, that is cutting military funding, closing Gitmo, setting terrorists free, and now letting the left wing media politicize our war dead. Our enemies realize today that with every American soldier killed in action, they’ve not only won a battle but also gained a propaganda victory with the help of their (hopefully) unwitting accomplices in the American government and media. “

  • The Obnoxious American

    And Cindy,

    I’ve watched just about every televised Bush speech, as well as many talk show appearances by his administration (just like I now do with the Obama admin). I NEVER HEARD BUSH MAKE THE CASE THAT 9/11 WAS LINKED TO IRAQ. EVER. I don’t know where you get this crap from, but you can’t rewrite what happened.

    Bush was clear that having Saddam in power was bad for U.S. security, the same statement made by the TWO previous presidents before him. What’s laughable is when liberals talk about Iraq as if everything was fine, but apparently Bill Clinton felt there was enough reason to go to bomb Iraq, and even made the removal of Saddam his policy. Was Clinton a war monger and liar too?

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Was Clinton a war monger and liar too?

    Wait, don’t answer that second part of the question…

  • Hope and Change?

    Saddam in power was bad for U.S. security…we all knew it, the world knew..

    The morons who deny it are just too stupid to admit that Bush did the right thing…

  • STM

    Yeah, he did do the right thing. He just went about it the wrong way.

  • STM

    Can’t see how showing flag-draped coffins helps anyone, though … except that you live in a democracy that guarantees the right of a free press to tell a story.

    If part of that story is about the price America’s has paid in human lives for the Iraq conflict, so be it. I notice that we and British always show pictures of the flag-draped coffins coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a legitimate story, no matter how distasteful.

    But let’s hope they don’t start taking snaps or vision of individual coffins, over there, and identifying them just for the sake of it. There’s got to be a limit.

  • Cindy

    O.A.

    I read the entire obnoxious piece of trash you pass off as thinking. I even tried to be civil to you.

    I didn’t in fact say that you are a [personal attack deleted] (please fill in with your favorite, make it really ugly too).

    What does repeating the same bullshit serve?

    The U.S. is in a war that was created based on lies and all you care about is winning it?

    You are a [personal attack deleted] and I only wish I could pay your fare to Guantanamo myself.

  • Hope and Change?

    STM..there is no longer a free press in the US….it has been hijacked by socialisy zealots…

    They are so deep in Barrys ass…they no longer care about what is true…they only care about proping up their empty suit of a leader..

  • Cindy

    I’ve watched just about every televised Bush speech, as well as many talk show appearances by his administration (just like I now do with the Obama admin). I NEVER HEARD BUSH MAKE THE CASE THAT 9/11 WAS LINKED TO IRAQ. EVER. I don’t know where you get this crap from, but you can’t rewrite what happened.

    I got it from the quotes in the Senate Intelligence Committee link I gave you.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor. Chill out, Cinders…]

  • The Obnoxious American

    “I read the entire obnoxious piece of trash you pass off as thinking.

    Based on your comments you could have fooled me.

    “You are a [personal attack deleted] and I only wish I could pay your fare to Guantanamo myself.”

    The last refuge of a bad argument, attack the debate opponent and not the idea itself, because you know that this position cannot be defended without going “ad hominem.”

  • The Obnoxious American

    Obviously I touched a nerve and I know why, because Cindy as much as you’d love to forward a narrative that Bush lied to get us in war, you have no answer for the points I raised about the previous two presidents also supporting a removal of Saddam (well, actually, prior to Bush, Clinton was the only president favoring that). So keep on repeating your mantras withough addressing the valid points I’ve made here. Keep acting as if I am the enemy and not the people out there who are a real threat to our security. It just lessens your viewpoint, nothing more.

  • STM

    Cindy, I lived in Baghdad as a kid. I still have some contact with Iraqis today. Most were very happy – overjoyed, actually – to be liberated by the coalition from the clutches of the Ba’athist dictatorship, which had been run by Saddam as a mid-eastern version of Stalinism.

    Their favourite party tricks included feeding people feet first into industrial paper shredders and putting children into a bag full of starving cats – in front of their parents.

    No one was sad to see them go, whatever we know today about the reasons the US wanted the war – and the world’s a better place without them. I have some personal experience of them, and they weren’t very nice people … that’s the best way I can describe them.

    It wasn’t the invasion but what happened afterwards that Iraqis didn’t like. It all went pear-shaped at Abu Ghraib.

    Had the US approached things a bit differently, we might have been looking at a very different outcome.

    I’m not a poster child for unnecessary wars but these are people who belong in the same dustbin of history as the Stalinists and the Nazis.

  • Cindy

    When I’m arguing with a ‘debate opponent’, I’ll be sure to let him know you said so.

    I was so trying to be good today.

  • Cindy

    O.A.

    If you think I’d defend Bill Clinton, you’d be mistaken.

  • Cindy

    #33 @ O.A.

  • Cindy

    Will do Big C. Must have been anticipated withdrawal from thinking about trying to become completely rational and non-insulting.

    Guess it’s like a smoker who tries to quit and smokes an entire carton in one day. lol

  • Ma rk

    Cindy, before you give in to the myth of rationality, I suggest this fun little book.

  • zingzing

    obnoxious,
    maybe you should read entire comments before responding to them, as you quote the same stuff i quote as if it’s an answer to the stuff i had to say about the quote.

    not your best form.

  • Cindy

    Mark,

    Wittgenstein, he was a bigwig in the field of logic I think. I just looked at that link, but it looks like fun. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s first time I’ve ever heard of this incident. Quite probable, though, because W must have been very intolerant – although that’s not the general opinion shared by his colleagues, G.E. Moore, Russell. He was humble, too, a high school/elementary country teacher – very ascetic and unpretentious. Disavowed his aristocratic background in favor of simple life. His room was barren, too. just a writing table, a chair.

  • zingzing

    “I NEVER HEARD BUSH MAKE THE CASE THAT 9/11 WAS LINKED TO IRAQ. EVER. I don’t know where you get this crap from, but you can’t rewrite what happened.”

    neither can you. at least know what you’re talking about before you go and use the caps lock.

  • Ma rk

    Hi Rog. Neat book that places both Popper and Wittgenstein in their historical settings.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wonder, though, about the accuracy. W was a legendary figure, so it’s not far-fetched that some stories might be invented. Some spoke of him as being in the presence of a God.

  • Cindy

    Well, I can’t say I’ll mind being on Karl Popper’s side.

    I like this bit:

    “…the same Popperian theory of extreme verification and the boldness (if not violence) in putting forward his own opinions is the actual negation of British politeness and understatement…”

    This is funny:

    Compare it to the famous debate on evolution at the British Association meeting in Oxford in 1860 between Darwinists and their opponents like the palaeontologist Robert Owen and Bishop ‘Soapy Sam’ Wilberforce. There, T.H.Huxley (‘Darwin’s Bulldog’) baldly stated that he would rather be descended from an ape than from a Bishop who made specious and ridiculous arguments.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Logic first, The Tractatus, but that was the Vienna Circle, the positivist stage. His revolutionary work was in philosophy – Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Latter W steered clear of politics and religion – his only preoccupation, the nature of human understanding. Was envious of Shakespeare, though. As was Freud.

  • Cindy

    Wittgenstein believed that philosophy boiled down to nothing more than a series of linguistic puzzles, while Popper thought philosophy involved real problems that immediately affected the world at large.

    Sounds familiar Roger. Do you think?

  • Cindy

    Well, I guess it must be a common stand-off.

    I’ll try to be less violent.

    (you don’t have a poker around do you?)

    :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    W was right. Most of so-called philosophical problems are pseudo-problems, resulting from confusion (mainly due to mixing of language-games) and hidden metaphysical assumptions. Metaphysics was anathema to W. These “problems” basically dissolve. All you’ve got to do is let the fly out of the bottle. And yest, I’m been trained by a second-generation W’s teacher – only at one remove from “the master.” I consider it a pretty good pedigree.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    My weapon is incisive logic, natural brilliance, disarming personality, charm, etc – in short, God’s gift to both women and men. Must I go on?

  • Cindy

    lol

    That’s a fair assessment. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I knew you’d agree. I should have already been a legend in my own lifetime.

  • Cindy

    Don’t push your luck! :-)

    (just kidding lol)

    Time to go out. I could use some dinner and a cocktail, or two. cya later.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Obnox @ #21:

    What struck me about those two paragraphs you saw fit to requote is that they defeat their own intent.

    If the main and only purpose of waging a war is to win it, then why worry about whether press photographers want to take photos of flag-draped coffins?

    It’s no more ‘politicizing’ or ‘exploitation’ than is the silent scrolling of the photos of war dead at the end of PBS’ Newshour.

  • Mar k

    I wonder, though, about the accuracy.

    Yup, there’s always that…ain’t history grand?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    My weapon is incisive logic, natural brilliance, disarming personality, charm, etc

    “Our four main weapons are incisive logic, natural brilliance, disarming personality, charm and nice red uniforms – FIVE! Our FIVE main weapons are…”

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    From looking at some of these threads, I thought Roger’s weapons were tangents and hissy fits.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “If the main and only purpose of waging a war is to win it, then why worry about whether press photographers want to take photos of flag-draped coffins?”

    I’m not sure why you are posing the first part of your comment as an if. There is only one reason why we would wage a war, to win it. Purpose is not the same as reasoning.

    To answer the question, read the article. But a synopsis is, the left wing, anti war media will use these coffins to make a political point, regardless of whether we must prevail in the war we are fighting, which by the way, we do. We always do. Don’t believe me that that’s all this is about? See the part about Bush Sr.

    “It’s no more ‘politicizing’ or ‘exploitation’ than is the silent scrolling of the photos of war dead at the end of PBS’ Newshour.

    I don’t watch Newshour, but perhaps you’re right that both are equally politicizing and if so, shame on Newshour.

    Here is where the line is. Telling the stories of our troops, putting a personal face on the brave soldiers who have sacrificed for this country is something we should do more of. A lot more of. And by the same token, the media should ensure not to forget to celebrate the soldiers who have accomplished amazing things fighting for this country and lived to tell about it as well, there are just as many if not more stories like this which we never hear about.

    Bottom line, and as much as it annoys you to hear this, you, me, handyguy, and even Cindy are all on the same team and we ALL suffer is we leave Iraq a mess. You want to have a discussion about the reasoning behind going to war, I’m all for that and will support your right to question why and whether we should have gone to war in Iraq. But we can have that debate without parading an endless video loop of coffins that not only distorts the story, ignores all of the good that has been accomplished, and cuts our national resolve off at the knees, just to make a political point. That’s ALL allowing media coverage of fallen soldier’s coffins does.

  • M ar k

    Given enough emotional distraction that passed pawn might go unnoticed until it is too late.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Re. #41. Zing, your link is about claims Bush made FOUR YEARS after the start of the Iraq War which have nothing to do with the arguments he made in starting the war, which as was pointed out earlier, were not based on al Qaeda being active in Iraq.

    It’s all long enough ago, surely by now we can admit that the war on terror doesn’t have geographical limitations and is a war of cultures rather than of nations.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m not sure why you are posing the first part of your comment as an if. There is only one reason why we would wage a war, to win it. Purpose is not the same as reasoning.

    Fine, if you’re going to argue semantics, substitute ‘given that’ for ‘if’. Although actually the primary reason for waging a war should be self-defense. There may be no hope of actually winning it – as with the Finns against the Soviets in 1940 – but one would hope to at least be able to see the enemy off.

    Telling the stories of our troops, putting a personal face on the brave soldiers who have sacrificed for this country is something we should do more of. A lot more of. And by the same token, the media should ensure not to forget to celebrate the soldiers who have accomplished amazing things fighting for this country and lived to tell about it as well, there are just as many if not more stories like this which we never hear about.

    Oprah Winfrey devoted her entire show to exactly that on Thursday. And I see plenty of such stories on my local news and in newspapers.

    But we can have that debate without parading an endless video loop of coffins that not only distorts the story, ignores all of the good that has been accomplished, and cuts our national resolve off at the knees, just to make a political point.

    Who said anything about ‘an endless video loop’?

    A news story about, say, the cost of the war also ignores the good that has been accomplished, but nonetheless is a valid story. The one isn’t relevant to the other. Red herring.

    You complain about left-wing propaganda, but blocking pictures which bring home the cost of war so as to make it seem more palatable is also propaganda. If a war is just, it ought to be justifiable to the public without hiding the truth.

  • bliffle

    IMO, it’s not the main purpose of war just to win it. If that were true than one would, perforce, undertake wars one is sure to win., and that’s the bullys way.

    IMO, you undertake war to quell an enemy, to fend off a threat, even for vengeance. But mere winning is purposeless.

    Winning is the hoped for outcome, but in many cases a stalemate is OK because one will have successfully exhibited ones willingness to do battle. Just examine the fighting history of most animals. Seldom a fight to the finish, to the win.

  • bliffle

    #59 — M ar k:

    “…that passed pawn might go unnoticed until it is too late.”

    Which one?

    And talking about chess, one might point out to OA that despite his dictum about “winning” it is nevertheless true that great chess masters, like great generals, often use tactical draws and even losses to accomplish their strategic goals.

    Only the most foolish general considers tactical ‘wins’ as most important.

  • bliffle

    #60 — Dave:

    “… surely by now we can admit that the war on terror doesn’t have geographical limitations and is a war of cultures rather than of nations.”

    Just like communism!

    Next thing you know we’ll be talking about a “fifth column”!

    You must be happy to be on familiar ground, Dave.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “IMO, you undertake war to quell an enemy, to fend off a threat, even for vengeance. But mere winning is purposeless.”

    And in those cases, fending off the threat, or quelling an enemy is winning.

    “And talking about chess, one might point out to OA that despite his dictum about “winning” it is nevertheless true that great chess masters, like great generals, often use tactical draws and even losses to accomplish their strategic goals.”

    And the strategic goal is… to WIN.

    Please don’t waste my time with a silly conversation about “what winning means.”

    If you enter into a war without the goal to win the war, strategically, tactically, and every other way, then that’s kind of stupid isn’t it?

    Which brings me to your position (not necessarily your’s bliffle, but the one that suggest coffins should be politicized) – does this help us win? If it doesn’t, or if it actually hurts our ability to win in the conflicts we are engaged in by shaking resolve, then not only is it stupid but arguably treasonous.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Although actually the primary reason for waging a war should be self-defense. “

    There have not been many wars fought in American (or other) history that fits this description. And this includes WWII – thank god America didn’t purely view our involvement in that war by the prism you are suggesting. Even the Revolutionary war was not a war for self defense.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    There have not been many wars fought in American (or other) history that fits this description. And this includes WWII…

    And as I’m sure you know, the vast majority of Americans were at first against their country entering WWII, for precisely that reason.

    And US involvement did begin as self-defense, to prevent another Pearl Harbor-scale attack.

    Even the Revolutionary war was not a war for self defense.

    Again, the majority of the American colonists were at first quite happy with the status quo.

    In the first instance, the consensus would be that history proved most Americans wrong. In the second? Well, as Stan might agree, the jury’s still out on that one! ;-)

  • Cindy

    Does winning a war on terror mean becoming the best terrorists? I think the U.S. is winning.

    Even the U.K. thinks the U.S. is nuts now.

    (no, I didn’t mean just you Christopher :-)

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Doc made a good point in his #54. Also, every Sunday George Stephanopoulis does a recounting of the week’s war dead. Virtually every local TV station in the country carries stories when one or more local men and women have died in Iraq or Afghanistan. They often run extensive pieces showing the funeral cortege, the memorial service(s) and even the burials. Should all those treasonous bastards be shot? Given the nature of the opposing views, shouldn’t ALL mention of our military dead and wounded be banned? Then we could pretend that since we wear the white hats, that none of our boys and girls ever suffer the slightest scratch. After all, god is on our side.

    Occasional photos or videos of flag draped coffins will have no more of a demoralizing effect than the attention paid as noted above. All of you in your predisposition to oppose Obama’s very existence, have latched on to this non-issue to wail away at him.

    Shit, there are idiots out and about who have attacked Michelle Obama because she appears in her “official” White House photo in a sleeveless outfit. Oh, the horror!

    Anyway.

    As it was originally announced, it will be up to each family as to whether or not they will allow the casket of their relative to be photographed. While it’s understood that these people will be under duress, it is hardly a given to assume that they would be unable to make a rational and informed decision in this regard.

    Perhaps at some point, a reporter or photographer might in some way step over the line, but those instances will be few and far between. I think we can all rest assured that no one is going to tear open coffins to show us some dead soldier’s body after it had been put through a meat shredder.

    The responses of many of you above are presumptuous and absurd. They are no less outlandish than the idiotic speculation that legalizing same sex marriage will lead to people marrying their gerbils or their pot bellied pigs.

    B

  • http://fraudwar.blogspot.com ed dickson

    I have mixed feelings on this one being a patriot and veteran of the Marine Corps. War is an ugly animal and I’ve often thought that Iraq and Afghanistan were actually treated as if they were a rumor of war rather than a real one (the same title is a great read about Vietnam).

    Saying that I also have strong feelings about some of the left wing types, who have made it difficult for our troops to do their jobs in a war where the enemy often doesn’t wear uniforms. In fact, some of them have probably put them in greater danger by forcing them to fight at a different standard than their foes. If they exploit this issue, they deserve to be damned.

    Perhaps, the trouble is, that since Bush Sr. not one of our presidents have served in time of war. And none of them have served in the 20th century phenomenon, where the tendency is to treat war as a rumor as we go about our everyday lives.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fair sentiments, Ed,

    But don’t you think there’s something odd about a war where, as you say, “the enemy often doesn’t wear uniforms”?

  • zingzing

    dave: “Re. #41. Zing, your link is about claims Bush made FOUR YEARS after the start of the Iraq War which have nothing to do with the arguments he made in starting the war, which as was pointed out earlier, were not based on al Qaeda being active in Iraq.”

    true, dave, but this is what obnoxious said: “”I NEVER HEARD BUSH MAKE THE CASE THAT 9/11 WAS LINKED TO IRAQ. EVER. I don’t know where you get this crap from, but you can’t rewrite what happened.””

    so i just went and got the first thing i could find. it wasn’t the only time he connected the two, and it wasn’t the first time either. and if you’re trying to say that bush, etc didn’t use 9/11 as an excuse to go get iraq, you’re a damn fool. they may not have been totally explicit about it at first, but once their wmd excuse evaporated, they had to go that route, now didn’t they?

  • Cindy

    “In his 2003 State of the Union Address, just a few short weeks before giving the order that began this war, the President said: “Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t see how anyone can argue in the face of incontrovertible facts, zing, but stranger things have happened, especially on BC.

  • Cindy

    “In a speech in Cincinnati, a little over a year after al Qaeda attacked America on September 11th, President Bush said: ‘We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. … We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.'”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It won’t make a dent for all those who are intent on justifying the Iraqi experiment as a just and noble enterprise. They’ll go to the grave defending their position. But such is always the case with all those who are on the defense. It’s a bitch!

  • Cindy

    Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Report June 2008 (pdf file). Which details all of the statements Bush and Cheney made. It’s 172 pages long.

    In a video, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse details some of the lies Bush told about the link between Iraq and al Qaeda that are taken from that Senate investigative report.

    (If this stuff might contradict your assertions, just ignore it and keep talking like it never happened. It provides your opponents with amusement.)

  • Cindy

    It doesn’t matter to me what they think. Some of them are beyond hope of actual thinking. They’re like parrots of whatever propaganda they swallow.

    It matters to me that they are not credible and they are spreading misinformation.

  • Cindy

    ty editing gods :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    My sentiments exactly. But I bet you – they’ll try to wiggle out of that one. They always find a way. The nature of the beast.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    See – there’s much more at stake here that meets the eye. “Self-definition” being one thing. Poor souls to have their selves so narrowly defined.

  • Cindy

    It was already ignored. They don’t wiggle out of it. They just ignore it. Same information is in my post #12 to O.A.

    I may as well have written it in Chinese.

  • Cindy

    That’s fine. It’s what I expect. All one can do, I’m afraid, point it out.

    I’m not a believer in changing minds. Just pointing things out. If people want to change that’s up to them.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I try to – to the extent possible – for their sake. It’s my duty to let light shine when there’s darkness. To bring many into the fold – unified consciousness, if you know what I mean. But you do that too. It’s no fun having the monopoly on the truth and no one to share it with.
    Just kidding – but only partly.

  • http://groundzeropolitics.blogspot.com Political Common Sense

    OK- I do drink the CPAC koolaid. I do however, find this post a little disturbing. WE SHOULD SHOW PICTURES OF THOSE COFFINS! THEY ARE HEROS THAT DESERVE RECOGNITION! That being said, Bush got us into wars that we didn’t belong in, and they are paying the price. NOBODY can deny that. If we weren’t in their business, our bulidings wouldn’t have fallen. End of story. Only one world Neocons will believe different. These heros deserve to have the American public know the cost of what is going on.

  • bliffle

    The right has exploited the deaths of US soldiers relentlessly. Since the first US soldiers died in Iraq they’ve been abjuring people to not dishonor the dead soldiers by pulling out of Iraq short of total victory.

    But one can make the case that it is the Warrior class in the USA who have dishonored soldiers by using them to pursue a dishonorable war.

  • http://groundzeropolitics.blogspot.com Political Common Sense

    Bush sent our boys off to an unjust war. I will give you that, but this logic is flawed. There was no personal gain behind it, and no real vendetta. Bush is just a NEOCON that hasn’t read the Constitution in a LONG time. He thought he was doing it for the right reasons, and if Master Clinton had done his job, and Bush SR before him, we wouldn’t be where we are. It is simply high time that we mind our own business, and stop trying to police the world whether it be Africa (Lefties) or Israel(Righties). And believe me, I am not a Dove….

  • Lumpy

    u wouldn’t call it an ‘unjust war’ I u were a kurd whose family was gsssed by saddam and dumped in a mass grave.

  • REMF(MCH)

    “you have no answer for the points I raised about the previous two presidents also supporting a removal of Saddam (well, actually, prior to Bush, Clinton was the only president favoring that)”

    But … but … wasn’t it G.H.W. Bush who helped rebuild the Iraqi army?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If the liberation of Kurdistan were among our goals, we could have cut out a country for them. But when the Turks attacked the rebelling Kurds, we sided with the Turks because that’s where our bases and interests lay.

  • bliffle

    Thus dies Lumpys Red Herring.

  • http://groundzeropolitics.blogspot.com Political Common Sense

    “u wouldn’t call it an ‘unjust war’ I u were a kurd whose family was gsssed by saddam and dumped in a mass grave.”

    This is going to sound REALLY BAD, but what business is it of ours to police the world? Why should we pay the price of war when nobody attacked us (as in the above statement)? Additionally, why should we spend the money to rebuild our enemy if we do decide to kick their ass? Historically, you only rebuilt the enemy’s country if you intended to occupy it as your own.

    I believe I read something once warning about foriegn entanglements or some such thing. No worry, it was probably written by some radical individualist…..

  • http://groundzeropolitics.blogspot.com Political Common Sense

    By the way, FDR removed a similar ban during WWII. He hoped that viewing coffins returning would strengthen the resolve of the people which he had feared was beginning to soften.It worked. It was one thing that FDR actually got right, in my opinion.

    Patriotism today however has a completely different meaning than it did 60 years ago. Just take a look at some of those old news reels and propaganda posters. The left side of the country would never allow that kind of thing today. For some reason we have to look out for everyone elses feelings and ignore individual liberty.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    PCS is right. As ghastly as Saddam’s treatment of the Kurds was, it’s a piss-poor reason for going to war.

    Look at how overstretched the US military is just fighting on two fronts, in Afghanistan and Iraq. You send in the Marines to stop Saddam gassing Kurds and pretty soon you’re going to find yourself intervening to stop the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the Chechen rebels, the ethnic cleansing in Darfur, the strife between Morales and the middle class in Bolivia, the military government in Fiji… it would never end.

    All of those interventions would, to some of the participants, seem to be just wars. That doesn’t make it a good idea for the US to get involved.

  • STM

    Nah, Doc … it wasn’t just the kurds who copped it in Iraq from the Baathists.

    It was everyone and anyone. A lot of the time, what they got people for was just made up and done on a whim. The whole place was in fear, and they didn’t just top you – they dreamt up hideous new and varied ways of making you suffer: Shoved in a bag with starving cats (children’s special), nerve gas in the cells (with kids killed along with their parents because the belonged to a family Saddam didn’t like), industrial paper shredders (feet first so you could watch your and feel your body getting chewed up), and the good old iron maiden (specially for sports stars who didn’t perform well enough).

    If his son Uday liked a girl, he’d kidnap her, rape her, force her to “date” him and then kill off the boyfriend/fiance/husband.

    If any of the family complained, they’d be killed as well. After a nice bit of torture first, of course.

    Saddam really was a seriously dangerous and deranged bugger, him and his two psychopath sons.

    I’m of the view that while they didn’t find any WMDs, Saddam would undoubtedly have been trying to organise some. Just because he didn’t get caught didn’t mean he wasn’t (and hadn’t) done anything.

    One way or another, he would’ve had a go at the US.

    They’re all best consigned to the garbage bin of history.

    Like I say, most Iraqis were relieved to see the Coalition liberators – it’s just what happened afterwards that caused problems and turned them instead into “invaders”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well said

  • The Obnoxious American

    A few points my friends.

    For one, I said that “Bush never linked Iraq to 9/11.” Cindy comes back with some quotes of Bush linking Saddam to terrorism and AQ, NOT AT ALL THE SAME THING.

    He has connected Saddam to supporting terrorism, and Al Qaeda in general, and it’s true Saddam did do these things. Not at all the same as being involved in 9/11. You can claim I am splitting hairs, but you’re contention that he linked Saddam to 9/11 is wrong, false, he never made such a claim, sorry.

    Second, while some such as PCS feel we shouldn’t get involved in other people’s business, and while I agree that this is a legitimate view, and perhaps one of the only anti-Iraq war views that I respect, the debate about Iraq is never ever about that. Instead the whole issue that the left is hysterical about is that Bush somehow lied or bamboozled the American public into going to war, using some link between Saddam and 9/11 (see my comments to Cindy above), which is completely untrue.

    PCS has a point and he may be right. Not the same point as Cindy’s hysterics and bush derangement syndrome, ignorant of the fact that even Clinton supported Saddam’s removal.

    That said, I think it’s hillarious that we are talking about Saddam gassing kurds, and then in the same discussion talking about how Bush “lied” about Iraqi WMDs to the senate intel committee.

    What is missing from the left’s discussion on Iraq is any sense of reason and long term memory of the facts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, he used the circumstance of 9/11. I think that’s what Cindy and others had meant.

  • Cindy

    O.A.

    Look at the effect:

    Hello American people…Saddam Hussein trained al Qaeda in bomb making and chemical warfare, he supplies them with weapons and they’ve had secret communications for a decade. Our intelligence sources prove this. And, not only that but he has weapons of mass destruction.

    Wait…did I say that he wants to wipe us off the face of the earth and that he had ties to those guys who crashed into our buildings?

    Splitting hairs is not the point. You can deny the effect this has and get Bush off on a technicality if you want. But it’s not helping your case.

    Why would Bush lie about the intelligence if not to put into the minds of Americans that Saddam was linked with al Qaeda and 9/11.

    To see the effect of this in action, one only needed to go to any bar in the country and ask your average person who gets all info from TV if Saddam was connected to 9/11.

    Let me repeat that i am not a Clinton fan.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Right, so he didn’t say it directly – but the insinuation was definitely there. He had left it for all the gullible ones to connect the dots.
    Mission accomplished!

  • Cindy

    Bush: The “worst of the worst” are in Guantanamo. We don’t torture.

    I guess he meant to say: “Most of the people we have kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured, with no right to even defend themselves, are innocent.”

    Because that would be the truth.

  • Baronius

    Ob, another great article.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan @ #95:

    The Kurds were the example brought up by Lumpy. The Shias in the south were also treated in a rather charming way after the first Iraq war, as I recall.

    And I agree: good riddance to the old bastard* and the ambulant doggie-doo he called his offspring. The fact remains that none of those atrocities you listed were reasons for going to war against Saddam. Also, there are dozens of regimes today who are just as creatively nasty if not more so to their own people. Should we declare war on all of them?

    Remember, we went to war against Hitler not because he was barbecuing Jews, gays and gypsies, but because he was a threat to world security.

    Stopping someone from being wicked just isn’t a good reason for starting a war (unless it’s you he’s being wicked at). Once you’ve started down that road, where do you stop?

    * By which I mean Saddam Hussein, not you, Lumpy!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not to mention, we have a long history of installing wicked people in office – Batista, Saddam (when he was fighting Iran), the Shah, Noriega. It’s only when they no longer serve the purpose that we find it convenient to demonize them.

  • Cindy

    Bush

    (not to mention the wicked ones b4 him)

  • zingzing

    obnoxious, he may not have said that hussein/iraq was responsible for 9/11 (that would be stupid, even for him), but he most certainly linked to two.

  • zingzing

    the two. not to two.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    zing2, I dread to think what would have happened if you’d actually got it right the first time, and Bush really had tried to link 9/11 with Archbishop Tutu.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Never underestimate the native intelligence of George Dubya!