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December 04, 2004

Where Are The Heroes?

Thomas Sowell asks an intriguing question:

You cannot fight a war without many brave men taking risks with their lives in order to try to accomplish their mission. Yet can you name a single American hero in either of the two wars going on today in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Think about it: which names spring to mind when you think of the war on terror? Jessica Lynch? (her rescuers remain anonymous). Lyndie England? (can you name the man who blew the whistle on Abu Gharaib?) Or, if you listen to The Democratic Underground, heroic figures like: Janeane Garofalo, Tim Robbins, Roger Ebert, Dennis Kucinich.

I took the liberty of looking up the word "heroic":

1: of, relating to, or resembling heroes especially of antiquity
2 a : exhibiting or marked by courage and daring
2 b : supremely noble or self-sacrificing

Tim Robbins? Lyndie England? What is heroic in their actions?

This is what real heroes look like:

Captain Brian Chontosh.

1st Sergeant Justin D. Lehew

Corporal Jason Dunham

Staff Sgt. Robert Whisenant.

But the average American has never heard of these men. And if the media have their way, their names will never become household words.

Their deeds will not live on in the memories of a new generation.

Tales of their courage, honor, and devotion will never inspire our sons and daughters to greater things.

Their strength will not be allowed to remind our grandchildren of what the human spirit is capable, when challenged by adversity.

The media gather each night on the TV news and claim to support our troops. They then proceed to parade before us every casualty, every defeat, every setback, every example of the sometimes ignoble human conduct that is a tragic consequence of war. Everywhere we look, we are confronted with lists of the fallen. Where are the medals awarded for courage and gallantry?

Where are the heroes?

Sowell points out:

While our troops were willing to put their lives on the line to carry out their missions, they did not go overseas for the purpose of dying. Nor have they died without taking a lot more of the enemy with them. Every terrorist killed in Iraq is one that will never come over here to commit another 9/11.
Anyone who was serious about honoring the fallen troops would honor what they accomplished, not just the price they paid. More than 5,000 Marines died taking the one little island of Iwo Jima but they were honored for taking Iwo Jima -- a wretched little island in itself, but a crucial forward base for supporting the air attacks on Japan that ended World War II.
Those who are busy "honoring" the deaths of American troops in Iraq seldom have much to say about what those troops accomplished. The restoration of electricity, the re-opening of hospitals and schools, and all the other things being done to try to restore a war-devastated country get little attention, and everything that has gone wrong makes the front pages and TV news for weeks on end.

There is a sad agenda behind the mainstream media's refusal to truly honor our troops, and it is a two-fold one.

Firstly, they refuse to report the noble, the inspirational, the praiseworthy; afraid they might “fall victim” to what they see as a myth: that America, with all her faults, could ever be a force for good in the world. Enamored with their perceived role as hard-hitting journalists, they righteously spurn any story sympathetic to the land of their birth. After all, they pride themselves on their objectivity.

Wary of being used as propaganda tools for our government, some go to the other extreme and propagandize against it. Terrorists become ‘insurgents’ and ‘freedom fighters’. As Chris Matthews assures us, they’re not terrorists. They're really more like “rivals”:

“...they‘re not bad guys, especially—just people that disagree with it. They‘re in fact the insurgents fighting us in their country.”

Reporting good works or heroic deeds would force them to abandon the comforting moral equivalence that lets them equate Abu Ghraib with the torture and beheading of Margaret Hassan. They might start having to make moral distinctions. To admit there are such things as Good and Evil in the world.

So firmly opposed to this war are the media, that they will say or do anything to discredit it. Thus, we have hundreds of stories on Abu Gharaib, but almost nothing about Spirit of America or Operation Give.

We have Jeremy Sivits instead of Joe Darby.

Who's Joe Darby? Funny you should ask...

Posted by Cassandra at December 4, 2004 05:09 AM

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FWIW, I think Websters should put Pat Tillman's picture beside the definition of "Hero".


Posted by: Greg at December 4, 2004 08:02 AM

Here's another one you won't hear anything about:
SGT Peralta

One hellova Marine! Semper Fi!

One of my pet theories is the change in the way mainstream journalism covered our military and Country began with Cronkite's lies concerning Tet back in the Nam era. You can almost point to that exact moment when the journalistic "standards" changed. It became all the rave to portray the U.S. as the enemy and it continues to this day.

I look back at all the war correspondents that went before and compare them with today's "objective" journalists and I find this modern group to be lacking in everything from character to good judgement. Guys like Greyhawk, whom I admire immensely, want to point the finger at stateside editors and production managers. I totally disagree. I place the blame at the point of origin and the decision made right there in the field. THAT is why today's war correspondent fails the basic test. THAT is where the lack of judgement, which judgement was formed in an Ivory Tower enviroment of "objectiveness", comes into play. Choosing sides and being an American first is against everything holy in the world of "objective journalistic standards".

If you study those that went before you will see what true American war journalism should be about. Study guys like Ernie Pyle and see the balance they displayed.
Ernie Pyle - Indiana School of Journalism His writings are, to me anyway, what provides a true and better understanding of what war is really like.

One of the biggest reasons that allot of warfighters support guys like Sites, as an example, is because they admire the intestinal fortitude of these guys that put themselves in harm's way to get the story. Look closely at Pyle's stuff. On the Indiana U site you will find some private letters Pyle wrote discussing his fear and giving an example of the type of fortitude he had displayed. Yet he had no thought at all about who's side he was on. It is the modern journalist to me that has lost all "objectivity" while losing the character that guys like Pyle possessed. Intestinal fortitude be damned if you cannot give an accounting without throwing troops under the bus or remove your own anti-American bias from the story.

Look at the young Marine journalist reporting the story of SGT Peralta. Excellent work and I dare say he has more moral and patriotic character in his little finger than all the glory hounds of Sites' stripe combined. But, as with Pyle, he will be villified for his "bias" by the journalistic intellectuals. After all, the young man is a United States Marine so his work cannot be of high quality and meet the modern standards of bashing the very service he serves.

These modern journalists want to "make a difference" when they graduate journalism school. They are spoon fed anti-U.S. propaganda with a massive dose of what constitutes "objectivity" thoughout their classes in school. Is there any wonder why we receive their biases in reporting and their biases in the lack of focus on the true heroes that should be shown to the world? Nowhere short of blogs like this and the Milblogs in general do we even hear the stories of the incredible deeds done by our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Something is screwed in the media and it is not really hard to see what that is. It has become quite blatant and an almost "in your face" bias that is being shoved in our consciousness on a daily basis. To me there is no defense for the lack of coverage of true American Heroes. There is NO objectivity in the MSM or any type of freelance journalism. The idea that we have a "free" press is as much a fallacy as the idea that they are "neutral" and "unbiased" in their own reporting. They need to sh*t or get off the pot and choose sides openly. Enough of all of this idealistic BS that they are "objective" while forcing their own biases in the very fabric of every report they film or write! There is no such thing as objective reporting or you would see our American Heroes put on display regularly for the American people to revere and celebrate! But then that would just simply not be "objective"! Instead it would be seen as patriotic and supporting your own country. We musn't have that!

Posted by: JarheadDad at December 4, 2004 09:43 AM

Did I see Roger Ebert and heroic in the same sentence?

Posted by: Pile On® at December 4, 2004 10:54 AM

Stunning, isn't it?

I thought it was the feel-good, roll-in-the-aisles moment of this viewing season.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 4, 2004 12:09 PM

Roger Ebert became a hero when he quit trying to write movies. What he's done for society since then is anyone's guess.

Posted by: KJ at December 4, 2004 01:27 PM

While I believe in real life heroes, I also just got through watching Spiderman 2. AWESOMENESS!
I never thought sequels lived up to the originals, but this is an exception.

Talk about heroes and the importance they play in our lives.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Posted by: Cricket at December 6, 2004 10:54 PM

I think the Marvel brand has done pretty well in the movie context. Both Spiderman and both X-Men movies were excellent, with the sequels being as good or better. That is 4 good movies. Dare Devil was tollerable. Hulk sucked donkey tenticles. I can't remember any others right now. I anxiously await Silver Surfer and The Fantastic Four. Spiderman and X-Men both have the ability to keep the movie franchise going. They need to keep the same actors as long as possible though. (See, Batman below.)

The problem with the DC comic movies is timing. Superman was done years ago and made more kid friendly. Thus, I think they stink today.

Batman was good twice, bad once and barely tollerable once. At least it was appropriately dark. Keaton was definitely the best, though I doubted his choice initially.

I'm not a fan of DC Comics though, except for Batman. He was "real." Of course, Marvel has the advantage of a single vision - Stan Lee. DC was really just a bunch of different people with one publisher.

Superman is really just too powerful to believe that he could be challenged. As for Aquaman, give me a break. He would be useful on anything except a water polo team. And I'll bet Flash is on steroids.

Posted by: KJ at December 6, 2004 11:16 PM

Yeah I be havin' tentacles, but ain't none of you crackers gonna be suckin on em anytime soon.

Posted by: Donkey Octopus at December 6, 2004 11:30 PM

I thought Daredevil stunk up the place. Perhaps that's just the mother of a 9-year-old talking--well, yeah, it is. That movie STUNK.
Are they really going to make a movie of the Silver Surfer?

Posted by: MrsPurpleRaider at December 9, 2004 08:32 PM

Love the content! All my thanks and respect to our fantastic men and women on the front lines! But, for the love of Mike! PAGE BREAKS! don't keep cramming every single article onto one page! Takes forever to scroll all the way to the bottom! ;-)

Posted by: Mr Satyre at April 11, 2007 11:03 PM

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