Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Coalition of the Unwilling Cowards

I was greeted on page 2 of my favorite local compost binder, The Oregonian, with the following lead...
"Soliders make up coalition of the unwilling"
It was written by Monica Davey New Your Times News Service. I can't link to it, because they are not carrying it on the web, so hopefully, another OR blogger can back me up if required.

The header is accompanied by two photos of our intrepid slackers SSgt Mejia and Sgt Benderman. Stories of daring midnight trips to Canada, ooooh frightening, and assistance from Vietnam burnouts and the War Resistors Support Campaign fill the article. It is a good 20 paragraphs in before any Army official has a chance to fill in the numbers...a whopping 92 CO applications in 2003. Early on the article does quote a Sgt 1st Class as saying, "Thre are a lot of people, many more than normal, who are tying to get out now." Obviously, this Sgt 1st Class is a personnel expert.

Here is my beef. As we are looking back at our two year stint in Iraq, the intellectual MSM, unfulfilled in it desires to see us fail, are now pasting their printsheets with this anti-war tripe, and passing it off as news. There is no reason for this story today, except to diminish the impact on the positive things that have been accomplished over the past two years. If the Bush administration is going to point out the good...they will do their unwavering duty and point out the "bad." They are caught up in negative-reactionism journalism, which requires that all administration good, must be countered and punctuated with bad press. Geez, why has blogging caught on?

Again, not a single photo of a soldier or Marine receiving an award. Not a single reference to any of the good that has been accomplished. Not a single interview with soldiers and Marines, satisfied with their service in Iraq, and not a single talk with a NG type volunteering to go back...I know of several here personally.

No, the attention in this society is focused on the weak, the "victims", and the whiners, whose very existence is assured by the strong and the brave. Let them desert. Let them go to Canada. Let them wallow with their Vietnam era deserters, but don't celebrate it as some noble act that requires courage. It is an act of cowardice that requires only a bus ticket and the encouragement of fellow slackers, who quake from fear at the life and death challenges that face us all. A thirteen year old in a cancer ward has more courage than these collections of cells that merely consume oxygen.

Volunteering carries with it the responsibility to complete the task volunteered for. It usually means you are helping someone who, at the time, cannot fend for themselves. It almost always implies hard, even arduous work, often in the poorest of conditions. Sometimes, particularly when one volunteers for military service, it involves great personal risk. This is why this country honors its soldiers, and rails at cowards. Walk the battlefield in Gettysburg and you will come to understand what sacrifice is a far cry from some gutless wonder taking a bus trip from Texas to Moose Jaw.

Quit honoring these slackers,...sorry but the Army and Marine Corps have always been about more than signing bonuses and college opportunities...they have been warriors first, and that is why we have our freedoms. If weak-willed persons had been allowed to walk away when the going got tough, it is likely Washington would have rode out of Valley Forge alone; that Iwo Jima would never have been taken; and D-Day would have been a miserable failure. Courage and discipline are the life's-blood of soldiering, let's honor that.

  • This post linked to the open post on The Mudville Gazette

  • The Mudville Gazette

    Mike said...

    This seems to have been in the news a lot lately. Jack Army and myself were kicking around a USA Today article from last week about counter-recruiters; people who convince recruits to un-enlist.

    The article we discussed at least had a semblance of impartiality, much better than this one.

    On a different subject, your comments regarding weakness are interesting. It seems our society has an unhealthy obsession with victims. Jessica Lynch, the Levy/Smart kidnappings of a few summers ago, even the heroic firefighters of 9/11; all victims, and all people who received large amounts of positive media attention. Contrast this with the media coverage of people like Rafael Peralta, or Paul Smith.

    To take a bit of a historical bent, I know most Americans recognize the name of My Lai and what happened there, but I wonder how many know who Hugh Thompson is. Or, another example, I know most Americans remember the soldier's body being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, but I wonder how many know who Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon are.

    Major Mike said...


    I couldn't agree more. I believe we have entered a time where victimism is more admired and reported than heroism. Seems a bit backward, but it ties in with the elitist attitudes of the left and their ally, the MSM. They seem to think there is something corny about men acting heriocly, while it is perfectly OK to stand by the offramp with a sign begging for food. Beats the heck out of me. Major Mike

    Mike said...

    Taking the idea a bit further, it seems to me that this victimhood is a function of the leftist elites idea of government being the savior of all. With the exception of the 9/11 first-responders, both Jessica Lynch and the kidnapped females were dependent on a government organization to rescue them. Same goes for the recent serial rapist on the loose in Colorado. People were told that only the police should deal with the rapist. Same goes for the hero in Texas (his name escapes me unfortunately) who took on a Kalishnikov wielding maniac with his trusty M1911. Unfortunately, the maniac was wearing body armor, so the hero was shot down and executed by the maniac. In all the media reports of the incident, there were repeated warnings to not do what this man did; that instead the populace should let the police deal with the problem, nevermind that if this man had done that, the maniac's son would have likely ended up dead. (The hero arrived in time to distract the shooter's attention from his son.)

    Personally, I thought the lesson learned was to not bring a pistol to a long gun fight, but that's just me.

    Anyway, I agree with you that there seems to be a shift in our society. But at the same time, I think that in the majority of the country (that is, the area between California and New York ;-), heroism is still openly striven for and admired. Local coverage in my area of fallen soldiers seems to confirm this, although it was a little discongruous to see, in the same broadcast, an obviously canned network story about the latest VBIED in Iraq and a local story about a Marine from Omaha who had died saving the life of one of his buddies, leaving behind a new wife and a newly born baby.

    Anonymous said...

    Rodger that Major! My service, 1968 to 1972 gives me a little of in the know. USN NSG CTM-2.
    If anyone wants to go to war or likes it, well, theyre not balanced. But someone has to do it and the cowards that put them down are so unAmerican and enemies within our borders it best if they left.
    My friends aand fellow service members of that era feel the same way. We WONT let them succede this time. Were in country, OUR country and know their tactics.
    They dont have a chance Major. We old farts will be the home guard, and stand ground.
    After all, we fought for that right, not them...

    Special Forces Alpha Geek said...

    I think the reason that military types react so strongly to these stories is two-fold. First, it stands the traditional morality of the warrior on its head. There's an implication that their cowardice is a more noble decision than that of their comrades who willingly place hemselves "between their lov'd home and the war's desolation."

    More important, though, is that by taking a soldier's oath and then refusing to serve, the deserter is abandoning his post and his comrades. I don't think that people who haven't served (read, most of the MSM) really understand how huge a betrayal we see that to be.

    Personally, I don't really mind the cowards weaseling out - I'd rather have them quit now than endanger the life of the good soldier beside them by wimping out later. What infuriates me is the left's wrapping of their cowardice in the cloak of morality. How dare they pretend that their cowardice is the result of a principled, moral decision. Quit - certainly. Abandon your country, your comrades and your sworn duty - if you must. But that decision should carry with it a deep sense of shame, a lifelong stigma, and the derision of society - not the approval or support of the media.

    To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his gods,
    And for the tender mother
    Who dandled him to rest,
    And for the wife who nurses
    His baby at her breast

    Toni said...

    Here's my issue with this and that is the focus of the media on these stories. There have been many of late and all of the stories glorify what these deserters are doing. From not telling the truth about the Navy deserter saying he would be deployed to the mideast when his ship went to aid the tsunami victims. I for one am real tired of hearing from the regurgitated Vietnam vets against the war. I always assume (and I may be wrong) these are the VN vets who were drafted (or knew they were to be drafted ala John Kerry) not volunteers. So, it seems to me we should support an all volunteer military all the more.

    Dave Gaganon said...

    Right on Mike. I have a son who just got back from a year in Iraq and he baffuls them all in Q and A forums that he's been involved in. When he is asked if he would volunteer to go back, his answer is always if it were not for wanting to come home and see his family he would have volunteered to stay and still be there probably. For some reason that never gets into print.

    74 said...

    It will be interesting to see the way the Corvallis Gazette Times covers the return of Bravo Co. in a few days. The GT has been pretty well slanted against the war (who'da thunk) except for the coverage of Bravo Co. Even then, they have tried to put negative spin where they can. I wonder if they will publish personal accounts of the deployment.

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