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July 31, 2004

Supporting Our Troops: "All anyone wants to write about is our dead and wounded"

This attitude -- giving defeats and uprisings and bodybags front-page coverage, while relegating victories to page A16 -- couldn't possibly hurt troop morale, could it?

Everytime our troops are killed, it's mentioned, usually in in the top third or even the first or second story, on the network newscasts.

When's the last time you saw such prominent reportage of our hundreds of clear victories? Victories in which twenty or thirty or forty terrorists are killed with minimal or zero American casualties?

Most often, I see the press refer to such enemy kills as "Iraqis." Iraqis. Not enemy fighters. Not foreign enemy fighters, which is what most of them are. Just "Iraqis." Some Iraqi civilians just out for a stroll whom our troops massacred.

Anyway:

"Once we got in the city, we had hundreds and hundreds of people trying to kill us," said the [soldier fighting in Fallujah, a] native of El Paso, Tex., recalling how the cascade of enemy shell casings from windows above the Marines sounded like a never-ending slot machine payout.

After braving enemy fire four times to evacuate wounded Marines, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason "Doc" Duty received a medal nomination that reads, "As bullets impacted within inches of his head, Duty remained resolute in his mission."

...

More than 50 Marines from Echo Company have been recognized for valor between March 18 and April 26, when they went into Fallujah to root out insurgents after four civilian contract workers were murdered and two of the bodies hanged from a bridge.

The battalion's Fox Company has recommended about 20 Marines for medals.

"My boys are superheroes," said Capt. D.A. Zembiec, the Echo company commander who climbed atop a tank while under fire to guide it to where his men were pinned down. "I got guys with two Purple Hearts still out here working."

...

As word of the violence spread, the media gathered for a closer look.

When insurgents attacked Marines in a house, Lance Cpl. John Flores, 21, stood outside protecting the left flank. Wounded twice, Flores could have left for treatment, but he said he didn't have the heart to leave his fellow Marines.

"One reporter said, 'It can't be that bad,' " recalled 1st Sgt. William Skiles, Echo Company's top enlisted man.

"Well," Skiles recalled, "the Armored Assault Vehicle had just stopped to let the media off when the first (assault rifle) rounds flew overhead. Then came the (rocket propelled grenades). There weren't a whole lot of stories filed that day because the reporters were face down in the dirt."

During the encounter, journalists often asked Skiles, 43, of San Juan Capistrano, for information for their reports about the fighting, but he thought they were missing something.

"I kept thinking: What about valor? Why weren't any of the reporters interested in the valor of our Marines?

"All anyone wants to write about is our dead and wounded," he said, thumbing through military papers that included nominations for Silver and Bronze stars.

It would be nice to see Our Patriotic American Media give greater coverage to stories like the ones recounted here. I'd excerpt, but there's very little of the story that's not worth excerpting. Read the whole thing, as the man says.

It's a sick world where Michael Moore is lauded for having the "courage" to make a film guaranteed to win him praise from his peers and millions in profit, while the guys who actually have courage -- the real kind, not the fakey "artistic bravery" sort -- can't get a single column inch on the front page of any of our very patriotic newspapers.


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posted by Ace at 11:26 AM

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