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January 19, 2005

Uncommon Valor

...that really seems worthy of more common mentions by the liberal legacy media.

Jim sends me this must-read Rich Lowry piece:

You probably don't know Rafael Peralta's name. If we lived in a country that more fully celebrated the heroics of its men in uniform, you would.

...


[T]he Marines entered a house [in Fallujah] and kicked in the doors of two rooms that proved empty. But there was another closed door to an adjoining room. It was unlocked, and Peralta, in the lead, opened it. He was immediately hit with AK-47 fire in his face and upper torso by three insurgents. He fell out of the way into one of the cleared rooms to give his fellow Marines a clear shot at the enemy. During the firefight, a yellow fragmentation grenade flew out of the room, landing near Peralta and several fellow Marines. The uninjured Marines tried to scatter out of the way, two of them trying to escape the room, but were blocked by a locked door. At that point, barely alive, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it to his body.

His body took most of the blast. One Marine was seriously injured, but the rest sustained only minor shrapnel wounds. Cpl. Brannon Dyer told a reporter from the Army Times, "He saved half my fire team."

...

Peralta's sacrifice should be a legend in the making. But somehow heroism doesn't get the same traction in our media environment as being a victim or villain, categories that encompass the truly famous Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England respectively. Peralta's story has been covered in military publications, a smattering of papers including the Seattle Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, ABC News, and some military blogs. But the Washington Post and the New York Times only mentioned Peralta's name in their lists of the dead. Scandalously, the "heroism" of Spc. Thomas Wilson β€” the national guardsman who asked a tough question of Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld that had been planted with him by a reporter β€” has been more celebrated in the press than that of Peralta.

The media dwells on the deaths of soldiers and Marines murdered in Iraq without being afforded the chance to fight back. Killed by a roadside bomb. Laid dead by a mortar shell that came without warning.

The media spends a great deal of time reporting these deaths, they say, because it's important to inform the American people of the costs of war, and the real-world impact of our policies on our soldiers and Marines. And that is, I suppose, true as far as it goes.

But there are deaths like the death of Rafael Peralta they seem decidedly less interested in. Why? Isn't his death also part of the factual record the American people need to be made aware of?

In the eyes of the liberal legacy media, the answer is no. Because Peralta's death is, for them, an inconvenient one. His death is a noble one, a heroic one, a selfless one; a death of his own chosing, a choice to exchange his life for those of his fellow soldiers.

And that runs contrary to the liberal legacy media's chosen narrative of senseless slaughter leaves American boys dead, and for what?

Peralta's death can't be used to advance their agenda. And hence the media silence.

The media does indeed have an obligation to report on those soldiers killed and maimed without even being afforded the chance to fight back. That is war, after all, especially this war, fought chiefly against animals.

But it would be nice if they could acknowledge their duty to report on men like Rafael Peralta, too.


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posted by Ace at 02:50 AM

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