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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Missing words

Posted by: Hammer / 5:43 PM

Here's a NY Times piece about the lack of war heroes in Bush's Iraq adventure:

Their names are Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta. If you have never heard of them, even in a week when more than 20 marines were killed in Iraq by insurgents, that might be because the military, the White House and the culture at large have not publicized their actions with the zeal that was lavished on the heroes of World War I and World War II.

Sixteen paragraphs later, we start to get to the heart of the matter:

Perhaps, some experts said, the military knows that promotion will attract unwanted scrutiny. After the heroic tales of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and Sgt. Pat Tillman were largely debunked - with Private Lynch shown to have never fired a shot during her capture and rescue in Iraq, and Sergeant Tillman killed accidentally by fellow Americans, not the enemy, in Afghanistan - the Pentagon may have grown cautious.

I don't want to diminish the heroism or accomplishments of any soldier in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere working in the service of this country. But let's be real clear about the wars we're fighting. The Bush administration PR machine was ready to push heroes on us: until the first two stories were proven to be fabrications.

Moreover, the administration wasn't duped in either case. The stories of Lynch and Tillman were fabricated by the military press machine with full cooperation of the White House. There were no accidents here. These were deliberate attempts to sway the public based on deceptions.

The real story here is not the lack of heroes -- there are dozens of heroes who merit attention and praise each day. The story is that rather than telling true stories of great courage, the administration has chosen to lie to the American people.


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