Sunday, October 30, 2005

Soldiers and The American Media

As I watched the Discovery series last night, Off to War I found myself wincing at some of the things stated by these Troops from an Arkansas NG Unit regarding the reasons for going to war in Iraq. If I were one of these soldiers who believed what they believe regarding the build up and rational for going to war, I wouldn't be very happy either. Being away from one's family for an extended length of time is difficult under any circumstance but when you believe that your country has been duped into a war, how does one maintain morale? Putting aside the inaccuracies and outright lies repeated by some of these troops in the series my thoughts move towards the sympathetic for they and their families. Much of the misinformation comes from too often repeated news bites which have in many Americans minds become fact. How to change that? Was it changeable with Vietnam? Not til it was too late and even then, there's a major segment of the US population which still believes the misinformation from the 1970's.

Whose fault is this? The Media? The individual for not using their given ability to delve and investigate further? Politicians for continuously regurgitating the lies for their own political gain? Talking political heads on TV who want this to be a quagmire so this word will be continuously repeated til it's true? I heard it again this morning on Russert's Meet the Press. Ne'er a mention of the recent voting victory in Iraq because this doesn't fit the picture to be presented.

"A Soldier" writes about the effects of all of the above.

Now I ask that you take what you’ve read so far and add to that a large population of ordinary soldiers. The majority of these soldiers are unaware of much outside of the military. Many of them lack extensive formal education and some even lack any semblance of an education at all. Many of these soldiers are also disgruntled at being asked to do their jobs. Now picture these soldiers receiving their news via television, newspapers, emails, phone calls, etc. and all they perceive is negative content about the war, about their government, about their country. Take this tremendous fighting force and preach to them that they have been misled; tell them that they have been lied to, show them that they are not supported, suggest their government is corrupt, label them murderers, and explain to them that in the end we were wrong and now expect them to continue to fight this war in which they have no option to fight.

"A Soldier" leaves us with this quote:
“Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.” – Voltaire

The American Thinker

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