City of Roses
Thant's very true, Noah. I'm sure there were many who believed that. It is one thing for us to think so and another thing for Congress to continue coming out with a barrage of points which do nothing more than undermine our troops in the field. Once war begins, I believe that the congress should band together and the nation stand as one. Peaceful protests? Of course - that is everyone's right but the Democrats in power have gone way beyond that. They have gone every way possible to elaborate on everything gone wrong in Iraq. Has there been any media coverage of the good things? Zilch. They do not want there to be anything good. Picture yourself a soldier in the field, Noah, fighting for something you believe in, which a majority of soldiers in Iraq do. What do you read? How the American are torturers based on Abu Ghrab. How American soldiers murder civilians in their beds. How the was is lost and America has no chance at any success. You are hearing this from your own politicians while watching videos of soldiers having their heads chopped off by terrorist machetes. How would you feel, Noah? Do you not think the terrorists are emboldened by such actions? Limbaugh did say one interesting thing last week. On the CBS nightly news, Gibson said that there was "no news to report from Iraq" since there had been no killing or no suicide bombs set off. No news???? That is GREAT news! Unfortunately it is not the kind of news thay want. They want blood, bodies and mayhem - the rest, even peace, is unnewsworthy to them. I doubt the soldiers in Iraq feel the same way.
Los Angeles Times Interactive: September 13-14 2001 Poll
I've said this many times before and I'll reiterate it again: the nation DID stand together as one, Michael.
Contrary to what Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, Bill O'Reilly and others have suggested that one side of the aisle never had the nerve to go after those directly responsible for 9/11, following September 11th, a unanimous majority of Americans believed, regardless of political ideology, gender, race, faith or what-have-you, that we must, as a nation, go after those individuals and groups responsible for carrying out and/or coordinating the tragic attacks on our nation.
The results in the above LA Times poll released just after September 11th, 2001 reflect just that. On Question 6, 99% of Americans believed terrorism to be either a very serious or serious issue. And on Question 10, 86% of Americans set aside their political differences and supported the President (including myself) including many of his staunchest critics who had accused him of stealing the 2000 election. And on Questions 36 and 37, solid majorities favored using military action against Osama bin Laden and his sympathizers, even if it meant casualties were likely.
What you must understand, Michael, is that we we are all united on the belief that we must go after those DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the attacks on 9/11. Where we're fundamentally divided is NOT whether we go after them or not, but if there is any such thing as a "pre-911 world" and a "post-911 world". I believe myself there's no such thing, and that terrorism is a problem that has and will always exist in some fashion. That certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't combat terrorists. We must. But we must be pragmatic and patient in how we deal with these threats, and the fact is none of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from Iraq, I realized that BEFORE the war in Iraq began, I read deeply into the rationale and felt most skeptical, and believed it was a separate war from that against those directly responsible for 9/11, and so vocally opposed it adamantly not just because I'm a pragmatic pacifist, but because aside from that, it would divert attention away from those that made 9/11 happen.
No, I strongly disagree with the notion that we ought to, as Americans, deify ANY administration EVER during times of military conflict, and moreover that we always should have an innate distrust toward our government so that we keep them in check. And these last six years epitomize EXACTLY what happens when no check, no balance is put in place: you might wake up and find our habeas corpus rights have been suspended, or random American citizens are being wiretapped or their e-mail messages being read without a warrant, or what they check out at the public library is being leaked to intelligence services, or extraordinary renditions are taking place, or the definition of what constitutes as "torture" is being re-defined, etc..........all of which are gradual chiselings away at our civil liberties and protections that are playing right into the hands of the terrorists.
Now, you've asked me also to picture myself as a soldier on the field, fighting for something I believe in, as virtually all our young men and women certainly do, and think about what I'm often reading and how I feel in result.
Since I'm not an active volunteer, I don't know what they read, Michael, but I'm also sure that all 160,000 of our young men and women in uniform are not reading the same thing either and get their news from various sources.
Certainly much of the war coverage is negative and depressing, and I'll agree once again strongly that I don't believe the good news is reported nearly as much as it should be on the things our young men and women do in local communities all across Iraq, many of which are golden acts of altruism and human compassion for the good of Iraqi children and their families. For that, I'd imagine I'd certainly be most frustrated the more humanist side of the Iraq war isn't being covered, as it SHOULD be covered in any war.
The New York Times: "The War As We Saw It": August 19th, 2007
But, Michael, you also have to understand that our troops aren't all going to think the same way, and they all have varying opinions and backgrounds just like you and me and every other American. Some soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Seventh Marines are simply going to have different views from some soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division, who seven troops in the latter wrote an op-ed in The New York Times called “The War As We Saw It.” which the piece expressed skepticism about “recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable” (Two of the seven op-ed writers, Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance Gray, have since died from a vehicle accident in western Baghdad, with a third badly injured.)
That certainly doesn't mean all our troops have the same sentiments. On the contrary, there are many I recognize who not only believe in what they're doing as virtually ALL our troops do, but ALSO believe in the mission, where opinion is much more polarized. I may staunchly disagree with the views of those serving who believe in the "stay-the-course policy", but I certainly don't think any less of any one of the troops who has that view, and respect them equally as highly as I do the critics of the war serving there.
I myself not only doubt, but am certain, that our troops don't feel the same way about what kind of news from Iraq is "unnewsworthy" as many of our media personalities do. I believe they very much resent that the fuller spectrum of stories are not being represented, particularly those of the courageous and compassionate things many of them are doing across Iraq. But I also believe most of our young men and women in uniform are able to see beyond the superficiality of thoughtless comments some of our politicians and pundits make occasionally regarding Iraq, and will interpret these situations as that these personalities are just wackos and are not meant to be taken seriously. For they KNOW what they're doing is RIGHT, they BELIEVE in what they're doing, and a unanimous majority of Americans BELIEVE in them as well, where I know once they all come back, they won't be spat at and ridiculed endlessly, but on the contrary be praised and applauded, immortalized as the heroes they truly are.
I absolutely believe our young men and women in uniform have enough emotional strength to tell what is a crazy thing someone says from what is the reality as they serve.........and though I am not serving and thus will never fully understand all the sentiments and emotional tension on the ground as the approximately 160,000 currently serving in Iraq do, I believe I'd feel most frustrated with how the media misrepresents me, but also optimistically sure of myself that what I'm doing is right and is appreciated by a unanimous majority of Americans, and will not be crushed.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"