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To Tell The Truth...

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Ringo
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0 posted 06-02-2010 08:47 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

I was going to post this in the Lounge; however, I figured I was too irritated about it to put it there... once I started to place it here, I realized I wasn't even surprised.

I don't remember seeing this on World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, or any of the others... including Fox News... It wasn't in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe... My kids aren't learning about it in school, my girlfriend didn't hear about it in college...
http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3632

I remember reading this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/11/AR2005111101623.html

This was all over the news http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/11/AR2005111101623.html

I have seen too many news stories about the casualties (including the non-combat related ones that no  one seems to want to hear about... just lap them into the rest), the "failures", how the Iraq War was full of all sorts of atrocities...
The military members are called heroes by the very same people who are lumping them in with Lt. Calley, hitler, and Chairman Mao... and yet, I don't really recall hearing anything at all about the true heroes, except for the football player who went to war and died (followed by, yet more diatribe)

And the journalists of the world claim to want the thruth.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

serenity blaze
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1 posted 06-03-2010 02:40 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

quote:
how the Iraq War was full of all sorts of atrocities...


Um..."was"?

Is that war over?

What I respect about journalism is the dedication to truth--what I disrespect about journalism is sloppy verb/tense disagreement, and pronouns that slip by without question.

"To tell the truth" is not an easy proposition. I respect the people who try.

Makes me love an editor, it does.  
Bob K
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2 posted 06-04-2010 02:21 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Thank you for the citation on the Navy Cross citation for Marine First Lieutenant Brian R. Chontosh, Ringo.  It's always an inspiration to see that service folk today are upholding the finest traditions of honor and bravery in our nation's history.  They have done so in the past, they do so today and I believe they will continue to do so in the future.

quote:

I have seen too many news stories about the casualties (including the non-combat related ones that no  one seems to want to hear about... just lap them into the rest), the "failures", how the Iraq War was full of all sorts of atrocities...



     You will need to be more precise about what you mean about your having seen too many stories about  "the casualties, the 'failures', how the Iraq War was full of all sorts of atrocities..."  What do you mean by too many?

     The fact that The Bush administration was forced to admit that many of these stories, such as stories about Weapons of Mass destruction, long range drone airplanes fitted for dispersal of poison gas and the like were actually untrue seems to be to suggest that these stories were actually doing their job of making sure that the administration was telling the public the truth.  Your objection suggests that you are uncomfortable with the truth.  As the Jack Nicholson character says, "The Truth!  You can't handle the truth!"

     When Nicholson is talking about the truth about this country as in fact he is is he correct here?  Would you rather not know or be lied to as long as the lie is comforting or preserves a cherished illusion?  There are a lot of people who will not tell the truth when they're confronted with that question, about themselves, their families or their countries.  It's a toss-up sometimes whether I would.  Though I certainly would like to think so, that may be another cherished illusion on my part.  How about you, Ringo?

     The Iraq War was and is full of all sorts of lies and tragedies.  I wouldn't exclude atrocities without a lot more information, and I fail to see how you could either, unless you have access to intelligence that hasn't been made available to the rest of us.  Do you have such access?  Because we do know that Prisoners were killed during interrogation at Abu Ghraib, and that the interrogation methods we allowed were methods that we called war crimes when the Japanese used them and the North Koreans used them and when the Russians used them to interrogate prisoners we thought they were torture.

     Apparently we are like vampires, and do not see our own actions or the reflection of our own actions when we look in the mirror, though what other people do seems clear enough to us.  And we seem capable of condemning in fairly clear terms.  And our use of these methods seems to make it difficult for us to try people we've questioned in this way in our own court system.

     Reasonable consideration of such criticism as you offer to news media and those whose political philosophy you find difficult to tolerate here actually has a requirement, as I understand it, in law.  We have the occasional lawyer or law student who tosses in an occasional opinion here.  Perhaps I am misapplying my understanding of the notion of "clean hands?"  Person A, for example, who suggests that Person B is guilty of the hypothetical crime of bad language would have a difficult time establishing his case were he to begin his address to the judge by saying, "Your Honor, this particular Father-Flogger and Mother-Wrapper has been calling his friends offensive names  Flaking forever."

     No standing.  The accuser has dirty hands.

     We know we've got at least some grime on our hands, and perhaps a lot more.  Ringo doesn't seem to want to know about it.  Instead, he wants to know about the good stuff.

     I have no objection to knowing about the good stuff.  The details of how somebody got the Navy Cross are music to my ears.  I want to know about those folks who got it right, even in a tough situation.  They make me proud.

     The mistake is in thinking that there needs to be a quid pro quo here.  When Ringo thinks about a parity of news from left wing and right wing sources, he appears to be trying to bring up a seven pound hairball.  

     I happen to agree with him.  It'd be pretty boring if Left wing news had to make stuff up to get air time   what would they be reduced to?  If they don't have the news to fill the air-time, or the listeners interested in listening, then what's the point.  There has to be a demand.

     But the same logic seems to go with this other point of view as well.  If you've got to make up stories about how well we're doing, then the news isn't really news now, is it?  If the Government is lying to you, getting caught in the lies, one half of the government say President Bush is contradicting the other say Dick Cheney, then that is a story.

     The least they could do would be to keep the lies consistent.

     Blaming it on the press is simply sour grapes.  Lying is one thing, but lies that fall apart like wet newspaper in a hailstorm is something else entirely.  You don't want to get steamed at the press for that.  You might, as a Radical Republican, consider is voting for more competent liars.  I hear that centrist Republicans are actually Republicans and do their best to tell the truth.  Ike Eisenhower was a decent guy as I remember him.  He was a straight-shooter.

     I'd have rather had another term for Truman, myself, or have given Stevenson a break, but Ike was a good man.

     So tell, me, Ringo, what's the version of The Truth that needs to be printed and how's it different than the one we see.

     I think the American version of The Truth seems very limited and very edited, by the way, and we get a very skewed version of what much of the rest of the world seems as news.  I think even a few weeks abroad would give the average American a bit of a shock about how The World sees America as opposed to how America sees America.  It's very instructive.  Even a few weeks in Canada listening to and reading Canadian media makes a large difference.

     I can only begin to wonder how it's different in Asia or Africa or Brazil.
Ringo
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3 posted 06-04-2010 06:55 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Uncomfortable with the truth?
Not even close. That is not even in the same hemisphere as the possibility of being close.

I would ask that you go back and remember all of the reporting that has been done on the wars that we are currently involved in (Actually, Iraq is no longer a war, but nation building... but that is another discussion for another thread). Now, the news media is screaming about how there are x number of combat casualties, yet whyen they are reminded that there are people (such as Sgt Andrew Baddick who was killed by a jumping into the irrigation ditch to save friends who crashed their humvee with no enemy anywhere in sight, or Spec. Robert Lerch whose humvee hit a bump, and the hatch on top smashed his fingers) who are included that had no combat connection to their death or their injury, they scream their stat even louder, and insist their reporting is absolutely correct.
There were reports of American Soldiers committing atrocities, real or imagined, on the battle field and off. There were reports of the failure of the American military to protect (insert person here). There were people screaming about how the Americans were going at these wars alone (while 11 other countries had battle casualties).
I don't seem to remember hearing about the aforementioned Marine, or the battle that occurred where the Americans were making a final stand in front of a school house where the Iraqi military (or insurgents, I don't remember the exact enemy this many years later) was fighting to get to it and blow it up. I don't recall any news stories about how the country nowe has more opreating hospitals and a better developed infrastructure than it did when the Iraqi people were free from American occupation.
The only thing the main stream news media (broadcast, Faux News, Communist News Network, whomever) is interested in is giving the dirt. And, yet they say they are all telling the truth. We have more news about Jesse James and Sandra Bullock's drama than true American heros...
And that is the truth.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

Bob K
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4 posted 06-04-2010 07:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     And yet somehow you are aware of them.

     The very reality of that suggests that the truth is at least subtly different than the truth you've described:  That these stories don't get out, and that they are unknown. I believe the logic of your unfortunate position works this way

     I believe that stories about A are unknown.  I know this because I know stories about A that few people know.  Therefore stories about A are actually and to my knowledge known, but not in a fashion that I find satisfactory.

     You have a quarrel with the distribution of these stories.  I have a quarrel with the distribution of other news stories, the timing and distribution of some of them.  They are different sorts of stories, given our different political positions.

     I have some areas of agreement with you.  I believe that deaths and injuries in a combat zone are poorly reported.  I am uncertain whether the non-combat deaths and injuries should be separated out as though they were somehow less honorable, or as if they were due to factors that we could actually exclude from the fact that they happened in a combat zone.  If we weren't there, we don't know if these folks would have gotten hurt of died.  Their injuries and deaths seem honorable to me.  It seems rather miserly to me to be quarreling over whether or how to honor them.

     It seems to me, furthermore, that wounded in action folks who die en route to out of theater hospitals should be counted as combat deaths.  I have heard that they are not so counted, and this seems to me to be a pity.  It seems the least we can do for them, even if it's politically uncomfortable for whichever party's in power.  I don't care which it is, a soldier deserves to be honored for the sacrifice he or she makes, not for what makes the neatest and most sanitary looking statistical record.

quote:

There were reports of American Soldiers committing atrocities, real or imagined, on the battle field and off. There were reports of the failure of the American military to protect (insert person here). There were people screaming about how the Americans were going at these wars alone (while 11 other countries had battle casualties).



     I should hope there were reports of Americans committing real or imagined atrocities.  We carried real or imagined reports of other troops doing so.  One of the things we hope our journalists do is to try to get the facts right over time; and reporting the best facts available as they become available with sufficient suitable references is what they are there for.  Protecting or failing to protect person X or Y would seem to be the same sort of story.  We certainly have printed enough stories about targeting and killing the number three man in Al Qaeda with Hellfire rockets fired from drone airplanes.  Why would stories about protection and failures of protection be off the table?

     And while 11 other countries took battle casualties in Iraq, and those casualties were reported, why would that mean that the number of countries that thought that we were wrong to go into Iraq in the first place and refused to go; or felt, as the war went on, that we were doing a bad job and that they should get out as exactly how bad a job we were doing and as they understood how badly we had lied to them in the first place became clear.  Then there were the allies we alienated.  Why would any of this be beyond reportage?

     It was reported, and it was true.

     You certainly have some very real points about things you would have liked to see get more air time, but they were crowded off the front pages by the stuff that was frankly much bigger news.

     Troops behaving heroically is wonderful, but not news.  It's reported, but it's not as newsworthy as a U.S. President Lying His Country into an Economically disastrous War and all the various betrayals that stem from that single mind-boggling Reality.  It's eight years later and I still can't get my brain to understand the whys and wherefores of it.  And with the various pieces of information out of Great Britain about how it appears that That administration went into office with that war in mind from the beginning, it gets even more unbelievable.
 
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