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.
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.