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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Jackals and Pat Tillman

In every modern war, commanders have tried to write comforting letters home to parents of soldiers killed in the service. Regardless of the circumstances of their deaths, decent and compassionate commanders have always tried to put those circumstances in the best light possible, sometimes stretching the truth or even glossing over painful facts. Sometimes their actions were also designed to hide the fact of their own incompetence or “for the good of the service”, but usually the motives were benign.

Upper level commanders sometimes have another problem to consider when unfortunate things happen. On the battlefield, first reports are often confused and sometimes dead wrong. Sometimes, for example, a casualty is reported as a combat death in honorable circumstances, but when the smoke clears, the circumstances change, and sometimes friendly fire or something else is found to be involved.

The suicide rate for police officers is high, but would probably be much higher if first responders did not occasionally rearrange things or give every benefit of the doubt to report the death as an accident. The people I’m discussing here are good people, trying to leave families coping with violent, sudden death in the best circumstances possible.

Another aspect of this situation has to do with the difficulties facing military commanders trying to fight a war in today’s world:

“There is a word for this sort of thing. It is "propaganda". Now, this word has come to take on bad connotations in our day, but in fact, propaganda is a necessary component of any war effort, as even the genteel beast of the Press recognized some sixty years ago, when they were willing agents of U.S. and Allied propaganda. Of course, back then, the Press considered themselves to be Americans first and journalists second, so the kind of mindless "objectivity" we see in reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan would have been unthinkable in the Philippines, New Guinea, North Africa, Italy or Normandy. The Press was on our side, and spoke possessively of "our troops." There was none of this "U.S. commanders claimed today....", but rather, "Today our troops smashed... "There was a very good reason for this.

Karl von Clausewitz wrote that modern war rests on three pillars: the state, the army and the people. If one of the pillars is weak or collapses, the war effort collapses with it. It is impossible to wage a war -- any war -- without controlling the information the public receives concerning the conduct of that war. War is a terrifying, grotesque and confusing business; it is hard enough on men who have been trained to endure its rigor and who have become accustomed to its images. Civilians, without any standard by which to judge, will find the whole thing repulsive, and will turn away from it. In other words, the morale of the home front will suffer. This is particularly true when they attempt to judge the progress and leadership of war by the standards of the civilian world. Wars are not won by armies that are 90% effective over those that are 85% effective, but by those that are 15% effective over those that are 10% effective. This is due to Clausewitz's concept of "friction," the compounding effect of myriad minor errors that combine to make even the simplest thing difficult; it is what separates "real" war from "war on paper." Yet the press, which deals in paper, can only talk of war on paper, therefore, from their perspective, wars are always being run badly. Civilian morale suffers, which in turn undermines support for the state and the army, and the war effort collapses.

If this war has demonstrated anything, it is the impossibility of waging a sustained war in a liberal democracy in the presence of an unfettered press. The enemies of liberal democracy, of course, do not believe in, nor have to deal with, a free press -- and this gives them an dangerous advantage in the kind of war where will to victory is far more important than actual victories on the battlefield.” -- Stuart Koehl, Falls Church, Virginia, Letter to American Spectator

Perhaps the death of Pat Tillman, who remains a hero to all patriotic Americans, was misreported for other than compassionate reasons, but only the lowest form of vermin would use his death to gain political advantage. We know many Democrats want us to lose in Iraq. Senator Reid and Congressman Murtha have made that very clear. Their hatred of our president knows no bounds.

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1 Comments:

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

It's true. Liberals like Murtha, Kennedy, Reid and Durbin, have proven to be Yellow Cut-and-run cowards. I'm not sure about how I'd classify John Kerry. He was only in action for three months, and that doesn't seem long enough to get his uniform wrinkled, but we all know how he acted when he got back to the states. Thank God for the guys that spoke out against him in the last presidential election. The left in this country have created a "Gotcha" atmosphere, where you can't say anything without these idiots taking it out of context, or lying about it all together. We talk about the Hollywood crowd, and how they are composed of a bunch of left wing pinheads, but that's not exactly true. Bill O'Reilly had actor John Voight on the factor last night, and Mr. Voight is one of the few smart thinking individuals that really has a handle on what is going on in this country. He talked about the war, the Left's use of propaganda and how it is effecting this country. There are more smart thinking actors and actresses that think this way, like Sela Ward, and Bo Derrick to name a few. So, when I refer to Hollywood actors as pinheads, I'm only referring to the idiots that are always shooting their mouths off while knowing absolutely nothing about politics. Enough said. I leave you with this:

SMART SOLDIER!!!

A combat decorated soldier was talking to Chelsea Clinton and she asked
him what he feared most.

He said there were only 3 things he was afraid of --

"Osama, Obama, and Yo Mama"

 

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