Monday, August 29, 2005

What The Media Hath Wrought

From a Rasmussen poll, via Q and O:

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Americans say that it is important for "Iraq to become a stable company that rejects terrorism." That figure includes 59% who say that Iraqi stability if very important to the U.S. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 14% say that objective is not very important or not at all important.

While 79% agree with President Bush on the importance of the Iraqi mission, just 48% believe that success is likely. In fact, just 13% say achieving stability in Iraq is "very likely." The public concerns about the War effort are primarily about competence, not ideology.

So, in other words while the media is telling us that support for the War is declining, it is far from the truth. Support for our tactics is declining, but, the truth is, that's because the media deluges us with bad news all day, every day.

Q and O notes that General Downing, former commander of the US Special Operations Command was on Meet the Press the other day, and had this to say:

Quite frankly, I think one of the problems that we're having is that the news media, the opposition to the war are framing this entire discussion in the terms of casualties and casualties only. I think what we don't have is a serious discussion about why you take those casualties.

We're not out there roaming the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan, looking for IEDs to blow up. Everything we're doing in a military campaign, both the U.S., the coalition and the Iraqi forces, are aimed at objectives. And those objectives are to promote the political process, number one, because what we're doing, Tim—for the last six weeks we've been doing this—we're preparing for the election in the middle of October—I mean, the referendum on the constitution and then the following one, the election in December to ratify it.

The other things we're doing is we're supporting the economic development of that country and the social development. That's why these military operations are going on.

And I really think that it's incumbent upon you and the others and the responsible American press to put the casualties into these kind of context.

In other words, what is it that they're accomplishing? I mean, can you imagine us and, you know, it's been quoted out there in the Web, judging the D-Day invasion of Normandy back in 1944 by the casualties that were suffered?

Well, that puts into context, doesn't it?

And now let's take a look at what the media hath wrought. this is the story of Marine sergeant Marco Martinez, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a full-time psychology major at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif and his incredible valor, and the treatment it has afforded him on his college campus:

“A woman on campus had apparently learned I might be a Marine. When I told her I was, she said, ‘You’re a disgusting human being, and I hope you rot in hell!’ ”

Indeed, Martinez, who will be the first male in his family to receive a college diploma, says he is receiving more of an education than he bargained for: “There are a lot of people who don’t appreciate military service in college,” Martinez said. “If someone asks me about it, and I think that they’re not too liberal, I might tell them I was in Iraq. But I don’t tell them the full extent of it or anything about the Navy Cross.”

The Navy Cross — as in second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Martinez, formerly of 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, is a bona-fide American hero and the first Hispanic American since Vietnam to receive the Navy Cross.

During the Battle of At Tarmiya, one of Sergeant Martinez’s fellow marines had been hit in the legs and left for dead by five terrorists holed up in an adobe garden shed. That’s when Martinez used his body to shield the dying marine from the terrorist before mounting a 20-meter frontal charge at the bunker with nothing but a depleted rifle and a grenade.

With enemy bullets pinging off his gear, Martinez unpinned the grenade, slammed his body into the adobe building, and lobbed the device into the window of the structure, killing all the terrorists inside.

Honestly, grown men should bow their heads when they meet this man. Women should weep grateful tears that such a man exists.

Stories like this are what the Iraq War is made up of. Men, who volunteered for service, sacrificing themselves with the hope and determination that people in a part of the world which has never tasted freedom may finally find themselves free human beings with rights and opportunities.

As Christopher Hitchens says, this is a war to be proud of.