What's Shown vs What the Soldier Sees and Writes
Check out the linky section, if you want to know what’s going on in the minds of the average Joe Soldier over in Iraq- It’s really refreshing to get the perspective from an admittedly biased, but committed source. These guys are out there doing the boot-level diplomacy, running the gauntlet, doing really dirty work 12-16 hours a day, every day. Think about that when you’re sitting in Poly-Sci class, debating the merits of God-knows-what, while these guys are out humping their kits around, peering out the windows of up-armored HUMVEE’s trying to get where they’re going in one piece. It must be a real mental exercise to put things in their proper perspective, to not know where or when death comes from, hidden in plain sight, by people whose justification for murder gives them perverse satisfaction. The mental juggling that one must do just to function under that kind of stress is admirable to say the very least.
I truly think that the insurgency must like what they do. If what I’ve been reading in the blogs from over there are any indication, these guys have made it their life’s calling because they truly enjoy it. The good news is, reports are circulating now that indicate the Iraqis themselves, having grown weary of the death and destruction, have run a few out of town on a rail with lead in their backside. The media isn’t really running with it as much as the soldiers would like, but the soldiers and the media have nothing in common, and there appears to be no love lost between them. The media itself appears obsessed with documenting “the cost of war” in an effort to sell more air time for shampoo commercials. This is pasted in between Terry Schiavo, Martha Stewart and Michael Jackson of course, and all the Majors are breathlessly rehashing the stateside drama. It’s no wonder the average American seems to think the war isn’t going all that well.
In truth, I haven’t the time or the stomach to tell you what I think of the media as a whole, and what they think they’re doing over there, but I do think it will come back to bite them in the ass, some day. There are too many well written accounts right now- let alone those that will be written upon the soldier’s return home- for the media to escape unscathed. I think they’ll not fare so well in the warm afterglow afforded by hindsight. To be fair, I’m sure the Administration will take some hits too, but the majority of those will be served by the journalists and armchair generals, if I were to make any predictions.