Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, August 17, 2007

What Does it Say About the Media...

...when this gets reported by Popular Mechanics?
Half a World Away: Soldiers in Iraq Don't Hear Deliberations Back Home (and Often Don't Care)

TIKRIT, Iraq — It never even hits the radar screen. For the troops on the front lines and the colonels in the rear—and just about everyone in between - the big news in Iraq every day is that they're still alive and healthy. When it comes to Senate votes on the U.S. presence in Iraq, Sunday talk shows thrashing out length of deployment and stateside pundits talking to themselves, nearly every grunt, airman, sailor, soldier and Marine I speak with just doesn't care.

It's not negligence or a lack of opinion about how long they think they should stay here; they're tuned out because the news doesn't impact their day-to-day operations - and because comms often leave them uninformed from half a world away.

War deliberations and post-firefight reactions back home can vanish during the 12-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week base-line duty of the average soldier in Iraq. So when line troops are swamped carrying gear from street patrol to street patrol, village raid to village raid, for up to 20 hours a day, they often don't have the time for, or the luxury of, Internet access. And when they do get it, they're not punching up CNN - it's e-mails from home they're reading.

During last month's heated, all-night debate on Capitol Hill about when and if the U.S. should withdraw from Iraq, I asked several military officers of different ages and ranks about their thoughts on a potential pullout. Nearly every one stressed how important his or her work here has been—and will be. "If we leave within months, Iraq will be a province of Iran," one colonel said. "Everyone with any education or skills who hasn't already left will end up leaving."

A mortarman with the 25th Infantry stationed in Tal Afar stressed that he thought the American media has not been reporting what really goes on during daily ops across the war zone. "It's all about body counts," he said. Marines out in the former Wild West of Anbar province said the same. They are proud of the job they’ve done in cleaning up what was once considered a lost, Al Qaeda-infested area. They wondered why America hasn't heard MORE of that news.

A sergeant 1st class with the 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry, whose unit is attached to the Marines near Habbaniyah, patrols daily around Al Anbar province. This is his third tour, and he's confident that progress is being made, despite what he calls early missteps in policy. "I think [Americans] understand our sacrifice, but they don't understand that we're just not ready to leave."

The sergeant expressed an opinion I've heard from dozens of line and support troops and commanding officers about the continuing effort to rebuild, piece by piece: "We need a little more time - some places are more violent than others. But that's how things happen. This country can't be built in five years. And don't we have a responsibility to help them build it?"

What is so difficult for so many of them, though, are the seemingly endless deployments, and for the Army, at least, disheartening extensions. Many soldiers will spend two Christmases away from home. —Leslie Sabbagh
I guess you don't have any "moral authority" unless you're the anti-war parent of a killed or maimed soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, or an anti-war active duty member of the military. Those who "believe we have a responsibility" to the population of Iraq are obviously just duped ignoramuses who joined the military because they couldn't get a real job, and only wanted the job training and college benefits. Who needs to listen to them?

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