Patterico's Pontifications

10/28/2005

What the New York Times Leaves Out

Filed under: Media Bias,War — Patterico @ 10:07 pm



Michelle Malkin has the story of a selectively quoted letter from a Marine killed in Iraq. The New York Times reported it this way:

Sifting through Corporal Starr’s laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine’s girlfriend. ”I kind of predicted this,” Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ”A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances.”

Here’s the relevant passage:

Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I’m writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances. I don’t regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it’s not to me. I’m here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.

The part in bold was not included in the NYT story.

This Marine died for freedom, and he wanted the world to know he thought it was worth it. But the editors of the New York Times decided they didn’t want the world to know.

I guess they didn’t have enough space — in a story that was 4,625 words long.

To hell with them.

Spread the word.

72 Responses to “What the New York Times Leaves Out”

  1. Caught Red Handed?

    The arrogance is striking. Reporter James Dao and the editors at the NY Times had to know their crooked quote, lifted out of context to undermine public support for the war, could be easily exposed. Yet, it violates the most fundamental standards of fairness and accuracy in American Journalism.

    And they did it without hesitation. Simply put, they don’t fear exposure. That’s the nature of things at America’s Newspaper of Record. The NY Times brand of crooked journalism is now the standard by which all other newspapers will be judged. It’s a race to the bottom of the barrel, and the NY Times leads the way.

    Houston, we have a problem.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  2. makes me wanna cry

    actus (c9e62e)

  3. Maybe that’s why the NYT hid it from you.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  4. “Maybe that’s why the NYT hid it from you. ”

    I suppose. Feeling sorry for soldiers isn’t good for the war.

    actus (c9e62e)

  5. I suppose. Feeling sorry for soldiers isn’t good for the war.

    If you think for one second that the NYT eliminated that portion of the passage because including it would be bad for the war, then you are an idiot.

    Since I know you’re not, your sarcasm is utterly pointless.

    This Marine wanted the world to know why he died, and the NYT hid it. That’s disrespectful to him and to his memory.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  6. No, actus,

    Using the death of a solder to push the Lefty agenda at the expense of that very solder’s own heartfelt words is wrong, very wrong.

    James Dao of the NY Times abused the public trust and presented his own opinion as that of someone who didn’t agree. The Times didn’t go so far as to actually put words in the dead man’s mouth, but they sure didn’t make any effort to let him speak for himself either.

    The NY Times, by a conscious act of omission, deceitfully, shamefully, misrepresented one of America’s honored dead. Corporal Starr earned the right to his own opinions, expressed in his own words. James Dao and the NY Times took that away from him, and that’s a dirty low-down, rotten thing to do.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  7. “This Marine wanted the world to know why he died, and the NYT hid it”

    The world? Please. Its an unsent letter to a girlfriend.

    Not putting something in the NYtimes is not hiding it. Though the NYtimes didn’t hide it too well. it did say he believed strongly in the war. Makes you feel sorry for the guy don’t ya?

    actus (c9e62e)

  8. I honestly don’t think you’re being fair to the NY Times. The article clearly states that “Corporal Starr believed strongly in the war” even if it doesn’t provide a direct quote to support this position. Likewise, it’s misleading to say they should have had room in a 4,625 word article when only 256 of those words are about Cpl Starr. I’m not saying that the NY Times is perfect, but this particular bit of criticism is as misleading as Slate’s “Bushisms” column.

    Gabriel (faa13c)

  9. Nonsense. You might disagree with it, but there’s nothing about it that is misleading. What is misleading is the article. Simply saying that he agreed with the war conveys nothing of the power of his message.

    I do indeed feel very sorry for the guy, Actus. Both that he died and that his message was distorted by the NYT, taking away the meaning he hoped it would have for anyone who heard about it. I doubt that he ever expected the NYT to talk about him, but (based on the quote the NYT hid) I’m sure he would have been outraged at the way the story was portrayed. Clearly his uncle was.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  10. “What is misleading is the article. Simply saying that he agreed with the war conveys nothing of the power of his message.”

    He agreed with the war, went there a third time, thinking he would die. I get that from the NYtimes piece. It also happens to be his message, unsent, to his girlfriend.

    Too bad for him. And her too I guess.

    actus (c9e62e)

  11. actus,

    This is yet another example of how Democrats, Progressives, and the MSM support our troops, exactly the same way they did during Vietnam: they spit on the graves of dead solders while they give aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Too bad for all of us.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  12. ” aid and comfort”

    Nice use of the buzzword.

    actus (c9e62e)

  13. If the shoe fits…

    North Vietnam has a special section in their National War Museum to honor antiwar Americans: Jane Fonda and John Kerry come in for special recognition. North Vietnam’s top wartime leaders say they couldn’t possibly have won without the US antiwar movement.

    So, seems giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies is nothing new for Dems. It’s traditional.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  14. “So, seems giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies is nothing new for Dems. It’s traditional.”

    Ya. funny thing the dems did to north vietnam. Giving them aid and comfort to the tune of thousands and thousands of tons of high explosive.

    But I do like your buzzword usage. Do you ride that dog to the top: the penalty for aid and comfort is death. You think the “dems” ought to get death?

    actus (c9e62e)

  15. Black Jack, Osama bin Laden wanted a fight with the U.S. and we gave it to him. How is that not giving aid and comfort to the enemy? The way he looks at it, more than 2,000 Americans have been killed and he’s somewhere laughing at us.

    I don’t believe that people were spitting on graves either, that’s a bit much.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  16. actus,

    No, I don’t think being antiwar or even anti-American requires the death penalty. Nor do I think Dems qualify for a trip to old sparky.

    But I do think Dems have sided with our enemies time and time again. I do think that deserves to be exposed, examined, and judged. And, I think the likes of Jane Fonda and John Kerry should be identified and called to account for what they did.

    I also think that the NY Times pulled a dirty trick on a dead solder when it selectively used only part of his words to advance their own agenda. I think that was shameful, wrong, disrespectful, and arrogant.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  17. Patterico, your accusation of maliciousness on the part of the NYT is not warranted. This piece was not about whether soldiers believe in the war or not. What was remarkable about this particular marine is that, sadly, he came close to predicting his own demise.

    I would guess that more than half of all the soldiers killed in Iraq believe in the cause and have documented that belief in one form or another. (The poor sots are literally brainwashed in the military anyway, so that’s no surprise.) So are you trying to say that omitting over 1,000 soldiers expressing commitment to the war is the result of left-wing bias? You want quotes from all of them or you’re going to whine about it?

    Also it says this early in the article in question (that you have conveniently left out): “Many of those service members returned voluntarily to war because they burned with conviction in the rightness of the mission.”

    Neither you nor Malkin are being reasonable about this.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  18. What is misleading is the article. Simply saying that he agreed with the war conveys nothing of the power of his message.

    It’s not Lifetime Television; it’s the Times.

    jpe (f7e4b8)

  19. “The poor sots are literally brainwashed in the military anyway, so that’s no surprise.”

    So you have to be brainwashed to be a millitary person who supports the war? I’d save your pity, it’s not wanted.

    Rediculous to say the least.

    Jim (501d49)

  20. No Jim. I didn’t make the claim that you have to be brainwashed in the military to support the war. But it is probably no coincidence that most military people do support it.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  21. The article might not be a propaganda piece for your politics but it does not misrepresent Corporal Starr in any way. Why do you feel an article about escalating casualties should give evidence for this soldier’s opinion the war was worth it and that soldier’s opinion it wasn’t? Did you want an honest accounting of opinion? Because lots of people died in Iraq — Americans and ten times as many Iraqis — and if the NYT reported accurately that most of them felt the war was not worth it you’d be screaming bloody murder.

    I think the problem here is standards: you think Malkin’s a journalist.

    Ali Baba (ef05d6)

  22. It’s a matter of context.

    Michelle Malkin reports on a NYT story about the utterly grim 2000 dead mark that the left is stuck on like static cling. The left’s obsession with dead soldiers is bad enough, but it gets worse.

    Severe Writer's Block (59ce3a)

  23. John Kerry’s position on the war over the past eighteen months is laughable when viewed in context. He famously asked during the Vietnam era, “How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?” He dubbed Iraq a mistake, but pledged to stay the course. Thus as President he would have had the opportunity to answer his own rhetorical question.

    His recent call for a pullout to ‘improve the security situation’ in Iraq is simply a retread of the Vietnamization plan that did not work in Vietnam and will not work in Iraq.

    AnonCon (8b0f85)

  24. “But it is probably no coincidence that most military people do support it.”

    Is it a suprise military people support going to war?

    robert staats (47bb9e)

  25. The ommission is shameful.

    TCO (5e2e67)

  26. The NYT like most media outlets is opposed to the war and therefore only reports things that cast our efforts in a bad light. Their favorite way of doing this is to report only casualties, and never any progress. How could anyone think this was worth it if they only know the cost and not the benefit?

    Ask yourself this: How would WWII have been perceived back home if we only got the casualty figures in the newspaper? Would FDR have been impeached after D-Day?

    Blackbeard (1ff6c6)

  27. Learn to read. From the NYT:

    Mrs. Jones, 26, said she struggled at first to contain her anger that her husband was sent to Iraq instead of Germany. But she has consoled herself with the conviction that he died for a cause he supported. And she firmly rejects the antiwar protests of Cindy Sheehan, saying they dishonor the fallen.

    “I hope she doesn’t have my husband’s name on a cross,” Mrs. Jones said. “My husband, if he had a choice, that’s how he would want to die. As a soldier.”

    You people are unbelievable. If reading all the words in a story is too hard, stick with the NY Post or the Moonie Times. Or Fox News on TV. It’s an open marketplace; you have choices.

    SomeCallMeTim (1b965c)

  28. “But I do think Dems have sided with our enemies time and time again”

    In the case of north vietnam, by dropping thousands of tons of TNT on them. On south vietnam too.

    “I also think that the NY Times pulled a dirty trick on a dead solder when it selectively used only part of his words to advance their own agenda.”

    Its a story about people dying. One soldier’s expectation of death was quoted — very relevant. He was also quoted as being in favor of the war, which isn’t so relevant to a story about death rates.

    “Is it a suprise military people support going to war?”

    Its not surprise that young men are heroes, or strong.

    actus (c9e62e)

  29. I think too many people are jumping to conclusions based only on Michelle Malkin’s comments, which suggest that this soldier was the focus of the article, that the entire letter was quoted except for the section in bold, and that the soldier was portrayed as anti-war. None of that is true, and this is being blown way out of proportion.

    First, the reporter wasn’t quoting the soldier’s entire letter in the article. Rather, he took ONE sentence from it to support the message of the article, which is what all reporters do. You select the most concise quote that provides the best illustration of your point. The risk, obviously, is that you leave out some important context, but that happens all the time–you have to go with whatever has the most punch, so that your readers don’t get bored. Fact is, all media work this way, even Fair and Balanced Fox.

    Also, the article never portrayed this particular soldier as anti-war, as is being implied in the criticisms. Rather, he was used as an example of some soldiers who are weary of the war. The soldier’s comment in the rest of the paragraph would have added flavor, sure, and personally, I think adding a couple words about the soldier’s beliefs would have made for a stronger article. However, this soldier was just one of many people who were involved in the article, and in news stories, quote space is generally reserved for the major players. It sucks, but that’s the way it is in journalism.

    Finally, the article quoted both people who were against the war, and those who support it.

    OpenMind (93adf4)

  30. SomeCallMeTim:

    You people are unbelievable. If reading all the words in a story is too hard, stick with the NY Post or the Moonie Times. Or Fox News on TV. It’s an open marketplace; you have choices.

    Leftist readers can easily conclude that the woman is just trying to rationalize things, and that we aren’t hearing directly from her dead husband. The power of the Marine’s letter suffers from no such defects and you know it.

    OpenMind:

    The risk, obviously, is that you leave out some important context, but that happens all the time–you have to go with whatever has the most punch, so that your readers don’t get bored.

    That’s the exact point: the excised portion carries the most punch of all — it’s just not the punch that the NYT likes.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  31. “That’s the exact point: the excised portion carries the most punch of all — it’s just not the punch that the NYT likes.”

    But the story is about soldier’s deaths, not why they fight. Why is just irrelevant.

    actus (c9e62e)

  32. Patterico:

    Actus beat me to it: The bolded snippet wasn’t the focus of the story, and so it didn’t have the most punch.

    OpenMind (93adf4)

  33. Actus is another example of a liberal who thinks he/she/it is being “patriotic” by siding with the terrorists, ala his masters KOS/Atrios/DU/Mediamatters/moveon.org.

    This is why liberals hate blogs, because they expose the lies of their mouthpiece, the MSM.

    libdestroyer (55df01)

  34. The NYT treats other people’s words and opinions as some kind of Chinese menu, where the NYT can assemble anything it likes from the contents, without regard to what those people think. The Times is utterly uninterested in any differing opinions and never does justice to views that disagree with its own.

    The Times starts and ends with its own agenda. The sooner they fold, the better.

    Bostonian (163833)

  35. But the story is about soldier’s deaths, not why they fight. Why is just irrelevant.

    Nonsense. There’s plenty in the story about how why they’re fighting. The sixth paragraph of the article is this:

    Many of those service members returned voluntarily to war because they burned with conviction in the rightness of the mission. Others were driven by powerful loyalty to units and friends. For some it was simply their job.

    Much of it is running down the war: saying that there is no good reason to fight. For example:

    Mrs. Williams-Smith, 42, is silent no more. Though her oldest living son is in the Navy, and her youngest son wants to join the Marines, she openly rages against the war and President Bush.

    “It’s time to bring these boys home,” said Mrs. Williams-Smith, of Mansfield, Tex. “My feelings for Bush are harsh. He should have taken care of the needs of his own people before going across the ocean to take care of someone else’s.”

    The anger Mrs. Williams-Smith, who is black, feels toward the war is shared by many other African-Americans, according to polls, military officials and experts. And that opposition is beginning to have a profound effect on who is joining the military – and potentially who is dying in Iraq, many experts say.

    And this:

    Polls indicate that support for the war has dropped among whites as well. But the disparity between blacks and whites is immense: while 45 percent of whites said the invasion was a mistake, 77 percent of blacks felt that way, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last month.

    There is admittedly some second-hand explication of the support that some soldiers and Marines have for the war. For example:

    Multiple deployments have clearly embittered some American families, driving them to push their children and spouses to quit the military. But others say the willingness, sometimes sheer determination, of loved ones to return to battle has made them see a deeper value in the mission, no matter how deadly or open-ended it may seem.

    “I thought initially that we should never have gone to war,” said Karen Strain, 51, of North Hero, Vt., whose son, Cpl. Adam J. Strain of the Marines, was killed by a sniper in August.

    “But now I feel we have to finish the job,” Ms. Strain said, pausing to fight back tears. “Adam gave me more insight for how sad it is for those people, and how we can help give them their freedom. Adam changed my views.”

    Or this:

    Mrs. Jones, 26, said she struggled at first to contain her anger that her husband was sent to Iraq instead of Germany. But she has consoled herself with the conviction that he died for a cause he supported. And she firmly rejects the antiwar protests of Cindy Sheehan, saying they dishonor the fallen.

    “I hope she doesn’t have my husband’s name on a cross,” Mrs. Jones said. “My husband, if he had a choice, that’s how he would want to die. As a soldier.”

    Ah, so they’re being fair! you might say. They’re giving that perspective!

    But all of what I just quoted is subject to criticism as the mere rationalization of relatives who need something to hold onto. Nothing is as powerful as hearing it from the dead Marine himself. So the paper offers “both sides” but deprives one point of view of its most powerful evidence.

    And pretending that the reasons we are fighting is irrelevant to the story is utter bullshit. It doesn’t pass the laugh test, and it is not consistent with the content of the story.

    Here is how the story ends:

    Mr. Starr, an accountant, said he remained convinced that invading Iraq was the right thing to do. But he said he would also like firsthand confirmation that the war, and Corporal Starr’s death, were not in vain.

    “I’m hoping, my wife is hoping, that we can visit Ramadi,” he said, fighting back tears. “And feel safe. And feel like Jeff died for something.”

    And there the article ends.

    It’s all about whether Jeff died for something — but we’re not told that Jeff said, in his own words, very powerfully, that he believes he did.

    There is no excuse for this sort of “reporting” and the attempts to justify it in this thread are pathetic dissembling.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  36. Let’s not get too ad hominem, I’m a hawk and a conservative and I agree with Actus that the NY Times story portrayed Cpl Starr accurately. You don’t have to be a fifth columnist to think it would be over-the-top to have stories emphasizing only how gung ho our boys are.

    Also, Blackbeard raises a very interesting point (with echoes of VD Hanson), if the media only reported casualties in WW2 we probably would have quit. I think the issue isn’t so much that Americans (or citizens of democracies more generally) are strongly casualty averse, only that they want those casualties to accomplish something. In WW2 there was a very clear metric of accomplishment, territory. Each island hopped and each square mile of Africa and Europe taken was a clear signal that we were winning WW2. In contrast, you don’t really have anything so clear with a counter-insurgency. Sure, you have claims that certain territories are “pacified,” but these claims are never completely credible. This is especially problematic given that people expect to lose this type of war thanks to the failure of Westmoreland/LBJ/McNamara to adopt a viable counter-insurgency strategy in Viet Nam before the public turned irrevocably demoralized. So while I believe that we are making progress in Iraq, this is very difficult to prove and that’s why most people focus on casualty numbers, not because they’re more meaningful but because they’re more concrete. This is neither a criticism of the military nor of the media, just an observation.

    Gabriel (faa13c)

  37. The problem with the NYT is not what it covers, but rather that it gives a pass to any story, or piece of it, that doesn’t support its political agenda, e.g. not covering essential stories like Kerry’s military or medical records; relating only the casualty lists without reporting the full picture of the war, including military accomplishments. And when it finally does cover these issues, we get superficial fluff pieces of yellow journalism.

    The NYT clearly knows that “it can fool most of the people, most of the time” if it just repeats its agenda over and over and doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. This soldier’s story is just another example of leaving out the real point of the letter- it had nothing to do with Corporal Starr’s prediction about his next relistment (yellow fluff). The real point was that this soldier was proud of his service to his country, being part of an important mission, something bigger than himself. He gave his life for your ability to speak freely, Tillman, we should listen to his message. He earned that, especially once the NYT quoted his letter.

    Oh, and Tillman? Your words- “The poor sots are literally brainwashed in the military anyway.” When your freedom is in jeopardy who are you planning to call on for help?

    “Comment by Dragonfly”

    Beth Manley (5db94f)

  38. You’re focusing on one small part of a subsection at the end of a long, rambling article. Sure, the reporter could have added some flavor and context by putting in a few words about the soldier’s beliefs, but — no offense to him — he was just a bit player in the article. That’s not how journalism works.

    Now if you have a problem with journalism, I’m with you. But frankly, that happens across all media, whether “liberal” or “conservative” or neither.

    OpenMind (93adf4)

  39. #33 libdestroyer: Um…how are Dems and libs siding with the terrorists, again? Just curious.

    OpenMind (93adf4)

  40. You don’t have to be a fifth columnist to think it would be over-the-top to have stories emphasizing only how gung ho our boys are.

    Who said “only”?

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  41. You’re focusing on one small part of a subsection at the end of a long, rambling article.

    That’s just not true. I just gave you a series of quotes from throughout the article.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  42. That’s not how journalism works.

    Unfortunately, fairness is all too often not how journalism works.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  43. “The sooner they fold, the better.”

    If the NY Times would shift to on-line publishing it surely would benefit the environment. No need for all that wood pulp, ink, delivery systems, waste collection and disposal. It would save the public a lot of money too.

    So what are the chances it might happen? Slim and none. Concern for the environment in NY is limited to Band-Aids and hot air, plus the usual Lefty hand-wringing and grandstanding.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  44. “It’s all about whether Jeff died for something — but we’re not told that Jeff said, in his own words, very powerfully, that he believes he did.”

    But we are told his view of the war. We’re also told of his view of the chances of death. In an article about the toll in iraq.

    actus (c9e62e)

  45. Actus, did you write the article? It would explain a lot . . .

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  46. “Actus, did you write the article? It would explain a lot . . . ”

    me? naah. I don’t even know how much of the letter the NYtimes got to see.

    actus (c9e62e)

  47. Only an Observation:

    Ever notice how good all these Lefty moonbats are at making excuses for liars like Joe Wilson, or Bill Clinton, or for MSM perfidy, and how fierce and strict they get about holding GWB’s feet to the fire?

    Talk about your double standards. They go on and on, grasping at straws, twisting facts, spinning, dodging, and talking out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. Wow.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  48. Tillman, we should listen to his message. He earned that, especially once the NYT quoted his letter.

    The Times piece does acknowledge that there are a lot of soldiers who strongly believe that this Iraq war is justified. So you’re also going to complain that the article didn’t give quotes from the hundreds or more who died in the war and supported the war? People already know that most of the military supports the war. So what would be the point?

    Oh, and Tillman? Your words- “The poor sots are literally brainwashed in the military anyway.” When your freedom is in jeopardy who are you planning to call on for help?

    I didn’t say that the military are poor fighters. Also, I really admire their loyalty since, in the military, dedication from those who serve is exactly what you need. But I do feel sorry for them since they basically are blindly obedient. (As I mentioned before, I hear that one of their sayings is: “Thinking is when the mind wanders.”)

    Patterico, you’re not going to be happy with the NYT (or the MSM in general) until it conceals every republican transgression and shows every republican act of virtue on the front page.

    The far right participates in a dangerous form of mental masturbation; for it hides every republican misstep and denies any opposition party virtue. It just creates a long series of special pleading arguments.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  49. You can lead a Jackass to water,
    But you can’t make one drink.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  50. You can’t tell an elephant that there is an elephant in the room either, BJ.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  51. Oh, I don’t know if that’s so.

    Elephants have big ears and long memories, and are pretty good a brushing off jackals and pip-squeaks. Not much frightens them, and they work hard, take care of their families, and care about community values. All taken together, not bad, not bad at all.

    But, Dems are too busy looking down their noses at the little people, or on their knees for liars and cads like Joe Wilson and Bill Clinton. Yes, it’s diffucult to see what’s right in front of your nose when you’re always turning your head away.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  52. “Elephants have big ears and long memories, and are pretty good a brushing off jackals and pip-squeaks”

    But they’re scared of the little ones. The mice! the Rats!

    actus (c9e62e)

  53. Tillman, didn’t say that the military are poor fighters. Also, I really admire their loyalty since, in the military, dedication from those who serve is exactly what you need. But I do feel sorry for them since they basically are blindly obedient. (As I mentioned before, I hear that one of their sayings is: “Thinking is when the mind wanders.”)

    I was following your thought process up through the “dedication … is exactly what you need” part. As a retired soldier who served for 25 years during the cold war so you wouldn’t have to learn to speak Russian or Chinese, I think I can speak for my fellow soldiers when I suggest that soldiers are “basically” no such thing as “blindly obedient” except in the most extreme circumstances where instant (not blind) obedience is essential to survival. I can also assure you that our intellectual capacity to judge whether we are fighting a just war for a just cause is not diminished by our ability to follow legal and just orders from superiors. I wonder, would you say the same about fire fighers and police officers?

    “I hear that one of their sayings is …?” Poppycock.

    If you want to make an argument that our brave young military men and women are largely wrong in their beliefs about whether Iraq, and I suppose Afghanistan, were the right wars at the right time then fine, make an argument. Please forget about any concept that you know the mind of any particular soldier or that they are somehow “victims” due to their inability to think and reason.

    One of the primary differences with the American military that sets us apart from the rest of the world is precisely that down to the squad level, our soldiers are taught to analyse the situation and to think creatively about solutions – on the spur of the moment, in the most extreme situations imaginable. “I am an Army of one.”

    I dare say that the average soldier is at least as well, if not better, educated than the civilian population as a whole. Certainly the preponderance of young recurits are high school graduates and all of the officer and senior non-commissioned officer corps are college educated, many with advanced degrees. Many of us actually read books on occasion.

    Just a friendly suggestion, since you’ve made the point a few times – stick to opining about that which you know something. I wouldn’t include soldiering in that universe. And please don’t feel you have to feel sorry for soldiers. “It’s what we do.”

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  54. “Um…how are Dems and libs siding with the terrorists, again? Just curious”

    No one answered that one.

    Frank Cooper (48ce0d)

  55. I think Tillman’s (#48) exactly right:

    Patterico, you’re not going to be happy with the NYT (or the MSM in general) until it conceals every republican transgression and shows every republican act of virtue on the front page.

    The far right participates in a dangerous form of mental masturbation; for it hides every republican misstep and denies any opposition party virtue. It just creates a long series of special pleading arguments.

    The article is pretty damned “fair and balanced,” actually. Also, it is very pro-U.S., and pro-U.S. military, which it seems to me it is trying to honor. Apparently, to some people, if you actually care that a couple thousand people get killed, then you don’t “support them.” (???)

    To those screaming “Left-wing bias,” read it again, please:

    . . . . . . . .
    Many of those service members returned voluntarily to war because they burned with conviction in the rightness of the mission. Others were driven by powerful loyalty to units and friends. For some it was simply their job.
    . . . . . . . .
    Multiple deployments have clearly embittered some American families, driving them to push their children and spouses to quit the military. But others say the willingness, sometimes sheer determination, of loved ones to return to battle has made them see a deeper value in the mission, no matter how deadly or open-ended it may seem.

    “I thought initially that we should never have gone to war,” said Karen Strain, 51, of North Hero, Vt., whose son, Cpl. Adam J. Strain of the Marines, was killed by a sniper in August.

    “But now I feel we have to finish the job,” Ms. Strain said, pausing to fight back tears. “Adam gave me more insight for how sad it is for those people, and how we can help give them their freedom. Adam changed my views.”
    . . . . . . . .
    So far, the emotional turmoil of repeated deployments has not taken a toll on re-enlistment rates for the Army or the Marine Corps, which provide most of the American forces in Iraq. Both exceeded their re-enlistment goals this year, aided by signing bonuses of $20,000 and more. But many experts said that could change if the war dragged on and troops were asked to serve more tours in combat.
    . . . . . . . .
    Mrs. Jones, 26, said she struggled at first to contain her anger that her husband was sent to Iraq instead of Germany. But she has consoled herself with the conviction that he died for a cause he supported. And she firmly rejects the antiwar protests of Cindy Sheehan, saying they dishonor the fallen.
    . . . . . . . .
    “More African-Americans identify having to fight for a cause they don’t support as a barrier to military service,” the study concluded.

    Not all blacks feel that way. Specialist Toccara R. Green joined the junior R.O.T.C. as an ebullient freshman at a Baltimore high school and became enraptured with the discipline and camaraderie of military life. Even after Specialist Green, 23, was killed by a roadside bomb in August, her parents continued to see the Army as a proud and honorable career.
    . . . . . . . .
    Despite the repeated deployments and heavy casualties, Marine Corps officers say that morale in the 1/5 remains high and that its re-enlistment rate remains strong.
    . . . . . . . .
    Another member of the 1/5, Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr, rejected a $24,000 bonus to re-enlist. Corporal Starr believed strongly in the war, his father said, but was tired of the harsh life and nearness of death in Iraq. So he enrolled at Everett Community College near his parents’ home in Snohomish, Wash., planning to study psychology after his enlistment ended in August.
    . . . . . . . .
    Mr. Starr, an accountant, said he remained convinced that invading Iraq was the right thing to do. But he said he would also like firsthand confirmation that the war, and Corporal Starr’s death, were not in vain.

    “I’m hoping, my wife is hoping, that we can visit Ramadi,” he said, fighting back tears. “And feel safe. And feel like Jeff died for something.”

    Thanks to Gabriel (#36) also for injecting some rationality here.

    And if the Times is so “left-wing” and “anti-war,” please explain for me why they not only constantly and uncritically repeated but even embellished the Bush administration’s lies about WMDs pre-invasion. Thanks.

    ungeziefer (f95259)

  56. Harry Author~

    I should have worded that more carefully, but the generalizations helped make my point. Of course there are always exceptions when you try to make generalizations about any group of people.

    Anyway, I was mainly talking about young soldiers who had just been through basic training and people of the lowest rank who are more likely than others to become a casualty. Also, I’m getting old enough now to think of eighteen year olds as kids. The younger soldiers were on my mind in my comment above. I realize that there are brilliant, autonomous people in the military too.

    Also, I’m glad to hear that the saying I quoted is not being used. I sure hope not.

    BTW, the military has one great irony brilliantly uncovered in this quote:

    Don’t be silly, Ninety-Nine. We have to shoot, kill, and destroy. We represent everything that’s good and wholesome in the world. – Maxwell Smart, ‘Get Smart’, CBS-TV

    Tillman (1cf529)

  57. ‘Guess it’s OK for the Washington Post to publish a rabid right article that could have been penned by Rush Limbaugh himself: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/28/AR2005102801771.html

    You see, each paper has a different flavor – read only one at your own peril.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  58. Tillman,

    Relax. Take a deep breath and have a cold one. The WaPo article is an OK examination of the problems with appointing prosecutors and failing to supervise them.

    The article identifies the problem and gives current examples of what can happen when you set forces in motion without appropriate checks and balances. It’s not really a new idea.

    Adults can be trusted to read it without fear of being in peril. Really, it’s only an expression of opinion which differs from Dem dogma. If you don’t want to go off the deep end, you might want to start getting your head right, there’s going to be quite a lot more of this sort of thing around.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  59. BJ, what’s wrong with what Fitz did? Libby lied, so he was justified in going after him. And Libby lied about the Plame source. It’s not like he found out that he had a sordid sex life or something and caught him lying about that.

    No, this is just right wing rhetoric.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  60. Tillman,

    First, so far Libby’s only been convicted of lying by the MSM, Dems, and assorted other moonbats. No court has ruled yet, so let’s back off the premature conclusions.

    Second, Fitzgerald failed in his primary responsibility to find out who initially outed Plame. I think it was Aldrich Ames, about 10 years ago. That’s why she was on a desk job at HQ, rather than overseas doing secret agent jobs. But it’s not my call.

    Third, Bill Clinton went on national TV, wagged his finger in our faces, screwed up his brow for dramatic effect, and lied like a dog. You can make excuses for him if you like. But it won’t erase the stain or cover up Clinton’s shame. Libby is small potatoes compared to the Perp-in-Chief, or would you like it any better if Libby whispered his gossip to an overweight WH intern?

    BTW, what frightens you so about the WaPo article?

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  61. BJ,

    Excuse the tu quoque argument, but what court has proven that Joe Wilson lied?

    I have enough faith in Fitzgerald’s reputation (who was put in place by republicans) and the evidence he’s presented to believe that Libby lied anyway.

    OK, take off your myopic ideological lenses for a minute if you can and think about this.

    I’m not taking up for Clinton – his sex scandal and lie(s) about it was reprehensible. But what the hell did lying about sex have to do with Whitewater? Nothing.

    The Libby indictment on the other hand, had everything to do with Plame since it was her outing that he lied about.

    Why do you think I’m afraid of the WAPO article? I’m not afraid of it. My point is that it’s just full of right-wing rhetoric.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  62. Bush should be impeached. Libby is gone…Rove should be fired.
    The war was the biggest joke on the American public that Bush could of conceived of……Sure Bush…you did want the UN to give your blessings cause you knew the real truth about the war. The Iraq war comittee was created to go to war in 2002 by the Bush Administration. Its time to impeach.
    This country has to rise up and realize that Bush is the worse President the last 94 years. Bush’s largest support only comes from Bibel tokers who are now beting told my Mr Fallwell if you don’t vote republican in the next election, you will not make heaven.

    Moonbats (efb071)

  63. Regarding the death of Corporal Starr, actus (who has also wrote that why soldiers fight “is just irrelvant”) says, “Too bad for him.”

    That’s a fair statement, isn’t it, actus?

    eddie haskell (8fd1a1)

  64. “Third, Bill Clinton went on national TV, wagged his finger in our faces, screwed up his brow for dramatic effect, and lied like a dog”

    Has a court ruled?

    actus (c9e62e)

  65. I think so. Wasn’t he held in contempt?

    Patterico (24925b)

  66. Wasn’t there a revocation of a license of some sort?

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  67. If Libby lied, shame on him – he gets what’s coming to him. It will now be up to a jury or perhaps a plea. It does appear that the crime was attempting to cover up a non-crime, however. At least that’s where the preponderance of the evidence seems to lead at this point.

    I won’t apologize for liers on either side of the isle. If you don’t have your honor you have nothing.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  68. “I think so. Wasnt he held in contempt? ”

    For what he said on TV? I don’t think so.

    [For saying the same thing under oath. Like Scooter. — Patterico]

    ‘Regarding the death of Corporal Starr, actus (who has also wrote that why soldiers fight is just irrelvant) says, Too bad for him.’

    Ya. Too bad he died. Is this supposed to have made him happy? To die in this war, which he thought is for freedom?

    actus (c9e62e)

  69. actus – The point was that I could give a distorted picture of your views and make it appear that you were contemptuous of Starr’s sacrifice by selectively quoting your posts. I really thought you’d get it – sorry.

    eddie haskell (8fd1a1)

  70. […] Here’s the blog post that Derek’s site links to. […]

    schulte’s blog » Blog Archive » What the New York Times Leaves Out (f465dd)

  71. The NYT article is an overt act of omission. The angle of the entire article was to be as negative on the war as possible. The strength of the letter’s content is amazing, but the NYT didn’t dare publish his entire quote as it would defuse the intent of their article.

    DWalla (9aca5a)

  72. I don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Joe Wilson’s lies are as many as falling leaves in October, and as obvious as November rain on a thin tin roof. Wilson’s very own words prove the case against him. The only question now is why he lied, and in collusion with who else in addition to his wife.

    PS: You might want to have a look at recent WSJ editorials. Joe Wilson’s tissue of lies is about to come under careful examination.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)


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