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No heroes? ^ | 12/02/04 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 12/02/2004 12:45:32 AM PST by kattracks

You cannot fight a war without many brave men taking risks with their lives in order to try to accomplish their mission. Yet can you name a single American hero in either of the two wars going on today in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Chances are you can't -- not if you rely on the mainstream media. You may be able to name someone from the little band of people involved in the prison scandal in Iraq or perhaps Jessica Lynch who was rescued, but not those who rescued her.

 There are apparently no heroes among the more than 100,000 men and women fighting for us overseas -- only victims. At least, that is how the news gets filtered and spun in most of the media.

 Any reservist whose life is disrupted by being called to active duty has a good chance of making the front page of the New York Times with his laments. But 99 fellow reservists who are focused on their duty are far less likely to be featured.

 Enemy casualties, no matter how large, seldom get as much publicity as even a handful of American casualties. A whole ghoul school of journalism was preparing for the thousandth death among American troops in Iraq, so that they could run big features on it.

 The New York Times covered page after page with the names of those thousand dead. The television wing of the ghoul school did similar things in their broadcasts. The rationale for this is that they are "honoring" the dead troops and perhaps showing that the media, too, are patriotically "supporting our troops."

 The fraudulence of this can be seen in the fact that Ted Koppel, who sneered at those journalists who wore little American flag lapel pins after 9/11 as people who were "flag waving," has made the display of American dead a feature of "Nightline."

 Why is it that the New York Times, which has been against this war from day one, and against the military for decades before that, is spearheading this way of "honoring" our troops? What they are in fact doing is rubbing our noses in the casualties at every opportunity.

 People have every right to be for or against this war or any other war. That is what editorial pages, newspaper columns, and radio and TV talk shows are all about. But pretending to be reporting news and "honoring" the troops is dirty business.

 While our troops were willing to put their lives on the line to carry out their missions, they did not go overseas for the purpose of dying. Nor have they died without taking a lot more of the enemy with them. Every terrorist killed in Iraq is one that will never come over here to commit another 9/11.

 Anyone who was serious about honoring the fallen troops would honor what they accomplished, not just the price they paid. More than 5,000 Marines died taking the one little island of Iwo Jima but they were honored for taking Iwo Jima -- a wretched little island in itself, but a crucial forward base for supporting the air attacks on Japan that ended World War II.

 Those who are busy "honoring" the deaths of American troops in Iraq seldom have much to say about what those troops accomplished. The restoration of electricity, the re-opening of hospitals and schools, and all the other things being done to try to restore a war-devastated country get little attention, and everything that has gone wrong makes the front pages and TV news for weeks on end.

 This is the approach that gave the media their biggest triumph and ego boost -- the discrediting of the war in Vietnam.

 More than 50,000 Americans died trying to save that country from Communist attacks. Their achievements included victories on the battlefield that were negated politically by the way the American press reported the war.

 In recent years, Vietnam's Communist leaders themselves have admitted that they lost that war on the ground but hung on because the American anti-war movement gave them hope that they could win it politically. It was a well-founded hope that the American media helped make come true when we withdrew both our troops and our financial and political backing for the Vietnamese under attack.

 At that time, the media had not yet come up with the gimmick of "honoring" American war dead but they were nevertheless able to throw away the victory for which those men sacrificed their lives.

 Will they repeat that heady achievement a second time in Iraq? They certainly seem to be trying. And it is no honor.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: thomassowell

1 posted on 12/02/2004 12:45:32 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
The future of Iraq will thank the sacrifice of the USA for severing them from their horrid past.

2 posted on 12/02/2004 12:54:49 AM PST by endthematrix ("Hey, it didn't hit a bone, Colonel. Do you think I can go back?" - U.S. Marine)
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To: kattracks

I don't recall the media going out of its way to feature laments (or deaths) of soldiers under Herr Clinton. Funny how that works...

3 posted on 12/02/2004 12:55:24 AM PST by Prime Choice (I like Democrats, too. Let's exchange recipes.)
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To: kattracks

Thanks for posting Thomas Sowell's truth about the media's bias in covering the war on terror. Everyone of our brave men and women protecting us with their service, deserve our honor and our prayers. Heros all. May God protect them.

4 posted on 12/02/2004 12:56:47 AM PST by raisincane (Bush/Cheney and their MANDATE = US has spoken.)
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To: kattracks

Sgt. Rafael Peralta a few weeks ago picked up an enemy grenade and cradled it to his body, saving his two buddies trapped with him in a small small room in Fallujah and perhaps saving others nearby. (Probably up for Congressional Medal of Honor)

Pvt. Dwayne Turner, Airborne Medic. Rescued 16 fellow soldiers in the very beginning of the war. They were near the airport in Baghdad unloading medical supplies. The first mortar round landed among them and blew him in to the truck he was unloading. He was hit in the legbut helped get a couple of guys behind a wall to safety.

Behind the wall and safe from the rifle fire coming in he noticed is leg was bleeding. He thought "that sure is bleeding a lot - but I'm not dead, so it must not be too bad."

He kept leaving the wall to go get others that were hurt and couldn't make it to safety. He was wounded two more times from rifle fire.

I read this story to my nine year old son. Then I grabbed 16 pens/pencils from my desk and said - imagine me throwing these out all over the back yard. Then imagine getting whacked on your leg real hard with a baseball bat. Now go run out there and bring all the pencils back to me one at a time. And imagine someone shooting at you the entire time.

Pvt. Dwayne Turner received a Purple Heart and the Silver Star.

5 posted on 12/02/2004 1:05:18 AM PST by geopyg (Peace..................through decisive and ultimate VICTORY. (Democracy, whiskey, sexy))
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To: kattracks

Good article. Thanks for posting it.

6 posted on 12/02/2004 1:05:56 AM PST by swilhelm73 (Dowd wrote that Kerry was defeated by a "jihad" of Christians...Finally – a jihad liberals oppose!)
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To: Prime Choice

I think it was on Medved that some guy was blaming bush for the 1000 dead in Iraq in 1 year. Medved said, "actually, it is 1.5 years. Any idea how many troops died in an average 1.5 year periodunder Clinton?"

The caller said "none - 'cuz we weren't at war with anybody".

Medved reminded him of Bosnia, the Cole bombing, Saudi Towers and others (Somalia?), and also of training accidents etc. Anyway - the average under Clinton was 750 troops a died in a year and a half period. Medved went on to say how all of this deaths are tragic and a huge loss - but war and the preperation for war is a dangerous business.

7 posted on 12/02/2004 1:11:08 AM PST by geopyg (Peace..................through decisive and ultimate VICTORY. (Democracy, whiskey, sexy))
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To: All


8 posted on 12/02/2004 1:15:19 AM PST by Cindy
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To: kattracks; Ragtime Cowgirl
The New York Times covered page after page with the names of those thousand dead. The television wing of the ghoul school did similar things in their broadcasts. The rationale for this is that they are "honoring" the dead troops and perhaps showing that the media, too, are patriotically "supporting our troops."
As this Thomas Sowell article points out - but not in these words - journalism's way of "honoring" our fallen is to use their deaths to denigrate the patriotism which had animated their lives.

9 posted on 12/02/2004 1:26:53 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: kattracks

Everyone who serves, is a hero.

10 posted on 12/02/2004 3:24:02 AM PST by 7.62 x 51mm (• veni • vidi • vino • visa • "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: geopyg

The only "war hero" the Dems and the MSM are concerned about is John effin Kerry.

Any idea how many troops died in an average 1.5 year periodunder Clinton?"

The military averaged 800 active duty deaths annually during Clinton's tenure, mostly from aircraft and training accidents but also from auto accidents and such. The 8700 deceased received far less death benefit under Clinton than what is provided today.

11 posted on 12/02/2004 3:57:53 AM PST by Wristpin (Bloggers, forget your silly whim. It doesn't fit the plan!!)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

The (nasty) Baltimore Sun has a major article about a wake, a funeral, or a grieving military family, on the front page of its "Maryland" section nearly every day, it seems.

I do not see the corresponding articles about our troops' successes anywhere in that paper!

12 posted on 12/02/2004 4:46:22 AM PST by maica (I give thanks for all brave Americans who bring hope of freedom to people around the world.)
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To: geopyg

When I read about guys like that, it gives me shivers, tears well up, and I am proud all at the same time. Where is the good private - hopefully Sarge - today? If you told me he is out and at home, I say job well done, soldier, you've earned your way. If you tell me he is back in Iraq helping his buddies, I would not be surprised. Yet, we had a guy running for President that couldn't wait to get three PH's - none requiring hosptial time - and get out of Nam. And the left hail him as a hero! It boggles the mind.

13 posted on 12/03/2004 4:26:42 AM PST by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a hundred pounds!)
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To: geopyg
More on Pvt. Turner -

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., Feb. 11, 2004 - A 101st Airborne Division soldier who, despite being critically wounded himself, repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to treat wounded comrades in Iraq received the Silver Star here Feb. 5.

Pvt. Dwayne Turner, a combat medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, provided life-saving medical care to 16 fellow soldiers April 13 when his unit came under a grenade and small-arms attack 30 miles south of Baghdad.

Turner and two other medics from Company A of that battalion were part of a work detail that came under attack as they unloaded supplies in a makeshift operations center.

"I moved to (my vehicle) just before the first grenade came over the wall," Turner said. "The blast threw me even further into the vehicle, and I took on some shrapnel."

Ignoring his own injuries, Turner ran to the front of his vehicle and saw a soldier with eye injuries.

"I checked him out, and tried to get him into a building," Turner said. The other two medics established a triage system under the cover of a building while Turner ran back outside to bring more soldiers into the makeshift clinic.

"I just started assessing the situation, seeing who was hurt, giving them first aid and pulling them into safety," he said, downplaying his actions on that day.

Turner, his legs wounded by shrapnel in the initial attack, was shot at least twice while giving first aid to the soldiers.

"I didn't realize I was shot," he said. "A couple of times, I heard bullets going by, but I thought they were just kicking up rocks on me."

At one point during the attack, one of Turner's fellow medics told him he was bleeding. "Someone told me, 'Doc Turner, Doc Turner, you're bleeding.'" he said. "I looked down at my leg and saw I was bleeding, and kind of said, 'Oh hell, if I'm not dead yet, I guess I'm not dying.'"

"I don't think he realized how much blood he lost," said Sgt. Neil Mulvaney, from the same unit as Turner.

"After I got the first patient inside the building, I sort of slumped down in the corner," Turner said. "I didn't think there was any way we were going to get out of there, and it would have been really easy to just stay in that corner.

"Then I heard (the wounded) calling for medics," he continued, "and I realized I could let them continue to get hurt -- and possibly die -- and not come home to their families, or I could do something about it." Turner chose to do something about it. He continued to give first aid and to bring soldiers in from the barrage of gunfire outside the compound until he finally collapsed against a wall from loss of blood. A bullet had broken his right arm. He had been shot in the left leg. Shrapnel had torn into both of his legs.

The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in combat, but Turner does not see himself as a hero.

"Nobody gets left behind," he said emphatically. "We were the medical personnel on hand. You're not relieved from your duty until someone comes. No one else was going to get the job done, so we did."

Although Turner downplays his heroism, the Army believes that at least two of the 16 soldiers he treated would have died had he not been there.

"He risked his life for 16 other men without noticing his own injuries - that's heroism in my book," Mulvaney said.

"I was just doing my job," Turner insisted. "As far as the values of the Army, it's not to 'earn' a Silver Star; it's to uphold what you signed on for. Other people may see me as a hero; I see myself as doing my job. No one is going to die on my watch." Turner's Silver Star is the highest award given to any 101st soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom thus far. He received the Purple Heart in July.

I provided a picture of him also. Looks like he probably played a little football back in high school. I wonder if he is from the south. Did a google search. Most of the stories about him are from independent web sites and not official news sources. Go figure!

14 posted on 12/03/2004 4:35:02 AM PST by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a hundred pounds!)
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To: 7thson

Thanks for finding that story on Pvt. Turner - much better told than MY memory of it. My 9-year old son did a poster about him, and shows Pvt. Turner as a black guy however. Picture shows him with a silver star on over his heart and his name on the other side. A proud but sober look on his young face. Quite the hero.

15 posted on 12/03/2004 4:20:56 PM PST by geopyg (Peace..................through decisive and ultimate VICTORY. (Democracy, whiskey, sexy))
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To: geopyg

Here's an earlier article on FR on Sgt. Rafael Peralta:

Marine sacrifices his life for others in grenade blast

Seattle Times

Posted on 11/24/2004 9:45:32 AM PST by PHANTOM21

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Sgt. Rafael Peralta built a reputation as a man who always put his Marines' interests ahead of his own.

He showed that again, when he made the ultimate sacrifice of his life Tuesday, by shielding his fellow Marines from a grenade blast.

"It's stuff you hear about in boot camp, about World War II and Tarawa Marines who won the Medal of Honor," said Lance Cpl. Rob Rogers, 22, of Tallahassee, Fla., one of Peralta's platoon mates in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Peralta, 25, as platoon scout, wasn't even assigned to the assault team that entered the insurgent safe house in northern Fallujah, Marines said. Despite an assignment that would have allowed him to avoid such dangerous duty, he regularly asked squad leaders if he could join their assault teams, they said.

One of the first Marines to enter the house, Peralta was wounded in the face by rifle fire from a room near the entry door, said Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, 20, of Tacoma, who was in the house when Peralta was first wounded.

Moments later, an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where a wounded Peralta and the other Marines were seeking cover.

As Morrison and another Marine scrambled to escape the blast, pounding against a locked door, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it into his body, Morrison said. While one Marine was badly wounded by shrapnel from the blast, the Marines said they believe more lives would have been lost if not for Peralta's selfless act.

"He saved half my fire team," said Cpl. Brannon Dyer, 27, of Blairsville, Ga.

The Marines said such a sacrifice would be perfectly in character for Peralta, a Mexico native who lived in San Diego and gained U.S. citizenship after joining the Marines.

"He'd stand up for his Marines to an insane point," Rogers said.

Rogers and others remembered Peralta as a squared-away Marine, so meticulous about uniform standards that he sent his camouflage uniform to be pressed while training in Kuwait before entering Iraq.

But mostly they remembered acts of selflessness: offering career advice, giving a buddy a ride home from the bar, teaching salsa dance steps in the barracks.

While Alpha Company was still gathering information, and a formal finding on Peralta's death is likely months away, not a single Marine in Alpha Company doubted the account of Peralta's act of sacrifice.

"I believe it," said Alpha's commander, Capt. Lee Johnson. "He was that kind of Marine."

16 posted on 12/03/2004 4:31:38 PM PST by geopyg (Peace..................through decisive and ultimate VICTORY. (Democracy, whiskey, sexy))
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To: 7thson

I will be retiring from the Marine Corps next year. Although PFC Turner is not a Marine (no one is perfect) he is a fine example of the courage and mettle of the men who continue to answer this nation's call. I will hang up the spurs, so to speak, but I will do it with confidence in the strength and ability of the young men and women who will take my place and stand on the wall.

May our gracious Lord continue to bless this great nation and her fine sons and daughters.

17 posted on 12/03/2004 4:40:38 PM PST by dpa5923 (Small minds talk about people, normal minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas.)
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To: dpa5923

I am retired navy and have always had an admiration for the Marines, even though I use to kid and dog you guys alot when I was in. Watching FNC last night, talking about the Marines clearing out Fallujeh(sp). I told my wife that knowing what I know about the Marines and if was some scumbag holding up a building or compound, and was told that the Marines were coming in to clear it out, I would just give up and save myself from being shot up.

18 posted on 12/06/2004 3:32:28 AM PST by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a hundred pounds!)
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