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The First Casualty of War

MSNBC/Newsweek story:

NEWSWEEK: Why did you decide to testify?
Jessica Lynch: Mainly it was about me just getting out the truth. I've spent the past four years trying to tell everybody the real truth, and not the stories they put together. They were false, ya know?

What was the greatest misinformation about you?
The whole Rambo story, that I went down fighting. It just wasn't the truth.

So what really happened?
I didn't even get a shot off. My weapon had jammed. And I didn't even get to fire. A rocket-propelled grenade hit the back of our [Humvee], which made Lori [Piestewa], my friend, lose control of the vehicle, and we slammed into the back of another truck in our unit.


Every war needs a devil to get it started and heroes to sustain it once the blood begins to flow. It's a shame that Bush's War is so devoid of reality that the administration's propaganda machine, and their willing accomplices in the media have conspired to wrap the whole operation in a veneer of lies. What offends me even more is that Bush has chosen to ignore a woman who gave her life in the service of her nation, Lori Piestewa, to promote a lie about a stereotypical blonde-haired Anglo.
I applaud Lynch's appearance before congress yesterday. It's not easy to forsake the mantle of a hero to tell the truth, but in doing so, she honored the memory of her fallen comrades far more than an administration who has no compunction about saying whatever they feel is necessary to further their own agenda.


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Comments (14)

Lee:

"The First Casualty of War"

The first casualty of this war was the truth - and the truth fell by the side of the road before the war even started.

Xennady:

Yet another strange example of the leftist belief in George Bush the all-powerful malevolent force.Do you folks really belief he somehow compelled the media to portray Jessica Lynch as a hero? So why did he stop using his magic media manipulating powers, anyway? Was he tired of having his party control congress? "Nutroots" is quite apt.

P. Bunyan:

D-Hoggs,

To understand the left's idea of good guys and bad guys, you have to keep in mind which side they would like to see win.

Matt:

I'd like to here Ms. Lynch explain why she was against the truth before she was for it...

She made book and movie deals based on the lies she supported. She did well as a minor celebrity based on the lies she supported. She was awarded a Bronze Star based on the lies she supported.

She should at least have the integrity to return the Bronze Star. She could toss it over the White House fence.

Peter F.:

And why are Jessica and Tillman news? We knew all this a good year, if not years ago.

Anyway, to put in terms the Pentagon can really relate to, they FUBAR'ed this one. There are enough ordinary and everyday heroes and courageous acts going on; they don't need to make them up or cover them up. Just stupid.

Matt:
The Bronze Star has been so de-valued by the Army in the last 20 years or so, that it's really lost all meaning being given it. Ask enlisted personel, if you don't have one, something's wrong.

Peter F.:

...the administration's propaganda machine

Um, hello? Iwo Jima, "Flags of Our Fathers", Mt. Suribachi? Ring any bells? The Pentagon has been doing this kind of propaganda for years, loooooong before Bush was President.

This is a copout and a cheap attempt to score rhetorical points. Lame.

Paul Hamilton:

D-Hoggs: Thanks for the information about Laura Bush. I'm glad to see that some official recognition was given to her sacrifice.

Paul Hamilton:

Peter F.:
That's a very good point. It was just as wrong then as it is now. Then, as now, the people who really made the sacrifices and committed the heroic deeds are passed over in favor of those who might be more photogenic or who have something like a famous picture of them. Probably 90% of the American people don't know that the photo of the flagraising on Mt Suribachi was a re-enactment.

Peter F.:

It was just as wrong then as it is now.

I don't think propaganda is always a matter of right or wrong; it's not that black and white.

When you've just lost 40% of fighting force as we did on Iwo Jima, the troops and the folks back home needed a lift, to be inspired. Which would you rather see? Your country's flag raised on a mountain top, or the beaten down, bloody and exhausted faces of the men fighting for a 3-mile long strip of black sand in the middle of the Pacific? You want to rally the people, not fill them doubt, worry and despair. I hope you see my point.

Was that necessary with Jessica and Tillman? No, not at all. But we are a nation desparate for heroes, I suppose. And that's sad. We had plenty of them on 9/11, but we've since forgotten them.

Jordan:

Um, her weapon jammed. This means that she attempted to fire it, and found it jammed. This means that she attempted to fire and then was either knocked unconscious or trapped in the car. Ergo, she went down fighting until stopeed by factors beyond her control. Now, had she said she never even attempted to fire her weapon and had surrendered immediately, it owuld be a different issue. But as the matter stands she did attempt to fight. That her weapon was jammed was not her immdiate fault, although it may have been her fault in the long run because of poor maintnence on her part.

Paul Hamilton:

>>Peter F said:
>>You want to rally the people, not fill them doubt, worry and despair. I hope you see my point.

Yes I do. But you can rally the people with the TRUTH even better than with a lie. I watched part of "Flags of Our Fathers" until the cynicism of the government people finally got to me. One of the things that our troops fight for in every war is the integrity of our system of government, and when the folks in DC make a conscious decision that it's better to lie than to tell the truth, we've lost something that is vitally important.

>>Jordan said:
>>Ergo, she went down fighting until stopeed by factors beyond her control.

But that's not the story which was leaked to the press, was it? If her gun jammed, say so, don't tell us that she expended all her ammunition. I have no problem with the circumstances surrounding the capture of Jessica Lynch -- she did the best she could with what she had. But in her case, as well as Pat Tillman's it seems that Pentagon brass weren't as impressed as I was. They had to embellish the stories regarding both soldiers, and doing so does a grave disservice to what they did because it leaves the impression that, to them, it wasn't good enough and had to be fixed to make it acceptable for public consumption.

Peter F.:

...that it's better to lie than to tell the truth, we've lost something that is vitally important.

So, if we're still talking about Iwo Jima/Mt.Mt Suribachi, and I assume we are, you believe, Paul, that telling the truth about Iwo Jima in the photo is more important than lifting the morale of the troops and the folks back home? Really?

What great, grave harm or wrong does this really do the country? I can't think of how it irrevocably scared the country.

I suppose the reasoning would go something like "Well, if you'll lie about this relatively small thing, it highly likely you'll lie about some bigger, more meaningful event/thing." And just ain't necessarily so. Does it happen? Yes. Often? Probably not. Depends on one's life perspective of whether or not people are generally liars or basically honest. I prefer to think the later of people until they prove me otherwise.

Paul Hamilton:

>>What great, grave harm or wrong does this really do the country? I can't think of how it irrevocably scared the country.

Great harm, none, but it still demeans the valor of the troops who were the FIRST to plant a flag atop that mountain by deliberately deflecting the honor they earned to others. But like they said in the film, sometimes a picture perfectly captures the very essence of what Americans were dying for all over Europe and the Pacific. And I sure won't deny that it's one of the all-time great war images. But I'll always know in the back of my mind that it was staged. And that's a great pity.

She attempted to *chamber a round*. She did not attempt to fire.

Her "book deal" told the story she has told all along. Have you read her book?

But those are nits. The charge that there were military or administration lies about what happened (or were *ever* lies from the administration about what happened) in the events leading up to Lynch being captured and so many others being killed is simply not true.

The obscene suggestion that the administration *chose* to put the spotlight on Jessica and ignore Lori because she was brown instead of blond is simply not true.

Was there a media storm? Yes. Was the fact that Lynch is blond and frail looking part of it? Yes. Did incredible fictions get reported as truth? Yes.

But if it's necessary to build some nefarious "It's Bush's fault" into that then senses have taken leave. Nor is Bush or any of his minions responsible for the flight of fancies that the media may take. The news wants stuff NOW, not after the military gets done confirming it. They'll take rumors, and a female blond hero in the clutches of the enemy was drama such that they couldn't even have hoped for.

Put the blame where it belongs.

Jessica has been trying to get people to pay attention to Lori or to the others, some of whom were genuinely heroic by anyone's measure, and it's not this administration that refuses to emphasize their dramatic stories of heroism... it's the news media.

And it's probably a whole lot of you, who simply don't want to hear it.

Be honest about that.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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