"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Heroes Of The War On Terrorism

What are the names of the heroes of our war on terrorism - of the wars in Iraqi and Afghanistan? Surely with news available 24/7 we should be able to rattle off a list of names and see the faces of these heroes in our mind’s eye. Having heard their stories of sacrifice and bravery so many times, we should be able to recount the specifics of their inspiring heroism.

And yet most of us can’t think of a single name of a service man or woman, connected to the war on terrorism, that hasn’t been tarnished in the media. Since the media covered the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and the death of Army Ranger, Pat Tillman, it’s been nothing but Lynndie England, Charles Graner and the others connected to Abu Ghraib.

When the media weren’t fixated on the Abu Ghraib gang, we were blanketed with stories questioning the legitimacy of combat actions by Lt. Col. Allen B. West who fired his side arm to get information from an Iraqi terrorist to save his men; the marine filmed killing a terrorist in the battle of Fallujah; the check point shooting involving Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena; and Lt. Ilario Pantano who shot two Iraqi terrorists in self defense.

Next we were bombarded with endless reporting and an unbelievable amount of hand wringing about a Koran that was not flushed down the toilet by an American serviceman at Guantanamo Bay.

It didn’t end there though. Sensing another opportunity to create a scandal, the media are working themselves into a lather because military personnel have touched detainee Korans, by accident or within the scope of their duties, on five or six occasions. If you clicked on the last link, you will have discovered there are 1,196 articles related to this “abuse” at the hands of our military.

To balance these stories, the media from time to time have read or printed the names of our military men and women killed and they have reported on the rehabilitation of those grievously wounded in our country’s war on terrorism. Heroes everyone of them in our book, but have the media turned any of them into household names?

On April 4, 2005 President Bush presented the Congressional Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House. Name the solider that was the recipient - the soldier cited for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty?

If you can’t remember his name, we are not surprised. Go to Time’s website and search their archives for Medal of Honor winner, you won’t find a single story on this hero. Enter Abu Ghraib and you’ll find 107 articles. Enter Guantanamo Bay you’ll have a choice of 148 articles. Search Newsweek’s archives – same result. Medal of Honor winner – no articles on this soldier winning the medal. Abu Ghraib - 140 matches. Guantanamo Bay – 108 articles.

The name you remember - Lynndie England: Time - 8 articles, Newsweek – 9 articles,

The Medal of Honor winner - Sergeant First Class, Paul Ray Smith. Time – 0 articles
Newsweek – 1 article, A War's Rising Toll, in which Paul R Smith was listed among those killed in action.



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